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Gun Expert Details Safety Measures on a Film Set; FDA Advisers to Discuss Vaccines for Kids Ages 5-11; Families of Brazilian Covid Victims Demand Justice; COP26 Climate Summit Begins Sunday in Scotland; Japan's Former Princess Mako Weds Fiancee Amid Controversy. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired October 26, 2021 - 04:30   ET



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

Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg is firing back after newly leaked documents and whistleblower testimony said the social media giant works for profit rather than public safety. In a phone call Zuckerberg said the documents paint a false picture of the company. Of course, we'll follow this story throughout the day and shall bring more.

And new details about the hours before a crew member was killed on a movie set, according to entertainment news outlet "The Wrap," the gun Alec Baldwin used accidentally fired killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was reportedly used for target practice with live ammunition earlier that day. CNN has not confirmed this report and we'll have of course much more on both those stories in roughly 30 minutes' time.

Now, safety measures on film sets can make the difference between life and death. We asked a weapons safety specialist to highlight some of the best practices and rules for handling a weapon on the film set. And here's CNN's Gary Tuchman.




GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Larry Zanoff is a renowned motion picture armorer, a weapon safety specialist in the entertainment industry.

LARRY ZANOFF, MOTION PICTURE ARMORER AND WEAPON SAFETY SPECIALIST IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY: The idea is we have the cups here in this white background, because we're going to show this is going to make a lot of noise, but there's going to be no residue and no cups knocked over because this is not a live bullet.

TUCHMAN: Exactly. It is a blank cartridge. ZANOFF: OK, so I'll give you a countdown here. Three, two, one.

TUCHMAN: No residue, no cups. Created the illusion that you want in Hollywood without a bullet coming out.

ZANOFF: Correct.

TUCHMAN (voice over): We're at the Independent Studio Services prop house north of Los Angeles. Props which they say include North America's largest private armory. Safety in the industry starts with a lockbox for weapons.

ZANOFF: The gun that we're going to use is inside here. This is a single action revolver. You can see that at the moment, it's empty.

TUCHMAN: And you keep turning it so we're sure it is empty.

ZANOFF: So, I show you this particular one has six cylinders. I always click it over seven times, just to make sure that we didn't miss anything and that you're comfortable with the fact that it is in fact an empty firearm.

TUCHMAN: And I am comfortable.

ZANOFF: So, wonderful.

TUCHMAN (voice over): This is what a blank looks like.

ZANOFF: It gets a cartridge case that's crimped over. You can see there is no projectile.

TUCHMAN; No bullet or projectile.

ZANOFF: No bullet or projectile.

TUCHMAN: But it has gunpowder.

ZANOFF: It does have gunpowder. It has a primer in it. This is what's called a modern theatrical blank.

TUCHMAN (voice over): What looks like a typical bullet is sometimes used, for example to show a tight shot of a gun being loaded in a movie or TV show, but under safety regulations, such a bullet --

ZANOFF: Is a dummy cartridge. Empty shell case, no gunpowder in it. Totally inert primer. It can't go bang. There is a projectile on the end of it --

TUCHMAN: Bullet?

ZANOFF: -- but you can see, there's a BB. I can rattle it next to your ear.

TUCHMAN: It shows there's no gunpowder in it.

ZANOFF: It means that cannot go bang. TUCHMAN (voice over): There are many other mandated precautions.

ZANOFF: So, we have our single action revolver. We have our blank cartridge. You can see there is no projectile. I've measured out 20 feet for you here which is the minimum safety distance on a film set. We have a target there. I'm going to load up the blank into the gun and I'm going to announce that the gun is hot. So, hot gun on set.

TUCHMAN: And it's a hot gun when there's something in the gun, in the chambers that will go bang.

ZANOFF: Correct if the gun is going to go bang, it's a hot gun. If it's empty and it can't go bang, it's a cold gun. We are going to go three, two, one. I'm going to unload the gun now. Presumably, they've yelled "cut." And then I make as the armorer, the announcement, cold weapon on set. Cold weapon on set.

TUCHMAN (voice over): I asked the armorer, what if someone walks right in front of a person as they're firing a gun with a blank? Could you be seriously hurt?

ZANOFF: As you'll see, there is some smoke and flame coming out. You know you might feel the effect of it a little bit, but there's no projectile.

TUCHMAN: OK. All right, that's good to know.

ZANOFF: OK, counting down. Three, two, one.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Gary Tuchman, CNN, Los Angeles.


SOARES: Now, the U.S. could soon be one step closer to vaccinating younger children against COVID-19. FDA advisers will meet later today to discuss whether to green light Pfizer's vaccine for kids as young as 5. Then CDC advisors will weigh in next week. If approved the shots could be available by early November. Pfizer says the vaccine is more than 90 percent effective in children ages 5 to 11.


And it comes of course at a critical time. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children currently account for more than a quarter of new cases in the U.S. -- as you can see on the screen. Meanwhile, Moderna said Monday the trial show its COVID vaccine is effective for children ages 6 to 11. The company said that plans to submit the data to the FDA soon.

Well, the U.S. is set to rollout new travel rules for international visitors starting November 8th. Fully vaccinated foreign travelers will be allowed to enter the United States. For most visitors over 18 years old, they'll need to show proof they are fully vaccinated with FDA or W.H.O. approved vaccines. There are some exceptions for people with medical conditions or those traveling for emergency reasons. Here's how a State Department person explained the new rules. Take a listen.


NED PRICE, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: November 8, foreign national air travels to the United States will be required to be fully vaccinated and to provide proof of vaccination status prior to boarding an airplane to the United States. This policy puts public health first. It is consistent and stringent, protecting U.S. citizens and residents as well as those who come to visit us.


SOARES: Well, a second COVID booster shot is getting the green light here in Europe. The EU's drug regulator said Monday that a third dose of Moderna's vaccine can be given to people 18 or older at least six months after their second dose. The agency already approved Pfizer's booster shot earlier this month if you remember. The new guidance comes amid rising COVID cases in parts of Europe as colder weather sends more people indoors.

Now, in just a few hours, Brazilian lawmakers will vote on whether to push for criminal charges against President Jair Bolsonaro over his handling of the COVID pandemic. Senators accuse him of mismanaging the crisis leading to hundreds of thousands of deaths. But as I found out, for those who lost loved ones to the virus, any justice that comes may be too little too late.


SOARES (voice-over): Time, they say, heals all wounds. Almost two years since Marcio lost his 25-year-old son Hugo to COVID-19, this is immeasurable pain of grief and loss continues to bring him to his knees. His son, one soul in a sea of more than 600,000 lives lost in Brazil.

MARCIO ANTONIO DO NASCIMENTO SILVA, LOST SON TO COVID-19 (text translation) When I tell my son's story, when I share my pain which is so tough, I do it to save lives.

SOARES (voice-over): Marcio indignation has pushed him to seek accountability and justice.

NASCIMENTO SILVA (text translation): I think we deserve an apology. We deserve an apology from the highest authority in the state.

SOARES (voice-over): His testimony to Brazil's parliamentary commission inquiry into the Brazilian government's COVID-19 response, one of many harrowing and emotional witness statements from the families of COVID victims.

NASCIMENTO SILVA (text translation): I did something that today I know I shouldn't have done, but a desperate father doesn't measure the consequences.

SOARES (voice-over): With Marcio recounting the last time he saw his son, a dance teacher, alive. NASCIMENTO SILVA (text translation): I went to the ICU. I opened the

door and I kept signaling to him, "Hugo, Hugo, your dad is here. Don't worry, your dad is here."

SOARES: But Hugo, who Marcio says had no underlying health conditions, lost his battle to the virus after being in the ICU for weeks.

NASCIMENTO SILVA (text translation): When the president decides not to wear a mask, when he says he won't be vaccinated, he's causing Brazilians deaths. This denialism has killed many Brazilians.

SOARES (voice-over) him: A parliamentary commission has blamed President Jair Bolsonaro directly, recommending he be charged with crimes against humanity, as well as other charges for reckless leadership.

The explosive report says Bolsonaro was guided by an unfounded belief in the theory of herd immunity by natural infection. Bolsonaro has dismissed the parliamentary report as politically motivated and having, quote, no credibility.

JAIR BOLSONARO, PRESIDENT OF BRAZIL (text translation): We know that we are guilty of absolutely nothing. We know that we did the right thing from the first moment.

SOARES (voice-over): Tell that to 20-year-old Jovana --

GIOVANNA GOMES MENDES DA SILVA, LOST PARENTS TO COVID-19 (text translation): It was a 14-day difference between my dad and my mom.

SOARES (voice-over): -- who lost both her parents to COVID-19.

MENDES DA SILVA (text translation): When my parents died, we didn't just lose our parents, we lost a life, a life full of happiness.

SOARES (voice-over): Now an orphan, she's become a mother to an 11- year-old sister. A tragedy she blames on the Bolsonaro government.

MENDES DA SILVA (text translation): In some ways there was bad management, so yes, I also blame the government.

SOARES (voice-over) him: Still, the president says he's not to blame and continues to refused to be vaccinated.

To the victims' families, it feels like rubbing salt in their already deep wounds. An unimaginable grief that even time can't heal.


SOARES (on camera): Stay on top of that story as the vote gets underway in about five hours from now.


Now, Brazil's leader is also facing scrutiny from Facebook and YouTube over his COVID messaging. On Sunday both companies removed a video in which Bolsonaro suggested COVID vaccines could increase the risk of developing AIDS. In a statement Facebook said -- I'm going to read it out to you.

Our policies do not allow for allegations that COVID-19 vaccines kill or may cause serious harm to people.

YouTube echoed those comments saying --

We have removed a video from the channel of Jair Bolsonaro as it violates our medical disinformation guidelines regarding COVID-19.

Now, a 3 million year high for carbon dioxide in the earth's atmosphere. Just ahead, how world leaders plan to address the climate crisis at the COP summit in Scotland. That is next.


SOARES: A lot of excitement as you heard the bell there on Wall Street as it gears up for a busy week in corporate earnings reports. And the Dow moved within striking distance of passing 36,000 for the first time ever. That was very close indeed. The Dow and the S&P 500 both closed at record highs on Monday there and the Nasdaq gained nearly just almost a percent. Investors are optimistic there will be a breakthrough in talks to finalize the Biden administration sweeping economic, climate and safety net spending package. We reported at the top of the show.

Wall Street's optimism about the future of electric vehicles, gave a landmark boosts Tesla, the carmaker became the sixth company in U.S. history to be valued at, get this, $1 trillion. Shared jumped about 30 percent on Monday on news of a record order of 100,000 vehicles for the Hertz car rental fleet. Morgan Stanley analyst upgraded Tesla's price target. Tesla reached the trillion-dollar mark in just over 12 years, the second fastest ascent behind -- our top story today -- Facebook.


Well, U.S. oil prices are also way up, topping $85 a barrel Monday for the first time in seven years. That's up 13 percent -- as you can see there -- this month alone and 120 percent from a year ago. U.S. gasoline prices now average around 3.38 nationally for a gallon of regular.

Now, in days after signing a major deal for her company, the founder of Spanx gave her employees a huge surprise. Sara Blakely announced a $1.2 billion deal with Blackstone Inc., that will allow her to remain in charge of the women's shapeware company. She thanked her employees for 21 years of success by giving each of them first class tickets to anywhere in the world along with $10,000 to spend on their trip. What a gift.

Well, Australia is pledging to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. Just days ahead of the global climate summit in Scotland. It comes as the U.N. reports carbon dioxide levels in the Earth's atmosphere reached a 3 million in 2020. World leaders will begin the COP-26 summit on Sunday in Glasgow without Xi Jinping, China's Xi Jinping or Russia's Vladimir Putin. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says prospects for a major agreement are touch and go. Take a listen.


BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: It's going to be very, very tough, this summit, and I'm very worried because it might go -- it might go wrong, and we might not get the agreements that we need. And it's touch and go. It's very, very difficult, but I think it can be done.


SOARES: Let's get more on this. CNN's Salma Abdelaziz joins me here in the studio. And Salma, I mean clearly the Prime Minister is worried on what the report that we just mentioned, laid out very clearly there is the difference between what is being promised and what needs to be achieved. And the disparity is huge here.

SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN REPORTER: It is a huge disparity, Isa. And this is the decade for action. That's what the scientists say, that's what the United nation is saying. And that's where the pressure in the urgency is right now. And you have to think back on the Paris Climate Accords and remember that that was a critical moment. That was breaking nearly a two-decade stall in diplomacy. And now we're going to expect these countries to be even more ambitious. To be even more determined in their climate change goal.

So, we heard from the United Nations yesterday laying out these two bits of information to really push that sense of urgency. The first is the greenhouse gas emissions report. That's what you've mentioned. And what that shows is that last year yet again a record was set in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. And if you thought that the pandemic gave any respite, well this U.N. report says absolutely not. We have seen no change in terms of the greenhouse gas emissions over the course of the pandemic.

What that results in, Isa, is that there is a 149 percent increase in the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere since the industrial revolution. What I'm trying to say here, bottom line, we are way off track. Scientists say that we are nowhere near where we need to be to stave off the climate crisis.

SOARES: But you know every time -- our viewers are probably will be rolling their eyes. Every time we come to a COP summit, we hear these sort of alarm bells ringing. It is important to bring them up. Do we believe the scientists that you've been talking to believe that they can reach an agreement at COP-26? Because the Prime Minister said it's very much touch and go.

ABDELAZIZ: Is it possible? Absolutely. Is it realistic? That's the question, Isa, because it all comes down to policy. You're organizing the countries of the world. Depending on them to commit to these changes, you need rapid action away from fossil fuels and towards zero emission. SOARES: As we head from Australia today, they have made a net zero

pledge. But not ambitious targets, but clearly not ambitious enough. And the Prime Minister said today -- the Prime Minister of Australia said we won't be lectured by others who do not understand Australia. So, watch this summer. Thanks. Great to see you.

Now, an event meant to bring people together has instead created division. Japan's former Princess Mako and her new husband address the controversies. We are live for you in Tokyo next.



SOARES: Welcome back, everyone. Now, Japan's former princess and her new husband have addressed the world together for the first time as a married couple. The two tied the knot earlier today in a private as well as subdued ceremony and then held a press event. They both apologized for any trouble their marriage may have caused while profusely thanking their supporters. Mako's decision to wed to a commoner meant she had to give up her royal status.

CNN's Blake Essig is with us live from Tokyo with the details. And Blake, this was of course a long time coming for the couple. How was their day, and how has it been received in Japan?

BLAKE ESSIG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Isa, they've been waiting about four years for this day. If you were expecting a royal fairytale wedding, prepare to be disappointed. Well, Japan's former Princess Mako and her new husband, commoner Kei Komuro, have officially tied the knot. There was no pomp and circumstance whatsoever. Instead of an extravagant affair, the company simply registered their marriage earlier this morning before holding a brief press event in the afternoon. They publicly expressed their love for each other, thanked the public for their support, and look towards the future. Take a listen.


KEI KOMURO, HUSBAND OF FORMER PRINCESS MAKO (through translator): I would also like to support Mako in the best of my ability. During the good and the hard times, I would like to be an irreplaceable existence to her.


ESSIG: Looking back since the engagement was announced back in 2017, their relationship has been met with scandal, public disapproval, and media scrutiny fueled by reports that Kumoro's mother failed to pay about $36,000 back from her former fiancee which she borrowed. In fact, the now former princess recently disclosed that she suffers from complex posttraumatic stress disorder as a result of her relationship being picked apart for years.

[04:55:00] During the press event today, the couple didn't take any direct questions. Instead, they delivered a brief statement and then they released pre-repaired responses to a handful of questions that were submitted in advance by the imperial press core to protect the former princess from any further anxiety. Now despite the mixed reaction about her relationship, Mako has gone ahead with the wedding and according to Japanese law, relinquished her title as princess.

And while there are people out there that think Komuro isn't suitable as a spouse for an imperial daughter, we talked to several people earlier today who wished the couple well and told us that the newly married couple's happiness is all that matters. And following the wedding, Mako will retreat from the spotlight and forego more than $1 million in payment which is entitled to her as a departing royal, trading the palace for a normal life in New York City -- Isa.

SOARES: Well, we do wish them well. But I'm surprised, Blake, they even held a press conference on their wedding day. Blake Essig for us in Tokyo. Thanks very much, Blake, good to see you.

Now, Jeff Bezos space tour company is unveiling plans for a massive commercial space station. That would be nearly as big as the International Space Station. Blue Origin says their orbital reef will be able to host up to ten people and could be used for research projects or even vacation getaways. The company plans to co-finance the station with a with a startup called Sierra Space. But it also expected to work with other companies to actually make it happen.

Now, Major League Baseball's next champion will soon be crowned. The Atlanta Braves will face the Houston Astros in game one of this year's World Series. And that's happening later today. Here's a look at the Braves player on Monday before they departed for Houston, the site of course for tonight's game. It will be Atlanta's first time in the World Series since 1999. Houston last appeared in 2019 and won the championship in 2017. Good luck to them.

And that does it for me. Thanks very much for joining. I'm Isa Soares. "EARLY START" with Christine Romans and Laura Jarrett is up next. They'll have much more of course on Mark Zuckerberg's response to those leaked Facebook documents. Do stay right here with CNN and I shall see you tomorrow. Have a wonderful day. Bye-bye.