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Hala Gorani Tonight

Flash Floods Batter Western Europe; Rescuers from Austria Head to Neighboring Netherlands to Help in Rescue Efforts; Biden Slams Cuba's Political System; Protests in France, Greece Over COVID Rules & Vaccine Requirements; Photojournalist Danish Siddiqui Killed In Afghanistan; California On Track For Worst Fire Season Ever. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired July 16, 2021 - 14:00:00   ET



BIANCA NOBILO, CNN HOST: Hello everyone, live from CNN in London, I'm Bianca Nobilo in for HALA GORANI TONIGHT. More than 120 people are dead

after record-breaking floods with many more missing, and the danger may not be over across Europe. Then new video sheds light on the aftermath of an

assassination, but where is the CCTV footage from inside the president's house. CNN presses the Haitian police.

And later, the mandatory vaccination debate. Europeans are rebelling against the idea that COVID shots might be necessary to live and work. We

begin in western Europe where people who are able to return to their homes are finding catastrophic scenes. And the destruction isn't even the worst

of it. At least, 120 people have died and many more are missing as record- setting floods batter several countries. The deluge was triggered by record rainfall that swelled rivers to bursting.

Germany has been the worst hit so far, but fears are growing in neighboring Belgium. The acting mayor of the EU telling people to evacuate to the river

front city. Rescue workers are trying to get as many people out as possible. You see them here using inflatable rafts. And even helicopters to

air-lift people from rooftops. Officials say neighboring countries are also sending help to try and save more lives. The German president puts the

blame for what's happening squarely on climate change and is calling for urgent action.


FRANK-WALTER STEINMEIER, PRESIDENT, GERMANY (through translator): Only if we take up the fight against climate change decisively, will we be able to

keep extreme weather conditions such as we are experiencing now in check.


NOBILO: Let's explore how much climate change is at play here with CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar. So, Allison, we've been hearing from

scientists that climate change is to blame. What's your view as a meteorologist? Is it climate change that's driving these floods?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, Bianca, it certainly plays a big role. When we talk about extreme weather events, there kind of is a scale

of the events that we have limited evidence or events that we have very strong evidence. And some of the strongest evidence really is tied to heat

waves and even heavy rain events like this one in particular. Now, the reason behind that is when you have a warmer atmosphere, it's able to hold

more moisture, which means as these systems come through these areas, they're able to produce much heavier rain events than they would have been

had the atmosphere been a little bit cooler.

And here's some of those numbers coming in from this particular system that moved through. Look at this, 190, 207 millimeters of rain. These are 24-

hour totals, but keep in mind for some of these areas they got this in just nine hours. So, you're talking a tremendous amount of rain that's coming

down in a very short period of time. One thing to note too, Cologne, their average July rainfall is only about 87 millimeters. They picked up 154 just

in one day. Even that 87 that's normal would have been spread out over an entire month.

And these areas, we're getting it in just short doses, which is why you ended up having such extreme flooding in this particular case. Also notice

the same areas kept getting hit over and over again as this system very slow-moving as it made its way across central Germany and even central

Europe. Now, a similar event, heavy rainfall event happened in May of 2016. This time, it was France and Germany. There were studies that were done

afterwards to really look at it. And what the research showed was the warmer climate itself made the event about 80 percent to 90 percent more

likely than before man-made climate change would have had an impact.

And unfortunately, these are the scenes that we were seeing from both Belgium and even Germany with all that high waters moving a lot of those

cars and other things as well. Now, the question really becomes where is the storm now because it has started to shift a little bit farther to the

south. So, heavy rain and yes, the potential for flooding exists, Bianca, for just different places now. Now the focus becomes Italy, areas of

Switzerland as well as Croatia for the next few days.

NOBILO: Allison Chinchar, thank you so much. And Atika Shubert joins us now from near Bonn in Germany. Atika, if we have you, there was intense

flooding yesterday in Germany. Is the situation stabilizing at all, what is it like on the ground where you are?


ATIKA SHUBERT, JOURNALIST: It is stabilizing. It's the second day of recovery here in Irvana(ph), Germany, which is one of the worst hit areas,

but it's still pretty grim. You can see the destructive power of the waters here. This is actually a tree, the roots of a tree. The water simply picked

it right up and tossed it on top of this bridge. And you can see it's just picked up all kinds of debris from households, children's back packs,

dining tables, it's reached into the homes, it's really quite incredible. And I'm going to turn around here and show you a little bit more of the


I'm just going to step over a part of the tree here -- if you look down here, you can see that the water is still running at a pretty fast clip. In

fact, we saw a big chunk of a tree just floating down like it was a piece of styrofoam. And over there, where there doesn't appear to be anything,

that used to be a bridge. It's been completely wiped out. And like many towns in Germany, houses and a lot of the buildings are actually built

along the banks of the river, and that's why when we had that incredibly heavy rainfall, people did not have time to escape.

They barely had time to get on top on to their rooftops and wait for emergency personnel. So, it was an incredibly frightening catastrophic

situation here for people. But what's amazing is seeing a lot of the towns people here splattered in mud, but just getting on with it and trying to

clear up whatever they can. Unfortunately, we've also seen emergency crews going in with dogs, sniffer dogs, looking for any bodies. I think it is

likely that we will see that death toll rise, Bianca.

NOBILO: That was going to be my next question, Atika, how the rescue efforts are going. So, perhaps you can tell us a bit more about that, and

also just how many people are affected beyond the immediate urgency of searching for people to save their lives. What about other people who are

affected by this in different but very important ways?

SHUBERT: Absolutely. I mean, thousands of people are being affected by the mere fact that electricity was cut off to many communities. And there are

still some communities here that are still very isolated because communications are also down. And earlier in the day, we had some very high

rates of people that were still missing. The hope was that once communications had been re-established, they'd be able to finally find some

of these people. I think the reality is, however, that there will still be a rise in the death toll. We are getting, for example, reports here in this

region of one unfortunately very sad situation, a disabled care facility, the people in that facility, at least nine people have died.

They were not able to get out in time. Caretakers struggled to get them out of the ground floor, but they simply weren't able to do it in time. And

that's what's really shocked so many people here, is the speed at which this happened, the amount of rainfall that landed here. Nobody has seen

that for 100 years here. And then the speed with which it filled up people's homes is just staggering. So, it's going to take a very long time

for this region to recover, Bianca.

NOBILO: Yes, I mean, it's absolutely devastating. Atika, what has the government been saying? And because the flooding has spread over so many

different areas, is there sufficient manpower for the rescue effort and to help with the devastation?

SHUBERT: Well, what's incredible, you're right, Bianca, is the sheer size of the area that's been affected here. Of course, it's not just Germany,

Netherlands, Belgium as well. And in Belgium and in the Netherlands for example, they've had emergency crews coming in from neighboring countries

such as Austria trying to help them out. Germany so far has really put in all the emergency workers that it can. In fact, we've seen a lot of

military helicopters and military personnel here trying to build back bridges, trying to get to those affected communities that have been

isolated by the flood.

So, so far, they're able to make some progress. But I think a lot is going to depend on if we get more rain in the next few days, if we're likely to

get more floods. So far, that hasn't happened today, and people have been able to recover a little bit. Hopefully, it stays dry.

NOBILO: Absolutely. We really hope it does stay dry. Atika Shubert, thank you so much, joining us from Germany. So, that's a view from Germany. In

nearby Belgium, our Melissa Bell filed this report from what should be the streets of Liege.

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is a rescue effort here in the Belgian city of Liege. As you can see, the water here really rose quite

high. What the locals we've been speaking to have told us many of them still trapped in their homes, but now running out of food and water. Is

that when the flash flood came, it was a mighty torrent that came down these streets. There was nothing gradual about it. And it happened -- the

streets filled up with water within a couple of hours.

So many people still stuck in their homes now with no electricity, no food, no water and dwindling communications. A village we visited earlier on,

there was no food and communication at all and the water had risen far higher, virtually submerging the first floors of the houses there.


So, the rescue efforts beginning over a vast part of Europe where a lot of people remain stuck and in desperate need of help.

NOBILO: Our Melissa Bell. Still to come on the program tonight, two suspects in the attack on Haiti's president are caught on camera. And the

video might provide new clues in the assassination investigation. A live report on that coming up. And later, CNN asked South Africa's president why

ordinary citizens had to defend themselves against a week of deadly rioting.


NOBILO: Back to our top story. The severe floods across western Europe, at least 125 people are now dead across the entire region. Atika Shubert who

we just spoke to has been reporting from western Germany, but now she reports on the extent of the flooding and the devastation that it's

bringing across the continent.


SHUBERT (voice-over): Flooding in western Europe has left scores of people dead and many more missing. Take a look at the shocking images out of

Germany, roads washed away, bridges gone, entire communities wiped out and lives upended.

FRANK THEL, FLOOD VICTIM (through translator): It was terrible not to be able to help the people. They were waving at us out of the windows. Houses

were collapsing to the left and right of them. And in the house between, they were waving. We were lucky we survived.

SHUBERT: This is Germany's worst loss of life in years. Large scale rescue efforts are underway for a second day as waters continue to rise.

Widespread power outages have left residents in the dark and unable to communicate. Rescuers are going door-to-door looking for anyone left

stranded. And helicopters are pulling people from swollen rivers to safety. Officials say firefighters have rescued over 300 people by helicopter in

one county alone.

Germany's most populous state North Rhine-Westphalia is one of the hardest hit. Police tell CNN that at least nine people at a disabled care facility

in the town of Sinzig and a neighboring state have drowned in the flood waters. Some Germans continue to battle against the rising waters, while

others try to pick up the pieces of what's left of their homes and livelihoods. Many fear landslides could cause a further calamity, one

resident recalls his harrowing escape.


ANSGAR REHBEIN, FLOOD VICTIM (through translator): We were at home and we were starting to take some precautions. But when the river started

overflowing and the water came down from the hillside, it was a matter of two minutes. Then the courtyard was filled with waist-high water. We went

out the window to save ourselves.

SHUBERT: Scenes like this are also playing out in surrounding countries. In Belgium, a reporter was interviewing the local mayor of one town when a

home collapsed behind him. Residents were then seen escaping from the roof top. A local shop owner in Verviers' Belgium holds back tears as he talks

about his flood damaged business.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): This shop has been opened for three years. We had to go through the renovations. We had to live through COVID.

We were hoping we get back on our feet, and there you go.

SHUBERT: More than 150 rescue workers from France, Italy and Austria are providing emergency assistance to Belgium. And in the Netherlands, the

Meuse River overflowed its banks, and the Dutch flag still seen flying, this woman struggles to clean up what is left of her restaurant, a muddy

mess. As people begin to assess the damage, officials say it is going to take a long time for these regions to recover. Atika Shubert, CNN,

Irvana(ph), Germany.


NOBILO: So, we've heard that in order to avert more instances of deadly weather like what we're witnessing right now, more needs to be done about

the climate emergency and fast. Earlier this week, the EU presented an ambitious plan called Fit for '55. It aims to cut carbon emissions by 55

percent from 90-90 levels by the end of this decade, and get to net zero by 2050. To achieve this, it will raise the cost of emitting carbon for

heating, transport and manufacturing. The EU also wants to end the production of petrol, diesel and hybrid cars.

The plan is far from a reality though, and will face some stiff opposition, as it's likely to raise prices and make some jobs obsolete. Joining us to

discuss this is lord Nicholas Stern, chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment of the London School of

Economics. And he's also the author of "The Economics of Climate Change". It's lovely to have you on the program, sir, thanks for joining us.


NOBILO: So, this is obviously deeply alarming, what we're witnessing. I'm not sure if you heard any of our correspondent's report just now from

Germany. And even climate scientists are saying that they are shocked by the scale and intensity of what they're seeing. Now, I think most people,

perhaps in denial, often think that climate scientists might be catastrophizing. The fact that they're shocked is startling. What's your

reaction to what you're seeing?

STERN: It is startling. But over the last 30 years as climate science has advanced and the observations on what's actually happening have advanced,

each time you go back and review your estimates of the risks from before, you find out that they're worse than you thought before. And this is

another example of that as well as the very high temperatures, close to 50 degrees centigrade in western Canada and California just a couple of weeks

ago, unprecedented, things that haven't happened before and things which were outside what the climate scientists who have been thinking about the

terrible things that can happen, even outside what they were thinking.

NOBILO: Wow. And Nick -- I've been asked to call you Nick, if that's OK. And --

STERN: Yes --

NOBILO: And is this going to be the new normal? The fact that we're seeing so many incidents of extreme weather. Whether it's -- as you say, extremely

hot weather, dry weather, these floods, usually these types of events might happen, you know, a couple of times in a century if we look back

historically. Now they seem to be happening annually. Is this what the pattern is going to be?

STERN: Yes, it is. And it's going to get worse. We are now around 1.1 degree centigrade in terms of average global surface temperature above the

end of the 19th century. That's the usual benchmark. We're headed or at least, 1.5 and we've got to do our best to hold to 1.5. So, it's going to

get worse and we have to prepare and adapt. But we have to work very strongly to try to hold it at 1.5 degrees centigrade. And that is why the

EU has set its target for 55 percent reduction since 1990 to 2030 and the net zero. It may actually be a little bit less than they ought to be doing,

but it's a major step in a good direction.

NOBILO: And you've been saying for a long time, like many others in your field, the governments have been too slow to act on this. Do you think that

the EU's plan will be sufficient to preserve people's way of life in Europe if that is -- if that's achieved? Is it enough?


STERN: Well, what we're seeing is destroying people's way of life. So, what we have to do is do things differently and emit far less. Now, basically,

if we switch to electric cars and the EU has said no more internal combustion engine sales after 2035, if we switch to electric cars, that's

actually not transforming our way of life. It just means that the car that we move in is powered by something different. Similarly, if we use zero

carbon electricity, then the electricity -- electrons still come through and light our lights and so on. But some things would involve radical

change if we are to achieve what we need to achieve to avoid these kinds of such surveys or at least to limit them.

For example, they're going to have to be eating less meat. That's a change in the way of life. We're probably going to have to move around in our

cities much more by pedestrian walking and cycling and public transport. Those are actually improvements in our way of life. So, a lot of what we're

going to be doing is different. A lot will be quite similar. But on balance, it should be a tremendous improvement. So, this is where we can

move and breathe. Ecosystems which are robust and fruitful, much more efficient ways of producing and consuming, making our homes much more

efficient to the point that you have made.

It does involve radical change. It does involve changing what we do. But a lot of it is going to be very attractive and will involve actually

increases in wellbeing.

NOBILO: And these policies, Nick, you know, for improving our lives and for protecting our lives in the future, they do sometimes cost money up front.

Why do you think that especially during -- you know, the aftermath and indeed the duration of the global pandemic where all countries have taken

an economic battering, why is it so important that countries sort of pay the cost now to protect themselves against climate change in the long run?

STERN: We do indeed have to invest to make all this happen. And a lot of the things that you need to do actually involves putting capital up front

and saving on the variable material inputs that you're going to need down the line. So, if you invest in solar-powered electricity, then you have to

put the money in now and you save on the fuel that you would actually have put in later under an alternative system. So, you do have to invest now.

But the returns to those investments are very attractive.

And in the G7 countries, the richer countries of the world, we really have to restore investment to where it was perhaps 15 or 20 years ago, as a

fraction of our income. That's perfectly possible and actually it will help us drive out of the recession associated with the terrible COVID tragedy.

So, investment for recovery, and investment in new ways of doing things actually come together. They make sense. And what we must avoid doing is

plunging into premature austerity before this new type of growth has got established.

Once it establishes itself, and it could start, it could pick up really fairly quickly. Once it establishes itself, then we can start to worry

about fiscal balance and so on.

NOBILO: Lord Nicholas Stern of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, thank you very much.

STERN: Thank you again.

NOBILO: More than a week after the assassination of Haiti's president, a video may provide some crucial clues into the attack. It was taken in the

chaotic aftermath of Jovenel Moise's murder, and shows two Colombian mercenaries suspected in the attack on the run. Matt Rivers reports.


MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Just hours after Haiti's president was killed, this video, live streamed by a local journalist,

shows some of the men accused of killing him. Here you can see two of the Colombian mercenaries that officials say were part of the hit squad, the

first man is holding a rifle and signals for the journalist to stop The second then stands up, rifle glinting in the sun. They tell him to stop

recording. At this point, Haitian security forces had trapped the two dozen or so alleged assassins along this stretch of road.

At the bottom, a roadblock, then the lookouts with the majority of the suspects holed up in this building. Moving up the street and past the

vehicles the suspects had abandoned on the road, the camera reaches that building. As it pans, you can see two things, several black clad

mercenaries, and this man, one of the two Haitian-Americans accused of taking part in the crime. At this moment, he's actually giving a live

interview to Haiti radio Mega saying they didn't kill the president.

"Someone died, but we didn't do it", he says. "People inside the president's house started to shoot at us, and we fired back to defend

ourselves." Vincent then says most of the group believed they were going to arrest the president, not kill him.


The journalist who filmed them, Malhiko Sanashal(ph) who didn't want to show his face said the group didn't seem to have a plan. He says they knew

they were in a tough position and knew the president was dead. They were confused, not sure whether to turn themselves in or fight. Ultimately, some

chose to fight, and a fierce shootout with police left at least three Colombians dead. The easiest way to tell who actually killed the president

would be to see the footage from CCTV cameras inside the presidential residence, that a source tells us captured most of what happened. But

authorities have refused to release it or even describe its contents.

(on camera): We know that there are CCTV footage from the presidential residence the night of the assassination. Why not release that footage to

the public? Would that not answer so many outstanding questions about who did this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, we cannot reveal to the public anything, any more information until the investigators allow us to do so.


NOBILO: CNN Matt Rivers has been reporting from Port-au-Prince just after - - since just after the assassination, and he joins us there now live. Matt, it's so good to see you. What else do we know about the people who are in

custody and what charges they're being held on?

RIVERS: Well, unfortunately, we don't know a lot more about those charges. I specifically asked the police chief at that same press conference that

you just saw in the video, Bianca, what are they charged with and do they have any legal representation because obviously, we want to speak or at

least hear from a representative of these Colombian alleged mercenaries that remain in custody, because all of these questions -- you know, all

we're hearing from is the Colombian police. We're hearing from the Haitian national police.

We're hearing from politicians. But the people who really truly know the answers to this are the people that are in jail. And what the Haitian

national police are saying is that they don't have legal representation, but they're not going any further than that. We don't even know what they

are officially charged with and the Haitian national police will not tell us. So, unfortunately, we don't know a lot about the motive behind all

this. We know a lot more about who these guys are, who alleged brought them here, who allegedly financed them, armed them, organized them here on the


But when it comes to figuring out what the motive behind this was, we just do not have those answers. And there are answers that either the Haitian

national police don't have or they're just not simply willing to share it with the public, and as a result, people are filling the void with all

kinds of different theories.

NOBILO: All very opaque and mysterious, Matt. Well, we'll check in with you next week and hopefully we might have some more answers. Matt Rivers in

Port-au-Prince. Thank you. Still to come tonight, the heated debate over whether employers can and should make vaccinations mandatory for their


Plus, a war of words between the American president and his Cuban counterpart, what Joe Biden said about Cuba's political system and how the

island's leader is responding.



NOBILO: To COVID headlines now. Here in the U.K., the government has reported more than 50,000 daily cases for the first time since January. It

comes just before England is scheduled to lift nearly all COVID restrictions on Monday. Meantime, there have been large protests in France

and Greece after those countries announced new vaccine requirements earlier this week. Take in these scenes for just a moment.

Police firing tear gas to quell the protests in Paris on Thursday, some 17,000 people protested across the country a day earlier, throwing

projectiles and setting trashcans on fire. And in Greece, more than 5,000 anti-vaccine protesters gathered in Athens on Wednesday outside parliament,

waving Greek flags and holding signs saying "no to mandatory vaccinations."

Even in places that are not seeing mass protests against COVID rules and vaccine mandates, there is a growing debate over how far governments and

businesses can go to require that people get inoculated particularly healthcare workers. My next guest is Christy Hoffman, General Secretary of

UNI Global Union. Christy, thanks for joining the program tonight. Good to have you.


NOBILO: So Christine, picking up on what I just said, this week, we heard that Morgan Stanley is going to bar all but fully vaccinated staff and

clients from its New York offices. Do you think that that's the right approach given the context?

HOFFMAN: Well, absolutely. We -- I don't speak about Morgan Stanley. It's one of the rare -- that's one of the few companies that is not in the care

sector that's requiring its employees to be vaccinated. But this question of what where it's more common is in the care sector. And that's where I

want to say that it's really we don't agree with that approach. I represent workers all around the world in the care care sector. And I want to first

start by saying that we are so privileged to be even having this discussion, because so many workers and people in the world have no access

to vaccine.

That said, the issue -- the care workers have been through such incredible trauma, and made huge sacrifices, so that we could get care during these

past year and a half. And so -- and they're, you know, among the lower paid workers, they've had all kinds of death and witnessed death, experienced

illness in the sector. And so to impose this requirement on them, it's not the right way to treat these workers. It's very punitive. And we just

rather see incentives.

We want them to be vaccinated, we want everyone to be vaccinated. We're not, you know, part of the anti-vaxx movement at all. But, you know, with

the care workers suggesting there's a better way to go about it and the bigger public health question that we face right now, how are we going to

deal with these absolutely exhausted workers fighting, you know, wave two, wave three, now wave four of COVID?

In the early days, no PPS, how are we going to keep them in the care sector? Because we have a crisis of short staffing. That's the immediate

health crisis and public health crisis that we need to be dealing with.

HOFFMAN: Yes, I mean, the burnout of course is a massive issue. I've been speaking to doctors and nurses recently as well in this country, and they

say the same, but can I just understand, Christy, what you mean when you say that making vaccines mandatory for care workers would be a punitive



I don't really understand that because obviously they're on the front line of fighting this pandemic in many cases. So, they are most exposed, surely

ensuring that they're vaccinated is protecting them and preserving their health and well-being. Why do you see it as a punitive measure? Is it not


HOFFMAN: Absolutely it is protecting their -- it is protecting them and it's protecting others, but some of them have very, very strong opinions,

either fear-driven or misinformation, or just a strong view that they should be able to decide their own treatment. And they need different

strategies to persuade them. I mean, we -- I think the incentives that, you know, Macron wants is implemented in France, you have to have a vaccine in

order to go to a bar or a restaurant or a cafe or a theater, that's all great, we want to drive them towards being all vaccinated through

persuasion, and not force because some will leave the -- some will leave, some will quit. That's the worst outcome.


HOFFMAN: And so -- and for those of you who don't want to be vaccinated for whatever their reasons, and it's not a one, you know, one answer for

everyone, it's just a question of trying other, you know, try incentives, time off during work to be vaccinated, for example.

NOBILO: Yes. Now so Christy, your criticism of this approach is on moral ethical lines, the fact that it's an infringement on people's liberty or

body autonomy, because surely when it comes to the science of this, obviously, vaccinating healthcare workers makes the most sense, you just

object to the fact that they're -- it's mandatory even though, you know, in the E.U., for example, it's mandatory for children to be vaccinated against

certain diseases to attend school.

HOFFMAN: Absolutely. It is mandatory, and eventually it will be mandatory for people to get the COVID vaccine. Right now, this is the -- not the

right time and the right way to treat these workers who have sacrificed so much. And they're so few. It's a growing number who are vaccinated, there's

so few who are not. But for those workers, they need to be persuaded, they need to be, you know, offered what -- figure out what's the problem and try

to solve those problems rather than impose them -- impose it, because it will not have the right public health outcome.

And we're not imposing it on other workers. By and large, you see a little bit of that in the U.S. as you began with Morgan Stanley. But for the most

part, we're using other strategies. We've been coping with this for a while with strategies of testing. You know, we've negotiated with employers at

unique a number of ways where we can return to work and have a safe work model through sometimes daily testing when it comes to media workers.

But the question of imposing mandatory vaccines only on the care workers is -- and that's why I've called it a punitive approach, it's just not the

right way to keep them in the industry. We want to keep them working, we want them to be able to care for the people who need it, and not drive them

out. And also, you know, offer them the fair treatment and the dignity that they deserve for having made so much sacrifice for the past year and a


NOBILO: I mean, that's an interesting cost-benefit analysis when you present it like you're trying to avoid people from leaving the industry,

which we so sorely need right now. But it's interesting. Anyway, thank you so much, Christy Hoffman, General Secretary of UNI Global Union. Thanks for

joining us. Still to come tonight.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you're going to come up this road firing at us and threatening our livelihoods, as per the South African Constitution, I am

obliged -- obligated to defend myself.


NOBILO: Desperation and determination on the streets of South Africa after days of looting. CNN on South Africa's president why civilians were left to

defend themselves.

Plus, the U.S. President has some harsh words for Cuba after its crackdown on protesters. What Joe Biden said about the Cuban government and its

political system as a whole.



NOBILO: Cuba's leader is pushing back against us criticism over its crackdown on dissent. Miguel Diaz-Canel now angrily dismissed regard --

remarks from American President Joe Biden, who said the Cuban government, its political system, had failed its people.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Cuba is a -- unfortunately a failed state and repressing their citizens. communism is a failed system,

universally failed system. And I don't see socialism as a very useful substitute. But that's another story.


NOBILO: Let's get more now from Havana with CNN's Patrick Oppmann. Well, obviously, that's the kind of thing that the president of Cuba would just

love to hear. Not. So what's his response been? And also, is there any chance that the government is going to meet these protesters' demands?

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, the Cold War was supposed to be over. And yet the last several days, the back and forth

across the Florida Straits between the Biden administration and the Cuban government, it seems pretty hostile.

And the President of Cuba did respond this morning on Twitter, firing back at Joe Biden saying that the United States has wasted millions of dollars

trying to bring down the Cuban government and rejecting, it would seem, the -- Joe Biden's offer of vaccines if an independent body gave those vaccines

to Cubans because he doesn't trust the Cuban government, the Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel pointing out, of course, the high number of

people who have died in the U.S.

What's really interesting here is how much the protests have changed the political landscape just in the last several days. The Biden administration

initially had said that they expected to lift some of those sanctions at the Trump administration, many sanctions in the Trump administration play -

- placed on Cuba like people being able to send remittances back to Cuban relatives and Americans traveling here.

And now, in the face of the protests and the crackdown on the protesters, many of them were simply calling for freedom and the ability to choose

their own government. Well, the Biden administration seems like it's going to take a harder line. And you heard Joe Biden say yesterday that he hoped

to be able to turn the internet back on in Cuba. The United States was studying if it's technologically feasible for the U.S. to provide internet

free-of-charge to all Cubans. Of course the internet and that new internet access that Cubans have was one of the main drivers of these protests.

NOBILO: Patrick Oppmann in Havana, thank you so much. To South Africa now where citizens are trying to recover from a week of violent and deadly

unrest. President Cyril Ramaphosa says authorities have identified people who instigated the riots. But as our David McKenzie shows us, that's little

comfort to the civilians who say a slow moving government forced them to defend themselves against the violence.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) blocking the road. No, no, no, no.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Police trying to move away shop owners. When looters attacked Durban shops, the police did very little.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where were you all when we need you all the four days that we are stuck on the road? We have 24 hours.

MCKENZIE: Why are the police here? Why were they here now?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The police are here to tell us that we're not here to barricade the roads because we must open it up and go home and allow them

to attack our shops.


Everybody has last two or three shops. We are standing on the street to guard ourselves. There's no police. There's no army. There's no one to help

us. We are our own army here.

MCKENZIE: In Durban's neighborhoods, uncles, fathers and brothers acted manning roadblocks, chicanes, torching the cars of suspected losers. In

some cases, assaulting them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you're going to come up this road firing at us and threatening our livelihoods, as per the South African constitution, I'm

obliged -- obligated to defend myself.

MCKENZIE: They say they will leave when the military shows up. South Africans now living with the aftermath. Soccer coach Tabang Enggabani and

his son Samuel walked an hour to help clean up the remnants of this mall.

TABANG ENGGABANI, SOOCER COACH: We're trying to come together in South Africa and support each other. What's happened in the past, hoping

everything will be coming back normally.

MCKENZIE: But many people here fear it won't. It won't be normal for a very long time.

MCKENZIE: Mr. President, ordinary citizens have taken the law into their own hands, and they feel let down by the state. Why did it take so long to

secure these regions?

CYRIL RAMAPHOSA, SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT: Yes, ordinary citizens have felt that they need to defend their areas, to defend their assets. And we

welcome, we welcome the fact that ordinary citizens are working together with the security forces standing up not only to defend their own assets,

but they're also defending our democracy.

MCKENZIE: For the president, the military did finally make a show of force. David McKenzie, CNN, Durban, South Africa.


NOBILO: Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist Danish Siddiqui has been killed in Afghanistan. He'd filed a report from the ground just three days

ago. His colleagues at the Press Club of India said true journalism needs courage and Danish's body of work is a testament to that. CNN's Vedika Sud

has the details on what happened.

VEDIKA SUD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Reuters photo journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner, Danish Siddiqui died while covering the clash between Afghan

security personnel and Taliban forces Friday. Siddiqui's death was confirmed by an unnamed Afghan commander to Reuters, who said Siddiqui and

a senior Afghan officer were killed in crossfire.

The incident took place in Afghanistan's Kandahar province, where security forces were fighting to retake a market area on the border with Pakistan.

According to the news agencies, Siddiqui had been wounded in the arm by shrapnel during an earlier clash on Friday. He was treated for the wound

once Taliban fighters had retreated from the area.

Speaking to Reuters, the Afghan commander said Siddiqui had been talking to shopkeepers when Taliban forces attacked again. The photojournalist had

been embedded with Afghan security forces based in Kandahar for the past week. Details were still emerging Friday, and Reuters' top management

through a statement said they are urgently seeking more information on the incident and working with authorities in the region.

Based in India, Siddiqui had been working with Reuters since 2010. He was part of Reuters' Photography Team that won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for

documenting the Rohingya refugee crisis. Siddiqui had covered wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He had covered the Rohingya refugee crisis, the Nepal

earthquakes, and the protests in Hong Kong. Vedika Sud CNN, New Delhi.

NOBILO: Still to come tonight, apocalyptic scenes in the western United States. We'll take you to one town set ablaze by wildfires for the second

time in less than a year.



NOBILO: Unseasonable, extreme and deadly weather is becoming part of the predictable pattern across the world. Take a look at just the past month.

As we've reported on the show, deadly flashfloods have ravaged multiple countries in Western Europe. Heavy rain is not unusual in London, but

flooding is. The British capital experienced some on Monday, forcing 120 people to shelter in emergency accommodation.

North America has been battling extreme heat, which broke Canadian records. The Czech Republic experienced a tornado that injured more than 150 people.

It was the country's strongest ever experience. And in the western U.S., there are now some 70 large fires burning across 12 states. Sara Sidner

shows us how one California community is coping with this unrelenting danger.


KATHY CATRON, VOLUNTEER FIRE CHIEF, DOYLE: The entire town was evacuated.

SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is the second time in just eight months Kathy Catron's hometown has lost more than a dozen homes to


CATRON: It sounds like freight train coming down the mountain. The flames are coming at you. The smoke rolls over you. It's -- all of a sudden, it's

dark. All you see is this big, huge orange wall of flames all down the hole everywhere in front of you, everywhere you look.

SIDNEY: Catron is the Volunteer Fire Chief of this town of about 600 residents. She is often the first one to call residents to tell them their

home is gone.

KELLY GROSSO, DOYLE RESIDENT: I'm still kind of numb. I mean, after losing everything that I worked for and everything all these years. It's gone. And

everybody says, oh, it's so replaceable and stuff like -- well, no. A lot of it isn't.

SIDNER: Saturday, Kelly Grosso lost one of the sixteen homes burned in Doyle. Everyone thought the danger was over. But on Monday, the fire came

roaring back, devouring more homes. Chief Catron and several residents were angry that air drops from state and federal agencies didn't come earlier.

CATRON: We were like the Lone Ranger that because a lot of the engines weren't where they should have been and weren't down there, you know,

maybe. And I was -- at that point, I was like I was ready to just say, I can't do this anymore.

SIDNEY: Apocalyptic fire scenes are appearing more and more across the west. So far this year, 67 large fires across 12 states have burned an area

nearly five times the size of New York City.

DENNIS SMITH, FIRE CAPTAIN, CALFIRE: The frequency of fires has skyrocketed.

SIDNER: CalFire Captain Dennis Smith has spent 25 years battling some of the biggest blazes in the state of California.

SMITH: We used to get some what you would call career fires maybe once every few years and we're seeing career fires, you know, hundred thousand

plus acres is a common occurrence every year now.

SIDNER: It's the new normal.

SMITH: The resources are spread through the state as we're burning from the Oregon border down to Mexico.

SIDNER: California is on track to have an even more devastating fire season than 2020, which was the worst on record with 4.1 million acres charred.

CHRIS TRINDADE, DEPUTY CHIEF, CALFIRE: Being from California, I'm sure you hear that this fire season is going to be the worst fire season, right?

Every year we hear that.

SIDNER: Which means their grueling work must go on for longer in days of 100 plus temperatures in some places. And once the big flames are

smothered, days of intricate work began on hidden hotspots. There is one goal in mind, save lives and then property.

SIDNER: Are you proud -- you look around this entire house and it's charred, 360 around this house.


But the house, perfect.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, the house is still standing.

SIDNER: But 250 miles away in Doyle, the local fire volunteers are devastated and residents are worried. They're at the beginning of what used

to be the start of fire season. Sara Sidner CNN, Doyle California.


NOBILO: The White House is stepping up efforts to get reluctant Americans vaccinated against COVID. Top Infectious Disease Expert Dr. Anthony Fauci

is teaming up with singer/songwriter and actress Olivia Rodrigo to target young people. The White House just released this video of the two

responding to tweets about the shots. Take a listen.


OLIVIA RODRIGO, SINGER/SONGWRITER: Wear your mask and get your vaccines. I need to see Olivia Rodrigo live in concert in the first row. Get your

vaccines. I'm so excited to tour one of these days. And I'm just so excited to go to a concert, aren't you?

ANTHONY FAUCI, CHIEF, LABORATORY OF IMMUNOREGULATION: I agree. I want to go to a concert for sure.


FAUCI: For sure. If I tell you the greatest concert that I've ever been to, you're going to faint because the reason is I'm so old. It goes back to the

late 1950s at the Paramount Theatre in New York City, which was a Motown concert with the Temptations, the Four Tops -- I'm sorry.

RODRIGO: Oh my gosh.

FAUCI: I'm a really old guy.

RODRIGO: That's incredible.

FAUCI: Yes. "Happy Man Crush Monday to this hero. Thank you, Dr. Fauci. For all your hard work. We appreciate your intelligence, honest, bravery,

compassion. We love you." Well, that's very nice to say that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know what Man Crush Monday means?

FAUCI: No idea.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Can you tell him that?

RODRIGO: Man Crush Monday is just like on Mondays, people, like, post a picture of their boyfriends and then be like, oh, Man Crush Monday. This is

why I love you, so it's a big compliment.

FAUCI: All right. Well, whatever it takes. If Man Crush Monday makes you get vaccinated, go for it.


NOBILO: Our camera genius is a big fan of Olivia Rodrigo. We were just chatting about that. But before we go, the return of an icon in Paris, the

Eiffel Tower has reopened for the first time in nine months. The famed structure has been closed since October due to COVID restrictions and

renovations. Visitors would be required to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test at the beginning next week. Thanks for

watching tonight. I'm Bianca Nobilo. Stay with CNN because "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next. Have a great weekend.