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U.N.: Most Countries Not Cutting Emissions as Promised; China Clamps Down on Outbreak 100 Days from Winter Games; Brazil Lawmakers Vote to Charge Bolsonaro for COVID Response; Protesters Return to Sudan's Streets to Oppose Coup; More than 22M Afghans Face Acute Hunger Crisis; U.N. Official Calls on Billionaires to Help Ease Crisis; Pentagon: ISIS-K Capable of Attack on U.S. by Next Year; TikTok, Snapchat, YouTube Executives Testify on Capitol Hill; System flaws Allowed Hate Speech to Grow in Some Countries; D.A. Won't Rule Out Criminal Charges in "Rust" Shooting; Flash Flooding in Italy. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired October 27, 2021 - 01:00   ET




JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Hello again, everyone. I'm John Vause, a head here on CNN Newsroom. If every country which has promised to reduce carbon emissions makes good on that commitment, we're still heading for a future climate disaster. Just a handful of new COVID cases brings the harshest of restrictions in China, as officials push for zero COVID, 100 days out from the Beijing Winter Olympics. And children will die. The harsh reality of a chronic food shortage in Afghanistan, already affecting the lives of over 20 million people pulled in half the entire population.

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

VAUSE: As we often do, we begin with another alarming report on the climate crisis. This time the UN warning current commitments to reduce carbon emissions and limit global warming away short of what's needed to avoid disaster. These come just days before COP26, The Climate Summit in Glasgow when world leaders are expected to outline plans to make all those promises and good intentions, reality. But dozens of countries are yet to officially announce increase reductions in carbon emissions a key requirement of the Paris Climate Deal, G20 countries account for 80% of the world's emissions, only six have committed to increased carbon reduction. While according to the U.N., six other countries, Canada, the U.S., Mexico, Brazil, South Korea, Australia never met their original targets in the first place.


ANTONIO GUTERRES, UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY-GENERAL: So as the title of this year's report puts it, the heat is on. And as the contents of the report show, the leadership we need is off. And far off, we know that humanity's future depends on keeping global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2030. And we also know that so far, parties to the Paris agreement are utterly failing to keep these targets within reach.


VAUSE: Bill Weir is CNN's Chief Climate Correspondent and host of The Wonder List. He is with us this hour from New York. Bill, good to see you.


VAUSE: OK, so here's a little more for the U.N. Secretary General on where the world is heading right now. And that's it all 120 countries which have made commitments to reduce carbon emissions, actually follow through, here is.


GUTERRES: The 2021 emissions gap report shows that with the present nationally determined contributions and other firm commitments of countries around the world, we are indeed on track for a catastrophic global temperature rise of around 2.7 degrees Celsius.


VAUSE: It seems this is a pretty grim warning more so because the chances it seems of every country making good on those commitments would be slim to none existed, right? So even if they do, we're heading to disaster.

WEIR: Well, it's all relative, and, you know, every fire that goes off and every sparkplug and every engine around the world, you know, adds to the ultimate pain that will be tasted by our forebears. The good news is thanks to the boom in cleaner energy. Humanity has bent that curve, before the Paris Accords of 2015, we were headed towards about three and a half to four degrees. And as he said, it's now 2.7 to 3.1. They say we're on track for now. I mean, it really comes down to if we had hit peak emissions around the year 2000, it would be to use a skiing metaphor of bunny slope to down to holding at 1.5.

Now because we've kicked this can so far down the road to mix metaphors. It's like a double black diamond in order to meet these goals, still can be done much, much, much more difficult.

VAUSE: So, the bottom line is that if every country does follow through, we're looking at a reduction in predicted emission levels by 20 37.5% to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius 55% reduction is needed. And I'm just wondering, so did countries sign on to the Paris Accord? Did they actually agree to reduce emissions by a certain amount or to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius?

WEIR: Yeah, both because it's just relative according to countries, the biggest emitter historically is the United States and has to do a much steeper curve than then countries, you know, in Bangladesh or small countries in Africa, obviously, but you know really it's all about the way the economic system is set up in the developing world until CEOs are paid a bonus for the coal they didn't dig or the oil they didn't burn. These are just pledges.


And so, it takes an overall structure, that will be a theme one full day to talk about finance, in Glasgow, there as well. But yeah, and just to put it in perspective, of the almost 200 countries that signed only the Gambia is really practically on course, in real time to meeting their goals. And the hope was that people would wake up to the enormity of the challenge and really heed these latest alarms. As the U.N. put out this week. We've now have an atmosphere that is similar, hasn't been this dense with sort of planet cooking, pollution, CO2 since 3 million years. And, you know, back when sea levels, the planet then was so warm, sea levels are much higher. There are camels in the Arctic. Of course, we don't want that. And so, you know, whatever steps are taken, could to head that off is a plus.

VAUSE: If there's another plus to look at here, at least it's doable debate on whether or not climate change is real. That's over. And we heard from the U.N. Executive Director of the Environment Program over at the United Nations, saying at least we now have a plan. Here he is, listen to this.


INGER ANDERSEN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, U.N. ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMME: The point is that we know what we need to do, even know how to do it. We know the timeframe in which we need to act. We know the benefits of action and the consequences of inaction. The case for climate change is essentially closed. So, it's time to get it done.


VAUSE: Get it done. But what we're looking at here right now get it done in eight years have carbon emissions in eight years. That's something we've been unwilling to do in more than 30 years.

WEIR: Exactly. And it's -- it would touch every sector of the economy. So, it's such a massive job. And there is no real enforcement mechanism right now, for even some of these pledges. I mean, just the most recent countries to make news in the Middle East, the Saudi Arabia pledges, they will pretty much stop emitting by 2016. They want to match the tiniest promise, but they're not counting all the oil, they're going to export. But not to be too cynical, you know, because you have to believe that if somebody at least wants to make a promise, we have to route that they're going to work towards it.

The Saudis burn so a bunch of oil per capita, I think they're 41 in the world, in population, but bore, you know, forth in terms of oil consumption. If they could electrify a country like that using giant solar arrays and changing from a Petro state to a sun energy state, it would be massive for humanity.

Now, that's the thing. There will be some mitigation, which is to solve the problem. There'll be some adaptation, which is to adjust to the changes that are already baked in, and then there will be pain. And so, what combination of those three things is entirely up to the political will?

VAUSE: Yeah, it looks easy, there's some difficult choices to be made and how to be a quitter very quickly. We'll see what happens a COP26. But Bill, thank you, really appreciate being with us.

WEIR: Thanks, John.

VAUSE: Just 100 days out now from the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics, and authorities there are imposing some incredibly harsh measures to crush a small number of new COVID cases linked to the Delta variant that includes restrictions on travel in and out of the capital, stay at home orders for entire apartment blocks. Some tourist sites have been closed. Mass testing is underway in 11 provinces and in Lanzhou, capital of Gansu Province, more than 4 million people now under a strict lockdown order, because six new cases were reported on Tuesday.

CNN's Beijing Bureau Chief Steven Jiang live for us again this hour. I guess you were looking into the situation here that this is part of the zero COVID policy, which has been Beijing's thing for a while, how much of it is to do with that, and how much of it is to do with having zero COVID for the Winter Olympics?

STEVEN JIANG, CNN BEIJING BUREAU CHIEF: Well, John, these two things are very much connected, right? The authorities here do not want to see a repeat of what happened in Tokyo, which was a surge of COVID infections during the Summer Games. That's why they didn't want to take any chances, especially in the lead up to the games. And as they started counting down to the opening ceremony, they have actually just announced very strict protocols concerning participants to the Olympics as well.

If you're coming here for the games, and if you are fully vaccinated, then you will be sent straight to this bubble they are creating in and around Beijing from the airport actually. And once in the bubble, you're going to be sealed off from the rest of the city and indeed the rest of the country as well. You have to go through daily COVID tests, and you can travel between zones in the bubble but only in dedicated transportation provided by the organizers.

And once the games are over, you're going to be again sent straight from the bubble to the airport to be flown out.


Now not surprisingly they're not letting in any international spectators and the domestic audience as you see in the stand will be other numbers will be limited and their health status vetted, and they will be kept separate from people in the bubble as well. But, of course, these games are shaping up to be the most controversial in recent time, not just because of these COVID policies, but because of geopolitical tensions and pressures with China's human rights record, as well as its policies on a whole range of issues from Xinjiang and Tibet, to Taiwan and Hong Kong, again, under growing international scrutiny, attracting some protests and calls for boycotting, but for the leadership, he of course, they're trying to push past all those controversies and criticisms, and there's a little doubt Xi Jinping and his government, they're going to be able to put out a spectacular show again, without a pageantry and performance because that's how things get done in this one party system, as they tried to highlight their success in containing this virus and reaffirm their status as the world's next superpower. And this time, John, all the COVID policies, obviously helping them keep protesters at bay and journalists in check, John.

VAUSE: Never let a crisis go to waste, I guess. Steven Jiang in Beijing, thank you.

Anne Rimoin is a Professor of Epidemiology at UCLA School of Public Health. She is with us this hour from Los Angeles. Anne good to see you.


VAUSE: OK, so compared to warnings leading up to the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, why isn't there the same level of concern about the Winter Olympics potentially being a super spinner event? It's just like the Summer Games, but cold when people spend more time indoors, right?

RIMOIN: Well, exactly, I think that there's reason to be concerned about the games. For the same reasons we worry about a surge in the wintertime, people are going to be cold, people are going to be indoors, they're going to be in close proximity.

Now that said, they have very strict COVID protocols in place to requiring vaccination, with very few exceptions for medical exemptions, they're going to be doing a lot of testing, they're going to have a very tight bubble. And these things do a very good job at being able to contain COVID. But China is doing -- is being very proactive right now, there are just a few cases, as you mentioned, and they are going into very, very strict pandemic mode here. And so that's what we really are going to have to be looking at. You know, I think that we're going to see, probably what we saw at the at the Summer Olympics, that there was a lot of very strict monitoring and protocols ongoing, and that really does make a difference. But it is going to be colder, and so it will be more complicated.

VAUSE: It's not exactly a surprise. But the IOC is insisting there's no link between the Summer Olympics and a surge in the number of COVID infections across Japan in the weeks after the Tokyo Games. It seems a low end right to bring that outbreak and to control pretty quickly. But is there enough data out there to know if one led to the other or one did not lead to the others definitive word out there?

RIMOIN: Well, I'm not aware of any studies that have really linked one to the other. But I do think that the games in Japan really did show that if you do a good job of monitoring, if you do a good job with testing, if you have vaccination in place, you can do a good job of controlling COVID. We know what works. We know masking works. We know is vaccination, obviously is the number one thing that we can do. We know about social distancing. We know about ventilation. So, we have the tools to be able to control COVID. It's just a matter of whether or not we can employ all of them to make it work. And it seems like China is going to be doing a very diligent job of monitoring this and having good testing protocols in place. So, I mean, I think that there's a lot of hope that this could be done appropriately. But you know, we're we'll see.

VAUSE: Well, when it comes to containing any flare ups, it seems China has one tool is a hammer. Pretty harsh on the response. It's a point not lost on head of the IOC. Listen to this.


THOMAS BACH, IOC PRESIDENT: The determination of China and the Chinese people is impressive. In China does not only want to contain the virus it wants to eradicate the virus. And this is being done now with a greater efficiency with very strict measures.


VAUSE: Beijing has zero COVID policies clearly pushing quite literally zero COVID for the Winter Games. Is that possible?

RIMOIN: Well, you know, I mean, I think that the thing about COVID is it's so contagious and the variant that we have circulating globally right now is so contagious if you have one case, it very easily can spread to people no matter what you have in places. We've seen this happen in New Zealand. We've seen this happen in Australia, we've seen this happen in in China, so I'm not sure that we're ever going to be able to get to zero COVID given that there will be people coming in and you can't control all the factories around you but they're going to get pretty close and they're doing very, very good job by using very strict measures to be able to make it so. You know, we have the tools masking, vaccinations, social distancing, ventilation, all of these things work. We know how to get to a better place with COVID.


China's actually, using these methods and when they're using it in such force, they're able to really bring it down to just a very few number of cases.

VAUSE: Yeah, very effective. One of the other tools they have is vaccines. And now, they're authorizing vaccine for three-year-olds or children over three years of age, they'll soon be vaccinated, and a panel advising regulators here in the United States have recommended Pfizer's vaccine for five- to 11-year-old, but one advisor who voted in favor, thought it should come with some kind of restrictions or contingency. We'll listen to this.


CODY MEISSNER, MEMBER, FDA VACCINE ADVISORY COMMITTEE: I'm just worried that if we say yes, that the states are going to mandate administration of this vaccine to children in order to go to school, and I do not agree with that, I think that would be an error at this time.


VAUSE: I didn't really understand the concern, because why would a COVID vaccine we need different to other vaccines which are already required for kids to attend public school?

RIMOIN: Listen, this vaccine has been tested in adults, it's been tested in adolescents, it's now been tested in children, but there still is, you know, if the studies are small, they're called Bridging studies. But, you know, the thing I think that that he's bringing up is that there's a lot of hesitancy among parents, or about a third of parents that are really ready to get their children vaccinated immediately, according to several studies, including I think the Kaiser Family Foundation. And so, I think that the issue is that, there are a lot of parents that are concerned. There's going to take -- it's going to take some time to get parents to talk to trusted health providers that pediatricians, for example, really get the information out so that parents are comfortable being able to give this vaccine to their children, you know, adults are -- have a higher risk threshold, getting vaccinated themselves, then what they're willing to do with their kids. And this vaccine has proven to be very safe. But given the fact that it is going to be controversial amongst parents and that all parents are not going to want to get their children vaccinated immediately and the risk is lower in children though it is not zero, it is definitely lower in children. This particular person was arguing to maybe take some time before coming to mandate which may or may not be the case.

VAUSE: Yeah, it's risk benefit analysis which everyone's going to have to do for themselves and hopefully they'll come back on the, let's get vaccinated side because that's what we need. Anne, as always, thank you so much.

RIMOIN: Thank you, it's pleasure.

VAUSE: Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro is one step closer to facing criminal charges of his failed pandemic response after lawmakers approved the findings of a Senate investigation. Brazil's COVID death toll is the second highest in the world more than 600,000 and a Senate report accuses Bolsonaro and his government of intentionally allowing COVID to spread in a failed bid to achieve herd immunity. CNN's Shasta Darlington has our report.


SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A Brazilian Senate Committee has voted to recommend President Jair Bolsonaro be charged with nine crimes including crimes against humanity, alleging it was his reckless mismanagement of the COVID-19 crisis that led to the deaths of hundreds of 1000s of Brazilians. The report was produced after six months of inquiry that included testimonies and allegations of corruption. The final document also accuses the president of misusing public funds, charlatanism and provoking an epidemic resulting in death.

More than 600,000 people have died of COVID-19 in Brazil, the second highest death toll in the world. Now after the report was made public last week, Bolsonaro said he wasn't guilty of any crimes and told a crowd of supporters that he did the right thing from the first moment.

Before approving the final report, the Senate committee made some changes to the document, increasing the number of people accused to 78 and that includes some governors and mayors and three of Bolsonaro sons.

The committee also added a recommendation for Bolsonaro to be banned from social media for spreading misinformation about COVID 19. The committee approved the report by seven to four votes.

Now it's not clear, however, that the recommendation will actually lead to any criminal charges. The Senate commission will now send the document to the attorney general who is considered an ally of Bolsonaro.

Nonetheless, the inquiry has taken a toll on Bolsonaro live television coverage of the proceedings was watched closely by Brazilians and the investigation contributed to it sharp drop in his approval rating making his bid for reelection next year look increasingly difficult. Shasta Darlington, CNN, Sao Paulo.



VAUSE: And on the second day after the coup, 10s of 1000s of people took to the streets of Sudan in protest and in anger, the very latest developments in environment. And later this hour flash flooding in Italy turning roads into rivers.


VAUSE: Across Sudan, 10s of 1000s of people have taken part in angry and defiant protests. Others have answered a call for widespread civil disobedience. In the capital of many businesses, shops, schools and banks were closed Tuesday part of a general strike and nationwide opposition to a military takeover which are growing stronger. Sources say key opposition leaders and the brother of the foreign minister had been detained with a general who claims to lead the country, promising new government ministers and judicial appointments within days.

The U.N. Security Council called an emergency session Tuesday, the Secretary General condemning what he called an epidemic of coup d'etat in Africa and Asia.


GUTERRES: My appeal obviously is for specially the big powers to come together for the unity of the Security Council in order to make sure that there is effective deterrence in relation to this epidemic of coup d'etat.

(END VIDEO CLIP) VAUSE: The man who was Sudan's transitional Prime Minister a few days ago was allowed to return home Tuesday, but under heavy security, while other government officials are still being held. CNN's Nima Elbagir is tracking the very latest developments.


NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Sudan's military chief, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, leader of the unfolding coup d'etat on Tuesday came out in defense of the Army's actions, the detention of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and other government officials, he said were to protect the country from Civil War.

GENERAL ABDEL FATTAH AL-BURHAN, SUDANESE MILITARY CHIEF: Realistically we looked and met together and found that this situation is causing a split, some have started talking on racism, which also suggested that the country was being led into a civil war, which will destroy the country's unity.

ELBAGIR: 1000s of protesters again took to the streets, burning tires and barricading roads, demonstrating against what they see as a betrayal of the 2019 pro-democracy uprisings that toppled former head of state Omar al-Bashir.

And General Burhan helped facilitate the takedown. Monday as violence so at least eight civilians killed and more than 140 injured as they marched on the Army's General Command.


The Sudanese central doctors committee aligned with the now dissolved sovereign Council blamed the military for the shootings. CNN could not independently verify these claims. Speaking for the first time since the coup Sudan's Foreign Minister described to CNN, the upheaval in the streets.

VOICE OF MARIAM AL-SADIQ, SUDENESE FORIEN MINISTER: People smoke all around in the place where I'm staying, and I know because my children and my children of my relatives and my neighbors on the street I know they are outside and reporting that they are being shut out by tear gas and, and all that.

ELBAGIR: Burhan with allies in Egypt, the Gulf states, and once the defense attache in China remains defiant in the face of domestic and international criticism. U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres has condemned the military takeover.

GUTERRES: By origin, of course, all stakeholders to exercise mass maximum restraint. But the Prime Minister and other officials that were unlawfully detained must be released.

ELBAGIR: Meanwhile, the United States said they were withholding $700 million in aid. Crucial lifeblood for a nation on the brink of economic collapse, funds the State Department said were intended to support the country's democratic transition. Nima Elbagir, CNN, London. (END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: Millions of Afghans could be dead before winter is over. Ahead, Afghanistan's chronic food shortage already a humanitarian crisis affecting more than half of the population and it's only getting worse.


VAUSE: Welcome back, everyone. I'm John Vause. You're watching CNN Newsroom. A dire and urgent warning from the World Food Program that almost 23 million people, more than half of Afghanistan's population facing acute hunger crisis, including more than 3 million children under the age of five. The unknown right now is how many will die from starvation? One WFP official said without immediate help the country is on a "countdown to catastrophe."

Billions of dollars in aid have been withheld over concerns of human rights abuses once the Taliban returned to power and now officials are sounding the alarm.



MARY ELLEN MCGROARTY, COUNTRY DIRECTOR FOR AFGHANISTAN, WFP: There is a tsunami of destitution, incredible suffering and hunger spiraling out of control across Afghanistan pushing millions and millions of its people, its children, it's women, families in every corner of the country to the brink of survival and the country towards potential chaos.


JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Colin Clarke is the director of policy and research at The Soufan Group, a privacy consultant advising on global intelligence and security. He's also the author of "After the Caliphate: the Islamic State and the Future of a Terrorist Diaspora". It's good to see you, Colin. It's been a while.


VAUSE: So aid groups and others have warned long and loud that this crisis is on its way. But it seems there's been a dramatic shift for the worse in a very short period of time, in terms of the sheer numbers facing food shortages now and what that number is expected to be in a short period of time.

Has the Taliban takeover essentially been a multiplier effect turning a crisis into a full-scale humanitarian catastrophe? Or are there other factors at play?

CLARKE: Well, no question about it. It's a combination of the fact that the Taliban is now the governing entity of Afghanistan and is truly not skilled in the art of governing. They have been effective insurgents, they are finding governing a far more difficult task. And the fact that the international community including aid groups have backed away because they don't want to be complicit in supporting terrorism.

And frankly a lot of aid organizations don't want to support a government that is going to deny women their rights and is going to impose draconian, harsh Sharia law on the population.

VAUSE: You know, winters in Afghanistan can be brutal, this year especially so it seems.

Here is Mary Ellen McGroarty, I want you to listen to her. She is from the World Food Programme, about the situation right now and what it will become.


MCGROARTY: The people of Afghanistan are facing a winter of absolute horror and suffering. The damage will be irreversible for the millions of children that will fall sick because of hunger and malnutrition. Many, many innocent Afghans are at risk of dying this winter alone.


VAUSE: So when Afghans bury their dead, their dead children, their dead husbands and wives, their grandparents, their sisters, brothers and friends -- they've all died from starvation or some kind of, you know, death linked to starvation, who do they blame for this?

Do they blame the Taliban? Do they blame the West which put a lot of the systems on hold, or the United States which froze the country's foreign reserves?

CLARKE: I don't know -- I don't know who they are blaming but it's heartbreaking. And the situation is not tenable. We are talking about almost 23 million Afghans that are at risk of food insecurity and starvation in the coming months.

And so this is a crisis. It's an economic and humanitarian crisis. The economy has bottomed out. Banks are becoming insolvent. And we're -- you know, it's not that we are reaching a crisis point, we are there. And so I, you know, think we need to figure out very quickly, what's the next steps are here in terms of what the international community can do.

And look, the Taliban is now the government. And so they are responsible for the civilians, for providing goods and services to the people of Afghanistan.

VAUSE: I guess my question is sort of more along the lines of could you see this being the basis of some kind of civil unrest which the Taliban will have to deal with at some point. Or will that anger be directed outwardly?

CLARKE: Well, I think it's going to be a huge issue for the Taliban to deal. We talk all the time about winning hearts and minds, you know, when the United States and western troops were in the country.

But now it is up to the Taliban to win hearts and minds. And they're certainly not off to a good start with their inept governance and also the way that they have been treating, you know, ordinary Afghans.

VAUSE: So under the U.N. integrated phase classification, which is a five-tier ranking system for measuring food insecurity, 1 being minimal to 5 being famine. Nearly half of Afghanistan's population is at level 3, which is considered crisis or level 4 emergency.

The crisis level in security means that people are short of food and households are starting to skip meals but they still have ways to cope, usually by selling belongings or seeking extra work.

In Afghanistan, at least according to one report, that includes selling their children, a baby girl for $500 to buy food. Has Afghanistan ever seen a crisis this bad before? Is there any indication that the Taliban might be willing to moderate some of their more extreme beliefs and actions just to allow some of that international aid in to help out with this crisis?

CLARKE: No, this is a country that has been at war for four decades. And so there have been some really dire moments in the recent history of Afghanistan. But I do think, you know, we're slowly encroaching on a very dark period.


CLARKE: And I don't know. I don't know if the Taliban will be willing to be more pragmatic. And if they are, I assure you it will only be temporary. They don't have the best interests of the Afghan people at heart.

And so they are power hungry and they are out too rule the country the way that they think it should be ruled. And again, that is not in the best interest of all Afghans, despite the rhetoric that we are hearing at the present time.

And so the proof is in the pudding. We will see how the Taliban react to this. But, you know, unfortunately some of the things you just mentioned including people selling their own children, it is just beyond desperation. And it's completely heartbreaking to watch.

VAUSE: Yes. It is. It is very fast moving tragedy that's happening before our eyes right now.

So Colin, thank you very much for being with us. We really appreciate it.

CLARKE: Thank you.

VAUSE: For the record, there are two men out there, if they so wanted, who could make a major impact on ending global hunger. The director of the World Food Programme is asking billionaires, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk to give up just a fraction, small fraction of their net worth to save millions of lives. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID BEASLEY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME: And the billionaires need to step up now, on onetime basis, $6 billion to help 42 million people that are literally going to die if we don't reach them.

It's not complicated. And this is what is heartbreaking. I'm not asking them to do this every day, every week, every year. We have a onetime crisis, a perfect storm of conflict, climate change and COVID. It's a onetime phenomenon.


VAUSE: And it's not complicated. According to Bloomberg, Elon Musk's network is believed to be close to $290 billion. Jeff Bezos though about $100 billion behind that with an estimated $193 billion. $6 billion is chump change.

Still to come, social media bosses grilled on Tuesday over online safety for children.

Plus the big take away from that U.S. Senate hearing in a moment.


VAUSE: Fears of Afghanistan turning back into a haven for global terrorists are inching closer to reality. The Pentagon warns by next year, ISIS-K could be ready to attack the U.S. and al-Qaeda is not far behind.

ISIS-K carried out the suicide bombing which killed 13 U.S. service members and more than 150 Afghans during the Kabul airlift in August. Since then, the terrorist group has claimed responsibility for attacks on mosques in Kabul, Kandahar and in northern Afghanistan. A U.S. Defense official told lawmakers about the potential threat on Tuesday.


COLIN KAHL, U.S. UNDERSECRETARY OF DEFENSE FOR POLICY: The intelligence community currently assesses that both ISIS-K and al- Qaeda have the intent to conduct external operations, including against the United States. But neither currently has the capability to do so.

We could see ISIS-K generate that capability in somewhere between 6 and 12 months. I think the current assessments by the intelligence community is that al-Qaeda would take a year or two to reconstitute that capability.


VAUSE: Counter-terrorism analysts believe ISIS-K has about 2,000 fighters. That number though could grow now the group has a new charismatic leader.

Many captured ISIS-K members were held in prisons near Kabul and they were released by the Taliban as they took over Afghanistan.

Well, this time it was not Facebook summoned to Capitol Hill or Washington, but rather the bosses of YouTube, TikTok, Snapchat. Lawmakers demanding to know how they planned to protect younger users. And the answer was, we are not Facebook.

CNN'S Donie O'Sullivan reports.


DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): TikTok, Snapchat and YouTube in the hot seats on Capitol Hill.


SENATOR MARSHA BLACKBURN (R-TN): Why do you need all of this personal data, especially on our children?

O'SULLIVAN: The platforms questioned about how kids use social media, how they are affected by it and what the companies do to protect teenagers and children.

SENATOR RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D-CT): Parents of America cannot trust these apps with their children.

O'SULLIVAN: It's the first time that TikTok and Snapchat have been called before Congress. They were grilled about content their apps suggest to kids' accounts.

SENATOR MIKE LEE (R-UT): I am sure the articles about the porn stars were accurate and fact-checked and I'm sure that the tips on why you shouldn't go to bars alone are accurate and fact checked. But that's not my question.

This is about whether it is appropriate for those 13 and up as you've certified.

JENNIFER PARK STOUT, VP OF GLOBAL PUBLIC POLICY, SNAPCHAT: Absolutely. And Senator, I think this is an area where we're constantly evolving. And if there are any instances where these publishers are surfacing content to an age cohort that is inappropriate then they will be removed.

O'SULLIVAN: One big message, "We're not Facebook."

STOUT: Snapchat is different. Snapchat was built as an antidote to social media.

MICHAEL BECKERMAN, VP AND HEAD OF PUBLIC POLICY, TIKTOK: Our leadership makes safety and wellness a priority, particularly to protect teens on the platform.

O'SULLIVAN: But lawmakers warning the executives just because they are not Facebook, doesn't mean they don't have a lot of work to do.

BLUMENTHAL: That bar is in the gutter. What we want is not a race to the bottom. But really a race to the top.

O'SULLIVAN: Facebook has been plagued this week by the disclosure of internal documents which paint the company as harmful to society, including running algorithms that funnel harmful content to children.

BLUMENTHAL: There has been a definite (ph) and deafening drumbeat of continuing disclosures about Facebook and there will be accountability.

O'SULLIVAN: The internal documents also show Facebook has been losing younger uses for years while sites like Snapchat and TikTok may be even more popular with kids and teenagers than with adult users.

Just last month ahead of the Drug Enforcement Administration specifically called on Snapchat and TikTok to do more to stop the online sale of drugs that include fentanyl, that's according to "The Washington Post".

Lawmakers did not appear to be satisfied with what the social media companies claim they've gone to stop illegal drug sales.

STOUT: We have stepped up and we have deployed pro-active detection measures to get in ahead of what the drug dealers are doing. They are constantly evading our tactics, not just on Snapchat but on every platform..

O'SULLIVAN: With Senator Amy Klobuchar suggesting they may be more inclined to do something if the law was changed so they would be held liable.

SENATOR AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN): I think there's other ways to do this too, of creating liability when this happens, so maybe that will make you work even faster so we don't lose another kid.

O'SULLIVAN: Illegal drugs are not the only concern. Some lawmakers asked about the social media sites' effects on teenagers, including mental health, especially eating disorders.

BLUMENTHAL: In effect the algorithms push emotional and provocative content. Toxic content that amplifies depression, anger, hate, anxiety -- because those emotions attract and hook kids and others to their platforms.

LESLIE MILLER, VP OF GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS AND PUBLIC POLICY, YOUTUBE: We prohibit content that promotes or glorifies things such as eating disorders. It has no place on our platform.

O'SULLIVAN (on camera): Facebook officials regularly bemoan the fact that companies like TikTok and Snapchat rarely gets as much attention and scrutiny as Facebook does. But unfortunately for Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg the spotlight is going to stay on them for another while yet, because Facebook whistle blower Frances Haugen, documents from her are continuing to be released in newsrooms all around the world and we will keep you updated as that continues to happen.

Donie O'Sullivan, CNN -- New York. (END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: The Facebook Papers reveal that beyond the United States, the social media giant's efforts to control and remove harmful content is even worse.

CNN correspondent Larry Madowo reports now from the Nairobi about the situation in Ethiopia, but first, we head to CNN'S Vedika Sud reporting in from New Delhi.

VEDIKA SUD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: India is Facebook's single largest market by audience size. It has more than 400 million users across its various platforms.

According to leaked documents, which are part of disclosures to the Securities and Exchange Commission and provided to Congress in redacted form by Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen's legal counsel, researchers flagged that the company's system has failed to control hate speech, misinformation and fake news in India.

A consortium of 17 U.S. news organizations, including CNN, has reviewed the redacted versions received by Congress.

So how does Facebook control and pull down harmful content? Well, it relies on a combination of artificial intelligence and human reviewers.


SUD: Artificial intelligence models are trained to detect and remove content such as hate speech, using sample words or phrases known as classifiers. This requires an understanding of local languages.

According to an internal presentation by the researchers, the lack of Hindi and Bengali classifiers, which are the two most popular languages in India, led to harmful content going unchecked.

India is a country of 1.3 billion people and 22 official languages. According to Facebook spokesperson, the company added hate speech classifiers for the Hindi languages in the year 2018 and for Bengali in the year 2020.

Vedika Sud, CNN -- New Delhi.



LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Larry Madowo in Nairobi. The Facebook Papers show that Facebook knew that its social network was potentially being used to incite people to violence in Ethiopia. And it did not do enough to stop it.

Ethiopia has been in conflict in the north of the country since November of last year in Tigray where thousands have died and hundreds of thousands displaced. Facebook is widely used in Ethiopia, Africa's second most populous nation. And yet, Facebook didn't have tools to detect hate or misinformation in two of the most widely spoken languages there, Afaan Oromoo (ph) and Amharic. The social network denies that. A spokesperson told CNN it's invested in Ethiopia, in more local language speakers to detect and flag any offensive content also in Somali and Tigrenia (ph) which is spoken in the North.

But activists have always accused the social network of not doing enough to protect human rights. And this is not just in Ethiopia but in many other languages spoken widely in Africa. Swahili for instance which has tens of millions of speakers. Facebook does not say how many people speak those languages and how much is invested to try and remove that content.


VAUSE: Criminal charges have not been ruled out in the deadly shooting on the set of Alec Baldwin's film "Rust".

New Mexico's district attorney wants to know who loaded the gun before it was given to Baldwin and discharged, killing crew member Halyna Hutchins.

CNN's Stephanie Elam has more now on the investigation, reporting in from Santa Fe.


STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over) : The "Rust" movie set now shut down as more details emerge about what the set was like before the fatal shot fired by Alec Baldwin that killed the film's director of photography.

"The Wrap" now reporting crew members' views to on set weapons for firing live rounds for target practice during down time in production.

SHARON WAXMAN, FOUNDER AND CEO, THE WRAP: We learned that this happened the morning of the day that Halyna Hutchins was killed in the early afternoon.

So what happened between the time those guns came back with live ammunition in them and it should have been checked.

ELAM: CNN has not been able to confirm "The Wrap's": Report. New court documents obtained by CNN show the presence of ammunition on the set. Some found in boxes, some loose in a tray, and in a fanny pack, and several spent casings along with three revolvers.

The records do not indicate what type of ammunition was found, whether there were blanks, dummy rounds or, live ammo.

MARCOS COOLEY, PROP MASTER, PRODUCTION DESIGNER: Hundreds of thousands of rounds are fired every year on these sets. As far as the live ammunition, there's reason it should ever, ever have come on to the set.

ELAM: An affidavit reveals the assistant director yelled "cold gun" when he handed it to Baldwin, a term indicating the gun was not loaded with live ammo.

But it wasn't. The actor firing what he thought was a secure gun instead killing Halyna Hutchins as she set up the camera shot, and injuring Joel Souza, the film's director.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We need help immediately.

ELAM: It's a tragedy many say they saw coming, including veteran prop master Neil Zoromsky (ph) who told the "L.A. Times' he turned down the prop master job on "Rust" calling the production an accident waiting to happen, and warning corners were being cut on safety.

NEIL ZOROMSKY, PROP MASTER: I impressed upon them that there were great concerns about that and they really -- didn't really respond to my concerns about that.

ELAM: The affidavit also painting a picture of the low budget film plagued by problems.

That morning camera people walked offset over pay and housing disputes. The scene in which Baldwin was to fire the weapon happening after lunch.

But the gun was ruled safe before lunch. The film's director couldn't confirm to detectives if it was checked after everyone returned to the set raising the question about the allegation the crew was using prop weapons for target practice.

COOLEY: It's not something that we'd participate in. it's not not something that's allowed. And any crew member that's on a project that that is partaking, they're putting themselves by allowing that to happen and others at risk.

ELAM (on camera): CNN did reach back out to "Rust" productions for comment on those allegations coming from "The Wrap" and they referred us back to a statement that they had previously put out to the media saying that they were very concerned about safety and also noting that they had never received any official complaints about safety when it came to weaponry or props on the set of "Rust".


ELAM: And to that end, it's worth noting that the state of New Mexico also said it never got any complaints about safety on that movie set.

Stephanie Elam, CNN -- Santa Fe, New Mexico.


VAUSE: Well, in Southern Italy, streets are flooded, cars are submerged after water comes from heavy rains in Sicily. Well, more rain is in the forecast. We'll have that story next.


VAUSE: Right now parts of southern Italy are under extreme threat of additional flooding. Cars have been left submerged during flash floods Tuesday in Sicily. One government official calls the situation very critical.

Let's go to meteorologist Pedram Javaheri with more. And we also have the forecast that there's more rain expected.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It is. Yes, at least for the next two to three days, John. We've got the atmospheric pattern here that's set up such that storms are cruising one by -- after another here across this region.

And you'll notice, at least four storms scattered about portions of the Mediterranean over the past 24 or so hours and the most potent one lined up in place. It is a very slow-mover. Drawing in plenty of humid air from areas toward the eastern Med, strong winds from the north and locked in here with very little movement to produce really what we typically see as what is called a Medicane (ph) which is kind of an informal term for a system across the Mediterranean that exhibits some tropical characteristics. So you take the name Mediterranean and hurricane -- that's where the name comes from.

But it occurs on average up to twice per year across the Mediterranean and does peak September through January when we often see this.

And you know, it's a cold core storm unlike the tropical system, very warm core, mainly because the water temperatures in the Mediterranean not conducive to produce a system of a tropical nature.

But notice the moisture just about as impressive here about a half meter has come down but the storm systems across the eastern Med, across areas of Calabia (ph) just to the north, 400 to 500 millimeters is as impressive as it gets.

And in fact, Catana (ph) in particular 580 millimeters is their annual average and you notice the contours here, that's 100, 200 millimeters on top of the several hundred that has come down. So some of these areas are seeing upwards of a year's worth of rainfall in a matter of just days over the last several days.

And John, this is what the forecast looks like moving forward. About 60 to almost 100 percent chance of rainfall each of the next two to three days, before conditions improve as we head on in towards this weekend, John.

VAUSE: Something to look forward to, the weekend.

Pedram, thank you. Pedram Javaheri there with the forecast.

U.S. President Joe Biden heads to Europe this week and the first official stop will be Vatican City and his fourth meeting with Pope Francis.

They're expected to discuss climate change, migration, income inequality but this will also be a very personal visit for President Biden.

CNN's Brian Todd has our report.



BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): A president with a devout and humble relationship with his faith prepares to meet what observers say is a kindred spirit at the Vatican on Friday.

Joe Biden is only America's second Roman Catholic president. And when he meets with Pope Francis at the Vatican, he will be the second Catholic president to meet with the head of the Catholic Church after John F. Kennedy did it 58 years ago.

JOHN ALLEN, CNN SENIOR VATICAN ANALYST: For Biden in particular, getting the kind of warm embrace that he will certainly get on Friday from Pope Francis, that is tremendously important.

TODD: It's important, analysts say, not just because the two men share viewpoints on the issues of climate change, the pandemic, and fighting poverty. This connection, they say, is personal and deeply so.


MASSIMO FAGGLIOLI, AUTHOR, "JOE BIDEN AND CATHOLICISM IN THE UNITED STATES: In the life of Joe Biden, Catholicism has played a very personal role to sustain him in the tragedies that he had to face. That is the (INAUDIBLE) true for the death of his son Beau.

TODD: In 2015, Pope Francis visited the U.S. just months after Joe Biden had lost his son Beau to cancer. During the visit, Biden escorted the Pope at several of his stops.

Biden later recalled that as he was saying goodbye to the Pope in Philadelphia, Francis asked to meet with Biden's family and offered them comfort over the loss of Beau.

BIDEN: He provided us with more comfort than even he I think will ever understand.

TODD: But this visit also comes as Biden's broader relationship with the church experiences complications. Some influential church leaders are displeased with the president.

ALLEN: There are some Catholics, including some bishops in the United States, who believe that by supporting abortion rights, and thereby contradicting the clear moral teaching of the Catholic Church on abortion, President Biden has in effect, put himself outside the fold. And as such, should not be eligible to receive communion when he comes to mass.

TODD: But John Allen says that's a position Pope Francis himself does not agree with. The bond between these two leaders, analysts say, extends to the paths they've taken to the top. Two men who were written off earlier, when the top positions in their arenas were heavily contested.

FAGGIOLI: They ascended to power, to the top position very late in their lives, later than anyone would expect for them to arrive there. So in some sense, they are survivors.

TODD (on camera): And analysts say another reason Pope Francis will be happy to greet the president is because the president is not Donald Trump. Trump and Pope Francis had a strained relationship after Francis criticized Trump's plan to build a wall at the border, saying it's not Christian to build barriers.

Trump fired back, calling Francis's comments disgraceful.

Brian Todd, CNN -- Washington.


VAUSE: NASA may have discovered the first planted outside our galaxy. (INAUDIBLE) Scientists believe they've detected an exoplanet circling a star in the Whirlpool Galaxy about 28 million light years away.

And they're saying may have discovered because the exoplanet has such a large orbit around its distant sky it will take another 70 years to confirm the finding.

Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause. Please stay with us. A lot more news after a very short break with my friend and colleague Rosemary Church.

I'll see you tomorrow.