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Global Summit, Putin, Xi Won't Be Attending G20 Or COP26; Biden's Agenda In Jeopardy; Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen Speaks With CNN; World Leaders Prepare To Converge On Rome, Glasgow; Biden's Climate Agenda; United Nations COP26 Climate Summit Starts Sunday In Scotland; Severe Weather Drenched Sicily; Rust Movie Set Tragedy; District Attorney, Charges Over "Rust" Incident Not Ruled Out; Pressure On Sudan's Coup Leaders; Iran Nuclear Talks Resume; Politics In Brazil; WHO, Europe Accounts For 57 Percent Of New Global Cases; Nicaraguans Cross Border To Get COVID Shots; Equality For All Passports; World Series, Astros Pulled Even With Braves. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired October 28, 2021 - 03:00   ET




ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR (on camera): Hello, and welcome to our viewers joining us here in the United States, and all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church. Just ahead here on "CNN Newsroom," Joe Biden's agenda in jeopardy, Democrats say they are trying to reach a deal on the Build Back Better plan. But the U.S. President also needs Congress to help with his climate agenda. In just a matter of hours the U.S. President is heading overseas to meet with world leaders.

Plus, Taiwan's president talks to CNN about U.S. ties, and the threats from China.

UNKNOWN: Live from CNN Center, this is "CNN Newsroom" with Rosemary Church.

CHURCH: And thanks for joining us. Well, U.S. President Joe Biden leaves for Rome later today where he and other G20 leaders will meet in-person for the first time in more than two years. He has a busy schedule but with climate legislation, and other issues on hold in Congress, it appears the president will be arriving in Europe without a clear picture of what the U.S. plans to do.

The Russian and Chinese leaders say they won't be there in person, without them, of course, it is questionable whether the Rome Summit can be meaningful action on climate or vaccines, or anything else. The president is expected to meet with Pope Francis on Friday, the G20 Summit will be held over the weekend, and on Sunday he hits the Glasgow for the U.N.'s COP26 Climate Summit before returning to Washington on Tuesday.

Well, CNN senior international correspondent, Ben Wedeman, joins us live this hour from Rome. Good to see you, Ben. Quite the whirlwind tour, so what all can we expect to come out of this G20 summit? Considering the leaders of China and Russia won't be there, and of course President Biden will arrive empty-handed.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Yes, at this point it's not at all clear what will come out of this summit. The Italian Prime Minister, Mario Draghi has put forward three slogans for this summit, people, planet, and prosperity.

But in the absence of the leaders of Russia, and China, in the absence of any sort of clear consensus in the United States as a result of President Biden's political complications there. It does appear that there may be more optimism than reality when it comes to what the leaders of the G20 can agree upon.

We know for instance that the G20 produces about 80 percent of the world's carbon emissions, and without consensus among them, it's hard to say what will come out of this conference. And for instance, on other matters when it comes to COVID for instance, which has kept us all busy for quite some time, according to one study the G20 countries have received 15 times the number of vaccines as sub-Saharan Africa.

So therefore, reality as of opposed to rhetoric is a huge gap that is going to be hard to fill given that the leaders of the G20 clearly do not agree on much at this point. Rosemary?

CHURCH: Yeah, it is an important point, Ben Wedeman, joining us live from Rome, many thanks.

Leslie Vinjamuri, is Director of the U.S. and America's Programme at Chatham House, and joins me now from London. Good to have you with us.


CHURCH: So, President Biden sets off on his high stakes overseas trip in just a few hours from now, he will face tensions, of course, with key U.S. allies after a chaotic Afghanistan exit, and a diplomatic rift with France over nuclear submarine deal. How is he likely to be received this time around? And can he get his Atlantic partners back on the same page do you think?

VINJAMURI: Well it's a very big question. And as we know, it's been a very bumpy few months, since that meeting in (inaudible). But the thing to note I think here is that diplomacy has continued. Of course, we are focused on the big summit, on the G7, the G20, those certain marker moments, but in between we have seen a series of meetings that have taken place in-person between the U.S., the highest levels, and in France.

And so working to really get that key relationship between the U.S. and France back on page after the very difficult politics surrounding the office announcement.


But I think, you're absolutely right that one of the goals of this trip apart from the obvious ones of climate, and that global minimum corporate tax rate is really getting the alliance, the western alliance back together again. Rehabilitating it after what was a very difficult summer, with many remaining issues surrounding Afghanistan especially.

But I think as we look forward that President Biden is, you know, facing a difficult time at home, but really seeking now to take forward his agenda, focusing on Asia, focusing on climate, and focusing on healing that alliance.

CHURCH: You mentioned his difficult time at home, because, of course, as President Biden arrives in the midst of these tensions with allies, his leadership looks somewhat diminished and shaky by his inability to get his own domestic agenda passed and with no climate deal on the table, what impact will all this likely have on his efforts to get allies on board, with his pledges and promises, when he can't even get his own party behind them?

VINJAMURI: I think that America's key allies understand very well the domestic politics that the president is facing, they understand that is within his own party, as well as across the aisle. But what they also see now is a pretty radical transformation on the question of climate, when it comes to U.S. leadership non-withstanding what's happening within Washington.

Remember, Rosemary, as you know so well, it was not very long ago that we had a U.S. president that simply denied the fact of climate change. So, it is a difficult set of politics, but this is a president who is saying I am doing my best, I'm going to bring the country along with me, it is going to take time, but we have to push harder. He has had John Kerry here in London yesterday, making a very strong case.

I think another key question though is, you know, there is some division within the Biden administration, on the question of China, with those who really think we got to be careful with the U.S.-China relationship in order to get China fully on board the climate agenda, and those who think that the stakes are too high and a very hardline is absolutely critical given the deterrent we need for deterrence and the geopolitical challenges that China faces. So that's another really some tension in the (inaudible).

CHURCH: Right, and sort of -- given all of this, what commitments though can we expect to come out of Joe Biden's trip? And you know, many are saying the absence of China and Russia will make it difficult to make those commitments, but on the other side of the coin, perhaps the absence of those two leaders will help the U.S. reclaim the mantle of global leader, is that possible?

VINJAMURI: I think, you know, first of all they won't be entirely absent, they will be there with smaller teams, not the leaders of the countries, but also using technology in various formats. It's not the same, but they will have a presence. But you're absolutely right that the lack of leadership at the highest levels creates the opportunity for Joe Biden to really reclaim that mantel piece that President Xi has done so well on the climate issue during Donald Trump's period. But on concrete measures, I think that the U.S. president is looking

certainly at the G20 to secure commitment to the minimum global corporate tax rate that is absolutely essential for him. He wants that globally, he wants that for his domestic audience, it is critical to his own -- the financing was own planet home (ph).

Talk about climate finances is absolutely key, also getting some sort of commitment on climate finance for developing countries, and of course, really pushing countries to accelerate their commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, not only the ultimate target for net-zero, but really accelerating their move towards that. This is what the president is seeking to achieve.

And it is not only a state of commitment but, of course, as is always the case with these summits, it is really getting the private sector, the public sector, affirming those private public partnerships, getting civil society engaged, and really driving momentum in the right direction. It comes in a very difficult time, high levels of inequality in vaccine distribution, climate, the distribution of cost and benefits on climate change is highly unequal as we know.

But this is a president that is, you know, seeking to drive a very positive agenda, and really aiming to build up the alliance in order to do that effectively.

CHURCH: We will be watching very closely to see what comes out of this overseas trip. Leslie Vinjamuri, many thanks for joining us, we appreciate it.

VINJAMURI: Thank you, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Well, meantime, President Biden is expected to attend a meeting of House Democrats in just a few hours. A source says he will try to convince progressives to vote for his Infrastructure Bill later in the day. He will make remarks shortly before leaving the White House for his overseas trip. Now this comes as his largest social spending and climate change bill is still being negotiated.

Jeremy Diamond has our report.



JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice over): President Biden still doesn't have a deal on his social in climate spending package, Democrats still working to resolve major sticking points. Including the top line spending number, an effort to expand Medicare to cover dental, vision, and hearing. Medicare drug price negotiations, the details of the climate provisions in the bill, and exactly how to pay for everything.

Despite the mountain of unresolved issues, the White House remaining optimistic. At the White House and on Capitol Hill, a full court press still underway. President Biden sitting down with the two key holdouts, Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema at the White House on Tuesday, making clear he wants a deal now.

SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): The president has made that very clear, he wants to move forward. And we owe it to the president to move forward. He's working 24/7, I guarantee you, I've been with him most 24/7 and he is working as hard as he possibly can to get a good solid deal. And you know he believes 100 percent, and nothing is nothing.

DIAMOND: Top White House officials keeping up the pressure, meeting with Manchin and Sinema for more than two hours on Capitol Hill. Manchin still casting doubt on key provisions to pay for the bill, like attacks on billionaires assets.

MANCHIN: I don't like it, I don't like the connotation that we are targeting different people.

DIAMOND: There is progress on some issues, Senator Sinema and Manchin both rallying around in an agreement on a 15 percent minimum corporate tax. And White House officials, telling lawmakers that the climate provisions in the bill will total more than $500 billion, reassuring progressives. As for the rest, with or without a deal, Biden will board Air Force One.

JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: There is some flexibility in the morning, but I would not suggest that he is going to delay his trip. He does not have the space to delay it much.

DIAMOND: And CNN has also now learning that the paid family and medical leave that was set to be included in that reconciliation package, that that is going to now be scrapped from that bill altogether. President Biden had talked last week about bringing that down from the 12 weeks that he had promised down to four weeks, but ultimately, it's being scrapped because of opposition from Senator Joe Manchin.

And now beyond ultimately agreeing to a framework for this reconciliation bill, there is still the outstanding question of exactly how to proceed for the votes. Progressives are insisting that they will not vote for that bipartisan infrastructure bill in the House, until that reconciliation bill also comes to a vote, at least the very same day.

That goes much further than what the White House has been hoping for, which is that a framework agreement would unlock a quick vote on that Infrastructure Bill allowing the president to sign it into law.

Jeremy Diamond, CNN, The White House.


CHURCH: You are watching "CNN Newsroom," still to come, heading to Europe empty-handed, the U.N. Climate Summit starts this weekend, but as we just reported, Joe Biden has no deal so far with U.S. lawmakers.

Plus, CNN gets exclusive access to Taiwan's president for her first international TV interview in nearly two years.

We are back in just a moment.



CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, there are new developments in the growing military threat from China to the U.S. and its allies, and exclusive reaction from Taiwan's president. First the top U.S. general is confirming for the first time that Pentagon believes China tested a hypersonic weapon back in August.

"The Financial Times," reported early this month, the space launched weapon could potentially evade U.S. missile defenses. Joint Chief Chairman, Mark Milley, says, he's worried about China's expanding military and cyber capabilities.


GENERAL MARK MILLEY, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF CHAIRMAN: I've always felt it was a very significant event of a test of a hypersonic weapon system. And it is very concerning. I think I saw in some of the newspapers they use the term sputnik moment. I don't know if it's quite a sputnik moment, but I think it's very close to that. So, it's a very significant technological event that occurred, or tested occurred by the Chinese, and it has all of our attention.


CHURCH: So let's bring in CNN's Will Ripley, he joins us live this hour from Taipei. Great to see you, Will. So you interviewed Taiwan's president, what did she say about the threat posed by China and what she hopes the U.S. will do should Beijing ever attacks?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Well, Presidents Tsai said that she has faith that the United States would indeed come to Taiwan's aid, along with other democratic allies, such as Japan, which is actually moving missiles to its islands near Taiwan in the coming months.

She talked about the importance though for the Taiwanese people themselves to be unified, to stand strong against the growing threat from across the Taiwan Strait.


RIPLEY (voice over): At this temple in Taipei, prayer and politics go hand in hand for Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen.

TSAI ING-WEN, PRESIDENT OF TAIWAN: Normally, when I go to the temple there, hundreds of people there. Like, I will shake hands with each one of them.

RIPLEY: People are remarkably happy, at ease.

ING-WEN: There's a sense that there's somebody there to take care of them. RIPLEY: Elected in 2016, Tsai won reelection by a landslide last

year, on a promise to keep people safe from what she calls "a growing threat across the Taiwan Strait."

Is Taiwan more safe today than it was when you became president in 2016?

ING-WEN: There is a threat from China is increasing every day.

RIPLEY: The mainland's massive military, two million strong, more powerful than ever. China flew 150 warplanes near Taiwan, in just five days this month. This democracy of more than 23 million governs separately from the mainland for more than 17 years since the end of China's civil war, still seen as a breakaway province in the eyes of Beijing's communist rulers, who have never controlled of the island.


Taiwan has pressured most of the world to sever formal diplomatic ties with Taipei. Chinese President Xi Jinping says reunification is only a matter of time.

Are you interested in speaking with President Xi? Would you like to have more communication with him?

ING-WEN: More communication would be helpful, so that we would reduce misunderstanding given our differences, difference in terms of our political system. We can sit down, and talk about our differences, and try to make an arrangements so that we will be able to co-exist peacefully.

RIPLEY: Your predecessor, as you know, did meet with President Xi, why do you think that things -- the communications has really gone south since 2016?

ING-WEN: Well, I think the situation has changed a lot, and China's plan towards the region is very different.

RIPLEY: That plan includes war threats over Taiwan, clashes with Japan in the East China Sea, and militarizing man-made islands in the South China Sea, posing a direct challenge to seven decades of U.S. military supremacy in the Indo-Pacific.

In response, the U.S. ramped up arms sales to Taiwan, selling the island $5 billion in weapons last year. President Tsai confirms exclusively to CNN, U.S. support goes beyond selling weapons.

Does that supporting includes sending some U.S. service members to help train Taiwanese troops?

ING-WEN: Well, yes, we have a wide range of cooperation with the U.S., aiming at increasing our defense capability.

RIPLEY: How many U.S. service members are deployed in Taiwan right now?

ING-WEN: Not as many as people thought.

RIPLEY: Defense Department records show the number of U.S. troops in Taiwan increased from 10 in 2018, to 32 earlier this year. The State Department asked for more marines to safeguard the unofficial U.S. embassy in Taipei.

Any U.S. military presence in Taiwan, big or small, is perceived by Beijing as an act of aggression, state media says. When reports surfaced earlier this month of U.S. marines, training Taiwanese troops, China released this video. A training exercise, targeting Taiwan independence, and interference by external forces like the U.S., a warning for President Joe Biden, who vowed to defend Taiwan at this CNN Town Hall last week.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: So you're saying that the United States would come to Taiwan's defense, if they try to attack?

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Yes, we have a commitment to do that.

RIPLEY: The White House later walked back Biden's comments. They seemed to contradict the long-standing U.S. policy of strategic ambiguity, leaving U.S. military involvement in Taiwan an open question.

ING-WEN: People have different interpretation of what President Biden has said.

RIPLEY: Do you have faith that the United States would defend Taiwan, if the mainland were to try to move on Taiwan?

ING-WEN: I do have faith. And given the long term relationship that we have with the U.S., and also the support of the people of the U.S., as well as the Congress, and the administration has been very helpful.

RIPLEY: Taiwan's defense minister says, China could launch a full scale war by 2025. He says military tensions are the worst in more than 40 years.

ING-WEN: We have to expedite our military reform so that we have the ability to defend ourselves, and given the size of Taiwan, compared to the size of the PRC, developing a symmetric capability is the key for us.

RIPLEY: How prepared is Taiwan today?

ING-WEN: We are trying to make us stronger in every aspect, and increase our military capability and our international support.

RIPLEY: Support, bolstered she says by Taiwan's critical importance to the global supply chain. The island is a world leader in semiconductors. Taiwan was Asia's fastest-growing economy last year, a fact President Tsai proudly points out over lunch.

ING-WEN: This is one of my favorite foods.

RIPLEY: Alright.

Despite everything, she appears calm and confident.

You talked about how really the situation is so complex now?

ING-WEN: Yes it, is very complex. This is probably the most challenging time for the people of Taiwan.


RIPLEY: You read the outside headlines, the most dangerous place on earth.

ING-WEN: We read these reports as reminder to us as to, what are the threats that are under, and we have to get also better prepared. But we are not panic, we are not anxious, because we have confidence to many difficulties in the past.

RIPLEY: She says, Taiwan's future must be decided by its people, the people who worked hard over the last 70 years to build the world's only Chinese speaking democracy, a democracy under growing threat.


RIPLEY (on camera): And so the U.S. role here, clarified a bit by President Tsai, she's the first Taiwanese leader in more than 40 years to confirm that there are U.S. troops on the ground here, on this island, helping to train Taiwanese troops.

But her foreign minister was asked about this in parliament, and was very clear to say that these troops are not based here. They are assisting, in small numbers, but he said, they don't have a permanent base here, perhaps that's an attempt by Tsai's government to just sort of try to prevent any sort of fiery response from Beijing to this sort of comment. Because it's kind of been an open secret that this is happening, but it has never really been officially, publicly confirmed up until now.

As far as the Beijing perspective, Chinese President Xi Jinping has consistently said that reunification with Taiwan will happen, they have not ruled out for us, even as just recently as yesterday, they've said they will take back Taiwan by force, if they think that this island is be moving too far towards independence from the mainland.

Because Taiwan is never formally declared independence, they have their own government, their own military, their democracy, and yet China still considers the 23 million people who live here its citizens, even though they never controlled the island, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Will Ripley, we thank you for that truly compelling interview, I appreciate it, joining us live from Taipei.

Well G20 leaders prepared to meet face-to-face for the first time in two years, and yet even with a looming climate crisis, an ongoing pandemic, the leaders of Russia and China have decided to stay home. Details from Rome just ahead. Plus, new details on the fatal shooting on the "Rust" film set, a

shocking admission by a crew member about the gun fired by Alec Baldwin. That's coming up.




ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR (on camera): Welcome back, everyone. Well, leaders of the world's 20 wealthiest nations are getting ready to meet this weekend in Rome for the first time in more than two years. The two leaders, Russia's Vladimir Putin and China's Xi Jinping are skipping the G20, despite the important issues at stake. President Biden is expected to leave for Rome later today and will meet with the pope on Friday. More now from CNN's Nic Robertson in Rome.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Rome is already but some invitees are not. President Putin of Russia, to be a no-show. President Xi of China too, Mexico's P.M. (Inaudible) can't come to Rome, they say because of COVID issue at home.

Last year's G20 in Riyadh, pandemic restrictions kept everyone away.

Rome was supposed to be different, the first face-to-face for G20 leaders since Japan hosted the summit, June 2019. But now rather than a meeting of big rivals, it could be a lot less frosty even so it won't be an easy ride.

COVID topics, specifically vaccine and equality along with climate change will dominate. Equality for women and support for small and medium businesses will also be on the agenda. At stake too, the reputation for these world leaders' summits for delivering on what they promise.

UNKNOWN: Together we have addressed this challenge --

ROBERTSON: A year ago, G20 leaders promised to use their wealth to help poorer nations get vaccines. Since then, Russia, China, the U.S. and others have shared vaccines to developing nations but some of its rhetoric then and since has become detached from ground reality. The U.K.'s former P.M. one among many calling on today's leaders to match words with actions.

GORDON BROWN, WHO AMBASSADOR, GLOBAL HEALTH FINANCING: Boris Johnson promised at the G7 that he was going to vaccinate the whole world. But since then so little has happened.

ROBERTSON: The G20 nations have deep pockets, accounting for 80 percent of the world's GDP. Many facing increasing pressure to give vaccines to the developing world now, ahead of booster shots at home.

ANTONIO GUTERRES, U.N. SECRETARY GENERAL: It is allowing variants to develop and run wild, condemning the world to millions more death and prolonging an economic slowdown that would cost trillions of dollars.

ROBERTSON: COVID is a hot topic on Rome streets too. There is anger with the government's handling of the crisis. Europe's strictest vaccine to work policy. Bringing the pandemic under control and ending economic uncertainty will no doubt help focused leaders minds here.

But absent, President Xi and Vladimir Putin physically at the table, speeding a joint-up COVID solution seems a stretch.

Nic Robertson, CNN, Rome.


CHURCH: After the G20, the U.S. president will travel to Scotland for the COP26 Climate Summit. But it looks like he won't have much to show for his climate agenda aside from promises. Biden has vowed to cut around half of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions below their 2005 levels by 2030.

The White House says he is considering new executive action restricting methane, mercury, and power plant emissions. But analysts say that won't be enough and that President Biden will need Congress to pass clean energy bills to reach his goal.

Well, for more on all of this, we are joined by geology and earth sciences professor, and volcanologist, Jess Phoenix. Good to have you with us.

JESS PHOENIX, GEOLOGY AND EARTH SCIENCES PROFESSOR, VOLCANOLOGIST (on camera): Thanks so much for having me, it's always great to be here.

CHURCH: Wonderful. So as one of the world's biggest carbon polluters, along with China, India, and Japan, what does the U.S. specifically need to do to lead the charge of the COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow, because so far, America hasn't been setting a particularly stellar example, falling well short of its own carbon emission pledges? And right now, President Biden doesn't even have a climate deal, just promises?


PHOENIX: Yeah, it's definitely a less than ideal position to be in. However, the United States does have a long track record of being a leader in global affairs.

So, I think that with the new government that the U.S. has, you know, it has had in the last year and a lot of the strong actions we have taken to reassure our allies around the world, I think we are well positioned to make a return to the track we were on, where we were trying to meet our Paris accord numbers and just really attempting to become a leader in global green tech.

I mean, that is where the United States is going to have to position itself to remain both competitive and a strong ally to our friends around the world. CHURCH: And just this Climate Summit starts Sunday, and could

potentially determine if world leaders can bring the negative impact of climate change under control. But according to the annual U.N. Emissions Gap Report, the G20 group of industrialized nations isn't even on track to meet its own existing pledges. So, what do they all need to do to try to turn this around?

PHOENIX: I would say the biggest thing is to really get away from fossil fuels. That is our biggest sticking point, our biggest stumbling block. It has been something that has really propelled many societies around the world into the modern era, yet it is something that is actively undercutting our future, as of planet.

This is not limited to any one country. And what we do see is that the countries that are wealthier often obviously produce more of the carbon emissions from fossil fuels and countries that are less developed usually end up holding the shorter end of the stick when it comes to dealing with the repercussions of the changing climate.

CHURCH: And China's President Xi Jinping isn't even turning up to the COP26 summit, despite China being the biggest emitter of carbon emissions. And other leaders are also staying home including Russia's president Vladimir Putin. Why do these world leaders fail to recognize the dire circumstances facing our planet due to climate change? Is it ignorance do you think or pure opportunism and about money?

PHOENIX: I mean, when you break it down, a lot of politics is about money. So, I'm sure there is that element to and actually when you see people being very doom and gloom about the climate, or pessimistic, or just staying home, what they are doing is they are acting from a position of less urgency of more privilege.

If you have, you know, sea levels rising into your house, you don't have the luxury of waiting to take action. And these world leaders are saying we are going to kick the can down the road and get rid of the accountability. They are going to shirk that. And so it is really important, it's even more important that the nations in attendance step up and make a strong unified statement of action.

CHURCH: And, of course, we mentioned the world's five biggest carbon polluters, China, the U.S., Russia, India, and Japan, together accounting for almost 60 percent of all global emissions. Does there need to be more naming and shaming or holding those nations to account, in other ways to wake them up, to tell the rest of the world these are the culprits, these are the countries not doing their part?

PHOENIX: Well, it's a little bit nuanced because I could say yes. But then there is also the no, that comes along with -- again, if you look at the U.S., we are much more developed nation than some of the ones on that list.

So it is very difficult to say, well, we have -- we've been able to enjoy indoor air conditioning and on demand heating, and electricity whenever we want and yet countries like India that have a little bit, you know, they are a little bit further behind in the development of the infrastructure. We can't turn to them and go no, you can't enjoy the privileges that we have enjoyed.

So, we have to say look, everybody has accountability here and we need to find ways to encourage investment in green tech in a lot of these countries that have people who are going to be suffering from climate change.

So, this is a real opportunity, I think, for the United States to basically supercharge its economy by becoming a global leader in green tech and encouraging investment in countries where the technologies are really, really needed and the investment can be use right away.

CHURCH: Jess Phoenix, a pleasure to chat with you, many thanks.

PHOENIX: You too, thanks, Rosemary.


CHURCH: Well, more rain is coming for the parts of Sicily already inundated by flash flooding. A powerful storm hit the island this week killing at least two people and leaving one person injured.

Barbie Nadeau has more on the rare hurricane like storm.


BARBIE LATZA NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR (voice over): Devastating flash flood caused by a Medicane, or a hurricane in the Mediterranean, in the Sicily town of Catania, on the flanks of Mount Etna, have turned roads into rivers and shut down the city. Cars were floating in normally picturesque squares, and roads were washed out after the area received a year's worth of rain in just 48 hours.

The city cut power to the center of town and closed all schools and businesses until at least Friday. The head of Italy civil protection warned that the worst is not over since forecast show more rain on the way.

Barbie Latza Nadeau, CNN, Rome.


CHURCH: The sheriff in Santa Fe, New Mexico, says the gun fired by Alec Baldwin last week on the "Rust" film set shot a suspected live round, killing crew member, Halyna Hutchins and injuring the film's director. Police suspect other live rounds were on the set that day.

CNN's Stephanie Elam has the latest.


ADAN MENDOZA, SANTA FE COUNTY, NEW MEXICO SHERIFF: The facts are clear a weapon was handed to Mr. Baldwin, the weapon is functional and fired a live round killing Miss Hutchins and injuring Mr. Souza.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Authorities in New Mexico, revealing the gun fired by Alec Baldwin and killing director of photography, Halyna Hutchins on the set of "Rust" held a suspected live round.

MENDOZA: The actual lead projectile that was fired has been recovered from the shoulder of Mr. Souza. Until it's proven by the crime lab, it is a suspected live round that fired.

ELAM: the Sheriff saying they suspect some of the 500 rounds of ammunition recovered, all live. But only one of the recovered guns appears functional.

MENDOZA: The other weapon is a single action army 45 revolver. That one looks like there is some modification to the cylinder, it may not be functioning but that will be determined by the crime lab. The other firearm is a plastic nonfunctioning revolver.

ELAM: New court documents released today also revealing that Assistant Director Dave Halls, who handed actor Alec Baldwin the function gun before rehearsal, acknowledges failing to fully check the firearm. The warrant saying Halls could only remember seeing three rounds. He advice, he should have checked all of them but didn't.

The same document shows that armorer Hannah Gutierrez told investigators, no live ammo is ever kept on set. Halls was previously fired from another film after a crew member was injured in a gun incident, according to Rocket Soul Studios, and was the subject of complaints over safety and his behavior on the set of Freedom's Path, and another production in 2019.

Two Crew members also tells CNN, the "Rust" armorer, Gutierrez mishandled weapons on a previous film production with Nicholas Cage. Officials today stop short of announcing whether anyone will face criminal charges.

MARY CARMACK ALTWIES, SANTA FE DISTRICT ATTORNEY: All options are on the table at this point. It will take many more facts corroborated facts before we can get to that criminal negligence standard.

ELAM: District Attorney, Mary Carmack Altweis, telling CNN later, what that standard could rest on.

CARMACK ALTWIES: The way that I was sort of taught was you treat the firearm like a live snake. And so it's a terrible tragedy, we don't know how those live rounds got there. And I think that that will probably end up being kind of the linchpin for whether a decision is made about charges.

UNKNOWN: We need help immediately.

ELAM: The low budget western sought a number of issues during production, with a camera crew walking off the job overpay and housing disputes, the day of the tragic accident. Allegations of crew using prop weapons for target practice and cutbacks in crew onset.

Now the Halls nor Gutierrez responded to CNN's requests for comments. "Rust" productions has said, that safety on its set is a top priority. We did learn one detail today though, and that is that the cameras were not rolling. That is according to the sheriff. And so they hope that perhaps some information that could've been

hauled from that video, if they had it, is not going to be an option in this case.

Stephanie Elam, CNN, Santa Fe, New Mexico.


CHURCH: And coming up here on "CNN Newsroom," growing calls for civil disobedience in Sudan where thousands are turning out to oppose the military takeover. The latest in a live report, next.



CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, Iran has agreed to resume crucial talks about its nuclear program before the end of November. Low-level talks with world powers were suspended back in June when Iran's hardline president took office. Ebrahim Raisi has blamed that the U.S. for leaving the earlier agreement and is demanding sanctions be lifted. The Biden administration has been trying to get Iran back to the negotiating table and warned the window for diplomacy was closing. Tehran's nuclear program has been moving far pass the limits set by the 2015 deal.

International pressure is mounting on Sudan's coup leaders, just days after they launched a military takeover. This as protesters again pack the streets to oppose the unfolding coup.

CNN's Larry Madowo is following developments and joins us now live from Nairobi. Good to see you, Larry. So what is the latest on the situation in Sudan and where is all of this likely going?

LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): So, it's all leading up to a major protest planned for the Saturday. There's been sustained demonstrators on the streets since Monday when the military grabbed power and dissolved government and basically made rubbish of this power sharing agreement which has been in place since 2019.

Now protesters back on the streets and the Sudanese people have done this before, Rosemary. In 2019, because of popular protests organized by the Sudanese Profession Association by local resistance groups, they all came together and ended the rule of Omar al-Bashir after 30 years.

And then when the military tried to stay longer, they made sure that the power sharing agreements, they are going to do this. The U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken has met as top, one more time about Sudan. He had call with the Foreign Minister, as well as the head of the Afghan Union.

The Afghan Union has suspended Sudan until there is a return to that traditional government. And the World Bank has also suspended any aid disbursements to the country until there is a returned to normalcy. So, a lot of international pressure right now on the military to heed the demands of the people.

The Democratic aspirations of the ordinary citizens that do not want the military are the one to make sure that they go back to full civilian rule. It must be a long journey to that July 2023 date that the military promise for an election.


CHURCH: Larry Madowo, keeping an eye on what is happening on the ground in Sudan. Many thanks.

Well, Brazil Senate Commission is officially recommending criminal charges against President Jair Bolsonaro for his handling of the pandemic. But the Attorney General is considered an ally and charges are not expected. Mr. Bolsonaro's approval rating is plummeting but his role model, Former President Donald Trump is endorsing him, saying Brazil is lucky to have him.

Venezuela's president disagrees, Nicholas Maduro called Mr. Bolsonaro an idiot for falsely claiming the COVID vaccines could increase the risk of aids which of course is false.

Well the World Series is heading back to Atlanta. Just ahead the Braves and the Astros slug it out in game two, highlights from Houston, next.



CHURCH: The World Health Organization has some bad news for Europe as the region heads into winter. It says while other parts of the world are seeing declining or steady COVID numbers, Europe is reporting a dramatic increase in cases and deaths, accounting for over 57 percent of new global COVID infections in the past week.

Well, Nicaraguans meanwhile, are crossing the border into Honduras to get their vaccines, the neighboring nation says, it has vaccinated 8,000 Nicaraguans in recent days at two customs facilities. Honduran officials say those inoculations will help get the pandemic under control in their country, vaccine supplies are running low in Nicaragua where less than 20 percent of the population is fully vaccinated.

Well, the U.S. State Department has announced a major milestone in supporting equality for all Americans. The agency has issued the first U.S. passport with an x-gender marker for non-binary intersex and gender non-conforming people. In a statement Wednesday the department reiterated its commitment to promoting the freedom, dignity, and equality of all people.

The Houston Astros have evened up the World Series at one game apiece, an infield hit by Jose Siri broke a one-one tie in the second inning and the hits just kept on coming. The Astros scored early and often in game two after losing the series opener, another hit and some costly defensive mistakes by the Braves gave Houston two more runs in the inning. Final score, Astros, seven, Braves, two. The best of seven series moves to Atlanta for the next three games this weekend.

I know what my son will be doing. I'm Rosemary Church, thanks for spending part of your day with me. "CNN Newsroom" continues with Isa Soares.