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Isa Soares Tonight
Iran-USA Match Kicks Off Amid Geopolitical Tension; Police Quell Protests In China; NATO Foreign Ministers Pledge New Support For Ukraine; Biden Meets With Congressional Leaders; China Announces Changes After Nationwide Zero COVID Protests; Hawaii's Mauna Loa Erupts; Iran And U.S. Face Off At World Cup; Green Startups Beyond COP27. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired November 29, 2022 - 14:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTINA MACFARLANE, HOST, ISA SOARES TONIGHT: Welcome to the show, everyone, I'm Christina Macfarlane in for Isa Soares. Tonight, a
politically-charged match is underway this hour in Doha. USA must beat Iran if they're going to move forward in the World Cup.
Then, China's police are out in force after zero COVID unrest shocked the world. Plus, NATO allies promise to help Ukraine as Russia weaponizes
Winter. I'll ask Latvia's foreign minister, what was agreed to at a meeting that just wrapped up hours ago?
Now, the hotly-anticipated World Cup game between Iran and the United States has just kicked off in Qatar. And the stakes could not be higher.
The USA need a win to get through to the next stage of the tournament. At least, up until now, politics has been taken center stage over sport.
CNN has learned that the families of some Iranian players have been threatened with prison and even torture if they don't, quote, "behave".
That's according to a source involved with the security of the games. It comes after Iranian players refused to sing the national anthem before
their England match last week.
What many saw as a protest against the Iranian regime. Jomana Karadsheh has been covering Iran and the protest movement for us since the start. She
joins us now. And Jomana, one can only imagine the pressure these Iranian players are under, given what we know about that reporting about the
threats to their families.
Just bring us up-to-date about what more we know about those particular threats and how this is already playing out on the pitch. Because we know
the national anthems have just taken place in the last few minutes.
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the national anthem has taken place and apparently, I'm just looking through as the
information is coming through to us, Christina. The players did sing the national anthem, barely, I'm told, not very enthusiastically, really.
I mean, considering what we know, this is not very surprising because what we understand from a source who's involved in the security of the World Cup
telling CNN, and he's also been monitoring the movements of the Iranian security organizations who are in Doha for the games.
The players, after that first match against England, when they didn't sing the national anthem, they were pulled into a meeting with members of the
feared Revolutionary Guard Corps, and they were intimidated and they were threatened.
They were told they will behave or -- and that they will sing the national anthem, and they will not take part in any protests against the government
or their families back in Iran are going to face violence and torture. Then we saw the game after that with Wales, where they did sing the national
anthem. And here we are again right now.
We understand that they have been not only under pressure, under duress, under, you know -- their families under threat, but also that they're
constantly monitored with dozens of members of the IRGC, according to the source, monitoring the team members, not allowing them to mingle with
anyone outside the squad or speak with foreigners. So really, no surprise seeing what we're seeing right now, Christina.
MACFARLANE: Yes, that's right, Jomana, exactly. Let's bring in our Nick Watt to -- I believe, is that the Iranian-American watch party with fans in
Los Angeles, Nick. And how are those fans feeling right now? I imagine there must be a really complicated range of emotions.
NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christina, it is very complicated here in the Nostal Cafe, Woodland Hills, Los Angeles. Because for a start, most of
these people are joint U.S. and Iranian citizens. Also, they have the issues with the regime that many Iranian emigrates have, and, indeed, many
Iranians inside the country have.
So, they are saying that ideally, they would like this game to be a draw between the U.S. and Iran. But of course, if it is a draw, that means Iran
goes through to the next round. And, you know, you were talking about threats against the Iranian players, that is one thing that makes people
here support this team.
They say, listen, the Iranian regime has taken this team as its own, but the players really have no choice. Other interesting thing is how the
American players are getting dragged into all this as well.
Tyler Adams, the captain of the U.S. team, at a press conference yesterday, faced a question from an Iranian journalist, well, it's more of aberration
to start with. The journalist said, it's not i-ran, it's Iran, so please pronounce the country correctly. Also, how do you, Tyler Adams, feel
representing a country that has so much racism against black people?
Tyler Adams, for a 23-year-old, who is exceptionally poise, he apologized for the mispronunciation, and said that, yes, there's discrimination
everywhere, but the U.S. does make progress every day. So, the game is underway, I wish I could say that the headline was, you know, is Pulisic
going to score?
Who's going to win the midfield battle between McKennie and Ezaltar Lee(ph), but that's not really the big headline. The big headline is the
politics that is swirling around this game. Iran against the country that they call the great states. And if Iran wins, the regime will, as they did
in the World Cup in '98, take this as a huge propaganda victory for themselves. Back to you.
MACFARLANE: Yes, Nick, and I want to ask Jomana more about that. So, Jomana, you're hearing from Nick there about the players -- that the fans,
Iranian-American fans outside of the country are feeling conflicted. How are Iranians feeling inside the country? Because we know that rooting for
the national team tonight has been a complex issue, because the regime have been trying to claim credit for its team's success. We've even seen police
forces celebrating their wins.
KARADSHEH: Absolutely. I mean, Christina, this is such a tough moment for so many Iranians. I mean, their national football team has been a source of
pride for Iranians, no matter how they feel about the regime. It's the one thing we can say that really united so many Iranians. And right now, a lot
of them feel that this has been taken away from them by the regime, hijacking this moment.
As we saw -- as you mentioned, during that last match against Wales, after that win. During a brutal crackdown that is ongoing, the security forces
who are accused of carrying out these horrific human rights violations, accused of killing hundreds of people, were out on the streets of Tehran
celebrating and handing out candy, as they celebrated that victory.
And, you know, with the regime under so much pressure right now facing one of the biggest threats to the Islamic Republic since its formation in 1979,
they will want to try and use this moment for as much propaganda as possible, making it so difficult for people who really want to support
their team, but at the same time feel that the team has come now to represent that regime, making it very difficult for them to, you know, to
support the team right now, Christina.
MACFARLANE: Yes, Iranian fans conflicted around the world tonight, it seems. Jomana Karadsheh, thanks very much for us there in Istanbul, and
thanks also to Nick Watt at that viewing party, appreciate it. Well, there is -- just so you know, another match this hour, England versus Wales and
two others that happened this morning.
All the sports action, including those highlights, and a check in at a London watch party will be coming to you later this hour. But now, we turn
to China, where police are swarming across numerous cities to prevent more massive protests. And at this point, it does seem to be working. In
Beijing, flashing police lights lit up a major boulevard that this weekend were packed with protesters angry over anti-COVID restrictions.
Similar scenes were also reported in other protest cities, including Shanghai, where police appeared to be checking mobile phones. One protester
described the atmosphere as chilling. At the same time, the health ministry says it's stepping up its vaccination efforts. And a top official called on
local authorities to limit COVID restrictions just to areas where they're absolutely needed and not beyond.
But for one family, it's already too late. CNN's Ivan Watson spoke with their loved ones from Hong Kong.
IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Anger on the streets of Chinese cities. The biggest nationwide display of discontent
this tightly-controlled country has seen in a generation. Protesters pushing back against police and the government's zero COVID policy. The
unrest triggered by a deadly fire in Urumqi, in China's western Xinjiang region last Thursday.
Videos emerged of fire hoses barely reaching the blaze, which killed at least ten people. Among them, Kamara Nissahan Abdul Rahman(ph) and four of
(on camera): What happened to your mother and your brothers and sisters?
SHARAPAT MOHAMMAD ALI, RELATIVE OF FIRE VICTIMS (through translator): The fire started on the 15th floor, the smoke poisoned my family, the
government could not stop the fire in time.
WATSON (voice-over): Two surviving adult children of Kamara Nissahan(ph) speak to me from Turkey, unable to see their family since 2017 due to the
The government accused of putting up to 2 million of their fellow ethnic Uyghurs and members of other minorities in internment camps. They say their
loved ones were trapped in the building by COVID measures.
MOHAMMAD MOHAMMAD ALI, RELATIVE OF FIRE VICTIMS (through translator): They could not escape because the fire escape was blocked, and the fire-escape
to the roof of the building was also locked.
WATSON: Accusations CNN cannot independently confirm, but Chinese authorities have been seen literally, locking residents into buildings.
Outraged over the Urumqi fire compounded by previous deadly incidents in recent months, directly linked to COVID prevention.
Though CNN verified 16 protests in 11 Chinese cities this weekend. A Chinese government official told the journalist they just didn't happen.
ZHAO LIJIAN, SPOKESMAN, FOREIGN MINISTRY, CHINA (through translator): What you mentioned does not reflect what actually happened. China has been
following the dynamic zero-COVID policy and has been making adjustments based on realities on the ground.
WATSON (on camera): On Monday, the white papers that have become a symbol of the protests in mainland China spread here to Hong Kong, where the small
groups of demonstrators are holding a vigil for what they say are the victims of China's zero COVID policy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am a victim.
WATSON: How so?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I cannot go home for many years like 2 to 3 years, right? My parents were locked down for three months, and even relatives of
my good friends, they suicide because of the lockdowns.
WATSON (voice-over): With China reporting record-breaking new daily cases of COVID, there appears to be no end to the lockdowns in sight. Meanwhile,
siblings Mohammed and Sharapat cannot even pray for closure after suffering the unimaginable loss of five immediate members of their family.
(on camera): Will you go home for the funeral of your family?
M. ALI (through translator): We want to attend the funeral of our family members, but if we went back now, China will put us in jail or even torture
WATSON (voice-over): Ivan Watson, CNN, Hong Kong.
MACFARLANE: Now, NATO Secretary-General says Russian President Vladimir Putin is failing in Ukraine while trying to use the cold and darkness of
Winter as a weapon of war. NATO foreign ministers met in Bucharest, pledging more material support for Ukraine as Russia bombards its power
grid with relentless air assaults.
Right now, Ukraine is operating with a 30 percent energy deficit. NATO allies are sending generators and money. Ukraine's foreign minister says
right now, the country's most urgent needs are air defense weapons and transformers. And they need them as quickly as possible.
Well, the Foreign Minister of Latvia, Edgars Rinkevics was just in Kyiv with seven other European foreign ministers yesterday. He also attended
today's meeting and in Romania, and joins us now live from Bucharest. Minister, thank you very much for your time this evening.
We have been hearing today from you and your NATO allies, committing to send more support for Ukraine's energy infrastructure, but less in the form
of arms or military support. Is this enough for Ukraine? Is it getting all the support it needs as we enter these Winter months?
EDGARS RINKEVICS, FOREIGN MINISTER, LATVIA: Well, good evening. First of all, yes. Myself and other Baltic foreign ministers just returned from
Kyiv. We are having also -- briefing in the Ukrainian energy company and we see that the situation is really worsening by day.
The new Russian strike can actually put more hardships. So what it means -- it means that really, we should have two fronts. One is military supplies,
modern defense systems that is something that we discussed here at NATO. But another front that we should open immediately, generators,
And now everyone is looking into possibility, what we can send to Ukraine, so that they are able to survive this Winter.
MACFARLANE: Some have been calling for other types of weaponry. Long range weapons to be supplied to Ukraine. You have said that NATO allies should
not fear escalation. What did you mean by that, exactly?
RINKEVICS: Look, what we are seeing, Russia is currently changing its tactics. They are losing militarily, that's clear. But now, they're
striking critical energy infrastructure. And Winter in Ukraine is very harsh, so if Ukraine can somehow eliminate strikes from the Russian
territory against its critical infrastructure, that's not escalation, that's pure defense.
That's why I think that Ukraine should be able to receive long-range artillery, air defense systems, everything they request, and if Russians
continue shelling energy infrastructure, then Ukraine has the right to respond.
MACFARLANE: But wouldn't any strike in Russian territory be seen as widening the conflict, you know, beyond Ukraine's borders in NATO's eyes?
And what would you expect the response from Putin to be if you were to carry out such an act?
RINKEVICS: Well, I'm sorry, but 24th of February, Russia started full- scale unprovoked aggression. So, Ukraine has all rights, but have been trying in U.N. charter to self-defense. To that end, if Russians are
currently shelling energy infrastructure, causing hardship for millions of Ukrainians, and saying that this is not widening of the conflict, that is
And frankly, we do not have this kind of discussion here at NATO about escalation. We are having discussions how best to help Ukraine. This is not
immediate fear. Immediate fear is that millions of Ukrainians, they will be deprived from heating, from energy and sewage.
Then those million Ukrainians will be seeking refuge in Ukraine -- sorry, in Europe, and that's actually going to be huge humanitarian crisis. So,
this is our whole interest to have Ukraine defending itself anyway it can.
MACFARLANE: But why are you not having these discussions about escalation if you feel that escalation might be the necessary route to take in order
to prevent Russia from continuing its strikes on infrastructure that have been so utterly damaging?
RINKEVICS: Well, we are not talking about escalation, because we are frankly talking about Ukraine and making everything possible to defend
itself. And I think this is a huge difference. More Russian propaganda is talking about escalation, just understanding that they're losing this war
So, they are heading down another tactics. And what we are seeing since 10th of October, when intensive shelling of Ukrainian critical
infrastructure started, we were shocked and not by Ukraine. Until 10th of October, 5 percent of energy targets were hit.
After 10th of October, 30 percent. And if that continues, that's the escalation that Russia is currently doing. So, if they choose the
escalation, they need to be countered. That's why we're talking about self- defense, not escalation.
MACFARLANE: Understood. I just want to ask you one very quick question about a tweet that you put out, I believe, today it was, saying that
Ukraine must win, the world must help Ukraine win. I wanted to ask you what winning looks like to you. And as you have just come from Kyiv, what is
your view on what Ukrainians will settle for?
RINKEVICS: Well, I think that President Zelenskyy has put his peace plan or ten principles for a peace plan, and I think that this is something that
we should build on. What does it mean for Ukraine to win? I think that it's very clear. I think that territorial integrity within its internationally-
recognized borders of Ukraine should be established.
We do understand that it may take some time, but I think that we all understand that Ukraine is not going to have this kind of settlement that
corresponds to international law and its national interest than Russia will agree(ph) and really start the war. I think that this may take time, a lot
of effort, but we also should understand what's at stake here.
MACFARLANE: Well, Minister, we appreciate your time this evening. Thank you so much for --
RINKEVICS: Thank you very much --
MACFARLANE: Bringing us up-to-date with the discussions you've been having there in Bucharest. Thank you. All right, still to come tonight, Elon Musk
now says Apple has threatened to pull Twitter from its app store. That would be a huge blow for the social media platform.
And the massive strike that's threatening to knock billions of the U.S. economy. The latest on President Biden's clash with America's rail workers,
MACFARLANE: We're still waiting to hear from Apple after Elon Musk said the tech company is threatening to withhold Twitter from its app store.
That move could be devastating for the social media platform, which Musk recently bought for $44 billion.
Musk also says Apple has mostly stopped advertising on Twitter. Last weekend, the head of Apple's app store deleted his Twitter account. Well,
CNN's Donie O'Sullivan is in Coral Gables, Florida, live for us this evening. Donie, I understand we have not yet heard anymore from Apple.
But you have been at an event today where a former Twitter employee, I believe, has been speaking out. So, tell us more what you've been learning
about these threats from Apple.
DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Christina, yes. We're here at a knight foundation event where Uelle Ruch(ph), who was basically in charge
of writing the rules and implementing the rules at Twitter these past few years, certainly implementing them is due to speak in a few hours here.
He quit the company about two weeks ago. He had been working with Musk, so it's the first time we're really hearing from a very senior former employee
in this way. When it comes to Apple -- when it comes to Apple as it relates to Twitter and all of this situation, Apple has a kind of vetting process
for the apps that go into its app store.
A lot of times, that vetting has to do to make sure the apps don't have viruses or spyware that goes on to our phones. But also, in the past, they
have taken into account apps that might have hate speech or danger, what would be considered dangerous misinformation.
We saw last year, there's a right-wing social media platform here called Parler, primarily in the U.S. That app was removed by Apple from its app
store for a few months last year, until they got their policies on hate speech together, until Parler cleaned up their app a little.
So, what we've seen with Musk, of course, is he's promising to make Twitter this bastion of free speech. But there are concerns that by taking off all
the guardrails, that hate speech could also flourish on the platform. And speaking of tearing up those rules, we just learned overnight that Twitter
has -- is no longer enforcing its COVID misinformation policies.
Since 2020, it's had a policy in place that -- to remove accounts -- to remove accounts and posts that are posting what it considers dangerous
COVID misinformation, misinformation about the virus as well. We saw overnight that, that policy is no longer in place.
So, a real roller-coaster when everything that Musk is doing on the platform, and it's going to be very interesting to hear from this former
senior Twitter employee later today --
MACFARLANE: Yes, interesting. That seems like a fairly fundamental policy to have removed, doesn't it? Donie, just tell us how devastating this could
be for Twitter if it goes ahead because this offers a platform to billions, doesn't it? To the -- to the network.
O'SULLIVAN: Yes, look, I mean, you know, so many people use the Twitter app on their phone, will obviously be a huge blow at Twitter if that was
removed. Hence why Musk is now really going to war with Apple.
Also quite interestingly, the "Washington Post" reported that in the first quarter of this year, so before Musk took over Twitter, Apple was actually
one of the biggest advertisers on Twitter, spending $48 million or so dollars on the platform in just the first quarter of this year.
Apple is now said to have pulled most of its advertising or all its advertising. So it's kind of a double whammy here for Musk that Apple are
disengaging from the platform by advertising on it, but also potentially may pull it from its app store. Again, important to say here, no response
at all, whatsoever, from Apple any of this, we may see them speak through actions, whether it'd be leaving the app on the app store or not in the
coming days and weeks.
MACFARLANE: Yes, Apple seemingly quietly quitting from Twitter. We will watch this space. Donie O'Sullivan, thanks very much. Now, U.S. President
Joe Biden says he's confident America can avoid a crippling rail strike if Congress intervenes immediately and forces rail workers to accept an
Without an agreement, the mass walkout is set to start in less than two weeks, and could cost the U.S. Economy $60 million on the first day alone.
Workers say they want paid sick leave and more flexible shifts. Speaking to CNN, the president of one rail union explained what's at stake and why
workers say they feel let down by the president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL BALDWIN, PRESIDENT, BROTHERHOOD OF RAILROAD SIGNALMEN: We, as a union for a number of rounds of negotiations have attempted to address sick
time. It's an issue that we've actually, as many organizations and industries have attempted to address over 40 or 50 years.
To this point, we've been unable to. This became a glaring issue during a pandemic, when we had members who were forced by their employer or the
railroads to stay home and quarantine without pay. But really, it comes down to simple things like the flu for a day or two or a sick child, and
the ability to take a day or two paid, when you have to deal with these issues that life brings that you have no control over.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACFARLANE: Jasmine Wright joins me now live from Washington. Jasmine, for many viewers around the world, especially here in Europe, we would
understand the need to strike, you know, it's a necessary part of many unions, especially over basic quality of life concerns. So, why are the
U.S. government so resistant to allowing workers to having what they want?
JASMINE WRIGHT, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, it's basically, Christina, all about the economy. Now, they're able to do as a federal government is
able to do this because of the Railway Labor Act of 1926, that says that Congress can basically impose both sides to accept a deal to keep the
trains moving to avert a commerce crisis or at least extend the negotiating period for a cooling-off period.
Now, President Biden is asking Congress to do the more aggressive of them. Have them accept a deal that was made that he was very involved in, in
September. Now, congressional leaders who met with President Biden earlier today, they feel like they can get something passed on this. Of course, it
has to go to the house. Nancy Pelosi, house speaker for the next few weeks, says that the house will take it up on Wednesday.
Then it goes to the Senate, where the timeline gets a little hazy there. But still, they're very confident as well as the president, that something
can get passed on this really to avert a strike before December 9th, which is when it would start.
MACFARLANE: And ahead of the Christmas period, this strike could be potentially devastating for the U.S. economy. We were saying there, $60
million in the first week alone. How under pressure is Biden to, you know, to basically get this right? And what leverage does he have with the rail
bosses to force them into giving their employees more?
WRIGHT: Yes, well, the president is under immense pressure. Remember, we are coming up on the Christmas months, something that's very important to
Americans and it's very important to have a strong, dollar strong economy when it comes to that time. And obviously, we are already in this country
facing a fragile economy.
Now, in terms of what the workers want, they want really the sticking points are focused on those workers rules. And that includes scheduling,
staffing levels, quality of life and a lack of paid sick leave. Of course, the U.S. does not have a national sick leave law.
And so, basically, the president is kind of asking Congress and saying that we understand that these are sticking points for these labor unions. As of
now, 4 out of the 12 labor unions have basically voted against the tentative agreement made in September.
So the president is saying, we understand that there are problems here, but for the good of the economy, the good of other workers, the good of
commerce, we need to go ahead with this deal. Now, the president is not coming to this decision, he says, easily. He says it wasn't an easy
decision, and he's reluctant to get involved and to override these protections, these procedural issues when it comes to trying to find a
But as groups say that the U.S. could lose as much as $1 billion in the first week if this strike is able to go along, obviously that is a problem
for the president, for the president's administration.
And I just want to note for you, Christina, that, of course, the president is in a precarious situation here because he's fashioned (ph) himself as
the most pro-union president that this country has ever seen.
But of course, this move pits pro union allies, Democrats, potentially against this president when moving forward, as he's trying to basically get
Congress to make these two parties come to the table and accept a deal that some feel is not fair and is not workable for them.
So of course, we will see how this plays out as Democrats have suggested that maybe in the back end, they could add some sort of paid sick leave or
anything like that. But of course, the president is under immense pressure here to make sure that this thing happens to really avert what he calls
MACFARLANE: The president, seemingly between a rock and a hard place and running out of time, Jasmine. Great to have you with us, thank you for
breaking that down.
All right, still to come tonight, more vaccines and fewer restricted areas. We will discuss China's new medical moves to cool the anger over its zero
Plus, a rare event in Hawaii set the sky ablaze with a fountain of lava.
MACFARLANE: Welcome back.
China appears to be taking a two-pronged approach to quelling the widespread protests over its zero COVID restrictions along with an intense
security crackdown. It's also just announced new COVID policies, including a new effort to get more people vaccinated.
Especially the elderly and limiting areas where lockdown and other type restrictions are enforced.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHENG YOUQUAN, CHINESE CDC (through translator): We need to minimize the inconvenience to the general public because of the anti COVID-19 measures.
As for the high risk regions, we must have rigorous control. But at the same time, we should spare no effort to provide services to meet people's
basic living needs and medical needs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACFARLANE: Well, to better understand China's controversial COVID prevention efforts, let's turn now to Dr. Peter Drobac. He's an infectious
disease and global health expert at the University of Oxford.
Welcome to you, thanks for your time.
So to me, it seems that shift in approach by China makes sense, right?
Because we've seen this approach by multiple countries around the world, targeting the elderly.
But the question is, is it going to work?
Because we know there's been serious doubts over the efficacy of China's domestic vaccine, Sinovac.
So what are your thoughts on that?
DR. PETER DROBAC, OXFORD UNIVERSITY: Yes, change is long overdue, absolutely. I think there's a long way to go.
One of the issues here is that, you know, zero COVID policies in 2020 were really smart and, in many cases, effective, as using border controls, mass
testing and restrictions from social distancing to occasional lockdowns to interrupt the spread of COVID.
However, once we had vaccines on board, in most countries, the strategy shifted. And China made the decision to stick with locally developed and
manufactured vaccines, which it looked like were pretty good at the beginning.
But it turns out that their effectiveness wore off after about six months. And then secondly, they targeted workers in high risk professions and did
not target at the time the elderly, who, of course, are at the highest risk for developing severe disease and death.
That's because, in the trials, they had very few elderly volunteers. And so, they didn't know if it was safe for the elderly. One of the issues is
that not only now are the highest risk group, the elderly, under vaccinated-- we're talking about 40 percent of over 80s having gotten a
three dose series, including a booster.
But there's a lot of vaccine hesitancy because, initially, they were not eligible and they wondered why and thought, maybe it's not safe for us.
That was compounded by the misinformation and disinformation, which we've seen around the world.
And now the issue is, if they open up, they've got a population that's under vaccinated, has not been exposed to very much COVID-19. And so, if
they open up now, there's going to be a tremendous amount of illness and death. And so, they've got to ramp up vaccinations quickly but overcoming a
great deal of reluctancy (sic).
MACFARLANE: But if the option is vaccination, I mean, it's unlikely that China are going to reach for foreign vaccines, right?
Because we have not seen them do that at any point during the COVID crisis. In fact, they pride themselves on their own domestic vaccines.
So how is this going to work?
What other options do they have to tackle the virus?
DROBAC: Yes, looks like that was a political decision rather than a scientific decision to stick with locally made and manufactured vaccines.
There may be other factors as well. But one of the things that we've seen, of course, that this virus is ever evolving and mutating. Think of all the
variants that we've been through over the last couple of years.
In the mRNA vaccines that have been most commonly used in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere, have been updated to take into account the evolution of the
virus as it's become more contagious and invaded immunity, things like that.
So there's a real gulf between the effectiveness of those vaccines and the ones we use in China. I don't know if it's politically possible. I think
there's a widespread understanding that the Chinese vaccines are less effective, one reason that people don't want to be bothered to go out and
get it when offered.
Certainly, I think that introducing mRNA vaccines, while it would be a real shift, might actually change minds and make people more likely to come
forward and get vaccinated. Unfortunately, we've seen no indication if that's the case.
MACFARLANE: All right, well we will wait to see daily how China handles this fallout. Dr. Peter Drobac, great to have you with us as always, thank
DROBAC: Thank you.
MACFARLANE: Now to Hawaii, where people woke up Monday, thinking the sky was on fire. The world's largest active volcano, Mauna Loa, erupted for the
first time in nearly 40 years.
Not only that, the eruption means there's a rare simultaneous eruption with a neighboring volcano happening as well. Let's get to our Bill Weir, who's
here to tell us what this all means.
So Bill, I think this is the first time that the volcano has erupted since, what, 1984?
How dangerous is this for the residents of Hawaii?
BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT: Well, it sounds certainly scary, simultaneous double volcanoes erupting at the same time.
But given the nature of these particular ones, it's really more fascination than fear right now. There's plenty of space; you're not seeing the giant
ash plumes that you see in the Icelandic eruptions in years past as well.
It's sort of slow moving, it's moving down the north slope, whereas most of the residents in this area live on the other side of the volcano. That, of
course, could change.
But there are National Guard there just in case. The parks, Volcanoes National Park, is actually open with some restrictions. So this is
thrilling for tourists, for scientists, volcanologists, who really study this and have been waiting, you know, 3.5 decades for this thing to go.
And also, native Hawaiians, who have a real affinity for Pele, the goddess that created the islands, they believe, and they see these moments as
special and reverent.
MACFARLANE: So you said that they've been waiting for this moment.
So did they have a sense they knew this eruption was coming at some point?
WEIR: Absolutely. The number of seismic earthquakes around the volcano doubled since September. This is one of the most monitored volcanoes in the
world. It is huge, it's 16 kilometers high. Most of it under the ocean, of course.
And so, they don't know exactly what is causing it. Even the best science can't predict precisely when it will go. But given the activity and sort
of the shifting plates below there.
But it surprised them, came in the middle of the night after a holiday weekend in the United States. But now there's so much fascination and who
knows how long it could go. It could go for months.
The ones in 2018 actually did take out some neighborhoods out of Kilauea there as well. So this will be one to watch. And they were talking about
reservations before COVID for so many tourists coming to the islands. Now there will be double the interest for those who have this on the bucket
MACFARLANE: I was going to say. As long as not anyone getting hurt, it's a great tourist attraction, isn't it?
WEIR: Follow the science.
MACFARLANE: Stunning pictures, yes. Bill Weir, thank you. As ever.
All right, still to come tonight, it's all too playful as England goes head to head with Wales.
Who will make the next stage?
We will have more on the World Cup action coming up.
MACFARLANE: Welcome back.
Entrepreneurs and green start-ups are at the forefront of climate change initiatives, trying to combat one of the world's biggest challenges. And at
this year's global climate summit, world leaders found an interesting way to collaborate with these new businesses.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Orion Lee Herman is an entrepreneur, pitching his waterless sanitation business for a chance to win $100,000. It
is a global quest to combat climate change.
ORION LEE HERMAN, CEO AND FOUNDER, LIQUIDGOLD AFRICA (voice-over): I'm the CEO and founder of LiquidGold Africa. We convert human waste into a high
value fertilizer for the agriculture space.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Orion is among 15 finalists invited to compete at Climate Tech (ph), launched by Egyptian ministries and other
global partners. It is a new competition supporting early stage green start-ups and entrepreneurs.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Now I'm part of the selection (INAUDIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): They came together at the 27th annual conference of the parties in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
BERNARD KOWATSCH (voice-over): The Climate Tech (ph) run was created to find new innovative solutions that can help us make a step change to tackle
the climate challenge. I think this is where we really can find even more solutions going forward.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Bernard Kowatsch is one of the judges here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): (INAUDIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): He says the competition focuses on finding real-world solutions that could help mitigate the impacts of
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Startups bring in new ideas. Sometimes, it takes, like, this creative new thought and the energy and the passion to
really make things happen.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Start-ups like LiquidGold, with its launch in 2018, the company is in its early growth stage.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): We are a high impact business that focuses on providing safe sanitation and recovering valuable nutrients from human
waste for the agriculture space.
How the process works is we are able to deploy safe sanitation into community schools, to be able to divert urine at source, recover to create
a high value fertilizer, which is itself, a fertilizer, into the emerging markets.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1.5 billion people around the world lack
access to basic sanitation. Orion is working to fix that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Everything that goes into the pond (ph), fertilizers, (INAUDIBLE) action.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): These start-ups are going to solve people's problems, they are going to scale, they're getting more investors,
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): The second top African start-up, LiquidGold's (INAUDIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Although he did not get the big prize, Orion's LiquidGold was one of the five winners, walking away with $25,000.
HERMAN (voice-over): Finally, it's time to act and be part of the ecosystem as entrepreneurs. That means our voices could be heard and we can
MACFARLANE: And that will do it for me and the team tonight. Thank you for watching. Stay with CNN, "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is coming up next. We will