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Japan Fighting Fourth Wave Of COVID-19 Infections; Buckingham Palace Releases Lists Of Guests; Talks To Revive International Agreements Resume In Vienna. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired April 15, 2021 - 13:00   ET



RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: See sort of a joint situation going on between the family and the city to make sure there's calm in the streets. We'll be watching, of course, for the next few hours. Jon -

JON KING, CNN INSIDE POLITICS HOST: Grateful that you're there for us, Ryan. Thanks so much, and thanks for joining us today. See you back here this time tomorrow. Ana Cabrera picks up our coverage right now.

ANA CABRERA, CNN NEWSROOM HOST: Hello. I'm Ana Cabrera. Thanks for being with us on this Thursday. Testimony is over. Both the prosecution and defense have now rested their case in the Derek Chauvin trial but not before some stunning courtroom drama today. This morning we heard from the defendant himself for the first time. Take a look.


ERIC NELSON, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You understand that if you choose to exercise that right to remain silent neither the state nor the court can comment on your silence as a sign or an indication of your guilt meaning they can't say he didn't get up and defend himself, so equate your silence with guilt. You understand that?


NELSON: Have you made a decision today whether you intend to testify or whether you intend to invoke your Fifth Amendment privilege?

CHAUVIN: I will invoke my Fifth Amendment privilege today.

JUDGE PETER CAHILL, HENNEPIN COUNTY, MINNESOTA: Is this your decision not to testify?

CHAUVIN: It is, Your Honor.


CABRERA: That was Derek Chauvin on trial for the murder of George Floyd, telling the court he would not be testifying. A short time later a controversy over new evidence that led the judge to warn the prosecution of a potential mistrial. We're going to break that down, all those key elements, and a preview of Monday's closing arguments in just a moment, but as that trial nears a conclusion, legal proceedings for the nearby police killing of Daunte Wright are just beginning.

Former Brooklyn Center Police Officer, Kim Potter, was arrested yesterday and charged with second degree manslaughter for fatally shooting Wright during a traffic stop, and in the next hour she will make her first court appearance. These two cases playing out just a few miles apart in Minnesota, but they have nationwide repercussions. Let's begin with CNN's Josh Campbell covering the Chauvin trial for us in Minneapolis. Josh, up next closing arguments. That's to happen on Monday, but today we saw some compelling legal drama. Lay it all out for us.

JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it was not something that we were expecting. Sometimes in these trials you'll get something that comes out of left field that could possibly change the trajectory of a prosecution. That almost occurred this morning, and just to break this down in layman's terms what we're told by prosecutors is that yesterday when a defense medical witness was testifying this was the witness who said that possibly one of the contributing factors to George Floyd's death was carbon monoxide or exhaust that was coming from an idling police car.

As that testimony was playing out the medical examiner here in Hennepin County was watching and he thought or realized that they had actually tested George Floyd's blood last May whenever he was brought to the hospital. He called prosecutors and said, you know, there's this idea of carbon monoxide playing a role here, and we tested his blood and it appeared as though the levels were within a normal range.

Prosecutors sought to introduce that today as testimony. The judge not buying any of it saying that, look, you had plenty of time to prepare your case. You knew that carbon monoxide was going to come up. It's on you for not actually doing your due diligence with the county medical center here to try to gather as much information as possible, so the judge said that, no, he would not allow that be introduced.

He did allow prosecutors to call back another witness that they have called before. This was Dr. Tobin who had offered that compelling testimony about his view on the cause of death, but one thing that the judge did is he said both with that witness and with future rebuttals as we continue to hear the closing arguments that if the prosecution mentions any piece of information that has not been brought up so far, if they mention that in front of the jury there will be serious repercussions. Take a listen to what he said.


CAHILL: Prejudice the defense by the late disclosure even if it's not due to bad faith, but the late disclosure has prejudiced the defense. It's not going to be allowed. So Dr. Tobin will not be allowed to testify as to those lab results. If there is anything he wish to add about carbon monoxide as far as environmental factors, but he even hints that there are tests results the jury has not heard about it's going to be a mistrial. Pure and simple. This late disclosure is not the way we should be operating here.


CAMPBELL: So as our law enforcement analyst, Chief Charles Ramsey, said, this appeared to be the first day where we saw the prosecution really back on their heels, being admonished by the judge, obviously walking a very fine line.

As you mentioned, Ana, the case is now over as it relates to introducing new evidence. We are looking forward now to Monday where there will be closing arguments. The jury will be sequestered, which means they will be cut off from the rest of the world. I can tell you having served as a juror myself one of the, you know, highlight experience of being a citizen is sitting on a jury.


That obviously a huge responsibility. The judge telling the jury here that their responsibility is obviously a very important one. The question came up about how long this will go on. I think it's best answered by the judge telling the jury that you should pack your clothes, pack your suitcase, expect for long, hope for short, or we'll have to wait and see how long their deliberation goes until we actually get a verdict in this case, Ana.

CABRERA: We're all holding our breath for that verdict when it comes. Josh Campbell, thank you. Let's bring in CNN Senior Legal Analyst and former federal prosecutor, Laura Coates, and CNN Law Enforcement Analyst and former Philadelphia Police Commissioner, Charles Ramsey.

It's been so great to have you both with us throughout all of this trial. Laura, Chauvin invoked the Fifth Amendment today. That was the expected move here, but was it the right move?

LAURA COATES, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Well you know, it remains to be seen, but look. If you were to try to think about all the different ways in which he could answer the question that's burning on the jury's mind here, Ana, why didn't you just get off of George Floyd's neck, why didn't you render aid? Remember all of his potential responses will actually be opposite of the testimony they've already seen from law enforcement experts, from his own police chief, from expert to talk about the notion to have to render aid even if somebody's in your custody, and you think somehow you were not the cause of that physical distress.

So everything it's almost the idea of damned if you do, damned if you do not if you were Derek Chauvin, but again if you were trying to react and respond to the mountain of evidence that's been put up (ph) against you, he essentially was his last and best and perhaps only hope of offering an explanation if not a justification for what he did, which could be enough to plant some not only seed of reasonable doubt in a juror's mind, but some seed of empathy and that can sometimes shift the tides.

CABRERA: But do you think that the defense did enough of the poking holes or planting seeds of doubt in the jury's minds without him testifying?

COATES: Absolutely not. I mean, if you think about what you remember from this trial, Ana, you're going to remember that 9-year-old testifying. You're going to remember the MMA fighter, the 911 dispatcher, Chief Arradondo, the young girl who actually videotaped it. You're going to remember the pulmonologist, cardiologist, forensic pathologist. You're going to remember the actually M.E. who did the autopsy, all who corroborated one another.

What do you remember about the defense case? You remember some body cam footage that was not actually pointed towards George Floyd. You remember that he didn't feel the need to intervene, either they said that the crowd was unruly. You're going to remember a use of force expert who said he doesn't think that when you put someone handcuffed and prone onto the ground it's a use of force and they could have used more force against George Floyd.

What are you going to remember? The idea of a forensic pathologist who is telling you that perhaps it was carbon monoxide? I mean, when you weigh this as a jury you haven't not only planted seeds of doubt. You haven't planted any common sense notions to rebut that avalanche of testimony from the prosecution.

CABRERA: And Commissioner, we heard from so many officers testifying against Chauvin on behalf of the prosecution. Do you think it would have been helpful for the defense to offer up a character witness for Chauvin?

CHARLES RAMSEY, FORMER WASHINGTON D.C. POLICE CHIEF: Well first of all they may not have had one, and on cross examination the prosecution has been so skilled in cross examining witnesses that even if they brought one forward I don't know how useful it would be in justifying the actions of Derek Chauvin.

I mean, you've had testimony after testimony from people inside the department, including the police chief, including the head trainer, all of whom said that this is outside of policy. It is not consistent with training.

So I don't know what a character witness would do in order to justify the actions of Derek Chauvin. This is just so far removed from any policy or any training that I'm aware of, that it's an uphill battle no matter what they bring forward.

CABRERA: Laura, good idea or bad idea for the prosecution to really try to hammer the carbon monoxide theory today and kind of leaving that as the last taste for the jurors?

COATES: You know, I think having the last taste be the presence of Dr. Tobin who the jury apparently ultimately very respected and he was somebody who was able to methodically break down very technical things in bite-sized pieces, having him as a last impression generally is a probably a good thing, but focusing on the carbon monoxide poisoning issue, I think actually does not inert to the benefit of this prosecution. It has the effect of highlighting what I think most people would agree

is a nonsensical notion here. They were wrong. The prosecution should have been diligent enough to find out the information about the carbon monoxide analysis, especially, Ana, because it was pro-prosecution. It fatally undermined any assessment that he had carbon monoxide poisoning because the normal - levels in his blood were actually normal.


So they were then punished and not able to bring that evidence home, but what they did was now highlight for the jury that this is something that maybe you should pay attention to, and sometimes when you tell people there's nothing to see here, folks, you've got people who are clamoring, moving their necks to try to see exactly what you told them not to look at. And so, I wonder how it's going to actually impact the jury to have this highlighted in this way, but you're also seeing, Ana, what happened when you are not exhaustive in your ability to prosecute a case, what happens when you leave a stone unturned, mainly the carbon monoxide statement. It could have been a homerun over the fence. Instead, it gave the jury some semblance you were perhaps nervous about that even being taken seriously, so I wonder how it's untimely going to come out in the wash.

CABRERA: Commissioner, we know the history. We know how difficult it is to get a conviction against a police officer. If you're Chauvin right now, how worried are you?

RAMSEY: I'm very worried. I mean, he sat there and he listened to the testimony. And again, you know, how do you justify 9 minutes and 29 seconds? I mean, in many instances when an officer's on trial, you're talking about something that required a split-second decision or within a couple of seconds or so anyway until the benefit of the doubt will often go towards the police officer because these are snap decisions that have to be made.

Sometimes unfortunately you don't get it right. You mistake a cell phone for a gun or something like that, but this wasn't a split-second decision. This wasn't even one that took one minute or two minutes of struggling and wrestling with a suspect. I mean, this was 9 minutes and 29 seconds, almost half of which Floyd is clearly not resisting.

So the whole point of use of force, I mean, it has to be necessary. It has to be proportional, and it has to be objectively reasonable, and I think they fail on all three counts after the initial resisting has been taken care of and been resolved. And remember, I mean, it's four on one. You've got three cops holding him down and another one monitoring the crowd. I mean, I just don't see where Chauvin can afford to be optimistic in this case, although jury's are unpredictable?

CABRERA: And those jury members have a long weekend to think about all this before the closing arguments on Monday. Laura Coates and Charles Ramsey, thank you again for being with us.

Next hour, the former Minnesota police officer who is charged in the shooting death of Daunte Write will make her first court appearance. Kim Potter, a 26-year veteran of the Brooklyn Center Police Department faces a second degree manslaughter charge, which carries a possible 10-year prison sentence if convicted. Potter shot and killed Wright during a traffic stop on Sunday. She is currently out on bail right now.

Joining us from Minnesota is CNN's Adrienne Broaddus. Adrian, what can we expect from today's first court appearance?

ADRIENNE BROADDUS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I can tell you you won't be able to see that court appearance, at least not members of the public. It's happening via Zoom, and the judge has denied the request for media to broadcast that court appearance.

You will, however, learn about it through us. Media are allowed to view it via Zoom. As you mention, Potter who spent a great deal of her career here at the Brooklyn Center Police Department has been charged with second degree manslaughter. This after the killing of 20-year-old Daunte Wright.

Overnight, hundreds of people filled the streets protesting, and at this hour you can see behind me this crew is putting up another layer of protection to protect members of law enforcement from the protestors who are here. I only see one person from the community here right now engaging with law enforcement, talking to law enforcement.

Overnight, about 24 people were arrested. Members of law enforcement say last night was much quieter. There was no looting, there was no property destruction, and they're hoping that happens moving forward. Keep in mind there was a curfew from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. That curfew will be in place again tonight. Ana -

CABRERA: Adrienne Broaddus, thank you for all your hard work reporting in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. Turning to the pandemic now, we know COVID vaccines aren't 100 percent effective, but how many people who've been vaccinated are now getting the virus? We're learning new information. We have new numbers. We'll break that down.

And the Biden administration cracking down on Russia, imposing new sanctions and expelling diplomatic personnel for election interference and cyber hacks. The president will speak about this today at 4:30 Eastern. The fallout ahead.



LYNDA KINKADE, CNN INT ANCHOR: Hello. I'm Lynda Kinkade at the CNN Center. We want to update you on some other stories developing around the world this hour, and it is a landmark day for U.S. President Joe Biden and his attempt to reshape American foreign policy.

We've seen a flourish of actions aimed at tackling his key diplomatic priorities, focusing on Russia, China, and the Middle East, and already we've had news of sweeping new sanctions on Russia. President Biden will make a statement on these at the White House in a matter of hours. He's also dispatched his top diplomat, Antony Blinken, to the Afghan capitol after announcing a new timeline for withdrawing U.S. troops.

While this is going on, Mr. Biden's climate envoy, John Kerry, is in Shanghai for talks on the environment. And while nuclear talks will Iran are also on the way, we're going to being with Russia, and Russia is already promising to retaliate for new U.S. sanctions announced just today.

The White House says they're meant to deter what it calls Russia's harmful foreign activities including cyber attacks and election interference. The U.S. is sanctioning dozen of people at at least six companies as well as expelling 10 Russian officials from Moscow's embassy in Washington.

It's also blocking U.S. financial institutions from trading in Russian bonds. The U.S. National Security Adviser tells CNN President Joe Biden considers these new sanctions proportionate measure to defend American interests.


JAKE SULLIVAN, U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: His goal is to provide a significant and credible response but not to escalate the situation. He believes that the United States and Russia can have a stable and predictable relationship, that there are areas where we can work together like arms control, and that the U.S. and Russia should sit down together at the leader's level in a summit between President Biden and President Putin to discuss all of the issues facing our relationship. And we believe that -


JOHN BERMAN, CNN NEW DAY HOST: The first official -


SULLIVAN: -- all together both the actions we are taking today and that broader diplomacy can produce a better set of outcomes for U.S.- Russia relations.


KINKADE: Our International Diplomatic Editor, Nic Robertson, is in London, and Kylie Atwood is at the U.S. State Department, and they join me now live. Good to have you both with us.

Nic, I want to start with you first. So the U.S. has hit Russia with a host of financial sanctions plus the expulsion of Russians.


In terms of punishment, how does this fare? Is this enough to curtail Russian interference?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Russia's had the message very clearly coming from the White House much more strongly under President Biden than President Trump not to interfere in U.S. elections as they did in 2016, and they went ahead and did it anyway in 2020, and there is an assessment that this won't be enough to put Russia off for these kind of actions again.

And I think we got a sense of that in two ways. A Russian diplomat at the U.N. tweeted saying that this - the U.S. putting sanctions on Russia was really, you know, preventing all the missing the last opportunity to head off the clash of superpowers. And at the end of that tweet - and these were the key words - he said, "Not our choice."

And presenting Russia in essence as the victim here where the reality is, of course, President Biden is apply sanctions because of Russia has done to the United States, so that's a clear way that the lesson is not learned, and I think we're going to see that as well and we're hearing it from the Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Maria Zakharova, who said very clearly that there is going to be, you know, reciprocal actions taken. This will be rebuffed. There's going to be - there's going to be a reaction.

So the next step - the next step from here is for Russia to respond perhaps with expulsion of diplomats. That's not clear. They haven't - they haven't announced anything yet, but they made it very clear that they will.

So in this regard, you know, Russia's first response is not to adjust its behavior. It's going to be respond in some fashion diplomatically, financially, whatever way it feels that it can challenge the United States, but I think the key point coming from the Foreign Ministry was that the United States - this is what Maria Zakharova said. The United States doesn't recognize that we now live in a multi-polar world, that the United States is not longer a hegemonic power, which is in essence a direct challenge to the United States. You cannot tell us what to do. You're not the big kid on the block anymore.



Some interesting words there, Nic. I want to go to the State Department, Kylie, because we did know that Russia was obviously warned that this was coming, that U.S. President Biden had a discussion with the Russian leader, and he was told that this was likely to happen.

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN U.S. SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I think that's demonstrative of the fact that, you know, the White House has repeatedly said that they're going to be tough on Russia when they need to. They are going to respond firmly to these malign actions by Russia, which have undermined the United States, the American people, and U.S. allies, but they also want to maintain dialogue with Russia.

And so, in order to do so they think there's, you know, a need to be a bit transparent here. So President Biden explained to President Putin that there were actions coming later this week during their phone call, and he also proposed that the two world leaders get together for a world summit.

Now of course this is something that we haven't heard a firm response back on from Russia, but I think, you know, it goes to show that this White House has repeatedly said today as they have ruled out, you know, these tremendous punishments on Russia that they also don't want to escalate things with Russia.

And that gets to Nic's point, which is that the Russians are already pointing to the U.S. side and saying that they are escalating things, and it's not Russia's fault. It's the United States' fault.

So we're already beginning to see kind of this back and froth tit for tat that happens a lot in U.S.-Russia relations. The Biden administration is hoping essentially that they can get out of that tradition, but it's really yet to be determined, and I think one thing we should note is that the U.S. ahs also said today as they have ruled out these sanctions that they have the tools in place to crank it up if they need to.

So for example on these financial restrictions on U.S. companies that kind of hit at Russia's economy, it was very clear a senior administration official said today that the executive order that President Biden signed would enable the Biden administration to be more forceful in that realm if they wanted to down the line. So they're sending a clear signal that they don't want to ramp things up but they are prepared to if they need to.

KINKADE: All right. Kylie Atwood for us at the State Department and our Nic Robertson in London. Thank you both very much.

Well the U.S. Secretary of State is offering reassurance to Afghanistan just a day after President Biden announced that he is ending America's longest war. During his unannounced visit to Kabul, Antony Blinken met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and other senior officials.


He says the U.S. commitment to Afghanistan will endure long after all American troops are withdrawn by September 11.


ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: The United States will remain Afghanistan's steadfast partner. We want the Afghan people, countries in the region, and the international community to know that fact. It's also a very important message for the Taliban to hear


KINKADE: An important message, indeed. CNN's Nick Paton Walsh is joining us live from Kabul tonight. So less than 24 hours after that announcement that the U.S. would withdraw all troops by September 11, this surprise visit essentially to reassure Afghans that America will still support the country long after troops are gone. NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECUIRTY EDITOR: Surprised but not really unexpected, and I'm sure Antony Blinken while he said that the public warm embrace comparatively he got from Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was reflected in private, that itself is to some degree surprising.

Antony Blinken's been writing in very stern terms to Ashraf Ghani saying that he frankly needed to get on board with the peace process that the U.S. government is proposing with the Taliban, but it was today, in fact, that Ashraf Ghani said he again reiterated his tweets from yesterday saying that he respects it, the U.S. decision about its troops, and that it would simply have to adjust its priorities.

That's the Afghan government in the months ahead. That's certainly putting a optimistic viewpoint on it, but Antony Blinken here also to give messages or reassurance, yes, that the relationship between the U.S. and Afghanistan isn't disappearing because 2,500 or so troops will be leaving by September the 11. It's evolving into the diplomatic and economics fear.

But there were tow other important points I think he was here to essentially have heard. The first is that the U.S. can't simply keep a number of troops here pursuing terrorism and extremism as it has done for the last two decades. This time on counterterrorism's changed. Its focus has gone elsewhere. This is no longer the seat of the threat that the U.S. faced 20 years ago, so he said, Antony Blinken, that it simply wasn't logical to maintain the same presence here now.

The second point he made was that the Taliban seek legitimacy. He said that if the Taliban tried to take the country by force they would lose that and they didn't want to do that. That seems to be a creed that the Biden administration are hanging a lot on, that essentially if the Taliban want to be part of the government, want to run the country in part particularly as part of a transitional government that's being proposed under the U.S. peace deal now that the Taliban need to be international recognized, and for that they need some element of legitimacy.

So the hope is that they would then also be able to bring in international aid to kind of keep the lights on, keep the Afghan people they're responsible for fed. That's a big gamble, frankly, and it's one contradicted by the Taliban's public face. For days not they've been saying they're not interest in peace talks that are supposed to start Saturday week in Istanbul led by the U.S. And they reiterated again today the need for U.S. forces, for all foreign forces to get out immediately. In fact, they said as Blinken was here that if the U.S. was in fact in violation of the Doha agreement that was signed by U.S. President Donald Trump. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo aid (ph) Doha, saying that U.S. troops had to leave by May the 1. They won't do that. It's impossible. And the Taliban said that because they violated that agreement there was the possibility of countermeasures now against the Americans.

And if that were the case the Americans will only have themselves to blame. Harsh rhetoric, but raising the fears I think of many here that we could see an uptick of violence in the months possibly targeting Americans, possibly a bit by the insurgency to get more territory, possibly a bit by the insurgency to declare some kind of wider military victory because they know that the main guarantor of security here with its air strikes the United States is definitely leaving.

A lot of volatility ahead here. A lot that could still change frankly, too. There's a logic and read in to Joe Biden's speech that might give hope for Afghan Security Forces and officials here that the U.S. isn't just going to vanish next week. They'll slowly start to withdraw troops, but it's a very difficult road ahead, and I think when you heard Joe Biden speak yesterday it was clear he knew this was an ugly decision. He knew it was one that would lead to bad outcomes, but he knew it was one his predecessors had shied away from taking and that him responsible for American lives that he no longer thought was serving a legitimate purpose here for U.S. national security. He felt he had to make that decision and get them home, so we'll see how the months ahead go, but the real feeling here I think is a deep anxiety. Lynda -

KINKADE: Yes, no doubt. And of course we did hear from U.S. President Biden that if the Taliban do attempt to attack as troops are departing, then U.S. troops will use all tools at their disposal to defend themselves. Our Nick Paton Walsh in Kabul, thank you very much.


Well, coming up. The alarming rise of COVID-19 cases in Japan has one top official questioning whether it will hold the Olympic Games this summer. We're going to have that story when we come back.


KINKADE: Welcome back. Europe has passed a milestone of one million deaths from COVID-19. The World Health Organization announced that on Thursday, that's about one-third of the global death toll according to John Hopkins University. A top WHO official says that while Europe is seeing some progress with vaccinations, the situation remains serious. Hospitalizations are still high in 1.6 million cases are being reported each week.

International researchers warned that Brazil is headed towards what they call an unimaginable loss of lives from COVID-19. The country's infection rate has leveled off somewhat but it remains very high. The virus has already killed more than 360,000 people in Brazil. That's the second highest national death toll behind the U.S. Shasta Darlington reports from Sao Paulo that Brazil has been hurt by lack of leadership and a slow vaccine rollout.

SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN REPORTER: Already battling a deadly surge of the coronavirus Brazil could be headed for worse times. Thanks to political inaction and wrong steps according to a report published in the Journal Science. In fact, the number of new infections and deaths appears to have at least temporarily leveled off and even declined in recent days. But emergency care units are still in high demand with occupancy over 80 percent in most states and over 90 percent in some.

[13:35:03] DARLINGTON: At the same time, the levels of oxygen needed for intubation are running dangerously low, and so are the medicines and drugs needed for intubation. Right here in Sao Paulo the government says it's on the verge of running out if it doesn't get more help from the federal government. Something it says it's been asking for days, if not weeks. Now, experts say what's needed is to speed up the vaccination program, but that's increasingly difficult.

Less than 12 percent of the population has been vaccinated with at least one dose of a two- dose vaccine regime. And there are now more delays in sourcing the raw materials needed from China to produce the vaccines here. More contagious and dangerous variant has added to the problems here in Brazil. And a new report shows that 52 percent of patients admitted to ice use in March were younger than 40 years old. Shasta Darlington, CNN, Sao Paulo

KINKADE: Well, new cases of COVID-19 are rising in Japan and experts there say the country is experiencing a fourth wave of cases. The situation is so bad in Osaka, that one top doctor says the health system is on the brink of collapse. Nationwide infections are at their highest levels in more than two months. Overall, Japan has recorded nearly 523,000 cases, more than 9500 deaths. And with the Olympics less than 100 days away most of the population has not been fully vaccinated. Our Selina Wang reports.

SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A key figure in Japan's ruling party said the Tokyo Olympics could be canceled if Japan's COVID situation gets worse. It's rare to see a Japanese government official publicly address the topic of an Olympic cancellation, which is seen as a taboo topic that officials have been avoiding. And Toshihiro Nikai is an extremely influential figure in Japanese politics.

He's the secretary general of the ruling party. He was asked in a local T.V. interview if canceling the Olympics was an option. He responded of course. Adding, what would be the point of an Olympics that spreads the infection? And that is the question many in Japan are asking themselves. Hosting the games this summer remains deeply unpopular among the public. As the COVID situation in Japan just gets worse and worse.

I've spoken to infectious disease experts here who say the chances of the games becoming a super spreader event is only increasing. Japan is struggling to contain this fourth wave of COVID cases, which experts say are driven by more contagious COVID variants. On top of that you have less than half a percent of the Japanese population fully vaccinated. And we know international spectators will be banned from attending.

But these games will still involve more than 11,000 athletes from more than 200 countries. These athletes will be tested regularly but they will not be required to quarantine, not to mention they will likely come into contact with tens of thousands of untested Olympic volunteers. And Nikai later watered down his comments saying he hopes the Olympics are successful this summer.

But it still struck a chord with the public showing the gap between reality and the narrative that Olympic organizers have been pushing, which is one have complete confidence that the Olympic Games will be held safely and successfully in less than 100 days. Selina Wang, CNN, Tokyo.

KINKADE: We're learning new details about the funeral arrangements for Britain's Prince Philip. Prince Charles William and Harry will be among the family members who follow the coffin unit procession in Windsor on Saturday. You're watching pictures from a rehearsal. Buckingham Palace is also named the 30 relatives and friends who will attend the service. A number limited of course by government COVID restrictions.

Our CNN Royal Correspondent Max Foster is in Windsor. There's no doubt Prince Philip did want a low key funeral. Give us a sense of what we can expect Saturday.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: What's going to be interesting, we've got a real sense of how it would look on Saturday. There will be a lot of ceremonial attributes that you'd expect. We also got some images today of the Land Rover that Prince Philip personally designed in order to carry the coffin. I think what was interesting today was really who was on the guest list and as expected it was close family and not just the royal family but also German relatives of Prince Philip.

We can really see them as a group of people representing his sisters who was very close to. So they have got, you know, the key people there in the congregation in the church including of course, Prince Harry, there has been a lot of attention on the tension between William and Harry. They would normally be shoulder to shoulder in the procession behind a coffin at an event like this. That won't be the case this time. They will be separated by Peter Phillips.

The British tabloids making much of that. I think, frankly, that was a way to dissipate tensions, but not take away the attention really, from that rivalry and focus it on the event itself. The palace and the family very keen to make this day, not about family dynamics, but as a tribute, Lynda, to Prince Philip.


FOSTER: And also, you know, with compassion towards the Queen.

KINKADE: And of course, Max, hundreds of the armed forces will also be involved a given Prince Philip's commitment and service over the years.

FOSTER: Absolutely. So you have so many interests, and he really redefined the role of concert, he came into this position, without any role at all, he had to create it. And one of the things he did was to support the military because he had been a very successful naval officer. But also you'll see representatives of as many causes as well, he represented more than 800 charities over his lifetime.

In particular conservation, such as the WWF very ahead of his time in promoting the conservation of species, but also sports as well. You know, originally, if this funeral had happened in different times, he was going to invite his carriage driving team, for example, they won't be represented at all. But there will be sports and his many interests represented there. We'll be pointing them out to viewers on Saturday.

I think it'll be a very poignant event, not least because we'll see a very stripped down monarchies separated because of social distancing. And the Queen sitting on her own and the church, remembering her husband of 73 years, Lynda.

KINKADE: Seventy-three years, such an incredible marriage and union. Max Foster, good to have you with us. We will be speaking to you no doubt in the coming days. Thank you.

Still to come tonight, one woman's mission to help resolve India's growing tensions between humans and wildlife.


KINKADE: We're now to call to a CNN's initiative to promote a more sustainable future. Today's pace brings us to India's Western Ghats region where the growing human population is expanding further into wildlife habitats. That's led to increased conflict with tigers, elephants and leopards. Rolex Awards Laureate Krithi Karanth is finding ways to help rural communities live alongside the wildlife.



KRITHI KARANTH, ASSOCIATE CONSERVATION SCIENTIST, WILDLIFE CONSERVATION SOCIETY (voice-over): People who live in cities tend to romanticize living alongside big animals like tigers and elephants but the reality is very, very different.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (voice-over): For these farmers, life on the edge of India's national parks is a fight for survival.

KARANTH (voice-over): You live in constant fear of your crops being destroyed, your livestock being killed, and occasionally even being injured due to confrontation with wildlife. It is not an easy life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): On average, one person or more is killed by a wild animal every day in India according to the environment ministry.

KARANTH (on camera): India is a high wildlife high conflict country. One of the biggest challenges is the fact that we have less than five percent of land set aside for wildlife and there are millions of people who live adjacent to our protected areas or inside. Every time your crops are destroyed, you're pushed further into poverty, it becomes harder for your family to survive that year. We absolutely have to figure out ways that people and wildlife can coexist.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Conservation scientists critical has been 15 years studying human wildlife conflict in India, looking for ways to lessen the impact on rural communities. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): They shouted a tiger has

attacked our bull in the field come quickly. When we got here, we cried in despair. We earned our living with those two bulls.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): While the government offers compensation for losses like damage to this poor world by elephants, Karanth says it remains out of reach for many.

KARANTH (on camera): The process to get compensation can be bureaucratic, slow and frustrating, which is why most people don't file for compensation today.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): She started the Wild Seve Program in 2015 t help communities overcome those (INAUDIBLE) farmers call a toll free number. And Karanth says while Seve staff respond within 48 hours, assessing the damage and helping them submit the documentation needed to make a claim.

KARANTH (voice-over): We've submitted almost 18,000 claim, people have received almost $800,000 in compensation from the government.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who work also helps protect animals from those push to the limit.

KARANTH (on camera): We've had families who have called us 50, 60 times and they rarely retaliate. They retaliate when a sense of frustration builds and they don't get the help they need in time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Finding new ways for people and wildlife to coexist has become more urgent in the face of a global pandemic. Last year, Karanth and her team started teaching communities how to protect themselves from zoonotic disease.

ZARANTH (on camera): I think the pandemic is a deep wake up call for every human on the planet. It shows that you can't endlessly tinker with nature. We need to do more to save wildlife and wild places.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Karanth's passion for wildlife began at a young age.

ZARANTH (voice-over): I had the most amazing childhood. My dad is a tiger conservationist and biologist. So, I've seen my first tiger and leopard by the time I was two years old.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): She hopes to share that passion with the next generation through her education program, which she says has reached over 20,000 children.

KARANTH (voice-over): For me, they are the stewards of the environment. If we don't get them to understand the value of this, we're going to lose the wildlife. I have two daughters what I hope I can do is move the needle and little bit and help people and wildlife learn to coexist. I hope to leave a better planet than I inherited from my father.

(END VIDEOTAPE) KINKADE: We will continue showcasing inspirational stories like this

as part of the initiative at CNN. And let us know what you're doing to answer the call with a #calltoearth. We'll be right back.



KINKADE: Welcome back. Indirect talks on salvaging the Iran Nuclear Deal are underway in Vienna despite what a top E.U. diplomat cause a series of very challenging events over the past few days. CNN's Frederik Pleitgen is following developments from Berlin.

FRED PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Talks will continue in working groups to try and salvage the Iran nuclear agreement after a round of negotiations in Vienna concluded on Thursday. And essentially what the negotiators are trying to do is they're trying to compartmentalize everything. On the one hand, they're talking to the U.S. about sanctions relief and what the U.S. is willing to do.

But they're also talking separately to the Iranians about what measures they're willing to take to come back into full compliance with the deal. Now, of course, all of this comes in front of the backdrop of the Iranian saying that they are preparing to enrich uranium to a grade of 60 percent. That, of course, caused a lot of concern in the United States and the spokeswoman for the White House said that it calls into question, as you put it, this seriousness of the Iranians as far as those negotiations are concerned.

Now Iran's foreign minister, he shot back on Thursday, and he said, "Iran's seriousness of purpose in pursuing diplomacy was tested in the three years since Trump withdrew from the nuclear accord. Iran by remaining in the deal passed with flying colors." The Biden administration, however, has only shown a commitment to Trump's maximum pressure. So you can see that the Iranians will still very distrustful of the U.S. and of its motives.

And that's also the tone that we got from Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who of course is the supreme authority in Iran, and would have to sign off on anything that the negotiators there in Tehran would come up with. And he said he doesn't want protracted negotiations. He also said that the Iranians want sanctions relief from the U.S. before the Iranians take any measures to come back into compliance.

So certainly, there are still a lot of difficult issues at head. However, both sides have said, both the U.S. and Iran that they want to salvage the nuclear agreement and certainly they believe that that is the best way forward. Fred Pleitgen CNN, Berlin.

KINKADE: Well, the U.S. climate envoy in China for talks on fighting the global climate crisis. John Kerry will try to find common ground with his Chinese counterparts, but the talks coincide with another U.S. trip to Asia, one that has angered Beijing. CNN's David Culver reports.


DAVID CULVER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Two sets of American diplomats one group to Shanghai on the Chinese mainland, the other to the self-governed island of Taiwan, both visiting the same country. China's government would say, for the United States, it's more complicated than that.

BONNIE GLASER, SENIOR ADVISER AND DIRECTOR, CHINA POWER PROJECT AT CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: The U.S.-China relationship is quite fraught, but no issue is more dangerous than that of Taiwan, because it is the one issue that the two countries could go to war over.

CULVER: In Shanghai Thursday, John Kerry, President Joe Biden's climate envoy engaging with China on what Washington insists is a "free standing issue." The fate of our planet not linked to the White House says to the fate of Taiwan. That's where an unofficial delegation including former U.S. Senator Chris Dodd, arrived Wednesday.

CHRISTOPHER JOHN DODD, FORMER UNITED STATES SENATOR: We are here today at the request of my long-standing friend, President Joe Biden. To reaffirm the U.S. commitment to this partnership.

CULVER: Thursdays meetings come just one month after high level talks between Beijing and Washington broke down in Alaska. Observers fear that the U.S.-China relations are at an all-time low. That's partly over Taiwan now facing increased Chinese pressure, militarily, economically and diplomatically.


CULVER: All designed by Beijing to nudge Taiwan and its people towards reunification and to prevent independence.

TSAI ING WEN, TAIWAN PRESIDENT (through translator): We also like to take this opportunity to thank the Biden administration for reiterating on numerous occasions, the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

CULVER: Like much of U.S.-Taiwan relations, this trip is considered unofficial, it's been carefully staged to appear that way underneath an unequivocal message of support.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This administration will help you expand your international space and support your investments in self-defense. The Biden administration will also seek further deepening of our already robust economic ties.

CULVER: That help could make it harder to get Beijing to back Biden's climate agenda.

ZHAO LIJIAN, CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESPERSON (through translator): China has already made stern representations to the U.S. side over its sending of personnel to Taiwan. CULVER: On climate China is the world's largest producer of greenhouse gases. By a long way the U.S. is second, making the two countries crucial partners in any effort aimed at reducing emissions around the world.

KEVIN RUDD, FORMER AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: the challenge for both John Kerry and his Chinese counterpart, Xie Zhenhua, is to create this special climate change collaboration lane in the midst of a highway, which frankly, all the rest of the traffic is blocked, or engaged in collisions.

CULVER: Whether he will be able to keep climate separate from sticking points like Taiwan remains to be seen. David Culver, CNN, Shanghai.


KINKADE: Well, Hong Kong is marking its first ever national security education day. The event is meant to promote the widely criticized national security law that Beijing imposed on the city. Our Kristie Lu Stout has more.

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm at the Hong Kong Police college. It's one of several sites across the city, as it marks its first national security education day today to enhance the public's understanding of the new national security law and the police's role in safeguarding it.


STOUT (voice-over): The Hong Kong Police Force are promoting national security with a new Chinese style goose step March. You can see their legs are rigidly straight when they lift off the ground. Back in February, a government source told the South China Morning Post that 10 People's Liberation Army soldiers provided two weeks of training to select Hong Kong officers. And that training is on show today as China continues to tighten its control over the city.

CHRIS TANG, HONG KONG COMMISSIONER OF POLICE: The Chinese style of marching I think today is a best time because today is the National Security Education Day. I think is the best day to utilize what we have learned on from the Chinese marching to show our pride of being Chinese.

STOUR (voice-over): Also on display for this one-day public event police band performances, anti-terrorism exercises, and special merchandise like this $115 set of riot police figurines.


STOUT: A day to promote national security education in a place where students as young as six years old learn the names of the four national security law offenses. Sedition, succession terrorism and colluding with foreign forces. They learn patriotic etiquette, they also learn the people in institutions that protect them like healthcare workers, the People's Liberation Army and the police. Kristie Lu stout, CNN, Hong Kong. KINKADE: Well, thanks so much for watching. I'm Lynda Kinkade at the scene in center. "AMANPOUR" is next.