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P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu Fighting His Political Fate; V.P. Harris Visits Central America; U.S. Expects Transparency from China; Children Losing Parents in India Over COVID-19; First Lady Biden Promotes Vaccine to Americans; President Biden to Address Whole Host of Issues in His Meetings; Secretary Granholm Warns Companies of Rising Cyberattacks; Royal Family Welcomes New Member; Fear and Anger Felt in Burkina Faso; Twitter Now Banned in Nigeria. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired June 7, 2021 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ROBYN CURNOW, CNN ANCHOR (on camera): Hi. Welcome to all of our viewers joining us here in the United States, and all around the world. I'm Robyn Curnow live from the CNN center.
So just ahead on the show, pressure builds by the day on Israel's longest serving prime minister. But Benjamin Netanyahu isn't giving up so easily.
And President Biden prepares for his first G7 summit. We'll discuss the top issues he'll address with America's allies.
And the duke and duchess of Sussex welcome baby number two. We're live in London with the reaction.
UNKNOWN: Live from CNN center, this is CNN Newsroom with Robyn Curnow.
CURNOW: Thanks for joining me this hour. So, Israel's longest serving prime minister is on the verge of losing his job, but not without a fight. The coalition seeking to oust Benjamin Netanyahu has asked the speaker of the Knesset to schedule a vote for this Wednesday to form a new government. The man who would become the next prime minister is warning Mr. Netanyahu not to leave a quote, "scorched earth" behind him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NAFTALI BENNETT, LEADER, YAMINA PARTY (through translator): I call from here on Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu. Let go. Release the country, move on. People are allowed to vote for the establishment of a government, even if it is not you who is heading it, a government that is 10 degrees to the right than the current one, by the way.
(END VIDEO CLIP) CURNOW: But Mr. Netanyahu is looking to drag out the process, hoping to find defectors to derail the coalition. And he seems to be following in Donald Trump's playbook to cast doubt on the whole playbook. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): We are witnessing the greatest election fraud in the history of the country. In my opinion, in the history of any democracy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: Elliott Gotkine joins me now from Jerusalem with more on all of this. Now, how incendiary are these words during the week that we'll possibly see this very historic political change?
ELLIOTT GOTKINE, JOURNALIST: Robyn, I think it will be seen in some quarters as some of red rag to the ball of some of Netanyahu's right wing base. He has, for example, encouraged them to in his words, lay into right-wing politicians who are joining what Netanyahu as derided as a left-wing government.
And in a direct appeal to the lawmakers who are going to be in this proposed coalition, he has asked them to follow their conscience.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NETANYAHU (through translator): The time is late, but not too late. I call you to do the right thing, to do the right thing and vote against the left-wing government. And in any case, I would like to promise that we, my friends and I in Likud will vehemently oppose the establishment of this dangerous government of fraud and surrender. And if, God forbid, it is established, we will bring it down very quickly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOTKINE (on camera): Now the earliest this vote could take place is Wednesday. The speaker of the Knesset who is a Netanyahu loyalist is due to call the vote today, or to accept the proposal for a vote today. The earliest would be Wednesday, perhaps he will take the maximum amount of time possible and won't have the vote until next Monday, on June the 14th.
And of course, the longer this goes, Robyn, then the more opportunity Netanyahu will feel that he has to try to pick off potential waiverers to help him see the error of their ways in this view, and get them to not support this coalition, thus preventing it them from coming it into being.
CURNOW: So, what then is the mood in Israel? You know, after so many years of Mr. Netanyahu, do Israelis feel cheated as he says, as he's described, or is there a sense of opportunism perhaps? At least the political log jam, the stalemates that we've seen, that of course success of election might be broken for now. What is the mood? GOTKINE: I guess it depends on who you ask. If you speak to
supporters of Netanyahu and his right-wing allies, they will feel dismayed, discombobulated. And yes, some will perhaps feel deceived that they voted for perhaps Naftali Bennett's Yamina Party or Gideon Sa'ar's New Hope Party. And that they have now found them going into government with what they will view as dangerous centrist or leftist in tis government.
Of course, by the same token you will find those opposed to Netanyahu who will be rejoicing, celebrating that at last after 12 consecutive years in office they are tantalizingly close to seeing him leave that office. Of course, it will all come down to that vote. And as I say, the soonest that will happen will be on Wednesday. But they may have to wait an entire week before they get an opportunity to have that vote, and they will hope to see Netanyahu leave office for the first time in 12 years.
CURNOW: Elliott Gotkine, thanks so much, live there in Jerusalem. I appreciate it.
Well, Reuven Hazan is a professor of political of science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He joins me now from Jerusalem. Great to have you on the show, sir.
I mean, certainly, Israel is on the edge of pretty consequential change. How certain are you that this deal this coalition will get the green light? Or do you expect as our correspondent there was laying out that Mr. Netanyahu might pull some political rabbit out of the hat and discover these plans?
REUVEN HAZAN, PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL SCIENCE, HEBREW UNIVERSITY OF JERUSALEM: Well, that's exactly the situation. And that is why I'm not completely certain. Although with every passing day though and the unity that has been shown by all eight parties that want to replace Netanyahu, it gives you hope that there will be a smooth transition.
And as Elliott said, it's more than likely that this will be dragged out for the full week, so that we will not have the vote until next Monday. And that gives Netanyahu a chance to pick at it. And remember, the coalition will have 61 out of 120 seats, that's a razor thin majority of one. So, Netanyahu only has to find one deserter and then it's a whole new ball game.
CURNOW: You are listening there to Mr. Netanyahu tone and his terms. They are familiar to many Americans invoking the language even of Donald Trump. How did those warnings, those threats, that language sound to Israelis? And I know I asked the same question of Elliott, but I'm keen to get your sense of how Israelis are feeling about the mood as they see the potential for change here whether they supported or not and whether they, you know, feel like this -- this is the end of course of a very dominant figure. And how they are processing that.
HAZAN: Well, this is nothing new. I say this with much regret. Netanyahu has led the country for a dozen years. And with every term in office, he has polarized the country even more. So, the fact that there is a coalition, and in Israel we have pure proportional representation which means that a majority in parliament really means the majority of the population.
The fact that there was a coalition that wants to replace him after a dozen years, and for him this is illegitimate. This is fraud. This is the worst thing that has happened to democracies in the history of the world, according to him. It shows you that for Netanyahu, not only is anybody who doesn't agree with him and opposes him a deserter and a traitor, and we all know what should be done to that category.
But also, he doesn't understand that democracy also means transition of power, and we are all waiting with baited breath to see if this vote actually passes next Monday. And if so, will he really pull a Donald Trump and not even show up in order to transfer power to the next prime minister?
CURNOW: Still so many unanswered questions. But also, in many ways, from a political point of view, fascinating that this coalition makes as it process -- goes through these final procedural hurdles in the Knesset, it will also be historical for a number of reasons.
One of them will be the presence of an Arab Israeli party whose members will be the first members of an Israeli government. How significant will that be and also, crucially, how difficult will it be, especially in a government headed up by a hard-lined right winger like Naftali Bennett?
HAZAN: Well, Robyn, you are 100 percent correct. We have had Arab members of the Israeli government before but they have come from the regular Jewish Zionist parties and not from one of the Arab parties. And this Arab party just isn't regular Arab party, it's an Islamic party.
So, to have this type of party in government -- and let's remember, 20 percent of the population in Israel are Israeli Arabs. This could be the counter reaction to Netanyahu's polarizing politics over the last 12 years, and it really changes Israeli politics. Because for many years, we've said that the left-wing fringe made up of the Arab parties had Palestinian interest at heart, and not Israel's.
And with this party entering the government, is it proves to really have the Israeli Arab interest at the top of its agenda we could have the redrawing over the map of Israeli politics. And let's remember that even Netanyahu negotiated with this party. In other words, this is the extreme left that isn't only legitimate for a central left government, it could join a center right government, and that's really a new ball game in Israeli politics.
CURNOW: And the architect of all of this, this very unusual grouping, the spectrum across the political landscape is Yair Lapid. What do you make of him? Is he one of the one real winners here, at least politically?
HAZAN: Definitely. He is one of the only ones who if the government is informed, and we go for a new election, will probably gain in the polls.
He has shown himself over the last couple of elections to be a man of principle. When Benny Gantz was willing to split the party in the middle and join a Netanyahu led government after the entire campaign was that they would never do so, Lapid stayed out and stood by his principles.
Now, when his goal is to replace Netanyahu. And in order to do so, he has to let Bennett become prime minister. And Bennett has one third of the seats of what Lapid has he's willing to do so. In other words, he gets an a-plus grade and how he's handled himself during this crisis. And if the crisis doesn't resolve itself with the new government next Monday and we go to elections, he could give Netanyahu an even harsher challenge.
CURNOW: OK, thanks so much. I really appreciate all of your perspective and analysis. Reuven Hazan there, thank you very much.
HAZAN: Thank you.
CURNOW: And vice president -- U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris her first diplomatic trip, got a trip pretty bumpy start on Sunday. Her plane had to turn around shortly after departure because of a technical issue. But she boarded and arrive safely in Guatemala.
Harris is in Central America to discuss ways to reduce the flow of migrants from the region. She has a full day of meetings with community leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs and, of course, Guatemala's president. Later, she heads to Mexico.
Well, we're tracking developments in Mexico where ballots are being counted after the country's largest ever midterm election. According to preliminary results, the ruling coalition is expected to lose its super majority in the lower House of Congress.
And while President Lopez Obrador would retain control, the last of a super majority would prevent him from passing major legislative and constitutional reforms without the help of opposition parties. Now final election results are expected next week.
We are also keeping a close eye on high, high stakes election in Peru. Security was tight as voters lined up on Sunday to cast their ballot for the next president. Officials say elections are just too close to call. And counting of ballots will continue throughout the night. As Peruvians await the results of this critical elections the candidates are urging calm.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PEDRO CASTILLO, PERUVIAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (through translator): We mobilize. We participate openly without fear, without hatred, without wars. I believe that in Peru, there are no more undecided people, no more inclinations, above all, there is Peru. Long live Peru. Long live democracy. (END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW (on camera): There could be sometime before we get the final count from Sunday's election, and officials are urging Peruvians to wait for results to come in from the provinces.
And Colombia's president announced human rights training for police and more oversight of officers on Sunday. That's after more than a month of demonstrations against the president's social and economic policies that have left more than 40 people dead.
Negotiations between Colombia's government and an umbrella national strike committee are stalled. Each side accuses the other of walking away or delaying the talks.
And India's second COVID wave has left many, many children orphaned. Ahead, we'll see how one family is dealing with that unspeakable tragedy.
CURNOW (on camera): Welcome back. I'm Robyn Curnow.
And we are learning that emergency workers are trying to rescue at least 17 people still trapped following a deadly crane -- train crash in Pakistan's southern Sindh province.
Officials say at least 30 people are dead after two trains collided between stations. The prime minister Imran Khan tweeted that he has ordered a comprehensive investigation into the crash. We'll keep you posted on any new details on that developing story.
Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken is calling for greater transparency from China on the origin of the coronavirus. In an interview with Axios, Blinken was asked about speculation that the virus may have been a result of a lab accident in Wuhan. He said Beijing needs to be open, and accountable, something that hasn't happened so far.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: What the government didn't do in the early days and still hasn't done, is given us the transparency. We need the international community. Access for inspectors and experts. The sharing of information in real-time. That has to happen.
MIKE ALLEN, CO-FOUNDER, AXIOS: So, if we get those answers to do a proper investigation you're going to need, the U.S. is going to need access to the labs. Will you demand that, will you put teeth on it, will you even go as far as sanctions on China if they keep inspectors out?
BLINKEN: I think the international community is clear that we have to have, the international community has to have access. It has to have information. It's profoundly in china's interest to do this as well. Because, look, it suffered too in the outbreak of this pandemic.
It presumably has an interest as well, especially if it purports to be responsible international actor, to do everything it can to provide all the information it has to make sure we can hopefully prevent this from happening again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW (on camera): Well, the Chinese government denies the virus was created in any of their facilities, and may have suggest -- and has suggested it may have been made in the U.S.
Meanwhile, here in the U.S. a vaccine milestone was crossed over the weekend. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report more than 300 million coronavirus vaccine doses have been administered. Over 63 percent of adults are now at least partially vaccinated.
And the Biden administration want 70 percent receiving at least one dose by July 4th. But the vaccination rate has slowed slightly.
Polo Sandoval reports on the push by the first lady and the country's top infectious disease expert to reach that goal. Polo?
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Over the weekend, first Lady and Joe Biden and the nation's top infectious disease expert stopping by an iconic Harlem church promoting that message of the importance of getting vaccinated, hoping to increase those vaccination numbers.
Both the first lady and Dr. Anthony Fauci makes some time to stop by here at the -- at Abyssinian Baptist Church and speaking not only with church officials but also those who have been administering the vaccine as well to see firsthand the efforts that are ongoing. And communities of color, the recognize that churches are now the oldest, but also the most trusted institutions in black and brown really share that message.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JILL BIDEN, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: The people in this community trust this church and trust the people in the church, and that's -- that's how we're going to do it, you know, through the faith community, to reach out to their congregation, their flocks and say, come forward and be healthy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANDOVAL: And both the first lady and Dr. Fauci did also spent some time speaking with some of the people who are getting their shots on Sunday, not only thanking them for doing so but asking them spread the word.
Polo Sandoval, CNN, New York. CURNOW: India's capital New Delhi is easing some COVID restrictions
as COVID cases drop there. The government is now allowing shops and malls to reopen with limited hours. And metro trains are operating at 50 percent capacity.
And here is another positive sign. India just reported its lowest number of new COVID cases in 61 days.
Vedika Sud joins me now from New Delhi with more on these hopeful numbers at least. And some of these indications that things are slowly opening up. Vedika?
VEDIKA SUD, CNN PRODUCER: Well, finally, a silver lining of sorts, Robyn. At this point in time, just over 100,000 cases being reported from India, like you mentioned, for the first time in 61 days. Because of which, some restrictions are being relaxed as well. So we just have to wait and watch and see how cautious people are and how many restrictions are in place in the coming days ahead of the third wave which seems to be imminent.
Now the biggest fear with the onset of a possible third wave in the near future is that it's going to affect children according to medical experts. According to the Indian government, 577 children have already been orphaned between April 1st and May 25th this year due to the second wave of COVID-19. And over 1,700 according to the commission for children's welfare have lost their parents to this -- to the pandemic in the last year and a half.
I did speak to a family of seven siblings. The eldest is 23, the youngest is only four, and here's her story of how she's been coping with helping all her siblings stay together, her biggest fears being that if she doesn't earn enough, she'll lose them to child warfare organizations.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SUD (voice over): She lights this oil lamp in memory of her parents every morning. Just 23 Devika is now the head of the family and caregiver to her six siblings. These children, the youngest only four years old lost their mother and then their father to the brutal second wave of COVID-19 in India.
DEVIKA, ORPHAN (through translator): My 14 and 9-year-old sisters know about our parents. I haven't told the three younger ones. All they believe is that they're unwell and recovering in the village.
SUD: In the last week of April when the crisis hit the capital of Delhi hard, India was reporting over 350,000 daily cases of COVID-19 and a severe shortage of hospital beds and oxygen.
Devika's 39-year-old mother was suffering from high fever, her oxygen levels had dropped. After being turned away from many hospitals, Devika admitted her to a medical facility in the city of Kurukshetra about 170 kilometers away where she took her last breath.
DEVIKA (through translator): All she wanted was to get better. She wanted to fulfill her responsibilities as a mother, she wanted to be saved.
SUD: Ten days later, her father also infected by the virus and heartbroken couldn't be saved. An emotional Vedika says her parents loved each other very much.
DEVIKA (through translator): My father doted on mommy. They're together now.
SUD: You're quite brave.
It's hard to console this young woman who is barely out of her teens. She hasn't had much time to grieve. Vedika holds test prep classes. She brings in around $70 a month. Before his death, their father was the only earning family member. While family and friends have helped them financially, I asked Devika if she's worried about not making enough to sustain the family and about her siblings being taken away by authorities.
DEVIKA (through translator): This is my biggest fear. I will do all that I can to keep them with me.
SUD: Calls to child welfare organizations reporting orphaned and abandoned children especially through the second wave have been relentless.
YASMIN ALI HAQUE, INDIA REPRESENTATIVE, UNICEF: The biggest challenge is who takes responsibility, if I can put it that way. And that's why it's so important that we link them to the services needed so there can be determination of especially kinship care.
SUD: Orphaned, Devika says memories is all she's left with.
DEVIKA (through translator): One of my favorite memories is of my parents dancing on my sister's birthday in December. It was the first time they danced in front of us. It's now one of the lasting memories we have of them.
SUD: In the midst of this raging pandemic that's why he'll cremate not one but both parents. Devika doesn't let her siblings out of sight. Still fearful of the virus, this door opens to very few.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SUD (on camera): Seventy dollars is what she earns, Robyn, $70 a month for her six siblings and herself to sustain them. And three of them, three of the youngest siblings are actually not in school right now. They're eligible but Devika doesn't have the money to enroll them after the demise of her parents. This is not just the story of Devika and her siblings but thousands of children in India who have recently lost their parents to COVID-19. Robyn.
CURNOW: OK. Thanks for that story. Powerful stuff. Vedika Sud there in New Delhi.
And still to come, President Biden is expected to discuss the recent cyberattacks in the U.S. with Vladimir Putin in Geneva. Here is why.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BLINKEN: Criminal enterprises seemed to be engaged in these attacks. And it is an obligation on the part of any country, including Russia, if it has a criminal enterprise acting from its territory against anyone else to do what's necessary to stop it and to bring it to justice.
ROBYN CURNOW, CNN ANCHOR (on camera): I'm Robyn Curnow, live here in Atlanta. Thanks so much for joining me. It's 30 minutes past the hour.
Now President Joe Biden will host NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the White House in the coming hours. This meeting comes ahead of Mr. Biden's first trip overseas as U.S. president. He'll be attending the G7 summit in the U.K. this week and meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Queen Elizabeth the second.
Mr. Biden will then travel to Brussels to participate in the NATO summit where he'll also meet with the Turkish president followed by meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva. Well, the White House will address the increase threat of cyberattacks with the Russian leader.
Joining me to discuss all of this is Natasha Lindstaedt, she is the professor of government in the University of Essex in England.
Natasha, wonderful to have you on the show. Let's talk about Mr. Biden's first trip abroad and it's very wide ranging. He's meeting everyone from the queen to allies, competitors, adversaries. He aims to talk about the pandemic, economic equality, free trade, the environment and a host of other issues. Is this a real focus here or is just a tickle of box as getting to know you, I'm the new sheriff in town come into work?
NATASHA LINDSTAEDT, PROFESSOR OF GOVERNMENT, UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX: Well, I think the main focus is that Biden wants to communicate to the European partners and other western partners that the U.S. is back, that diplomacy is back. This is something that his Secretary of State Tony Blinken has said many times, especially after the Trump years where Trump had presumed a multi -- a unilateral way of doing things had rejected NATO, rejected western allies and caused disarray, particularly in the G7 and in NATO and had rooted for Brexit.
So, Biden has his work cut out for him because there's actually a lot of trauma that the European Union leaders faced in dealing with the Trump administration and they are not so trusting of what the U.S. is going to do. So, Biden has to keep the focus on the U.S. returning to this multilateral action, and he has other issues at hand. And one of them of course is the pandemic, there's climate change and there's critical issues in dealing with Russia that he wants some partnership with his European allies on.
CURNOW: Yes, I want to talk about that and that tough conversation he's going to have with Mr. Putin just a moment, but when he meets with these European allies, as you say there might be a little bit of trauma as you say after the Trump years. In many ways, also there's a suggestion for at least for European leaders that hole is bolted on this one, that they've moved on. What do they need to hear if they want to be brought back into the fold, what does Mr. Biden need to tell them to soothe them?
LINDSTAEDT: Well, I think that's going to be difficult because the way the European leaders feel, there had been many, many decades of the consistency of the U.S. policy of all different types in the U.S. administrations. And one election could really change things, and they are worried that the Biden years is really just a blip and there could be a return to even more authoritarian populist style of leadership.
And there are also concerns that Biden had pulled out of Afghanistan unilaterally without much consultation at all, and so he is going to have to reassure and that he is truly committed to multilateral decision making to consultation and to working with allies. But I think he is going to face some difficulties if he has any grand plans that are quite expensive, the U.S. doesn't have the soft power it once had.
CURNOW: let's talk then about that conversation with Mr. Putin, what needs to be said? How does it need to be said? What comes out of that meeting?
LINDSTAEDT: This is such a tricky meeting. Because the U.S. and Russia are basically involved in alternative warfare, in a nonconventional warfare with all the cyberattacks that are taking place from Russian hackers on U.S. interests, and it's really laughable to say that Putin doesn't know that this is taking place or isn't in control of these types of attacks.
This is very, very classic Putin. And so, there's a lot of tension going into this meeting already and the Russians are obviously tense because the U.S. has employed sanctions, and they said if you employ more sanctions, we're not going to use dollar-denominated contracts anymore, oil contracts anymore.
So, the key here is to try to establish some type of relationship because the relationship is really at its worse, it can't really get much worse than it is already.
And there has been some comments from Russian diplomats saying that there are miscommunication issues, that there's actually some common ground here. And I think the key will be to establish a relationship and also to figure out what is the common ground and what could they can move ahead with to build trust between the two countries.
CURNOW: Many have said that the Biden administration's focus on alliances and need for multilateralism is not about making nice with old partners but actually about using old partners, traditional partners as a bulwark against the rising -- a rising China. How much will China be part of all of these conversations? And what needs -- what is the message Mr. Biden is bringing on that?
LINDSTAEDT: Well, China is a huge part of these conversations because it's just growing in power exponentially, and in economic power, political power and then it's trying to exert more soft power. And the other issue is that though the U.S. and China have a very inter- dependent relationship the European Union is actually far more dependent on China than even the U.S. is.
So, there's not going to be much push to isolate China. The key will be to have a united front on how to engage China effectively to make it a more effective partner, because as it becomes more isolated and more connected with Russia and authoritarian states, it's proved it's not effective and helpful to western countries to have China on its own doing its own thing. This goes against a lot of western interests.
CURNOW: Fascinating. It's certainly going to be a pretty big week for this president. Natasha Lindstaedt, always good to speak to you to get your analysis. Thank you very, very much.
LINDSTAEDT: Thanks for having me.
CURNOW: So, the U.S. energy secretary warns America's power grid is vulnerable to cyberattack. Just the ones we were talking with Natasha about now. And that enemies are capable of shutting it down.
Jennifer Granholm is warning comes amid a rise in these ransomware attacks in the recent weeks. Speaking to CNN's Jake Tapper she stressed that private companies need to work with the White House. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JENNIFER GRANHOLM, U.S. SECRETARY OF ENERGY: I think that there are very malign actors who are trying, even as we speak, there are thousands of attacks on all aspects of the energy sector and the private sector generally. I mean, the meat plant, for example. We -- it's happening all the time. We have all got to up our game with respect to our cyber defenses. The president is doing that by his executive order.
And just to quickly say, you know, on the pipelines, because the pipelines were a concern, obviously, the TSA which actually regulates the pipelines has now required the pipelines to report cyber incidents to the federal government so that we, at least, we have intel.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW (on camera): Well, Granholm is also urging companies not to pay ransom to cyberattacks, saying it nearly embolden all of these attackers.
And U.S. Senator Joe Manchin is defending his decision to vote against the sweeping voting rights bill. The majority of his fellow Democrats support the bill. It would counteract Republican efforts to curb voter access at the box. Manchin spoke to Fox News on Sunday about his position.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): I think it's the wrong piece of legislation to bring our country together and unite our country, and I am supporting that because I think if would divide us further. If we continue to divide and separate us more, it's not going to be united, it's not going to be the country that we love and know and it's going to be hard because it will be back and forth no matter who is in power.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW (on camera): His opposition to changing filibuster rules is also a major setback for President Biden's agenda. Those current Senate rules allow Republicans to hold up many of the progressive bills the administration supports.
Meanwhile coming up on CNN, people are frightened and calling for greater security in Burkina Faso after militants carried out of the deadliest attacks there in years. A live report, that's next.
CURNOW (on camera): Monday marks a third day of national mourning in Burkina Faso. Gunmen laid siege to a village to a village in the northeast late Friday into Saturday. The government says terrorists killed more than 130 people, some of them children. And residents are calling now for greater security.
Africa's Sahel region which includes Burkina Faso has seen a surge of attacks by militants linked to Al-Qaeda and ISIS.
Well David McKenzie has been following these developments, he joins me now live from Johannesburg. I mean, the death still is very shocking. What more do we know about this attack?
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Robyn, the details, I have to be honest, are quite sketchy. But what we do know according to state media, the president and also just voices from the ground there, on this late Friday, early Saturday morning a raid or attack by unknown militants which fired indiscriminately on this village in Yagha province in the eastern part of the country on the border of Niger.
Now the death toll, as you say, is extremely shocking. It's unclear how many people exactly died. More than 100 certainly. Scores of injured fled to nearby villages to get treatment. And that's part of a broader security deterioration of that part of Burkina Faso and the Sahel region as you described. And people are angry and scared because it's been bad but it's certainly getting worse.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNKNOWN (through translator): For some time they had stopped so we thought everything was OK, but now we see it as starting again. People are being killed. This news we just heard about really affects me as a Burkina bay, so we are calling for them to look in the security and assuring security so that there is peace in the country and in the provinces.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCKENZIE (on camera): Well, ensuring security is a tall order at this point, because that border region of Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso, Robyn, is effectively lawless. As you described, Al-Qaeda and ISIS- linked militants are upgrading with near impunity raiding villages often in retaliation of against these defense groups that have been set up by civilians to try and defend against these Jihadi groups which obviously pulls them into the fighting.
And while these kinds of Jihadi groups were attacking mostly police and U.N. outposts in previous years, there really is this terrible escalation of this fighting to take on civilians. At least seven children killed in this current massacre, and it really doesn't show any signs of abating despite the fact that there are several thousand French troops in neighboring Chad, as well as a drone base of the U.S. in Niger.
You know, increasingly I'm seeing analysis saying that this, given that the military action in the Sahel has not led to results, that the very difficult issues of governance need to be dealt with but that's a long process with no short-term gains necessarily. Robyn?
CURNOW: OK. Thanks so much. Live there in Johannesburg. I appreciate that. David McKenzie, thank you.
Now the simple act of tweeting can get you arrested in Nigeria. Africa's most populous country has banned Twitter after the social media giant deleted a post by the president. And officials say they will prosecute Twitter users. A number of countries are slamming the Twitter ban, Canada, the E.U., the U.S. and U.K. issued this joint statement. They say they are disappointed and the path to a more secure Nigeria lies in more and not less communication.
Well for the latest let's go to Lagos, Nigeria, Stephanie Busari joins me now. With this quite radical step being taken, what's the reaction there in Nigeria?
STEPHANIE BUSARI, CNN.COM SUPERVISING EDITOR, AFRICA: Well, Robyn, everyone is shocked that it is now illegal to do a simple thing like tweeting out here. And you know, Nigerians are actually very, very active on Twitter and, you know, this has caught the attention of the company itself who set up their first headquarters not in Nigeria but in Ghana a few weeks back. And everyone expected that it would be Nigeria given the activity and the interests here in Twitter amongst -- amongst young people here. Many young people use it for their businesses, they use it as a way to
kind of speak out against situations in the country, so it's really a very important platform here in Nigeria for many people. So, there is outrage, there's anger, there's frustration. Many Nigerians have turned to virtual private networks known as VPN. It marks -- it's a software that marks your location, so they are getting by this ban because Nigerian service providers have blocked access to Twitter so on your normal phone line, you can't access Twitter.
But they are using VPN, so it's unclear how these prosecutions are really going to work. Nigeria has -- the government has shifted its position slightly, said it's a temporary suspension and not an outright ban on Twitter. It says Twitter is operating double standards in Nigeria by deleting President Buhari's tweets and not those of Nnamdi Okwu Kanu who is the leader of a prescribed group in the southeast of the region.
Now this group has led a lot of unrest in the southeast, has clashes between the Nigerian army and this group, and a lot of conflict there right now. And the president -- the presidency in Nigerian government says Twitter doesn't really understand the political landscape by waging into this and deleting the president's tweets which is why they have instituted this temporary suspension on Twitter.
But many people say in a week where young children have been kidnapped, as the youngest four and five, Twitter should not really be the main concern of the government. So, you know, it's an ongoing situation and, you know, there's a lot of shock and anger, Robyn.
CURNOW: Well, thank you for that update there. Keep us posted. We'll come back to you in the hours and days ahead. Stephanie Busari there live in Lagos. Thank you.
Now Sri Lanka has recovered the so-called black box from a sunken cargo ship. The voyage data recorder has been handed over to local law enforcement for their investigations. The country's navy launched this dive operation over the weekend. The government says no oil or fuel leaks have been found so far. The ship began to sink last Wednesday after it was gutted by a fire that burned for nearly two weeks. Since then, waves of debris and microplastics have been washing up on Sri Lanka's beaches.
You are watching CNN. So still to come, there's now more than one person in line to the British -- one more person in line to the British throne. Details on the birth of Prince Harry and his wife's Meghan's baby girl. That's next.
CURNOW (on camera): Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are celebrating the birth of their daughter over the weekend. Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor was born on Friday in California and the duke and duchess of Sussex is making sure her unique name honors two special women. Well Anna Stewart joins me now live from London with more on the baby
that will be known as Lily.
ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: Well, indeed, Robyn. A name fit for a queen, really, because is short for Lilibet which is actually the queen's family nickname and has been since she was a toddler and struggled to say Elizabeth. And I think this really shows that despite the obvious tensions there have been between the Sussex's and the royal family over the last couple of years, family is clearly really important to Prince Harry and Meghan and this baby is very much of the Windsor dynasty.
The news is being very well received by the royal family. We have some tweets from grandpa Charles, Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, saying congratulations to Harry and Meghan and Archie and the arrival of Baby Lilibet Diana. Wishing then all well at this special time.
Also, a tweet from Prince William and his wife Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge. We are delighted by the happy news of the arrival of Baby Lily. Congratulations to Harry, Meghan, and Archie.
Now Lily will be the 11th in line to the -- I'm sorry -- the 11th grand -- great granddaughter to the queen, 11th in line to the throne. Given Prince Harry has said in the past that they will only have two children for environmental reasons, we do expect, Robyn, this to complete the Sussex set.
CURNOW: And this baby is well like her brother, Archie, is not eligible for a title despite Harry and Meghan saying otherwise in their interview which we know is incorrect, but that doesn't mean she one day won't have one. So, how does that work out?
STEWART: Correct. The thorny issue of titles has been raised once again with the birth of Lily. Lily will not automatically have a tile, much like Baby Archie. In the interview with Oprah Winfrey Meghan has suggested that Archie wasn't given a title against royal protocol. That's actually not the case.
Now at the moment it's only grandchildren of a monarch down the male line that automatically get HRH, prince and princess titles. So currently, that's actually just to Prince William and Prince Harry and Princess Beatrice, usually just that generation. Some of the confusion though came when the queen did of an exception to Prince William's children, George Charlotte, and Louis who all have titles. But as you say, Lily will be eligible for a title as well Archie when Prince Charles becomes a king.
CURNOW: And when will they all meet? Do we know? Is there any plan for Lily to say hi?
STEWART: I can't wait until they all meet. I have to say there's no date in the diary, and COVID restrictions on travel don't really help, do they? It was hoped that something might happen around the 1st of July which would have been Princess Diana's 60th birthday. There were hope that Prince William and Prince Harry will unite to mark that day. There is nothing in the diary yet, just pure speculation, Robyn, but I'm sure it will be a very happy occasion. The royal family have not actually seen Archie other than video calls. It's autumn 2019 when they left for Canada, so it's been a long time.
CURNOW: Yes. And still no photo of course of this baby being release either. Anna Stewart, good to see you. Thank you so much. Live there in London.
So, U.S. gymnastics champion Simone Biles secured her seventh national women's all-run title over the weekend, the most by any woman in U.S. history. The four-time Olympic gold medalist won the U.S. championship in Texas. On Sunday, nearly five points ahead of the runner up. No stranger of course to making history. Biles became the first woman to land a Yurchenko double pike in a competition just a few weeks ago. Her next stop is the Tokyo Summer Olympics set to begin next month.
Well thank you so much for joining me. I'm Robyn Curnow. I will be back for another hour of CNN after this short break.