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Austria Reimposes Lockdown, To Mandate Vaccines As Cases Rise; Europe Struggles With Rising Cases, Restless Public; IOC Faces Growing Scrutiny Aftercall With Tennis Star; Russia: Ukraine Invasion Concerns "Absolutely False"; New Rules Ban Women From Most Afghan Television Shows. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired November 23, 2021 - 00:00   ET




PAULA NEWTON, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone I'm Paula Newton.

Ahead right here on CNN NEWSROOM, new COVID restrictions as Europe struggles through a wave of cases that one official warns won't end until everyone is "vaccinated, recovered or dead."

Supporters of a missing tennis star remain skeptical and fearful after the International Olympic Committee releases only a single photo from its video call with Peng Shuai.

And hopes for a more moderate Taliban suffer a big setback after Afghan women are banned from appearing on television dramas.

And we begin in Europe where several countries are stepping up their fight against a surging number of coronavirus cases heading into winter.

Austria began a nationwide partial lockdown on Monday for at least the next 10 days and the government is now leaning hard into its vaccination drive.

The Chancellor tells CNN citizens who defy a February vaccine mandate will be fined.

The government's pressure might be working already, vaccination centers report a massive increase in people coming to get a shot. Right now, about 66 percent of Austria's population is fully vaccinated.


ALEXANDER SCHALLENBERG, AUSTRIA CHANCELLOR: That's the thing that saddens me most, we have enough vaccines, we have -- science gave us the possibility. The exit ticket out of this vicious circle of virus waves and lockdown discussions and simply not enough people are using this possibility and taking this exit ticket.

(END VIDEO CLIP) NEWTON: Now in the Netherlands, it's dealing with a different set of COVID related problems.

On Monday, the Prime Minister denounced weekend rioters as idiots using restrictions as an excuse for violence. He claims, now, demonstrations against a new COVID rules turned violent in several cities with dozens arrested. A school set on fire and both rioters and police injured, listen.


MARK RUTTE, DUTCH PRIME MINISTER (through translator): I will never tolerate idiots who use violence against people who go on the streets day after day to keep this country safe for you and me just because they're unhappy.


NEWTON: The Delta variant is turning Germany into another COVID hotspot in Europe. On Monday, the U.S. added it and Denmark to the list of very high-risk travel destinations. German officials are pleading with people to get vaccinated. The Health Minister made this grim warning, take a listen.


JENS SPAHN, GERMAN HEALTH MINISTER (through translator): There is a likelihood that at the end of this winter, just about everyone in Germany will have been vaccinated, recovered or dead as some put it cynically.


NEWTON: All right, so, let's give you an overview here. COVID cases are rising right throughout Western Europe.

Let's have a look at the map, it shows the increase just in the past week compared to the previous week. You'll see there the darker red shade, that's the more severe the outbreak.

And now, with Austria back under lockdown, other countries in Europe are considering their own plans heading into these colder months.

CNN's Salma Abdelaziz has more now from Vienna.


SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN REPORTER (voice over): A month before Christmas, near silence on the streets of the Austrian capital Monday as a fourth nationwide lockdown begins.

Vienna locals growing weary as the pandemic endorse (PH).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): It feels like a luxury prison, that's what it's like. Personally, I don't feel good psychologically.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I'm really fed up with these lockdowns, I've had enough.

ABDELAZIZ: As COVID-19 cases in Austria sore, it's become the first European country to reenter a full national lockdown in recent months, as well as the first to mandate vaccines for anyone who is eligible beginning in February.

The new restrictions prompting angry protests here over the weekend, an estimated 40,000 taking to the streets in opposition but the mandates though unpopular, have also led to a kind of public capitulation.

The country's biggest vaccination center saw what officials say is a massive increase in first time shots in the wake of new measures.

Now, other European countries hope to imitate that trend, as Europe once again becomes a global epicenter for the coronavirus pandemic.


ABDELAZIZ: New restrictions on the unvaccinated began in the Czech Republic Monday. Adults who haven't been inoculated are barred from places where people congregate, including pubs, museums and services such as hairdressers.

Officials issuing strong statements for those who resist immunizations.

JAN HAMACEK, CZECH INTERIOR MINISTER (through translator): The answer to the anti-vaxxers is that the data is absolutely clear. If the vaccines were not there, and if we didn't have vaccination throughout the population, the hospitals would have collapsed already.

ABDELAZIZ: The Czech Republic joins Germany, Austria, Ireland and several other European nations now enforcing strict measures against the unvaccinated.

In the Netherlands and Belgium, new measures met with protests that erupted over the weekend, governments fighting public discontent. As they also battle rising infections as a pandemic remains ahead of another holiday season.

Salma Abdelaziz, CNN, Vienna.


NEWTON: Joining me now from Los Angeles is Anne Rimoin, she's a professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. Anne, good to see you again.

And I really wish in almost two years here that we weren't back at the same issues. We're looking at Europe right now, officials are taking a very tough line, we just heard them and essentially blaming those who are unvaccinated for the threat to hospitals, the health care system.

Let us know from a medical perspective, would it have saved lives if they had taken a tougher stand months ago? ANNE RIMOIN, PROFESSOR IN THE DEPARTMENT OF EPIDEMIOLOGY, UCLA FIELDING SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH: Well, Paula, it is nice to be here. And I'm sorry to be here still talking about COVID-19 and still really being in this place that we've -- that we were in, you know, just a year ago as well.

You're right, the cases are increasing. We are seeing really that the burden of infections are occurring in unvaccinated individuals.

And even though we have great vaccination rates in a lot of these countries, but still, you end up with 60 or 70 percent vaccinated, you still have 30 or 40 percent who are unvaccinated. And this virus tends to find those people who are unvaccinated.

Unvaccinated people also really do bear the burden of severe disease, hospitalization and death. And so, that's what's burdening these hospitals very clearly as well.

So, you know, the problem is that vaccination will make a very large difference. It will keep people safe, it will keep people out of the hospitals, it will keep people from having severe disease. But these vaccines have limits.

They do wane, the immunity does wane over time. So, we're also starting to see a decrease in the protection provided by these vaccines.

So, you know, it's both things happening at the same time. A large swath of people who are unvaccinated, this virus can burn very quickly through them and can result in very severe disease, hospitalization and death, and also waning immunity in people who were vaccinated early on.

NEWTON: And I'm glad you brought up the issue of the waning immunity. I'll ask you about that in a second.

But before we get to that, I do you want to talk about what's emerged in Europe. And this is really the unvaccinated are pitted against the vaccinated and many there are getting quite resentful at the lockdowns and yet, you have the re-approach here in the United States and places like the U.K. where they let the case count rise.

And as long as the hospitals aren't collapsing, they kind of feel as if they found a way to again live with the virus. Is there any answer here that makes sense in public health terms?

RIMOIN: Well, you know, it's a tough issue. And penalizing people or really stigmatizing people who are not vaccinated, that's not necessarily the best way to get people to want to participate, or to do the right thing.

And so, I think that public health has still had a very hard time being able to message this appropriately, and really, to get people to understand the benefit of vaccination and what that -- and how that helps. The other thing that can be employed during this time period too is

testing. We really need to do better globally, and having rapid tests be readily available to keep people who are positive who do have the virus away from others.

You know, I think that that's something that we all need to do much better. Germany actually did a very good job of this early on but it really does mean we have to think about better messaging, and how we're going to do it.

I think it's very difficult to say that we're ready to just live with this virus and just let it go. We need to be doing a really good job of getting people vaccinated, getting people boosted, and making sure that they can get tested when they need to get tested so that we're not spreading this virus. Even those people who are vaccinated aren't spreading the virus with a breakthrough infection.


NEWTON: Right, understood and talking about those breakthrough cases, it's become incredibly worrying among the vaccinated. What do you say to people who are losing faith that we can vaccinate our way out of this pandemic?

RIMOIN: I don't think we can use any one single public health measure to get out of this pandemic, it's going to have to be multi-pronged. We're going to be able to -- we need to be able to vaccinate as many people as possible because that's going to really drive down the severe disease, hospitalization and death rate. And that's really critical.

But we're still going to have to be able to do things like use masks when needed. And the other thing that we really need to be able to do is have good rapid testing widely available to people, so people can make decisions based on their status.

If vaccines aren't going to provide sterilizing immunity, which they don't at this point, you know, we really are going to need to be able to consider what else we can do to really shore up immunity and keep people safe.

It isn't going to be through one thing, we're going to have to have a multi-prong approach and and have this kind of multi-pronged approach for a long period of time.

NEWTON: Yes, unfortunately. Anne, thanks for reminding us though, about all those things that we do have in the toolbox because it does seem sometimes people are picking and choosing and I mean governments here in terms of public health and not using all the tools that they can be using.

Anne, good to see you, appreciate it.

RIMOIN: Always a pleasure.

NEWTON: Now, Bulgaria's state media reports at least 46 people have died in a passenger -- passengers have died in a bus fire.

Now, a bus with Macedonian registration caught fire on a highway in Western Bulgaria. Authority say at least seven other people were injured. Now, preliminary information indicates the victims were citizens of North Macedonia.

The International Olympic Committee is facing growing scrutiny after its video call with Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai.

Now, the IOC claims Peng is safe and well after checking up on her Sunday amid widespread concerns about her safety. But critics are skeptical and questioned the IOC's true motives.

CNN's Will Ripley reports.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Free Peng Shuai, the growing call of protesters --


RIPLEY: -- politicians, professional athletes.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC, PRO TENNIS PLAYER: We just have to unite and stand together.

RIPLEY: A global outcry for the Chinese tennis star many fear is being silenced.

ENES KANTER, BOSTON CELTICS PLAYER: It's time to speak up, because there's less than hundred days until the Winter Olympics.

RIPLEY: The International Olympic Committee trying to calm the controversy. An IOC statement seems to support the Chinese government narrative, that the three-time Olympian is safe and well, despite growing concern for her freedom.

The IOC handing out this single image Sunday of a 30-minute video call between Peng, IOC President Thomas Bach, and two other officials. The IOC not giving CNN access to the video, asking to, "respect her privacy."

An IOC official on the call says, I was relieved to see that Peng Shuai was doing fine, which was our main concern. Some suggest the governing body's real concern is not Peng, but profits.

The IOC statement fails to mention Peng's explosive allegations three weeks ago, that one of China's most senior communist leaders, photographed with the IOC's Bach in 2016 sexually assaulted her.

Unlike the IOC, the Women's Tennis Association prepared to pull hundreds of millions of dollars in business out of China, demanding direct communication with Peng, unmonitored, uncensored.

The WTA telling CNN, this video does not change our call for a full, fair, and transparent investigation, without censorship.

CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS ANALYST: The history books look back at this time, they will say to the WTA, what an incredible masterclass and humanitarian leadership, the right way to do it to call China on its abuses. And the International Olympic Committee sitting there, as they always do, basically doing nothing.

RIPLEY: Which makes some say the IOC complicit in the apparent silencing of a tennis icon, who dared to speak out against former Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli. He's known to keep a low profile. Portrayed in Chinese propaganda as down to earth, a crusader against corruption.

GORDON CHANG, AUTHOR, "THE COMING COLLAPSE OF CHINA": The Communist Party will deal with this as an internal matter. I really doubt that they will actually refer this to prosecutors of the state because that would raise just too many issues. If all senior leaders have the goods on everybody else.

Will Ripley, CNN, Taipei.


NEWTON: For more on this, we want to bring in CNN's Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. You know, Peng supporters are still unconvinced Kristie by those videos that we see.

What's the latest reaction to these appearances because, as Will pointed out in the package, they're incredibly suspicious, especially since the IOC seemed to give them a lot of credibility just by participating.


KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Peng Shuai's video chat with the IOC has not eased concerns about her well-being. In fact, Human Rights Watch has just issued a very strongly worded statement, in which it tells the International Olympic Committee to stop the promotion of Chinese propaganda.

It then goes on to call in the IOC to retract the statement surrounding the video call to explain the circumstances surrounding the call and to urge Beijing to end censorship to allow for a full investigation into the allegations and to allow Peng Shuai to travel freely if she so desires.

Look, according to the IOC, they say that over the weekend on Sunday, there was a 30-minute phone call between the IOC President and Peng Shuai, which she says that she's safe and well, that she is living at her home in Beijing. She wants her privacy respected.

Two other people also took part in that call, including a Chinese sports official, and the IOC only provided the statement and the photograph that you see on your screen. No video was provided.

Overnight, CNN has approached IOC for any clarification and update to the statement and we received the following, let's bring it up for you.

According to the IOC statement it says: "Safeguarding the well-being of athletes is paramount to the IOC and the Olympic Movement. We have agreed to stay in touch and she agreed to meet in Beijing in January."

Now, the IOC statements do not mention the allegations of sexual assault. And they are in stark contrast with what we've been hearing from Women's Tennis Association who continue to call for verifiable evidence of her well-being, proof that she is not under any form of coercion and a full, free and fair investigation into the sexual allegations.

Look, you know, in the last few days that we've been reporting on this story, we have been focusing on this censorship on the proof of life videos on the political theater, but not necessarily the allegation itself.

You know, the match that lit this fire. It was three weeks ago today. In fact, when Peng Shuai on her verified Weibo account made that explosive allegation, accusing a former Vice Premier of China, someone who rubbed shoulders with Chinese President Xi Jinping, accusing him of forcing her to have sex. And that post was quickly taken down within 30 minutes.

I want to read just a few excerpts from that post. It was in a 1,600- word essay. In it, Peng Shuai writes "Why did you have to come back to me, took me to your home, forced me to have sex with you?"

She goes on to say: "I couldn't describe how disgusted I was and how many times I asked myself, am I still a human? I feel like a walking corpse", she says. "Every day I was acting, which person is the real me?"

Now, Paula, CNN cannot independently verify the post. We cannot reach Peng Shuai nor can the WTA and the rest of the international media corps.

We have also reached out to Zhang Gaoli, to the State Council Information Office. We have yet to receive a response. We continue to monitor the briefings from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They continue to decline to comment saying that this is not a diplomatic incident, Paula.

NEWTON: Yes, I mean, I feel like a walking corpse. I mean, that whole sentence in terms of the allegations of seriousness, as you say, still no one has really said anything about that, including the IOC.

Kristie, thanks so much for keeping on top of the story. Appreciate it.

STOUT: Thank you.

NEWTON: Russia's military buildup near its border with Ukraine has the West worried about a possible invasion.

Still ahead, what steps the U.S. is considering to counter the threat. Plus, details on the new restrictions the Taliban are putting on women in Afghanistan.



NEWTON: Russia's Foreign Intelligence Services dismissing concerns about a possible invasion of Ukraine as "absolutely false". But the U.S. and Western allies are watching closely as Moscow amasses troops on the border and in the region.

CNN's Jim Sciutto has more.


JIM SCIUTTO, CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice over): With concerns growing about a Russian military buildup on the Ukrainian border, the Biden administration is now considering sending military trainers to the region and military equipment that could include Javelin anti-tank missiles and mortars, as well as Stinger air-defense missiles, multiple officials tell CNN.

But the Biden administration is still weighing the consequences of such moves. With some administration officials concerned they could be seen by the Kremlin as a major escalation.

COL. CEDRIC LEIGHTON (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Javelin anti-tank missiles are quite effective against the T-80 tanks which the Russians are actually employing in these efforts against Ukraine right now.

SCIUTTO: The U.S. has been warning allies of a possible Russian invasion with just a short window to prevent Russia from taking action. Top U.S. officials increasingly sound the alarm publicly.

ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: We have real concerns about Russia's unusual military activity on the border with Ukraine.

GEN. LLOYD AUSTIN, U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: We're not sure exactly what Mr. Putin is up to.

SCIUTTO: A top Ukrainian intelligence official claims in an interview with the Military Times, that Russia has more than 92,000 troops amass near Ukraine's border that are preparing to attack in January or February.

These satellite images from earlier this month show those Russian T-80 tanks, as well as armored personnel carriers and other equipment masked in the small town of Yelnya, a possible staging area for invading Ukraine from the North, potentially through Russia's ally, Belarus.

BLINKEN: We don't know what President Putin's intentions are. But we do know what's happened in the past. We do know the playbook of trying to cite some illusory provocation from Ukraine or any other country and then using that as an excuse to do what Russia is planning to do all along.

SCIUTTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin's response is to call existing U.S. support for Ukraine a provocation.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): We need to consider that Western partners worsen the situation by delivering to Kyiv modern lethal weapons and having provocative exercises in the Black Sea.

Jim Sciutto, CNN, Washington.


NEWTON: In Afghanistan, the Taliban have now banned most television shows featuring women and its part of a new set of media restrictions laid out by the militant group.

Now, under the new rules, female journalists can still present the news, but only if they wear a headscarf on screen and it is just the latest sign the Taliban government is limiting Afghan women's rights.

Now, women and girls are already instructed to stay at home from work and school with very few exceptions. And that was a rule imposed shortly after the Taliban seized power in mid-August.

Lisa Curtis is a senior fellow and director of the Indo Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security and she joins us now from Virginia.

Lisa, good to see you. Unfortunately, so much of what we're hearing from Afghanistan now was predictable. Even if it didn't happen in the first few days after the Tali -- after Afghanistan fell to the Taliban.

The issue here, does the international community have any leverage to try and change what the Taliban is doing?

LISA CURTIS, SENIOR FELLOW AND DIRECTOR, INDO PACIFIC SECURITY PROGRAM AT THE CENTER FOR A NEW AMERICAN SECURITY: Well, unfortunately, I think you're right, that it's not surprising this latest restriction that the Taliban has put on women, that they cannot appear in T.V. dramas.


CURTIS: And as you said, initially, they said all the right things that women would be allowed to work, go to school.

Unfortunately, that's not what we have seen playing out. Young girls are being forbidden from going to secondary school, women are not being allowed to work except for perhaps in the healthcare sector.

And unfortunately, a couple of weeks ago, a woman activist was murdered. And this has sent a chill through the women's rights community. Now, the U.S. does have leverage in the form of financial assistance,

we know that the Taliban needs financial assistance, the country is close to an economic collapse. So, there is leverage in our assistance.

Now, we don't condition humanitarian assistance. But in terms of broader, longer term economic assistance, that is something we can condition on respect for human rights.

NEWTON: And yet, it is disturbing when you say that, OK, we have -- I'm not saying we, meaning the Western allies have some kind of leverage when it comes to the financial resources.

But many people have been warned that in any way, shape or form trying to restrict some of that financial assistance will end up harming the people of Afghanistan even more.

CURTIS: Well, the U.S. has already provided about 474 million in humanitarian assistance just this year, more than any other country.

We have frozen nine billion in Afghan assets. Because, you know, the Taliban has made designated terrorist leaders part of their government, we have four leaders of the Haqqani Network, State Department designated terrorist organization.

So, we simply can't afford to risk putting money in the hands of terrorists. So, there is good reason for keeping that nine billion in Afghan assets frozen in the United States.

But when it comes to humanitarian assistance, the U.S. is providing this assistance. And there are ways to bypass the Taliban.

People have talked about setting up a humanitarian financial corridor where you perhaps have a private bank that you can run funding through to provide salaries to the civil servants.

Because when we helped fund the Afghan government before, when you have the former government in place, we were able to get that funding directly to the civil servants.

So, we should be able to now bypass the Taliban and still get much of this humanitarian assistance into the people that need it.

NEWTON: And then, as far as trying to have any influence over the Taliban and how -- and how they are treating women, what more do you think the international community can do?

CURTIS: Well, we know the Taliban wants international recognition. So, again, I think if the United States works closely with like-minded partners that also want to see respect for women's rights and human rights, we can work together with these countries and sort of lay out a roadmap for the Taliban of things that we need to see. And this can be sort of a roadmap to recognition if that's, you know, what they in fact, want, which is what they say they do want.

So, there are ways to have leverage. It's not easy. And I think we're more likely to influence the Taliban if we work together with our international partners, and don't try to go it alone.

NEWTON: Yes, and that seems to have been the lesson in Afghanistan writ large. And I will say, while everything you're saying is theoretical, unfortunately, at this hour in Afghanistan, there are so many women and girls just feeling the chill of Taliban rule right now.

Lisa, I appreciate you coming in to talk to us about this.

CURTIS: Thank you.

NEWTON: Now, they peddled lies about the U.S. presidential election being stolen, which then fueled the Capitol riot.

Now, key allies of Donald Trump are facing subpoenas.


PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: The House committee investigating the January 6th insurrection at the U.S. Capital has issued a new round of subpoenas, to a handful of former President Trump -- Donald Trump's allies.


They include Alex Jones, the far-right radio host and conspiracy theorist, and former Trump advisor, Roger Stone, who is already suggesting he won't cooperate. They and several others who were directly involved in planning so-called Stop the Steal rallies, as Ryan Nobles now reports.


RYAN NOBLES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The January 6th Select Committee issuing five new subpoenas. Five individuals who were closely associated with the planning and execution of the rallies leading up to January 6th, including that big Stop the Steal rally that took place in front of the White House.

Many of the people who participated in that rally ended up here on Capitol Hill, in an attempt to interrupt the certification of the November election.

There's two big names in this group: Alex Jones and Roger Stone, two major conservative provocateurs, people that have been longtime supporters of the former president, Donald Trump, and of course, played a big role in peddling the lies about the election that Trump was the leader of.

They also helped to raise money, and convince people to come to Washington on January 6th, with the implicit goal of trying to interrupt the democratic process.

But it's not just Jones and Stone. There are three other names: Taylor Budowich. He's currently the spokesperson for the former president, in his capacity outside of the White House. And then, two other individuals, Dustin Stockton and Jennifer

Lawrence. They are an engaged couple. They have been behind-the-scenes players in all of this, closely associated with Steve Bannon; also, closely associated just on the outer ring of the Trump campaign and the Trump political effort. They had a lot to do with the organization, the raising of funds, and the spending of funds, as it relates to those rallies on January 6th.

There's a big question, though, just how cooperative these witnesses will be, particularly, Alex Jones and Roger Stone, who have a penchant for ignoring congressional and legal requirements that are put on them or outright lying to panels like this.

This is what the -- one of the committee members, Zoe Lofgren, had to say about both of these individuals coming before the committee.

ZOE LOFGREN, U.S. HOUSE DEMOCRAT: Mr. Stone raised money for security through his website, He reportedly had move foliation with the Oath Keepers that led some of the assault on the Capitol. He made remarks that he was planning to lead the march to the Capitol, from the Ellipse that day.

Mr. Jones claims to have raised the majority of the funds for the staging of the rally.

So, we want to find out what they know. We're following up with other leads that we have received about the funding.

NOBLES: This, ultimately, though, is about connecting dots. There were obviously three layers to all this. Right? There was the peddling of the election lie first. There was the effort to bring people here to Washington. And then, the final step would be convincing people to come into the Capitol on that day, to try and interrupt the democratic process.


At this point, the committee has not shown direct evidence that those three stages have a direct connection and that those connections lead back to someone like Donald Trump, but that's clearly the role, or the goal that they have throughout this process. Bringing together this group could be one piece of that big puzzle.

Ryan Nobles, CNN, on Capitol Hill.


NEWTON: In the coming hours, jury deliberations are expected to begin in southern Georgia in the trial of three men charged in the fatal shooting of Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed black man.

Now defense attorneys in a racially charged trial wrapped up their closing arguments Monday. They claim, the defendants acted in self- defense, and were trying to make a citizen's arrest for suspected burglary, when Arbery was fatally shot last year.

Arbery's family has said he was simply going out for a jog when he was killed in the defendant's neighborhood.

The man accused of plowing an SUV through a Christmas parade in Wisconsin is now charged with homicide. Five people were killed, almost 50 injured.

Police say the suspect, 39-year-old Darrell Brooks, was out on bail for unrelated charges in a domestic abuse case. And he was involved in another domestic disturbance right before the parade incident.

CNN's Adrienne Broaddus has the latest from Waukesha.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Forty casualties down Main Street! Alert all the hospitals!

ADRIENNE BROADDUS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This horror at high speed --


BROADDUS: -- now revealed to be an intentional act.

DAN THOMPSON, A loan subject intentionally drove his maroon SUV through barricades, into a crowd of people that was celebrating the Waukesha Christmas parade.

BROADDUS: Police say the driver of this vehicle, seen racing through the Waukesha holiday parade, Sunday, will be charged with killing five people, ages 52 to 81, as more victims continue to fight for their lives.

THOMPSON: The suspect involved in this tragic incident is identified as Darrell E. Brooks, male, 39 years of age, who is a resident of Milwaukee. We are confident he acted alone. There's no evidence that this is a terrorist incident.

BROADDUS: Police say Darrell Brooks was driving away from the scene of a domestic disturbance when he plowed through the Christmas parade.

It was not his first interaction with police this month. A criminal complaint from earlier in November shows a list of charges, including recklessly endangering safety, disorderly conduct, and battery.

The complaint also alleges Brooks, quote, "intentionally and without consent ran another person over with his vehicle, while they were walking through the parking lot." He was out on $1,000 bail. A recommendation, the D.A. says was, quote, "inappropriately low."

CNN reached out to Brooks's attorney regarding the incident earlier this month but has not yet received a response.

In addition to those killed, nearly 50 people were injured Sunday, including several children.

DR. AMY DRENDEL, DIRECTOR, EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT AND TRAUMA CENTER, CHILDREN'S MILWAUKEE: These patients were sent to the operating room last night, and two additional patients are undergoing surgeries today.

BROADDUS: Children's Hospital, Milwaukee, confirms it received 18 patients Sunday evening, ages 3 to 16, including three sets of siblings.

DRENDEL: Injuries ranged from facial abrasions, to broken bones, to serious head injuries.

MELINDA STOFFLE, WITNESS: I could see kids just laying on the street, people putting blankets over them, trying to attend to them. Kids screaming on the sidewalks.

BROADDUS: At least one witness says the driver continued to speed through the street, even after hitting several people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It hit at least two people right away, rolled over both of them, and then kept going. It didn't stop.

BROADDUS (on camera) And later today, the 39-year-old will appear before a judge for his initial court appearance. The chief of police, here in Waukesha is recommending initially five counts of first degree intentional homicide.

Adrienne Broaddus, CNN, Waukesha.


NEWTON: Still to come here on CNN NEWSROOM, New Delhi rolls back restrictions on construction after a positive change in its air quality, finally. We will take a look at the latest conditions there.



NEWTON: A ban on construction has lifted in India's capital after a slight improvement in air quality. Now, the Indian government had ordered a halt to all construction and ordered all schools and colleges in and around New Delhi to close last week because of that worsening air pollution.

Officials say they will be monitoring pollution levels in the city and will make a decision later this week on whether to reopen schools.

Meteorologist Tyler Mauldin joins me now with more.

There's very little to say when you look at these pictures. And again, we've heard from people and how they're suffering through this.

TYLER MAULDIN, CNN METEOROLOGIST: And you know, the air quality may have improved a little bit in the city, but it's still terrible. We're still in the -- still in the very unhealthy range.

And Paula, what we're going to see in the days to come, is the air quality hover around unhealthy to very unhealthy all the way through the weekend.

What's going on here is that we have the Himalayans, up here to the north, and what it does is it traps the smog and the pollution, right over the cities to the west of the mountains for this reason: 14 out of the most -- 14 out of 20 of the most populous -- polluted cities in the world are located here in India.

As I mentioned, we've got the Himalayas right here. You get a wind coming from the north, and it just traps that smog right there along the Himalayas.

Then you add in an inversion layer, which typically, when you go up in the air, the -- the temperature cools. But an inversion layer means that we've got the opposite happening. As you go up in the air, actually, it's warmer. That puts a cap on the atmosphere and causes the smog to become trapped there, too.

And we're talking about particles that are smaller than a speck of dust, smaller than the human hair. And it's wreaking all kinds of havoc.

A couple of the reasons, in addition to the smog just being trapped in India, we were dealing with terrible, terrible pollution and emissions in India because of the increase in coal, and then you also talk about the fireworks and also, the agricultural fires, too.

And for that reason, last year, Paula, 6 percent of global greenhouse emissions were because of India.

NEWTON: Yes. A lot of challenges there still, Tyler. Thanks for breaking it down for us. Appreciate it.

And thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Paula Newton. WORLD SPORT starts after a break.