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German Hospitals Filling Up During Latest COVID Surge; WHO Says Omicron Appears to be Very Transmissible; New Variant Highlights Need for Equitable Vaccine Access; Disappointing November U.S. Jobs Report; Non- Profit Rescues 9-year-old Afghan Girl Sold into Marriage; Actor Alec Baldwin Speaks Out on Deadly Shooting. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired December 03, 2021 - 10:00   ET



LYNDA KINKADE, CNN ANCHOR: Get vaccinated as soon as possible. That message from Germany's Health minister as intensive care units near capacity. We're

going to go live to Berlin.

Also ahead, the story of this 9-year-old Afghan girl sold into marriage to a 55-year-old man broke many hearts. Her story has a much better ending.

CNN has this exclusive report.

And I did not pull the trigger, Alec Baldwin is adamant that he was not responsible for the deadly shooting on the site of the movie "Rust."

It is 10:00 a.m. here at the CNN center in Atlanta. I'm Lynda Kinkade. Welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD.

Well, there's a new warning today on the Omicron coronavirus variant. The World Health Organization's chief scientist says Omicron appears to be a

very transmissible variant that is quite infectious. Her words of caution come as more countries take measures to prevent its spread.

In Switzerland health officials have placed 2,000 people under quarantine after identifying two cases of the variant at the International School of

Geneva. The cases are linked to a family member who had traveled to South Africa. And South Africa's health minister reports a steep rise in COVID-19

infections there since Omicron was first detected.

And in Germany, cases are soaring, driven by the Delta variant and intensive care units are nearing capacity. The air force has been loading

patients from hard-hit areas on to planes for treatment elsewhere in the country.

Well, our Eleni Giokos is following developments for us from Johannesburg. Our Frederik Pleitgen is in Berlin.

Good to have you both with us. I want to start first with Fred because we heard from Germany's health minister a short time ago. The numbers are

staggering, almost a million people in Germany currently infected with COVID-19 and he largely blamed those unwilling to get vaccinated.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's exactly what he said, Lynda. He said that Germany would not be in the

situation that it's currently in if all adults in this country had gotten vaccinated since the vaccines now of course for a very long time have been

very widely available.

And, you know, one of the things that we're seeing in Germany is that the new infections, the daily new infections, continue to remain very high. We

had a couple days this week where it seemed as though they might be teetering off a little bit, but then today another really big wave of

infections coming in with around 75,000, almost 75,000 new cases in a single day.

And Jens Spahn, the health minister, he came out today at a press conference, and he said that, look, ICUs very much are filling up, the

health care system is already under massive strain, and he believes that's going to continue to be the case. Even if the measures that have been

decided by the German government yesterday that obviously put pretty much a lockdown on people who are unvaccinated, even if those go into effect

immediately and have immediate effect as the peak of that wave people getting into ICUs needing treatment in ICUs is not going to come until


So obviously a pretty dire month of December seems to be in the cards in Germany. And you can really feel, Lynda, how the German politicians and

German society have really lost patience with people who have not yet been vaccinated. Polls showing that large parts of the German population are in

favor of stronger measures, are in favor of these lockdown measures, and also are in favor of mandatory vaccinations.

And that, of course, is something that the German government has said needs to be decided on by the German parliament. You could have mandatory

vaccinations here in this country some time probably or possibly in late February -- Lynda.

KINKADE: OK. Fred, I want to come back to you but I want to bring in Eleni Giokos now who is in Johannesburg. But just before I ask you a question, I

just want to play some sound from the World Health Organization who spoke about just how transmissible this new variant of COVID-19 is.


MARIA VAN KERKHOVE, WHO COVID-19 TECHNICAL LEAD: There's data that is coming from South Africa and from some modelling groups that are looking at

the transmission. We do see an increasing growth rate. We see increasing numbers of Omicron being detected. And right now the data is I think maybe

a couple of hours old, but we have reports of Omicron in 38 countries, in all six WHO regions, and we do see increasing trends in Omicron in South


So there is a suggestion that there is increased transmissibility. What we need to understand is if it's more or less transmissible compared to Delta.



KINKADE: So to you, Eleni, we obviously just heard that it's now in 38 countries, but this is a variant that was first detected in South Africa. I

want to understand what you're seeing in terms of a surge of cases in South Africa and especially what hospitals are experiencing at the epicenter of

where this new variant was discovered. Are more kids being hospitalized? And do we know whether they have this variant?

ELENI GIOKOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So, very good questions there, and there are so many nuances to what you're saying. So firstly, there's a difference

between identification as well as where it was first discovered in terms of what was the earliest known case. And I think that that is where we have to

be absolutely clear, Lynda. South Africa was able through advanced genomic sequencing to identify the Omicron variant, but in terms of its origins,

where it was first discovered as a known case, that, of course, is still something that's ongoing, it's very fluid.

You're starting to see back dates and sequencing that's occurring around the world and that's why you're starting to see a lot more news in terms of

Omicron variant first discovered in early November in various parts of the world, including the Netherlands. So in terms of hospitalization rates, and

you're absolutely right here to say that we have seen an increase in hospitalization rates in South Africa, but again, the positive numbers, the

positive cases in NSA, completely pale in comparison to what you're seeing in parts of Europe where it's in the tens of thousands.

In South Africa in the last 24 hours, it was just over 11,000. Where you are seeing points of major concern, and you rightly point this out, that in

the municipality in Tshwane, that is in Pretoria, you're seeing 10 percent of hospitalizations coming through under the age of 5. That is absolutely

concerning, but scientists caution here, that a lot of hospitalizations usually are because of an abundance of caution, that toddlers, you know,

want to be monitored far better in hospital.

Where you are seeing an increase in hospitalization rates is still among the unvaccinated. The unvaccinated below the age of 40. So these are some

of the things that we're learning, that you are, again, starting to see a little bit of immune escape among the vaccinated but the unvaccinated,

Lynda, seem to still be at highest risk at the moment.

KINKADE: All right. We will check in with both of you very shortly. Eleni Giokos for us in Johannesburg. Frederik Pleitgen for us in Berlin. Good to

have you both with us. Thank you very much.

While we may not have all the answers about how this variant will change the fight against coronavirus, one thing is clear, much of the developing

world is lacking access to our biggest weapon, and the numbers are stark. Of the 8.1 billion doses administered globally there have been 150 doses

per 100 people in richer countries. Here's of course taking into account second and even third doses are being used to reach immunity. The number on

the other end of the spectrum, eight, just eight, per 100 people.

Well, my next guest is Lily Caprani. She's the head of Advocacy for Global Vaccines at UNICEF. As the news of course of the Omicron variant broke, she

had this to say. She said, "Warning after warning after warning, this won't end for any of us until we end it for everybody. You can't end a global

pandemic one country at a time."

Well, Lily Caprani joins me now live from New York. Good to have you with us, Lily.


KINKADE: So UNICEF is, of course, the biggest single distributor of vaccines in the world. You are the expert. You're leading the way to

procure and to supply COVID-19 vaccines. And this is a huge undertaking, right, to end this pandemic, mass vaccinations, have to happen as quickly

as possible.

CAPRANI: You're right. It's completely unprecedented. And even before the pandemic, UNICEF, with the U.N. Children's Fund, we vaccinate nearly half

the world's children, so we know what it takes. It's a huge logistical challenge and a challenge with reaching remote communities all over the

world and engaging them and helping them understand how vaccines work and how they can protect.

Now we're trying to do that for the COVID vaccination program as well. But we've got all these additional challenges which is even though the world

has got billions of vaccines now, they're just very unevenly distributed around the world. And although we can deliver them when we've got them and

get them to communities, there is such an unequal sharing of these vaccine supplies between countries.

We're still seeing countries where vast sways of the population are completed unprotected. Including health care workers. You know, in Africa

sometimes we see less than 1 in 4 health care workers have even been offered their first dose. It leads to a very dangerous situation.


KINKADE: Yes. It really is stark, those figures. And part of the issue no doubt is the fact that countries are treating this like a national issue,

closing borders and hoarding vaccines. And almost two years into the pandemic, millions of vaccines are set to expire in wealthy countries in

the coming weeks. And I just -- for our viewers I just want to bring up some more data we've got which shows that 54.8 percent of the world's

population has received at least one dose of COVID-19. But only 6.2 percent of people in low-income countries have received one dose.

Explain for us, Lily, the difficulties of getting vaccines to remote areas. What sort of support does UNICEF need to make that happen?

CAPRANI: Yes. I mean, if all of us living in high-income countries that got quite good vaccination rates cast our lines back a few months we remember

that being able to stand up a huge mass vaccination campaign is a massive logistical challenge even in countries with really strong health care

systems, lots of health care workers available, you know, and all the infrastructure and the money that was available. It's still a big


If you now translate that into a lower income context where countries already have quite weak, fragile health care systems, you can imagine the

challenge that they face. And UNICEF is working with all of these governments in the lower income countries to try to get them ready for when

vaccine supplies finally arrive. You have to do things like install refrigeration, to make sure that you're keeping all of those stocks of

vaccine doses fresh and ready for use. You need to make sure you've got lots of trained health care workers ready to go and vaccinate.

We need to make sure they're getting paid regularly. Unfortunately, there's not enough money sometimes to keep paying vaccinators. And the trouble this

year is that because the supplies haven't been getting to those low-income countries, it's not as if they could have all of these things just sort of

on standby. You can't recruit an army of vaccinators and then just have them sitting around.

So now that we're finally starting to see vaccine supplies arriving they've got this race to get ready to do the big vaccination campaign. UNICEF is

helping. We're trying to get as many of those doses into arms as soon as possible. And that means working around the clock with those governments to

get ready, but there's a very -- there's not enough money sometimes and there's a lot of technical challenges that we need help with.

KINKADE: Yes. So many technical challenges. I want to ask you a bit about that in a second, but I just want to show some vision that we've got from

UNICEF showing shipments of vaccines arriving just in the last few days, arriving in places like Laos donated by Finland and Sweden and the

Netherlands. Another shipment arrived in Kyrgyzstan which is donated by France. And another batch of doses landed in Bangladesh, and just last week

the Pacific Islands got some much-needed doses.

Talk to us about how things are starting to ramp up and how crucial it is for countries like Indonesia, places around the world trying to scale up

its ultra-cold chain capacity in order to store these vaccines which need to be stored in frigid temperatures?

CAPRANI: Well, as you said, now finally after a year nearly of having virtually no supplies available to COVAX, which are supplying these low-

income countries that UNICEF has been delivering for, we are getting doses coming through. And mostly they've been coming because high-income

countries that have got plenty of supplies themselves are starting to donate them, which is good news, and the U.S. has been one of the biggest

donors as well.

One of the challenges we've got is if we don't know exactly when those supplies are coming through, it's quite hard to do any kind of planning to

get ready to actually deliver them to remote areas. We need to know exactly when we're going to get the doses, where they're coming from, how long

shelf life they've got. But if they're doses that are going to expire soon then it gives you very little time to plan. And as you said, whether they

need storage so the different products available need different kinds of storage.

Some of the MRNA vaccines like Pfizer and Moderna require a different kind of storage. And different supplies are available to us. So it's a complex

operation and every time a government very generously pledges to give us some spare supplies, we really need them to take into consideration all the

planning that goes into getting those doses into arms.

So that means giving us doses with a good long shelf life, making sure they come with all of the other -- the things you need, the infrastructure, the

syringes, the dilutant, all of the other costs that go into the freight that takes the vaccines out to countries, so we're asking really for this

kind of support to carry on, be more predictable, more reliable to allow us to plan and to help UNICEF do what it does best and reach every single last

community. We need as much notice as possible about when we're going to get those doses.


KINKADE: Exactly. That communication also very key.

Lily Caprani from UNICEF, we appreciate your time and all the work you are doing. Thanks so much.

Well, you can get the latest developments on the new variant and other coronavirus stories just go to our Web site, you can find it at

News, analysis, including why two South African researchers say their country should not be punished for alerting the world to the Omicron

variant. They argue the quick decisions to impose travel bans don't work.

Well, a disappointing U.S. jobs report for November, American employees added just over 200,000 new positions, far fewer than expected. And this is

all before the Omicron variant became a global concern. But the unemployment rate did fall and U.S. president Joe Biden is expected to talk

about the numbers shortly.

Well, I want to bring in CNN's Matt Egan who joins us now from New York.

Good to have you with us, matt. Far fewer jobs were added than expected, but America does keep adding jobs, just not yet back to those pre-pandemic


MATT EGAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lynda, yes, that's right. Still four million jobs shy of what the United States had in February of 2020 before COVID

erupted and changed the entire world. Now these latest numbers are a little bit confusing. So just 210,000 jobs that were added in November. That's

less than half of what economists were expecting. Some on Wall Street were calling for 700,000 to 800,000 being jobs added. So this is a surprise.

The retail sector actually lost jobs. Hospitality and leisure was supposed to gain a lot and didn't. So definitely some disappointments there. But

when you actually really dig into the numbers there's also a lot of positives that kind of conflict with those negatives. So, for example, the

unemployment rate is down to 4.2 percent. That's a big drop from the prior month. It's the lowest level of COVID and remember, unemployment in the

United States went to nearly 15 percent back in April of 2020. It's less than a third of that right now.

Also, wages are growing very rapidly. They're not quite keeping up with inflation, but they're up very sharply and that shows that businesses are

really desperate to hire. That's a sign of strength in the jobs market. We've also seen that more Americans are going back into the workforce.

Maybe they're a little bit less worried about COVID. So that's a positive.

But, Lynda, we do have to remember that these are backwards looking numbers and the risk going forward is Omicron and whether or not that could

actually undue some of the progress in the jobs market and we don't really know enough about Omicron to say whether it will impact the jobs market or


KINKADE: All right. Yes, we'll have to see how this all plays out.

Matt Egan, we'll leave it there for now. Good to have you with us. Thanks.

Well, still ahead, a CNN exclusive. Last month we brought you a disturbing story about a 9-year-old Afghan girl sold as a child bride. Now we have an

update. Her dramatic rescue. And just how important was Ghislaine Maxwell in Jeffrey Epstein's life? Testimony from Epstein's former house manager

indicates very important.



KINKADE: Welcome back. The Taliban have released a special decree on women's rights in Afghanistan. It says that the rules governing marriage

and property for women saying women should not be forced into marriage. It says a woman is not a property, but a noble and free human being. No one

can give her to anyone in exchange, the decree says. It also says, widows could remarry and should have a share in the late husband's property.

The decree makes no mention of women being able to work outside the home, nor does it make any mention of having access to education.

Well, last month we brought you a distressing story about child marriage in Afghanistan. And many of you were disturbed by the case of 9-year-old

Parwana who was sold into marriage to a 55-year-old man for about $2,000. Her father said it was his only option to feed his family.

CNN was granted rare permission to document the disturbing sale and the handover and after an international outcry following that story, the U.S.

based charity Too Young to Wed got involved and rescued Parwana.

CNN was there to document it and our Anna Coren brings us this exclusive report.


ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): An Iranian love song plays from a cassette as a driver navigates his way through the snow-

dusted Leman Valley in northwestern Afghanistan. Crammed in the back of the station wagon is a mother and her six children, who've just left behind a

life of constant struggle and hardship, all they've ever known. Among them, 9-year-old Parwana. Our cameraman, Sadiki (PH) asks her how she's feeling.

"I'm so happy," she says, with a beaming smile.

CNN met Parwana, dressed in pink, in an internally displaced camp in Badghis Province back in October. Her father claimed he was selling her to

feed the rest of the family as a humanitarian crisis grips the country. He'd already sold his 12-year-old into marriage, and told CNN that unless

his situation improved, he would have to sell his four remaining daughters, as well, including the youngest, just 2.

"If I didn't have these daughters to sell," he asks, "what should I do?"

Parwana's buyer, who lived in a nearby village, confirmed he was taking the 9-year-old as his second wife.

QORBAN, BUYER OF PARWANA (through translator): I'm 55 years old. I have a wife with four daughters and a son. I bought her for myself. I will wait

until she becomes older.

COREN: CNN was granted rare access to film the final payment and hand over. The buyer asked for it to take place at a house in his village, and not the

camp, for security reasons. He paid a total of 200,000 Afghanis, just over 2,000 U.S. dollars for Parwana in land, sheep, and cash.

"This is your bride. Please take care of her," says Parwana's father. "Of course, I will take care of her," replies the man. As he drags her away,

she whimpers. Moments later, she digs her heels into the dirt, refusing to go. But it's hopeless.

CNN's story caused an outcry.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: And now a distressing story out of Afghanistan, showing the harsh --

COREN: The network was inundated with offers of help from the public aid organizations and NGOs wanting to assist Parwana and the other girls

featured in our story. The U.S.-based charity, Too Young to Wed, took the lead. Its founding executive director, Stephanie Sinclair, has been working

to end child marriage and help vulnerable girls around the world for almost 20 years. She says the perfect storm is brewing in Afghanistan, and it's

the girls that are suffering.

STEPHANIE SINCLAIR, FOUNDER, TOO YOUNG TO WED: I know these stories are difficult to watch, and they're difficult to do. And they bring around a

lot of concern. But at the same time, we need to keep people understanding that this is happening. We need to keep ringing the alarm bells. Understand

these are real girls and real lives, and they can be changed.

COREN: Within Badghis Province, there was widespread backlash towards Parwana's father and the buyer after our story went to air, with claims

they brought shame on the community. Even the Taliban told CNN the practice is forbidden.


MAWLAWI BAZ MOHAMMAD SARWARY, BADGHIS INFORMATION AND CULTURE DIRECTORATE (through translator): I request everyone not to sell their children. Child

marriage is not a good thing, and we condemn it.

COREN: Women's rights activist and U.S. citizen Mahbouba Seraj, who chose to stay in Kabul after the Taliban swept to power in August to run her

women's shelter, says Parwana's case is just the tip of the iceberg.

MAHBOUBA SERAJ, AFGHAN WOMEN'S RIGHTS ACTIVIST: There is a lot of misery. There is a lot of mistreatment. There is a lot of abuse is involved in

these things. And it will keep on happening with the hunger, with the winter, with poverty.

COREN: As a result of the controversy caused by the story and intervention from the charity, Parwana was allowed to return home after almost two weeks

with the buyer's family.

"Since Parwana has been rescued, I'm very happy for that," says Parwana's father. He admitted to CNN that under duress from the community and some

local media outlets, he changed his story out of embarrassment for what he had done and apologized. The buyer is unreachable for comment, but the debt

is still outstanding.

Too Young to Wed then organized to have Parwana, her mother and siblings removed from the camp with the father's permission. Their four-hour journey

to neighboring Herat Province was broken up with some childhood fun before arriving at the motel. For children who've only ever lived in a tent, the

novelty of being warm, fed, and safe wasn't wearing off.

"They rescued me. They've given me a new life," says Parwana. "I thank the charity for helping me."

A few days later, they moved into the safe house. Parwana's mother, 27- year-old Reza Gul, has never lived in a house. She was sold into marriage at 13 and has since had seven children, six of whom were girls. Most days

in the camp, she would beg for food, and often her family would go to sleep hungry. Now all she wants is to give her children a better life.

"I have a dream, a wish they go to school and start an education," she says. "I have a lot of wishes for them."

Too Young to Wed has already begun distributing aid to Parwana's impoverished camp, among others. While the small charity is prepared to

bridge the gap, they're calling on the large aid organizations to step up.

SINCLAIR: These are communities that have relied on international aid for the last 20 years. And so with a lot of that aid stopping, these people

didn't stop needing support. And we can't let them pay the price because ultimately girls always pay the biggest price.

COREN: I speak to Parwana on Zoom through my colleague, Basir.

(On-camera): Hello, Parwana. I'm Anna.

PARWANA, 9-YEAR-OLD AFGHAN GIRL SOLD INTO MARRIAGE (through translator): How are you? How are you feeling?

COREN: I'm very good, thank you. How are you?

PARWANA (through translator): I'm fine. I'm so happy. I'm safe. I'm rescued.

COREN (voice-over): Then she asks, "When are you sending me to school?" She wants to study and become a doctor or a teacher. But fairytale endings are

few and far between for girls in Afghanistan, even more so now than ever.

Anna Coren, CNN.


KINKADE: Our thanks to Anna Coren and her team for that remarkable report. And if you would like to help girls like Parwana please visit You can learn more about their work in Afghanistan and how you can be part of the solution.

Well, still to come, I would never point a gun at anyone and pull the trigger. Those words from actor Alec Baldwin speaking out about the fatal

shooting on the set of his latest film. We're going to have more from that interview next.


KINKADE: Welcome back. I'm Lynda Kinkade at the CNN center. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Good to have you with us.

Well, actor Alec Baldwin is opening up about the fatal shooting that occurred on the set of his film "Rust." Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was

killed and director Joel Souza injured when Baldwin's gun went off during a rehearsal. Well, in an interview with ABC News, Baldwin recalls the painful

details as Lucy Kafanov reports.


ALEC BALDWIN, ACTOR: I would go to any lengths to undo what happened.

LUCY KAFANOV, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Alec Baldwin denying he's at fault in the death of Halyna Hutchins, the cinematographer who was shot and

killed on the "Rust" movie set in late October.

BALDWIN: Well, the trigger wasn't pulled. I didn't pull the trigger.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: So you never pulled the trigger?

BALDWIN: No, no, no, no. I would never point a gun and pull the trigger at them. Never. That was the training that I had. You don't point a gun at

somebody and pull the trigger.

KAFANOV: The actor speaking out for the first time in an interview with ABC News, detailing what Baldwin says happened in the moments prior to the

facial shooting.

BALDWIN: I showed him, how about that? Does that work? Do you see that? Do you see that? She goes, yes, that's good. I let go of the hammer, bang, the

gun goes off. Everyone is horrified. They're shocked. It's loud. They don't have their earplugs in. The gun was supposed to be empty. I was told, I was

handed an empty gun. I don't know if they were cosmetic rounds, nothing with a charge at all, a flash round, nothing. She goes down. I thought to

myself, did she faint?

The notion that there was a live round in that gun did not dawn on me until probably 45 minutes to an hour later.

KAFANOV: Baldwin emotional when discussing Hutchins who was working as the film's director of photography.

BALDWIN: The people who watched the (INAUDIBLE) said that her work was beautiful. She was someone who was loved by everyone who worked with her,

liked by everyone who worked, and admired. I'm sorry. But admired by everybody who worked with her.

KAFANOV: He dismissed claims that armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed who has faced backlash for the incident was overworked.

BALDWIN: No, I assumed that everyone who is shooting a lower-budget film is stretched, myself included, and I got no complaints from her or the prop

department. I'm not sitting there when I'm getting dressed and ready to do a scene, saying, oh, my god the prop woman seemed very harried today.

KAFANOV: The armorer is responsible for handling guns on set and Baldwin says it's up to that person to make sure they're safe for use.

BALDWIN: There's one person that's supposed to make sure that what is in the gun is right and what's wrong is not in the gun. One person has that

responsibility to maintain the gun. And --

STEPHANOPOULOS: What is the actor's responsibility?

BALDWIN: I guess that's a tough question because the actor's responsibility going this day forward is very different than it was the day before that.

KAFANOV: The actor also denied allegations from former crew member Lane Looper who said conditions on the New Mexico set were unsafe.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So you had no sense from anyone on the set that people had been stretched to the point where safety was compromised?


BALDWIN: No, no. I never heard one word about that. None. None.

KAFANOV: An investigation is under way working to determine how live rounds made it on set. Baldwin says he's eager to learn what authorities discover.

BALDWIN: I mean, as far as I'm concerned, someone put -- the investigation is going to find out, but someone put a live bullet in a gun, a bullet that

wasn't even supposed to be on the property. And this is the thing I hope that the sheriff's department doesn't give up on, that they follow this to

the ends of the earth, where did that bullet come from? Somebody brought live rounds, plural, on to the set of the film. And one of them ended up in

that gun. And if the bullets didn't come on the property we wouldn't be having this conversation.

KAFANOV: No one has been charged with a crime in connection with the shooting, and Baldwin believes he's in the clear.

BALDWIN: I've spoken to the sheriff's department multiple times. I don't have anything to hide. You know what I mean? The facts, as I see them, are

what I've stated on the record.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You're not worried about being charged?

BALDWIN: I don't -- I've been told by people who are in the know in terms of even inside the state, that it's highly unlikely I would be charged with

anything criminally.

KAFANOV: Baldwin says the focus should be on Hutchins and director Joel Souza who was injured.

BALDWIN: I don't want to sound like I'm a victim. I mean, again, we have two clear victims here.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Is this the worst thing that's ever happened to you?

BALDWIN: Yes. Yes. Yes. Because I think back and I think of what could I have done.

KAFANOV: He also recalled meeting with Hutchins' husband and her 9-year-old son after the shooting.

BALDWIN: I didn't know what to say. He hugged me, and he goes, he goes, I suppose you and I are going to go through this together. I said, well, not

as much as you are. This boy doesn't have a mother anymore. And there's nothing we can do to bring her back. And I told him, I said, I don't know

what to say. I don't know how to convey to you how sorry I am and how I'm willing to do anything I can to cooperate.

KAFANOV: When asked if he feels guilt for the fatal incident that ended the cinematographer's life, Baldwin giving this response.

BALDWIN: No. No. I feel that there is -- I feel that someone is responsible for what happened, and I can't say who that is, but I know it's not me. I

mean, honest to God, if I felt that I was responsible, I might have killed myself if I thought I was responsible. I don't say that lightly.

KAFANOV: But earlier in the interview the actor describes how the aftermath of the tragedy is deeply affecting him mentally.

BALDWIN: I'm not somebody who has a lot of vivid dreams but I have dreams about this constantly now. I wake up constantly where guns are going off.

These images have come into my mind, kept me awake at night and I haven't slept for weeks and I've really been struggling physically. I'm exhausted

from this because I got to try to be there for my kids, and my family is all I have. I mean, honest to God. I couldn't give a (EXPLETIVE DELETED)

about my career anymore.


KINKADE: That was Lucy Kafanov reporting.

So how plausible are Baldwin's comments about not pulling the trigger? Well, CNN's John Berman put that to Steve Wolf. He is a theatrical firearms

safety expert.


STEVE WOLF, THEATRICAL FIREARMS SAFETY EXPERT: On a single action revolver, when you pull the hammer back, which is an intentional act, click, click,

click, click. Now the hammer is set. When you pull the hammer back and let go, as you can see, I'm not holding this, you know, the hammer doesn't go

anywhere. When you press the trigger, which is -- I'm going to do it with this figure so you can see what a minute act that is, sit takes little to

press the trigger there.

So, option one, you know, he pressed the trigger but it was such a minor press that he wasn't aware that he had, you know, ordered that signal from

his brain. Or, option B, he's holding the gun with the trigger depressed.


KINKADE: Well, two members of the crew have filed lawsuits against Alec Baldwin, one from the head of lighting.

Witness testimony in the sex trafficking trial of Ghislaine Maxwell is providing new insight into her relationship with the late disgraced

financier Jeffrey Epstein. The court heard from a former house manager for Jeffrey Epstein's Florida estate on Thursday. He says he understood Maxwell

to be Epstein's girlfriend and said she even called herself, quote, "lady of the house."

Maxwell is accused of recruiting and grooming underaged girls to be sexually exploited by Epstein. She's pleaded not guilty to all charges. Two

years ago Epstein, a millionaire investor and convicted pedophile, killed himself in jail ahead of a sex abuse trial.

Well, let's get you up to speed on some other stories on our radar right now.


A Libyan court has reinstated the son of a late dictator Muammar Gaddafi as a candidate for president in this month's election. Saif Gaddafi's bid was

initially thrown out because of allegations he committed war crimes during the 2011 revolution.

France has signed one of its largest military export deals with the UAE as French President Emmanuel Macron kicked off a Gulf tour on Friday. The

record $19 billion deal includes 80 French warplanes. The deal comes amid regional doubt over U.S. engagement in the Middle East according to the

French Defense Ministry.

The Chinese ride hailing firm Didi says it will move its listing from the New York Stock Exchange to Hong Kong. It's being caught up in Beijing's

tech clamp down. China's decision to target it is widely seen as payback for the company's decision to go public overseas.

Still to come on CONNECT THE WORLD, a huge milestone for Cristiano Ronaldo's career. And no, it has nothing to do with helping Manchester

United win.


KINKADE: Must be a good game for Manchester United who managed to beat rival club Arsenal 3-2. Cristiano Ronald scored but there is another reason

he was very, very happy. A personal reason. I'll let Amanda Davis tell you about that.

And Amanda, this is quite a performance and a record-breaking one, indeed.

AMANDA DAVIS, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Yes, absolutely, Lynda. Goal number 800 and 801 for Cristiano Ronaldo last night. He is the only player ever to

have reached 800 career goals, helping United to that 3-2 victory over Arsenal. But perhaps more important for him and his career at the moment is

there's been so much discussion about where he fits into the plans of the new Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick. He certainly thrust himself

into the forefront of the conversation and we have some news on what Rangnick has been saying about Ronaldo coming your way in just a couple of


KINKADE: Excellent. Looking forward to it. Amazing, 800 and 801 goals. Incredible. We will tune in for "WORLDSPORT" with Amanda Davis just after

the break. Stay with us.