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FDA Advises On COVID-19 Vaccines For Kids; Movie Set Tragedy; Turkey Threatens To Expel Ambassadors; Obama Campaigns For Key Democrats; U.K. Prime Minister Urges Vaccinations As COVID-19 Cases Surge; Colombia Captures Most Wanted Drug Trafficker; Hurricane Rick Nears Mexican Coast; Climate Change Fueling Humanitarian Disasters; Supply Chain Chaos. Aired 5-6a ET
Aired October 24, 2021 - 05:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KIM BRUNHUBER, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Welcome to all of you watching us here in the United States, Canada and around the world. I'm Kim Brunhuber and this is CNN NEWSROOM.
A mother and wife whose cinematic career was about to take off, Halyna Hutchins remembered after she was killed on a movie set.
Former president Barack Obama back on the campaign trail. We'll bring you his message to Republicans.
Plus, parts of the western U.S. brace for a major storm this weekend. We have the detailed forecast, coming up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Live from CNN Center, this is CNN NEWSROOM with Kim Brunhuber.
BRUNHUBER: Mourners paid tribute Saturday to the movie crew member who was accidentally shot to death by actor Alec Baldwin.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRUNHUBER (voice-over): These are images from a memorial in Albuquerque, New Mexico, honoring Halyna Hutchins. Police say she was killed Thursday when Baldwin unknowingly fired a live round from what was supposed to be a prop gun.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUNHUBER: CNN's Lucy Kafanov was at that vigil and she has new details on the timeline leading to her death.
LUCY KAFANOV, CNN CORRESPONDENT: People have gathered here in downtown Albuquerque to mourn the passing of Halyna Hutchins, just 42 years old, a rising star in the film industry, whose life was cut so tragically short.
A lot of the people here are part of the industry. This vigil, in fact, was organized by the union representing film and television employees. So a lot of folks know, firsthand, what happens on film sets.
And so many here are affected by this one death, because this is a close-knit community where people know one another. They are brothers and sisters. As one location manager told us, who is very much impacted by this tragic killing, even though she wasn't on set, she knew almost everyone in the room, she says. Take a listen.
REBECCA STAIR, FILM LOCATION MANAGER: I just hope this talking does something and I hope my talking with you gets amplified and we get the changes that we need for a safe set. I'm sure you know we were about to strike this past Monday for safer conditions. And if the world didn't believe us about what was going on, maybe they believe us now.
KAFANOV: People should be able to go home after performing their job.
STAIR: Yes. The child should have a mother.
KAVANAUGH: Again, a lot of unanswered questions. So far, we've been some getting new details from an affidavit that's been released about the evidence that was gathered on that location and a little bit of the rough timeline.
We understand, the head armorer, the person in charge of prop weapons, on any film set, placed three weapons on a tray, outside of a structure where, on Thursday, Alec Baldwin and the rest of the film crew were rehearsing or filming.
We understand that the assistant director picked up one of the prop weapons, walked it inside the structure, handing it to Mr. Baldwin, shouting, "cold gun," which, in the industry, means it should not have had any live rounds.
Unfortunately, something terrible followed. We understand, according to the affidavit, Mr. Baldwin fired the weapon and that is when the fatal shooting took place.
Alec Baldwin was wearing Western style clothing. This was for, again, for an 1880s period piece film. Police say the clothing appeared to be stained with blood. They confiscated that as part of their investigation.
And we know from sheriffs, authorities have been combing every inch of that location, that films set. They've been interviewing witnesses, gathering electronic material, any film of iPhones, iPads, anything that can help them piece together, exactly, what took place that fateful Thursday afternoon -- Lucy Kafanov, CNN, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
BRUNHUBER: "Rust" cast member Hayes Hargrove told CNN that he had no direct knowledge of the events that led to Halyna Hutchins' death but said that movie sets are by nature dangerous environments.
He also said, "A bright, talented, striking, fierce mother was killed and Alec Baldwin's life is forever ruined."
Meanwhile, Dave Halls, the assistant director on the film and set of "Rust" was the subject of complaints over safety. During two other productions in 2019, according to Maggie Gall, a propmaker and licensed pyrotechnician who worked with Halls. She said the complaints included disregard for safety precautions for weapons.
BRUNHUBER: Gall also said, the only reason the crew was made aware of a weapons presence was because the assistant prop master demanded they acknowledge and announce the situation each day. There are reports of other safety protocol violations and allegations of sexual misconduct against Halls as well.
He hasn't yet responded to CNN's request for comment about Gall's allegations against him.
Actor Richard Gere is among the witnesses listed in a trial involving Italy's former interior minister. Matteo Salvini is accused of kidnapping 147 migrants in 2019 after he denied their ship permission to disembark in Italy.
Prosecutors say that left the migrants stranded at sea, putting their lives at risk. Salvini denies the claim. The right-leaning politician mocked the seriousness of the allegations due to Gere being on the witness list. The actor visited the migrants on board while they waited off the coast of Italy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATTEO SALVINI, ITALIAN INTERIOR MINISTER (through translator): Being put on trial for just doing my duty is surreal. I'm sorry for that. Richard Gere will come, now you tell me how serious is a trial where Richard Gere comes from Hollywood to testify on how bad I am.
I hope it lasts as short as possible because there are more important things to take care of.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUNHUBER: For more on this, let's bring in Barbie Nadeau in Rome.
Barbie, as we just heard there, Salvini is using Gere's celebrity presence as a stick to beat his accusers with.
So what is Gere expected to testify to, exactly?
BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He's going to be a very crucial witness in this case. He was in Lampedusa. He took water and food supplies to the 147 migrants who were stranded on the ship for 19 days, while Salvini prohibited them from disembarking in Italy. Now this was a Spanish-flagged NGO ship run by the organization, Open
Arms. And Salvini argued that they should have taken the migrants to Spain, not to Italy. And he said, as interior minister, he was just doing his job.
And Richard Gere, while it may be bringing attention to a topic a lot of people outside of Italy won't be paying attention to, he will be able to provide crucial information about the conditions on that ship, which is the crux of this case.
The next trial is December 17th. We don't know yet when Mr. Gere is expected to testify and we don't know if it will be in person or if it will be by video link. But his testimony is actually quite crucial in this case, Kim.
BRUNHUBER: How strong a case do prosecutors have?
I'm wondering if experts think that there's a good chance that Salvini could actually be convicted here?
NADEAU: Well, you know, a lot of the legal analysts that we've spoken to say that the kidnapping charge is rather peculiar, because he was acting as interior minister and he wasn't actually on the ship himself.
But it will draw attention to the struggle that's constant in Italy and that's whether or not people, who are leaving the coast of Africa, trying to get to Europe, if they become Italy's responsibility. Based on the Dublin protocol, yes, they should be.
But Salvini and many other politicians have argued that no, they shouldn't be. And we've seen up to 120,000 migrants crossing the sea in one year, in 2017. That was the last time that there were huge numbers. But so far this year, 49,000 people have crossed the sea and this case will draw attention to that. Richard Gere will certainly be part of that attention.
BRUNHUBER: We'll keep following that. Thanks so much, Barbie Nadeau in Rome.
The fate of a jailed businessman is the latest flashpoint between Turkey and its NATO allies. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to expel 10 ambassadors and that includes envoys from U.S., Canada and France.
Osman Kavala has been held without a conviction since 2017. He was acquitted on charges stemming from a protest eight years ago. But that verdict was overturned and he now faces charges for alleged involvement in the 2016 failed coup. Here is Mr. Erdogan defending his crackdown.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, PRESIDENT OF TURKEY (through translator): You cannot dare to come to the Turkish foreign ministry and give orders here. I give the necessary order to our foreign minister and say what must be done. These 10 ambassadors must be declared persona non grata at once. We will sort it out immediately.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUNHUBER: CNN's Arwa Damon joins us now from Istanbul.
So Arwa, allies there, you know, are warning that this isn't in Turkey's interest.
So what's behind the move, then?
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, a lot of it is really stemming, presumably, from Turkey and especially Erdogan's frustration with Europe and the West.
Erdogan most certainly views this statement that was signed by these 10 ambassadors as being yet another attempt, as we have been hearing over and over again, to try to meddle in Turkey's internal affairs. Erdogan has repeatedly made the point that Turkey doesn't meddle in these respective countries' internal affairs.
DAMON: And there are other Turkish officials who are calling this some kind of Western plot to try to destabilize the country. For the part of the 10 that have issued this joint statement, this is an escalation of a situation that has been ongoing for quite some time now, as there have been repeated calls for the release of Osman Kavala, with European countries and America viewing his detention as being politically motivated.
And, of course, one has to note that Turkey is quite notorious for the ongoing detention of any voices of opposition and journalists. But this is much more than just another diplomatic spat or escalation, no matter how you look at it, because of the ties between Turkey and Europe.
Not just the fact that Turkey is a NATO member but also Europe -- the European Union is Turkey's largest trade ally. So there are a number of pressure points of that these European countries could, should they choose to do so, use to put more pressure on Erdogan's government.
The economy here is faltering, the lira has been plummeting. That being said, Turkey has moves that it can make against Europe, as well. And I think everyone who is watching the situation right now is just hoping that both sides take a step back rather than move this escalation further forward, Kim.
BRUNHUBER: Yes, absolutely. All right. Arwa Damon in Istanbul, thank you so much.
Candidates begin the final hunt for votes in Virginia's neck and neck gubernatorial race. Next, you'll hear some of their final pitches to voters and we'll explain why the race could be a barometer for the entire nation.
Plus, a growing movement that could dramatically change the U.S. map and size of numerous states.
What's behind the push for change?
We'll explain, coming up later. Stay with us.
BRUNHUBER: Virginia is nine days away from a gubernatorial election that's seen as a litmus test for the voters' mood nationwide. Recent polls show a neck and neck race between Democrat Terry McAuliffe, who's on the left, and Republican Glenn Youngkin.
That's despite the fact that Virginia has been favoring Democrats for years and that McAuliffe has already served one term, while Youngkin is a political novice.
Polls also show that Republicans are more enthusiastic about the race than Democrats. But McAuliffe received a big boost, with former president Barack Obama stumping for him Saturday. Dan Merica has more.
DAN MERICA, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Former president Barack Obama made his return to the campaign trail, his first political event of 2021, here in Richmond, Virginia, where he stumped for Democrat Terry McAuliffe and issued a piece-by-piece takedown of Republican opponent Glenn Youngkin.
At numerous times, Obama, who somewhat mockingly took on Youngkin, attacking some of his ads that cast him as a regular guy, despite the fact that he is wealthy former private equity CEO. And saying that that gets at his character. Take a listen to how he went after the Republican candidate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When you don't separate yourselves from them, when you don't think that's a problem, well, you know what?
That's a problem.
You can't run ads telling me you're a regular old hoops-playing, dish- washing, fleece-wearing guy but quietly cultivate support from those who seek to tear down our democracy.
Either he actually believes in the same conspiracy theories that resulted in a mob or he doesn't believe it but he's willing to go along with it to say or do anything to get elected. And maybe that's worse because that says something about character. And character will end up showing when you actually are in office.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MERICA: Now at no point during Obama's speech did he mention his successor, former president Donald Trump. But McAuliffe, the Democratic candidate here, certainly did, repeatedly hitting Trump and tying him to Glenn Youngkin, at one point saying that Youngkin, his opponent, is just Donald Trump in khakis.
This event was not necessarily about persuasion. Many of the people here had either already voted or intend to vote for McAuliffe on the November 2nd election. This was more about turnout. This is a city that Obama won overwhelmingly in 2008 and 2012.
And that is why he is here, urging voters, some of whom are very tired with politics, something he himself admitted he was tired as well, urging them to come out and vote, because this election, as he said, is just too important -- Dan Merica, CNN, Richmond.
BRUNHUBER: But on his end, Youngkin is largely trying not to nationalize the race. As Eva McKend reports, his final pitch to voters is focusing on a big bread and butter issue.
EVA MCKEND, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: The issue of education dominated Glenn Youngkin's remarks Saturday evening in the Richmond area. He has really focused on education in the final weeks of this campaign.
He feels as though this is a message that is resonating with Virginians: parents matter. People here telling me they feel so isolated from their schools during this time of the pandemic. And Youngkin is speaking to that vulnerability.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GLENN YOUNGKIN (R-VA), GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: Friends, on day one, we're going to launch the most progressive charter school program in the history of Virginia, choice within our school system where a child's zip code won't determine his or her destiny.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCKEND: Now unlike Terry McAuliffe's campaign, Youngkin not campaigning with high-profile Republican surrogates. He says this is a Virginia-focused campaign, so we won't be seeing former president Donald Trump, for instance, with him in the final weeks, although Youngkin did stress the national implications of this race.
MCKEND: He said what happens here will have an impact across the country -- from Henrico, Eva McKend, CNN. (END VIDEOTAPE)
BRUNHUBER: Another issue that could impact the race in Virginia, the state's Democratic Party has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Postal Service. They say local branches failed to deliver and process election-related material that threatens to, quote, "disenfranchise thousands of Virginia voters."
With Election Day just over a week away, Democrats want a judge to force the Postal Service to prioritize voter mail. The Postal Service says it's not aware of any delays in the delivering or processing of election-related materials in Virginia.
House lawmakers are gearing up for their interview with a critical Trump administration official about the January 6th attack on the Capitol.
Jeffrey Clark was a Justice Department official at the time of the insurrection. He pushed baseless election fraud claims and floated plans to give certain states backing to undermine the vote results.
Meanwhile, new video obtained by CNN shows one of the riot defendants speaking last month at a right-wing rally in Arizona. Also at that rally, more than a dozen members of the Proud Boys, an extremist group, which a federal judge specifically told the defendant to avoid as part of his pre-trial release.
Now to a story that could change the American political map. West Virginia's governor says he would welcome with open arms conservative Maryland counties looking to leave that state and join his.
A handful of Republican lawmakers in three counties are asking West Virginia's top Republican legislators to at least consider the idea. Maryland is also -- as a whole, went pretty solidly for President Biden in 2020. And Democrats control both U.S. Senate seats, seven of eight U.S. House seats and both chambers of the state legislature.
This is by no means the only effort of its kind. There is a campaign to get a sizable chunk of Oregon and even some in northern California to become part of greater Idaho. Supporters in Oregon claim their state refuses to protect its citizens from the rioting scene in Portland and other law and order issues.
Idaho, on the other hand, stands for more of what they see as American values.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE MCCARTER, PRESIDENT, "GREATER IDAHO": It's not a vote to start a new state. It is just the beginning process of asking Oregon to let Oregon's rural counties go and asking Idaho, would you allow us to become part of your state.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUNHUBER: But I spoke with Juliet Musso, a vice dean at the University of Southern California's Price School of Public Policy and an expert on secession and I asked her whether these efforts have any chance of working.
JULIET MUSSO, VICE DEAN, PRICE SCHOOL OF PUBLIC POLICY, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: California counties first started talking about leaving California in 1941. But I do think that we're seeing more of it.
And I think it's a sign of the times, partly because we're seeing increasing polar politicization but it's also a sign of some cultural tension we're seeing between rural and urban areas.
And in lots of these areas where we're seeing proposed secessions, these are actually very rural areas of the state, that really want to connect with neighboring states that are more rural and more ideologically and culturally similar.
BRUNHUBER: So you touched on this, the split between the rural and urban here. It seems, as you say, you know, rural areas feel ignored by the politicians in urban centers.
So would, you know, better policy and more attention to rural issues go a long way to solving the problem?
Or is it just more a matter of culture, you know, conservatives hating liberals and so on, that's at the heart of this, that no policy would solve?
MUSSO: You know, it's interesting; I think this is really as much about political identity as it is about services or public policy. I also think it's partly about gerrymandering.
You see folks in Virginia, part of what's going on in -- sorry, in Maryland -- is that these are counties that are in gerrymandered districts that's represented by a Democratic member of the general assembly.
So I do think that it is really much more about ideology and a sense of belonging. And I'm not convinced that there are political compromises that would really placate this kind of sense of alienation and resentment.
BRUNHUBER: Our thanks to Juliet Musso for her thoughts there.
Coming up, as COVID-19 cases soar in the U.K., the government doubles down on keeping the country open for business. We're live in London after the break.
Plus, we're seeing empty store shelves and rising prices for everyday items but chaos in the global supply chain is leading to another shortage that could hamper the holidays. We'll explain, coming up. Stay with us. (MUSIC PLAYING)
BRUNHUBER: U.S. COVID vaccination numbers are inching up slowly. As of Saturday, over 57 percent of Americans were fully vaccinated. That is just half a percentage point higher than this time last week.
But those numbers could go up, significantly, in the coming weeks. If Pfizer's vaccine is approved for children 5 to 11years old. FDA and CDC advisers, will discuss the issue over the next two weeks.
Meanwhile, millions more Americans are now eligible for a COVID vaccine booster. The approval also came with some new guidance about exactly who should getting another dose. CNN's senior medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen, breaks it all down for us.
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SR. MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: The FDA and the CDC have now greenlit boosters for all three vaccines that are available in the U.S. -- Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.
Moderna is the most recent. Let's take a look at the rules at who is eligible for a Moderna booster.
If your original vaccine was Moderna, then you're eligible for a booster if you're at least six months past your second Moderna shot and either you're age 65 or older; or you can be any age and a front line worker, doctor, teacher, someone more likely to become infected with COVID-19; or people of any age with an underlying medical condition; for example, being overweight is an underlying medical condition or having certain heart ailments.
The FDA and CDC already approved boosters for Pfizer and J&J recipients. Let's look at the rules for Pfizer. The same conditions are what we just laid out for Moderna.
COHEN: For Johnson & Johnson, it's different. It's two months after the original shot. That's when you become eligible.
And it's for all recipients. You don't have to be a certain age or have a certain medical condition.
Now the FDA and the CDC have made it clear that, yes, vaccine immunity is waning. But really, the vaccine is still quite good. It is still quite protective, will help keep you out of the hospital, will help keep you from dying of COVID-19. But still for these groups, they're eligible to go out and get their boosters now.
BRUNHUBER: COVID cases are surging in the U.K. and the prime minister is encouraging more people to get the vaccine. The U.K. is now averaging more than 45,000 new cases a day, some of the highest numbers since July.
But so far, the government says it won't reinstate stricter COVID rules. Instead, it's ramping up the push for vaccinations and booster shots. CNN's Frederik Pleitgen joins us from London.
So Fred, while the prime minister is pushing vaccines and boosters to fight the surge, there's more and more pressure to get in place a plan B, which would reimpose restrictions.
What more can you tell us?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There certainly is. And if you look at the data, no one calls into question how dire the situation is here in this country.
The U.K. health secretary came out last week and he said that, first of all, yes, the country has been above 40,000 infections for really several days running; in fact, for more than a week running.
He says that he fears that things could get as bad as 100,000 new daily infections as the fall and the winter progresses. And they also say that they're already at around 1,000 hospitalizations every single day.
And that has led to some groups here, especially those representing the medical professions, like the National Health Service and the British Medical Association, they have come out and they have said that this plan B, as they call it here in this country, is something that they believe needs to be implemented immediately.
They feel that there should be mask mandates in many places. There should be physical distancing and also, possibly vaccine certificates in certain places, as well, just to try to break this new wave of COVID infections that is really enveloping this entire country.
The government says at this point in time, they don't want to initiate this plan B. In fact, the prime minister, Boris Johnson, late this week, he came out and he said that he believes that, while the number of infections was bad, it's still within the parameters, as he put it, of what had been expected.
He did issue, as he called it, a call to arms yesterday, where he said that people should get booster shots, if they're over 50 or at risk of COVID-19; that people who have not yet been fully vaccinated should make sure that their vaccination is complete.
And also, people as young as the age as 12 should get single shots. It really seems as though the government here in London wants to try to vaccinate its way out of this very dire situation that the United Kingdom is currently in, Kim BRUNHUBER: And meanwhile, the U.K. is hoping to give a huge boost to
the tourism industry by accepting a cheaper COVID test for some incoming tourists. So take us through that decision.
PLEITGEN: You're absolutely right. It's a lateral flow test, which essentially are tests that people can do themselves. They are a lot cheaper and easier to get and they certainly would make entering this country a lot more simple than it has been so far.
In fact, the rules until now have been that, if you want to go to the United Kingdom and are fully vaccinated, what you need to do in order to be able to get onto any flight, to be able to check into your flight, is you have to book a PCR test that is no later than day two after your arrival.
And you have to have proof that you booked that PCR test to be able to get on the flight. That, of course, would change with these lateral flow tests, which are a lot more simple but of course, also, in many ways, not as accurate as a full PCR test.
And there are some who believe that, in this current, very difficult situation, maybe that's something that might not be helpful. But of course, it does stand to give the country a big boost in tourism, Kim.
BRUNHUBER: Absolutely. Thanks so much, Fred Pleitgen in London.
Well, shock and outrage in Ecuador after beloved Olympic sprinter Alex Quinonez was fatally shot. Police are investigating the shooting. Another man was killed in the same location but authorities aren't sure whether the two deaths are connected. The 32-year-old Quinonez is considered one of the best sprinters in Ecuador's history.
And the most wanted drug trafficker in Colombia has been captured in a joint operation with the military. Colombian police apprehended the leader of the Clan del Golfo drug cartel. Colombia's president calls it the hardest blow that drug trafficking has suffered in this century. Journalist Stefano Pozzebon has the latest.
STEFANO POZZEBON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Colombia's security forces, announcing the capture of Dairo Antonio Usuga, a powerful drug trafficker, also known by his alias Otoniel. He is a leader of the Clan del Golfo drug cartel.
POZZEBON (voice-over): The Colombian president, says to the nation, in a televised speech, planned by the chief of staff of the army's forces. And Duque compared the capture of Otoniel to the fall, of Pablo Escobar, in the 1990s, saying, Otoniel was the most powerful drug trafficker in the world.
The Clan del Golfo is one of Colombia's largest drug cartels. They are responsible for moving tons of cocaine out of Colombia toward Mexico and the United States. In recent years this cartel has also been accused of profiting from the flow of migrants across the border between Colombia and Panama.
Otoniel was arguably Colombia's most wanted man, since the end of the civil war here, in 2016 -- for CNN, this is Stefano Pozzebon, Bogota.
BRUNHUBER: A massive storm system is threatening parts of the western U.S. We'll have details on the extreme weather hitting the region this weekend after the break.
Plus, the majestic snowy peaks of Kilimanjaro now melting at an alarming rate. We'll show you the outsized impact climate change is having on Africa, when we come back. Stay with us.
BRUNHUBER: Millions of people in several states in the western U.S. are bracing for a major storm system. It's set to hit in the coming hours and last through Monday. Flood warnings are up for parts of northern California current suffering from extreme drought.
BRUNHUBER: So for more on that link between extreme weather and climate change, let's bring in Maarten Van Aalst. He's the director of the International Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre, one of thousands that will be heading to Glasgow to attend the upcoming climate change conference and he joins us from Netherlands.
Thank you so much for being here. Appreciate it.
When most of us think climate change, we don't necessarily associate it with the Red Cross. But with the growing number of extreme climate events, unfortunately, the Red Cross is playing a growing role in helping folks after these disasters hit, including several here in the U.S., like those floods on the East Coast.
So give us the big picture about what your teams have been dealing with around the world on the front lines of the climate crisis.
MAARTEN VAN AALST, DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS/RED CRESCENT CLIMATE CENTRE: Thank you. Yes, this is, indeed, our daily reality now. We're seeing it in our disaster statistics, globally. But particularly, people at the front lines of the climate crisis are facing it every day.
In some of these cases, we can really pinpoint the climate fingerprint very scientifically. For instance, that terrible heat wave that hit the northwestern U.S. and Canada was impossible without climate change.
And the European floods that killed over 200 people in Germany and Belgium were up to nine times more likely. In many more other cases, we don't have the precise scientific numbers.
But for anyone experiencing this, as a disaster manager, it's very clear that things are changing and it's particularly the extremes as well as the surprises that are hitting us.
BRUNHUBER: So you will be there, as I said, in Glasgow, for COP26.
So what message are you hoping to send?
What are you telling world leaders?
VAN AALST: Well, I think there's two things. One is climate change is already hitting us badly now. And it's hitting us everywhere. It's the richest countries but actually, that pattern that I was describing for the U.S. and Europe, take those same extremes in vulnerable countries and the effects are even worse.
So we're very concerned about what's happening already now. And we need to avoid that problem from getting further out of hand by reducing emissions rapidly while at the same time acknowledging that we need to be prepared for these worse extremes. And that's preparing everywhere but of course, especially in the most vulnerable communities.
BRUNHUBER: So as this is being discussed here in the U.S., Democrats are scrambling to come to an agreement on President Biden's social spending bill. But it looks like the boldest and toughest measures to tackle the climate crisis may not make it into the final bill.
So from a global perspective, what will it say if the U.S. comes to Glasgow without delivering on a meaningful commitment to climate change?
VAN AALST: Well, the U.S. is obviously a very important player. So I am still hopeful that there is some progress to be made there.
VAN AALST: Of course, the United States is also not the only country. So we rely on all countries to do their part. And that means being much more ambitious than we've been so far.
So the United States need to step up further but others do, as well. We still have a chance to keep global warming from rising above that 1.5 degrees Celsius total rise, since we started emitting all of these greenhouse gases.
And it sounds like an abstract number but what science shows increasingly is, the further we go beyond that 1.5 degrees limit, the more -- the risk that we're already facing today will, indeed, get out of hand. I was speaking to some of my colleagues in the Maldives, for instance,
who were already experienced with the current shift in climate. They just know, beyond 1.5 degrees, their corals will be gone, which means their fisheries will be gone, so they have no food they're getting from the ocean right now.
Their tourism will also be gone and, more importantly, their islands won't grow along with the rising sea levels. So they're really fearing for a future where that will not be reached.
We can still keep that warming from rising beyond 1.5 degrees but we have to make that transition on the energy side really, really quickly. So I'm hopeful that America will come around but that has to be the same for other countries.
BRUNHUBER: When we talk about climate change, we talk about world leaders and politicians and so on. But it's increasingly literally hitting people where they live. So, you know, it's striking how few people are prepared. And you talked about preparedness for this.
So how should individuals, you know, as well as parents, homeowners, people like this, how should they be preparing and maybe changing the way they live or where they live to prepare for what's happening?
VAN AALST: Well, historically, sadly, we haven't always been great dealing even with the disasters that we had in the past. So we tend to think, you know, something that is high impact but low frequency won't happen to me and it's, you know, I'll just take the risk.
That is getting increasingly risky, because the risks are rising. So I think everyone needs to take into account what's happening and think about what that means for our policies and how we vote in elections but also what we do in our own neighborhood and even in our own household.
And that often also means -- I mean, it's partly decisions you make yourself. If you're in the Netherlands, for instance. Europe was the most deadly disaster in the last few years in the globe. I foresee disasters with this because of heat waves. So I can make choices about the amount of greenery in my own garden and in my own neighborhood.
But also, when the heat waves arrives, I can call on my elderly neighbor and make sure she has had her six glasses of water today, because it's often very preventable if we take the right measures when these extremes hit us. But we have to know what may be coming, prepare for it and do the right thing when it's there.
BRUNHUBER: Great advice. Thank you so much, Maarten Van Aalst, director of the International Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre, thank you so much for being with us.
VAN AALST: Thank you very much.
BRUNHUBER: And we are one week out from the U.N.'s COP26 climate summit. And one of the world's largest energy suppliers and polluters is now making a bold new promise.
Saudi Arabia has set a goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2060. The crown prince made the announcement Saturday at the Saudi green initiative in Riyadh.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOHAMMED BIN SALMAN, SAUDI CROWN PRINCE (through translator): I announce today that the kingdom of Saudi Arabia aims to reach net zero in the year 2060, through the carbon circular economy approach, in line with its development plans and enabling its economic diversification and in accordance with the dynamic baseline.
While preserving and reinforcing the kingdom's leading role in the security and stability of global energy markets.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUNHUBER: The Saudi state run Aramco oil company produces more carbon dioxide emissions than any other, nearly 60 billion tons pumped into the atmosphere over the past 50 years. On Saturday, its chief executive said the company's commitment to net zero emissions would require global cooperation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMIN NASSER, CEO, ARAMCO: Our investments are not going to be enough. The rest of the world need to make the right investment now. Otherwise, you will end up with a global economic crisis.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUNHUBER: The consequences of global warming for Africa will be catastrophic, with the U.N.'s climate agency saying, by 2030, nearly 120 million people will face worsening drought, floods and extreme heat. And Africa's rapidly melting ice caps will signal the threat of irreversible change. CNN's Eleni Giokos has more.
ELENI GIOKOS, CNNMONEY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Elephants roam the African plain against the backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro. Breathtaking images that are disappearing before our eyes.
The mountain's few glaciers are melting at a rate higher than the global average. Scientists say they could be gone within 2 decades.
PETTEN TABLAS, WMO SECRETARY-GENERAL: You can see that there's been major loss of the sea ice area and also sea ice mass and if the current trends continue, we won't see any glaciers in Africa in 2040s.
GIOKOS (voice-over): A new report from the U.N. World Meteorological Organization points to Africa's disproportionate vulnerability when it comes to climate change. Finding that 118 million extremely poor people on the continent, threatened by intensifying effects of the warming planet. The U.N. climate agency warns, if measures are not put in place right
now, many Africans will be exposed to further severe droughts, floods and extreme heat by 2030. The study draws attention to Africa's increased, food security, poverty and displacement, last year brought on by the climate crisis and impacts of the COVID pandemic.
And, even though the continent accounts for just 4 percent of global emissions, climate change could have dire consequences for the economy.
JEAN-PAUL ADAM, U.N. ECONOMIC COMMISSIONER FOR AFRICA: Not only the impact of climate change, it is costing African economies an average of 5 percent of their GDP. If warming continues at the rates projected in the report, these costs would increase, exponentially, within the next decade.
GIOKOS (voice-over): The WMO, partnering with other agencies, to publish the report. It is coming ahead of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, next weekend. The authors of the report, finding that investing in climate adaptation to mitigate the crisis, would cost $30 billion to $50 billion , each years, over the next decade.
They say it is a small price to pay, compared to the even higher costs of the disaster relief, not to mention, the irreversible damage the climate crisis will likely cause if nothing is done -- Eleni Giokos, CNN.
BRUNHUBER: And we'll be right back. Stay with us.
BRUNHUBER: The coronavirus pandemic is contributing to what analysts say is a crisis in the global supply chain ahead of a crucial holiday season. Some toy stores in the U.S. are already warning, shoppers might not get the presents they want. CNN's Clare Sebastian reports.
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Staff at this New York City toy store had no idea they would get this delivery of books and toys today or that all of the orders would be incomplete.
CHRISTINA CLARK, TOY STORE OWNER: We are placing orders, every day, constantly. As many as we can think of. One of my bigger companies, I ordered a huge order in February and it just shipped, a couple weeks ago. So it is so hard to determine when and if things will come.
SEBASTIAN (voice-over): The enticing displays here, masking an unprecedented inventory problem. Many items, running out.
CLARK: I have 3 of these and no more downstairs. I have 3 of these, no more downstairs.
SEBASTIAN (voice-over): Others, in oversupply.
CLARK: I have around 20 times that in my basement.
SEBASTIAN (voice-over): Behind the scenes?
CLARK: This is what my messy office looks like, with shipping out to be done and shipping in, to process.
SEBASTIAN (voice-over): Christina Clark says, she was warned by suppliers to stockpile ahead of the holidays; 85 percent of all toys, sold in the U.S., are imported, according to the toy association.
SEBASTIAN (voice-over): Right now, the ships that carry them, mostly from Asia, are stuck in a giant, maritime traffic jam. The result of surging demand, as economies recover and ongoing COVID related disruptions.
It's not just a shipping crisis affecting the to supply chain, there is also port congestion, piling on and a shortage of truck drivers to get them to their destination.
STEVE PASIERIB (PH), PRESIDENT AND CEO, THE TOY ASSOCIATION: That combination of online shopping, COVID shutdowns, re-supplying, things that were out of stock and the holidays together have all combined into what really is a crisis of shipping and consumer products.
SEBASTIAN (voice-over): And, it sends costs skyrocketing.
PASIERIB (PH): The average shipping container, going from somewhere around $3,000, to around $24,000, on the stock market.
SEBASTIAN (voice-over): Christina Clark says many of their suppliers raised prices twice this year and some, tacking on a shipping surcharge. Most of which, she is not passing on to our customers.
SEBASTIAN: Financially, how does this affect you?
CLARK: Well, I just have a lot of debt, I have a huge amount of debt and hope, hope that it will be covered.
SEBASTIAN (voice-over): Her message to customers?
Start your holiday shopping now. This will not be over by Christmas -- Clare Sebastian, CNN, New York.
BRUNHUBER: The Atlanta Braves will square off with the Houston Astros in this year's World Series. The Braves beat the Los Angeles Dodgers Saturday night to clinch the National League pennant and to advance to the Series.
It will be Atlanta's first time in the World Series since 1999. Houston last appeared in 2019 and won the championship in 2017. The first game of this year's series is Tuesday in Houston.
And that wraps this hour of CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Kim Brunhuber. Thanks for watching.