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Beirut's Worst Street Violence in More Than a Decade; Bill Clinton Hospitalized; Taiwanese Speak Out on Tensions with China; China to Launch 3 Astronauts on 6-Month Mission Saturday; House Panel Moves to Hold Bannon in Criminal Contempt; Sixty Years Since Trial of Nazi Adolf Eichmann; Running the Real-life Downton Castle. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired October 15, 2021 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Hello again, I'm John Vause. Ahead this hour on CNN Newsroom. Political tensions in Lebanon erupt into running gun battles in the streets of Beirut, raising fears the country is spiraling towards another Civil War.
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton admitted to hospital with a blood infection. We'll have the very latest on his condition.
And how the real-life owners, the classic castle and Downton Abbey are keeping you safe in the black six years of the hit TV series went off the air.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Live from CNN Center, this is CNN Newsroom with John Vause.
VAUSE: It's just gone eight in the morning in Beirut and on this Friday, they are waking to the sight of soldiers on patrol, their presence for now maintaining an easy calm after running gun battles in the streets of the capitol. At least six people have been killed, the worst violence in a decade has added to a sense of instability in a country or a devastated by an economic crisis, a global pandemic and political gridlock.
The U.S. the U.N. and Egypt all calling for calm after a protest on Thursday by the militant group Hezbollah erupted into heavy gunfire, forcing many local residents to flee their homes. CNN's Jomana Karadsheh reports out on the escalating political tensions which are behind the recent turmoil.
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It was a really terrifying day for the people of Lebanon for the residents of Beirut. These were the most intense clashes Beirut has seen in more than 10 years. Now, we still don't really know how this all unfolded. But as we understand this was a protest that was called for by the powerful Shia political parties. They're also powerful militias, Hezbollah and their ally, Amal. They called on supporters to go out on the streets of Beirut to protests against the judge leading the investigation into the Beirut ports blast last year that killed more than 200 people.
And now according to these both groups and according to the security services, the protesters came under fire they say from identified gunman in a number of buildings. There were also local media reports of snipers on the rooftops of buildings and clashes after that erupted for several hours.
Now, the protest against this judge taught it be tired. He is a judge, the second one to lead the investigation into the port blast. He's a judge known for, he's quite popular. He's known for his professionalism and integrity. He has really been determined to go ahead with this investigation. He has issued subpoenas and arrest warrants for high-ranking officials in the country, most recently, on Tuesday. He issued an arrest warrant for a former finance minister who's affiliated with the Shia group, Amal, wanting to question him in relation to the port blast.
He, the judge, has come under a lot of criticism from Hezbollah and Amal. He has been accused of being biased. He's been -- his investigation has been labeled by the groups as politicized and that is why they called for these protests.
Now we don't know the identity of the gunman who opened fire on the protesters. But Hezbollah and Amal have accused the Lebanese Forces that right wing Christian political party also a heavily armed militia of being behind the incident today.
The Lebanese Forces leader responded by saying that what happened today is a result of all the weapons that are out on the streets in Lebanon.
As we understand the situation on the ground right now is relatively calm but very much on edge. People are very concerned about where this might be headed next. This is a polarized country with heavily armed militias and a weak state. Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, Istanbul.
VAUSE: The deadly bow and arrow rampage in Norway is now being treated as a suspected act of terrorism. The suspect 37-year-old, Espen Andersen Brathen is expected to appear in court in the coming hours. Prosecutors tell CNN his mental health is under evaluation.
Authority say Brathen is a recent convert Islam and had met recently with police over concerns he'd been radicalized. For now, though murder for the 35-minute attack which are five people dead, and three others wounded remains under investigation. Many in contrary have gathered at a Candlelight vigil in the town center to mourn the dead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ELLEN PYTTE, KONGSBERG RESIDENT: It's extremely important to be here together to show the families that we are together about this. Even though I didn't know the people that are killed, but I still know them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Norway's Prime Minister is scheduled to visit later this day.
One of the strictest coronavirus vaccine mandates in the world is now in full effect and from today, all public and private employees in Italy need a green pass to go to work. Rule breakers face steep fines as well as suspensions. This past provides proof that employees have been fully vaccinated, or they had a negative PCR test within 48 hours, or recently recovered from COVID and have some kind of natural immunity.
Green pass became mandatory in August for events in indoor spaces or going to the gym, or museums. Most Italians seem to support the idea, but protests have been picking up steam, more are expected in the coming days.
Meantime, in the coming hours, vaccine advisors to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will debate whether to recommend emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson's COVID booster. That's after the advisors recommended using the Moderna booster for certain groups on Thursday. We have details now from CNN's Nick Watt.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But we do have a unanimous 19 out of 19 yes votes.
NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A thumbs up from Moderna vaccine booster shots from FDA advisors. So, Moderna could soon join Pfizer with boosters authorized for the over 65, all adults at high risk of severe disease and adults whose institutional or occupational exposure puts them at high risk of infection. The CDC still needs to sign off,
JOE BIDEN, (D) U.S. PRESIDENT: We expect a final decision from the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC in the next couple of weeks.
WATT: Data suggests that protection from those first two Moderna doses does not wane as fast as with the Pfizer vaccine, but still wanes.
DR. JACQUELINE MILLER, THERAPEUTIC AREA HEAD, MODERNA: This booster has the potential to address waning antibody titers and reduce breakthrough disease due to the highly transmissible Delta variants.
WATT: Israel already widely rolled out boosters, FDA advisors got a status report.
DR. SHARON ALROY-PREIS, ISRAELI MINISTRY OF HEALTH: So, in summary, the booster dose in Israel was effective, and so far, had safety profile similar to the other doses. I'm hoping we're in herd-immunity now for the Delta strain. But I'm not sure we know it yet.
WATT: President Biden updated us all on his pandemic plan.
BIDEN: It's working, we're making progress.
WATT: Says, vaccine mandates are working where they've been triggered. But --
BIDEN: We have to do more to vaccinate the 66 million unvaccinated people in America. It's essential.
WATT: Kyre Irving already benched by the Brooklyn Nets finally confirmed.
KYRE IRVING, BROOKLYN NETS: I chose to be unvaccinated. And that was my choice. And I would ask y'all just to respect that choice. This is not a political thing here. And it's not about the NBA, it's not about any organization. It's really about my life and what I'm choosing to do.
WATT: But it's really not just about your life, listen to this doctor in Idaho.
DR. STEVEN NEMERSON, SAINT ALPHONSUS HEALTH SYSTEM, BOISE, IDAHO: And sadly, I'm here to tell you that we've lost the war, that COVID is here to stay. And the reason it is here to stay is because we cannot vaccinate enough of the public to fully eradicate the disease.
WATT: Now, after those FDA advisors voted in favor of Moderna boosters for certain groups, they talked about whether they should recommend booster doses for all adults in the U.S. And it was very clear that they are not at all in favor of that as an idea. They just say there's not enough data. There doesn't seem to be much benefit. Nick Watt, CNN, Los Angeles.
VAUSE: Anne Rimoin is an Epidemiologist Professor from the University of California in Los Angeles. Anne, it's good to see you.
ANNE RIMOIN, EPIDEMIOLOGY PROFESSOR, UCLA FIELDING SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH: Nice to be here.
VAUSE: OK, so hear this group of independent advisors to the FDA recommending authorization for Moderna boosters, they've narrowed it down to anyone 65 years or older, those who are 18 who are older who have a high risk of severe COVID or exposure, who has exposure to the coronavirus in their jobs considered high risk, I should say, for complications or severe illness.
OK, so that's it sort of details there. It's not official, the FDA has to sign off on that. But the recommendation even though most of the 19 members of the committee, they were not entirely convinced, although unanimous about recommending it, but they weren't convinced the data showed that boosters were necessary or that it increased protection. So, explain the thinking here. [01:10:09]
RIMOIN: Well, this was all a result of the meeting today. And the bottom line is, is that these Moderna, the first two shots of the Moderna vaccine have done a great job. And we're seeing them do exactly what they need to do, which is prevent against severe disease, hospitalization and death. They're doing an excellent job. There wasn't clearly enough data to really show the same kind of effect that we saw with the Israeli data for Pfizer. But it did really seem that there was no harm in doing so. So, this recommendation, I think, is going to simplify things very much. And it's going to align with what the Pfizer recommendation is.
So, if you've had an mRNA vaccine, and you should be eligible. If you fit the criteria, over 65 years of age, over the age of 18, with an underlying condition or have a job or living situation that puts you at risk, you'll be able to get a booster shot. And I think that that's a really good smart idea we're getting in front of this, we're able to stop breakthrough infections early, give more protection, and that will make a difference in this pandemic. But of course, the big issue is getting those people who are not yet vaccinated, vaccinated, that's going to be the real thing that's going to stop the pandemic.
VAUSE: Well, that's my next question. What's more important here the booster shots or getting people vaccinated? Where should the emphasis be?
RIMOIN: Excellent question. And the bottom line is that, of course, the number one thing we can do to stop this pandemic is to get as many people vaccinated as possible with those original doses. That's really critical. We're seeing most of the cases, the severe disease, the hospitalizations, the death, the long-term sequelae, these aftereffects that you can be having, this mostly occurring in unvaccinated individuals, the vast majority of cases we're seeing this year, we're seeing it globally. So, getting those first shots in arms is critical. But getting these boosters is going to make a difference. The data in Israel showed that there is some data here that's showing that we are seeing breakthrough cases. And so, the more that we can do, the better off we're going to be.
VAUSE: You know, it was a good day for you being better off for those who own Moderna stock, the price jumped over 4% right after the approval closed 3% higher than the day before. It's a windfall for the company's three founders or now billionaires. And yet this is a company which is being prodded by the White House to be more in terms of providing more of its vaccines to lower income countries. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. DAVID KESSLER, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF COVID-19 SCIENCE OFFICER: We expect that Moderna will step up. We've asked them. They need to step up as a company and join from, you know, other companies such as Pfizer and provide the COVAX.
(END VIDEO CLIP) VAUSE: So, this week, Moderna did announced it would sell at cost more than 175 million doses of its vaccine to these developing countries, lower income countries, that happens early next year. But there's a company which has benefited immensely from public funding, it seems very slow, even reluctant to give a little back. So, what's been the case, in the past, when you have something like a drug, which has been developed by public funds, what happens then?
RIMOIN: You know, it's going to be really important to get these vaccines out to these countries. As we've said, we've been talking for a really long time. And what I've said to you over and over again, is an infection anywhere is potentially an infection everywhere. If we're going to stop this pandemic, what we're going to need to do is we're going to need to get vaccines in arms globally. And that's really what Moderna needs to be focused on as well. You know, the fact of the matter is, is giving these vaccines at reduced cost or for free, it's going to be helpful, but getting that technology and the ability to be able to manufacture on the ground is going to be the long-term game changer.
VAUSE: Absolutely. Anne, thank you. Anne Rimoin there in Los Angeles, I appreciate your time.
RIMOIN: My pleasure.
VAUSE: Well, former U.S. President Bill Clinton has been in a California Hospital since Tuesday receiving treatment for a blood infection. His doctor says a urinary tract infection spread to the bloodstream. It's a common problem in older people. Here's CNN's Chief Medical Correspondent Sanjay Gupta.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: What we know is that on Tuesday, the President who's in Southern California for a foundation event, he was not feeling well. The former president said he was just sort of fatigued and not feeling well, but it was concerning enough to him and to his staff, that they took him to the hospital. University of California Irvine, where he was admitted to the hospital and subsequently diagnosed with a blood infection. As they investigated further, they found that this was something known as euro sepsis. That means a urinary tract infection that then spread to his bloodstream.
A couple important things, the President, former president has a history of heart disease. He had a heart operation in 2004. He had stents placed in 2010. But talking to the Chief of medicine out there, Dr. Alpesh Amin, and his primary care doctor, Dr. Lisa Bartek, they said this is not related to his heart, they were definitive about that.
Also, everyone tested for COVID nowadays, especially if you're coming in for some sort of infection. And they say this is not COVID. The President has received his vaccine and has received his booster. They say this was definitively and the isolated blood infection related to his urinary tract. He was then started on antibiotics in an IV form. And they say he's responding well to those. He started feeling better. His white blood cell count, started to trend downwards. And they also found that his fever started to go down as well. So, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, now Friday, he is receiving a few days of these IV antibiotics and may be able to get discharged either later on today, tomorrow at that point on oral antibiotics. That's what the doctors are telling me. So that's obviously a good sign.
Now I will point out that, you know, when someone's transitions from IV antibiotics to oral antibiotics, it's typically because they feel like the IV antibiotics have sort of done most of the work. And now the oral antibiotics can finish off the rest of the treatment course. As we get more details about what's going out, the former president will certainly bring them to you.
VAUSE: Dr. Sanjay up there. And according to a statement from a Clinton spokesperson, the former president is on the mend, in good spirits, and is incredibly thankful to the doctors, nurses and staff, providing him with excellent care.
Our military flights, landing drills veiled political threats, all part of China's pressure campaign on Taiwan, but help people on the island dealing with this rising geopolitical tension, we have more on that in moment.
Also, ahead three Chinese astronauts making history for the country's space program and inside look at their next mission, when we come back.
VAUSE: That's the Canary Islands as lava spews from a volcano on La Palma nearly a month-long eruption is sending hundreds more fleeing from their homes, 6000 people have already been displaced.
The lava has destroyed more than 1000 structures, including this soccer pitch, 100 earthquakes have hit the eruption zone in the past day, the strongest measuring magnitude 4.5.
In recent weeks, China has ramped up an intimidation campaign on Taiwan to a level never seen before, raising widespread fears the mainland may be close to at least preparing to invade Taiwan, that would spark a hot war which could ultimately involve the United States. But all that Chinese military muscle flexing, well, it's been met by many in Taiwan with a bit of a yawn. CNN's Will Ripley joins us now live from Taipei. Will.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So, it's an interesting situation here on the island that actually reminds me, John, of being in South Korea at the height of tensions with the North. Even while the world was worried about a possible looming nuclear
conflict, people in Seoul were going about their daily lives. And that's exactly the feeling that you get here in Taipei, despite the fact that there is increasingly strong, not only rhetoric, but also military training exercises and flights coming out of mainland China. The Global Times actually put out an editorial saying that reunification is the only end game, only option, the only end game, the only thing that China will allow to happen. And they're showing their military might.
RIPLEY (voice-over): Chinese soldiers trained for the invasion of Taiwan. A new propaganda video shows an amphibious assault. Beijing says this training exercise targets Taiwan independence and interference by external forces like U.S. A warning for President Joe Biden and other U.S. allies who continue to voice support for Taiwan.
U.S. arms sales to the island at record highs. Taiwan's defense minister says China could launch a full-scale war by 2025. He says military tensions are the worst in more than 40 years. The mainland's massive army poses a growing threat to the world's only Chinese speaking democracy.
On the streets of Taiwan, we get a sense of the mood on the ground. It's not what you might think.
LOUIS YANG, RESTAURANT OWNER: China is for a long time like they want to take over Taiwan, but they just -- may be just saying we don't know that.
RIPLEY: We're still here.
YANG: Yeah, we're still here.
RIPLEY: Louis Yang owns a small burger restaurant. He believes Taiwan is a country, his country, not part of China.
Tea shop owner Lisu Su thinks the U.S. military would intervene.
LISU SU, HERBAL TEA SHOP OWNER (through translation): I think the United States has to help because of Taiwan strategic position, as long as Taiwan does not give up on itself and has a strong defense ability, I think the United States will definitely help.
RIPLEY: This month, China flew a record number of Warplanes near Taiwan, including fighter jets and nuclear capable bombers. Beijing has never ruled out taking Taiwan by force, insisting the island is part of mainland China, even though it has its own government and military more than 70 years after China's Civil War.
RIPLEY: And this is the first time in those more than 70 years that analysts believe Chinese President Xi Jinping actually commands an army that could be capable of taking Taiwan, maybe even in a mat in a matter of days. It maybe even with U.S. backing. This, of course, would make him different from every Chinese leader since now that has vowed to absorb the island but has allowed the status quo to continue, given that he's likely to become a president for life, could this be the final crowning achievement he wants to bring Taiwan back to the mainland because again, the Chinese have been saying all along, that is going to happen, it's just a matter of when, John.
VAUSE: Will, yeah, thank you. Will Ripley there live for us in Taipei.
Well, China's first solar exploration satellite has blasted off on this rocket on Thursday. Chinese officials say it's now in orbit. The Chinese public even helped name it the goddess of the Sun that's an ancient Chinese mythology. Rocket also carried 10 other small satellites.
China also launching three astronauts into space on Saturday. Beijing space agency says the crew will spend six months at the nation's space station which is still being constructed.
CNN's David Culver tells us, he has more evidence of the increasing vigorous space race between China and the United States.
DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: 90-year-old Star Trek actor William Shatner blasted into space becoming the oldest man to reach such heights amid great fanfare in the U.S.
WILLIAM SHATNER, STAR TREK ACTOR: Oh wow.
CULVER: 1000s of miles away here in the Gobi Desert, China's latest space mission won't set any records, but it is a major step forward in this country's fast growing and increasingly ambitious space program.
CNN gaining rare access to the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern China. Shenzhou-13, carrying three Chinese astronauts to the country's soon to be completed space station called Tiangong, or heavenly palace. China has touted their space station as next generation, an alternative to the International Space Station. But the 15 country ISS has already been occupied for more than 20 years, the U.S. passed a law barring China from participating leading some experts to question --
DAVID BURBACH, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, U.S. NAVAL WAR COLLEGE: If we had brought China in to work with us on ISS would China have felt as compelled to develop their own fully independent program as rapidly as they have.
CULVER: Its Hollywood's portrayal coming to reality. Sandra Bullock's character and gravity saved by a Chinese space station on her way back to earth. Wang Yaping told us in 2015 it is her favorite film. She is one of three Chinese astronauts on this mission.
The crew also includes a newcomer to space travel, 41-year-old Ye Guangfu, who took part in cave training with astronauts from five countries in 2016. YE GUANGFU, CHINESE ASTRONAUT (through translation): I hope one day, I can fly with other international astronauts in space and welcome them to visit China's Space Station.
CULVER: But Western astronauts will need to study up first. These operation interfaces are in Chinese and China's state media reports that European astronauts are already taking language courses so they can visit the Chinese Space Station.
Despite a late start in the space race, China is rapidly catching up. It has returned samples from the moon and like the U.S. put a rover on Mars all within the last year. It's also got big plans for commercial ventures and for deep space exploration, including to build a base on the moon with Russia and send humans to Mars in the 2030s. From launching billionaires to cosmic explorations, the U.S. is still leading with plenty of headline grabbing launches, and a long history of success, putting 12 men on the moon. But the more pressing challenge, prioritizing the multi-billions in funding needed for the U.S. to hold on to that lead. Some experts believe the added competition from China might fuel more innovation.
BURBACH: If you're somebody who wants to see humans land on Mars and more scientific probes throughout the solar system, geopolitical competition is probably not the worst thing in the world.
CULVER: Well, Captain Kirk is helping capture U.S. imaginations to propel the us forward in this tightening Space Race. China's three astronauts now embarking on a six-month mission, the country's longest yet to secure their footing out of this world. David Culver, CNN, Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, China.
VAUSE: Investigations into a deadly residential building fire in Taiwan and now focusing on a couple who lived on the first floor.
According to Taiwan's news agency, firefighters found a used intense burn and suspect that may have sparked the place. At least 46 people were killed, and 41 others were injured.
Still to come, radio silence from Donald Trump's former right-hand man as congressional lawmakers investigate the January 6 insurrection set to charge Steve Bannon with contempt.
Also ahead, we take a closer look at the quest for justice after the Holocaust 60 years after the trial of Adolf Eichmann.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back everyone. I'm John Vause. And you're watching CNN NEWSROOM.
Steve Bannon, the architect of Donald Trump's successful bid for the White House, could soon be charged with contempt. The congressional committee investigating the January 6th insurrection on Capitol Hill is now moving forward charges after Bannon refused to comply with the subpoena.
CNN's Paula Reid has details.
PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Lawmakers investigating January 6th moved to hold longtime Trump advisor, Steve Bannon, in criminal contempt, after he defied their subpoena to sit for a deposition today.
In a statement, the committee chairmen, Bennie Thompson said he "will not tolerate defiance of our subpoenas so we must move forward".
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): So, we are not fooling around. We expect people to fulfill their lawful duties.
REID: Bannon has repeatedly said he will not comply, unless ordered by a court. Noting, that former President Trump has said he will invoke executive privilege and has directed Bannon not to participate.
In a letter to lawmakers, Bannon's lawyer wrote, that is an issue between the committee and President Trump's counsel. And Mr. Bannon is not required to respond at this time.
While lawmakers took to the airwaves to say, they are seeking the truth, Bannon didn't even address it in his podcast. Instead, just repeating the big lie.
STEVE BANNON, FORMER TRUMP ADVISOR: Stolen elections have catastrophic consequences, and that's what we're seeing in this country right now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are you doing this afternoon.
REID: Bannon was not the only no-show on Capitol Hill. Sources tell CNN, the committee agreed to a short postponement of a scheduled deposition with former Trump Pentagon official, Kash Patel. Multiple sources tell CNN, Patel continues to engage in lawmakers, but in a podcast interview, Thursday, Representative Adam Schiff, referred to Patel as an evil zealot, who is willing to do anything Trump wanted.
SCHIFF: And he rose, phoenix-like, through the Trump administration. One position, after another. Even being contemplated to take over the CIA.
REID: Schiff also emphasized the committee is interested in how Trump tried to pressure Justice Department officials, to overturn the 2020 election.
The committee sent another subpoena, to a former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark. Investigators cite credible evidence that he was involved in efforts to interrupt peaceful transfer of power, even proposing the Justice Department send a letter to state legislators, in Georgia and other states suggesting they delay certification of election results. A source familiar with Clark's discussions with the committee say it is likely he will testify.
On Wednesday, former acting attorney general, Jeffrey Rosen, who pushed back on Clark's efforts to overturn the election, spoke with investigators for 8 hours.
Trump can still file a legal challenge to try to block requests from the committee, but it is unclear if he will be successful. On Wednesday, he issued a statement suggesting Republicans will not vote in 2022 or 2024, if 2020 election fraud is not, quote, "solved".
(on camera): Trump released a statement, attacking the committee, suggesting it should hold itself in criminal content. Now Trump advisers Mark Meadows and Dan Scavino were both scheduled to appear for depositions tomorrow but lawmakers have agreed to postpone those. It is unclear if either men will cooperate, but now they have seen what happens if they don't.
Paula Reid, CNN -- Washington.
VAUSE: Millionaire real estate tycoon, Robert Durst, has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murder of his longtime friend.
Durst, the subject of the HBO series, "The Jinx", chose not to speak for his sentencing on Thursday. He was convicted of first degree murder last month for killing Susan Berman more than two decades ago.
Prosecutors say Durst killed Berman to tell her from telling police about the role in the unsolved disappearance of his first wife in 1982. Her body has never been found.
Still to come here on CNN NEWSROOM --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MURRAY HONIG, SON OF HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS: Your grandma is here. She's the fourth from the right.
ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Right.
So the vast majority of the people in this picture did not make it.
M. HONIG: Did not survive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: A special report from CNN's Elie Honig, a descendant of Holocaust victims and survivors, 60 years after the trial of Adolf Eichmann, the man responsible for the death of millions of Jews.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) VAUSE: It was a turning point in history and a crucial moment for the fledgling Israeli state. 60 years ago, the notorious SS officer, Adolf Eichmann, known as the architect of the Holocaust, stood trial charged with organizing genocide on an industrial scale.
Broadcast from an Israeli court room to television in the living rooms of millions of viewers around the world, they watched as survivors and witnesses described the unspeakable horrors he orchestrated. They watched as Israeli justice held one man accountable for his actions.
CNN senior legal analyst Elie Honig is a former U.S. federal prosecutor. His grandparents lived through this dark period of history. He sat down with some key participants in the trial to talk about their quest for justice and the threat anti-Semitism and ethnic hatred still pose today.
HONIG (voice over): 60 years ago, the world saw evil. In 1961 millions of people across the globe watched as Adolf Eichmann, the notorious Nazi official known as the architect of the Holocaust stood trial in Jerusalem for crimes against humanity.
M. HONIG: But I do remember it happening, and I remember more the aspect of like -- I think it struck me as more they got this guy. And I remember from that point on, certainly people began to understand what this was about.
E. HONIG: 11 months earlier, Israeli Mossad agents had captured Eichmann in Argentina, where he had been living as a fugitive, for a decade.
They brought Eichmann to Jerusalem to face justice for his role in the systematic execution of more than six million Jews during World War II.
M. HONIG: Your grandmother is here. She is the fourth from the right.
E. HONIG: Right. So, the vast majority of the people in this picture did not make it.
M. HONIG: They did not survive.
E. HONIG: My father, the son of two holocaust survivors, remembers the trial as a turning point.
M. HONIG: You have to understand, now everyone knows the Holocaust with a capital H.
E. HONIG: Right.
M. HONIG: When we grew up, this was not a thing. the Holocaust was not a thing. It was a private tragedy. It was a -- it was a -- it was a tragedy of the Jewish people so a lot of it wasn't spoken about.
Until -- Eichmann. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They (INAUDIBLE) together with the others, during
the period of 1939 to 1945 towards the killing of millions of Jews in his capacity as a person responsible for the execution of the Nazi plans, for the physical extermination of the Jews known as the Final Solution of the Jewish Problem.
HONIG: Gabriel Bach (ph) now 94 years old, was one of the prosecutors who tried Eichmann, in Israel's newly formed court system.
GABRIEL BACH, PROSECUTORS: The courtroom -- we had a special room where all the prosecutors sat together and the defense counsel sat together. And then they had in order to protect the accused, they had a special glass booth where he was kept.
This was really a very, very special moment that here in a Jewish state, in a Jewish trial, we are the representatives of the Jewish people.
BACH: And that we can show that the men who murdered millions of people from our society -- that that was very, very justifiable and very just that we should do that and not to leave it to a court of another country.
E. HONIG: It was one of the first televised trials the world had ever seen. And it was a pivotal moment in the world's reckoning with the genocide perpetrated by the Nazis.
MICHAEL GOLDMANN-GILEAD, HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR (through translator): I was about 16 when the Nazis took over. In July 1942, my parents and my sister were taken onto a train. We did not know where at the time but later found out it was the Belzec extermination camp. My sister was 10 years old.
The last time I saw them was on my birthday. It was July 26th, 1942. And I saw them for 15 minutes.
E. HONIG: Like my grandmother, Michael Goldmann-Gilead, now 96 years old, lost most of his family to the Holocaust. He survived the horrors of multiple concentration camps, including Auschwitz, and he survived the infamous death march.
GOLDMANN-GILEAD: It was January 18th, 1945. We were taken out in rows of 1,000 each. And there were SS officers with dogs and we were made to march. It was heavy snow and it seemed implausible. But, we marched 60 kilometers that night.
E. HONIG: Thousands of people died during that brutal death march. Little did Goldmann-Gilead know he would go on to play a pivotal role as an investigator in the trial of Adolf Eichmann.
GOLDMANN-GILEAD: I was in my investigation room and when he entered the room, I saw a poor frightened person shaking. And in comparison to Eichmann in his ss uniform, this ubermensch -- I couldn't believe it. It was the same person, standing in front of me, responsible for the death of my parents. But when he opened his mouth, I cannot forget this. When he opened his mouth, I saw the doors of the crematorium open.
E. HONIG: Goldmann-Gilead and the investigative team, many of them Holocaust survivors themselves interrogated Eichmann over the course of several months. They went through thousands upon thousands of documents piecing together the horrific events. And building a volume of evidence that they hope could prove Eichmann's role beyond a shadow of a doubt.
GOLDMANN-GILEAD: One of the documents was from Poland documenting a single transport to Auschwitz, November, 1943 and it has a list of numbers of those who arrived. Those who were sent to the camps. Those sent to the crematoriums.
I realized my number is part of that list -- 161135. So I looked at them, and I said you need not look elsewhere. The proof is here because I was part of that transport. The number is still on my arm.
E. HONIG: The Eichmann trial served dual purposes. First to bring the Nazi's chief architect of the Holocaust to justice. Second, to highlight in detail what had happened to the Jewish people with firsthand eyewitness testimony of survivors. People who turned the statistical 6 million-figure, into personal stories of horror that the world would be unable to forget.
BACH: There was a witness in 1930. It was one of the witness -- (INAUDIBLE) it was sent to -- to Auschwitz city family. And his wife and his little daughter and his son.
GOLMANN-GILEAD: Then they told us, men to had right together with the boys after the age of 4. And women and children to the left.
BACH: Somehow, everyone knew, the people who are caught by some of the SS people, they were sent either to the left or to the right in Auschwitz.
So the right meant they could stay alive because they wanted their work on something. So the left meant to their death.
GOLDMANN-GILEAD: We saw that the women were already going. And we were still standing, until they almost disappeared. My girl wore a red overcoat.
And I still, I saw that red spot. And that red spot was the sign that my wife was, also there. But that red spot was waning, of course and was smaller and smaller. I went to the right and I never saw them again.
BACH: I had a little daughter exactly two and a half years old. I had bought her two weeks before that the red coat. And when we spoke about that, the little girl, two and a half years old. The red coat. And the little red dot, getting smaller and smaller. This is how his whole family disappeared from his life.
Standing there as the prosecutor I suddenly couldn't utter a sound.
Eichmann had practically unlimited power to declare who was to be killed among the Jews, chronologically, and by segment of population, what countries geographically and throughout.
E. HONIG: After months of the prosecution presenting its case, Eichmann finally took the stand in his own defense.
BACH: I wondered that it would be clear to everyone in the world that this man was given a just trial? That he was given a possibility to have a defense council, who would be covered by the government. He asked for a German and therefore the government agreed to that. And I certainly agreed with that.
And then the whole trial, and every way, and every field, should be handled in a just manner.
E. HONIG: Under cross examination, despite being confronted with documents that showed his direct involvement, Eichmann repeatedly claimed he was just following orders.
ADOLF EICHMANN, ARCHITECT OF THE HOLOCAUST: I did not give these orders whether the people should be taken to their death or not. This was the administrative routine, this is how it was arranged. And my part in this was just a tiny, particle in this.
I am not beating about the bush. I was in Hungary also. One of those receiving orders and not giving orders.
GOLDMANN-GILEAD: He lied through and through. He was acting. He was acting all the time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In September 1939, the accused committed acts of expelling, uprooting, and exterminating a population. In coordination with --
E. HONIG: Finally in December 1961, the trial was over and the verdict was in. The court found Eichmann guilty and sentenced him to death.
BACH: Here was a man who was appointed to be charged of causing the carrying out of the murder of millions of people, so if any person deserved this, it was him.
GOLDMANN-GILEAD: That was the sentence for one person. But what about the other Eichmann (ph) who fled Germany and died at good old ages and were never brought to trial. You can give a sentence for one person, but you cannot avenge. There is no vengeance for what was done to the Jewish people.
E. HONIG: After Eichmann had exhausted all of his legal appeals he was hanged. Just a few minutes past midnight on June 1st, 1962.
Michael Goldmann-Gilead witnessed the execution and was part of the very small group chosen to spread Eichmann's cremated ashes at sea. GOLDMANN-GILEAD: I remember seeing the ashes. How little the ashes
were. I thought wow, how can this be so few ashes for a whole human being? And this brought me back to an incident in Birkenau when about 30 of us were taken from our barracks to another building. That building had a chimney. It was a crematorium.
And next to it, a mountain. When I got closer, I realized that mountain was a mountain of ashes, a mountain of human beings. I remember, it was cold and it was icy, we were ordered to take wheelbarrows and shovels. And take the ashes and spread them on the road so that the soldiers who were patrolling would not slip on the ice.
After we have spread Eichmann's ashes, we stood quietly at the edge of the boat. I thought to myself about my parents, my family, and those who did not have the privilege to see one of the greatest murderers brought to justice.
E. HONIG: 60 years later with the number of living witnesses to the Nazi campaign of terror, shrinking by the day, the risk of Holocaust distortion and denial is a threat that makes the lessons of the Eichmann trial more relevant today than ever.
CROWD: Jews will not replace us
E. HONIG: The fight against hate based on race, religion, ethnicity, sex is a battle that's still being fought.
White supremacy and racial hatred remain serious threats and they are on the rise.
GOLDMANN-GILEAD: With the death of Eichmann, the murderous ideology of nationalist socialism was not scattered. It's still existing here and there in the form of hatred. Hatred, that is dangerous.
And we must be on guard so that catastrophes do not repeat themselves. Hatred can cause catastrophes and bring an end to this world, and we must educate the new generation not to hate and to avoid such hatred.
Otherwise our struggle against evil will be in vain.
E. HONIG: As the grandson of two holocaust survivors, I am part of one of those new generations. 60 years ago, Gabriel Bach and Michael Goldmann-Gilead stood up and fought for justice, for their own families, for mine, and for millions of others.
I am Elie Honig for CNN.
VAUSE: Elie Honig there reminding everyone that we must never, ever forget and always fight back, against any and all hatred.
And we'll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
VAUSE: A tattered painting by the mysterious street artist Banksy has sold for more $25 million -- $25 million actually. The Girl with Balloon, originally went on the block back in 2018. But while it was being auctioned, a hidden mechanism, half shredded the original image.
Now, since then, it's become even more famous, or infamous. Renamed as Love is in the Bin, early estimates, put the sale price around $8 million, but instead said that $25 million dollar winning bid on Thursday topping a previous work Banksy sold just last month for $23 million.
The hit TV series, Downton Abbey was filled with fictional drama of the aristocratic Crowley family and their servants. But in reality, the castle's has seen some struggles recently. Not least has been the incredible financial burden of running and maintaining Highclere Castle during some of the difficult days of the pandemic.
CNN's Richard Quest has our report from Downton Abbey.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT: How else are you going to arrive at Highclere Castle? Come on.
Highclere Castle has stood for more than 300 years. Yet the world knows this magnificent place better as Downton Abbey, home to Lord and Lady Grantham.
It's exactly the same as it is on the telly.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I guess.
QUEST: The real Granthams people, if you wil, are actually the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon.
FIONA CARNARVON, COUNTESS OF CARNARVON: So that is my husband and the queen's arms here. But here she is, this good mother
QUEST: Highclere has been the family seat since the 17th century. Through two world wars and now Covid. In the early pandemic, we spoke to Lady Carnarvon from Highclere, when she was one of our voices of the crisis.
CARNARVON: Like many other businesses, it's an incredibly tough time. We have all fallen over a cliff.
QUEST: What did you promise me?
CARNARVON: I promised you afternoon tea.
QUEST: And as good as your word, oh tea at Downton.
I must remember not to call the butler Carson. But to be honest, he's used to it. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am the butler of Downton. My name is Carson
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you do, Mr. Carson?
QUEST: When we spoke last year, you were in the process of working out ways to get the thing moving again. How bad did it get?
CARNARVON: I think it got -- well, it got to zero income which for any business is definitely bad because obviously the bills continue to come and the costs continue to be there. So like other businesses, it was working out to what we could, the art of the possible.
QUEST: Did you ever get worried?
GEORGE HERBERT CARNAVON, EARL OF CARNARVON: It was very, very difficult. People were on furlough and coming again, going away again.
F. CARNARVON: I think we were all frightened for our health, for those we loved. Fighting for our business, fighting for what we built up, and fighting for the future.
QUEST: Keeping Highclere in good shape is a constant struggle.
F. CARNARVON: It's an extraordinary building and I don't' know we'd have the craftsman today to make it.
QUEST: The eighth Earl of Carnarvon inherited the castle from his father, 20 years ago.
I mean it's very beautiful. Look at this.
F. CARNARVON: We did used to wake up in the middle of the night and I go and get a cup of tea thinking I'm like what do we do?
QUEST: The landed gentry in England, are used to this tug of war between keeping the heritage, and managing to pay the bills.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Will the staff stay? Will the farms pay? What are we going to do about the roof?
QUEST: Lady Mary would be proud of the way the real countess views the business.
F. CARNARVON: There is no secret pot of gold what we do here every month and firstly pay the salaries. So that's going to pay for these mortgages.
QUEST: Yes, it's beautiful and romantic to look at, but it is only there because someone is continually paying to keep it.
F. CARNARVON: Working and bringing some money in.
I've always remembered that sales are vanity, profits are sanity. I don't want to be a busy fool. QUEST: Forgive me, I'm a huge Downton fan. And I can't resist looking
F. CARNARVON: I think you're going to recognize this room.
QUEST: That's Lord Grantham's desk.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's this?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's the sphinx darling, in Egypt.
F. CARNARVON: Do you find it a bit --
QUEST: Surreal? That your home is a fictitious place?
CARNARVON: It is surreal, but how wonderful.
QUEST: To walk through these rooms, to hear the history, to meet the Carnarvons. It is like, well, Downton.
Richard Quest, CNN, Highclere Castle or Downton Abbey or Highclere Castle.
VAUSE: He may never come back.
Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause.
Please stay with us. CNN NEWSROOM continues with my friend and colleague, Paula Newton, after a short break.