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Concerns Growing Over A Russian Invasion; At Least 45 Killed In Bus Fire In Bulgaria; Austria Imposes Lockdown As COVID Cases Surge. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired November 23, 2021 - 02:00:00   ET




ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. You are watching CNN NEWSROOM and I'm Rosemary Church. Just ahead. Austrians are entering their second day of a COVID lockdown and the government says the unvaccinated will soon have to pay up.

Tensions are building on Ukraine's borders. Sources tell CNN, U.S. officials are warning their European allies that Russia could be on the brink of an invasion. And it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. We'll show you some of the holiday happenings taking place around the world.

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Center. This is CNN NEWSROOM with Rosemary Church.

CHURCH: And those stories in just a moment but first, a developing story out of Bulgaria. Officials there say at least 45 people have died in a fire aboard a tour bus. 12 children are among the dead. Most of the passengers were from North Macedonia. The bus caught fire on a highway about 45 kilometers west of Bulgaria's capital Sophia. Authorities say seven other people are in stable condition with burn injuries.

The cause is unclear but officials say the bus apparently hit a highway barrier either before or after it caught fire. This is a developing story. We will of course keep following it and bring you all the latest details as they come into us.

While soaring coronavirus cases across Western Europe, a prompting new restrictions and for some a return to lockdown. 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. More on that in just a moment. The Delta variant is driving this latest COVID surge. This map shows the increase just in the past week compared to the previous week.

The darker the shade of red the more severe the outbreak. New COVID measures in some countries have drawn backlash on Monday. The Dutch Prime Minister denounced weekend rioters as idiots using restrictions as an excuse for violence. European officials are pleading for people to get vaccinated. Just listen to this grim warning from Germany's health minister.


JENS SPAHN, GERMAN HEALTH MINISTER: There is a likelihood that at the end of this winter, just about everyone in Germany will have been vaccinated, recovered or dead.


CHURCH: And CNN's Cyril Vanier joins me now live from Paris. So, always good to see you, Cyril. So what is the latest on these rising COVID cases, the restrictions being put in place, and then this resistance against them?

CYRIL VANIER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Our focus this morning, Rosemary is really on the case numbers in Germany posting record or near record high infection numbers, again in recent days was almost 65,000 infections daily. Those are numbers not seen since the beginning of the pandemic, Rosemary. And I think what the health minister, German Health Minister said really encapsulates it.

Authorities do expect that everyone is going to have brush with COVID in one way or another. And whether they survive it, whether they recover, whether it ends up being lethal while the health minister was putting it in stark terms, but still everyone will at some point have a brush with COVID according to the authorities. Now, the worst affected areas of Germany are the regions of Saxony and Bavaria.

And in Saxony, the president of the medical chamber there said in the next few days they might find themselves in a position where they have to triage patients. Meaning they won't have enough beds and they'll have to essentially choose which patients to treat and they would be choosing them he said based on patients that have the best chance of recovery. That tells you how dire things are in Eastern Germany in Bavaria.

There's a 10:00 p.m. curfew. The -- and the state premier has said that he thinks the country won't be able to avoid a mandatory vaccination order. Much like what we saw announced in neighboring Austria a few days ago. Rosemary?

CHURCH: Yes. A grim warning right across the region. Cyril Vanier joining us there live from Paris. Many thanks. And Australia is planning to become the first country in Europe to require all eligible citizens get the COVID vaccine. The Chancellor tells CNN those who defy a February vaccine mandate will be fined.


ALEXANDER SCHALLENBERG, AUSTRIAN CHANCELLOR: Yes, it will be an administrative fine, a penalty. And we still have to decide on the height, what amount of money we'll have to pay. Here again, lawyers will have to think about that one. But the message is clear that we have a greater good, we have to save (INAUDIBLE) that's the public health in this country.


CHURCH: The government's pressure might be working. Vaccination centers report a massive increase in people coming to get a shot, many of them getting their first dose. Right now about 66 percent of Australia's total population is fully vaccinated. One of the lower rates in the E.U.


SCHALLENBERG: There will be controls as they have been in the past. But my appeal is -- and 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. Simply not enough people are using this possibility and taking this exit ticket.


CHURCH: So let's bring in Dr. Peter Drawback, an infectious disease and global health expert at the University of Oxford. Thank you, doctor, for all that you do.


CHURCH: So enough vaccines, not enough people taking them. How concerned are you when you see what's happening across Europe with so many anti-vaxxers refusing to get their COVID shots, protesting lockdowns and resisting all the evidence that shows these vaccines work and all this as COVID infections rise yet again?

DROBAC: Yes, this is really stark moments that we're seeing. And it feels like more than a health crisis, it really feels like a social crisis, the World Health Organization has warned that half a million people could die this winter in Europe, including Russia, if we continue on the same trajectory. And as you've already demonstrated, the numbers are higher than we've seen at any point in this pandemic.

And that's because of this really large pocket of resistance to vaccination, those same people are also resisting some of these measures. The restrictions that are now being imposed. It's a very difficult moment. And I think, you know, there's a difference between, you know, freedom, meaning I can do whatever I want and freedom meaning a responsibility to maintain a free society. And I think we're going to see more of these kinds of restrictions and requirements coming in the future.

CHURCH: So what are the answers here? If people won't get vaccinated for whatever reason, and this becomes a pandemic of the unvaccinated? If it isn't already, because everyone else who does trust science will eventually get all three shots. So what happens then, because you can't force people to get vaccinated, can they?

DROBAC: That's right. And even the vaccine mandates not forcing people to get vaccinated but simply saying that, look, if you want to participate in society, you can only go into spaces that are going to put others at risk if you have been vaccinated. It's a bit like drunk driving, the reason drunk driving is illegal, not because you're putting yourself at risk because you're putting others at risk.

And it's very much the same thing here. The good news is, I think, as we start to see this situation get more difficult. And as some of these restrictions come into place, we are seeing more people get vaccinated. And that has been the case across the world where we have seen vaccine mandates, you know, from France over the summer, and many other countries since hopefully those rates will go up.

But I think that sense of kind of, you know, division, you know, a year ago, we were all in this together and there was a certain sense of solidarity as we suffered through lockdowns and other very difficult restrictions. Here I think those who are vaccinated feel like, you know, their freedoms are being compromised, whereas the unvaccinated feel the same reason -- in the same way for different reasons.

CHURCH: Yes, good point. And let's take a closer look at those booster shots. Because here in America, all those 18 and over can now get that third shot. So how long do you expect that three shot regimen to protect people?

DROBAC: Well, the answer is we just don't know. And again, because these vaccines are relatively new, we're just going to have to give it time because, you know, those who have had their third dose already have only done so for a couple of months time. And so this is one of those things where science is going to continue to be happening in real time. And we will learn as we go.

I do think that, you know, you said get there three doses, what you're really doing is reframing this idea of a full course of vaccination as being three doses not two. And I think that is probably likely to be the case. The big question is whether perhaps an annual booster is going to be in our future or whether the vaccine may last longer. But for now, I think we're headed for three doses for everybody.

And that only increases our responsibility to think about increasing our vaccine supply around the world because too many people have still had their first dose.

CHURCH: Yes, that is important to point out and of course, how much hope do you put in these new COVID pills that will offer early treatment for those who get infected?


CHURCH: Could they become the answer perhaps for those anti-vaxxers who won't take the shot, but they are inclined to take various treatments, sometimes those that aren't approved, do you think these COVID pills could be the turning point for them?

DROBAC: Well, the results certainly look impressive. And we're really excited to see these get approved and to hit the market. You know, the game changer with these oral treatments is that they're oral. And so if you're able to be diagnosed and get treatment early, it can significantly reduce your chances of developing severe disease. Other treatments that we have so far really require IV or injection.

So the hope is that -- is that -- if that, excuse me, as these become widely available, that these could very much further reduce the rates of hospitalization and death. Now will people who have been resisting vaccination go ahead and take these treatments if they need it? I don't know. I think the difference is when you need a treatment like that you're already sick. And I think that a lot of people's views on COVID change once they themselves become infected.

CHURCH: Yes. We have seen that. Peter Drobac, thank you so much for talking with us as always. Appreciate.

Well, a vigil was held Monday night for the victims of the Christmas parade crash in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Five people were killed on almost 50 injured Sunday when an SUV drove through crowds along the parade route. 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 now from Waukesha.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Forty casualties down on Main Street. Alter all the hospitals.

ADRIENNE BROADDUS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): This horror in high speed, now revealed to be an intentional act.

DANIEL THOMPSON, WAUKESHA POLICE CHIEF: Alone 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.

THOMAS: The suspect involved in this tragic incident is identified this Darrell E. Brooks, male, 39 years of age, was 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 "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 "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, MEDICAL DIRECTOR, CHILDREN'S WISCONSIN EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT AND TRAUMA CENTER: Six of 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 three 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 FEMALE: It had at least two people right away, rolled over both of them and then kept going, it didn't stop.


BROADDUS: 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.

CHURCH: And still to come. Why critics say the International Olympic Committee needs to push harder against Beijing as concerns grow over the safety of a Chinese tennis star.

Plus, tensions are high in southern Georgia as armed protest just descend on the courthouse where Ahmaud -- the Ahmaud Arbery murder trial is wrapping up.


CHURCH: The International Olympic Committee is facing growing scrutiny Alfred's video call with Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai. The IOC claims Peng is safe and well after checking up on her Sunday amid widespread concerns about her safety. But critics are skeptical. They worry the IOC is not putting enough pressure on Beijing to address Peng's allegations of sexual assault by a former Chinese official. Meantime, the Chinese government has said Peng situation is "not a diplomatic issue."

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. CNN's Martin Savidge is following the racially charged case.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): As the trial reaches its critical final days, protests outside the Glenn County Courthouse have grown in size and volume. For the first time, armed citizens with semi automatic weapons were seen patrolling the perimeter of the courthouse grounds. While inside the courthouse, the attorneys began making their closing arguments. Travis McMichael, his father, Gregory McMichael and William Roddie Bryan faced murder charges and potential life in prison for the killing of 25-year-old jogger Ahmaud Arbery.

LINDA DUNIKOSKI, LEAD PROSECUTOR: This case is really about assumptions and driveway decisions, made their decision to attack Ahmaud Arbery in their driveways because he was a black man running down the street.

SAVIDGE: And reminding the jury the definition of the citizen's arrest according to the law.

DUNIKOSKI: They never ever said on February 23rd 2020 that they were doing a citizen's arrest. A citizen's arrest is for emergency situations when the crime really happens right in front of you. They never said, none of the defendant saw Mr. Arbery made any harm that day.

SAVIDGE: Travis McMichael's defense attorney attempting to drive home the argument that his client was simply acting out of civic duty and responsibility.

JASON SHEFFIELD, TRAVIS MCMICHAEL'S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Travis McMichael spent almost a decade of his life learning about duty and responsibility.

SAVIDGE: Arguing to the jury his, "duty was necessary that February day."

SHEFFIELD: This neighborhood was being covered in suspicious persons, in extra watches and neighborhood patrols and concerned citizens.

SAVIDGE: Insisting Arbery's presence was suspicious.

SHEFFIELD: There is no evidence whatsoever that Satilla Shores was a place of exercise and jogging for Ahmaud Arbery.


SAVIDGE: Gregory McMichael's attorney continued the theme Arbery was in the neighborhood up to no good suggesting that was obvious by his appearance.

LAURA HOGUE, GREGORY MCMICHAEL'S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Does not reflect the reality of what brought Ahmaud Arbery to Satilla Shores in his khaki shorts, with no socks to cover his long, dirty toenails.

SAVIDGE: Laura Hogue repeated over and over that Arbery was to blame for his own death.

HOGUE: He was a recurring nighttime intruder. And that is frightening and unsettling.

SAVIDGE: And William Bryan's attorney, Kevin Gough arguing there wouldn't even be a trial where it not for his client, his cell phone and the video he took.

KEVIN GOUGH, WILLIAM "RODDIE" BRYAN's DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Roddie Bryan didn't shoot anyone. At the time of the shooting he was some distance back. He was armed only with his cell phone. Isn't it time? Isn't it time, ladies and gentlemen that we send Roddie Bryan home?

SAVIDGE: But the growing protests outside the court threatened the proceedings. The presence of demonstrators with guns had Bryan's attorney Kevin Gough again motioning for a mistrial. It was denied.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I mistrial --

SAVIDGE: The judge did say he decided to move the jury deliberations to an interior room in the courthouse to keep jurors out of sight and earshot of the demonstrations.

After court recess for the day, Attorney Lee Merritt said the Arbery family appreciated the support from protesters, but urge them not to go so far as to possibly interfere with the trial itself.

LEE MERRITT, LAWYER REPRESENTING THE MOTHER OF AHMAUD ARBERY'S MOTHER: The community's presence here has been a great encouragement to the family. But we can never allow anything to disrupt justice in this case.


SAVIDGE: The jury is expected to get this case later or sometime around midday on Tuesday. But here's the problem. You get Wednesday, but then Thursday in the United States is a major holiday, Thanksgiving. And there is a concern that kind of time pressure could impact the jury's decision if they wanted to try to make a decision before the holiday. Martin Savidge, CNN Brunswick, Georgia.

CHURCH: And for more on all of this, we want to bring in CNN Legal Analyst Areva Martin. Thanks so much for joining us.


CHURCH: So jury deliberations began and just a few hours from now in the Ahmaud Arbery murder trial. And just yesterday, we heard shocking, closing arguments from one of the defense lawyers that prompted outrage when she talked about Arbery's toenails in an effort to portray the unarmed black man as a criminal. What was your reaction to what she said? And how should the judge have responded to that?

MARTIN: Yes, it was pretty galling, Rosemary, to say the least to make it so personal. She tried to paint this picture of Ahmaud Arbery being some kind of nefarious character. Really the lane into this thing that this was some kind of ideally neighborhood and that he didn't belong in this neighborhood, I think it was playing into tired, old racist tropes. I think he brought up a lot of pain for the family. And for many people that were watching trying to suggest that somehow because he was a black man, it didn't fit the mold, didn't look like the other residents of this neighborhood that somehow he didn't belong there. I think it's one of those arguments. So blaming the victim can backfire on the defense, not sure how it played with this jury. We know there are 11 White jurors in this town that has 25 percent African-Americans.

So perhaps she thought this may be a line of argument that would play with these white jurors. But it's always dangerous to blame the victim particularly in this case when the victim was unarmed and did nothing threatening to the three defendants.

CHURCH: So, how did the closing arguments serve the prosecution compared to those of the defense? And how do you think the jury will likely respond to what was said as they start their deliberations?

MARTIN: I think the prosecution did an outstanding job. She laid out very clearly, the facts and the evidence, she made it very simple for the jurors to understand this notion of citizen's arrest gave lots of great examples of -- the law basically says, in order for you to use citizen arrest, the crime must occur in your presence or you must have immediate knowledge of it. And she gave the example of being in Wal- Mart and the surveillance video in Wal-Mart being able to watch what someone is doing.

Instead this is an emergency procedure and not available to someone like the McMichaels who had no immediate knowledge of what Ahmaud Arbery was doing on this day and, you know, really undermine this notion that they could go back to what a Ahmaud may have done February 11th or back in 2019 and use that knowledge to somehow suggest that they would justify it and trying to detain or arrest him on February 23rd. I thought her arguments were brilliant. I thought they were powerful and I think they landed with this jury.


CHURCH: And of course it's important to note that this trial and these jury deliberations come on the heels of the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict, which acquitted him on all charges. This Georgia trial also deals with vigilante justice, how do you expect this trial to end?

MARTIN: I think and I'm hoping that there's a very different outcome. But, you know, as you pointed out, we just saw in the Kyle Rittenhouse case, a case that also was about self defense, that the prosecution wasn't able to convince the jurors beyond reasonable doubt with respect to his case. These cases of self defense are challenging because essentially, you have vigilantes like the McMichaels, Kyle Rittenhouse that go into a situation they provoke the aggression that happens and then they're able to rely on self defense.

And that's what the prosecution did a really good job of -- to try to let the jurors know that you cannot bring a gun to a fist fight. You cannot provoke an individual and that individual responsive and you rely on self defense law. So we'll see what happens with respect to this case, I think is very different. I think the facts are different. The law in Georgia is slightly different as well from the law in Wisconsin.

But again, we're dealing in the deep south with a jury comprised of 11 whites and one black and we have a black defendant. And historically we know that that has not been a situation where we've seen the kind of justice that we think is required based on the facts in the law.

CHURCH: Areva Martin, many thanks, appreciate it.

MARTIN: Thanks, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Well, four black man wrongly accused of raping a white teenager in Florida in 1949 have been exonerated. The families of the so called Groveland Four say they finally have closure, even though their loved ones are no longer alive. A judge granted their request to dismiss their indictments and vacate their convictions in the case.


AARON NEWSON, ERNEST THOMAS' NEPHEW: This is a lot of people that didn't get this opportunity. Our families did not get this opportunity. Maybe they will. Maybe this started something good. I hope so. This country needs to come together. We need courage.


CHURCH: Three of the men were tortured by police until two of them confessed. One who escaped custody was shot and killed. Their case was documented in a Politzer-prize winning book.

Still to come, growing fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. How the U.S. military is planning to counter the threat. And a holiday for hackers the warning from cybersecurity experts about possible ransomware attacks. We're back with that and more in just a moment.



CHURCH: Former South Korean president, Chun Doo-Hwan, has died at the age of 90. The former military commander took power after a 1979 coup. He served for eight years until after a student led democracy movement forced his resignation. Chun is probably best known for his brutal crackdown on protests in the City of Gwangju in 1980 that left thousands of protesters dead or injured. South Korea's national police agency says Chun passed away at his home. The cause of death was not released.

Russia's foreign intelligence service is 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, CNN NEWSROOM: 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 (RETIRED), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Javelin anti- tanks 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, as 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.

LLOYD AUSTIN, DEFENSE SECRETARY: We are 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 amassed 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 has happened in the past. We do know the playbook of trying to cite some illusory propagation 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 worsened the situation by delivering to Kiev modern lethal weapons and having provocative exercises in the black sea.

SCIUTTO: Jim Sciutto, CNN, Washington.


CHURCH: U.S. experts are warning businesses and government organizations to be on guard for hackers over the Thanksgiving holiday. An advisory from the FBI and the U.S. Cybersecurity Agency is urging companies to take extra precautions and keep key computer security employees on call in the event of a ransomware attack. The director of a Cybersecurity Agency said this, while we are not currently aware of a specific threat, we know that threat actors don't take holidays. Well, for more on this, we want to turn to Ryan Patel in Los Angeles. He is a senior fellow at the Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University. Great to have you with us.

RYAN PATEL, Senior Fellow, Claremont Graduate University: Great to be on here with you, Rosemary.

CHURCH: So, we are all getting used to the increased threat of hacking, right? And now, this new warning from U.S. experts to expect more to come over the Thanksgiving holiday for businesses and governments and presumably, individuals. So, what should we be watching out, for exactly?

PATEL: Well, if you look at what new data's fraud risk report just came out, one of the top facts, and I just want to be really clear, that more attacks are looking like it's humans, like the tech looks like human lead e-mail. 96 percent of these attacks on financial institutions are sophisticated. So, it is not like it is easy to spot. It takes, you know, really a lot of keen eyes to do it. Account takeover is the most common attack.


There's another way. So, make sure you change your passwords monthly, if not, you know, don't keep the same passwords across many of these things. And, you know, Rosemary, the other thing too that, you know, can't go -- you know, be likely ransomware, for example, payments from an intrusive perspective reached over $400 million in 2020 according to the FBI.

And so, individuals, companies, large companies, they -- we all are in the same boat of having that attack.

CHURCH: Yes. And, of course, the hospitals, that's the one that gets me because, you know, people could die as a result of the attack like that. So, this advisory from the FBI and the U.S. Cybersecurity Agency is urging these companies to take extra precautions in the event of a ransomware attack. But shouldn't these companies be doing this already?

PATEL: That's a great question. And you already know the answer because you know where I'm going to go with this, that health care and manufacturing, two sectors, the two biggest targets in ransom attacks. There was a recent study, 65 percent and 67 percent respectively were among the ones that at least didn't even have a developed contingency plan.

So, when you this advisory, it's more so not, hey, everybody, let's, you know, pays attention. It's like you need to develop a plan. That is clearly what I think this, you know, message is being send, is if you don't have a plan, you don't plan A and B in what's going to happen, this is important because when you look at the small businesses, for example, some of them, it takes days to even recognize there was a breach. And that cannot happen for many of these larger companies. You need to be able to make nimble decisions and to move and quickly on them CHURCH: That's a thing though, isn't it? Because this advisory seems

to say, hey, you know, keep your security guys on call during the holidays. But surely, extra precautions would mean brining on a cybersecurity company to help you set up a system so that you can stop him from happening. Because again, it takes me back to these hospitals, which is a real concern when information is locked and these hospitals have to pay to get access to their own information. And in the course of that, lives can be lost. I mean, that is a real concern. So, we are these hospitals, some of these really big hospitals not doing this?

PATEL: Well, I mean, if you think about it -- I mean, and that is part of the issue. It's -- you know, Rosemary, you mentioned, like, hey, go higher cybersecurity company to help with that. But it has evolved. When you look -- you know, if -- you know, having cybersecurity professionals come on holidays is not going to be a one- off thing in the future. It is going to be continue to look at that.

You know, biometrics, you look at how data is being encrypted on to your phone, what kind of -- you know, how bad actors can get a hold of that and to be able to kind of get passwords out of that. And then when you look at the health care industry, in specific, you know, this whole aspect is to pay this ransomware because it was cheaper to unlock the data because the opposite is not there. I mean, the average payment of ransomware has gone over 500 percent in 2020. It's about around 5.3 million.

And so, you know, it is only going to continue to escalate. And then you're looking at -- you know, when you're on the board of these health care companies, you know, you really you need to invest. Key word, invest resources and dollars into cybersecurity, into tools and resources, not just into companies, you have to have tools and resources. And then, finally, education. Educating your employees, educating everyone around you to be smarter around that. And that's going to really make a bigger dent in just then, you know, hiring a one-off company.

CHURCH: Yes. It is critical. Ryan Patel, many thanks as always. Appreciate it.

PATEL: Thank you.

CHURCH: And still to come here on CNN Newsroom, it's already time to deck the halls. We will show you how parts of the world are getting ready to celebrate Christmas. Back with that in just a moment.



CHURCH: Updating you now on that developing story out of Bulgaria. Officials there say at least 45 people have died in a fire aboard a tour bus. 12 children are among the dead. Most of the passengers were from North Macedonia. The bus caught fire on a highway about 45 kilometers West of Bulgaria's capital, Sofia. Authorities say, seven other people are in stable condition with burn injuries. The cause is unclear. But officials say the bus apparently hit a highway barrier either before, or after it caught fire. This is a developing story. We will keep following and, of course, bringing you the latest details as they come into us.

Albert Einstein's manuscript for the general theory of relativity is going up to auction in Paris, Tuesday. It is a rare glimpse into the mind of a genius, Einstein co-authored the manuscript with Swiss physicist, Michele Besso, between June 1913 and early 1914. Christie's Auction House says, the 54-page document that is worth up to $3.4 million. The manuscript is one of just two surviving documents recording how Einstein arrived at one of the greatest discoveries in science.


VINCENT BELLOW, CHRISTIE'S EXPERT ON BOOKS AND MANUSCRIPTS (through translator): The Einstein-Besso manuscript is a work document signed by albert Einstein and by his colleague and friend, Michele Besso. And it's a document that shows the birth of the general theory of relativity, which is, probably the most important discovery of Albert Einstein's career and one of the most important theories in the history of modern physics.


CHURCH: And Einstein make some errors in the manuscript, proof that even geniuses make mistakes.

Well, we are just over one month away from Christmas, and the holiday spirit is already on display in some parts of the world. In Northern Italy, thousands turned out for the opening of a Christmas market in Toronto which strict COVID measures in place. In Paris, the Champs Elysees was lit up in red to mark the start of the Christmas season. Hundreds were there to see the lights, something that wasn't allowed last year while France was under a COVID lockdown.

The Bidens are getting ready for Christmas in the White House. On Monday, first lady, Jill Biden, receiving the official White House Christmas tree. A nearly six-meter-tall Fraser fir from North Carolina.

And thank you so much for joining us. I'm Rosemary Church. I'll be back at the top of the hour. World Sport is coming up next.