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Hala Gorani Tonight
Biden Hosts Iraqi Prime Minister At The White House; Tunisian President Ousts Prime Minister And Suspends Parliament; Protesters In Paris, Athens And London Clash With Police Over Vaccine Mandates; Pakistani Taliban Leader Reacts To Gains By Afghan Taliban; Chinese Officials: U.S. Portrays China As Imaginary Enemy; At Least 180 People Killed In London Floods, Landslides; Britain's Tom Daley Claims Elusive Gold Medal. Aired 2- 3p ET
Aired July 26, 2021 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CYRIL VANIER, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello everybody, live from CNN London, I'm Cyril Vanier, in for Hala Gorani. Tonight, Iraq's prime
minister is in Washington right now leaving behind a world of political and political pressure in Baghdad. How he expects the U.S. president to help.
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VANIER: The birth place of the Arab Spring in turmoil. What political chaos and social unrest in Tunisia mean for the region. And fear and frustration
have given way to some Olympic glory. Now that athletes are winning medals in Tokyo, "WORLD SPORT" has all the action that's coming up in 45 minutes.
So, let's begin with what could be a new moment in history for U.S.-Iraq relations. Joe Biden is welcoming Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi
at the White House at any moment. It's their first meeting and it comes at a critical time for both leaders, with Mr. Biden expected to formally
conclude the U.S. combat mission in Iraq by the end of this year, shifting the mission to an advisory role, though unlike in Afghanistan, U.S. troops
would still remain on the ground ensuring security in Iraq is still of critical urgency.
Just one week ago, at least 30 people were killed in a suicide attack on a Baghdad neighborhood right as families prepared for the Eid holiday, an
attack that ISIS took responsibility for. Now we're covering all sides of this story with Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr bringing us the U.S.
perspective. Barbara, transitioning from a combat mission to an advisory mission, is this a real change or is this window dressing?
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, the reality is, Cyril, that is largely, perhaps, what the 2,500 U.S. troops in Iraq have been
doing for some time, advise and assisting the Iraqi forces. Still assisting in supporting air strikes and missions when they have to because there
certainly are ISIS elements still in the country.
So, the move by President Biden was expected and the move by the Iraqis was expected. They've had several rounds of talks about doing this. But as you
say, it is likely at least for now -- the bulk of the 2,500 U.S. troops are going to stay in the country in this advisory capacity. What we don't know
yet is what will happen to the some 900 U.S. troops who are across the border in eastern Syria. Cyril?
VANIER: Arwa Damon is also with us. Arwa, you have covered Iraq extensively. You're monitoring the developments from Turkey right now.
What's your view on U.S. troops changing their focus?
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Look, I think that's really a lot of semantics. I mean, as Barbara was mentioning, they already
largely were in an advise and assist position. I think what is important right now is the fact that the U.S. troops are staying no matter what you
call them because at this stage, neither the U.S. nor does the top leadership of the Iraqi government or elements within the Iraqi government
and Iraqi population who do not support Iran, who do not want to see a potential return of ISIS.
All of these various different individual factors do not want to see the same mistake of the end of 2011 repeated when the then Obama administration
ended up withdrawing all U.S. forces from Iraq, which effectively was one of the key factors that laid the groundwork for the re-emergence of ISIS.
And also the U.S. lost a certain level of counter-balance to Iran's influence in Iraq, which of course also allowed ISIS' re-emergence to be
accelerated. So, everything is very inter-connected, especially when it comes to Iraq and these very different dynamics. The fact that right now,
the U.S. and Iraq have been able to negotiate a way for U.S. forces to stay in the country is not just about the battle against ISIS, Cyril, it's also
about acting as a counter-weight to Iran's influence.
VANIER: So, Barbara, the U.S. withdrew in 2011 and then re-engaged three years later to fight ISIS, as Arwa just mentioned. Is there a concern at
the Pentagon that this latest shift in the focus of the mission could end up being just another chapter to U.S. engagement in Iraq?
STARR: Well, I suppose it's something that top commanders and top officials here are going to continue to watch very closely. I don't see a lot of
concern at the forefront about that issue right now, because they do feel that they have adequately trained Iraqi forces, and Iraqi forces are both
capable and willing of being in the fight.
As Arwa mentioned, perhaps the major issue here at the Pentagon is keeping an eye on those Iranian-backed militias because the real question is, can
the Iraqi forces, can the Iraqi government keep those militias in check and their attacks against U.S. forces from happening again?
VANIER: Yes, and as the U.S. decreases or changes its footprint in Iraq, if it leaves a void, that could be filled by Iran, as we know. Barbara Starr
and Arwa Damon, thank you so much for joining us. Now, Tunisia, the birth place of the Arab Spring is facing political upheaval after the president
ousted the prime minister and suspended parliament. Kais Saied says he did it to save the country from unrest, and his supporters cheered the move by
filling the streets.
Dozens of Tunisians there celebrating after they protested the government's response to the pandemic and the strained economy. But the speaker of
parliament has denounced the move as a coup. Earlier, he tried to defy it by entering the building, but was blocked by troops.
Later, supporters and opponents of the president clashed outside, hurling rocks and insults at each other. CNN's Ben Wedeman is following
developments from Lebanon. Ben, help us understand exactly what's going on here and where it might go.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, let me first tell you, Cyril, that just a few minutes ago, Kais Saied, the president
finished. He was speaking to a group of leaders of professional associations and trade unions where he flatly denied these accusations that
what he has done by dissolving parliament and firing his prime minister and minister of defense is a coup d'etat. He went on to say that there will be
overnight curfews in the entire country of Tunisia from 7:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. until the 27th of August.
And it prohibits the gathering of more than three people in public roads and in public squares. So, this certainly indicates a certain amount of,
shall we say, trepidation at what could be happening. He even used the word, an explosion threatening Tunisia. But what has gone on in that
Mediterranean country in the last 24 hours, the causes of all this, go back several years.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): To his supporters, Tunisian President Kais Saied is a hero. Out in the streets of the capital, Tunis, shortly after announcing he
was sacking the prime minister and suspending parliament for 30 days. Locked out of parliament, Speaker Rached Ghannouchi said the president's
decisions are in essence a coup. Ghannouchi also leads the country's largest political party. Tunisia is now deep in turmoil.
Ten years ago, it was the first Arab country to topple its aging dictator, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in what became known as the Arab Spring which
brought down autocrats also in Egypt, Yemen and Libya and drew Libya and Syria each into a decade of war.
In Tunisia, hopes were high that an Arab democracy was finally dawning. And democracy did dawn, messy, chaotic and divisive. What didn't come with
democracy was prosperity. Saddled with debt left behind by the dictatorship, the economy stagnated. Made worse by one of Africa's severest
Kais Saied, a law professor and political independent, came to power in a landslide election two years ago. But since then, he clashed with the prime
minister, now sacked, and with parliament. The Arab Spring began in Tunisia and perhaps there it will end. Liberty and freedom are wonderful, but you
can't beat democracy.
WEDEMAN: Now, it waits to be seen if in fact the president is going to simply stabilize the situation and go back to some form of democracy or is
this the final chapter of what was the only success story, so to speak, for democracy following the outbreak of the Arab Spring ten years ago. Cyril?
VANIER: Ben Wedeman, thank you very much. At first, it was carrots, now it's sticks. As more and more places in Europe move toward mandating
vaccines for access to a whole host of venues.
Clashes in Paris over the weekend did not stop the French parliament from approving a health pass this Monday. It enables those who are fully
vaccinated or recently tested negative for COVID to enter bars, restaurants, cinemas and many other places, as certain health workers will
have to be vaccinated from the end of next month.
Protesters in Athens threw petrol bombs and the police responded with water cannon and tear gas. Only vaccines will let you enter indoor venues in
Greece now. Healthcare workers risk losing their job if they don't have the vaccine. And here in London, police made some arrests during smaller scale
England plans to require double vaccination for night clubs, although that will only come into effect in September and at large venues as well. Salma
Abdelaziz is in London. Salma, so as this Delta variant spreads, we're seeing countries embrace something that was unthinkable a year ago,
systematic screening of the population.
SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN REPORTER: Absolutely, Cyril. And, you know, starting, let's just start here in the U.K. because what it looks like is, it's sort
of a gradual easing into these restrictions. So, right now, the British authorities are considering the possibility of requiring a vaccine passport
for anyone who wants to attend an event in a stadium of 20,000 people or more. And this continues on a policy that had been announced just a few
days ago by the British authorities, that you have to show that you are vaccinated to enter a night club.
So, it seems like they are trying to expand this potentially -- this policy potentially. Of course, this is still in the planning phases, but why do it
now? Well, as you said, the first reason is this variant in the development of new variants. Because unvaccinated populations are where these variants
are breeding, are growing.
So, for the British authorities, this is a way to protect those vaccination gains and get more people the shots. They're also following the suit of
other European countries like Italy, like France. They have even stricter measures starting next month just to get into a restaurant or a bar in
Italy and France.
You're going to have to prove some level of immunization. And finally, this is a way for all of these countries to begin to bring back normal life in
some way. Remember when the British prime minister said this is going to be irreversible. So, holding on to that idea that as these restrictions are
eased, that they will not come back. And that's why they're looking at the potential of these vaccine passports. But a lot of backlash of course,
we've seen those images that you just played out of demonstrations across multiple countries.
Here in the U.K., the opposition Labor Party spoke against this, also saying that testing is a better methodology. You have a lot of opposition
to this for various amount of reasons, from labor to personal civil liberties to what is the best scientific way to deal with this. But let me
give you one example, Cyril, of how this does work.
After France announced the new measures, announced that vaccine passport just a few days ago, in a 24-hour period, 24 hours from that announcement,
you had 1.7 million French sign up to get the vaccine. It almost crashed the website, almost crashed the app. So, for the authorities, this says,
look, this works. This is an approach that's going to push people to get the shots.
VANIER: All right. Well, look, they have the Summer to reach their goals of vaccinating, you know, a large section of the adult population. We'll see
if it works. Salma Abdelaziz in London, thank you very much. But the U.K. has reported a drop in new COVID-19 cases for a sixth straight day, just
under 25,000 cases were reported Monday, that's a drop of more than 50 percent from the recent peak.
Although, last Monday's full reopening is unlikely to be reflected in these numbers just yet. A further 14 people have died from COVID. Dr. Peter
Drobac is an infectious disease and global health expert at Oxford University. So, let's start with this. Do we now know a little bit more
accurately what it's going to take, what level of the population to be fully vaccinated it's going to take to reach herd immunity?
PETER DROBAC, INFECTIOUS DISEASE & GLOBAL HEALTH EXPERT: Well, thank you for having me. Now, let's remember what herd immunity is, is the percentage
of the population that we need to have immunity in order to make it too hard for the virus to find new hosts. And then we start to see a drop in
the number of cases without restrictions. Now, this is not an on-off switch. This is a -- this is a continuous thing.
As you get closer to that number you start to see then cases leveling off and then dropping. Now, with the more transmissible --
VANIER: We're seeing the opposite at the moment --
DROBAC: Delta variant -- exactly --
VANIER: We're seeing the opposite at the moment, Peter.
DROBAC: Sorry, go ahead.
VANIER: No, I'm just saying we're seeing the exact opposite happen. You know, almost 70 percent now of the adult population in the U.K. is
vaccinated, 70 percent was what was held up as the threshold for herd immunity months ago. We have hit that threshold --
DROBAC: Yes --
VANIER: At least, within the adult population and cases are surging.
DROBAC: That's right. And the reason for that is the Delta variant, which is much more transmissible. You know, the R-not, that replication factor,
which was about 2 to 2.5 for the initial strain of COVID-19 is probably about 6 with Delta. So, estimates for the herd immunity threshold, there
are differing estimates, of course, is maybe around 85 percent in a world where Delta is dominant.
Now, that would be assuming that you have perfect immunity after vaccination, which we of course know is not the case. It might be between
70 percent and 85 percent depending on the vaccine. When you factor that in the herd immunity threshold for Delta, could be as high as 98 percent. So,
that is still a very far off target.
Now, good news is that the government estimates here in the U.K., 92 percent of adults have antibodies in their system, some level of protection
whether from vaccines or previous infection. But you factor in children and there still is a way to go, meaning that vaccines on their own are not yet
VANIER: So, that's what I wanted to ask you, 98 percent, that number is concerning to me. It's the first time I've actually heard that number. Are
you saying 98 percent of the whole population including children or just the adult population?
DROBAC: That would be 98 percent of the whole population. Children do obviously get and transmit COVID-19, maybe at a lower rate for younger
children than older children and adults. But it's 98 percent of the entire population. So, 92 percent of adults have some antibodies in their system.
If you factor in children who are about 21 percent of the U.K. population, you would guesstimate that it's somewhere around probably the low 80s, 80
percent to 85 percent that we are with some level of antibody protection right now. So, there still is a ways to go. I think there's a reason the
JCVI and the government need to relook at their stance on not vaccinating 12 to 18-year-olds and not prioritizing vaccines for children.
VANIER: Well, that's what I was going to ask you, reading between the lines, so, you support vaccinating children ages 12 and up, correct?
DROBAC: I do, yes. I think the benefit for individual children and for the population far outweighs the risk.
VANIER: All right, Peter Drobac, thank you very much. Always a pleasure. We'll have you back on. Thanks.
DROBAC: Thank you.
VANIER: And still to come tonight, the tale of two Olympics, why Japan's early success at the podium may not be enough to overshadow its embattled
job of hosting, next. And they were eyeing each other across the table but definitely not seeing eye-to-eye, details of the meeting that has China
accusing the U.S. of playing with fire. Stay with us.
VANIER: On day four of the Tokyo Olympics, it is the host nation Japan topping the table with eight gold medals. The latest came in a historic
upset of China in mixed table tennis. Now, for context, China has won every table tennis title at the Olympics since 2004. But that geopolitical
rivalry is playing out on a far bigger stage too. Selina Wang has that story.
SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A year and a half into the pandemic, it's clear these aren't the Olympics Japan was hoping for.
The games were supposed to be the nation's comeback after decades of economic stagnation and devastation from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear
disaster. But COVID-19 derailed those dreams.
(on camera): After spending more than $15 billion for these Summer games, Japan is projected to lose billions with no economic boost from tourists,
fans banned from almost every Olympic venue and a subdued opening ceremony at this national stadium that the country spent more than a billion dollars
(voice-over): And now the country along with the IOC plow ahead, ignoring cancellation calls from doctors, sponsors and business leaders.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I call it like a suicide mission to be very honest.
WANG: With just barely over 20 percent of Japan's population fully vaccinated, the games have also highlighted Japan's current place in the
pandemic. A slow start to its vaccine rollout paired with surging cases in Tokyo, the host city remaining under a state of emergency during the
entirety of the Olympics. It's the exact scenario Japan wanted to avoid, losing center stage to geopolitical rival China, host of the Winter
Olympics just six months after.
DAVID LEHENY, PROFESSOR, WASEDA UNIVERSITY: I absolutely think that the Tokyo Olympics could be a boost for China, especially if they get to
contrast a Winter Olympics in which you have a large number of spectators in the stands with a much more quiet and some cases desolatory Japanese
Olympics in which there's no one in the stands.
WANG (on camera): How much of a role does fear of losing face to China, getting upstaged by China, factor into these games going ahead?
LEHENY: If the next Olympics were to be hosted by a country with which Japan had a friendlier relationship, then perhaps Japan canceling the
Olympics wouldn't be considered quite as catastrophic.
WANG (voice-over): Beijing could bring an entirely different experience and here in Japan, stands full of spectators without COVID-19 taking center
stage. China has claimed its draconian measures helped beat COVID-19 and has administered enough doses to fully vaccinate more than 40 percent of
its population of 1.3 billion people.
But the stakes are equally high for Beijing. Its global reputation plunged for its initial handling of the pandemic. In a boost to Japan, some global
leaders including U.S. first lady Jill Biden have attended the Tokyo games. But things might be a bit different in a few months with calls to boycott
the Beijing Olympics and criticism of its authoritarian system only likely to grow.
VANIER: Now, that was Selina Wang reporting from Tokyo. And we do want to highlight one inspiring moment from today's competition. Great Britain's
Adam Peaty won gold in the 100-meter breaststroke defending his Olympic title, but it was what he had to say afterwards reflecting on the past 18
months of life and training throughout the pandemic that is resonating with so many fans. Talk a listen.
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ADAM PEATY, BRITISH SWIMMER: The sport has an amazing power to inspire people, an amazing inspire -- kind of motivation for people this morning,
hopefully again, up in Britain to go -- you know, I've been through a tough time. I've had a tough 18 months. So, we've been at home a long time.
And all those days, you know, we spent -- you know, if you put it into a percentage, it's 99.5 percent or 99.9 percent that we spent in the dark
searching for a bit of light. But the 0.01 percent was that performance there, and that's why I put that amount of investment into what I do.
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VANIER: We'll have much more coverage of the Olympics later this hour with "WORLD SPORT" starting in about 20 minutes, that's 2:45 Eastern Time.
Coming up next on the show, however, a Pakistani Taliban leader comes out of the shadows and gives his first ever TV interview to CNN.
Plus, sifting through monsoon devastation after heavy rains and landslides claim dozens of lives in India. Stay with us.
VANIER: A quick reminder of our top story this hour. We are keeping a close eye on the White House where Iraq's prime minister is expected to meet with
U.S. President Joe Biden any time now. During their talks, Mr. Biden is expected to formally announce that the U.S. will end its combat mission in
Iraq by the end of the year and shift to an advisory role only.
We'll keep you updated on that story. Also the United Nations warns that civilian casualties are spiking in Afghanistan as the U.S. nears a final
troop withdrawal there. Violence has surged across the country, as the Taliban regain ground, leading the U.S. to intensify airstrikes on Taliban
targets over the last several days. A U.S. commander says those strikes will continue even after the final U.S. pullout.
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KENNETH MCKENZIE, COMMANDER, U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND: So, we will continue to support the Afghan forces even after that 31 August date. It will generally
be from over the horizon, and that will be a significant change. And then it will be time for the -- for Afghan forces to fight and carry on the
battle themselves. We spent a lot of time training them, now is their moment. Now is the time for that very stern test that I noted earlier
they're going to face. I think they have the resources and the capability to actually conduct that fight and win it.
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VANIER: And this map shows just how much territory the Taliban have seized. The militants are estimated to have tripled the number of districts that
they control since mid-April. But those gains are getting the attention of Pakistan's Taliban leader just across the border. He has granted his first
ever TV interview to CNN. Nic Robertson has our exclusive report.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): As Afghanistan's Taliban gain ground, so Pakistan's Taliban, the TTP, take
In his first ever TV interview, their leader Noor Wali Mehsud answers questions CNN sent him via intermediaries at an undisclosed location near
the Afghan-Pakistan border. The gun at his side, a message of war.
NOOR WALI MEHSUD, LEADER, TEHRIK-E TALIBAN PAKISTAN (through translator): The Afghan Taliban victory is the victory of entire Muslim people. Our
relations are based on brotherhood, sympathy, and Islamic principles.
ROBERTSON: In total, we submitted more than a dozen questions. Mehsud answered them all at times appearing to read from a script. But by the very
nature of the interview, immediate follow up questions weren't possible.
Mehsud's three predecessors were all killed by U.S. drone strikes for fighting alongside Afghan-Taliban targeting U.S. forces. Their bloody
record includes the 2009 attack that killed nine people, including seven CIA officers and contractors at a base close to the Pakistan border and the
massacre of 145 people, mostly children in Pakistan school in 2014.
Mehsud became leader in 2018, and the U.N. later designated him a global terrorist and added him to the sanction list for his ties to al-Qaeda.
Today, he denies those al-Qaeda links and that his group is still fighting alongside the Afghan Taliban.
MEHSUD (through translator): Our fight is only in Pakistan and we are at war with the Pakistani security forces. We are firmly hoping to take
control of the Pakistani tribal border regions and make them independent.
ROBERTSON: But while Pakistan's army has fought a decade's long counter insurgency against the TTP in Pakistan, Pakistan's Intelligence Service,
the ISI, and the army have backed the Afghan Taliban, although they deny it. Now, as the Afghan Taliban when territory, blowback for Pakistan looms.
MICHAEL SEMPLE, PROFESSOR, QUEEN'S UNIVERSITY BELFAST: The risk for Pakistan is that a stronger Afghan Taliban can actually reduce its
cooperation with the ISI in controlling the TTP. And it's that which empowers the TTP.
ROBERTSON: The TTP are already demanding Sharia law, curtailing girls education.
AYESHA SIDDIQA, RESEARCH ASSOCIATE, SOAS SOUTH ASIA INSTITUTE: They would like to implement Sharia in Pakistan in Pakistan's territories. Already,
there is a lot of fear.
ROBERTSON: For the past two decades U.S.-Pakistan relations have been complicated by Pakistan's alleged dual track approach of support for the
U.S. while covertly backing the Afghan Taliban. It's a delicate balance Afghan Taliban gains threatened.
SEMPLE: The TTP are now banking on an Afghan Taliban victory. And they are confident that they will be able to continue their fight against Pakistan
in the event of the Taliban taking over in Afghanistan.
SIDDIQA: It's Pakistan which will be in greater pain than in Afghanistan. It will be threatened much more.
ROBERTSON: From his undisclosed location, Mehsud is coy, hinting at the gains that could be coming his way.
MEHSUD (through translator): According to the teaching of Islam victory of one Muslim is necessarily helpful for another Muslim. But how the victory
of Afghan Taliban will prove helpful for the Pakistani Taliban? Time will tell.
ROBERTSON: In the meantime, despite his denials, expectation is Masood fighters will keep backing the Afghan Taliban. Nic Robertson, CNN, London.
VANIER: Great report there. China is blaming the U.S. for a stalemate in their relations. During diplomatic talks on Monday, China's Vice Foreign
Minister accused Washington of portraying Beijing as a rival and claimed that America was trying to suppress its growth. CNN's David Culver has more
DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Chinese officials say the reason the relationship between the U.S. and China is so frayed is because of how some
in the U.S. view China. In a meeting with the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, the Vice Foreign Minister here said some of the U.S. are treating
China as an imaginary enemy.
These high-level talks took place in Tianjin. The U.S. State Department released a statement saying that the Deputy Secretary stressed to her
Chinese counterparts that the U.S. wants stiff competition with China, not conflict, but pointed out areas of concern including widespread allegations
of human rights abuses being carried out in Xinjiang, cyber attacks against us organizations, and a refusal by the Chinese to allow a second phase of
WHO scientists to examine the origins of COVID-19 among many other issues.
Now, the statement also pointed out places where the two countries might actually work together, including battling climate change. There's growing
speculation that these high-level meetings if productive could yield a meeting of both countries leaders. Some suggesting Biden and Xi might meet
face to face around the G-20 In October. David Korver, CNN, Shanghai.
VANIER: And returning to COVID now. Australia's Prime Minister is condemning mass demonstrations against new COVID restrictions. Protesters
in Sydney are demanding an end to lockdowns. Our Michael Holmes takes a closer look at the situation there and across the Asia Pacific region.
AUSTRALIAN CROWD: We want freedom. We want freedom.
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Reckless and self-defeating, that's how strangers praying Prime Minister Scott Morrison described the thousands of
people who marched in anti-lockdown protests in Sydney over the weekend.
SCOTT MORRISON, PRIME MINISTER AUSTRALIA: Millions of Sydney siders has stayed home. They're the ones who are bringing an end to the lockdown
sooner, not those who are putting themselves at risk, those around them at risk, particularly the police at risk. And that was a very selfish act.
HOLMES: Morrison says the protesters who police say defined social distancing restrictions put in place to try to contain the highly
contagious Delta variant could actually make the lockdown last longer. Officials in the state of New South Wales say the tough measures are
working despite case numbers continuing to rise. The premier says without them, new infections would be through the roof.
That type of surge exactly what the city of Hanoi, capital of Vietnam, is also trying to control. The number of new confirmed cases in the country on
an almost vertical trajectory over the past few weeks. Some people say a lockdown in Hanoi impose this weekend is long overdue.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I think authority should have put the city under lockdown earlier because a few days ago I saw many people
who were not abiding by the social distancing regulations.
HOLMES: Indonesia is extending its COVID-19 restrictions by a week though the government says there has been an improvement in the number of new
cases in several provinces in Java. But the number of deaths in the country remains consistently high, surpassing 1500 in one day last week. The
government says it will add more intensive care units to ease the burden in some hospitals.
Malaysia to suffering from a rise in New COVID cases. It recently surpassed a total of one million infections since the start of the pandemic.
But one bright spot on the horizon, hikers once again returning to the peak of Japan's Mount Fuji which had been off limits due to the Coronavirus for
the past year. Climbers are encouraged to maintain social distance and hike in smaller groups. But officials hope it is one lifting of restrictions
that could lift some spirits. Michael Holmes, CNN.
VANIER: At least 180 people are now confirmed dead in India after devastating floods and landslides. They were brought on by heavier than
usual monsoon rains which experts so linking to climate change. Vedika Sud shows us the devastation in one hillside village.
VEDIKA SUD, CNN REPORTER: Another body recovered adding to the grim death toll in western India. Rescues race against time combing through debris to
find survivors after a landslide hit this village some 180 kilometers southeast of the financial capital Mumbai.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): There were five people inside my mother, my brother, his wife and two children. Out of the total family,
only the boy's body has been recovered. The other family members have still not been traced.
SUD: In a nearby district distraught survivors look on. Torrential monsoon rains have left behind a trail of destruction. Homes have been swept away,
farmlands inundated, bridges cut off, livelihoods destroyed. Many denied a proper cremation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We did not have material to cremate bodies. It was raining heavily. We dug a pit and buried everyone together.
SUD: thousands have been evacuated from vulnerable areas. Some waited on rooftops to be rescued. Authorities are not only battling flooding, the
spread of the virus looms large. Maharashtra has the second highest number of active cases of COVID-19 in the country after Kerala. Plus 35 percent
more rain than normal has fallen on the state since the beginning of monsoon season. Experts say the cause is clear.
CHANDRA BHUSHAN, ENVIRONMENTALIST: This is not possible without climate change. In fact, all the attribution studies are clear that the kind of
acceleration in hydrological system, extreme rainfall events that we are witnessing across the world would not have been possible without human
SUD: For a country that's experienced to cyclones and the deadly collapse of a glazier in just the last 16 months, the intensity of this monsoon is
another sign that India is on the front line of the climate crisis. Vedika Sud CNN, New Delhi.
VANIER: And it's not just India suffering in monsoon season, nearly 25,000 people in the Philippines have been displaced after heavy monsoon rains
fell soon after a tropical storm hit. People are taking shelter in evacuation centers in the capital of Manila after fleeing more than 117
neighborhoods that were flooded. At least one person died in a car accident involving a fallen tree.
Now, you can't blame the monsoons here in the U.K., but severe thunderstorms and flash flooding are causing disruptions in parts of
London. Officials say two hospitals are having operational issues and are asking patients to go elsewhere for non-emergency services. Roadways around
central London and some subway stations have been flooded. Rescue boats are working after cars were submerged.
The London fire brigade says it has received hundreds of calls for help. This coming a week after bad weather hits part -- hit parts of western
Europe. Experts say climate change is causing the more intense weather and flooding.
All of these issues will be in full focus when world leaders meet for the Cup 26 Climate Conference in Glasgow, Scotland in November. Scientists fear
Time is running out for us to stop global warming.
And finally, these incredible pictures from Northwest China, A massive Sandstorm washing over Dunhuang City on Sunday. Ashes had just rolls over
these buildings. The city is on the edge of the Gobi Desert so it is somewhat accustomed to seeing sand storms. And China's state news agency
reports this storm reached as high as 100 meters.
The storm overtook an expressway in just a few minutes and reduced visibility to dangerously low levels. Police had to direct stranded
vehicles to get people off the road safely. And that's it from us today. Thanks for watching tonight. "WORLD SPORT" is up next.
DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR (on camera): Hello there and welcome to "WORLD SPORT". We are coming to you live from CNN Center. I'm Don Riddell.
And it's all about the Olympics today, where the Japanese athletes are doing their country very proud. Remember, after the pandemic delay, the
massively increased costs and all the coronavirus concerns, these games are very unpopular in Japan. But perhaps, their fans will be more behind it.
Now, that they're top of the metal table.
A really big gold medal coming for them on Monday when they're mixed doubles pair Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito beat China in the table tennis
final. They came from behind to do it, and it ends a run of almost total dominance in this sport for the Chinese. They've won almost every single
gold medal since this became an Olympic sport.
And so, look at this. Japan now flying high in the metal table with eight gold's against their flag. USA is one gold medal behind them, while third
place China have the most medals, in total, 18.
Britain's three gold medals all arrived in as many hours on Monday. It was fourth time's a charm, you could say, for the British diver Tom Daley, who
won gold in the 10 meter synchronized diving on Monday.
Daley partnered up with Matty Lee to finally win an Olympic title, when many thought his best years were perhaps behind him. Daley made his Olympic
debut when he was just 14 years old back in 2008. He won bronze at his home games in London, and another bronze in Rio. And now at the age of 27, he's
His no less than he deserves and as a proud and vocal gay man. He knows how significant this win could be to the LGBTQ community.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM DALEY, FIRST CAREER OLYMPIC GOLD IN 4TH GAMES: I feel incredibly proud to say that I am a gay man that -- and also an Olympic champion. And I
think it's something that -- I mean, I feel very empowered by that because, you know, it's -- when I was younger, I thought there was never going to be
anything or achieve anything because of who I was. And to be an Olympic champion now just shows that you can achieve anything.
RIDDELL (voice-over): You know, it was a great day for Great Britain in the Aquatic Centre. Adam Peaty made a successful defense of his 100 meter
title. He is the fastest man ever to compete in this event. And he busted once again, after winning in Rio, five years ago, the 26-year-old became a
double Olympic champion with victory and 57.37 seconds.
Peaty is broken the world record on five occasions in this event, and was the favorites coming into this. But he becomes the first British swimmer to
successfully defend an Olympic title.
ADAM PEATY, DEFENDS 100 METER BREASTSTROKE GOLD FROM 2016 RIO OLYMPICS: Sport as an amazing power to inspire people. And in an amazing spire kind
of motivation for people this morning, hopefully, again, often in Britain to go.
You know, I've been through a tough time. I've had the tough 18 months to we've been at home a long time. And all those days, you know, we spend, you
know, if you put it into perspective percentage is 99.5 percent or 99.9 percent that we spend in the dark, searching for a bit of light. But the
0.01 percent was that performance there. And that's why I put that amount of investment into what I do.
RIDDELL: Meanwhile, a brilliant race in the women's 400 meter freestyle as Australia's Ariarne Titmus beat Katie Ledecky into second place. Ledecky is
considered by many to be the best swimmer in the world. And this was her first individual loss at the Olympics.
But she said she couldn't be too disappointed. It was after all, a second fastest time ever in this event. Titmus won the gold but it was her coach,
Dean Boxall -- look at this, who took center stage with an outrageously over the top celebration in the stands. Not surprisingly, this clip has
And whether you were cheering for the Australians in this event or not. Let's be honest, it's hard not to smile at that.
ARIARNE TITMUS: I mean, I've seen little snippets of it. That's just the way, Dean is he's very passionate, I guess about what he does, and he
becomes quite animated. And I think that you know, this is just as much for him as it is to me. He's sacrificed a lot of his family life with his kids
and his wife for his job. He puts 100 percent into being a swimming coach and I would not be here without him.
So, I think for him it was very exciting moment as well and a classic Dean reaction. But the thing that made me quite emotional was actually seeing
him watch my medal ceremony. He was crying and I was trying to contain the emotions, but it just -- it's good to see how much it means to him too.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RIDDELL (on camera): Wonderful stuff. He becomes quite animated. That might just be the understatement of the year.
Every athlete has had to endure some kind of hardship, but talk about a comeback from the British mountain biker Tom Pidcock. He was hit by a car
and broke his collarbone back in May. But now the 21-year-old is an Olympic champion.
Pidcock caught a break early in the cross country race when his Dutch rival Mathieu Van der Poel crashed out and Pidcock never looked back from there.
This young man has a very bright future ahead of him. He's tip one day to do well in the Tour de France.
Already, we have witnessed some brilliant sports action. And one of the most unlikely triumphs belongs to the Austrian cyclist, Anna Kiesenhofer.
She's not even a professional athlete. She used to be, but not anymore. She's a mathematician. And she did a real number on the rest of the field
on Sunday by staging such an explosive solo breakaway that the rest of the field didn't even notice.
She's been telling our man Coy Wire all about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNA KIESENHOFER, WOMEN'S ROAD RACE GOLD MEDALIST: There is always this little hope, this little like, thought, yes, I might win. I want to win. As
an athlete, you want to win. If I'm at the start line, it means I'm prepared. I want to win.
But also I know, well, realistically, I'm not supposed to win here. So, it was just, yes, incredible. I couldn't believe it even crossing the line. I
couldn't believe it.
COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Did you notice how some of the other writers, they thought that they had won? You were so far ahead of
everyone else. What was it like when you finally cross that finish line? And you realized I'm an Olympic champion?
KIESENHOFER: Yes, it was just so incredible, just because it was unrealistic, because nobody would have believed it. Yes, so, it was even
hard for me to believe it.
WIRE: Can I call you doctor?
KIESENHOFER: You could. But it feels unnatural to me.
WIRE: Yes, it did because you have your PhD in mathematics.
WIRE (voice-over): But you winning Olympic gold simply doesn't add up. What do you think it was, though, that gave you that opportunity to be a gold
KIESENHOFER: I think it might -- well, in part, it's because I there to be different, I have a different approach. And this means that I'm also
unpredictable. And that's exactly, yes, what happened yesterday. People didn't predictive, people didn't think that I might win.
WIRE (on camera): Being an academic, you know, mathematician, as you're writing these races, does that ever come into your mind in any form or
KIESENHOFER: Well, so, actually, when I'm riding hard, there's not enough blood and oxygen in my brain to do math. In the lead up to race, it's just
this analytic mindset that makes me approach to it differently. So, I really make a plan, I think about what power am I going to put out at what
point of the race. How I have to plan my nutrition and so on.
WIRE: Have you heard from any of your students?
KIESENHOFER: I've heard from my colleagues, I guess, students, I mean, they wouldn't contact me. But I know that students are always googling the name
of the teacher. So, in my case, so in the past, actually, yes, I had students following my cycling and wishing me good luck when the newer race
was coming up. That's, yes, pretty funny.
WIRE: Who were you thinking about there during that race? Not what were you thinking about, but who?
KIESENHOFER: My family, I knew they are watching, I visualized them in front of the screen already, like, from the start of the race. I knew all
the way they were getting up at 6:00 a.m. in Austria to watch me.
My mother had actually prepared for weeks, like how to set up the live -- the live stream. Yes, I was thinking of them of some past coaches I had
had, of friends who were my motivation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RIDDELL: There's nothing quite like the joy of an Olympic champion. That really is wonderful to see.
OK, Still to come on "WORLD SPORT". Surf's up, we're in conversation with one of the world's top surfers who's going to try to do with a board what
his mate Neymar has already done with a football. Turning him to go.
RIDDELL: Welcome back. Surfing is one of the new sports of the Olympics this year. And on Tuesday in Tokyo, they are due to crown their first
Olympic champions. One man who is expected to be in contention is Brazil's Gabriel Medina who's hoping to win a gold medal just like his good friend,
the football megastar Neymar. He's been speaking with our Patrick Snell.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GABRIEL MEDINA, TWO-TIME WORLD CHAMPION: I used to watch through Internet, T.V. This is the highest you can go, the biggest you can go. I'm just
excited to be part of this.
PATRICK SNELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL SPORTS ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Will your friend, Neymar be watching you, and you see a good
MEDINA: No, no good surfer. He is been in the Olympics before. He won the title few years ago when they had the Olympic team Brazil.
SNELL: How did you guys actually become good friends and what's he actually like?
MEDINA: He is from where I'm from kin off when I met him. He was too young. Something not true. No, he just happened as being a fan. We always have
He plays with the biggest in the world. I'm always asking, oh, is it to play with Cristiano or Messi? It's always good to have a friend like that.
SNELL: What does he say about that? What does he tell you about that?
MEDINA: For him, Messi is his favorite of all time. And, of course, Cristiano, he has a big respect.
SNELL: The preparations that you've been through, you know, trying to prepare for an Olympics during a pandemic, the lockdown the quarantine
period. What has been most challenging through it all for you?
MEDINA: We are in a difficult time to make these kind of big moves. And I mean, the Olympics. It's dangerous. Not something that, oh, no, I feel
safe, and it's going to be all good. Because it's not. You can check on the news.
We had like a year off that we didn't know what's going to go after the pandemic. Hours used to compete every year and travel and, you know, have a
normal life, which is we never had it back, actually. We never had the normal life back.
I'm happy today where we coming back, you know, like a little bit. I know, it's still pretty bad, but we coming back.
Your country, as I say, has been through so much. What would it mean, though, from a sporting context, if you were able to bring home, the color
MEDINA: Would mean a lot to me and for everyone. We're going through all this kind of stuff. I just want to do good and make them proud. And just to
bring some happiness for the people, because I think we need this.
SNELL (voice-over): When you take stock of the last 12 to 18 months. What do you feel you've learned about yourself along the way? What words would
MEDINA: Love? Because I started paying attention for every single little things that we used to not see during day by day. I started appreciate it
to be next to the person you love, to pay attention in her, or to have a little coffee in the afternoon.
When I stayed home, I was lucky because I met my wife, and we spent a lot of time together. It's good to love and be loved. This is the highest and
the most precious feeling you can have in life, because that could give me 100 percent during the hard time we were going through.
Everyone should love every single odd things in day by day, makes a lot of difference.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RIDDELL: He's a great surfer and a nice guy too.
That's it for "WORLD SPORT" today. Thanks for your company. We'll see you again.