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Netanyahu Ousted As New Coalition Government is Approved; U.S. President Attends NATO Summit in Brussels Today; U.S. & Russian Presidents Preparing for Face-to-Face Talks; Christian Eriksen Continues Recovery After Collapse; Netanyahu Ousted as New Coalition Government is Approved; Aung San Suu Kyi Set to Face Trial Today; Japan's Loneliness Epidemic. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired June 14, 2021 - 01:00   ET



ROBYN CURNOW, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, welcome to CNN. I'm Robyn Curnow.

So, coming up on the show: don't let the polite handshake fool you. How former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has a message for the country's new leader, Naftali Bennett.




CURNOW: Brussels welcomes U.S. president, Joe Biden, for a post-Trump summit amid friction over Afghanistan on how to compete with China.

Plus, this.


MORTEN BOESEN, DENMARK'S TEAM DOCTOR: He was gone, and we did cardiac resuscitation. And it was a cardiac to arrest.


CURNOW: Just how close Christian Eriksen came to dying on the pitch, how screenings didn't prevent it, and what players and medics did to save him.


ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Center, this is CNN NEWSROOM with Robyn Curnow.

CURNOW: Good to see you. Thanks for joining me this hour.

So, Benjamin Netanyahu's unprecedented 12-year tenure as Israel's prime minister is over after being replaced by Naftali Bennett. The U.S. president and British prime minister are joining other leaders in congratulating Mr. Bennett on becoming the new premier.

Netanyahu's shook hands with his successor, but ahead of the swearing in, he attacked him, and his coalition and his speech, before an unruly Knesset. The new cabinet met for the first time on Sunday, with a number of major issues to address, including, the latest fragile cease-fire with Hamas and reviving the economy -- while the new government is being celebrated by many.

This was the scene in Tel Aviv, hundreds sharing the possible ended 2 years of political deadlock as well.

Well, Sunday's vote signified the end of an era, and the beginning of an 8-party alliance that spans Israel's political spectrum. If the behavior, though, at Sunday's Knesset session is any indication, compromise, and unity, maybe elusive as Oren Liebermann now reports.


OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After 4,457 consecutive days in office, Benjamin Netanyahu's grip in power was broken.

In his final speech as prime minister before being replaced, Netanyahu lashed out at his rivals.

NETANYAHU (through translator): You call yourselves the guardians of democracy, but you are so afraid of democracy that you are ready to pass fascist laws against my candidacy, the language of North Korea, and Iran, in order to maintain your regime.

LIEBERMANN: The man who replaced him, right wing rival, Naftali Bennett, speaking under a hail of abuse from Netanyahu allies, and far-right extremists.

Some objected from the hall.

Late Sunday night, Bennett won a crucial confidence vote in the Knesset, Israel's parliament.

The swearing in made it official. Bennett became Israel's prime minister.

He promised a different kind of politics, one aimed at unity, and agreement, not discord, and division.

NAFTALI BENNETT, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: Twice in our history, we have lost our national home precisely because the leaders of the generation were not able to sit with one another and compromise. I am proud of the ability to sit together with people, with very different views from my own.

LIEBERMANN: The 49-year-old high tech millionaire is Israel's first religious prime minister. His rollercoaster political journey is taking him through a series of different political parties on the right. He now leads the most diverse coalition in Israel's history, including the first Arab party, to ever joined government. BENNETT: We are not enemies, we are one people.

LIEBERMANN: Until the final moment, Netanyahu is working to scuttle Bennett's government, and hang on to power. In language echoing former U.S. President Donald Trump, Israel's longest serving leader accused his rivals of the greatest fraud in the country's history.

Trump gave Netanyahu major political gifts. Recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, moving the American embassy to Jerusalem, normalization agreements and some Arab countries, and more.

But, it was never an enough to get Netanyahu what he craved, an outright election victory.

Netanyahu couldn't overcome a polarized electorate in the ongoing corruption trial, which he denied wrongdoing. He is now leader of the opposition as he watches Naftali Bennett lead the country into a new era of politics.

Oren Liebermann, CNN, Jerusalem.



CURNOW: Well, let's discuss this new era of politics further with the Yaakov Katz, editor-in-chief of "The Jerusalem Post".

Lovely to see you. Thanks for joining us.

It certainly is a new era. And your newspaper describes this new Israeli Union as a delicate embroidery of ethnicities, faiths, tribes, and ideas.

So, can it survive? Can it govern?

YAAKOV KATZ, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, THE JERUSALEM POST: Robyn, that is the question many Israelis ask themselves today. I would say, primarily, the two most important in this government, Naftali Bennett, who is a new prime minister, as well as Yair Lapid, who was the architect of this government and will serve as the alternate prime minister as well as the foreign minister, right? They are hoping it will survive.

Bennett wants to keep his 2-year term in place, he wants to serve it out so he can, maybe, regain some political allies, and some votes, if there's a future election. And Lapid, of course, in 2023, of course, wants to move into the prime minister's office. That's also been his dream, is to serve as Israel's prime minister. And, of course, they want to keep Netanyahu in the opposition.

They don't want to give him the opportunity for this government to fall apart, and for him to be able to sweep back in, pick up the pieces, and say hello to election victory.

So, I think they want it to stick together, and the glue that will keep it together is the fact that Netanyahu is not leaving. He's staying in opposition. He wants to stay in the Knesset as a parliamentarian, and I think as long as he's out there, that will be what keeps these people to hold this government together, and hopefully, at the same time, they'll be able to work for the country, which desperately needs a government.

CURNOW: So, Naftali Bennett, what he's going to be his first order of business? And how difficult is it going to be for him, from his political point of view, from his political ideology, his spot on that spectrum, to hold together and compromise with the very people he is in government with?

KATZ: It's going to be very hard, right? This is a fractured government from the beginning. Usually, governments fall apart as they move forward, but this government, already, from the get-go, is ideologically splintered. You have the right, left, center, for the first time in Israeli history, the participation and a coalition government of an Arab Islamist party, right?

How this all states together is going to be complicated, because there will be crises, right? There will be, God for kid, another Gaza conflict. How do they respond? There will be legislation that will be too progressive for Bennett, or too conservative for the left flank of that government.

So, how do all of these pieces keep together? I think if they keep their eyes on the goal, which is the fact that for nearly 3 years, the Israeli people have not had a functioning government, and for over 3 years, they haven't had a state budget. There are government ministries that are literally starving for funds to provide the services they need to the Israeli people.

So, all of this, together, gives them enough reason to keep it together. His first objective, I think, is going to be to pass a state budget, and most importantly, Robyn, just create some quiet, right? Israelis, my newspaper included, we've been reporting on the front page of our paper for almost three years now, politics, right?

Israelis need some quiet. They need to see a government that is working, that's getting to work, that's not talking so much, that's not making a lot of noise, that is just working for the people.

CURNOW: They just want to take a deep breath, in many ways.

Now, what is interesting, you mentioned, we've talked about Naftali Bennet, and you mentioned Yair Lapid. And we heard that opposition heckling in the Knesset. Lapid actually canceled his speech because of it, but he did stand up to apologize for cancelling his speech, but he apologized to his mother, and he said this.


YAIR LAPID, ALTERNATE PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL: Respected Knesset, I will not deliver the speech I intended to give, I came here for one reason. I want to apologize to my mother. My mother is 86, and it's not easy for us to ask her to come to Jerusalem. We did it because I assumed you will succeed in overcoming ourselves, and the statesman like in this moment, so that she will see how administration changes.

When she was born, the state of Israel didn't exist. Tel Aviv was a town of 30,000 people. We didn't have a parliament. I wanted her to be proud in the Israeli democratic process. Instead of that, she, and every other Israeli citizen, are ashamed of you. I will also remind why it's time to replace you. Thank you very much.


CURNOW: He didn't need to say a speech, did he? That was it. It was all he needed to say, and it was quite a takedown of Mr. Netanyahu, and his allies, all the while invoking his mother. How deft has Mr. Lapid been? And how much more death truly have to be to also hold this coalition together that he has been the architect of?

KATZ: Lapid is very savvy and he gets the media. He's a longtime veteran journalist and he's been now in politics over 10 years. He knew exactly what he was doing yesterday and he got his message across very well and very smartly. Lapid was the architect, right? He has 17 seats in this coalition. Bennett, on the other hand, who will serve first as prime minister, has only seven and already had one defector.


So, really, he came to the table with only six seats.

But still, Lapid understood that if he does not have Bennett, Bennett holds the key, he is make or break this government, so he had to offer him the rotation. And putting his ego aside and basically saying I'm willing to serve in the second time as prime minister is something that Israeli's are not used to seeing, right?

They're not used to seeing a politician do something like that, and that's because they've gotten so used to Netanyahu who for 12 years has ruled over Israel with a strong fist. He hasn't ever given into his political rivals. He's never ceded power. He's always knocked off the heads or chopped off the heads of anyone who came too close to presenting a potential competitor or competition to him.

And that's what's basically coalesced into this coalition that brought him down. I think what you saw yesterday, Robyn, in the Knesset with that heckling, it was shameful in the state of Israel. It's not how the Israeli parliament is used to conducting itself. And it shows to an extent what happens when someone is in power for too long. It shows why there is an important for transition power, for term limits. And hopefully, that's something that this government will do.

It's in its coalition agreement as to pass the bill for term limits either 8 years or 2 terms as prime minister. That's something that we need like many democracies in the world.

CURNOW: What does this mean? We've been talking about the domestic implications of this. What does this mean from a foreign policy perspective and particularly from, say, D.C.'s perspective?

The Biden administration was very quick to congratulate this government. How will they cooperate, particularly on issues like Iran, for example, or not cooperate?

KATZ: It was interesting how Biden called Naftali Bennett within two hours of the swearing into the coalition --

CURNOW: Very quick.

KATZ: -- and of him becoming prime minister. If you recall back when Biden took office in January, it took nearly I think it was three or four weeks for until him and Prime Minister Netanyahu finally spoke, right? But it was clear that the administration and the Democratic Party as a whole were not happy with Netanyahu. They clearly remembered that speech that he gave opposing President Obama at the time and against the Iran nuclear deal, the JCPOA. So, it was interesting to see how quickly they were willing to embrace the new leader, even though he comes from the right.

But I think it's part of the Biden administration's approach to and strategy to show Israeli -- they don't have a problem with Israel, their problem was with Netanyahu. And they want to try to work with Bennett, right?

And Bennett will have to stand strong if he wants to continue to oppose this nuclear deal. He said in his speech that he's against a nuclear deal basically following the footsteps of Netanyahu, but it will be difficult for him to stand up to the administration. Israeli- U.S. ties are an extreme importance for the Jewish state of Israel, right? They're one of the pillars, the strategic pillars upon which Israel derives its deterrence and its strategic power and is able to project power throughout the Middle East. Whether it's military aid, supply of advanced weapons, and fighter aircrafts, et cetera.

So, Israel and under Bennett will have to maneuver very carefully to not blow up those relations, but at the same time, to try to get the administration in Washington to listen to Israeli concerns when it comes to the nuclear negotiations that are going on in Vienna as we speak.

CURNOW: Yaakov Katz, great to speak to you. Thanks so much for joining us this hour --

KATZ: Thank you.

CURNOW: -- live in Jerusalem.

Now, U.S. President Joe Biden and other global leaders are and Brussels this very hour ahead of today's NATO summit. In addition to security matters on the agenda, Mr. Biden will be working to repair damage done to the alliance by his predecessor. He will also meet with Turkish president, Erdogan.

All of this coming on the heels of the G7 summit, which wrapped up on Sunday. He pledged to work together on a variety of matters, including coronavirus and the climate crisis.

But it's possible they will be less congeniality in Brussels today, as Melissa Bell now explains -- Melissa. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In the last few days has been all about celebrating the return of the United States to the international multilateral fold, the real divisions are likely to be exposed on Monday here in Brussels and NATO. So many divisions, first of all the question of who NATO should be looking at. Joe Biden determined that China should be the focus, Emmanuel Macron, the president of the one remaining permanent member this year, Security Council inside the E.U. determined that that should not be the case.

Questions also over what Emmanuel Macron described it as the elephant in the room, the manner of the American withdrawal from Afghanistan and the resentment and bitterness that has remained amongst a number of NATO allies. Then, of course, the very thorny question of the reform of NATO itself. Jen Stoltenberg has spoken about what he hopes looking ahead to 2030 and involves more common budget, something again that the French president is against simply because he's been far more determined to focus on European security and the construction of the European defense policy and even means.

That could lead to fractious debates and posing questions of the Turkish president, he'll have a bilateral meeting with Emmanuel Macron ahead of the summit.


But this will be no doubt an exposure once again of the profound divisions that exist within allies that can once again sit comfortably around the table.

Melissa Bell, CNN, Brussels.


CURNOW: Thanks, Melissa, for that.

So, now, I want to go to CNN senior international correspondent Ivan Watson who joins us now from Hong Kong.

Certainly, a lot of focus on China at G7, and no doubt with NATO as well, Ivan.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean, this wasn't just a case of President Biden coming and announcing that America is back at the table with G7 countries and multilateralism, but also presenting a challenge for Western democracies facing off against what he described as dictatorships. Take a listen.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think we are in a contest, not with China, per se, but it context with autocrats, autocratic governments around the world, as to whether or not democracies can compete with them in a rapidly changing 21st century.


WATSON: So Biden came to the meeting with a goal of trying to ramp up language, tougher language when it comes to Beijing. And a senior Biden official says that he scored a bit of a coup in that there were multiple references, criticism of China, but at the same time, that issue was a major topic of disagreement with the other leaders. At one point, the White House officials saying big that the disagreement was so intense that they had to turn off the Internet to the meeting room on Saturday.

But the final communicate does raise a number of issues. It mentions I the challenge of forced labor, getting into global supply chains, that's clearly a reference to Xinjiang and allegations of what is happening with jailed ethnic minorities they're being forced to work in factories. Raise the issue of human rights, in Xinxiang and here in Hong Kong as well big. Called for an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus, something that China definitely will not like to hear, and called for a free and open in Indo Pacific, and for keeping the status quo and contested areas in the South China Sea and the East China Sea -- Robyn.

CURNOW: And has there been any response from China to the sort of intense geopolitical focus on it?

WATSON: Sure, it's a national holiday in China. So, we're not anticipating big statements on Monday. But the Chinese embassy and landed did issue a statement with a dig at the G7 saying, quote: The days when global decisions were dictated by a small group of countries are long gone. Going on to say that there is only one system and one order in the world, an international system with the U.N. at its core. Not the so-called system and order advocated by a handful of countries.

These are not new topics of disagreement between Beijing and Washington. China is going to likely continue its anger and -- diplomacy that we've heard from Chinese diplomats around the world. Something that is different here is that you have a U.S. president trying to corral western allies to try to present a kind of united front against China, even though there are clearly divisions and cracks within this alliance that Biden is trying to bring to the table -- Robyn.

CURNOW: Great to speak to you. Ivan Watson there live in Hong Kong. Thanks for that.

So, once the summits wrapped up in Brussels, President Biden will travel to Geneva for his highly anticipated meeting with the president, Russian President Vladimir Putin. Now, Mr. Biden says he agrees with the Russian leader that relations between the two countries are at a low point. Take a listen.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): We have a bilateral relationship. It has deteriorated to its lowest point in recent years. BIDEN: Well, let me make it clear. I think he is right that it's a

low point because I told him when I was running and when I got elected, before I was sworn in that I was going to find out whether or not he, in fact, did engage in trying to interfere in our election, that I was going to take a look at whether he was involved with in cybersecurity breach that occurred, et cetera. And if I did, I was going to respond.

I did. I checked it out. That's why I had access to all the intelligence. He was engaged in those activities. I did respond. I made it clear that I'd respond again.


CUROW: There is no major breakthroughs are expected at Wednesday's summit, but there may be some issues both sides can agree on. I spoke a little bit earlier with CNN's former Moscow bureau chief, Jill Dougherty.




JILL DOUGHERTY, FORMER CNN MOSCOW BUREAU CHIEF: If you look at it, the relationship, the way it is right now, the mere fact that this is happening I think is important, and it could potentially be very useful, at least it gets both sides together and they begin, if it works the way I think, at least the United States, and maybe Russia, too, wants to put some type of guardrails around the relationship, in other words, to begin to define things.

Both sides have been talking about red lines, not being crossed, et cetera. So, what are those redlines? What are things that neither side should do that could really spin this relationship into a very dangerous territory?


CURNOW: And, of course, a quick reminder, CNN will have extensive coverage of the Biden-Putin summit, from Geneva, on Wednesday.

So, coming up, new details from a team doctor about what actually happened when Danish footballer, Christian Eriksen, collapsed on the pitch. I'll speak with the cardiologist for Major League Soccer here in the U.S. on what may have been the cause.

Plus, the Copa America is kicking off in Brazil, despite turmoil over COVID concerns, and safety. The details on that, just ahead as well.


CURNOW: I'm Robyn Curnow. Thanks so much for joining us this hour.

So, we are learning much more how serious the situation was when Danish footballer Christian Eriksen collapsed on the pitch at Euro 2020 match on Saturday. Denmark's team doctor says that Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest.

Don Riddell has more on that -- Don.

DON RIDDELL, CNN WORLD SPORT: We have been learning much more today about the Danish international football player, Christian Eriksen, and just how his medical situation was during Saturday's European football championship match in Copenhagen. Eriksen is still recovering in hospital, after he collapsed on the field before halftime, and the group B game against Finland.

The desperate scenes of doctors rushing to his aid, emotional players, and fans broadcast live all over the world. It is now been confirmed he did suffer cardiac arrest, and the assessment from Denmark's team doctor was pretty sobering.


BOESEN: He was gone. We did cardiac resuscitation, and there was cardiac arrest. How close were we? I don't know. We got him back after one defib.


RIDDELL: It was clear, from the anguish on the players faces just how traumatic this event was yesterday. We can only imagine the concern they must have felt, also trying to weigh up whether or not they should have continued playing the game.

Eventually, have spoken with Christian via FaceTime from his hospital bed, they decided that they could play on.


They lost the game to Finland, but the result, hardly seemed to matter. Afterwards, their coach was clearly emotional, when recalling the ordeal they all have been through. Today, he said that they will play on in the tournament, but he admits maybe they shouldn't have played on yesterday.


KASPER HJULMUND, DENMARK COACH: Players were in shock. Players who, almost, and don't really know yet, if they had lost their best friend. And they had to decide between these two things, I think. I have a sense that it was -- yeah, we shouldn't have played, but, I know it's difficult.


RIDDELL: Just incredible hearing about what they all went through yesterday. Denmark will regroup their training ground, their next match, will again be in Copenhagen, but it's a tough one against some of the favorites for the tournament. The world's top ranked team, Belgium. CURNOW: Joining me now, Dr. Matthew Martinez, he is the director of

Atlantic Health Systematic Sports Cardiology at Morristown Medical Center. He is also a cardiologist with North America's Major League Soccer.

Doctor, thank you for joining us.

You watched that game, what are your thoughts, as an expert, as you saw Christian Eriksen just keel right over?

DR. MATTHEW MARTINEZ, MLS CARDIOLOGIST: So, thanks for having me, and I think, what this underscores is how well that team prepared for this sort of event. I was impressed with the speed at which they got to the athlete, very proud of the players who called the athletic trainers, who sprinted toward the athlete and, appropriately, started to evaluate, started CPR, and then got the defibrillator on as soon as quickly -- as soon as possible, which is really the best lifesaving measure, when this sort of event occurs.

CURNOW: One of the team members, saying that he was gone on that field. That the defibrillator brought him back.

MARTINEZ: Yeah, if you watch --

CURNOW: What does that tell you?

MARTINEZ: If you watch, for a moment to moment, things are fine, until they aren't. He keeled over, completely was unable to brace himself, which are some hallmarks of a cardiac reason for passing out. Athletes fall on the pitch often, they pass up for a variety of reasons, but in this case, the mechanism, we think, was related to the heart because of the way he fell.

So, he did not brace himself, it was very abrupt, it was a non-contact fall, and the players, I, thought recognized it immediately. We have a problem, he's not responding, he doesn't look well. Amazing how quickly they can respond.

CURNOW: I mean, they saved his life, and the ref as well, and, of course, the medics. It was extraordinary, but also, absolutely gut- wrenching 10 to 13 minutes, as people really didn't know what was going on. And I think a lot of people and fans in the stadium, have told us that they thought that they had lost their star player.

Why would such a young, fit man, at the top of his physical peak, essentially, his athletic peak have a heart problem like that, despite all the monitoring?

MARTINEZ: So, this is a rare event, but it does, definitely, occur, depending on the sport, the age of the athlete, we approximate one and 200 athletes per year, are going to have an event like this, one out of every 200,000. That changes if you're a soccer player, a basketball player, or an American football player. That risk may be actually a little higher if you're at division one mail basketball player that seems to maybe be the highest risk. Although we do screening, these are congenital problems. You were born

these are conditions, and this is the most common reason you have an event like this.

And, sometimes, they are related to the muscle, things like hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, sometimes they're related to the electrical system, and many times, they are detectable by screening purposes. But often, they are not. And they may be subtle, and there is overlap between what a highly trained athlete heart looks like, and what a pathologic, or risk for sudden death, might look like in an athlete.

There's overlap between those two conditions. Sometimes, a single screening study is insufficient to make that diagnosis that the player might be at risk.

CURNOW: Do you think Christian Eriksen will ever play soccer again particularly at this level? What do you think the long term damages, and the risk of this happening again?


MARTINEZ: It's a great question. I don't have the answer for that because I don't know the cause. So if I knew what had specifically happened to him and what the reason he went down, I could better, you know, sort of surmise where things may end up for him.

But I think what's really important is that he did well, because that team was so well-trained. They prepared for this. It is a split-second change from everything is fine to I have to act immediately.

And that group acted quickly because they reverted to their training. They got the CPR started. They got the defibrillator immediately. And they acted with their emergency medical team swiftly, which is really what think led to the most profound, the best outcome for this athlete.

I hope he plays again. It really depends on what we find. If this is a reversible cause or if this is something that really requires additional therapies, it may make it difficult for him to play.

CURNOW: Dr. Matthew Martinez, really appreciate you joining us and giving us your expertise. Thanks so much for the work you do.


DR. MARTINEZ: Thank you for having me.

CURNOW: Yes. What a story. what a story.

You're watching CNN. We will continue to follow the news. And of course, also the shift in power in Israeli politics. How Benjamin Netanyahu built his career and what has brought it to this point.

Plus Aung San Suu Kyi goes on trial today in the first of several criminal cases against her. We will get the latest details in a live report.


CURNOW: Welcome to all of our viewers around the world. Thanks for joining me. I'm Robyn Curnow live from Atlanta. You're watching CNN.

So returning now to our top story.

Benjamin Netanyahu's record 12-year-run as Israel's prime minister is now over. The Knesset approved the coalition government and a new prime minister has been sworn in.

Mr. Netanyahu shook hands with Mr. Bennett, but earlier he promised to topple the coalition and come back to power. Hundreds of people cheered the new government in Tel Aviv as you can see here, signaling the beginning of a new political era.

Hadas Gold has more on this latest phase of Netanyahu's political career.


HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The balloons were left hanging as Netanyahu waved goodbye for what might have been the final election night.

Once again his Likud Party won the most number of seats but not enough to claim outright victory and break Israel's political dysfunction. Four elections in two years and an inability to form a lasting government.


GOLD: As he left the stage, the many political enemies he collected along the way began gathering to oust him, aiming to bring an end to one of the most influential figures in Israeli history.


GOLD: Netanyahu launched his political career in the United States as Israel's ambassador to the U.N.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome to "LARRY KING LIVE". Tonight, a bloodbath rocks the cradle of civilization. Is there one man who can stop it?

GOLD: Where he honed his skills with the media that barely knew how to pronounce his name.

LARRY KING, FORMER CNN HOST: Our first guest tonight is Benjamin Netanyahu. Benjamin Netanyahu is the recently resigned ambassador to the United Nations.

GOLD: A connection with the media and the U.S. that would define the rest of his political path.

NETANYAHU: We have to defend this tiny country.

GOLD: A representative of Israel during some of its tensest periods, like the Gulf War.

NETANYAHU: I must say that this is the darnedest way to conduct an interview.

GOLD: Soon after Netanyahu pulled off his first stroke of political magic in 1996.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: The exit polls and projections were giving the incumbent Shimon Perez a slight lead. Something in the range of about 1.5 percentage points over his challenger, Benjamin Netanyahu.

GOLD: Squeezing by to win his first term as prime minister with a wafer-thin majority.

During his first term U.S.-brokered peace initiatives gave the prime minister the world stage legitimacy he craved. But Israeli voters were not convinced, and he was ousted after one term.

Netanyahu spent part of the next 10 years preparing himself for his next move returning to power in 2009.

NETANYAHU: With pride but great humility.

GOLD: His relationship with the new U.S. President strained from the start as attempts to restart the Palestinian peace process sputtered, reaching a near breaking point as Netanyahu positioned himself the chief antagonist of the Iran nuclear deal.

NETANYAHU: A red line should be drawn right here.

GOLD: Which Obama was negotiating. Even addressing the U.S. Congress, infuriating the White House.

NETANYAHU: That deal will not prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. It will all but guarantee that Iran gets those weapons, lots of them.

GOLD: Obama giving a short rebuttal just hours later.

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The alternative that the prime minister offers is no deal, IN which case Iran will immediately begin once again pursuing its nuclear program.

Gold: The relationship between the two men remain tense. As Obama continually criticized Israeli settlements in the West Bank, seen as detrimental to any formal peace process.

But U.S. relations turned with Donald Trump's 2016 election win. It was a bromance that Netanyahu craved. An American president with whom he shared a common language.

NETANYAHU: Fake news. GOLD: And alliances with the far-right that critics say normalized

extremism. An almost identical middle eastern agenda recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

NETANYAHU: Our greatest ally, the United States of America, today its embassy opened here.

GOLD: Endorsing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

NETANYAHU: And on this day you too have charted a brilliant future. A brilliant future for Israelis, Palestinians and the region.

GOLD: And proposing a deal of the century with the Palestinians. So favoring the Israeli position, the Palestinians dismissed it as a slap of the century.

Then the Abraham Accords, historic normalization agreements with Arab countries.

NETANYAHU: You have successfully brokered the historic peace that we are signing today.

GOLD: For Netanyahu, shifting diplomatic paradigm in the region from land for peace to peace for peace. But after 12 consecutive years in power, Netanyahu making little progress on peace with the Palestinians.

Three bloody conflicts with Hamas-led militants in Gaza, more settlements in the West Bank, all helping make Israel an increasingly partisan issue in U.S. politics.

Meanwhile, an ongoing legal battle on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust, threatening jail time; Netanyahu denying all the charges. Even after a world-leading coronavirus vaccination campaign, in the end it was the personal equation, the many enemies made along the way that led to his downfall.

Former allies and longtime foes, reaching across the political spectrum with one common goal, bringing King Bibi's reign to an end. At least for now.

Hadas Gold, CNN -- Jerusalem.



CURNOW: The first trial of Myanmar's deposed civilian leader is set to begin today. Aung San Suu Kyi is facing a slew of charges from the acting military government which stole power in a coup in February.

The most serious, violating the Official Secrets Act. That's being prosecuted in a different proceeding. And Suu Kyi's lawyer says the accusations are absurd and groundless.

Well, Kristie Lu Stout joins me now from Hong Kong with more on this. what are you looking for today?

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, starting today Myanmar's ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi is on trial in the first of a number of criminal cases against her. Now today she is facing charges including breaking COVID-19 pandemic protocols and illegally possessing walkie talkie radios. Aung San Suu Kyi denies all the allegations against her.

And her lawyer tells CNN that this trial will likely wrap up by the end of next month.

Now, Aung San Suu Kyi also faces a separate case. She has been charged with a very serious allegation of violating the Officials Secrets Act, which if found guilty is punishable with 14 years in prison.

Last Thursday it was announced that she was charged with corruption, which if found guilty, punishable with up to 15 years in prison.

But as for the legal proceedings that begin today, analysts and Myanmar observers say it is nothing more than a show trial. Take a listen to this.


DAVID MATHIESON, INDEPENDENT ANALYST: This is exactly a show trial. It's a political spectacle In order to discredit Aung San Suu Kyi and the democratic opposition. That's all it is.

It shouldn't not be taken seriously as a legal proceeding. It's not. It's a political process by the coup makers, to discredit the democratically elected leader of Myanmar.

STOUT: So what will the likely outcome be?

MATHIESON: The likely outcome will probably be a dragged-on process the way that they always do with dissidents. They try and make it a spectacle of discrediting anyone who disagrees with the military.

I think given the number of charges that she's actually facing, I think a guilty verdict is almost fait accompli. And what that's designed to do is actually marginalize her and discredit her in the eyes of many people in Myanmar.

And it simply won't work. I think people really understand the military is really trying to vanquish Aung San Suu Kyi and her political career. And I don't think it will work.


STOUT: Now, the Myanmar military ousted Aung San Suu Kyi, ceased power in a coup on February 1st. it is claimed without evidence that Aung San Suu Kyi and her party swept the elections last November through fraudulent means and Aung San Suu Kyi is one of 5,900 people detained in Myanmar since the coup, Robyn.

CURNOW: A few analysts there say that these charges, trumped-up as you call them won't work. What does that mean then for the overall perception among people in the country, particularly within the resistance?

Do they feel like they can still carry on and pushing back even while she's being targeted?

STOUT: In fact, there are protests happening right now today inside Myanmar in recognition of what this show trial in their eyes is all about, a way to discredit the ousted leader, but this is not just about Aung San Suu Kyi. She remains revered in many parts of the country, but she is not the pivotal figure as she once was.

A resistance has emerged since the February 1 coup taking root across the country in urban areas as well as in the countryside, where you have the fighting underway between military factions -- pardon me, between militias and the military there.

This is a wider issue that for the military, that is not going to be addressed in this court case alone. As the analyst you heard just there from David Mathieson said it is likely that she will be found guilty of all charges, but that will do nothing to end the resistance.

Back to you.

CURNOW: Thanks so much. Live there in Hong Kong, Kristie Lu Stout.

Now, it's not just COVID concerns looming over the Olympics as Tokyo prepares to host the summer games. Japan is also struggling with a mental health crisis. Details on that next.



CURNOW: Welcome back.

The Summer Olympics in Tokyo are set to kick off in about six weeks' time. Now this despite growing calls to cancel the games amid a devastating fourth wave of the pandemic.

Meanwhile Japan is also dealing with a growing epidemic of loneliness. It is a crisis that is only magnified by the COVID pandemic.

And Blake Essig joins us now from Tokyo with more on this. What more can you tell us?

BLAKE ESSIG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Robyn, it's a very sad situation. Earlier this year Japan appointed a minister of loneliness to tackle the country's mental health crisis, a seemingly monumental task.

Now even before the pandemic hit, Japan has had a serious problem with loneliness, isolation and suicide. These are issues that are affecting the entire population, but in different ways.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) ESSIG (voice over): For the third time this week, Masatomi Yokoo and his team enter a home to clean. A simple job. But nothing about it is easy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He probably died here. I don't know the shape because the body fluid has soaked into the tummy so much. But I think probably here.

ESSIG: Yokoo, president of Memories Company has been in the cleaning business for about 13 years. But recently he says cleaning up after lonely deaths or people to die alone and remain undiscovered for long periods of time has sadly turned into big business.

MASATOMI YOKOO, PRESIDENT, MEMORIES COMPANY (through translator): We do this kind of work every day. This scene is that we always witness. We can see his that life is getting rough and that he is issuing an SOS. This is an ordinary scene for us.

ESSIG: The 79-year-old man who lived here died alone. The cause of death is unknown. Police say his body was found about a month after he died.

(on camera): Walking through this apartment, it is as if time has stood still. There's still food and drinks on the counter. Mail on the floor. And if you take a look around this apartment there is garbage and clothes scattered everywhere. It is a heartbreaking scene. It is all too common here in Japan.

Michiko Ueda (ph) is an associate professor at Waseda University who studies loneliness. While she says Japan's aging population is at great risk of isolation, it is actually the young that suffer most.

Her research analyzing the public's mental health found 40 percent of the entire Japanese population feels loneliness. For those under 40, that number is 50 percent.

MICHIKO UEDA, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, WASEDA UNIVERSITY: They have high suicidal ideation. They wanted to kill themselves very often. And then also, they feel like they're useless, they think they have no meaning in life.

So the psychological effect of loneliness on individuals is very, very high.

ESSIG (voice over): A psychological effect likely impacting more people as a result of the pandemic. In 2020, for the first time in 11 years, the suicide rate in Japan increased from the previous year and changed.

UEDA: What typically happens is during the economy crisis, the middle aged men died by suicide. But now it's the young ones. And so definitely something different is going on.

ESSIG: And the numbers show it is getting worse. According to the National Police Agency, the suicide rate in the month of April increased more than 19 percent compared to last April, while the pandemic has claimed more than 10,000 lives in Japan during that time, more than 23,000 people have taken their own life.

For Nanako Takayama, those numbers are personal. She experienced loneliness, depression and contemplated suicide when she was 30 years old shortly after giving birth to her first child.


NANAKO TAKAYAMA, SUFFERED LONELINESS (through translator): I wanted to disappear. I did not know how to handle my feelings, and it was too painful to think about what to do.

ESSIG: About a decade later, Takayama studies psychology and is a counselor at Natan Nowi Basho (ph) -- "A Place For You" which is a 24- hour chat service for those who just need someone to listen.

The times she interacts with four to five people a day. She uses her own struggle with loneliness to help interacts with 45 people today. She uses her own struggle with loneliness to help others.

TAKAYAMA: I want to say that you are not so alone. We seriously want to listen to your story. Voicing your concern is never a bad thing. It doesn't mean that you're running away from the problem or you're weak.

ESSIG: Experts say about 30,000 people here in Japan die lonely deaths each year. When that happens, this is the result. Cleaners asked to come in and to pick up the pieces of a life lost.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I cannot get used to this forever. Time has stopped here. I could feel we kind of life he was having here right away. Honestly speaking, my heart aches.


ESSIG: Well, in terms of Japan's new minister of loneliness, his name is Tetsutshi Sakamoto (ph) and he says this is just needed at stage two he says his first task is to identify those who are isolated, lonely and at risk of being cut off from society. He also plans to promote activities that protect the ties between people.

Now, it's worth noting that Japan isn't the first country to appoint a minister of loneliness, the United Kingdom did so in 2018, largely, to focus on the loneliness endured by the elderly.

Of course, Robyn, the issue is seriously impacting boys and girls, men and women of all ages here in Japan.

CURNOW: A really important powerful piece. Thanks for bringing it to us. Blake Essig there.

And as Blake mentions, loneliness, social isolation and suicide are not issues unique to Japan. For support, a worldwide directory of resources and international hotline is provided by the International Association for Suicide Prevention. You can also turn to Befrienders Worldwide.

Coming up, U.S. President Joe Biden is saying goodbye to the U.K. for now. But not before sitting down with the Queen. What we knew about his visit to Windsor Castle. That's next.


CURNOW: U.S. President Joe Biden and first lady JILL BIDEN capped (ph) their stay in the U.K. with a visit to Queen Elizabeth's private residence at Windsor Castle.

It marks the first time the Queen has hosted a world leader since the death of her husband, Prince Philip earlier on this year.

Well, Max Foster is in Windsor with the latest, Max.


MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Queen elizabeth II receiving her 13th sitting U.S. president for an audience, her 12th during her reign, going back to the 1950s.

It was actually an informal process. This was not a state visit. But you saw the Guard of Honor laid out in the court triangle there at Windsor Castle, and President Biden inspecting the troops.

Many of these troops have seen active service with American troops. They worked very closely with their American counterpart. So we're very much looking forward to being inspected by the American commander-in-chief.

After that in the national anthem playing they went inside for tea. Those conversations always remain private. Though we were given a photograph of the moment inside, and that's the only piece of media will receive from this event.

Those conversations are never leaked. Although last time President Trump did release some detail, they discussed Brexit but usually they're quite -- innocuous conversations.


An opportunity really for a visiting head of state to have time with the world's longest serving head of state to get a sense of all the history that she has seen during her reign. The Bidens were in the castle for about an hour. Then they left and their European tour continues.

Max Foster, CNN -- Windsor, England.

CURNOW: Thanks Max, for that.

So world number one tennis player Novak Djokovic is celebrating after winning the French Open title in thrilling fashion on Sunday. He's the first male player in the modern era to win all major tournaments twice.

Djokovic now has 19 grand slam single titles in his career. Je's just one behind roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for most all-time. And the South American Football Confederation is defending its decision to play the COPA America in Brazil. The country is struggling to contain the spread of COVID, but in a statement, the confederation said it is fully aware of the situation that the continent is going through in the context of the pandemic. It also recognizes the importance of football in south American culture and the role it has played in the populations physical, mental and spiritual health since the beginning of the pandemic.

Stefano Pozzebon looks at how the impact of COVID and is being selfless on and off the PAGE.


Copa America: The COPA America IS football tournament just 2 weeks ago seemed to be OVER DESTINED TO BE POSTPONED. It has finally commenced here in Brazil, but the atmosphere in the country inspired from that of a football festival like 2016 work out but that was played in the stadium just behind me. and that these stadium is now empty. No fan allowed to watch the game.

These tournaments represents more than anything else Brazil's hunger to join -- from COVID-19. But the pandemic is giving no respite. This Sunday, Brazil ended the week with more than 400,000 you COVID-19 cases in less than seven days.

And the opening match played between Brazil and Venezuela in the stadium was a stark reminder of the risks of the COVID-19, with 11 members of the Venezuelan football delegation reporting positive past results, just on Saturday just on Saturday.

Overall 3 delegations have reported a COVID outbreak in less than two days, but still the tournament proceeds.

For CNN, this is Stefano Pozzebon -- Brasilia.


CURNOW: I'm Robyn Curnow. Thanks so much for watching. I'll be back after this short break. You're watching CNN.