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CNN NEWSROOM

President Trump with Another False Claim; Coronavirus Vaccine Not a Magic Bullet; Brazil's First Lady Tested Positive; Trump Fears of Mail-in Voter Fraud; U.S. GDP Nosedive in Q2; Nation Bid Goodbye to an Icon; Record Heat Forecast For Western Europe Summer Heat Wave; Criminal Investigations Opened Against FIFA President; China Accused Of Abusive Campaign Against Uyghur Women; Seaweeds to Help Fight Water Pollution in Indonesia; NBA Games Resumes. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired July 31, 2020 - 03:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[03:00:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Live from CNN world headquarters in Atlanta. Hello, everyone. I'm Natalie Allen this is CNN Newsroom.

Coming up here this hour, COVID-19 deaths in Florida set yet another record. And now, the number of cases is rising again in northern states.

Meantime, U.S. gross domestic product posts its biggest drops ever. It has some people worried about the labor markets recovery. But there is optimism on some fronts, the man in charge of the U.S. vaccine program shares encouraging news.

Hello, and thank you so much for joining us.

As the United States nears four and a half million cases of COVID-19, a dire new prediction from the University of Washington, citing the refusal of many Americans to wear masks and social distance. University researcher says the U.S. death toll could exceed 230,000 by November. That is about 80,000 more deaths in the next three months.

Among those Americans who have lost their lives to the virus, one-time Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain seen right here, he fell ill following a Trump rally in Oklahoma in June but it's not known where he was infected.

Florida had broken its record for most coronavirus deaths for the third day in a row. Texas and California aren't very much better. But it is the American Midwest where the cases are now climbing.

CNN's Nick Watt has the headlines for us from across the U.S.

NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The sunbelt surge is seeping north.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DEBORAH BIRX, COORDINATOR, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE: So now we see the virus probably because vacations and other reasons of travel, moving up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATT: Michigan just closed a lot of bars again. When the percentage of tests coming back positive in the state climbs, that's the danger sign.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: We are starting to see that in some of these states now, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATT: Ohio just reported the most cases in a day. Illinois, the most cases since late May. Mayra Ramirez from Chicago, just 28 years old fell ill in April. She is one of the first COVID-19 patients to receive a double lung transplant.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYRA RAMIREZ, DOUBLE LUNG TRANSPLANT RECIPIENT: I wasn't aware that I had received a lung transplant. When I woke it wasn't until weeks later that I had the ability to think to, you know, myself, there is a family out there that's grieving their loved one. I have that person's lungs and how lucky I was to have received it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATT: Yesterday across this country, 1,403 lives reported lost to COVID-19, the highest number in nine weeks.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JODIE DIONNE-ODOM, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF MEDICINE, UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA AT BIRMINGHAM: It's a travesty that we are where we are today. I'm worried about the future. I'm worried that unless we make some significant changes in our response, this death rate is going to continue to rise.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATT: The NBA season restarted tonight in a bio bubble in Orlando. This weekend's Phillies Blue Jays series is off after Philly staffers tested positive, the NFL watching and learning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE TOMLIN, HEAD COACH, PITTSBURGH STEELERS: We are working our tails off to familiarize ourselves and adhere to the COVID protocols.

(END VIDEO CLIP) WATT: If we all do that, there is a way out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BIRX: We believe that the governors and mayors of every locality right now would mandate masks for their communities and every American would wear a mask and socially distance, we can really get control of this virus and drive down cases as Arizona has done.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATT: Some Arizona cities began mandating masks June 19th, and look what happened two or three weeks later. The average number of new cases in the state every day started to fall.

And here in California right now we are losing on average more people to COVID-19 every day than ever before. The mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti says we were sold a bill of goods by people who claimed we are going to get a vaccine soon, that this is going to be over soon. He, like many others, says we're going to be dealing with this well into next year.

Nick Watt, CNN, Los Angeles.

ALLEN: U.S. President Trump is against suggesting it is safe for children to go back to school, incorrectly stating that they are virtually immune to the virus.

[03:05:05]

A South Korean study found that children ages 10 and older can spread the disease as easily as adults. And another study suggests infection children under the age of 5 can carry higher than normal levels of the virus. As for President Trump, he still blames China.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: The data is showing very encouraging signs. Arizona, in particular, has crossed an important threshold. For every person with the virus, we are now seeing an average of less than one additional person infected, and the numbers are coming down, and coming down very substantially. They are starting to come down in Florida.

Arizona is really leading away. I was in Texas yesterday, and they are starting to come down significantly. We believe, in Texas, we need another few days to figure that one out. But it looks like they are coming down very significantly.

We can never, ever forget the people that have been lost. We never will. We'll never forget them. Never forget what happened. This could've been stopped in China. They should have stopped it and they didn't.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ALLEN: These are encouraging news on the treatment front. A new U.S. study found that infusions of blood plasma from COVID survivors can greatly reduce mortality among the most severely ill. And the U.S. government plans to fund eight vaccine trials under its operation Warp Speed plan, the man leading that ever spoke with CNN's Elizabeth Cohen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Some vaccines are 97 percent positive. Others are 60 percent effective. Where you think we're going to fall with the COVID vaccine?

MONCEF SLAOUI, CHIEF ADVISER, OPERATION WARP SPEED: I think this vaccine is going to be a highly efficacious. I wouldn't be surprised if it's in the 90 percent. I think the question that's open is for how long will the vaccine afford efficacy. This is something that we will learn as we go. It's possible that we will need to have a booster, a recall immunization every year, or every two years, or every three years.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: America's top infectious disease expert is not quite so confident a vaccine would be that effective. Here's what Dr. Anthony Fauci said earlier on CNN's town hall.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FAUCI: I mean, that's obviously a very optimistic estimate. We all hope it's going to be that way. When we look at the data from the phase one study, relatively small number of people though it might be, it looks good because the vaccine induced neutralizing antibodies in the recipients, rather robust. It's the level that you would say is, at least, as good, or better then was induced by natural infection.

Namely, what we are seeing in convalescent plasma. So that's the first good indication that gets us to be optimistic, that we'll get a good percentage. I'm not sure it will be 90 percent, but I think it's going to be reasonably good.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: Let's talk about the hope for a vaccine. Dr. Peter Drobac is an infectious disease and global health expert at the University of Oxford in England. Good morning to you. Thanks so much for coming on, doctor.

PETER DROBAC, GLOBAL HEALTH EXPERT, OXFORD SAID BUSINESS SCHOOL: Hi, Natalie.

ALLEN: Hello to you.

Well the head of operation Warp Speed is saying that he's optimistic we'll have vaccine for everyone within the year 2021, ideally within the first half of that year. Are you that optimistic? I know it's a complicated situation.

DROBAC: Yes, I'm hopeful. I'm absolutely hopeful. We've seen some really promising evidence from some of these early vaccine trials. But I think we always need to be cautious. We need to hope for the best, and plan for the worst.

A vaccine, when it comes, or hopefully several vaccines are, hopefully is going to be safe and effective. But they're not going to be magic bullets that are going to magically make this all go away. If there's incomplete protections, we're still going to do more.

So, we need to be -- I think we're still underestimating the severity of this virus, and this pandemic, and we really need to be thinking about long term planning to control the virus with methods other than vaccines, and then when that vaccine comes, great.

ALLEN: OK, talk about those methods.

DROBAC: So, in the U.S., we still lack a coordinated, you know, national plan to get the virus under control while we still see it, you know, raging uncontrolled in so many places. We know what works, we knew before, but we've certainly seen over the last six months that a combination of mask wearing and the more universal that can be that better.

Physical distancing measures, and then importantly, even more widespread access to testing to contact trace, isolate. Remember that about 40 percent of the spread of this virus comes in people who are not having any symptoms. It's invisible. So, any one we come into contact we have to consider might be infected.

[03:10:05]

All of these things put together is what brings the virus under control. The lower our levels of overall transmission, the more back to normal we can get. If you look at the places that have pursued elimination strategies, like New Zealand, for example, now Scotland, they are able to have their schools open and their restaurants open and do a lot more thing safely, because that baseline risk is so much lower than it is currently in the U.S.

ALLEN: And you know, the other thing about a vaccine is that, there are a good dose of Americans, if you will, that say they won't get one.

DROBAC: That's right. There's a lot of skepticism and mistrust out there. And it's coming from different parts of the population. We know there is a so-called anti-vaxxer community that's suspicious of any virus. There's another segment who might be suspicious of anything that comes from the Trump administration, for example.

So, different segments in different reasons for this. We have to understand that, you know, the double-edged sword of moving so quickly, this unprecedented speed with which our scientific effort is progressing makes people worried that we might be cutting corners. From what I have seen, actually, there's incredible rigor in the

studies being done right now, and so, you know, maybe we should be calling operation Warp Speed operation Warp Speed and safety to remember that actually we're not going to be approving a vaccine unless it's deemed to be safe as well.

But we need to be thinking about that communication effort now because if the vaccine comes and people don't get it, it's not going to give that kind of herd immunity benefit that is so important.

ALLEN: Right. Well, the president, once again, President Trump is suggesting it's safe for children to go back to school because they are virtually immune. But let's listen to Dr. Fauci, yet again on this very thing. Here he is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FAUCI: Well, it does concern me, definitely, because, as you know, we are still learning as the weeks go by, and we get more and more information, a lot more about children.

Now, you get this study, which is interesting, that says younger children, up to 5 years old, have many, many more times fires in their nasal pharynx than adults do, which would mean it would be a reasonable assumption that they would be able to transmit the virus. We just need to figure that out.

(CROSSTALK)

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: So, they're not immune?

FAUCI: And in that -- no, no. I mean, they have virus in their nasal pharynx which means they very well could transmit it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: That's going to be the question, Peter, as we push to get children of all ages back to school, and it's really a big question mark, what will be the threat to school workers, administrators, and teachers once kids are back in the classroom?

DROBAC: Yes. First, I just want to emphasize once again that President Trump's statements that children are immune is not correct. Children are not immune. And in fact, there's been kind of this almost conventional wisdom we've heard a lot that children are less likely to transmit the virus than adults.

The answer is to that actually is, we just don't know that that's true. We know that older children do transmit the virus. And the study, for example, the one that Dr. Fauci cited, suggests that children might even be more infectious because they have higher levels of virus.

So, there's a real risk as we reopen schools, perpetuating transmission. Now, listen, this is a lose-lose situation that we've all been put in by our utter failure to control this pandemic in the U.S., where, when we keep kids out of school, we know we are doing a real long term harm by hurting their education, but putting them back in schools in a way that is uncontrolled with uncontrolled spread puts them at risk, put their families at risk, put teachers and staff at risk, and communities at risk as well.

ALLEN: Right. And there we see a video of them spaced out there, children in school, even young children without any chance to mobilize and move around and connect. So that's another hardship as well that we'll have to see how schools deal with that. And of course, there's the issue of students in college. We'll talk about that one next time. We'll have to leave it there for now.

Dr. Peter Drobac in Oxford, as always, we appreciate your expertise. Thanks.

DROBAC: Thanks for having me.

ALLEN: Brazil reported nearly 58,000 cases on Thursday. And President Jair Bolsonaro's wife is among those infected now. The first lady tested positive after her husband announced he no longer has coronavirus. He also says he might have what he said was mold in his lungs from being in isolation for nearly three weeks.

CNN's Nick Paton Walsh has more about it from Brazil.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: At times it can be hard here in Brazil to try and match the tone of the government's behavior with the severity of the crisis they are facing. Let's just deal with ordinary Brazilians first.

[03:14:59]

Fifty-eight thousands almost new cases in the last 24 hours across Brazil. That's not the full picture, because it doesn't capture the number of people who possibly have the disease. Some study suggesting the official numbers represents about a sixth of that. You have to be pretty badly off to get a test here on public care here in Brazil.

The day before that, 24 hours earlier was a record of 70,000 almost new cases. So, the numbers here are terrifying. But the president himself continues to get bad news. Sadly, the first lady, Michelle Bolsonaro, yesterday tested positive for coronavirus. That's after her husband, Jair Bolsonaro, the president, recovered after a two-week long infection with the disease.

He persistently touted hydroxychloroquine, the unproven, ineffective medication during, before, and after his infection. Now the first lady, she was around some senior cabinet ministers and the days before her diagnosis, so there were some concerns about how prevalent the disease is in the highest levels of government.

Add to that too, the somewhat bizarre scene of Jair Bolsonaro earlier today on horseback among supporters in the north of the country. Some of whom were unmasked.

And then at the end of the day on a Facebook live, talking again to those who bother to tune in about how his earlier health minister, who is anti- hydroxychloroquine was bad, and how his current health minister was good because he was good at organizing the Olympics.

And strangely throughout and accordion player was behind him, apparently advocating tourism in the country, very odd scenes from the government to some degree on messaging. Now two days ago, when they got a record number of cases, they simultaneously seem to also open air travel to foreigners after a months' long ban.

It's hard to reconcile their behavior with the severity of the crisis, and that seems to be, possibly, the reason why the crisis is so severe. Deeply troubling times here every day, the numbers seem to be greater cause for concern.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Rio de Janeiro Brazil.

ALLEN: Ahead here, the worst drop in history. Why second quarter U.S. GDP numbers confirmed the worst suspicions of economists and how this virus played a part in that?

Also, a controversial idea, the U.S. president is floating for the elections in November.

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ALLEN: The U.S. economy has suffered its biggest contraction ever, thanks to coronavirus lockdowns. The annualized rate for the gross domestic product plunged nearly 33 percent from April through June, or nine and a half percent compared to the first quarter. That is the worst drop on record.

Making matters worse, 1.4 million people in the U.S. filed for initial jobless claims last week. And now we're hearing that France's GDP shrunk by 13.8 percent in the second quarter due to the COVID lockdown.

[03:20:06]

Those economic numbers are weighing on U.S. President Trump and his hopes for a second term. And now, he is raising the idea of postponing the presidential election in November over fears of fraud due to mail- in voting despite any evidence of that.

CNN's Pamela Brown has more.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Donald Trump floating the idea of delaying November's presidential election, something only Congress has the authority to do as laid out in the Constitution. The president claiming without evidence, mail-in voting would cast doubt on the election results. Tweeting, with universal mail-in voting, 2020 will be the most inaccurate and fraudulent election in history. Delay the election until people can properly, securely, and safely vote?

Today, there is no evidence that mail-in voting leads to widespread fraud. Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers responding by saying that the election will not be moved.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is never been done, Jim, and it never should be done.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MAJORITY LEADER: Never in the history of the country, through wars, depressions, and the Civil War, have we ever not had a federally scheduled election on time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: This isn't the first time the president has railed against mail-in voting.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: It's very bad what's going on with mail-in ballots.

I'm very worried about mail-in voting, because I think it's subject to tremendous fraud and being rigged.

If people mail-in ballots, there's a lot of illegality.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: In an attempt to clarify today's tweet, Trump's campaign released a statement saying, the president is just raising a question about the chaos Democrats have created with their insistence on all mail-in voting. Trump, even leaving the door open, he may not accept the results of the election in a recent Fox News interview.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Can you give a direct answer, you will accept the election?

TRUMP: I have to see. Look, I have to see. I'm not just going to say yes, I'm not going to say no.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: Some Democrats are worried Trump is laying the groundwork to cast doubt on the results of the election. Cedric Richmond asked the attorney general about it this week.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. CEDRIC RICHMOND (D-LA): Do you believe this 2020 presidential election will be rigged?

WILLIAM BARR, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY GENERAL: I have no reason to think it will be.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BROWN: Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden warned about the possibility back in April, saying, mark my words, I think he is going to try to kickback the election somehow. Come up with some rationale why it can't be held. Trying to let the word out that he is going to do all he can to make it very hard for people to vote. That is the only way he thinks he can possibly win.

The Trump campaign immediately released a rebuttal to Biden back then, saying, those are the incoherent conspiracy theory ramblings of a lost candidate who is out of touch with reality. President Trump has been clear that the election will happen on November 3rd.

And former President Barack Obama's eulogy for Civil Rights icon John Lewis, he appeared to take direct aim at President Trump, suggesting he wants to suppress voter's rights.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Even as we sit here there are those in power who are doing their darndest to discourage people from voting.

(APPLAUSE)

By closing polling locations and targeting minorities and students with restrictive ideologues and attacking our voting rights with surgical precision, even undermining the Postal Service in the run up to an election. That's going to be dependent on mail-in ballots so people don't get sick.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: President Trump on Thursday did not react to that at his press briefing.

Pamela Brown, CNN, Washington.

ALLEN: We mentioned that the U.S. economy has suffered its biggest contraction ever, thanks to the coronavirus lockdown.

We want to talk more about these numbers and the situation with CNN's Eleni Giokos, she joins me now live from Johannesburg. Eleni, hello to you. Let's talk more about what's up with the latest GDP numbers. What is it telling us and are we past the worst?

ELENI GIOKOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I mean, it's such a good question, right? I mean, there are second quarter numbers. It's an annualized figure showing a contraction of 33 percent. It's never been seen before. Even if you compare it to what we saw during the global financial crisis, this is eight times worse.

If you go as far back as the Great Depression, again, this tops the amount of pressure we've seen in the U.S. economy. This is what happens when you ask 70 percent of what contributes to your GDP to basically stop spending, and that's the U.S. consumer. Lockdown restrictions, the height of coronavirus cases, this is what it's reflecting.

Now since then, we've seen a resumption of some economic activity. And it's important to note, that new economic data is also giving us new signals about what's to come in the next few months. If I look at those initial claims which we discuss on a weekly basis, we've seen two weeks of increases.

[03:25:01]

Fifteen weeks we saw a declining, and that was giving some optimism that we're heading back on a better path, but unfortunately now, again, it's raising concerns about the health and stability of a possible U.S. recovery.

You also got to keep in mind, this is directly correlated to coronavirus cases increasing across many states in the U.S. And getting those under control are going to be very pivotal.

If I look at what's happening, for example, in Japan, and I was looking at the stock markets in Asia this morning, the Nikkei coming under significant pressure. That economy, again, grappling with a new rise in coronavirus cases, and again, with its integration, the ability of markets to go back on track.

France came out with GDP numbers really depressing, 14 percent drop in GDP for the second quarter. We're expecting eurozone numbers out later today as well. These are going to be pivotal in terms of what's to come.

ALLEN: We will wait and see.

Thank you so much, Eleni Giokos for us in Johannesburg.

Well, with stirring words and moving moments, America has bid farewell to Congressman John Lewis. Three former presidents were among those remembering the late civil rights champion at his funeral Thursday, having a week of tributes honoring his remarkable life. Here they are.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(MUSIC PLAYING)

RAPHAEL WARNOCK, SENIOR PASTOR, EBENEZER BAPTIST CHURCH: He loved America until America learned how to love him back.

GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: In the America John Lewis fought for, and the America I believe in, differences of opinion are inevitable elements and evidence of democracy in action.

(APPLAUSE)

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We've got our last letter today in the pages of the New York Times. Keep moving. It is so fitting on the day of his service. He leaves us our marching orders. Keep moving. REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), UNITED STATES SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: There's

a double rainbow over the casket. And for us, it was we waved goodbye when he started to leave us. He was telling us, he was telling us, I'm home in heaven.

JAMES LAWSON, JR., ACTIVIST & TEACHER IN NONVIOLENT ACTION: At an early age, we recognized the wrong under which we were forced to live and we swore to God that by God's grace we would do whatever God called us to do in order to put on a table of the nation's agenda. This must end. Black lives matter.

(APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: America was built by John Lewis's.

(APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: Some day when we do finish that long journey towards freedom, when we do form a more perfect union. Whether it's years for now, or decades or even if it takes another two centuries, John Lewis will be a founding father of that fuller, fairer, better America. What a gift John Lewis was. We are also lucky to have had him walk with us for a while, and show us the way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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[03:30:00]

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: If you are in Western Europe, staying cool today is going to be quite a challenge. France, Spain, and the Southern U.K. are bracing for the hottest day of the year so far. Officials hope to avoid the repeat of a recent scenes like this, packed beaches and crowded streets with no social distancing. The forecast predicts temperatures 10 to 15 degrees above normal.

Let's get straight to Europe now. CNN's Nic Robinson is live with us in London at a park there. Barbie Nadeau joins us from Rome, and CNN meteorologist, Derek Van Dam, has the forecast for us in a moment.

But first, let's begin with you Nic. Looking nice there in your jacket, but maybe not a day for a sport coat for most people.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, I think it may be coming off a bit later, Natalie, once we get out of the shade. Ninety-three Fahrenheit expected here today, 34. Now, for those of you who live in slightly warmer climates, that may not sound like too much, but that is an absolutely scorching day here in London, 39 Centigrade, 102 Fahrenheit, expected in Paris and Spain today.

And you can expect crowds to be turning out in this park here. This is a beautiful location, a lovely spot. I am very familiar with it. I was coming pass here late last night, there were large groups of people sitting out here. And it's a real concern for authorities right now whether or not people choose to social distance. In the U.K., the country and much of the rest of Europe is at a

critical moment, sitting on what appears to be a rising second wave. A number of British towns in the north of the country went on to additional lockdown measures last night. Households told not to mix because of the rising rate of coronavirus.

But in this park here, later today, I can guarantee you, this is a pond here for people to come fishing. They pay a fee to fish here at the pond. And there's some great fish to catch there. But by the end of today, you can guarantee there will be people swimming out in that water. It's not much more than waist deep, but they will be in there. And that is despite the fact there are a couple of bathing pawns, one for women further up, one for men further down. This will be a very, very popular spot later today.

It is warm, and this warm spell isn't going to last long. And that will mean a lot of people and that will mean they will be here, and you can see the wine cork sitting on the ground right now. They will be having a good time. And the concern, as I say, social distancing. Will people observe it? And that is a paramount importance for this government and on these other cities I have mentioned as well as the rest of Europe.

ALLEN: Yes. Absolutely. Well, it is a stunning backdrop where you are. I will say that. You can understand why people will be headed out. Thanks so much Nic, we appreciate it.

Now, let's go to the Italian capital were Barbie Nadeau is standing by for us. How is it feeling there, Barbie?

BARBIE LATZA NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it is very hot already very early in the morning and that concerns authorities here to because they worried people will try to see cooler spaces like shopping malls where the air conditioning will cool them off and swimming pools and things like that.

You know, we haven't seen this spike in COVID cases like some of the other places in Europe. And that's because we have been able to continue to social distance here, use face masks, and things like that. But hot days like today, really, really concerned authorities. So, they might have to try to keep people apart in cooler places, Natalie.

ALLEN: All right. We will wait and see. Hope for social distancing there as well. Let's go now to CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam to explain where this hot weather is coming from, and when Europe might get a break. Hello, Derek.

DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Hey, Natalie. Yes. Nice to see you. And you know, unfortunately, we have this pandemic coming together with a heat wave over the western portions of Europe. And that can only be a recipe for disaster because they're just simply nowhere for people to congregate to cool off, considering they have to social distance.

[03:35:03] But you factor in the excessive heat, but you also have dry conditions

as well. And it doesn't much to spark wildfires and that is what's been taking place across northwestern sections of Spain. This is through the San Cristobal (ph) region in northwestern Spain, across the Iberian Peninsula.

Look at this just dramatic photo of the firefighter behind me, actually trying to contain some of the blazes. This is coming off of some of the hottest weather of the season so far for Madrid. Some forecasts calling for 40 degrees today, others calling for 39. Just one solid constant theme here is that it's going to be extremely hot. In fact, we're talking 10 to 15 degrees Celsius above where it should be this time of year.

Just a couple of cities to point out. Paris, your average high is 24 today. You will well exceed that, 39 for your expected high temperature. There is Madrid. Look at London, you are getting in some of the warms as well, 34 for the afternoon. Your temperature should be in the lower 20s today.

Also, temperatures not really cooling off much overnight, so making it that much more challenging for your body to acclimatize to the excessive heat that has formed over Western Europe.

But there is some silver lining here, Natalie. Things are going to change. We do have a cold front that is going to creep in from the U.K. through the next 24 hours and help bring a bit of relief. But we have to be patient, because we have one more day of excessive heat from London, into Paris, as well as Madrid. But then we will start to see those temperatures start to nudge in the right direction.

We replaced the reds and oranges with a bit of green and yellow. That is a welcome sight. And we start to see the cooler weather that we will see in our 7-day forecast for Paris. Look at that, 39 today, but again, 30 degrees by Saturday, ending the weekend of in a middle 20s. So that will feel like a picture perfect part of the weekend considering what they are feeling today. Back to you.

ALLEN: All right. You know, we talked about social distancing. If it was so hot, this is going to be -- I would keep apart from anybody just to keep my cool, you know. So we will keep looking at --

VAN DAM: Don't touch me, I'm sweaty.

ALLEN: Yes, don't stick to me. You might get this. Thanks, Derek.

VAN DAM: All right.

ALLEN: Coming next here, a criminal investigation is now open against FIFA's president. We'll talk about that in a live report. Also, we are looking into allegations against China of horrifying human rights abuses. We hear from Uyghur women who say they are among the victims.

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ALLEN: A Swiss special prosecutor says he has launched a criminal investigation of FIFA president, Gianni Infantino. This is in relation to alleged secret meetings. The head of world footballs governing body held with the Swiss Attorney General, Michael Lauber. Both have denied wrongdoing.

But let's get more on it now with CNN's Amanda Davies from World Sport. She joins us now on London. And good morning to you Amanda, what do we know about these meetings? What happened?

[03:40:00]

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN WORLD SPORTS: Yes. Good morning, Natalie. Gianni Infantino, as you said, is the head of the most powerful organization in football -- well, football's governing body, FIFA. He's been in charge since 2016. He is a lawyer and he has been the man who has been tasked with reforming this organization of repairing its reputation, which has been in tatters, since that scandal which engulfed it.

It started back in 2015. If you remember, those dramatic dawn raids at the Baur au Lac hotel in Zurich in Switzerland. It was the scandal that led to the downfall of Infantino's predecessor, the former FIFA president, Sepp Blatter, and so many of world footballs leading most powerful figures, the majority of the FIFA executive committee, all brought into a bribery and corruption scandal, which really centered around that process for the bidding process, the voting process around the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

So there is no doubt that this latest development caused a real shadow over an organization which has been trying so hard in recent years to present a new face of FIFA.

And what we do know is that an extraordinary prosecutor has been appointed in Switzerland to look into criminal complaints, surrounding meetings. Three meetings, we understand, alleged to have taken place in 2016 and 2017 between Infantino, as you've said, and the Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber over the status of the Swiss investigation into the FIFA corruption case.

What we found last week, it was ruled that Lauber had covered up these meetings. He had lied to his supervisors. He denies any wrongdoing in that regard. But on Thursday, it was announced that the prosecutor, Stefan Culler, has found quote, "indications of criminal conduct related to the undisclosed meetings."

In a statement issued on Thursday through FIFA, Infantino said, he would cooperate fully with the investigation, and that as presidents of FIFA, it has been my aim from day one. It remains my aim to assist the authorities with investigating past wrongdoings at FIFA.

Now, since Infantino came into office, there has been a real effort. There's no doubt, reforms have been put in place. You know, a new face to an organization, it's actually being criticized in recent months. It's lower profile in terms of not being stronger perhaps in leading the way and how football has dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic.

But from the people I have been speaking to within FIFA, they have been keen to stress this is just an investigation. No charges have been filed as things stand.

But what it really highlights, Natalie, is that we may be five years on from the corruption scandal that engulfed FIFA, a football world governing body. But there's no doubt, the shadow, the suspicion, the doubts that that brought up are still very much there. You just have to see the focus on these latest developments on Infantino.

ALLEN: It is just so unfortunate and perplexing, it goes on and on. All right, we know you will stay on it. Amanda Davies in London for us. Thanks for explaining it to us.

China has long been accused of human rights violations against the Uyghur population. The Uyghurs are in mostly Muslim ethnic minority in northwestern China. Survivors and activists say Beijing has been targeting Uyghur women in a campaign of horrific abuse.

Senior international correspondent Ivan Watson has our report.

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IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Living in exile, thousands of miles from their homeland, ethnic Uyghurs protest near the Chinese consulate in the city of Istanbul, a demonstration filled the month before the coronavirus pandemic.

Among the speakers, Gulbahar Jelilova, who talks about a war against Uyghurs women in China's Xinjiang region. This was Gulbahar before her ordeal. She is an ethnic Uyghur from Kazakhstan who was on a business trip to Xinjiang when on May 22, 2017, she says, Chinese police came to her hotel and later dragged her to a crowded cell.

GULBAHAR JELILOVA, SPEAKER FOR UYGHURS WOMEN IN CHINA (through screen text): They shove me in. It was already midnight. I entered, there were 20 girls standing there.

[03:45:13]

WATSON: Gulbahar says guards shaved her head, put chains around her ankle, and periodically took her away for interrogation, where they tortured her to sign a confession.

In one of those sessions, she says she was sexually assaulted.

JELILOVA (through screen text): The officer was young, maybe around 30 years old. He said, sign the document. I said, why? I didn't do anything. I'm not going to confess. I don't understand what you wrote here, and he took his pants off and put himself in my mouth.

WATSON: Gulbahar says guards forced the inmates to take daily drugs and get weekly injections. She says her menstrual cycle and those of her fellow inmates completely stopped, an account that matches the testimonies of other female camp survivors that CNN has interviewed.

Strict Chinese censorship makes it nearly impossible to confirm testimonies like these, describing the mass detention of hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang. This rare leaked footage from Xinjiang shows line of men, heads

shaved, blindfolded with their hands tied. CNN cannot verify this footage. But in October, China said the transportation of inmates is part of normal judicial activities.

Beijing says that it created a system of what it calls vocational training centers, aimed at eradicating extremism through reeducation. The Chinese government denies subjecting detainees to any abuse. But official health statistics, published annually by the Chinese government, revealed damning new evidence to academic Adrian Zenz.

He found over a decade, when sterilization operations drop substantially on a national scale, the procedures performed on women surge in Xinjiang. The same goes for placements of IUD, inter uterine birth control devices, in women.

ADRIAN ZENZ, UYGHUR SCHOLAR: Maybe we should call a demographic genocide. Because it specifically fulfills one of the five criteria's of the United Nations convention for the prevention of genocide which is the suppression of birth.

WATSON: Zumrat Dawut is a Chinese Uyghur who said she was forcibly sterilized by the government. In October 2018, she says she was summoned to a government office and fined 18,400 Won, the equivalent of around $2,600, for having one child too many.

ZUMRAT DAWUT, CHINESE UYGH (through screen text): They said there is an order from above that says you must have a birth control procedure done. We went to the surgery. They put me in bed and hooked me into an IV bag and then I passed out.

WATSON: A doctor later told Zumrat the sterilization was permanent. China's ambassador to the U.S. denies allegations of forced population control.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know how absurd all these fabrications can go.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But that means you deny it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course.

WATSON: The Chinese government has not responded to requests for comment from CNN. For Gulbahar Jelilova, her 15 month nightmare ended when police suddenly set her free and left her with this letter, saying she was detained for suspicion of terrorist activities.

In a video, made months after her release, Gulbahar explains, she is still suffering from skin rashes and sores. She shows me her handwritten list of the names of more than 60 other women and girls she met in detention. She says she is traumatized by the memory of the sound of the screams of these women she left behind.

JELILOVA (through screen text): I want to help from the world to close the camps, so that people can live.

WATSON: Ivan Watson, CNN.

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[03:50:00]

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ALLEN: Indonesia is home to roughly 270 million people. According to the ocean conservancy, it is also the world's second largest contributor of plastic trash to the ocean.

CNN Cyril Vanier reports one entrepreneur is turning to seaweed to help fight the pollution crisis.

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CYRIL VANIER, CNN SHOW HOST: With over 17,000 islands in Indonesia, the ocean is a source of life and livelihood. Here, sea grass beds and coral reefs team with plants and animals. But it is not just wildlife lurking below.

According to 2015 study in the Journal of Science, Indonesia produces 3.2 million tons of plastic waste a year, half of which ends up in the ocean. One Indonesian has turned to these very shores for a solution.

DAVID CHRISTIAN, FOUNDER, CEO EVO AND CO.: Indonesia is the second largest plastic contributors in the oceans. As the country surrounded by oceans, we really can see the difference before us.

VANIER: To develop alternatives to the plastic he saw clogging Indonesia's waters, the 27-year-old entrepreneur began working with scientists, Nori Mulyano (ph), back in 2016 to develop products using locally abundant seaweed.

CHRISTIAN: This is the raw dried seaweed, we use it to make the seaweed spaghetti.

VANIER: From sachets to jelly like cups, they are biodegradable and edible, which means you can eat the burger and its wrapper.

CHRISTIAN: I see that seaweeds has a great potential to replace some of this plastics and create awareness about the danger of plastics in a fun and different way.

VANIER: Some experts say seaweed helps the environment in other ways.

SUDARI PAWIRO, CHIEF TECHNICAL ADVISOR, GLOBAL QUALITY AND STANDARDS PROGRAM: Seaweed is the most plan friendly way of producing bio plastics because it has the lowest carbon footprint of any bio plastic production.

VANIER: Christian says, Evo and Co. has made 100,000 seaweed products, well above the price of conventional plastic, there is a way to go before they can compete. But for Christian, building a business sustainably starts by supporting the seaweed producers.

CHRISTIAN: We can increase the livelihood of the seaweed farmers that can be even more impacts that we can give back replacing a single use plastics.

VANIER: Indonesia's pledge to cut plastic pollution in the ocean 70 percent by 2025 may well shore up the seaweed bio plastic business in coming years, protecting life above and beneath the water surface.

Cyril Vanier, CNN.

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ALLEN: What a great idea. And of course, it can't come soon enough, can it? With our plastic pollution problem around the world.

All right. Let's turn to sports now. The NBA returns to action on Thursday, after suspending it season for 20 weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic. Players from the Utah Jazz and the New Orleans Pelicans knelt during the national anthem in support of social and racial justice.

And if irony would have it, the first basket of the restarted season was scored by Rudy Gobert, whose positive coronavirus test triggered the NBA shut down in March.

Let's talk about it with CNN's Andy Scholes, joining me now live. Mr. Gobert, they're saying he's back and in business. We hope this goes better as far as the NBA than it has for Major League Baseball. Andy?

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and you know, Natalie, all things considered, so far, it is going very well for the NBA. In that bubble there in Orlando. It's so good to have basketball back. It's been 141 days when the league had to shut down, and of course, things are very different now because of the global pandemic.

You've got 22 teams competing for the championship there at the Disney World Complex in Orlando, playing inside that bubble. The teams there are going to go far in the playoffs is going to be there for quite a long time.

[03:55:04]

And a big part of this NBA restart was fighting for social justice. And we saw that from the very beginning with these players, unified in their fight for social justice. Members of all four teams playing Thursday night, as well as the coaches and referees, kneeling together during the national anthem to protest systemic racism.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver released a statement saying, I respect our team's unified act of peaceful protests for social justice and under these unique circumstances will not enforce our long-standing rule requiring standing during the playing of our national anthem. Lakers superstar, LeBron James, says he hopes to keep the focus on the black lives matter movement.

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LEBRON JAMES, CLEVELAND CAVALIERS: In the past, when we've seen progress, we let our foot off the gas a little bit. We can't do that. You know, we want to continue to keep our foot on the gas, continue to push forward. You know, continue to spread love throughout America.

We're dealing with a lot of racism, a lot of social injustice, police brutality, not only in my neighborhood, not only where black people but with people of color and it is something that we want to continue to have peoples ears open, so --

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SCHOLES: Now these games in Orlando have a much different look. There's no fans in the stands, but they do have virtual fans tuning in from their homes, that are then put on the giant video board right behind the court, which is really cool.

The players and coaches, they sit in this new socially distant bench areas, the scores table in the middle of the court, it's all surrounded by Plexiglas. And there is no cameras allowed on the floor, but they do have a robotic camera. It gets you a pretty really cool view of all of the action.

Now, the Lakers and Clippers, the big game of the night ending up going right down to the wire. Lebron following his own miss on this one puts it back with under 13 seconds to go, gave the Lakers the lead.

On the other end of the floor there, LeBron shut down the Clippers two stars, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, to denied the Clippers from scoring as time expired, Laker won that game in a thriller 103, 101.

In the meantime, the game before, Jazz center, Rudy Gobert, who's positive tests triggered the league shut down and really all of the sports shutdown back in March, scored the first basket of the restart, and he also scored the final four points to help the Jazz get the win, Natalie. And he said, after the game, well, you know what, life works in mysterious ways.

ALLEN: Absolutely. You know, everyone hopes that this goes well and they are in that bubble, thank goodness for the bubble. Andy Scholes, thanks so much, we appreciate you.

Thanks for watching, I'm Natalie Allen. I invite you to follow me on Twitter or Instagram and stay with us. Another hour of news just ahead with my colleague Kim Brunhuber.

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