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Connect the World

British Health Secretary: No New Restrictions for Now; U.S. CDC Changes Recommendations for Isolation; More African Countries now Reporting Surge in New Cases; MBappe: I Will "Finish the Season 100 Percent" at PSG; Top Business Stories of 2021; Box Believed to be 1887 Time Capsule Found. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired December 28, 2021 - 11:00   ET




ELENI GIOKOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT, CONNECT THE WORLD: I'm Eleni Giokos. Hello and welcome to "Connect the World". Now governments across Europe are

facing two fundamental questions today. One, what can be done to slow the spread of the Omicron Variant?

And two, will the people accept new restrictions in Germany? The answer to that second question appears to be a flat no at least for many people. Tens

of thousands took to the streets in several cities like here in Munich last week. And those protests continued after officials announced restrictions

on gatherings ahead of New Year's celebrations.

While French officials seem to have decided to wait until after New Year's as their new measures don't go into effect until January 3.And the UK's

Health Secretary also says no new restrictions will be enacted until after New Year's celebrations.


SAJID JAVID, SECRETARY OF STATE FOR HEALTH: Of course, we look at the data on a daily basis that hasn't changed over the Christmas period. But there

will be no further measures before the New Year. We won't be taking any further measures. Of course, people should remain cautious as we approach

New Year celebrations.

And you know, take a left foot flow test that makes sense, celebrate outside if you can have some ventilation indoors, if you can, please remain

cautious. And when we get into the New Year, of course, we will see then whether we do need to take any further measures but nothing more until then

at least.


GIOKOS: Alright, we've got Salma Abdelaziz in London for us; she has been keeping tabs on all the numbers. And of course, what we've been seeing

happening in Europe as a whole, it's been fascinating to see some of the restrictions that have been put in place.

And of course, that means that New Year celebrations are not going to happen in places like Italy, as well as Germany. But it's been met with a

lot of you know, sort of, you know, people are not happy with these decisions.

But that also means that it's important to try and get these numbers down, Salma. Is there a sense that when you've got tens of thousands of people

testing positive on a daily basis in some of these countries that these new measures are going to matter?

SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN REPORTER: Well, Eleni, I think many governments many countries now looking at how you roll out these new measures; there's

different ways in which you can target restrictions. And what we've seen across Europe is that restrictions are beginning to target specifically the

unvaccinated those who have not gotten their jobs.

We've seen this across the region, right, making it almost impossible to be part of public life to go to the workplace. Like in Germany, there is that

without rule. If you are not vaccinated, of course, that's going to increase authorities already indicating that fully vaccinated, that

definition might change to potentially being three shots, not just two shots.

But of course, there is backlash to this we've seen over the last few weeks protest at times turning violent against the authorities outright cautious.

I mean, we're talking about some of the most hard line anti vaccinators that are out there, these are the people that are left behind that have so

far refused to get their shots.

But of course, you still have this huge surge in cases tens of thousands of people testing positive we've got new figures here in the UK about

Christmas Day, record breaking infection rate, they're more than 110,000.

So what governments are going to have is this double challenge having to deal with the surge in cases mind the hospital, the hospitals and make sure

that the staffing there continues to be able to meet that surge meet those demands, and at the same time push to get those unvaccinated populations

vaccinated as soon as possible.

It's of course difficult. And here I think in the UK, you're seeing that example play out in real time. You have a Prime Minister Boris Johnson

facing record breaking infection rates at the same time his party, the Conservative Party, absolutely does not want tougher measures in place.

So you have an authority that saying we are watching the data. We are watching the figures hour by hour but it's not just about the infection

rate Eleni, it's also again about those hospitalization rates. There are a finite number of beds.

And although we've seen the surge here in the UK that has yet to translate into a surge in hospitalizations and that's why the authorities say for now

we'll continue to monitor the information but no tougher rules.

GIOKOS: Yes and those you know those rules are tougher rules will be relooked whether they're going to be implemented come early January the

numbers are really fascinating.

As you say, there's no real correlation in terms of the increase in positives versus what we're seeing in hospitalizations. What is the forward

looking numbers tell us when we're going to see a peak in a country in countries in the UK?


ABDELAZIZ: That's a very good question. So we've been seeing, probably for about 10 days now, these really high infection rates. And again, we got the

information late on Christmas Day because of the holidays.

So we just know that information now that our record was broken yet, again, on Christmas day, and I think I have the latest figures here, 98,000. So

you're still at those record breaking infection rates of over 100,000. Around 100,000 people testing positive every single day.

If you look at that chart, it's straight up Eleni. And have we reached the peak? Absolutely not yet. But if you look at that hospitalization rate,

it's pretty steady across the last month. So when do you reach the peak? That's a key question.

And it's not just again, about hospitalizations, the UK and many countries are going to struggle to continue public services, things like transport

hospitals, running the local grocery store, that's going to become extremely difficult.

When you have tens of thousands of people tested positive every single day, the week before Christmas here in London, one in 20 people are testing

positive, so you cannot imagine a single household that isn't impacted by this fire. So even if you're not seeing that increase in hospitalizations,

it's just about keeping daily life going Eleni.

GIOKOS: Yes, alright. Salma, thank you very much for that update. Now the city with China's highest number of COVID infections is tightening its

lockdown measures. 115 Military medics arrived in Xi'an to help hospitals deal with a surge of cases the city reported 175 new local symptomatic

cases on Tuesday.

And so far more than 800 cases have been reported this month, making it one of the worst outbreaks since Wuhan in March of last year. We have Ivan

Watson live for us in Hong Kong, with more details.

And I'm looking at these numbers and they pale in comparison to what we're seeing in other parts of the world, but they'd be met with drastic measures

to try and bring them down. Is it because they are so much higher than what we saw in Wuhan? Or is it because there's fear of what this is going to

mean for the Winter Olympics?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Olympics are probably part of this, but also it's China's zero case approach to COVID.

Here's some really important context. The city of Xi'an where you have China's worst outbreak right now has officially documented 810 infections

since December 9.

The U.S. state of Indiana in 28 days has had 1322 COVID deaths in that period a bit longer than Xi'an and its outbreak right now. But what China

is demonstrating is its absolute lack of tolerance for any outbreak whatsoever.

So a city of 13 million people in Xi'an who are ordered to stay inside their homes, they face fines if they stepped across the threshold of their

homes, no cars on the roads.

State media reports unless they are essential workers and essential services, domestic flights in and out of that city largely shut down since

December 23 and the entire population of the city being tested multiple times in an effort to try to stifle this outbreak completely.

The concerns, of course are that perhaps China could be more vulnerable if COVID spreads that there have been some questions about the efficacy of

some Chinese vaccines, and that might make some of the population more vulnerable.

But the basic part is that the national government has pursued a zero COVID policy and pursues it relentlessly wherever you see an outbreak no matter

how large or small.

GIOKOS: OK, I'd like to move on to what we're seeing in India where you've got resident doctors that are protesting. Of course, this is threatening

capacity and services in hospitals. And you know, as you had told me in the previous show, that these resident doctors were absolutely vital in

fighting COVID-19 at its peak in India.

WATSON: Sure, I mean, last spring when the healthcare system was very much overwhelmed in parts of India by a huge wave of infections, the government

brought in medical students to help deal with the overwhelmed healthcare system.

And now what you have is a strike from resident doctors that's gone on for about 11 days now. You're looking at images from New Delhi on Monday when

you had protesting resident doctors who were trying to march on the Supreme Court and Police intervene and they were accused of manhandling some of the



WATSON: They were certainly dragging some of them into buses to move them away from the area. The holdup here is that the exams that doctors have to

take to prove that they pass their boards basically were postponed largely due to the pandemic throughout the last year by at least nine months.

And then on top of that, the assignment of new doctors to hospitals has also been postponed by appeals and cases brought to the Supreme Court about

where doctors will be placed, in some cases, because there's almost an affirmative action thing for policy for poorer doctors to get placed to be

better placed in hospitals.

And so you have a shortage of new doctors who are being introduced into the health care system such that the Indian Medical Association says warns in a

statement there is a shortage of 45,000 doctors on the front line. India's Health Minister says he hopes that the Supreme Court can look at this issue

and reduce the administrative blockages at a session on January 6.

GIOKOS: Ivan Watson, thank you very much. Good to see you. Health officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control are changing isolation protocols

for those who test positive for COVID-19. The CDC now recommends people who test positive should isolate for five days instead of 10 if they don't have


Other recommendations deal with length of quarantine for people who are exposed to the virus. We have Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen,

to walk us through all of this very different messaging that we've been hearing about isolation and in terms of when people are, you know, able to

transmit the virus to others. I want to talk about the science behind this decision. Is this a gamble? Is this a risky move?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: You know nothing is ever 100 percent. We've seen throughout the Pandemic, Eleni that you have to

make decisions based on the knowledge that you have. So basically what they have realized to this point is that people are most contagious in the one

to two days before they start showing signs and in the two to three days after.

So I have to say I've run this by several experts, and no one really argued with it. They said you know what, we need essential workers. And it makes

sense not to be holding people back for 10 days, as long as they are either asymptomatic or if they were sick, that they're getting better.

Obviously, if you're too sick to work, you're too sick to work. But if you're on the path to getting better, or you were never or you're not sick

at all, then the experts I've spoken with say that it makes sense. So let's take a look at what the CDC is doing.

They are saying that if you are asymptomatic, or if you were sick, but those symptoms are resolving five days of isolation. And then for five days

after that you should be wearing a mask. Now, some people are just exposed to the virus, let's say a family member has it.

They know they were exposed to it, but they haven't tested positive. So they don't necessarily have COVID. They might they might not hear the rules

for them. It used to be that they were supposed to quarantine.

Now they're saying if you've received a booster shot, or if you're within six months of your second shot, you do not need to quarantine but you

should wear a mask for 10 days. And let's take a look at the number that made them feel comfortable about that.

What the CDC says is that if you've had a booster shot, it is 75 percent effective at keeping you from getting infected with Omicron. So the

thinking is if you're 75 percent you know protected against Omicron infection and you're not sick, you haven't tested positive, you're feeling

fine. Why keep you out of work for 10 days? That's the reasoning behind that. Eleni?

GIOKOS: OK. But Elizabeth I have to ask you. I mean, when you're dealing with a more transmissible variants like Omicron, and yes, I get that we're

saying that it does cause less severe illness specifically around among that vaccinated, the vaccinated.

But here's the thing, if you're trying to bring cases down and you're not implementing, you know, a sort of more relaxed isolation period, is that

not counter intuitive?

COHEN: Well, the thing is, is that after, say three days after having symptoms, again, if you're getting better, if you're three days away from

your symptoms, you the chances of you transmitting it are very, very small. Is it possible sure anything is possible?

But all of these guidelines sort of try to find a happy middle, so if you're more than three days past your symptoms, and you're asymptomatic now

or if you're feeling better, does it really make sense? To tell you not to go to work when there is a shortage of workers essential workers especially

doctors and nurses and other health care workers.


COHEN: You know one thing to keep in mind is this is so transmissible, that if you start quarantining or isolating people for 10 days, that's a lot of

people who aren't going to be able to do the jobs that need to be done.

So it feels like sort of a happy medium was reached here. But again, I want to be clear, when we ran this by experts, they said, yes, you know, you're

not going to be contagious three days after symptoms. If you're feeling better, or you have no more symptoms, why should we keep you out of work?

GIOKOS: Alright, Elizabeth, good to see you. Thank you very much. Now, new waves of COVID infections are tearing through the African continent where

both tests and vaccines are hard to come by. I'll speak with the Head of Africa Centers for Disease Control up next.

And a very happy birthday boy Kylian MBappe has won another price he celebrated his sitting down with the "Connect the World" in Dubai.


GIOKOS: Welcome back. And we know the Omicron variant of COVID-19 was first detected in South Africa and now other countries across the African

continent are reporting a spike in Coronavirus cases. But because many countries don't have widespread testing, we don't really know for sure if

the fast breeding variant is the main force behind these new waves of infection.

South African officials have said that Omicron seems to cause symptoms that are less severe. But the Director of the African Centers for Disease

Control and Prevention, Dr. John Nkengasong has a warning what's happening in South Africa might not be the case elsewhere.

And we've got Dr. Nkengasong joining us now, sir, really good to see you. I'm going to take you back to a conversation that we first had when we

started to see cases in Africa. And that was sort of in the beginning of 2020.

And at the time we were looking at what was happening in Italy, with pressure on the health system. And we were seeing the death rates rising in

parts of Europe. And you were really worried about what that meant for Africa going forward. Looking back now, how would you describe how Africa

has dealt with a Pandemic?

DR. JOHN NKENGASONG, DIRECTOR, AFRICA CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL & PREVENTION: Thank you for having me again on the program. I think over the

last two years the continent because of the enhance coordination and collaboration has actually managed to contain this virus as better than we

would have imagined.

For sure we truly don't know the burden of how many people have actually been infected on the country and because of the low test level. It is very

evident that as we speak about 9.5 million people on the continent have been infected with our 220,000 deaths which are significantly lower than

other parts of the world.

So, again, the coordination effort, the leadership, the political leadership have actually been remarkable during the last two years.

GIOKOS: Yes and I want to talk about vaccines, you have been so vocal about the fact that Africa was sort of left behind in terms of procurement. That

is not slowly changing where you see a lot of commitment coming to the fore.


GIOKOS: But what would you say is the biggest bottleneck to increasing significantly vaccine rollouts on the continent, which is still sitting at

around 7 percent of the total population of Africa?

DR. NKENGASONG: You're right. I mean, as we speak today, the continent has vaccinated on average, about 10 percent of the population that is the fully

vaccinated people, which means individuals that have received two doses of the vaccines, or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

That is slight progress. But remember, our goal is to get to 70 percent of vaccinated fully vaccinated people by the end of 2022, or by mid-2022,

depending on whose number you are using. So we are still a long way to go.

But this situation now dictates that the continent pivot towards preparation for last K vaccination, that is moving vaccines from the

airport to arms is what we should be looking at very critical, because several organizations in --vaccines on the continent, but the uptake of

vaccination is low.

GIOKOS: I mean, look, the logistics is such a vital part of that. And that is we need to think about last mile. But what you've also been talking

about is ensuring that we get closer to manufacturing of vaccines, because, you know, we've been locked talking about labeling.

And it's great that the drug substance has been coming to Africa, and companies like Aspen are able to, to sort of capture the last part of that

value chain. And some licensing agreements seem to have moving us closer to fill and finish.

But we're not there yet because it's about creating the drug substance in Africa. How do you think those conversations will be evolved over the next

while so we can speed up these numbers that you say you're targeting a very ambitious 70 percent of the entire continent.

DR. NKENGASONG: Now, I must say there has been a remarkable progress over the last couple of months with respect to countries in Africa that have

opted to begin to produce vaccines. This includes a wonders South Africa, Senegal, Egypt, Nigeria, Morocco.

So in the next coming months, we expect to see the pipeline looking more encouraging and promising. As re-vaccines begin to be produced on the

continent, Egypt, for example, has already started producing about 3.5 million doses of vaccines decided feel and finish.

We know that South Africa the aspirin factory is producing the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which by the way, we are very encouraged to see the safety

data from the Johnson & Johnson vaccine from the studies in South Africa where over 480,000 people have been followed and just two cases of

thrombosis or be reported. So that is extremely encouraging new.


DR. NKENGASONG: So I think the narrative and the outlook in 2022 will be a better than what we saw in 2021.

GIOKOS: Yes. OK, so let's talk about the efficacy and safety of vaccines. And as you mentioned, Johnson & Johnson vaccine seems to be the preferred

vaccine for the African for many African countries.

At the same time, we've seen the U.S. CDC putting out warnings on contraindications, which many people have been vocal about in terms of what

that means for Africa's rollout, where you've got the U.S. publicly saying there are in preference of MRNA vaccines? What are your impressions on

these warnings that have come out of the U.S. and how that impacts Africa's rollout?

DR. NKENGASONG: I think we, we are looking at the data on the continent very carefully, as I explained earlier. And the largest set of data is

those that have been acquired from South Africa from the Sisonke Study, were over 480,000 individual healthcare workers have been followed over a

long period of time.

And we're very encouraged to see that just two cases of thrombosis have been reported. And about four cases of the Guillain Barre Syndrome, which

is the neurological symptom. So I think we really hoping that that vaccine will maintain that will continue to be the backbone of the vaccination

programs on the continent because of the ease of administration is a single dose vaccine.

And the effectiveness over five months is also very encouraging. Mean period up to five months, we see from the data in South Africa that the

effectiveness is very, very good. So again, these are early data, we hope to continue to follow very closely the studies that are going on in South

Africa with our colleagues there.

GIOKOS: Absolutely. OK, I've got two questions that I'm running out of time. Firstly, do we know if the Omicron variant is the dominant variant in


DR. NKENGASONG: It is not the dominant variant yet, because we know that about 20 countries also have reported the variant on the continent. But

again, let me just make a caveat here that the fact that a country has not identified it doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

It only speaks to the testing ability of that country --. As Africa CDC we have a network of laboratories on the continent that we are working closely

with the World Health Organization to detect these variants.


GIOKOS: OK, last question. President Joe Biden has nominated you to lead PEP 5. So U.S. says President's Emergency Plan for fighting AIDS and HIV,

this means that we're going to lose you in Africa as the AU CDC Head or not, or maybe could you give me some information? What is the next step for

you; you've been such a vital voice in fighting COVID-19 on the African continent.

DR. NKENGASONG: The Africa CDC is a strong organization now. And the leadership structure is in place, very capable, Epidemiology, scientists

have been running the organization. So if I'm confirmed, because this is the nomination process that has to go through a confirmation process will

continue hopefully, to work really closely on the continent and probably had issues.

You know, I mean, HIV and COVID are two pandemics that are ongoing on the continent. And I think they will require support from the whole world and

not just within the continent.

GIOKOS: Yes, Dr. Nkengasong, I know that you've been fighting viruses in Africa for a long time. And thank you very much for your work and for your

insights today, great to have you on the show.

DR. NKENGASONG: Thank you. Thank you so much.

GIOKOS: All right. So up next.


KYLIAN MBAPPE, FRENCH FOOTBALL PLAYER: Hi, I'm Kylian MBappe. Watch my interview next to "Connect the World".


GIOKOS: One is the world's greatest footballer's sits down with Becky Anderson in Dubai.


GIOKOS: Welcome back, you're watching "Connect the World". I am Eleni Giokos in Abu Dhabi. There is a new champion in football after the globe

soccer awards in Dubai last night.

All right, to Capitol - 2021 superstar footballer Kylian MBappe won best men's player, he picked up his prize at a glittering ceremony supported by

a cost of footballing royalty. The 23 year old is already considered a French icon.

He's currently playing for Paris Saint-Germain. But rumors are swirling that he will soon make a big money move to Spanish giants Real Madrid. My

colleague Becky Anderson sat down with a young striker and asked him how it feels to be recognized as one of the best in the world.



MBAPPE: I'm so proud. I'm so proud because, like you said, you have player like Messi, Lewandowski, Cristiano. There's so many great players, so many

player who was titled for me when I was young and now to be here and recognize, like one of them. It's amazing.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You play alongside Lionel Messi of course; you arrived at PSG from Barcelona, on a free transfer last summer.

What's it like playing with him?

MBAPPE: First of all, it's hard to believe, to play with him because for me, is like in Barcelona, is he play all his life in Barcelona to see him

every day to play with him. It's, it's a big dream. It's an honor, I learn every day.

It's a big pleasure for me to say with to my keys to my friend, I play with him. Have to enjoy, we have to enjoy, we have to enjoy seeing him in Paris.

It's an amazing moment for the history of the game. I hope we will win so many titles of the season, and be recognized like the best team in the

world, but we have to work but who is going miss is easier.

ANDERSON: You've said that when you play with great players, you have to make concessions. How was playing with Lionel Messi affected your game?

MBAPPE: I learned a lot is different player would like to play in the little space to like to play the one to like to play to give the ball in

the space. So you have to adapt your game to him is normal. But for me, I always say I want to play with the best player in the world.

And to play with Lionel Messi is what I want is a player is easy to play. So you just have to adapt to see the game to read the game better. And with

him is easier because he will give you the ball in the perfect way to score to do something good for the teams. I'm good this season because I don't

have any problem to play with big player because he's what I want.

Like you say we have to make concessions when you play with this type of player. But it's easy because it's a pleasure, first of all to play with

them. And I want to win. So if I have to make a decision to win, I will do.

ANDERSON: You say you want to win. You also said you want to leave PSG, do you regret that now that Messi is part of that squad?

MBAPPE: I regret no, because I was honest. I gave I gave a feeling; I gave what I have in my heart. And I think nobody can say something bad about it.

Because it's a feeling it's personal.

But of course I'm happy to stay I'm happy to stay to play with him to play with all the guys to play the MPC because it's my city too, I'm French. So

I'm happy and I want to win everything this season.

ANDERSON: Is PSG ready to step up to the big league? And by that I mean, Champions League, you're playing Real Madrid in February, that match has

been billed as an absolute blockbuster.

MBAPPE: If you're ready, I want to say yes. I want to say yes. And we have to we have to be ready. Because it's time it's time. We play six months to

adapt to the new player team. And to see what can be good, what can be not good.

But now we have to go, we have to play; we have to be ready because he's the probably the most important part of the season. Of course we want to

step up. It's now it's been two years we are fine.

We do final, semifinal but now we want to win now. I think we have the team to do this. And it's really important for us for the club for all the fans

for the city for everybody you love PSG so, so we have to try.

ANDERSON: Should we expect you to be playing for Real Madrid next season?

MBAPPE: I think I think really is not for me the moment to talk about it because we have, like I said in the most important part of the season and

we play Real Madrid. So the only thing I have in my mind is to beat Real Madrid in February and March, the other thing on in my mind, but we are

ready and I'm ready to play and give everything for PSG.

ANDERSON: Carlo Ancelotti has admitted he probably won't make any signings in the transfer window in January. He's likely though to sign someone at

least after that. Is it likely to be?

MBAPPE: No, no, me --. I'm in PSG, I'm really happy. I will finish the season 100 percent and I will give everything I have to win the Champions

League, the League and the cup and to give all the pleasure to the fans because they deserve it. And I think I deserve to, to win something great

with PSG.

ANDERSON: You've just turned 23; you were given this jersey by your teammates for your birthday. It's gotten MBappe 2050 on the back. Many of

your teammates clearly want you to stay if and when you go, will you miss them? And how will we reflect on your time at PSG?


MBAPPE: No, they want me to stay in MBappe, doesn't mean I did a great job and I'm a good guy. So I'm happy of that. And of course I say, I say it's,

it's a feeling is different because like I said, - he's my CD. He's we're born is where I grew up to play--.

It's an amazing feeling to play with your family, with your friends alongside of you. It's something I always dream for. So I just want to give

my best and I will see what happened. But I think we all the respect I have for the people for the club for my teammate, and for myself to have to play

100 percent the six and a half.

ANDERSON: You also play under Porcha Tino, the coach. I'm a Tottenham fan. He used to coach at Tottenham Hotspur, what's he like to play for?

MBAPPE: He is a great manager, is a great manager, a great man, honest guy. Really, I'm really happy to work with him have a really, really great

relationship with him. I talk everyday all the time with him. We are really close.

ANDERSON: From Holland the star of the Spider Man franchise recently asked you whether you've ever considered my own club Tottenham Hotspur as your

next club Harry Kane of course plays for them an amazing coach in Antonio Conte, any chance to persuade you to move to North London.

MBAPPE: Yes, that's - about it. But no, it's a great club, is a great club like I say within - stadium. Our friends who play their - I watched so many

games of the Premier League of Tottenham too. And I'm sure they will make something good this season with Conte because he's a great manager. He

knows what he do, so it's good for them but I don't think I would play - my life.

ANDERSON: So just confirming it's a no from you know.

MBAPPE: No, we can never say no, but I don't think so.


GIOKOS: Speed on some other stories that are on our radar right now, Russia and the U.S. plan to hold security talks on January 10 amid rising tensions

over Ukraine. The announcement comes as Moscow says more than 10,000 of their troops have entered combat training via the Ukraine border and

returned to their permanent bases.

Talks on reviving the Iran nuclear deal resumed in Austria. Tehran is focused on having sanctions lifted before any steps are taken to restrict

its nuclear program. Early on Tuesday, Russia's envoy to the talks tweeted, there is "indisputable progress" being made.

Amazing video out of Brazil where rescue crews have saved 16 people from their homes and the deadly floods, two dams in the northeastern States of

Bahia have burst due to the flooding which has left at least 18 people dead and hundreds more injured.

Airline passengers are getting more bad news as Omicron surges, the mad scramble at American airports after the break. And space tourism cyber-

attacks and a supply chain nightmare made 2021 a landmark year for business. We look back after the break.



GIOKOS: Welcome back and every day now we're seeing compounded misery and frustration for travelers across the globe. Today another 2000 flights have

been canceled worldwide as the Omicron Coronavirus variant surges to record levels.

Some 600 of those flights are within into or out of the United States, that's on top of the thousands of flights that was scrapped over the

Christmas holiday weekend. And that was mostly due to staffing shortages, as Omicron rips through the workforce. So when will all of this travel

chaos let up, as CNN's Richard Quest explains the challenges are steep, and they're unfortunately expected to persist in the coming weeks.

RICHARD QUEST, EDITOR-AT-LARGE: It is not a surprise that the largest numbers of cancellations are in the United States and China. China is

locked down to outsiders, therefore, the domestic industry has managed to continue whilst in the United States there's been a huge upswing in travel

demand as things get back to normal.

However, the airlines are working on very thin margins in terms of staffing shortages. So when the staff started calling in sick with COVID, or

isolating or in quarantine, well, that's when the effects were truly felt.

In Europe, not so many cancellations, but that's because the industry isn't fully back on its feet. So now you've got airlines like Lufthansa that are

already announcing cancellations for the winter schedule not because they don't have the staff, but because bookings are down as a result of Omicron.

Overall, the airline industry is once again trying to do its best, trying to keep things going and essentially trying not to lose more money, but

it's flying into some very heavy weather. And it doesn't seem like that's going to change anytime soon. Richard Quest, CNN, London.

GIOKOS: Omicron is having its impact as airlines canceled thousands of flights, Broadway shuts down shows and offices are closed once again.

Nevertheless, financial experts are cautiously optimistic about 2022 after solid economic recovery this year. Christine Romans reviews the other top

business stories as the year ends.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The billionaire space race Facebook's biggest crisis, cyber-attacks held industries hostage while

the economy dash to reopen. These are the top business stories in 2021. Number 10, a Reddit rebellion sparked a stock frenzy and raging Wall Street


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: David versus Goliath story amateur traders taking on hedge fund managers.

ROMANS (voice over): In January and army of Reddit day traders bought up shares in retailer GameStop.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: GameStop shares up nearly 2,000 percent so far this year.

ROMANS (voice over): No this wasn't due to GameStop value as a business. The - drove up prices to score profits and hurt establishment Investors who

bet against struggling companies, a populist uprising armed with no fee brokerage accounts. Then Trading at Robinhood crashed the party.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Robinhood announced trading restrictions. It cited recent volatility, GameStop trades are now blocked.

ROMANS (voice over): That infuriated traders and Robinhood CEO later apologized before Congress.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sorry for what happened. But what I commit to is making sure that we improve from this.

ROMANS: Number nine billionaires raced into space triggering a space tourism boom.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The new space race, the battle of the billionaires.

ROMANS (voice over): The modern face race is not between countries but ultra-rich men, Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk all funneled their

immense wealth into space travel and innovation. And this year, Branson's and Bezos rivalry took center stage. Branson took flight on July 11.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Becoming the first person to ride into space aboard a rocket that he helped fund.


ROMANS (voice over): Edging out Bezos own launch by nine days. What followed was several high profile private spaceflight, sending both celebs.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Captain Kirk himself the grey William Shatner.

ROMANS: And wealthy thrill seekers into space. Number eight cyber-attacks held industries for ransom unless they paid up like meat supplier JBS USA

in June.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: JBS USA is revealing that it paid an $11 million ransom after a cyber-attack shut down its entire beef processing operations.

ROMANS (voice over): A July attack on software vendor Kaseya compromised hundreds of companies and in May hackers forced one of the largest U.S. gas

pipelines offline.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Colonial Pipeline targeted a massive cyber-attack.

ROMANS (voice over): Fuel distribution shuttered across the East Coast, sparking panic buying and widespread gas shortages. We are still seeing

these lines that are building up as people were trying to get gas, the attacks through the White House's attention, which urged the private sector

to do more to address cybersecurity.

Number seven, at the Delta Variants spread over the summer, corporate America needed a vaccinated workforce. So it took action. United Airlines

just announced a vaccine mandate for all of its workers.

Disney and Wal-Mart are two of the latest to force the issue. Tyson Foods announced it will require all its workers to be fully vaccinated. Companies

also pushed back return to the office dates to 2022. Despite warnings of employee revolt, most workers complied.

ROMANS: As cases continued to raise the federal government stepped in announcing vaccine mandates for all large employers.

JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: This is a pandemic of the vaccinated even patient with our patience is wearing thin.

ROMANS (voice over): But the Biden Administration's efforts have met significant legal challenges. Number six, Facebook's biggest crisis

confronting wide ranging scrutiny for real world harm whistleblower Frances Haugen leaks hundreds of internal documents before heading to Capitol Hill.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Facebook when faced with conflicts of interest between its own profits and the common good, Facebook consistently chose to

prioritize his profits.

ROMANS (voice over): There were many damning revelations for Facebook, including that the company allowed misinformation and extremist groups to

flourish. Another bombshell proof Facebook and its platforms harmed the mental health of teams.

Facebook pushback claiming the documents were cherry picked, and they present a misleading view then hosted a flashy rebranding.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Starting today our company is now --.

ROMANS (voice over): A distraction from the PR nightmare. Number five, the pandemic economy roared back to life but proved hard to predict. The sudden

restart causing wild swings and economic data.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The U.S. has finally recovered to pre pandemic levels. GDP 6.5 percent in Q2.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: GDP rising at a weaker than expected 2 percent rates in the third quarter.

ROMANS: All reports that was difficult to forecast.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Job numbers were a big disappointment only 235,000 jobs were added.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Economists had predicted a gain of some 728,000 jobs or more.

ROMANS: But overall, the economy bounced back sending stocks to record highs helped along by the Federal Reserve's unprecedented financial

stimulus then in November.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Federal Reserve will start to tap the brakes now and also slow down its bond purchases.

ROMANS: Soon after Biden re-nominated Fed Chair Jerome Powell for a second term, citing his steady leadership during the pandemic. Number four, a

labor shortage left business struggling and workers in a position of power this year saw the great resignation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Millions quitting the workforce in recent months. A record 4.4 million quits in September.

ROMANS: Many looking for better jobs that were also health concerns and older Americans retired while lack of childcare pushed many women to the

sidelines. Still, the shortage left employers scrambling to find workers. All of these companies raising wages just announced in recent weeks under

Armor, Amazon, Chipotle, Wal-Mart.

ROMANS: Staffing issues met shorter business hours and thousands of canceled flights.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: American Airlines has now canceled another 250 flights this morning as the company deals with staffing shortages.

ROMANS: It also gave the American worker leverage leading to several high profile strikes on Hollywood sets at Kellogg and John Deere, all looking

for better pay and benefits. Number three historic government aid helped millions struggling from the pandemic. In March Congress passed the $1.9

trillion American rescue plan.

BIDEN: When this historic legislation is about rebuilding the backbone of this country.

ROMANS (voice over): The scope of relief was vast stimulus checks and expanded child tax credit and enhanced unemployment benefits through

September. However, many GOP led states ended those early citing labor shortages. About half the States have stopped giving those extra

unemployment benefits they think that was a disincentive that was not the only issue. Restaurant aid ran out fast.


ROMANS: Live venue relief was delayed for a month, and the eviction moratorium ended before most people received any rental assistance.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 90 percent of the $46 billion allotted for this program has not been spent.

ROMANS: Still, the unprecedented relief proved a vital lifeline for many Americans. Number two, a supply chain nightmare up ended the U.S. economy.

During the pandemic the global economy grant to a halt.

But this year, Americans flush with stimulus cash skyrocketed demand, leaving the supply chain trying and failing to catch up. That meant port


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This bottleneck of container ships as far as I can see.

ROMANS: Slowing down the flow of goods amplified by a trucker shortage that led to items absent from shelves, missing critical parts halting


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: General Motors say it will stop production and two of its pickup trucks next week.

ROMANS: And higher costs for the American consumer. Speaking of higher prices, number one, inflation explodes raising costs for everything

Americans buy, this year consumer prices spiked.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Inflation at levels not seen in 30 years.

ROMANS: The downside of an economy bouncing back from the pandemic crash. Americans paid more for clothes, cars, electronics toys; a red hot housing

market triggered record prices, but for many of the most noticeable pinch was at the grocery store.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I normally just went to the grocery store to pick up whatever but now I tend to price shop.

ROMANS: Or at the pump.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you want to eat steak or you want to fill up your tank?

ROMANS: Government officials kept assuring Americans the price hike was temporary but still, there was one upside better paychecks. Wages are

rising the most in years. So if higher prices do fade away, it could set American consumers up well for 2022.


GIOKOS: A box believed to be a missing piece of history is unearthed. Crews digging where confederate monument one stood hid what could be a coveted

artifact dating back more than 130 years. And it looks exactly like a normal bus. But it's guess what, it's more than that. Wait until you see

Japan's new mode of transport right after the break.


GIOKOS: Welcome back. Now a box believed to be an 1887 time capsule containing pieces of confederate history will be officially opened just

over an hour from now. It was an earth yesterday at a site in Richmond, Virginia, where a towering statue of Robert E. Lee once stood for French

with affiliate WTVR reports on the discovery of what could be a coveted artifact.


LAURA FRENCH, CNN REPORTER (voice over): Surrounded by dirt and rubble a historic discovery more than a century in the making.

MICHAEL SPENCE, TEAM HENRY ENTERPRISES: I got the most precious thing ever"

FRENCH (voice over): Crews carry what's believed to be the coveted 1887 Time Capsule Monday from the side of where the least statue once stood,

after a commemorative box was discovered last week.

SPENCE: And eventually we got down to the bottom and we found all of this harder material, seemed like it was it was fabricated, it was harder to

move. So obviously it was trying to protect something. That was our theory.


SPENCE: So eventually, we got the large excavator with the thumb, and the Capstone slid off. And there it was. So our theory was right.

FRENCH (voice over): Pops Holmes had his camera rolling when one of the workers he's gotten to know and respect gave him word.

POPS HOLMES, PHOTOGRAPHER: We got found it. Yes.

FRENCH (voice over): The artifact was unearthed.

HOLMES: They just found the actual time capsule baby. So the fact that he found it, the fact that he happened, he could have easily been on lunch


So the fact that he was here to find it, I was able to here to be here and enjoy that moment with him - in camaraderie. And guess what, he's a white

guy. So it's not a black or white thing. It's a community unity thing.

FRENCH (voice over): While a historic hole is left behind, with many answers, still left to fill in, Holmes is thankful for the relationships

he's made in this circle.

HOLMES: We met a lot of people out here that we probably would have never met who black and white, you know, so we were able to communicate, which

was a great thing, because nine times out of 10 if a person doesn't understand you, it's because they haven't taken the time to get to know



GIOKOS: Well, that was Laura French from Richmond, Virginia affiliate WTVR reporting. If the box does prove to be the time capsule, it was likely

buried on October 27 1887, by a group of 37 Richmond residents, businesses and organizations, as many as 60 different objects may be inside or related

to the confederacy.

So we move on. Let's take a look at these images. It's a bus. No, it's a train actually. It's both. Take a look at the world's first Dual-mode

vehicle. It's equally at home, on the road or on the rails.

The DMV makes its public debut Saturday in Japan. It looks like a minibus and runs on normal rubber tires on the road. But when it arrives at an

interchange, steel wheels descend from vehicles underbelly onto the rail track, effectively turning it into a train carriage.

That looks like a lot of fun. Well, thanks very much for watching "Connect the World". I'm Eleni Giokos in Abu Dhabi. "One World" with Hala Gorani is

up next, stay with us.