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Brian Laundrie's Father Joins Police Manhunt; Activists Call for U.K. Police Reform; Storm System Moving East After Inundating Alabama; Officials Think Ship Anchor Snagged Pipeline and Created Split; Putin Offers to Export More Gas to Europe; Nobel Committee Set to Announce 2021 Peace Prize. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired October 08, 2021 - 04:30   ET



ISA SOARES, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Isa Soares. If you're just joining us, let me bring you up to date with our top stories this hour.

U.S. Senators have voted to temporarily extend the country's debt ceiling. The U.S. government will have another $480 billion and about two more months to pay its bills. Of course, it is only a short-term solution.

And in the coming weeks, the FDA is expected to decide whether to allow children to receive Pfizer's COVID vaccine.

Now, the father of Brian Laundrie has joined the police manhunt in Florida for his son, the missing fiancee, of course, of Gabby Petito. She was murdered if you remember while the couple was on a trip in Wyoming. Her family hopes he is found alive so they can get some answers. Here's CNN's Leyla Santiago.


LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Brian Laundrie's father, Chris Laundrie, assisting authorities in the search for his son. After leaving his house alone this morning, Chris is seen entering the Carlton Reserve with police.

The attorney for the family telling CNN Brian's father spent more than three hours at the 25,000-acre reserve, assisting authorities in the search. Chris was asked to point out any favorite trails or spots that Brian may have used in the preserve, although Chris and Roberta Laundrie provided this information verbally three weeks ago, it is now thought that onsite assistance may be better.

Brian reportedly told his parents he was headed to the reserve when they last saw him on September 13th, more than three weeks later and still no sign of Gabby Petito's fiancee.

The attorney for Laundrie's parents telling CNN Brian's parents believe he is still there, adding the parents see no reason to make a public call for Brian to surrender to authorities because he says, quote, in short, the parents believe Brian was and still is in the preserve. So, there was no reason to issue a plea on media that he, Brian, does not have access to.

Police are now denying that a recent campsite was found at the Carlton Reserve after a source close to the family reported one Wednesday, holding off Chris Laundrie from the search for a day while police investigated.

North Port police telling CNN, quote, is it possible that they thought there might be a campsite out there or something they may have seen from the air, but when they got on the ground, that's not what it turned out to be? Sure, I think that's a possibility. But he also says, quote, bottom line is that investigators are telling me that no campsite was found out there.

Meanwhile, Gabby Petito's parents and stepparents grieving her loss and telling Fox News they hope Brian Laundrie is found alive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is a missing piece of the puzzle to find out what happened.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They all say he is the key -- he's the key to the puzzle.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What happened out there. You know? Until they find him, we won't know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We believe he knows everything.

SANTIAGO: And the attorney for Brian Laundrie's parents tell CNN that while Chris Laundrie was out at that reserve, there were no discoveries. But he was out there to walk law enforcement through that area of places that Brian was known to frequent there in that reserve. He also added in that statement that they hope that law enforcement can find Brian.

Leyla Santiago, CNN, North Port, Florida.


SOARES: Well, here the British government has launched a new inquiry into issues raised by the conviction of former police officer who brutally murdered London woman back in March. But activists say it isn't enough and are calling for new measures to stamp out active police violence against women. CNN's Nada Bashir has more for you.



NADA BASHIR, CNN PRODUCER (voice over): Enough is enough. Sixteen 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 organization which tracks femicide in the U.K. 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 rape her.

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

BASHIR (voice-over): It's this erosion of trust that officials in the U.K. 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 lone officer.

JANE CONNORS, METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPUTY ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER: If someone doesn't feel safe and they are not comfortable in the environment, and they're dealing with a police officer, then ask them some questions. Where are you from? Why did you stop me? Where are your colleagues? In that way they can start to feel safe.

BASHIR (voice-over): But for many still shaken by Sarah's murder, this measures do little to restore public confidence in the police.

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

BASHIR (voice-over): 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 were 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 said 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, protesters had found their way into policing. And until matters change, I can't say with certainty that policing is free from those prejudices and that victims will always be kept safe by those there to protect them.

BASHIR: 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 not unacceptable degree of tolerance of misogynistic behavior, and that needs to change.

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

BIRLEY: There is a wider deeper more structural issue around women and the way that the police women and that currently won't be addressed by the report. So, I hope that scope would be widen.

BASHIR (voice-over): And just as flowers continue to be left for Sarah, months after her brutal murder, the demand for police reform and greater accountability persists.

Nada Bashir, CNN, London.


SOARES: A special report there from Nada Bashir. Thank you to her.

Now, Brazilian police find more than 8,000 items of Nazi memorabilia at the home of a suspected pedophile. Take a look at this. Rio de Janeiro officials say they found the illicit possessions while serving a warrant on suspicion of pedophilia. Among the items discovered, metals, coins, uniforms, flags and images you can see there of Adolf Hitler. The man has been charged with racial discrimination and possession of child pornography among other crimes and could face up to 30 years in prison.

Now, what caused that massive oil spill off the coast of California? We'll have the very latest on the investigation and see how clean-up efforts are coming along there.

Plus, the Kremlin is offering to help pump more gas to Europe. What the offer could mean for a controversial gas pipeline. That's next.



SOARES: We are watching that volcano in the Canary Islands which has been erupting now for nearly three weeks. The lava as you see continues to flow as the airport in La Palma remains closed due to volcanic ash. Nearly 6,000 people have been evacuated from their homes since if first erupted in September. Hundreds of homes and businesses have been destroyed and banana crops are devastated.

Well, water is now receding in parts of the U.S. state of Alabama that were inundated early this week. If you remember we brought it here in the show. Four people were killed after heavy rains caused flash flooding Wednesday including a 4-year-old girl. Dozens had to be rescued from flooded homes and vehicles. But as Alabama looks at those storms in the rearview mirror, the states to the east really bracing themselves for a hit. Derek Van Dam explains.

DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: That's right, isa. In fact, the heavy rain that caused the flash flooding over central Alabama yesterday has shifted eastward. We've had a significant amount of rainfall across central and northern Georgia, and there is still precipitation moving through. That's why the National Weather Service has extended the flash flood watch across the greater Atlanta metro region. That extends into portions of the Carolinas as well. Still an additional 1 to 3 inches of rain.

Look out for localized flash flooding throughout that area. We are also monitoring a few different disturbances just off the east coast of the Carolinas. And in fact, the National Hurricane Center has a 30 percent chance of tropical development. And just looking at some of the latest computer models and the trends, we're starting to see kind of a closed circulation off the coastline. So, looking more and more suspect for tropical development this weekend, and into the early parts of next week that could impact places like North Carolina into Virginia, as far north as New Jersey. We'll monitor the situation very closely.

One thing's for sure. It will be a rather unsettled weekend for the eastern seaboard. Throughout the mid-Atlantic with heavy rain showers as well as gusty winds that could be over tropical storm force.

Here's the chances of precipitation or at least the rainfall accumulation could pile up over a couple of inches for some locations, especially over Virginia and the eastern coastline of the Carolinas.

We're monitoring a few different storm systems over the Western U.S. where we'll see our first significant snowfall across the mountainous regions of the Rockies. We're expecting temperatures to stay relatively cool -- 79 for Denver though, 74 in New York City, Atlanta 78. You can see how the cool wither predominantly stays over the Western U.S. while we warm up nicely over the East Coast. Isa, back to you.

SOARES: Thanks very much, Derek.


Now the huge oil spill off the coast of Southern California appears to have spread south, but oil really showing up on San Diego County beaches. Booms have been deployed and tests are underway to see if they are from the Orange County spill. A small split in an undersea pipe has released nearly 550,000 liters of crude into the Pacific Ocean. CNN's Camila Bernal has more on the investigation into the cause of that oil spill.


CAMILA BERNAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We are getting new information and new images. The Coast Guard providing underwater video that shows that 13-inch split in the pipeline. The CEO of Amplify Energy describing that pipeline like a bow string. And the preliminary report in this investigation showing that it was the anchor of a passing ship that hooked onto that pipeline and moved it more than 100 feet.

The Coast Guard, though, not confirming which ship is responsible for this. But we do know that the coast guard boarded a German ship on Wednesday. So still, a lot of questions in terms of the investigation and the timeline. When authorities were notified and how quickly this cleanup process began. This is a difficult cleanup process that's going to take a long time.

And just to put it into perspective, so far only about 6,000 gallons of oil has been recovered, and that's of the more than 100,000 gallons of oil that spilled into the ocean. So clearly a lot of work to be done here, and a lot of questions to be answered.

Camila Bernal, CNN, Los Angeles.


SOARES: Now power stations in India desperately searching for coal as many stockpiles are dropped to critically low levels. India's central electricity authority says nearly half of the country's coal fired power plants have only a two-day supply left. The country could face electricity shortages in the coming months.

Rolling blackouts have already begun for some residents in China. It's a growing power supply crunch, really has also forced companies to cut production.

In skyrocketing energy prices in Europe has left the continent scrambling to find fuel. But now Russia is offering to help. And as CNN's Anna Stewart explains, that may hinge on the future of the controversial North Stream 2 pipeline.


ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: Gas prices have increased eight-fold over the last year. But they did ease Thursday, after President Putin said Russia could look at exporting more gas to Europe, which is something the IEA called for, two weeks ago.

At the same time, Russia's deputy prime minister suggested that a speedy certification of its new pipeline, Nord Stream 2, would bring down gas prices. Now, this has increased concerns that Russia could be holding back gas from Europe, to keep prices high, and thereby lend weight to its argument for a quick approval of Nord Stream 2.

This is the pipeline that was completed last month, and German regulators have four months to approve it.

It's been fiercely opposed for years by some European nations, as well as the U.S. One of the major reasons being that it bypasses Ukraine. That means Ukraine would lose out on valuable gas transit fees.

The Biden administration reached a deal with Berlin in July, saying it would allow the pipeline to go ahead in exchange for financial aid to Ukraine.

There are many reasons, though, far beyond Russia, for high gas prices in Europe, both when it comes to supply and demand.

Next week, the E.U. will publish a toolbox of measures to help member states respond to the crisis. It will include grants, and energy tax cuts to help support consumers through a winter which could be devastatingly expensive.

Anna Stewart, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE) SOARES: We're about 50 minutes or so away from finding out this year's Nobel Peace Prize winner. Climate crusaders, COVID campaigners, and Reporters without Borders they're among the favorites, we break it all down for you next.



SOARES: One of New York City's biggest costume parties is back after year's absence due to the pandemic. Fans began lining up for Comic-Con at the city's Jacob Javits Center for the first time since 2019. The annual gathering is a chance for people to wear, of course, outrageous outfits from comic books, cartoons as well as pop culture. Pretty cool. The strict COVID guidelines are still in place. Everyone over 12 must be vaccinated and masks must be worn inside the venue.

Now, we are moments away from finding out who the winner of the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize will be. Last year the coveted award went to the World Food Program, the world's largest humanitarian organization for its efforts really to combat hunger in the midst of a global pandemic. So, who is in it this year? CNN's Kim Brunhuber looks at the front runners.


KIM BRUNHUBER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT/ANCHOR (voice-over): 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. But until Friday's announcement, the winner remains a mystery, about which we can only speculate.

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

HENRIK URDAL, DIRECTOR, THE PEACE RESEARCH INSTITUTE OSLO: First, Reporters Without Borders -- I think a journalist prize this year would be very important, as they both do their fight against fake news, and the important work that journalists are doing in conflict areas all over the world.

BRUNHUBER (voice-over): Those protecting freedom of speech are high on PRIO's shortlist, followed by those defending democracy.

PRIO's director says another likely candidate is Svetlana Tsikhanouskaya. She's an exiled Belarusian human rights activist and opposition leader at the forefront of a resistance against the country's authoritarian president.

If the Nobel Committee chooses to avoid political dissidents, possible winners could include jailed Russian activist Alexei Navalny. Or Justitia, a group of judges in Poland defending civil rights. Beyond that, PRIO thinks there are several other likely contenders.

[04:55:00] URDAL: One of the most important questions these days, of course, is climate change, with the IPCC just launching their sixth assessment report, demonstrating that this is the major global threat that we're facing.

BRUNHUBER (voice-over): 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.

Eighteen-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 in the coronavirus pandemic, like the World Health Organization, or COVAX, a vaccine sharing initiative aimed at fairly distributing lifesaving vaccines worldwide.

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

BJOERN VANGEN, LIBRARIAN, THE NORWEGIAN NOBEL INSTITUTE: On a general basis, the Peace Prize is given out not for being 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 existence between the peoples.

BRUNHUBER (voice-over): Whose endeavor best fits that description? Well, we'll soon find out.

Kim Brunhuber, CNN.


SOARES: In we're actually we'll soon find out in about three minutes or so. In terms of numbers the total of 101 peace prizes have been awarded since 1901 -- 69 as you can see there, have been given to single laureates and 30 have been shared by two people, 17 peace prizes have been awarded to women. Of course, as soon as that announcement is made, we shall bring it to you.

And that does it for me and for the rest of the team. I'm Isa Soares. Early start with Christine Romans and Laura Jarrett is up next. Have a wonderful Friday and a wonderful weekend. See you next week. Bye-bye.