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Biden To Meet With Putin; Third And Final Day of G7; Vote Could Oust Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu; U.K. Prime Minister Weighs In On U.K.'s Handling Of Pandemic; Orlando Honors Victims Of Pulse Night Club Shooting; Danish Star Christian Eriksen "Fine" After Collapse On Pitch; Water War In Western U.S. Communities. Aired 4-5a ET

Aired June 13, 2021 - 04:00   ET




CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): It is the final day of the G7 summit and the topic today is climate change.

ROBYN CURNOW, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): I'm Robyn Curnow at the CNN World News Headquarters in Atlanta.

Just hours from now, Israel could have a new prime minister. A vote could put an end to Benjamin Netanyahu's 12 years in power.

Also frightening moments when a player on the sports field collapses and needs CPR.


VANIER: Welcome to all of our viewers around the world.

The G7 in Cornwall, England, is about to begin the third and final day of discussions. This is the scene in our corner of southwestern England. The Cornish coast is the scene that Boris Johnson chosen to host the leaders of the most wealthy democracies.

They are about to start a session entitled "Open Societies and Economies." And then the last part of the summit will tackle the issue climate change.

The White House says President Biden has had one on one chats with nearly every leader at the summit and by most accounts he has made a good impression. Take a listen to French President Emmanuel Macron.


EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE: And I think it's great to have a U.S. President part of us and very willing to cooperate.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The United States, I've said before, we are back. The U.S. is back and we feel very, very strongly about the cohesion of NATO and, I, for one, think that the European Union is an incredibly strong and vibrant entity. (END VIDEO CLIP)

VANIER: So after leaving the U.K. this evening, the U.S. president will travel to Brussels. On Wednesday he will go to Geneva to speak with Vladimir Putin. Nic Robertson joins us from the summit site.

The entire summit leads up to a final communique as well as the press conferences. Sometimes the communique is entirely forgettable. Sometimes it forms the legacy of this summit.

What are you looking for in today's communique?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: What has President Biden been able to achieve on China?

And understanding that will be the strength of support he has on those key issues for standing up to human rights abuses in China and China's trade practices. That will be one thing to look for.

Of course, the language on helping out the planet with vaccines, vaccines to combat COVID-19, we know the leaders here said they provide a billion vaccine doses. But critics are saying that is not enough.

Will they underwrite some funding?

Will they give that encouragement to get pharmaceutical companies to ramp up production?

That will be an important detail to look for.

And what concrete evidence is coming out on this build back better, this effort to reduce global emissions, to reduce the rise in the temperature of the planet that is so critical, we understand?

The British are talking about putting about $800 million into a biodiversity program. But biodiversity is only part of the picture of climate change.

What concrete action will we see there?

That is some of the things to look for. Boris Johnson wanted to put England in as a big power now it's out of the European Union. But exiting the European Union has dogged him as well.


ROBERTSON: It dogged him in this summit as well in meetings with Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and with the E.U. Council and Commission president.

So will there be hints of that?

Could the communique have been stronger if Boris Johnson was better trusted by his European partners?

These are all things we'll be looking for.

VANIER: Viewers, you have your readers' guide, courtesy of Nic Robertson.

There is no doubt the G7 are aligned on the urgency of the climate crisis. They have said as much. The leaders agreed to measures, like accelerating the global transition away from coal generation.

They also decided to end almost all direct government support for the fossil fuel energy sector. But there have been hundreds of protesters. Surfers against Sewage staged a mass paddle-out. We're hearing from other protesters as well.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They need to revisit their priorities and take the tiny, tiny chance that we have of survival by redistributing whilst not by trying to shore it up for a very few but redistributing so that the planet can survive by stopping the greed and the material (ph) (INAUDIBLE) behind their fencing (ph).


VANIER: Let's talk about the expectations for the summit and whether they can be met with Max Lawson. He's the head of Inequality Policy at Oxfam International.

Going into the summit, what were you looking for?

MAX LAWSON, HEAD OF INEQUALITY POLICY, OXFAM INTERNATIONAL: We were very hopeful that the transition to President Biden, he is very serious about tackling the climate crisis.

The thing about climate change is we know exactly what needs to happen to save the planet and they're not doing enough.

In Kenya, you can see reactions to climate crisis right now, crops are failing and people are going hungry.

VANIER: What would be enough?

LAWSON: We need them to deliver on the $100 billion promise they made to finance poorer countries.


VANIER: So $100 billion promised for poorer countries for a transition to a greener economy, a promise made years ago.

LAWSON: Indeed. And they've delivered some of it, just not enough.

VANIER: How much?

LAWSON: About $80 billion. And that's $100 billion every year that needs to come.

VANIER: Have they been giving $80 billion every year since then? LAWSON: No, it's only just got up to that really.


VANIER: So they've fallen way, way short of promises they made a decade ago.

LAWSON: Remember, it is very important to help countries like Kenya to move into green power and away from coal. But it's also about helping farmers and giving people the ability to adapt to crazy weather events. So that money has not been forthcoming.

VANIER: One thing that seems to be different, I don't recall a G7 meeting of world leaders, the Paris climate accord notwithstanding, where tackling global warming was such a central issue. Everybody agrees it needs to be done and that it is urgent. That seems to be a shift in tone.

LAWSON: The actions definitely don't match the words yet. But I agree, the transition from president Trump to Biden is enormous. But a lot of other countries are pretty serious, too. U.K. has quite good targets for their own carbon emissions. If the G7 lead from the front, countries like China and India are more likely to do more.

VANIER: It's non-binding. Any announcements they may make are nonbinding. That is worth reminding our viewers.

LAWSON: Yes, but the G7 is some of the most powerful people on the planet. When they do decide to do something, it makes a big difference. Wee need to see action but at the end of the year here in the U.K., we want to see a binding agreement to stop climate chaos.


VANIER: But they could set the scene for the climate conference at the end of the year. They can set the scene right here since they are the richest democracies in the world.

LAWSON: Yes, they could set ambition that others have to meet. So far, they're not doing a lot more than 2-3 years ago. The thing about climate change is we know exactly what they need do.


VANIER: So you said give the money that was actually promised.

What else?

LAWSON: We need to see them significantly cutting their own carbon. We have seen a lot of talk about net zero emissions. We want to see actual rich countries emit less carbon. They are the historical villains.


VANIER: Why is it a fudge? There's so much fudging --


LAWSON: Net zero is, when you add it up, maybe you pay another country to emit less carbon and that means your target is met. You've planted a load of trees in Brazil, which is not a bad thing. But ultimately rich countries need to move away from fossil fuels altogether as fast as possible.

VANIER: One word keeps coming back with protesters and that is greenwashing.

Do you agree with that?

Are they making promises and pledges and going to -- I think the first thing they did when they got together was go to the biggest contained rain forest in the world, right here in Cornwall.

Are they greenwashing their lack of action or not?

LAWSON: I think they are spin masters coming together. It is a little bit of both substantive and what is actual greenwashing. It's not nothing happening but it's not nearly enough. We would agree there is a lot of spin and a lot of sense that the action is more dramatic than perhaps it could be.

VANIER: Thank you, Max Lawson. Appreciate it, thank you.

As we have been reporting U.S. President Joe Biden has a busy week ahead of him in Europe. After this summit here, he will be in Belgium for the NATO and U.S.-European Union summits.

Melissa Bell is in Brussels.

What are you expecting?

Let's take them one by one, let's do U.S.-E.U. first. We know Donald Trump didn't have much love for the European Union.

What are you expecting out of the European leaders?

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Several points of division. Many of those issues will be very centered. The tone will be very different but it poses a whole new set of questions.

When you have one question where one part can no longer defend the order and you're talking about divisions, for instance, China. NATO will be meeting at a time when it has not been so divided on some of the issues. So in some way it will be more appeased, more civilized. There will be some divisions on policy and leaders.

VANIER: That is interesting because it reflects what we have seen here. In some ways it's not difficult for Joe Biden to walk in and to get a positive reaction because of mostly who he isn't. He isn't Donald Trump, who was so tough. But we saw divisions on China here at the G7. Tell us more about maybe the hurdles that Joe Biden will have to overcome.

BELL: Well, on those holding together in the end, these institutions at a time when they need to be bound together in the last few years, the difficulties they have seen and the threats to their existence, the way they have moved on.

Macron has been saying that NATO is brain dead. The argument here is for them to say, look, any European strengthening of defense is a good thing for NATO as well. Joe Biden comes to the table at a time when the world has moved on.

Divisions have changed and they're growing more profound between growing Europeans. In a sense not having a common threat will also divide them on the question of how big their place in NATO should be.


BELL: And on specific questions on how they choose to do it, in a way, that new sense of hope of progress and peace will also bring a fresh set of challenges not least for the Europeans themselves.

VANIER: Under Trump, the Europeans and especially Emmanuel Macron had advocated a stronger European defense, especially if they weren't going to be under the American shield, with perhaps a weakening of the alliance with the U.S. But Europe has not moved on that. They will have little choice but to fall back in line behind Joe Biden.

BELL: The French minister has said just because China is the preoccupation of Washington for the moment, that's not necessarily one for the Europeans. They believe what their strategic interests and focus should be should be more constructive.

The French want stronger European spending, stronger European defense and it may be incompatible with a greater NATO. That will be at the heart of the discussions and really what we need to look for.

VANIER: Melissa, thank you so much. You will be covering the NATO summit for us. You will be there to chronicle it.

And here, Clarissa Ward spoke with Boris Johnson on the sidelines and he dropped a few bombshells, especially when talking about president Vladimir Putin.


CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: President Biden famously said that he thought President Putin is a killer.

Do you believe President Putin is a killer?

JOHNSON: I certainly think that president Putin has done things that are unconscionable in the -- fairly certain that he authorized the poisonings in Salisbury that led to the death of an innocent member of the British public, the attempted poisoning of the Skripals. You have seen what is happening to his leading opponent, Alexei Navalny, who is in prison on trumped up charges, and facing -- and is effectively being tortured.

And so I think that what Joe Biden will be doing when he goes to see Putin will be giving some pretty tough messages. And that's something that I wholly approve of and I did the same last time I saw Mr. Putin myself.


VANIER: We have more of Boris Johnson, including his reaction to President Joe Biden once calling him a clone of Donald Trump.

That will do it for this early part of the show for G7 coverage. Robyn Curnow has a lot more news for you.

CURNOW: And we do look forward to the rest of Clarissa's piece.

Coming up, Israel's longest serving prime minister may be out of a job in a few hours. Who is waiting in the wings to replace him.

And fear on the pitch Saturday after Christian Eriksen collapsed. We'll hear how he is doing.





CURNOW: Welcome back. It's 22 minutes past the hour.

In a matter of hours, this man could officially become Israel's prime minister, ending Netanyahu's time. We have the latest on what will happen in the coming hours.

Elliott Gotkine, give us a sense of the timing.

ELLIOTT GOTKINE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Sure, so in just over four-and-a- half hours' time, the special session of the Knesset will start with Naftali Bennett, who is hoping to be the next prime minister. He will speak and then it will be Yair Lapid, set to succeed Bennett as prime minister.

Then we will hear from the main party in parliament that won't be part of the government, Likud's Benjamin Netanyahu. You can bet that he will double down on his criticisms of the government. He has considered it a fraud as far as Naftali Bennett being a right-wing politician, promising not going into government with Yair Lapid and then breaking that promise.

After that, there will be a vote for the new speaker. And once that is done, then we get to the main event. We will have the vote of confidence in the new governing coalition. They will go all of the way around the room. They just need a simple majority.

If they get that, the new government will be sworn into office and Benjamin Netanyahu could be out.


GOTKINE: It could happen around 2:00 pm local time but Israel is not known for their timekeepings.

CURNOW: Indeed, we will be checking in throughout the day.

Before you go, could you also just tell us whether or not Netanyahu will go quietly?

What do you think is his next move?

GOTKINE: He will be the opposition leader and be a real thorn in the side of the government. He will try to undermine it. This coalition goes from the far left, to the center, to the right, to include for the first time Israel's Arab citizens.

So he will be making mischief, you can bet, throughout. He will do his best to cause this government to collapse as soon as possible.

Practically speaking, he is unlikely to leave the prime minister's residence immediately. But if this is approved, he will be out of office and leaving that residence before very long.

CURNOW: Elliott Gotkine, thank you so much, live from Jerusalem.

So the G7 summit in Cornwall will soon reconvene for the third and final day. We'll explain what is on the agenda and take a look at the impact of the new U.S. President.


WARD: He also famously referred to you as a physical and emotional clone of President Trump. I just wonder how you responded to that.

CURNOW (voice-over): Ahead, how Boris Johnson is feeling about old attacks against him by President Biden.






VANIER: Welcome back to our continuing coverage of the G7 summit. The final day here. We're on the south coast of Cornwall in England where in a few hours we will be expecting the final communique from the world's richest democracies. What did they agree on and what didn't they agree on?

I'm Cyril Vanier and the Group of Seven will be issuing that communique on Sunday. There will be great interest in what it does and doesn't say. Climate change is on the agenda but the summit here in Cornwall has already revealed some sharp divisions,, including how to counter China's rise. U.S. President Joe Biden arriving for Sunday mass at a local church just a few moments ago wants the G7 to take a more forceful stand on China's human rights and trade practices.

The White House says that President Biden has had private chats with just about everyone at the summit in addition to some formal one-on- one meetings. And it is that personal diplomacy that may leave the most lasting impression when the summit is over.


ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President Biden came to the G7 summit, with the goal of shoring up relationships with the United States allies. So far, world leaders are breathing a sigh of relief, after four years of tension, with the previous administration under former president Trump.

Now President Biden had one-on-one meetings with various leaders over the course of Saturday in what one senior official described as a diplomatic speed dating. So far, the leaders welcomed the president with open arms. Take a listen to a meeting the president had with French president Macron, earlier on Saturday.


EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE: And I think it's great to have a U.S. President part of us and very willing to cooperate.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The United States, I've said before, we are back. The U.S. is back and we feel very, very strongly about the cohesion of NATO and, I, for one, think that the European Union is an incredibly strong and vibrant entity.


SAENZ: President Biden has another day of meetings at the G7 summit on Sunday and then ends his day by traveling to Windsor Castle, where he and the first lady will meet one-on-one with Queen Elizabeth.

Biden will be the 12th president that she has met while she has been queen. The president will head to Brussels where he will participate in a NATO summit, talking about security issues and then culminates his week with the face to face meeting with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin.

The two men will have some working sessions together.

But they will not be holding a joint press conference, a change from the way president Trump approached Putin when he was in office. The Biden administration said not to expect any tangible outcomes or

changes from this exact meeting but ultimately they're hoping to establish a more stable and predictable relationship with Russia -- Arlette Saenz, CNN, traveling with the president in Falmouth, England.


VANIER: As we mentioned earlier Boris Johnson spoke with Clarissa Ward on the sidelines of the G7 summit.


BORIS JOHNSON, U.K. PRIME MINISTER: It's absolutely true that, with President Biden, with Joe Biden, you feel that he wants to -- he is a great believer in the transatlantic alliance, in the special relationship, whatever you want to call it with the United Kingdom. He shares our priorities on tackling climate change.


WARD: And president Trump did not, would you say?

JOHNSON: -- on that tomorrow. He shares our objectives on improving human education around the world.

WARD: He also famously referred to you as a physical and emotional clone of president Trump. I just wonder how you responded to that and whether the relationship is in a better place?


JOHNSON: The relationship is an extremely good order and I think that the premise of the U.K.


JOHNSON: And the -- has a job to do to get on with whomever is the President of the United States. That's what we do. But in this particular case, I want you to know that the relationship is extremely good.


WARD: And was it fair to call you a clone?

JOHNSON: Look, I'm not going to -- people say all sorts of things about me. I think if I spent my time disputing this or that, we would not get a lot done. We're getting a huge lot done --


JOHNSON: -- here at the G7. It's going well. It's beautiful weather, it's fantastic to see President Biden.


WARD: So can we just talk about next week quickly?


WARD: President Putin.


WARD: President Biden will be meeting with President Putin.


WARD: President Biden famously said that he thought President Putin is a killer.

Do you believe President Putin is a killer?

JOHNSON: I certainly think that president Putin has done things that are unconscionable in the -- fairly certain that he authorized the poisonings in Salisbury that led to the death of an innocent member of the British public, the attempted poisoning of the Skripals.

You have seen what is happening to his leading opponent, Alexei Navalny, who is in prison on trumped up charges, and facing -- and is effectively being tortured.

And so I think that what Joe Biden will be doing when he goes to see Putin will be giving some pretty tough messages. And that's something that I (INAUDIBLE) approve of and I did the same last time I saw Mr. Putin myself.

I said look, you know, there is not going to be a normalization of relations between your country, Russia, and the U.K., until Russia changes its behavior. That is just the sad fact of it.


WARD: So how would you judge success?

JOHNSON: -- I think that President Biden will be saying the same.

WARD: How would you judge it as a successful summit, then?

What is the metric for success with this summit?

JOHNSON: If I could just comment about this summit, which is the one we are actually at, I think this has already been a very important moment, because the world here (ph) to come together for the first time in well over a year to work on how to beat the pandemic --

WARD: Do you accept your government --

JOHNSON: -- treaty --

WARD: -- mishandled the pandemic in the early days?

Would you say that's a fair categorization or -- ? JOHNSON: I think, you know, it was a -- it was an unprecedented event in our lifetimes and, of course, we will look back on everything that happened, what went wrong and learn from it.

But at the moment, we are focusing on vaccine rollout, which is amongst the fastest in the world and which is giving a great deal of immunity to our people and actually has enabled this summit to go ahead.


VANIER: When we come back next hour with day three of the summit, we'll have insights with Nic Robertson on how to read the final communique of the G7 once it comes out, the readers' guide. That will be the next hour. But now back to the CNN World Center in Atlanta.

CURNOW: Thank you, it looks like a beautiful day over there.

China's state media reports at least 12 people are dead after a gas explosion. There are at least 150 people that have been rescued but many are still trapped. I want to go straight to Kristie Lu Stout, joining us from Hong Kong.

What are you piecing together about what happened and what the fatalities are?

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Well, this massive gas explosion ripped through a neighborhood earlier this morning in the central Chinese province of Hubei, taking the lives of at least 12 people.

Rescue workers have found 150 people, including 37 who are severely injured. This incident took place at 6:30 am local time.

And local officials there say that many people have remained trapped in the debris and in the rubble. (INAUDIBLE). Let's go back to you.

CURNOW: Yes, your sound is not great and we will try to reestablish comms. But I think we got most of the story. it's a real concern about what happened there on the ground in China. Kristie Lu Stout, thank you so much.

So a violent weekend in the U.S. as a wave of gun violence leaves at least seven people dead and another 40 injured. Police in Austin, Texas, have arrested one person in connection to a shooting there early Saturday morning. Fourteen were hurt.

The city's mayor says investigators are closing in on a second suspect. That shooting, one of six that have taken place in the U.S. since Friday afternoon. CNN defines a mass shooting as one where at least four people were shot, not including the shooter.

As those communities grieve, people in Orlando are remembering the victims of their own tragedy.

[04:40:00] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)



CURNOW (voice-over): Five years ago this weekend, 49 innocent lives were brutally taken at the Pulse night club. Each of their names were read as friends and families gathered to honor their loved ones. Natasha Chen has more from Orlando.



NATASHA CHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Five years later, those 49 people have not been forgotten. Their names, faces and stories are all across this wall that now makes up the Interim Memorial at the exact site where they were killed.

You can see the One Pulse Foundation is now hosting this space. They're the ones that held a memorial event on Saturday night. The featured speakers like the Orlando mayor, the Orange County mayor, the deputy police chief and the owner of the Pulse night club, who said she has seen how gun violence has actually worsened in the last few years.

She feels and sees that people are not bridging their differences. They're resorting to gun violence to solve their problems. A lot of the survivors and the families of victims showed up to this event on Saturday night.

Here's a big of what they heard from the speakers on stage.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me just say to this entire community where I was born and raised, let me just say to all of you, thank you for not letting hate win. Thank you for letting love win in this community.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mercedez Marison Flores, Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega.


CHEN (voice-over): And underneath the Pulse sign here, people can write messages on these panels. We're seeing so many messages from people who lost loved ones and messages like this, "Love always wins." And then "Stay strong, love hard, spread positivity, rest in peace."

You can just tell from these messages what an impact this had, not just on the Orlando community but on the LGBTQ community and across the country as a whole --Natasha Chen, CNN, Florida.

(END VIDEOTAPE) CURNOW: Coming up, football fans around the world are voicing support

for Christian Eriksen after his medical emergency on the pitch. We have that story next.





CURNOW: A Danish football star is recovering after a terrifying medical emergency during the match. Christian Eriksen collapsed during the Euro 2020. Apparently, he is doing OK, according to the Danish Football Association.


CURNOW: World number one Novak Djokovic meets Greece's young star, Stefanos Tsitsipas. Djokovic is seeking his 19th major tennis title while Tsitsipas is seeking his first Grand Slam.

It was also a first for the women which when Czech Republic's Barbora Krejcikova defeated Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. She is only the third unseeded player to win at Roland Garros in the last five years.

Good for her.

Now a herd of 15 elephants wandering across southern China for four months have become world famous but it may be revealing something serious issues.





CURNOW: Those wild Asian elephants in China are wandering again. One has been separated from the rest. A male broke away from the group. The herd has been migrating across the southern part of the country. They're going north to look for food and a new habitat.

They have been escorted by police and drones are following their every move. Some scientists think it has to do with their natural habitat being destroyed.

More than half the U.S. is facing extreme and exceptional drought conditions with summer still officially a week away. The U.S. drought monitor says the percentages are at their highest point in over two decades.

This also raises fire dangers. In Arizona, officials are racing to maintain two massive wildfires. Several Western states are in complete drought conditions with no rain expected this week. Authorities in California say they have never seen anything like this. Here's Paul Vercammen.




VERCAMMEN: The chief of the Angeles National Forest is moving the fire threat level to very high. This does not happen this early in June. It is usually reserved for after the 4th of July. But in this forest and throughout parts of California, because of the drought, the moisture in the vegetation has been completely flushed out, if you will. So the chief says this is a problem throughout the West as this drought is making the fire season dangerous very early.

ROBERT GARCIA, FIRE CHIEF, ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST: As you look up and down the state of California, as an example, but across the West, and we have seen just the drought monitor move into about 80 percent of California, hugely alarming. That is water storage, vegetation, snow pack and all of those factors.

VERCAMMEN: Behind me you can see road closures. This is where the Bobcat fire menaced the foothill communities in Los Angeles County for months on end. It started last September. And before it was done, it had burned 115,000 acres.

The chief of the forest is telling everyone to be prepared. He emphasizes we do not have enough fire engines to put in everybody's driveway so it's incumbent upon homeowners make sure they clear that brush and vegetation around their homes and be super vigilant -- reporting from Sierra Madre, I'm Paul Vercammen. Now back to you.


CURNOW: Coming up on CNN, how much would you pay for a trip to space?

How about $28 million?

That was the winning bid, though, to fly alongside billionaire Jeff Bezos and his brother, Mark (ph). The unnamed winner will travel aboard the Blue Origin rocket in July for its first manned flight. It is scheduled to last just 11 minutes. That is just over $2.5 million per minute.

I'm Robyn Curnow. You can follow me on Twitter and Instagram. I'll be back with more in just a minute.