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Biden, British PM to Sign New Atlantic Charter; Biden Revokes, Replaces Trump Order Targeting TikTok, WeChat; JBS Pays $11 Million Ransom after Cyberattack; El Salvador Adopts Bitcoin as Legal Currency; WHO: COVID-19 Cases Up 137% in Uganda Last Week; Tokyo 2020 Organizers: Athletes, Media Will Be Monitored; Western Powers Making Major Vaccine Pledges; Kim Jong-un's Apparent Weight Loss Raises Health Questions. Aired 12-12:45a ET

Aired June 11, 2021 - 00:00   ET


JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST/ANCHOR: Ahead of the G-7, President Joe Biden is warning Russia's Putin, there are consequences for violating the sovereignty of democracies.

Biden's also revoking Trump's executive order banning TikTok and WeChat.

Plus, we're learning more about Japan's COVID measures for the Olympic games. Athletes, support staff and the press are likely to be tracked using GPS.

Hello, I'm John Avlon, and this is CNN NEWSROOM.

With a resounding "America is back," Joe Biden kicked off the first foreign tour of his presidency. He's focused on strengthening alliances damaged by his predecessor.

The U.S. president arrived a few hours ago in Cornwall, England, where the G-7 summit will get underway on Friday. But, first, he has a big meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

In the coming day, they're expected to commit to a new Atlantic charter, focused on everything from global defense to climate change to COVID, as well as working on reopening travel between the U.K. and the U.S.

Next week, after the G-7 summit, President Biden will enter high- stakes talks with the Russian president. He let U.S. troops stationed in Suffolk, England, know that he will be very upfront with Vladimir Putin.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is my first overseas trip as president of the United States. I'm heading to the G-7, then to the NATO ministerial, and then to meet with Mr. Putin, to let him know what I want him to know.

(END VIDEO CLIP) AVLON: It's just after 5 a.m. in Cornwall, England, and our Nic

Robertson comes to us live from the village of Corbis Bay.

Nic, good to see you. Tell us what is in store?


It's going to be an interesting day, full of symbolism, actually. You know, this bilateral with Boris Johnson is hugely important for the British prime minister. He wants to strengthen the relationship with the United Kingdom.

So this Atlantic charter that will strengthen the ties is really redolent with history. This is what Boris Johnson likes. It is going to be a refresh, if you will, on the Atlantic charter that was signed in 1941 between Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

So this is important for Boris Johnson and important for President Biden, but the symbolism isn't just that sort of tie in history. When that original charter was signed, it was signed aboard a British warship, the HMS Prince of Wales. Well, that ship fell by the wayside in World War II.

The new Prince -- HMS Prince of Wales will be on display for both leaders to look at today. It is Britain's largest built worship. It is an aircraft carrier. And, of course, the symbolism there, that Britain's only other aircraft carrier is now working with U.S. forces on its way to the Pacific region.

There will be points of contention. The Brexit deal, the Northern Ireland protocols, Boris Johnson and President Biden don't see eye to eye on that. So some clear talking on that, no doubt.

AVLON: Nic, Brexit aside, I mean, when Boris Johnson took office. Donald Trump saw him as something of a protege. Now, that is a compliment, if you will, that Boris Johnson didn't necessarily want to fully embrace.

But while Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt developed a deep relationship, what's the sign that there will be chemistry between these two leaders? And is there any real substance behind the rhetoric, however historically resonant, of this new Atlantic charter?

ROBERTSON: Boris Johnson is going to be looking for, you know, evidence of that. And one of the pieces of evidence that it needs something today, is there's huge pressure on the prime minister to open up travel between the U.K. and the United States during -- during the COVID pandemic.

So if there is a result on that, Boris Johnson would be able to say to the British people, Look, this is a result. I've got a win on this account.

[00:05:05] It seems to me, however, that Boris Johnson is getting a lot of symbolism out of this meeting, which is what he wants, he likes, and he thrives on it. But it's President Biden that will get the substance. It's the United States' desire to send a clear military signal of a strong international alliance to China that has essentially won the support of the U.K., and Britain sending its only in-service aircraft carrier to the Indo-Pacific with U.S. F-35 fighter jets on board.

So symbolism for Boris Johnson, substance for President Biden.

AVLON: Something for everybody. Nic Robertson live in Cornwall, thank you very much.

All right, on Wednesday, shortly before the G-7 summit and all its democratic ideals, a broadside from Russia. A Moscow court declaring two organizations linked to jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny extremist groups.

The ruling forces the groups, including Navalny's anti-corruption foundation, to shut down, liquidates their assets, and prevents members from running in upcoming elections.

Russia appears to be sending a message to western leaders: Stay out of our affairs.

CNN's Fareed Zakaria weighed in on President Putin's moves and strength.


FAREED ZAKARIA, HOST, "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS": I would like to believe that these opposition movements have real force. I mean, they are deeply admirable, and you know, I wish them all the best.

But Vladimir Putin has now had 20 years in power. He has systematically destroyed civil society in Russia. He has systematically destroyed the opposition press and opposition parties.

I think he's in a pretty -- he's in a pretty robust position. He might end up being the longest serving Russian czar since Peter the Great.


AVLON: We'll have my entire conversation with Fareed next hour, right here on CNN.

But Dominic Thomas to CNN's European affairs commentator. He's with us from Los Angeles.

Dominic, you heard Fareed right there, saying essentially that Putin's actions to make Navalny's opposition party illegal is a sign of his strength, his control over his country.

Other folks might see that as a sign of weakness, that he doesn't feel that he can win open elections and has to ban political parties and threats. How do you see it?

DOMINIC THOMAS, CNN EUROPEAN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: I think this is all relevant to -- to the meeting that's coming up in Geneva between President Putin and President Biden, and it's essentially about two diametrically opposed views of the world.

One of the things that President Biden said today is we need to lead through the power of our example.

The G-7 was disrupted by President Trump. He undermined the group. He undermined the E.U. He undermined NATO. And simultaneously, Russia, China, emboldened by these measures.

And you could almost read into President Putin's latest actions as a sort of preparation for this meeting, and with Joe Biden in which they stand in sort of diametrically-opposed ways, as I -- as I just said.

And he is firmly establishing himself in this particular region. He's well aware of the fact that the -- a stronger NATO and a stronger European Union destabilizes that part of the world, particularly around areas like Belarus, Ukraine and so on and so forth. And you can expect these issues and questions to be raised by President Biden in their meeting in Geneva.

AVLON: You certainly can. And of course, even to domestic audiences, Joe Biden has been framing the challenges of our time as a question of democracies versus autocracies.

So as the G-7 meets, really, some of the world's leading domestic democracies. Enemies during the Second World War who reunited beginning in 1970.

What can the G-7 do to turn the rising tide against autocracies and back towards democracies?

THOMAS: Yes. Well, it's an extremely important meeting for many -- for many reasons. Let's not forget that the G-7 had been renamed the G-6 plus one, precisely because of President Trump's disruptive behavior.

To that extent, Prime Minister Johnson of the U.K. is somewhat of an outlier in this particularly meeting because of Brexit, because of the relationship he had with President Trump.

This is a group that came together in 1975, when they had about 70 percent of the world's GDP. It's dropped to 40 percent. This is an organization that was -- essentially came together to deal with global crises, such as the oil crisis in the 1970s.

Now the organization is looking at getting rid of fossil fuel and focusing on climate, and focusing on environmental.

But it is also, the G-7, a group that has been seen, increasingly, as not so much the problem solver in the world, but in many way, as being responsible for some of these issues and problems, taking on the question of autocracy, dealing with the issue of the pandemic and of coming up with plans and solutions that show that they can be part of the solution, rather than part of the problem. Particularly because of the inequities that were revealed by the COVID crisis.


I think will go a long way towards restoring faith in this organization, and as President Trump [SIC] -- President Biden makes his way through Europe to Brussels for the NATO and then the E.U. meeting, and then subsequently meets with President Putin, this will carry along.

And this message of strength, of multilateralism, will be there. And folks in Europe are ready to receive Joe Biden and are ready for this kind of transition and for this sort of positive talk to help these organizations that have been struggling over the last four years.

AVLON: No question it is a testing time for international organizations and democracy itself. Dominic Thomas, thank you very much.

U.S. President Joe Biden has revoked a series of Trump-era executive orders aided at banning TikTok, WeChat and other Chinese-owned apps. Instead, he's placing them with an order that calls for a broad review of security risks posed by acts linked to foreign adversaries, including China.

CNN's Stephen Jiang joins me now from Beijing -- Stephen.

STEPHEN JIANG, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER: John, that's right. You know, the Chinese government so far has now formally responded to this latest order from the White House. Nor have the Chinese parent companies that own these apps, Tencent and Bytedance.

But if and when Chinese officials do respond, probably in a few hours at the foreign ministry's daily press briefing, I don't think we're going to hear anything surprising. They're very likely to again accuse the U.S. of holding onto the so-called cold war mentality, abusing the concept of national security to crack down on Chinese businesses and harming their interests, and then probably promising some vague, unspecified countermeasures.

Now, this latest executive order is another indication of this continuity, in terms of Washington's China policy. You know, Trump and Biden don't see almost anything eye-to-eye, but China being the rare exception here, because they both see the threats or potential threats posed by Beijing.

And where the two men differ, of course, is the approach. As you mentioned, Biden, instead of targeting individual Chinese companies, now on this broader approach, in terms of addressing these potential national security risks.

And from Beijing's perspective, I don't think officials will find this move surprising. A senior Chinese official actually just recently told me they also realize this continuation in Washington when it comes to China policy, and they -- they say the only difference they see is that now they don't have to be -- they don't have to be woken up in the middle of the night by some tweets. But they are not happy about what they are seeing from the Biden White

House, in terms of these approaches. And they're also not that optimistic in terms of this adversarial relationship, along with some cooperative aspect would work.

And so, I think, from their -- from Beijing's perspective, this latest order is just reinforcing that notion that's going to make this bilateral relationship continue to be very difficult to deal with, John.

AVLON: Stephen, well, there does seem to be broad continuity beyond the not focusing on the specific companies in question. The underlying issue, of course, being one of privacy and questions about these apps.

In the Trump era, TikTok and its parent company were trying to address some of those concerns. There's an expectation of continuity in that approach, as well, or just digging in?

JIANG: I think there's certain continuity in that area, because there is a separate process going on in terms of this committee, interagency committee in the U.S. reviewing a lot of measures TikTok has been proposing. They have been addressing the U.S. government's concerns.

And also, of course, Mr. Biden realized, because of a series of litigations, Mr. Trump's order really hadn't taken effect in the U.S. I think that also explains this latest approach from Washington, as well -- John.

AVLON: That's exactly right. Stephen Jiang, thank -- thank you so much for joining us from Beijing.

Still to come, cyberattacks around the world are becoming more dangerous and sophisticated. What one company had to pay as ransom, that's next.

Plus, why an official in Uganda says a second coronavirus wave could have been prevented in his country. Details ahead.



AVLON: Meat supplier JBS USA is revealing that it paid an $11 million ransom after a cyberattack shut down its entire beef processing operation last week. It's the latest high-profile hack in a wave of ransomware attacks on business and government agencies around the world.

CNN's Nick Paton Walsh has more.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They feel almost daily now, cyberattacks. As we moved online in the pandemic, crime moved with us. In the European Union last year, new figures obtained by CNN show

significant cyberattacks bubbled with hospitals horrifyingly hit harder than before, often with ransomware targeting private data.

APOSTOLOS MALATRAS, E.U. AGENCY FOR CYBERSECURITY: Because of the pandemic a lot of services were put (ph) online, and that happened in a kind of rush. So security was an afterthought. And at the same time, it was saving (UNINTELLIGIBLE) a lot of time, and it gave a lot of opportunities to explore other availabilities, and explore systems and infrastructures.

WALSH: The average cost of an attack doubled just so far this year, to now one point $9 million, say security experts. The highest ransom now astronomical.

JOHN SHIER, SOPHOS: I believe 50 million, five-zero, was -- was the sum that I heard.

WALSH (on camera): The latest are so-called triple extortions. They don't just encrypt the data on your computer and tell you pay up, or just threaten to release it online. Instead, they use that data to attack your systems again and even to blackmail your customers.

SHIER: They are trying to be more purposeful. They try to penetrate as fully as possible so that they can extract as much money as possible. If you are a customer of this company whose data has been stolen, they'll threaten to release your information, or they'll also call other companies that are your partners.

WALSH: And there's new ransomware known as far less attacks that don't even require the human error of clicking on the suspicious link. They seep into the operating system of your computer and never show up as a file on the hard drive. Hard to know if it's even happened.

(voice-over): The solution, say experts, like with kidnappings, don't pay. But that's tough when privacy is key to a business's survival. This leaves police following the money, usually the bitcoin.

Ransomware criminals DarkSide were behind the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attacks that froze up U.S. gas stations. The FBI quickly recovered half the $4 million paid out.

This graphic of the bitcoin short route shows the FBI traced its path relatively easily with the help of cybersecurity experts Elliptic.

Other scams, like one on Twitter last year, are a lot more complex, with hundreds of crypto transfers over months. It's in the real world, though, they get caught.

TOM ROBINSON, CHIEF SCIENTIST, ELLIPTIC: The moment criminals want to cash out so that there were some Euros or whatever, and so, in the vast majority of cases, we do see the funds sent to an exchange. If that exchange is regulated, then they should be identifying their customers and reporting any suspicious activity.

WALSH: Still, it gets harder with tricks like mixes that enable users' cryptocurrencies to get mixed together, like shuffling new dollar bills, disguising their ownership.

ROBINSON: It's about identifying who the perpetrators are but also ensuring that it's very difficult for these criminals to -- to cash out. And it means there's less of an incentive to commit this kind of crime in the first place.

WALSH: In short, don't pay the money. But if you already have, follow it.


Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, London.


AVLON: Fascinating.

All right, in semi-related news, El Salvador has become the first country to adopt bitcoin as a legal currency. Lawmakers overwhelmingly voted in favor of the move Tuesday night. It means that bitcoin will become legal tender in about three months, side by side with the U.S. dollar.

The decision gave a shot in the arm to bitcoin, which is treating up. But most central banks have been hesitant to embrace cryptocurrencies. But as Patrick Oppmann reports from Havana, El Salvador is not.


PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: El Salvador's congress has approved a plan that would make the Central American nation the first country in the world to adopt bitcoin as a legal tender.

This was expected as the congress is controlled -- a majority of the congress is controlled by Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele. He had made an announcement at a bitcoin conference in Miami that El Salvador would be taking this novel and controversial approach, adopting bitcoin as a legally-accepted currency across the country, as well as the U.S. dollar, which El Salvador has used since 2001.

Bukele says that he's hopeful that this will bring investment to El Salvador, since bitcoin entrepreneurs will be granted residency and will not be taxed for the money they make trading bitcoin if they live in El Salvador.

He's also hopeful that the majority of Salvadorans who do not use formal -- the formal banking system in that country, that they will begin to adopt bitcoin. Billions of dollars flow from Salvadorans living in the U.S. to their native country. And the hope is that they will be able to do that more efficiently, more cheaply using bitcoin.

How this will all play out is yet to be determined. El Salvador is a country that has massive problems with corruption, with gang violence. And of course, many people in the country do not trust banks. They are unlikely to trust a virtual currency that they cannot touch or hold and a currency that, over recent months, has been incredibly volatile. It remains to be seen whether people who have very little money will

take the risk in investing that in bitcoin. But El Salvador is the first country to do this, and it is a milestone for bitcoin. Now the question remains whether other countries will follow their lead.

Patrick Oppmann, CNN, Havana.


AVLON: And this just in to CNN. The military junta now ruling Myanmar has just announced it will charge deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi with crimes under the country's anti-corruption law. Three other officials are also facing new charges.

Since she has been held in detention and rarely seen since the military deposed her, in a government coup on January 1.

We'll continue to follow this, so stay with CNN for more details.

CNN. Uganda is in the middle of a second coronavirus wave as the country's vaccine supply dwindles. As cases rise and the hospitals run out of space, the country is now being forced to build mobile hospitals.

CNN's Larry Madowo has the details.


LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Kampala's main stadium now a temporary hospital for COVID patients. The Ugandan government says this makeshift treatment center is only for mild to moderate cases. But CNN witnessed a body being carted away.

Last week, the World Health Organization says cases here were up 137 percent, the second straight week of triple-digit spikes in infections.

Across town, 40-year-old Stephen Ntambi was finally well enough to be taken off a ventilator just hours before we arrived.

STEPHEN NTAMBI, COVID PATIENT: Now that I have a second chance, people shouldn't play with their lives recklessly when it comes to COVID. The way I feel now, I feel like God has given me a 1,000 more years.

MADOWO: It's all hands on deck at this hospital. The ICU has been over capacity for the last two weeks, even after adding 50 percent more beds. They keep turning away new patients who need critical care.

DR. ERASMUS EREBU OKELLO, INTENSIVIST, TMR INTERNATIONAL HOSPITAL: We got emergencies and we have used up the beds.

MADOWO: The calls keep coming.

(on camera): How many similar calls have you had today?

OKELLO: I don't know. I would say about 15 calls just this morning. MADOWO: Every patient in this wing of this small private hospital is

on life support. It's also taking a strain on the staff, some of whom have had to do 24-hour shifts, because the need is far greater than the medical professionals available.

(voice-over): The average age of the patients is 40, doctors tell us. The youngest was only 18.


OKELLO: What exactly are we seeing in hospital (ph)? One is that, for sure, it's a more aggressive strain. But the other thing also could be that, you know, after the first wave, we might have gotten quite excited enough to slacken on our preventive measures.

MADOWO: It's a crisis that could have been avoided, says Uganda's top health official.

DR. DIANA ATWINE, PERMANENT SECRETARY, UGANDAN HEALTH MINISTRY: If we got this vaccine at the end of last wave, our community would be much better than -- than what we are experiencing now.

MADOWO (on camera): Considering you have only vaccinated 2 percent of the Ugandan population, when will you have enough people vaccinated that life can return to normal here?

ATWINE: I cannot answer that, because I'm not in charge of -- I cannot access the vaccines. If I could access the vaccines, even tomorrow, I would conduct -- would conduct a nationwide campaign and vaccinate.

MADOWO (voice-over): With almost all Ugandans unvaccinated, the government warns that each positive person could infect between 80 to 100 people.

(on camera): Uganda has strict social distancing guidelines, but it's business as usual here in downtown Kampala. People have to be here to make a living. It's impossible to work from home.

(voice-over): But they may have little choice for the next six weeks as Uganda is now in partial lockdown again.

Larry Madowo, CNN, Kampala.


AVLON: Tokyo 2020 is just 43 days away. Several of its were, of course, postponed last year because of the pandemic. And because the pandemic is far from over, organizers are under pressure to track athletes who started to arrive in Japan.

CNN's Blake Essig is live from Tokyo.

Blake, what's the reaction to this new tracking news?

BLAKE ESSIG, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, John, as far as the tracking -- tracking is concerned, that is the current border control method for really anybody entering the country.

Now, as you mentioned, the Olympics are just 43 days away, and while we are still waiting for the third and final version of the playbooks outlining COVID-19 countermeasures to be released, organizing officials are offering a little insight into how they plan to monitor all participants.

Now, we've learned earlier this week that foreign media covering the games will be tracked using the GPS locators. And just last night organizers said that athlete and support staff are likely to be tracked, as well.

And as I've mentioned, anyone who currently enters the country from abroad is made to identify where they'll be serving their 14-day quarantine and download a GPS tracking application on their smartphone.

Now, throughout quarantine, you're messaged to report your location two to three times per day.

Now, games organizers say that real-time surveillance would be too much. It would require too much manpower to be able to do. And so it's unlikely that they'll move forward with real-time surveillance unless there is a confirmed case.

Now, while Olympic organizers maintain that the games will go ahead this summer, last night Japan's prime minister said that the health and safety of the Japanese people will be a deciding factor. Take a listen.


YOSHIHIDE SUGA, JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER (through translator): It's my duty to protect the lives and safety of the Japanese people. If I can't do that, I'm saying we can't do it. Protecting the Japanese people is my duty. It's natural not to hold the Olympics if we can't protect them.


ESSIG: Officials maintain that about 80 percent of the athletes participating in the games will be vaccinated, despite efforts to speed up vaccinations locally. That won't be the case for Japanese residents as of today. Just shy of 4 percent of people are fully vaccinated.

And despite the slow rollout to this point, Suga says he aims to vaccinate all citizens who need and want to be vaccinated by November. And John, that's about three months after the Olympic games will have been -- have come to an end.

AVLON: Blake Essig live in Tokyo, thank you very much.

All right. Coming up on CNN NEWSROOM, President Joe Biden arrives in England for the G-7 summit, his first overseas trip since taking office. We'll explain what he hopes to accomplish, just ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Welcome back. With COVID cases way down in the world's richest countries, western powers are making a greater effort to share their vaccines and show leadership on the world stage.

As we said earlier, the U.S. president has pledged 500 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to the COVAX program and the African Union. Now, that's separate from the 18 million vaccine doses previously promised by the end of this month.

Joe Biden says America knows firsthand the tragedy of the pandemic, but also, he says, knows the path to recovery.


BIDEN: This is a monumental commitment by the American people. As I said, we're a nation full of people who step up in times of need to help our fellow human beings, both at home and abroad. We're not perfect, but we step up. We're not alone in this endeavor. That's the point I want to make. We will help lead the world out of this pandemic working alongside our global partners.


HOLMES: And he stressed, there are no strings attached. The U.S. has the highest COVID death, but also the most people vaccinated. As the G-7 summit gets underway, leaders are expected to agree to provide a billion doses via sharing and financing.

And in the coming days, the U.K. set to announce that it will donate 100 million doses to COVAX over the next year. The British prime minister says, quote, "As a result of the success of the U.K.'s vaccine program, we are now in a position to share some of our surplus doses with those who need them. In doing so, we will take a massive step towards beating this pandemic for good."

Thomas Bollyky is the director of the Global Health Program for the Council on Foreign Relations. He joins me now from Washington to discuss.

Thanks for being with us. The first 200 million U.S. doses will be sent out this year, 300 million in the first half of next year. Is it enough, and is distribution fast enough?

THOMAS BOLLYKY, DIRECTOR, GLOBAL HEALTH PROGRAM, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: So it is a meaningful amount and a great first step. But it is not, by any stretch, enough.

When we are putting it into context, 500 million doses would be six times more than the multilateral initiative. COVAX has distributed so far altogether. A good amount.

But it is one-fourth of the two billion doses that COVAX had hoped to deliver this year. So they're going to need help. There is breaking news that people expect other G-7 nations and the

companies to put forward another 500 million over the next couple of days, and that certainly will help get there. The big question, as you suggested, is will they be able to deliver them?

HOLMES: Yes, and we'll talk about that. I mean, more than half the people in the United States and Britain have had at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Fewer than 2 percent in Africa have gotten a shot.

And there's growing and worrying evidence that those who are unvaccinated and get COVID now with the variants are being hospitalized at a far greater rate. Speak to how concerning that is in terms of globally getting these vaccines into arms.

BOLLYKY: It's enormously concerning. So really, in just half a year, we've seen an enormous turnaround. When this year began, roughly three-quarters of the coronavirus cases and deaths were occurring in Europe and North America. That has now shifted to South America, Africa and Asia now represent over 80 percent of the cases and death.


And that's purely a function of lack of access to vaccines. Where cases really have continued to search there, even countries that have been doing well, are starting to see them.

And as you rightly pointed out, if they are going to get cases, on one hand they have younger populations, so that helps a little bit, but on the other hand, they have much poorer health system. So you're getting, for the people that do end up in hospitals, you're seeing worse outcomes.

HOLMES: For people who don't know, it's worth discussing again, the urgency factor, that if the world is not vaccinated, no country is safe. Explain why that is, in terms of the existing variants and the potential for more vaccines and more dangerous variants to emerge because of a lack of vaccinations globally.

BOLLYKY: So really, the only threat at this point to the progress that has been made in -- on vaccination in the United States and in Europe is our failure to adequately invest in vaccination in other countries.

It is really the risk of new and dangerous variants emerging that are already proving for some of their vaccines to be a greater challenge or some of our vaccines have been proven to be less effective than those variants, and there may be new ones. Even the ones that have been consistently shown to be effective, like the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccines, may not be against the new ones that are emerging.

The only way to prevent that is to reduce the spread of the virus that gives us the opportunity to mutate, and that can only be done through global vaccination.

HOLMES: According to the WHO, 47 out of Africa's 54 countries, that's nearly 90 percent are set to miss the September target of vaccinating 10 percent of their people. That is unless they get another 225 million more doses.

How much support is needed for those countries, not just in terms of doses, but in terms of effective distribution and also support for what, in many cases, is a very fragile healthcare infrastructures?

BOLLYKY: That's right. So we are going to quickly shift from an environment of being the major constraint on global vaccination being supply to the major constraint being administration, or ability to deliver doses in people's arms.

So if this commitment does prove to be true coming out of the G-7 this week, as much of the billion doses abroad, the next question will be how we distribute those. Because the lack of investment we've seen internationally and buying vaccines, ensuring of the supplies, we have invested even less in the capacity of countries to deliver them.

HOLMES: There is a long way to go. Thomas Bollyky, really appreciate it. Thanks for your expertise.

BOLLYKY: My pleasure.

HOLMES: We'll take a quick break. When we come back on CNN NEWSROOM, weight loss that could have geopolitical consequences. How new video is raising questions about Kim Jong-un's health. We'll be right back.



HOLMES: The wife of the Mexican drug lord El Chapo has pleaded guilty to helping her husband run his narcotics empire.

Emma Coronel Aispuro entered her plea on charges of drug trafficking and money laundering in Washington on Friday. It comes nearly two years after her kingpin husband was sentenced to life in prison with multiple charges as head of the Sinaloa cartel.

Prosecutors say Coronel often served as a go-between for El Chapo and cartel associates while he was incarcerated. She will be sentenced in September.

There are new questions about the health of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un after what appears to be a significant weight loss. Our Will Ripley with the details.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Time might not be the only thing Kim Jong-un's watch is good at telling. It can also be a barometer for the North Korean leader's level of fitness.

Kim is often pictured wearing the same 12,000 dollar IWC Swiss timepiece, believed to be one of his favorites. Images released Saturday by North Korean state media and analyzed by South Korean media appear to show the watch fitting on a much tighter notch than in previous sightings, indicating a thinner wrist and sparking widespread speculation about a weight loss transformation.

Side-by-side video comparisons do appear to show Kim to be much more svelte now than in 2020. But far from just being an Internet curiosity, Kim's suddenly slimmer appearance could have geopolitical implications. His weight is one of many things global intelligence agencies monitor.

(on camera): Why would spy agencies in South Korea and the U.S. be looking at something like Kim Jong-un's weight?

COLIN ZWIRKO, SENIOR ANALYTIC CORRESPONDENT, NK NEWS: His health is obviously a concern of foreign governments in the region, because the country has nuclear weapons. He's -- it's a dictatorship and cult personality leadership system. So if something happens to the leader, that affects regional security.

RIPLEY (voice-over): Experts have long assessed that king Jong-un was at high risk of cardiovascular disease. His family also has a history of heart issues.

Kim's father and grandfather both died of heart attacks while head of North Korea.

In November 2020, the national intelligence service of South Korea reportedly told lawmakers they believed Kim Jong-un's weight had ballooned to about 140 kilograms, 308 pounds, speculating that he had gained some 50 kilograms, 108 pounds, since coming to power in 2011.

In recent months, the already reclusive Kim Jong-un has been out of the public eye more than usual, amidst rumors of declining health. His reappearance Saturday on the global stage arguably reigniting that conversation among foreign intelligence agencies.

Could this sudden shedding of pounds be the result of some mysterious illness, or is he thinner by choice, a conscious effort to achieve better health and extend his longevity as leader? The answer: only time will tell.

Will Ripley, CNN, Taipei.


HOLMES: I'm Michael Holmes. Appreciate your company. I'll be back with more news in about 15 minutes. WORLD SPORT coming your way next.