Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Newsroom

Coronavirus Pandemic; Raising The Debt Ceiling; English Premier League; Violence Against Women; Ghana's LGBTQ Community in Fear Over Draft Anti-Gay Law; Ethiopian Airlines Again Denies Its Planes Shuttled Weapons; Nobel Committee Set to Announce 2021 Peace Prize; Former Concentration Camp Guard Facing Charges in Germany; Amazon Rainforest at Severe Risk from Deforestation, Fires; Updating the Bond Girl. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired October 08, 2021 - 01:00   ET



JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Wherever you are around the world, you're watching CNN Newsroom. Hello, I'm John Vause. Coming up this hour, within weeks a child's COVID vaccine could be available for millions of children, with Pfizer now officially seeking emergency use authorization from us regulators.

For Saudi Arabia was an appalling human rights record $400 million, who will get them not just the legendary Football Club, Newcastle United, but maybe an image makeover as well.

And a CNN exclusive it could soon be illegal to be gay in Ghana, a draft law forces the guilty to choose between jail time or that controversial conversion therapy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Live from CNN Center, this is CNN Newsroom with John Vause.

VAUSE: We will begin this hour though with developing news from Hong Kong a large section of scaffolding from a domestic high rise has collapsed. These two construction workers are trapped under the debris with rescue efforts underway to try and free them.

Local media reports two drivers were also pinned under the twisted structure, but they've been pulled free, one taken to hospital with minor injuries

A Cyclone warning was issued earlier in the day and the scaffolding came crashing down as the city was being buffeted by strong gusty winds, as well as heavy rains.

The World Health Organization has set a new goal of vaccinating 70 percent of the global population by the middle of next year. The UN Secretary General police global supplies are sufficient to reach that target access to those supplies though, could be a major problem.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ANTONIO GUTERRES, UN. SECRETARY-GENERAL: Vaccine inequality is the best ally of the COVID-19 pandemic. It's allowing variants to develop and run wild condemning the world to millions more deaths, and prolonging an economic slowdown that would cost trillions of dollars.


VAUSE: Meantime, Pfizer has now formally applied to U.S. regulators for emergency authorization for its COVID vaccine for young children. If all goes to plan, this shot could be available for kids aged five to 11 within weeks, significantly boosting vaccination rates in the U.S. and with the makers of COVID -- of a COVID pills soon to seek approval as well an end to the pandemic stage of the Coronavirus might just be inside.


DR. SCOTT GOTTLIEB, FMR. FDA COMMISSIONER: We're going to have hopefully a vaccine available for children.


GOTTLIEB: And at some point before the end of the year, we probably will have the orally available drug from Merck of things go well, and that undergoes a stable were real and I think those two things are going to be sort of the bookend on the sort of pandemic phase of this virus. And we're going to be entering the more endemic phase when this becomes an omnipresent risk but doesn't represent the extreme risks that it represents right now.


VAUSE: COVID vaccine for children being loaded will bring a lot of questions from their parents. CNN Chief Medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta has tells us how the approval process will work.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this means that Pfizer clearly feels good about the data that they've collected on children now ages five to 11, good enough to submit this for emergency use authorization. We've seen that do this obviously throughout the pandemic, with the vaccine that was authorized for adults and now approved.

As you can see there on the screen for people 16 and older, the vaccine is still under emergency use authorization for those 12 to 15. And this would now expand that EUA to five to 11 year olds as well. So that's what we're talking about here. And that's what Pfizer is going to try and do.

Now remember, for the Emergency Use Authorization, what they're trying to figure out is do the benefits outweigh the risks? That's the basic question they're trying to answer. They're going to review the data over the next few weeks, October 26. We know that there's a meeting scheduled of this Advisory Committee, they will make a decision and then recommend to the FDA whether or not this vaccine should be authorized for children ages five to 11. The FDA then decides if they want to do that or not. And then it goes to the CDC, which makes the official recommendation.

So again, October 26, that next process to the official recommendation could take a few days. So potentially by Halloween, as I've said before, you could potentially have this vaccine authorized for people that young. Now keep in mind, it does take some time for people then to be able to get the shots. Young people probably be getting in from pharmacies or from their pediatricians offices. You get one shot, and then you wait three weeks, you get another shot. And then it's two weeks after that really before you're considered fully vaccinated. So that is something else to keep in mind. Even though the authorization happens it doesn't mean everyone is going to be automatically fully vaccinated. That takes time.

Also, you know, it depends what parents do. And you get about a third of parents who say they will go out and get this vaccine right away. For children, about 25 percent say they won't do it really no matter what. But those numbers may change after the FDA sort of affirms the authorization if that happens. So we'll see how that sort of shakes out.


But keep in mind we're talking about 9 percent of the population here. And it is true. I want to just be clear, it's true that children are less likely to get sick. And I'm sure that's part of the balance that parents are thinking about. But they also are reminded that kids can get sick. And sometimes they can develop these long lasting symptoms even. This is a strange virus. We don't know why it causes those long lasting symptoms.

And also, again, the more people that get immunity, including through vaccination of younger populations, the quicker we're likely to be looking at this thing in the rearview mirror. So I think a lot of pediatricians will be reminding parents, you do this for the health of your child. But you do this for the collective of society as well. We'll get more details as those details come to us, and we'll certainly bring them to you.


VAUSE: In the coming days, another 47 countries and territories will be removed from the UK, so called Red List of restricted travel destinations, which includes Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, and South Africa. And it means fully vaccinated travelers arriving from those countries will no longer be required to state hotel quarantine.

That restriction now only applies to the seven countries which remain on the Red List. That includes Colombia, the Dominican Republic, as well as Peru.

And we now have an official definition from the WHO for what's known as long COVID, it means health providers have a place to start when diagnosing patients and deciding on the appropriate treatment. Diana Berrent, a COVID-19 survivor and founder of the support group, Survivor Corps. So Diana, thank you for being with us.

DIANA BERRENT, FOUNDER, SURVIVOR CORPS: Thank you so much for having me on. This is such an important topic.

VAUSE: It really is. And one thing which is important is that we now have word from the WHO, for what actually long COVID is, and they say it usually occurs three months from the onset of COVID-19 with symptoms that for at least last at least two months, and which cannot be explained by an alternative diagnosis. Common symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, cognitive dysfunction, and others that impact everyday functioning.

You know, that's a very broad definition, I guess, in many ways, because COVID tends to affect different people in different ways. There's no one size fits all. So it does that definition of long COVID. Does that sit well with you from your experience? And what about others you know? Would they agree that this is what they went through?

BERRENT: I take objection to anything that starts with fatigue and anxiety, because those are sort of traditional medical gaslighting terms for diseases that have no explanation. We know exactly what the explanation of this is. It is the COVID virus which wreaks havoc in the human body.

Look, we originally thought of this as a respiratory disease quickly understood that it was a vascular, an inflammatory disease, I believe we will look back on it largely as a neurological disease. And when you hear about symptoms, we're not talking about a post viral fatigue. We are talking about COVID onset diabetes, verifiable brain damage. We are talking about COVID onset lupus. We are talking about Parkinsonian, tremors and feelings of inner vibrations that are literally causing people to have suicide ideation and take their lives.

I think that calling it fatigue and anxiety can really, you know, make people not take it as seriously as it truly is. You know, a mild case an asymptomatic case of COVID can end up with hair loss, tooth loss, erectile dysfunction, you name it, ocular loss, vision loss, hearing loss. There is not a single part of the body that does not rely on blood flow, and every single one of them stands to be damaged by the long term sequela of this virus, even an asymptomatic or mild, mild case.

VAUSE: And that's the thing, this virus does take a huge toll in many cases, just from a physiological point of view. But one symptom which keeps going back for long haul patients and this is within the group that you have is that they go back to work with some kind of personality change. So what are the implications here if you mentioned this, if the Coronavirus and long COVID is considered neurological rather than a respiratory disease?

BERRENT: Absolutely. You know, and I think that it means that it is the reason why we need to take real world evidence and take a patient's voices and bring it to the scientific community instead of looking at the symptoms that are most often reported like fatigue. Let's look at the ones that are causing the most human suffering, the most human grief. What are the symptoms that are keeping people from going back to work. We found that drastic personality change was among them. Another one is that it has this record desiccant symptomology. So it's relapsing and recurring. It can come in phases.


So how do you go back to work? Tell your boss, you're fine. And then three days later have a complete relapse. How does one go back to work in that circumstance? How do you take care of your family? The repercussions of this are manifold.

VAUSE: And researchers at Oxford University, they found that a third or COVID patients in one study had suffered from long term symptom, their group number 270,000. There's almost 1,000 times more confirmed cases than that worldwide. So that's about 80 million people. My math is terrible. But, you know, that's kind of where it came out to me, who would be waiting a very long time for this definition, and a lot of people who are impacted by this in a major way, and it seems there is not the emphasis which is being placed on this long term problem that you'd expect.

BERRENT: Absolutely, this is the shadow pandemic. And we have been screaming from the rooftops for 16 months about this. And finally, the world is catching up because the numbers can't be disputed. Statisticians have estimated that between 140 and 150 million Americans alone have been infected with COVID. And that's children too. Children are also suffering from long COVID. Let's not forget.

And if you just do the math, imagine if 50 million Americans in over the course of 18 months were stricken by a novel form of cancer, we would be throwing money at it like nobody's business or be research going. But that research is right now at a standstill because the government is not feeling the urgency.

VAUSE: Diana, thank you very much for being with us and bringing some light to this issue. We appreciate it.

BERRENT: Thank you so much.

VAUSE: In the game of chicken over raising the U.S. debt ceiling, it seems Republicans blinked offering Democrats a short term deal which we'll see the government funded for the next two months. Raising the nation's debt ceiling by $480 billion avoids a potential default by the U.S., which would likely trigger the mother of all financial meltdowns.

The lower House will now vote on this extension. The stopgap measure though will bring the U.S. debt limit to $28.88 trillion, let's just rounded up to 29. That's the amount the government can borrow to pay bills which it already owes. That has nothing to do with all the future bills it plans on racking up.

We have more now on the set of compromise and the major challenges which lie ahead from CNN's Ryan Nobles.


RYAN NOBLES, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): It wasn't easy, but the United States Senate has passed a bill that is going to lift the debt ceiling temporarily through the first week of December and averting an economic catastrophe that could have happened if the debt ceiling wasn't lifted as soon as next week.

Republicans and Democrats hashing out a deal that would basically just kick this problem down the road a couple of weeks, but avoiding that problem in the middle of October, but it still didn't come easy. Republican Leader Mitch McConnell working out a deal with Chuck Schumer that they had hoped would mean they could bring that bill to the floor without any Republican opposition and then just democrats could vote yes, Republicans vote no, but the Senate is a fickle place and Republican Senator Ted Cruz and a few others said know that they're we're still going to try and block the legislation. And when you put that filibuster in place that requires 60 votes total in order for there to even be an up and down vote.

Now McConnell did try and convince his colleagues to get those 10 votes necessary to get it to the floor. He was successful. But there were a few anxious moments as the vote went down. Ultimately, there were the 10 votes to get there. For the most part, it was Republican leaders, moderates, and a group of Republican senators who are not seeking reelection, that were not afraid to cast that vote to allow the bill to come to the floor.

After that the simple up or down vote came through. And it passed along partisan lines. Now the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent a letter to her colleagues earlier today, informing them that they should be prepared to come back early from their the recess that they're currently on, in order for the House to pass this same piece of legislation. The President Joe Biden has said that he'll sign it into law.

So the crisis for now will be averted. But again, to make clear, this has not solved any problems. The same impasse that we were dealing with here on Capitol Hill, before we got to this point still exists, it's just now going to exist the first week in December before we get in to the Christmas holiday. And it's also important to point out that it comes at the same time that there'll be another issue with a government spending, a government shutdown could loom once again and there's still that continued debate over the President's a domestic spending plan and agenda. Democrats still haggling on all those issues. So crisis averted, at least at one stage, but a lot more work to go Ryan Nobles, CNN, on Capitol Hill.


VAUSE: Well, Newcastle United is celebrating its new status of being the richest club in the Premier League awash in money after reported $400 million takeover by a consortium which includes the Saudi sovereign wealth fund, known as PIF. But PIF and those petrodollars are not without controversy. Patrick Snell from World Sport joins me now with the very latest on the controversy. So, you know, some typical days ahead, it seems.

PATRICK SNELL, CNN WORLD SPORT: Yes, I mean, controversy, you said it John. Controversy bounces. No question about that. I look. This Friday, I think it's fair to say the world of football and indeed beyond we're just all continuing to take stock and assess the situation that controversial Saudi Arabian backed, reportedly $400 million taker. What are the biggest historical names I'll point out John in English football, Newcastle United, but a team right now currently second from bottom in the Premier League. It really has been a long running on off saga during which time we have indeed seen Saudi Arabia's human rights record coming under scrutiny.

I want to get to a statement from the English Premier League that we got on Thursday, the statement reading in part that the Premier League has now received legally binding assurances that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will not control Newcastle United Football Club. Those words are significant. They are very much the key to all this.

But how's it all going to work? Well, a three party consortium in play here, as you said, including the Saudi Arabian public investment fund, a total estimated asset value in the range of $450 billion. The consortium also including venture capital and private equity company, PCP Capital Partners, and RB sports and media.

Now the Premier League making it clear, it's the public investment fund rather than the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that's behind the takeover and that the owners and directors test is an objective test which is regularly reviewed.

But now, listen, the fund's governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan reacting in this way, we are extremely proud to become the new owners of Newcastle United, one of the most famous clubs in English football. We found the Newcastle fans for their tremendously loyal support over the years, and we are excited to work with them together.

Now, Newcastle's fans, what about them? Well, they're gathering outside the club St. James's Park ground on Thursday. The deal? Without question instantly making Newcastle one of the richest clubs in world football, if not the richest magpies fans can now likely expect to see the club flexing the financial muscles in a big way.

Here's the big picture, we've come up with these powerful visual graphics that really do tell their own stories. We said earlier, the consortium has estimated assets around the $450 billion mark. Compare that if you will, with Mann City's Abu Dhabi owners, and Paris Saint- Germain, Qatari based owners, you're actually outside the top five that were showing there. And those digits really do tell their own story. It's one we're watching very closely, indeed right through this day Friday. And of course beyond. Back to you, John.

VAUSE: Yes, I guess you did a lot, a lot of that money here. They now have incredibly wealthy that rolling in it if you like. Patrick, thank you. Thank you very much. Minky Worden is Director of Global initiatives for Human Rights Watch. She is with us this hour from New York. Minky, it's good to see you. It's been a while.

MINKY WORDEN, GLOBAL INITIATIVES DIRECTOR, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: Yes, well, if there's a human rights abuser involved with major sporting events, we'll be talking.

VAUSE: Well, with this one right now. The Premier League, approving the sale of Newcastle to a Saudi owned Investment Fund, which is the fund whose planes were used to transport a death squad to Turkey to kill journalist Jamal Khashoggi on orders of the Saudi Crown Prince. Hey, and that's cool. They're good with that. Sell can go through.

A year ago, when the Saudis were illegally broadcasting Premier League Soccer and not paying television rights, can't have any of that deal nor approved. Broadcasting rights in revenue that's untouchable. But when it comes to a brutal assassination of an innocent man, they good with that. I mean this is incredible when you think that put those two issues together?

WORDEN: Well, it's not just an innocent man. It's actually an innocent journalist. You know, Jamal Khashoggi was a Washington Post journalist. And I think it's incredibly ironic and a little bit horrifying that this deal has gone through really right at the three- year anniversary of his dismemberment in the Saudi embassy in Istanbul.

So it's quite unprecedented this timing. And it really makes the beautiful game of football. It really raises the question of whether these human rights abusers owning Premier League teams are going to tarnish the beautiful game.

VAUSE: Well, the league says it has all these assurances direct assurances from this investment fund. There'll be no attempt to interfere how the club is managed. Even if that is true. Who cares? The Saudis don't want to run Newcastle Football Club, right? They want to be associated with it.

WORDEN: Well, I would remind your viewers that actually the journalist Jamal Khashoggi had assurances that he would be safe when he went into that embassy and he didn't emerge alive.


And the bigger picture of human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia, I think we have to talk about that as well. The unjust jailing of women's rights activist, on detentions torture. You know, Saudi Arabia has a very serious human rights crisis that it's trying to sports wash away by owning a major team.

VAUSE: Yes, the issue though, one of the issues is it takes much of the focus of the reporting so far, and much of the sort of reaction from the fans has been on this financial windfall for the club. Here are a few headlines. Party mood builds a New Castle his fans hope for a brighter future. Newcastle United becomes richest club in Premier League after Saudi-backed takeover. Newcastle fans dreaming of early Christmas presents. Well, this live to be one of those days at the club. And the fans actually live to regret.

WORDEN: You know, I think I really believe that football fans don't want to sit in stadiums that workers died to build. They don't want to have their beloved teams associated with cold blooded murderers and women's rights abusers. I actually think that in the long term, this will be a real wake up call. For the FA it'll be a wake-up call for the Premier League.

And I would remind you that actually, FIFA itself has a human rights policy and put in place human rights bidding requirements for its events. So what has to happen now is there needs to be a human rights policy within the Premier League. Teams need to adopt it. And I think it's time for athletes and fans who don't want their sport tarnished by these abuses to start speaking out.

VAUSE: OK, well, those sweet, sweet petrodollars will soon be rolling in The Guardian reports, new training ground and enhanced Academy are expected to be among the early priorities, and hundreds of millions of pounds is in line to be invested in wider community and regional regeneration projects in the north-east.

Could the argument be made? Yes, the Saudis are serial human rights abuses, yes, if they didn't have oil, we call them ISIS, but at least some direct good will come to the local area, through this sort of investment. So shoot me down.

WORDEN: You know, I think investment in local -- the local community is an important thing. But the overarching problem here is that Saudi Arabia is using this team, this community to actually clean up it's a horrific human rights record. It's not a strategy that's going to work. It doesn't fool anyone. And I think the even the local community will have reason to question whether this is the best thing to be associated with a government that is so known for serious human rights abuses.

VAUSE: Very quickly, is it like selling your soul for a few million pounds?

WORDEN: You know, I think, you know, there are lots of ways to improve your football club's performance other than partnering with the government that is recently dismembered a journalist and an international in an embassy. So I think obviously, the Saudi government is -- has plans for the team. But it really raises the question of whether Saudi Arabia. And I have to say other Gulf countries that are repressive have expressed a lot of interest in teams. Is this the direction that football wants to go? Will it still be the beautiful game with ugly human rights abusers tarnishing its image?

VAUSE: Minky, Thank you. Minky Worden there from Human Rights Watch. Thank you.

Coming up here on CNN Newsroom, demands for police accountability and greater protection for women growing louder in the UK after a killer cop used his authority to lure his victim who he then raped and murdered.

And later, and the winner is this year's Nobel Peace Prize winner will be announced in just a few hours. We'll tell you who the front runners are.



VAUSE: The U.S. and Mexico will talk border security in the next few hours. Both countries are trying to end the migrant crisis on their border. They're also dealing with human trafficking, drug smuggling, as well as organized crime.

The UK government has answered calls for more reformatted the police force after a woman was brutally murdered, raped and murdered with a new inquiry. Women (INAUDIBLE) calling for measures to stamp out acts of police abuse when it comes to violence against women. CNN's Nada Bashir has our report.


NADA BASHIR, CNN PRODUCER (voice-over): Enough is enough. 16 silhouettes for the 16 women researchers say have been killed by a serving or former police officer since 2009. It's a troubling statistic gathered by an organization which tracks femicide in the UK and brought into the spotlight following the murder of Sarah Everard. Killed by former police Officer Wayne Couzens, who used his authority as a serving policeman to falsely arrest abduct, and raped her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I absolutely know that there are those who feel that trusted us is shaken.

BASHIR: It's this erosion of trust that officials in the UK are now trying to tackle, increasing police presence in busy public spaces and advising women to ask key questions if they are approached by a loan officer.

JANE CONNORS, METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPUTY ASSISANT COMMISSIONER: If somebody doesn't feel safe, and they're not comfortable in the environment, and they're dealing with a police officer, then ask them some questions. Where are you from, why have you stopped me, where are your colleagues, and that way they can start to feel safe.

BASHIR: But for the many still shaken by Sarah's murder, these measures do little to restore public confidence in the police.

ANNA BIRLEY, CO-FOUNDER, RECLAIM THESE STREETS: Yet again, it puts the onus the safety on women. The suggestions or all actions, women yet again have to take to keep themselves safe rather than women being safe because we can trust a police officer.

BASHIR: Sarah's murder has brought into sharp focus, the issue of police perpetrated acts of violence against women. Between 2018 and 2019, 143 allegations of sexual assault by police officers are recorded in England and Wales. And in 2019, a police watchdog found that more than 400 referrals were made in relation to abuse of power for sexual purposes over just three years.

Zoe Billingham who led that inquiry says that while these cases represent a small minority of police officers, even one case is one too many.

ZOE BILLINGHAM, FORMER INSPECTOR OF CONSTABULARY: The evidence speaks for itself. Predators have found their way into policing. And until matters change, I can't say with certainty that policing is free from those predators and that victims will always be kept safe by those that are there to protect them.

BASHIR (on camera): Do you think there's a culture within the British police force that allows police officers to commit such crimes with some level of impunity?

BILLINGHAM: There is a degree of tolerance within policing which is an unacceptable degree of tolerance of misogynistic behavior. And that needs to change.

BASHIR (voice-over): The government has now launched an inquiry into the issues raised by the conviction of Wayne Couzens, including wider issues across policing, such as betting practices, workplace behavior, and disciplinary action. But campaigners say that the abuse of power by some police officers is just one part of a wider epidemic of violence against women.


ANNA BIRLEY, CO-FOUNDER, RECLAIM THESE STREETS: There is a wider, deeper more structural issue around women and the way that the police women that currently won't be addressed by the report. So I hope that scope will be widened.

BASHIR: And just as flowers continue to be left for Sara, months after her brutal murder, the demand for police reform and greater accountability persists.

Nada Bashir, CNN, London.


JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: When we come back, the terror of being gay in Ghana. The government considering a new homophobic law while violent anti-gay vigilantes are already forcing some to live in hiding. And they speak to CNN.


VAUSE: Welcome back everyone. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.

I'm John Vause. We have an update now on that developing story from Hong Kong. We are told that everyone has been rescued from underneath that scaffolding which collapsed. Seven construction workers have all been pulled free. This comes after the scaffolding collapsed from a domestic high-rise building. Five men, two women, all unconscious sent to hospital. A cyclone warning was issued earlier in the day. The scaffolding came crashing down as the city was being buffeted by some very strong gusty winds as well as heavy rain.

Anti-gay vigilantes have already forced many in Ghana's gay community into hiding. And a bad situation could soon get even worse with a yet to be passed law making it illegal to be gay with long prison terms for the guilty. Activists say if that law is passed it would be a green light to increased homophobic attacks.

CNN's David McKenzie has this exclusive report. Comes with a warning -- some of the video is disturbing.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Hey it's David. How are you doing?

(voice over): We are heading to a safe house in Accra.

(on camera): We are probably about 30 minutes from your live location now.

(voice over): Run by gay activists.


MCKENZIE (on camera): Can we carry in the cameras or we need to keep the cameras in boxes?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think carry it in boxes.

MCKENZIE: We are meeting Joe. We agreed to hide his identity because he is afraid of being attacked again.

(on camera): Take me back to that moment when those men came and started harassing you.

JOE, VICTIM OF HOMOPHOBIC ATTACK: I was shaking when they took me to the room and then they set up the cameras. And I was sure I was crying.

MCKENZIE: His crime, the gang of men say, approaching another man.

Is it true that you told him that you like him, they ask?

Yes, he whispers.

JOE: Like how can this happen to me. Our (INAUDIBLE) All these time (INAUDIBLE) they're beating me. I wanted to kill myself.

When I saw this video, I was like, it would be better I kill myself, because I have no where to go.

[01:34:59] MCKENZIE: And your dad threw you out?

JOE: Yes.

MCKENZIE: And what was that moment like?

JOE: I cried like never before.

MCKENZIE (voice over): Often captured in videos too graphic to show and shared on social media, part of a pattern of brutal verbal and physical attacks by vigilantes to humiliate LGBTQ Ghanaians. Soon the community fears they could be targeted by the state.

(on camera): What is your message to someone who is LGBT in Ghana right now?

EMMANUEL BEDZRAH, GHANAIAN MP: Well, we love them. We always say we love them.

MCKENZIE: But you want to send them to prison?

BEDZRAH: No, we are asking them not to do it.

MCKENZIE (voice over): A draft law to be debated in weeks, coerces LGBTQ Ghanaians to choose between jail time and so called conversion therapy.

Seen by U.N. experts as torture. It prosecutes same-sex displays of affection, even punishes activists supporting the community. Activists call it a homophobe's dream.

(on camera): Today in 2021, you believe that someone who supports openly the LGBT community should potentially go to prison for ten years.

BEDZRAH: Of course.

MCKENZIE: Why is that?

BEDZRAH: It was against our culture. It's against our norms. It's against our tradition. And we don't want things that are against our sensibility to be, you know, given priority in our society.

MCKENZIE: Tragically, the LGBTQ community here says that tolerance was slowly improving in Ghana.

GREGORY ANDREWS, AUSTRALIAN HIGH COMMISSIONER: And I know that African cultures are cultures of tolerance, diversity, acceptance and participation.

MCKENZIE: When they opened a support center in January, it rallied conservative lawmakers who say that being gay is un-African, a western import.

Backed by powerful religious groups, the leadership the millions strong Pentecostal Church say LGBTQ organizations are a national security threat.

(on camera): We're struggling a little to get hold of someone --

(voice over): But they refused to speak to us. And their security stopped us from filming.

(on camera): We are just trying to speak to some people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is not allowed.

MCKENZIE: It's not allowed?

(voice over): The religious support for the bill here is absolute.

ARCHBISHOP PHILIP NAAMEH, PRESIDENT, CATHOLIC BISHOPS COUNCIL: It's one thing promoting the values of the church. It's another thing to prosecute those who are identifying like this.

MCKENZIE (on camera): So why take that extra step?

NAAMEH: It is not the values of the church. It's the values of the human species. The human being is created to be in a family and to propagate itself. It's not just the sex.

JOE: If the same bible told people to love thy neighbor as thyself, why would you want to torture your own neighbor? Why would you want to torture your child?

MCKENZIE (voice over): This prominent gay activist has already gone underground. The draft bill calls on all Ghanaians to hand in their LGBTQ neighbors for prosecution.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People are waiting for the bill to pass so that they can actually beat you up. They can actually pick you and do whatever they want with you.

MCKENZIE: The limited space Ghanaians like Joe had just to be themselves could soon vanish and they'll need to move further into the shadows.

(on camera): What is your message to those politicians?

JOE: We are all human beings. We are sons and daughters can be like (INAUDIBLE). My answer for them is, they should put a stop to it.

MCKENZIE (voice over): David McKenzie, CNN -- Accra, Ghana.


VAUSE: Ethiopian Airlines again denying evidence uncovered by CNN that its commercial aircraft were used to shuttle weapons and ammunitions between Ethiopia and neighboring Eritrea.

A CNN investigation of flight documents for those witness statements and other materials confirmed the flights took place in November 2020, in the early days of the civil war in the Tigray region. Experts believe those activities may have been a violation of the U.S. trade agreement as well as international law. The airline is owned by the Ethiopian government and on Thursday, it again offered an official rebuttal.

"Ethiopian Airlines strongly refutes the recent allegations by CNN. And we'd like to confirm that to the best of its knowledge and its record, it has not transported any armament in any of its routes and by any of its aircraft."

The evidence uncovered in CNN's exhaustive and intensive investigation can be found if you head to our Web site

The winner of this year's Nobel Peace Prize will be announced in a few hours. Last year, the World Food Programme, the world's largest humanitarian organization was honored for fighting hunger in the midst of a global pandemic.

As for the front runners this year? Here's CNN's Kim Brunhuber.


KIM BRUNHUBER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Locked behind a highly-protected door, a list of the 329 nominees to win this year's Nobel Peace Prize. One of the world's most prestigious awards will go to one of the individuals or organizations on that list.


BRUNHUBER: But until Friday's announcement, the winner remains a mystery and about which we can only speculate.

Each year the Peace Research Institute - Oslo or PRIO does just that, with an esteemed prediction of likely front runners.

HENRIK URDAL, DIRECTOR, "THE PEACE RESEARCH INSTITUTE-OSLO": First, Reporters without Borders. I think a journalist surprise this year would be very important. Tells people who they fight against fake news and the important work that journalists are doing in armed conflict areas all over the world.

BRUNHUBER: Those protecting freedom of speech are high on PRIO's short list, followed by those defending democracy are high on the list. PRIO'S director says another likely candidate is Svetlana Tsikhanovskaya. She's an exiled Belarusian human rights activists and opposition leader at the forefront of a resistance against the country's authoritarian president.

If the Nobel committee chooses to award political dissidents, possible winners could include jailed Russian activist Alexei Navalny or Eusticia (ph), a group of judges in Poland defending civil rights. Beyond that, PRIO thinks there are several other likely contenders.

One of the most important questions these days of course, it says -- climate change with the -- IPCC just launching their 6th assessment report, demonstrating that this is the major global threat that we're facing.

The award will be announced just three weeks before World leaders gather for a critical climate summit. So the prize winner could be a champion of climate change activism.

18-year-old Greta Thunberg comes to mind in this category. The Swedish activist has helped catalyze a worldwide movement among youth to fight climate change. Others are predicting a nod to groups critical and coronavirus pandemic like the World Health Organization or COVAX -- vaccine sharing initiative aimed at fairly distributing life-saving vaccines world wide.

All together, it's a long list of possible winners, evaluated for a prize with a singular but complex meaning.

URDAL: On a general basis, the Peace Prize is given out not for people being angels or saints. But for people making an effort to make a better world. A better organized world and a world with less war and more peaceful coexistence between the peoples.

BRUNHUBER: Who's endeavor best fits that description? Well, we will soon find out.

Kim Brunhuber -- CNN.


VAUSE: Well, the Amazon Rain Forest is in trouble. We will have an exclusive look at the extensive damage done just this year. And we'll also talk to the people who are trying save it.


VAUSE: He's 100 years old, known as Joseph S and served as an SS guard at a Nazi concentration camp. Now Joseph S is standing trial for war crimes in Germany. Prosecutors say he contributed to the death of more that 3,500 people.

One doctor says he's only partially fit to stand trial so those sessions will be limited but there is little sympathy it seems for his poor health.



CHRISTOPH HUEBNER, EVP, INTERNATIONAL AUSCHWITZ COMMITTEE: He obviously does not want to find the strength to remember. And for the camp survivors and the relatives of those killed who came here to hear a piece of truth it means yet another rejection and an insult.


VAUSE: Germany is now trying to bring justice to the last surviving perpetrators of Nazi war crimes, who are now well into their old age. Brazilian police find more than 8,000 items of Nazi memorabilia at the

home of a suspected pedophile. Rio de Janeiro officials say they found the illicit possession while serving a warrant for a suspicion of pedophilia.

Among the items, medals, coins, uniforms, flags, images of Adolf Hitler, the man has been charged with radical discrimination and possession of child pornography among other crimes. He could also face up to 30 years in prison.

The Amazon is suffering another season of devastating fires and deforestation. CNN flew over some of the worst affected areas to see the destruction firsthand. And spoke to those who are working to save the rain forest despite threats of violence.

Here's CNN's Isa Soares.


ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Smoke billows above the Amazon State of Hondonia (ph). A haze so thick, it blankets this lush forest. Fires so intense, that the earth is left charred. Only dust remains.

It's a sight that troubles (INAUDIBLE). The spokesman for Greenpeace Brazil tells us, 60 hectares of the Amazon have gone up in flames in four day. And the blame falls squarely he says on President Jair Bolsonaro.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We seem him announcing a moratorium on fire.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Those are measures that have already been taken in the last two year s and nothing has worked. This year we are seeing this again.

SOARES: CNN flew over some of this year's hardest hit areas, to see the devastation for ourselves. From above, our cameras captured the damage of this increasing fire. The demarcated lines, a sign of human destruction at work as the forest is cleared for agriculture or mining. There had been nearly 13,000 fires in the same area, roughly, a 50 percent increase from 2020, to 2021.

Now, compare these images with these, over a 5 year period.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are living an extreme year in Brazil. Record floods in the north and the biggest rain deficit.

In the south, southeast and Midwest of Brazil. So scientists say that this may already be the effect of deforestation in the Amazon.

SOARES: Further south in the same state, Milton (INAUDIBLE) a former cattle rancher is fighting to protect what is left of the rain forest.

This month, he begins the task of helping restore, and reforest, 2,600 hectares of land, that had been burned, and used for cattle production. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If it continues this way, in no time our children

and grandchildren won't have these places to come to. So That's Our Battle.

SOARES: He's made it his mission to reforest the burned land, but in doing so, He's facing attacks on his life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As he was talking to me, the other was telling him shoot him, shoot him right away.

SOARES: Recounting vividly when he was ambushed in early September.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just came to delivery you a message, the message is delivered. But if you leave, it will no longer be a message. So if you don't leave it, it will no longer be a message.

SOARES: With the fight for land and resources comes increasing intimidation for those who work here. According to Brazil's Land Pastoral Commission, 97 people have face death threats, this year, alone.

As association leader of a restoration reserve in the Amazon, Giuseppe (ph) asking these often.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is hard to know who is threatening. But we imagine that they are offenders who illegally exploit the conservation unit.

SOARES: His love for the Amazon has kept him going.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: this was burned in early August. It has the hallmark of the people who work here illegally.

But (INAUDIBLE), along with the other Amazon defenders could be facing a losing battle. Carbon samples from the Amazon, collected over a period of nine years by scientific researchers Luciana Gatti (ph) have shown that 20 percent of the Amazon is releasing more carbon than it absorbs.

Luciana Gatti, researcher, INPE: The southeast of the Amazon, now, the forest itself has become a source. This can mean the trees are dying more than growing.

SOARES: Behind this, an increase in forest fires, which is leaving the Amazon unable to renew itself.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know we have a records, We have records in deforestation. Fire in the Amazon, and also, records in the reduction in precipitation in the whole Brazil.

SOARES: The devastating impact of human behavior that experts say is tipping the climate scales in the Amazon, leaving us, all potentially, gasping for air.

[01:49:53] SOARES (on camera): Well, in a statement, the environment ministry tells us it has suspended agriculture fires from July to October. Our footage, you saw that, that's been mid September.

And as you saw, those fires keep on raging. The environment ministry has also claimed in its statement that it's allocating more money, and hiring more firefighters to combat and prevent fires. However, these comments don't give the full picture. The Bolsonaro government has taken multiple steps to reduce the overall budgets for the environment ministry.

So these recent investments only bring spending back, to roughly what it was before Jair Bolsonaro took office. So, context matters.

Back to you.

VAUSE: Well, thank you, Isa.

We are now watching that volcano in the Canary Islands which has been erupting now for nearly 3 weeks. Lava continues to flow, the airport in La Palma was close because of volcanic ash. Nearly 6,000 people have left their homes, since the volcano first erupted in September.

Hundreds of homes and businesses, have been destroyed-- and banana crops, also devastated.

Coming up next here on CNN with the latest James Bond film set to open in the U.S., we'll take a look at the Bond girl, and my, how she has changed over the years.


VAUSE: The new James Bond film, "No Time To Die", releases in cinemas across the U.S. on Friday. The 25-movie franchise which is adapted markedly over the years, and that includes, the iconic Bond Girl.

Here is CNN's Christina Macfarlane.


JANE SEYMOUR, ACTRESS: Look at that hairstyle. Oh my gosh, and look, I have got the gold for Goldfinger on my eyelids.

CHRISTINA MACFARLANE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Just in case you were wondering, that was the actual, gold from Goldfinger, left over.

The announcement to the world, that they had found the Bond Girl.

It was, we will tell the world you're perfect, we searched the world for you, but everything about you was wrong, and we're going to change it.

Harry (INAUDIBLE) looked at me and said, you have two different colored eyes and I said yes. He said well, you're going to have to have contact lenses, you know. Either brown or green, we will decide. And your hair, we're going to have to dye it and cut it. MACFARLANE (on camera): And did your world change overnight at that

point when they announced it?

SEYMOUR: Well, it did. Because then, Terry O'Neil was assigned to me for three days. The immortal Terry O'Neil to take photographs of me and come up with a story about why I was this sex symbol of all time.

So he comes up with the stuff about me loving to run naked through long grass which I've never done in my life. Then, I have to explain to my father when he reads it in the news -- he said darling, number one, I read the book, and you are dragged naked across the coral reef with crocodiles. That is too dangerous.

Number 2, I don't recommend running naked through long grass but anyway --

MACFARLANE: That's quite right.

SEYMOUR: So yes, my life did change.

You see, this is the scene that I find distinctly uncomfortable.

ROGER MOORE, ACTOR: The cards say we will be lovers.

SEYMOUR: There was absolutely nothing wrong with it in that era. Now, literally, everything about that film is wrong. I mean, you know, for my millennial children it would be, mom, mom, that is so not PC. In the Bond film, you run, in those days three paces behind a man, with a gun, whimpering, with as much cleavage showing, and as much leg showing, and you need to be saved.

But, I have to just, you know, take my hat off to Barbara. I think Barbara did a brilliant job in keeping the franchise, always current to the world we live in.


MACFARLANE: The new film, "No Time To Die", make strides in pulling its female characters into the 21st century.

Introducing Naomi(ph), played by Lashana Lynch and Paloma played by Ana De Armas.

ANA DE ARMAS, ACTRESS: It was the perfect combination of like real qualities in a woman. She's not hiding anything. There is no pressure to like this perfection, and like there is kind of like, you know, appearance or anything.

I think this movie's Bond women, not so much Bond girls. I think in this movie, you will find women that are also beautiful and sexy and sophisticated, and all of that. But they are equals to Bond.

They're there to bring in the action. So, you know, times change. And I think that is reflected in the film. I think you will see the evolution of the female roles, and hopefully, we'll set the tone for future Bond films, and the female roles in them. (END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: Well, we can all stop looking now. Andy Murray has found his wedding ring. The tennis legend thought it had actually been stolen, because he had left it tied to a pair of tennis shoes. Because they smell really bad, he actually left them under the car, to try an air out.

Here is how he broke the news to his fans.


ANDY MURRAY, TENNIS PLAYER: Hi everyone. I hope you are all doing well. I just want to send a quick message to say a huge thanks for all the messages and also to everyone for sharing the story about the shoes and the wedding ring.

I have to make a few calls today, and chat to the security at the hotel and everything.

And a little update for everyone. Would you believe it? Oh. Still absolutely stink, but the shoes are back. The wedding ring is back. And I'm back in the good books. Let's go.


VAUSE: He enjoyed smelling his shoes a little bit too much. The three- time Grand Slam champion is in California, preparing for the (INAUDIBLE) world tournament.

Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause.

Please stay with us, CNN NEWSROOM continues after a short break with Kim Brunhuber.

I will see you next week, have a good weekend.