Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Newsroom

El Paso, TX Mayor Declares States of Emergency over Migrant Crisis; American Tourists Stranded in Peru Amid Unrest; 1/6 Committee to Announce Criminal Referrals of Trump; 260 Million+ in U.S. Will See Sub-Freezing Temps Over Next Week; Hospitals Struggling Under Weight of Flu, RSV, COVID-19; CIA Director: TikTok App "A Genuine Concern" for National Security; Zelensky: Power Restored For Millions In Ukraine; Moscow Launches New Propaganda Campaign To Recruit Soldiers; James Cameron's "Avatar" Challenge; Well-known Los Angeles Mountain Lion Euthanized; Defending Champion France Faces Lionel Messi's Team Argentina. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired December 17, 2022 - 20:00   ET




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That can happen, so are you prepared to push back and deal with that?

LISA LING, CNN HOST, "THIS IS LIFE": Bill was sure they could weather any storm.


PAMELA BROWN, CNN HOST: Don't miss "THIS IS LIFE" with Lisa Ling, Sunday night at 9:00 Eastern, right here on CNN.

The next hour of CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've been sounding the alarm for months on this crisis.

ED LAVANDERA, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Public officials all in the process of planning and preparing for what's to come next week, if and when Title 42 is lifted.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's going to be a rush of people.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's surreal to be a tourist in a country where there's political unrest taking place.

RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SENIOR LATIN AFFAIRS EDITOR: Americans who had planned the trip of a lifetime now stuck in Peru. UNIDENTIFIED CNN CORRESPONDENT: The January 6th committee is

considering asking the Department of Justice to pursue at least three criminal charges against former President Donald Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED CONGRESSWOMAN: Our committee uncovered a wide-ranging plot to overturn the election.


BROWN: I'm Pamela Brown in Washington on this Saturday. And you are in the CNN NEWSROOM.

New tonight, the mayor of El Paso, Texas, has declared a state of emergency as his communities reals from a surge of migrants streaming in from Mexico.

And those numbers are about to swell even more. A federal appeals court has rejected a bid by several Republican-led states to continue Title 42, which is due to expire in four days.

The Trump-era policy allowed authorities to immediately expel migrants for health reasons because of the pandemic.

CNN's Ed Lavandera has the latest from El Paso.


LAVANDERA: Pamela, once again, large groups of migrants are bracing for another frigid night on the streets of downtown El Paso.

Many of them congregating in areas around bus stations because these are people who have not been able to get into shelters because they're over capacity.

But they have been processed by Border Patrol agents, and they have permission to move elsewhere in the country while they await their immigration proceedings.

All of this is playing out on the streets because there's so much pressure on the bus system and the transportation system that it's taking many of these people several days to get their tickets and to get them moving.

That is one of the things that local officials are most concerned about here as we are just days away from the expected lifting of the Title 42 public health rule, which allows Customs and Border Protection officials to quickly expel migrants because of public health reasons.

If that rule goes away on Wednesday, as it is expected to happen, that is creating a pressure on this area where they expect thousands more to be coming.

Right now, local officials say they've been seeing about two to 25, 2,000 to 2,500 people a day. They expect that number to jump to 4,000 to 5,000 people a day in the weeks ahead. They say the number-one challenge and the best way of alleviating the

pressure on a lot of these border communities is getting people moving through these border communities as quickly as possible.

To bigger transportation hubs in like Phoenix, Denver, Dallas, and Houston where they can then get other transportation to their final destinations.

That is the one thing they're focused on. That is the one thing they believe will help them get through this situation as best as possible.

And avert what they hope does not become a humanitarian crisis and disaster here on the streets of the city -- Pamela?


BROWN: All right, Ed Lavandera, thanks so much.

And over in Peru, evacuations have again stalled for the hundreds of tourists left stranded in the ancient city of Machu Picchu. The group includes dozens of Americans.

Trains to the remote city have been suspended in indefinitely because of violent protests erupting across the country after the impeachment and arrest of Peru's now former president.

Machu Picchu's mayor says those stranded are already running out of necessities like medication and food.

Naala Brewer is stranded in Peru with her niece.

Naala, thanks for coming on the show.

You two are in Kuzco. And we have learned that the airport there has resumed flights. What are your immediate plans?

NAALA BREWER, STRANDED IN PERU DURING VIOLENT PROTESTS: Well, we came here on the 9th to Kuzco. And we did our Machu Picchu hike on the 11th.

We got to the airport in the evening in plenty of time to catch our plane. The gate number would not show up on the board.

And I went to the ticket agent and said, is the gate number going to show up or is this flight canceled? And she said, oh, no, keep watching, it will be up there.

And the plane was due to leave at 8:55. By 8:00 p.m., we finally got a gate number. But then about 15 minutes later, I started hearing a lot of commotion, people yelling in Spanish, you know, up by the ticket counter.

So I went up there to find out what was going on. And the police said you have to leave.

[20:05:04] And we were just astounded. We said what's going on? They said the airport is closed. All the flights are canceled. You have to leave.

And at the end of a trip, normally you don't have much of the currency left because you try to -- you know, so I had very little Solace left. And I contacted a few people in the U.S., family members, you know, to get their opinion on what to do.

And I also called the only two people that I knew, my two guides that I had done tours with, to find out what should I do. They said go to the police line outside the airport and have them get you a taxi.

So we found a taxi and I didn't have Solace to pay him. Thank goodness he accepted U.S. dollars. Went back to the hotel where we were originally staying. Thank goodness they had room here.

We contacted the U.S. embassy to get directions on what to do the next day. And they said to shelter in place. Do not travel. They said do not go on the roads. It's much too dangerous.

And we saw from the local news why it's so dangerous. The roadblocks have trees, tires, fires. They'll come after you. It's very, very dangerous. So we've been sheltering in place.

My sister contacted all the Arizona representatives there, Kyrsten Sinema, Mark Kelly, Ruben Gallego, and they were all very communicative, and they've been keeping track of us.

I've watched the last interview that you had with the woman that had to get out of Machu Picchu and how hard it was to get the plane flights.

I have had just a terrible time. But I spent hours online and I finally got a flight for Sunday. And I heard, like she did, that the protests are going to start back up on Monday.

So we are crossing our fingers and praying we get out safely tomorrow night. There shouldn't be any more protests this weekend. So we'll see what happens.

BROWN: We certainly hope you can get out. I imagine you just feel that sense of urgency.

What about the embassy? I mean, because, as you hear the interview I did with Amy Madden, she said the embassy basically said you're on your own.

What kind of help have you been getting? You said the representatives from Arizona have been helpful but what about embassy officials?

BREWER: The embassy gave us very good advice about do not try to take the road. It's a 19-hour drive to Lima. They said there are planes leaving from Lima. They said it's much too dangerous to travel.

They said to shelter in place and to sign up for the alert system, which I did that. And that was the best advice to take. Because today, this weekend, it seemed like things are getting a

little bit back to normal. But you could hear the protests outside. You could see that the city was empty.

And I do think after a certain period of time, the embassy probably, if the airport shut down again, they're going to have to start airlifting people out.

Because you can't stay here in-- you know, in the unrest the way the country is right now.

BROWN: Yes, absolutely.

Naala Brewer, we wish you the best of luck. We hope you can catch that flight on Sunday. Thanks so much.

Former President Trump will likely learn Monday if the January 6th Select Committee thinks that he should be charged with any crimes.

A CNN source says that he is facing at least three criminal referrals when the panel meets for the last time publicly. We're told they would be for obstruction of an official proceedings, conspiracy to defraud the federal government and insurrection.

It's the DOJ's call whether to return those referrals into actual charges.

I talked to a former federal prosecutor about this. He said the fed would hand those referrals over to special counsel, Jack Smith, and they would be taken seriously most likely.


SHAN WU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: They would then look at this I think with a bit more deference than they usually do with congressional referrals. Because a lot of times referrals come over when I was at DOJ, and we were kind of like, OK, that's in this case.

But this is a massive investigation that the committee has undertook. Huge amounts of evidence, huge amount of witnesses that have been identified.

I think it's the detail that accompanies the referrals themselves and the report that will give a road map for DOJ.

DOJ has been kind of late to this party, and they're playing catchup. But that detail could be very helpful to them. And will put a lot of pressure on them as well.


BROWN: And the Select Committee's final report won't come out until Wednesday, two days after the last public hearing.

A Trump spokesman calls the committee's work a "kangaroo court" that held, quote, "show trials by Never-Trump partisans." And don't miss CNN's special coverage of Monday's hearings by the

January 6th committee. I'll be part of the coverage with several of my colleagues starting at noon eastern.


Trump also faces potential criminal charges in Georgia. Sources tell CNN the special grand jury investigating Trump and his allies' efforts to overturn the 2020 election is winding down its work.

Which means it could be making recommendations soon to the Fulton County district attorney.

The grand jury has been lacking at what Trump described as a, quote, "perfect phone call" with Georgia's secretary of state. I'm sure you remember that. And that is the phone call when Trump asked the secretary of state to find votes.

The special grand jury can't hand up indictments. If recommendations are made, the D.A. would then have to go to a regular grand jury to ask for them.

And just ahead, right here in the CNN NEWSROOM, a surge in respiratory illnesses is causing a crisis in hospitals across the country. Could the holidays lead to even more infections?

Plus, why the CIA, the FBI and some states are issuing warnings about one of the most popular apps around.

And Los Angeles just lost an icon. In this case, a mountain lion. We'll tell you why even California's governor is mourning that big cat tonight.



BROWN: Believe it or not, it is still fall. Winter doesn't officially begin until Wednesday. But it will not feel like autumn tomorrow, I'll tell you that. Temperatures began to plummet in many states across the country.

CNN's Allison Chinchar joins us now live with more.

Allison, we're talking about bone-chilling temperatures, aren't we?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, AMS METEOROLOGIST: That's right, Pamela. Astronomical winter begins this week, and it is certainly going to feel like it for much of the country, especially over the next week.

You're really going to start to see that cold air set in place across the northern plains before spreading elsewhere in the coming days.

Now, overnight tonight, we really start to see that surge of cold air. By Sunday morning, take a look at this, the feels-like temperature in Bismarck, minus 13, Fargo, minus 23. It's actually going to get even colder than that in the coming days.

Take Fargo, for example, the high temperature on Sunday topping out at only four degrees.

Once we get to Tuesday, that high temperature will likely only make it to minus six. When you factor in the wind, that windchill is probably going to feel a lot more like say minus 25 to minus 30 in that early morning hour.

But even though it's starting here, you're really going to see a lot of that cold air spread out across much of the eastern half of the country over the next five to seven days.

In all, roughly 80 percent of the U.S. population is going to be dealing with temperatures at or below the freezing mark at some point in the next several days.

It starts in the Midwest, but then begins to spread. So even a city like Atlanta, for example, will get that cold air. It's just going to be later in the week.

High temperature in Atlanta on Thursday, 52 degrees. By the time we get to Friday, we'll barely make it into the upper 20s for a high temperature.

And the thing is, even as we edge closer to the Christmas weekend, these temperatures are expected to stay well below average.

So, again, Pamela, many may hope for a white Christmas. It may not necessarily be white, but it will certainly be frigid cold.

BROWN: Allison Chinchar, thanks so much.

Well, it's news that no one wants to hear heading into the holidays. After nearly three years of lockdowns and quarantines, COVID has not gone.

And making matters worse, RSV and the flu are part of the picture, too. So America, in a sense, is facing a triple threat of respiratory viruses.

CNN's Gloria Pazmino has the latest.

Gloria, many hospitals are simply getting overwhelmed.

GLORIA PAZMINO, CNN REPORTER: That's right, Pam. And there's ongoing concern regarding the flu and vaccination against the flu.

The numbers have begun to show a little bit of an improvement over the last few days. But public health officials are still reminding people to get their vaccinations, not just the flu vaccine, but also the COVID vaccine and their booster.

Now, in terms of the flu, like I said, the numbers are improving. But we're still seeing pretty significant rates of infection compared to previous years. Let me put up the numbers for you. According to the CDC, more than 15

million cases as of last week, 150,000 hospitalizations, and 9,300 deaths.

Now, to put that in historical context, those numbers have not been as high in at least a decade during this point in the flu season.

Now, as I said, vaccination a key part in all of this. Every year the health department puts out a target for how much of the population should be vaccinated, 70 percent. And we are lagging far behind that.

So 40 percent of adults, 46 percent of children have been vaccinated against the flu. So not nearly meeting that mark.

And of course, we are going into the holiday season. Two years after many of us could not gather with our friends and families, people were hoping to do so safely this year.

But now we are dealing with this triple threat, the COVID virus, the flu virus as well as RSV.

Public officials are stressing that it's still possible to gather and to do so safely as long as you are vaccinating, as long as you are testing before that gathering, and as long as you are masking up when you are indoors.

That is actually some guidance that public health officials have issued across several cities in the U.S. because COVID-19 is still spreading. And about 14 percent of the entire country right now is in a high transmission area for COVID.


And to that end, the federal government earlier this week announcing that they would once again provide free at-home tests that can be delivered right to your door.

So you can go online, put in your information and request those tests. They will be mailed to you in just a matter of days.

And it is just doing what we have learned to do in the last two years, testing and masking up and, of course, getting that vaccine -- Pam?

BROWN: Gloria Pazmino, thanks much for that.

Well, new warnings tonight about a danger that could be on your phone. Why even the CIA says an app is a threat to national security.



BROWN: Well, when we think about national security threats, the first thing to come to mind probably isn't a phone app. But the head of the CIA is worried about just that with the app, TikTok.


BILL BURNS, CIA DIRECTOR: I mean, I think it's a genuine concern, I think, for the U.S. government in the sense that because the parent company of TikTok is a Chinese company, the Chinese government is able to, you know, insist upon extracting the private data of a lot of TikTok users in this country.

And also to shape the content of what goes onto TikTok as well to suit the interests of the Chinese leadership. I think those are real challenges.


BROWN: Burns calls it, quote, "troubling" and warns families to be, quote, "really careful," in his words, when it comes to using TikTok.

Nearly 20 states have banned TikTok on their government devices and networks. Virginia, Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming are among the latest.

Here in Washington, the Senate this week passed the same kind of ban for federal devices, but it's not clear if the House will do anything.

The U.S. military, State Department, and Homeland Security are already limiting TikTok.

So what about the rest of us?

Tech reporter, Stephanie Humphrey, joins us now.

All right, so, Stephanie, why are these officials and tech security experts saying we need to get TikTok off our phones and tablets?

STEPHANIE HUMPHREY, TECH REPORTER: Well, I think the main reason -- thank you for having me, by the way. I think the main reason is because TikTok's parent company, ByteDance, is a Chinese company.

They are based in Singapore currently. And they do have to comply with the Chinese government's request for personal data. If the Chinese government was to make that request, they would be compelled to comply with that.

So the idea that federal employees or government employees in general could have TikTok on their work phones and have information on those phones be compromised is a valid concern, I think, for people in this country.

BROWN: It's one thing, though, if it's a government employee, right, and it's on their work phone. But what about a teenager who's putting up funny videos, right, of dancing or, you know, whatever the case may be.

Whey why should they worry about what the Chinese government could see on their phones?

HUMPHREY: I think the worry is a little less for sort of the average consumer that might be using TikTok currently. I think the main concern in that instance is the way that the

algorithm works and the fact that the government could have some sort of control over what people actually see on the app.

So the idea that some content might be censored but also that misinformation might get promoted.

Especially to younger people who don't have a good sense of digital literacy or who may not have a better since of digital literacy, could be susceptible to manipulation with the content that they see.

BROWN: All right, so here's how TikTok responds.

Quote, "We're disappointed that so many states are jumping on the band wagon to enact policies based on unfounded politically charged falsehoods about TikTok."

"It's unfortunate that the many state agencies, offices, and universities on TikTok in those state will no longer be able to use it to build communities and connect with constituents."

Do you see TikTok being able to overcome doubts about safety?

HUMPHREY: Yes, because I think every other social media platform has done the same thing.

I think with the amount of people on the platform right now, we're close to about a billion users worldwide on TikTok.

And with the amount of creators that are making a living on this platform and connecting and being educated on this platform, I think it's going to be very, very difficult to convince people that the security risk is high enough that they shouldn't be on it.

BROWN: All right. Stephanie Humphrey, great to have you on. Thanks so much.

Russia has a new campaign to recruit soldiers. It's getting a lot of criticism in the West. But just how different is it from U.S. military's recruiting tactics? Just wait until you see this video. We're going to take a look, up next.



PAMELA BROWN, CNN HOST: When Ukraine's president says power has been restored to some six million people, and that's after the latest wave of Russian missile attacks that struck residential areas across the country Friday, but the water supply remains in jeopardy with what he calls, quote, big problems.

CNN's Will Ripley has more.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Millions of people here in Ukraine are living in the dark right now. And in the cold as winter temperatures said, and across much of the country and blackouts and heat outages and power and water interruptions are a regular way of life.

There are some communities where it is simply impossible to cook at home for most people. So there have been long lines for people just trying to get a hot meal, or whatever the state could provide them. A lot of times those meals being cooked over woodstoves.

In Kyiv, the capital which was battered with more than half of the 76 missiles that Russia fired on Friday, with 60 of them Ukraine says being shot down, but 16 of them hitting their targets, all civilian targets. They're trying to repair the grid as best they can. But each time that Russia launches a wave of attacks like this, the repairs take time and they're taking longer and longer, especially as they in some cases run out of replacement parts, these Soviet era replacement parts for this infrastructure that was built during the Soviet days and is now getting pummeled. And it's not so easy just to push a button and get it started up again. I mean, this is work that's happening around the clock. It's exhausting, expensive, and very difficult and it's getting more difficult by the day.

You have concerned by military analysts and the top echelons of Ukraine's leadership including the head of Ukraine's armed forces, that Russia is doing this to try to exhaust Ukraine to prevent them from regrouping and re -- and reassembling and recharging their own forces during the winter months, which many had hoped that you might see a lull in the fighting. And yet, there has just been this constant grinding of shelling and rocket attacks on the frontlines here in southern Ukraine, also in eastern Ukraine.


And then in the north, you have the number of Russian troops on the increase. And you have joint training exercises between Russia and Belarus. So a lot of speculation is, you know, by military analysts and by the Ukrainian government, although it's not necessarily sure what a specific intelligence is based on, is that Russia is planning to make a move once again on Kyiv at some point early next year.

In The Economist, the head of Ukrainian's Armed Forces said it could happen as soon as next month or maybe the month after that best-case scenario for the Ukrainian spring, but they do believe that it's inevitably going to be coming.

Now, both sides have used misinformation in the past to try to throw off the other side. There's a lot of questions about Russia's actual battlefield capability, given their limitations and training and supplies for troops.

But nonetheless, a lot of people are suffering right now. And by all indications, and each wave of these attacks seems to make clear that Vladimir Putin is still continuing on the path that he's been on from the beginning of this unnecessary, brutal and unprovoked war. And that could mean -- likely will mean a lot of suffering for a lot of people as Ukraine drags on through the winter months.

Will Ripley, CNN, in southern Ukraine.


BROWN: All right. Our thanks to Will Ripley.

Well, Russia's war in Ukraine has put a strain on its military, and it led to an urgent need for more soldiers. And that has led to a new propaganda campaign to enlist Russians for the war in Ukraine. Here's one of the ads airing on Russian social media feeds right now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Participants in the Special Operation received many benefits from the government. Sasha (PH) is happy. He now has the kind of salary he couldn't have even dreamed of before, a new profession, new friends, career advancement, free health care for himself and his family, government benefits. Also, the status of a combat veteran, and therefore respect. Well done, Sasha. Be like Sasha.


BROWN: Wow. All right. So let's discuss with CNN military analyst and retired Air Force Colonel, Cedric Leighton. What do you make of Moscow's new recruiting pitch?

CEDRIC LEIGHTON, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, I don't want to be like Sasha, that's, you know, it's -- it seems very primitive in the way they've put things together and really reeks of desperation. That's the problem. They -- they've clearly lost a lot of manpower in this war, both killed in action, as well as warranted inaction. And that's -- you know, it's very sad on a human level, but it also shows the lack of planning that they've had.

They didn't plan for this kind of an effort. They didn't plan to move forward in the way that they -- that they thought they would, and they didn't plan for what happened afterwards. So it was, in essence, a total failure. And that has an impact on recruiting and everything else.

BROWN: Yes, so they're saying, oh, no, we don't need more soldiers, but they're putting out these recruitment videos. But I mean, that's not necessarily good. It's just -- your if you're in Russia, and you see that you're not necessarily going to be inspired to join the war, this --

LEIGHTON: No, not with this generation. And that's definitely not the way to -- try to lure people into service, because they know what's really happening. They know that people are being killed, they know that the conditions are very bad. And no matter how many government benefits Sasha gets, Sasha may not come out of this alive.

BROWN: Yes, exactly.

LEIGHTON: And that's a key element here. BROWN: And they know that even though it's Russia and Russia controls, you know, the media, right, I mean, they still know the reality there on the ground. To be fair, wartime propaganda is definitely not unique to Russia. The Pentagon even helped put the bill for Top Gun, and that was the biggest movie this past year. So I want to play two U.S. recruitment videos and then compare them to what we saw from Russia.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I'll get to the file.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sounds intense.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Clients. What do you do?




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Check your spam.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You got to be kidding me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Downright amazing.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is what you call a wicked shot.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right. Come up shout outs.


BROWN: Your thoughts.

LEIGHTON: Well, it's certainly the -- some of the spirit that's shown in the American commercials definitely reflects, especially the last one reflects what the camaraderie that you really do see in many military units, so that's something that is actually true.

The other one is absolutely true as well. There is a pension plan that you get in the military, but I don't think everybody's going to be out. I know for a fact that we aren't all out fly fishing, because we have, you know, enough in our pension plan.

What's really happening is people augment that once they leave the service, that if they make it all the way to a military career, they'll augment that with other jobs they'll have secondary even third careers. And it's a, you know, a different thing. But that shouldn't dissuade anybody from coming into the American military. There are certain benefits there. But the real reason that people come into the American military, at least for the most part, is patriotism, and a willingness to actually serve the country, and that's something that's maybe not really reflected in these two commercials. [20:40:27]

BROWN: But the bottom line is there's a stark contrast between what we just saw there and the recruitment video in Moscow. Thank you so much, retired Air Force Colonel Cedric Leighton. Appreciate it.

And you are in the CNN NEWSROOM on this Saturday. James Cameron's long awaited sequel to one of the biggest movies ever opens in theaters this weekend. Can "Avatar: The Way of Water" come anywhere close to matching the original?



BROWN: The new movie "Avatar: The Way of Water" open to the $53 million -- opened with, we should say, to $53 million at the box office. The film almost doubled the opening day of its blockbuster predecessor 13 years ago. But James Cameron is hoping the new Avatar makes enough money to pay for its nine figure budget, nine figures. And just to break even.

CNN's entertainment reporter, Chloe Melas, joins us now. All right. So, Chloe, you saw the three-hour movie? What did you think?

CHLOE MELAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER: Pamela, three hours and 12 minutes. OK. First of all, it is a cinematic feast for your eyes. I saw it in IMAX, you know, in the Dolby Theater, which is really where James Cameron is pushing people to see this film. And it's really incredible. But like I said, you have to really find the time to see that.

I want to talk to you about the numbers. So, Avatar: The Way of Water is coming in under its projections. Opening day, 53 million, like you said. It's expected to make between 130 to 150 million this weekend. I want to put that into perspective for all the viewers at home. That's less than Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. That's less than Black Panther: Wakanda forever, Thor: Love and Thunder.

Now, these are opening weekend movies that I'm naming. But I have been talking to experts in this industry and the film industry who are saying that this is going to be a slow burn. We can't really judge Avatar: The Way of Water's success until after Christmas weekend or after New Year's weekend, because people are actually going to be setting aside the time to see the movie.

And, you know, Cameron has been really pushing for people, like I said, to see the movie in IMAX, in 3D in these Dolby theaters. And to also put this into perspective. There are only 157 of those auditoriums in the U.S. in order to see Dolby 3D. So that's another part of the problem. There's a high demand and a low supply, Pamela.

BROWN: And you didn't just go to the movies this week. You also found time to sit down with music artists, Meek Mill, and talk about prison reform and what he's doing to bring that to people's attentions -- to attention. Tell us more about that. MELAS: You know, Pamela, he says this -- it's really the children that are suffering. Meek Mill, he rose to fame, not just with his music, but with everything with his prison reform, with the REFORM alliance. And he told me that a lot of these children that he met with earlier this week, when they met with the Philadelphia Eagles and the 76ers, at this event that they did where they did a mock draft day, that these children, their parents were thrown back in prison for something called technical violations. That can be as simple as missing a probation hearing. It's quite outrageous.

Take a listen to what Meek Mill had to say.


MEEK MILL, MUSIC ARTIST: For the average working person to lose your job, to lose your household over a technical violation, that will drive you back to poverty and put you in a mental state where it will be hard for you to move forward in America.

So probation and parole, I wouldn't say, that's the only thing you should focus on in the system, because it's very -- it's many layers to the system. And I don't want to just try to direct the president or the administration to what to do with reform because I couldn't give you the answers.

But we are working on probation and parole because I was affected by it. And I'm from a community where I see mothers and fathers leading kids all the time in their house, because they may have smoked marijuana or got addicted to a Percocet or went to cross the Philadelphia New Jersey state line to take their children to football practice. So I would say probation and parole taking a look at that as a real thing.


MELAS: You know, Pamela, I also sat down with the co-chair of the REFORM Alliance, Michael Rubin. I was talking to the CEO Robert Brooks earlier this week. And what they all say is that these technical violations is really what the American public needs to be paying attention to right now. It's a state by state when it comes to the laws. They have passed about 16 bills in 10 states, but it's a really big issue.

BROWN: All right. Chloe Melas, really interesting interview and important issue for sure. Thanks so much.

And in a city full of celebrities, this Los Angeles mountain lion has been an A-lister for years. But tonight, his story has come to a sad ending. California Wildlife officials say they had to compassionately euthanize the Hollywood cat.

CNN's Camila Bernal is with us from Los Angeles. All right, so, Camila, for people who aren't from Los Angeles, who were looking at this story, explain to them why this cat is so famous. What happened here?


CAMILA BERNAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Pam, he's definitely a bit of a celebrity here in L.A. and he was photographed right underneath the Hollywood sign. And, of course, people just loved seeing the wildlife here in LA. He has been tracked for about 10 years now he was 12 years old. But of course, with a lot of followers, even on Instagram and on Facebook, but the most important followers were those scientists that have been tracking him for years. And they say that about a month ago, they started to see different changes in his behavior. He was going deeper into the urban areas he was chasing and attacking dogs, even some that were on a leash. So people were getting a little bit worried. They love him but, of course, it was getting a little bit dangerous.

And those experts said that they believed that he was in distress. So they were able to capture him and have him go through a medical evaluation. Unfortunately, they thought he had been hit by a car. And they say that medical evaluation did show that he had trauma to his head, to an eye, to some of his organs. And then they also said they found pre-existing illnesses. He had kidney disease, he had a skin infection. And so all of these things were taken into consideration. And that's when they decided to put him down. Some of the experts that have been tracking him though they spoke out this week and said that his data will live on.


SETH RILEY, CHIEF WILDLIFE ECOLOGIST, SANTA MONICA MOUNTAINS NATIONAL RECORD AREA: He's been an incredibly interesting animal, it's -- we've really gotten a lot of really great information from him. He's persisted in the smallest tone range that has ever been recorded for an adult male mountain lion. And just been, like I said, a really interesting animal. And truth is he'll be a part of our studies -- forever be a part of an important part of our mountain lion studies. I'm sure we'll be looking at his data for years to come.


BERNAL: And that data was also used to figure out how to make the world's biggest wildlife crossing. This is essentially a bridge that will be over 101. The 101 highway here in L.A. It will go through 10 lanes, and it will allow those animals to essentially go back and forth on the highway or on top of the highway.

So, clearly, it's not just about a celebrity mountain lion. This is about conservation and what the data of these animals do for humans and really for many not just here in L.A., but across the country. Pam.

BROWN: All right. Camila Bernal, thank you so much.

Well, can the Messi magic come through what he needs at the most? The stars of Argentina and France battle in the World Cup final tomorrow. A preview, next.


BROWN: Well, officials in Germany are investigating what could have caused a massive aquarium in Berlin to burst. The 46-foot high glass structure dumped more than a quarter million gallons of water onto a nearby street when it broke, injuring at least two people.

The so called AquaDom was home to around 1,500 exotic fish and located inside a hotel lobby. Its owner says a large portion of the aquarium's fish died, though some were apparently rescued. As for the cause, German media quote Berlin's top security officials saying, quote, materials fatigue may be the reason but said it's just too early to know for sure. Wow.

Well, soccer legend, Lionel Messi, and team Argentina take on reigning champion France in the 2022 World Cup final tomorrow. It will be Messi's last World Cup appearance. And his fans hope it will be a memorable one. CNN's Patrick Snell has a preview. Patrick.

PATRICK SNELL, CNN WORLD SPORT: Well, Pamela, just hours away now from Sunday's hugely awaited World Cup final between France who was seeking back to back titles and Argentina. Let's check in now both teams and some problems for the French in the build up to this massive match with a number of the reigning World Champions players earlier in the week at least battling illness and colds.


DIDIER DESCHAMPS, FRANCE COACH (through translator): We try to take the maximum precautions to deal with it without going overboard. It is obviously a situation. If it could not exist, it would be better but we manage as best we can with the medical staff of course.


SNELL: Meantime, Argentina fully focused in trying to land the sport's top prize for the first time in 36 years. Remember too for Lionel Messi, this is deeply personal. The pain and anguish that he would suffer along with his teammates after Argentina lost to Brazil 2014 finals in Germany. And at 35, Messi has already said this will be his last World Cup.


LIONEL SCALONI, ARGENTINA COACH (through translator): Regarding what Leo Messi said about this being his last game, let's hope that in this one, we can win the cup, that would be great. The most important thing is to enjoy it and there's no better scenario for it than a World Cup final.


SNELL: Pam, so much of the focus and ahead of the final centering on those two huge superstars Messi and Kylian Mbappe, of course, of France, Messi who's a record seventh time Ballon d'Or winner will certainly be hoping the stars align for the perfect tournament send off. He currently has 96 goals for his country, Mbappe, still just 23, already knows what it's like to be a World Cup winner after Russia 2018, 65 or ready for him in terms of goals.

And we can also tell you that the 2018 finalist Croatia, securing the bronze medal after beating the highly inspiring and history making Moroccan national team by two goals to one. This was in Saturday's third place playoff match. Pam, right back to you.

BROWN: All right. Patrick Snell, thanks so much. So we'll be seeing if Lionel Messi can cap his career with a World Cup win.

And don't forget that you can tweet me @PamelaBrownCNN. Also, follow me on Instagram with the same handle.

Thank you so much for joining us this evening. I'm Pamela Brown. And I'll see you back here again tomorrow night starting at 5:00 Eastern.

Up next is Tis the Season: the Holidays on Screen.