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Hala Gorani Tonight
U.K. Stays The Course As COVID Cases Rise; Police Find Items Belonging to Gabby Petito's Missing Fiancee; Netflix Employees Walk Out To Protest Dave Chappelle's Special; Haiti Kidnappings; Singapore Opens To Eight More Countries; India's COVID-19 Death Toll Higher Than Reported; Putin And Xi Unlikely To Attend COP26; World Bets On Carbon-Sucking Fans. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired October 20, 2021 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HALA GORANI, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone live from CNN in London, I'm HALA GORANI TONIGHT. The U.K. Health Secretary admits that COVID cases could
rise to a 100,000 a day. That and an explosion in numbers in Russia, we'll have the full story. Then NATO Secretary General will join me live this
hour to talk about his newest international security focus, China. And this just in to CNN, police have found items connected to Gabby Petito's missing
fiancee. They've called in a medical examiner. New details for you this hour from Florida.
Plus, the Netflix controversy over Dave Chappelle. Is the company backtracking in the face of backlash? We'll discuss. Britain's Health
Secretary is warning that this Winter could be a bleak one. The U.K. is seeing massive spikes in new coronavirus cases, more than France, Germany,
Italy and Spain combined. Look at that graphic, it tells you everything you need to know. Officials are urging Brits to get their shots and mask up in
public, but they're not making official mandates.
In other words they're not making it obligatory. Elsewhere, Russia is struggling to get a grip on soaring cases. The country just broke its
record for daily deaths, hospitals are at a breaking point. Meanwhile, the U.S. is hoping to approve coronavirus vaccines for children soon, and
they're pulling out all the stops to assure parents that the shots are safe. We'll talk more about that later. First though, back to the situation
in Europe. Sam Kiley joins me from Moscow, Fred Pleitgen is here in London. Fred, I'll start with you. You have a situation here as we enter the Winter
months where the number of cases in the United Kingdom is exploding.
It's more than, as we said, France, Spain, Italy --
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right --
GORANI: And Germany combined. Yet, you go out on to the streets and shops and the tube, almost no one is wearing a mask. What's going on?
PLEITGEN: Yes, but you're absolutely right. It's certainly one of the things that surprise and surprises me as well. I just came here a couple of
days ago, having been in Germany for a while where almost everyone is still wearing masks, especially on public transport and shops, everywhere else,
it's pretty much mandated in all of these places. Here, of course, that is not the case. And you're absolutely right. The situation here is certainly
a dire one, and there was a press conference earlier today by the Health Secretary and he was saying that things are getting worse.
He was saying that for seven days in a row, this country has been above 40,000 cases per day. On Monday, it was 49,000 cases per day. Week-on-week,
plus 17 percent in cases, week-on-week, plus 21 percent as far as deaths are concerned, 223 deaths recorded on Tuesday alone. And in fact, the
Health Secretary also said he thinks things are going to get worse and that once the Winter really kicks in, that this country could reach up to a
100,000 cases per day. And right now, they're already scratching at 1,000, almost a 1,000 hospitalizations per day.
Nevertheless, the Health Secretary also said that at this point in time, they are not going to enact any more strict measures like, for instance,
blanket mask mandates or anything of that sort. One thing that of course, in this country they call plan B. Let's listen in to what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAJID JAVID, SECRETARY OF STATE FOR HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE, UNITED KINGDOM: Vigilant, preparing for all eventualities.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PLEITGEN: Yes, Health Secretary Sajid Javid talking there at a press conference earlier today. Again, saying that there were not going to be --
that, that plan B was not going to be set in motion. And he said exactly what you were just alluding to, that he believes that they want to boost or
give a boost to the vaccination campaign here in the United Kingdom, which, of course, was so successful in the early stages. Really, one of the
world's most successful. It has been stuttering a little bit. One of the things they're talking about is more booster shots for people who are
eligible, getting vaccine to people who hasn't -- who haven't taken their jab yet, making sure that they take their jabs, and then also young
children getting their jabs as well.
The reason, of course, why all this is being debated is not just the fact that the numbers are as they are, but also because senior members of the
NHS and National Health Service have been sounding the alarm bells and saying if something isn't done quickly, then this country --
GORANI: Yes --
PLEITGEN: Could face a crisis Winter, Hala.
GORANI: They had a huge lead, are they blowing that lead? That's the question. The booster campaign certainly hasn't started in earnest.
Let's go to Sam Kiley here where we're talking about not boosters but people getting even their first and second shots. There's very low vaccine
uptake in that country and the numbers tell the story.
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Hala, just the latest statistic showing 1,028 new deaths in a 24-hour period. They broke
the 1,000 figure just a day or so. Before that, regular climbing figures coming out every day for the number of infections around 34,000 each day.
At the moment, of course, that being a figure that is considered a very substantial underestimate of the reality. And this is not a reality that
Vladimir Putin nor his government are shying away from. It is one that the Russian people seem to be shying away from.
More than two-thirds of the population has not been vaccinated here, just about 28 percent on latest statistics would indicate that level of
vaccinations using entirely indigenously produced vaccine. As a consequence of that, Hala, Vladimir Putin today issuing a decree, endorsing his
government's decision to have a week-long national holiday, not quite a lockdown, but discouraging people from going to work to try to break this
cycle of infections from the end of the month to the 7th of November. And this is just a taste of how frustrated Vladimir Putin has been with the
response of his own countrymen to the vaccination campaign. This is what he said today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT, RUSSIA (through translator): Unfortunately, we see the dangerous consequences of the low level of vaccination in our
country. I'll repeat once again, the vaccine really reduces the risks of illness or serious complications after an illness and the threat of death.
Therefore, of course, I support the proposals made by the government and draw the attention of the heads of the regions to the need to increase the
rate of vaccination.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KILEY: Now, Hala, here in Moscow, there have been additional structures been announced by the mayor saying that anybody over 60 has got to stay
home for the next four months if they haven't been vaccinated. Clearly, an attempt there to nudge the more elderly, more vulnerable population towards
getting these important vaccinations. The mayor also pointing out that more than 60 percent of those who are dying in hospitals are over 60, and more
than 85 percent of them are unvaccinated, Hala.
GORANI: Sam Kiley, thanks very much, in Moscow and Fred Pleitgen in London. The United Nations Security Council has been meeting behind closed
doors this past hour to discuss North Korea's latest missile launch. Pyongyang confirms that it tested a new ballistic missile from a submarine.
It released these images of the launch. It happened yesterday from a Navy base in the port sea of Simpo. The action is being condemned by the U.S.
and its allies including Japan and South Korea.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We condemn the DPRK's ballistic missile launch. These launches violate multiple U.N. Security Council
resolutions and are a threat to the region. We call on the DPRK to refrain from further provocations and engage in sustain and substantive dialogue.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, let's talk about North Korea and other pressing issues now with the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, he joins me now live from
Brussels. Secretary General, thanks for being with us. How concerned are you as Secretary General of NATO of the increased really militarization of
the Indo-Pacific, and I guess in an environment where so much focus is on Asia. How does NATO, you know, whose primary raison d'etre is Russian
deterrence. How does NATO stay relevant?
JENS STOLTENBERG, SECRETARY GENERAL, NATO: So NATO is a regional alliance of North America and Europe standing together, but we face more global
threats and challenges including the ones we see emanating from the Asia Pacific. We see how North Korea is trying to develop new and more advanced
nuclear capabilities, that affect our security, and of course, we see different challenge, and that is the rise of China. We don't regard China
as an adversary, but the fact that China is heavily investing in new military capabilities, also capabilities that can reach the United States,
Europe, making sure our security and therefore, NATO allies are also addressing this together.
GORANI: So, how do you respond to that?
STOLTENBERG: In different ways. Partly by the fact that NATO is a platform where 30 allies meet on a daily basis to consult and coordinate on all
issues that affect our security, partly by working more closely with our Asia Pacific partners, New Zealand, Australia, Japan and South Korea. This
partnership with like-minded partners all over the world is not directed against China, but it matters when we see the global balance of powers
shifting, that we stand together with all their partners who believe in a rules-based international order.
And thirdly --
GORANI: Yes --
STOLTENBERG: Of course, we need to be prepared for any contingencies. And therefore, when we modernize our military capabilities, invest in
technology, address the resilience of our critical infrastructure, that also matters for potential challenges emanating from the Asia Pacific
including from China.
GORANI: I'm sure you're having to reassure your eastern European members, the Baltic states, for instance. I mean, Joe Biden has made no secret of
the fact that his primary foreign policy focus and concern right now is China. Are you having to reassure them that NATO will continue to be a
buffer, a protector against any eventual Russian expansionism?
STOLTENBERG: So NATO doesn't have the luxury of choosing either to address the challenges coming from Russia or from terrorism or the potential
challenges related to the increasing military capabilities of China. We need to be prepared for any eventuality, for any contingency, and that's
exactly why we are adapting our alliance, partly by doing more together, North America and Europe, investing more in defense, but also by addressing
new challenges. As for instance, we have seen in the last years in cyber space.
GORANI: Yes --
STOLTENBERG: And the fact is that China is coming closer to us in cyber space, in Africa, in the Arctic and also trying to control critical
infrastructure in Europe, and allies coordinated and discussed, for instance, when it come to regarding the 5G and importance of making sure
that we have resilience for 5G networks, one example of how we are trying to coordinate efforts by NATO allies.
GORANI: So there's -- there are more, there are other battlefields, the Arctic, there's cyber space as you mentioned. The messy U.S. pullout from
Afghanistan, and we know that European NATO allies disagreed with Joe Biden on the precipitous nature of that pullout. It wasn't a good look. I mean it
was really very chaotic. Do you think that this hurt NATO cohesion, this -- the whole Afghanistan episode?
STOLTENBERG: What has happened in Afghanistan is a tragedy for the Afghan people, and it is heartbreaking for all of us who supported Afghanistan for
so many years. At the same time, it is important to remember that we made this decision together. We had extensive consultations here in Brussels, I
chaired many of those meetings --
GORANI: Sure, but as you know, the French and others, the French and others were very public about the fact they didn't think this was the right
move. I mean you made the decision together, but there was disagreement that was voiced openly here.
STOLTENBERG: Of course, we had discussions because this was a difficult decision, but after extensive consultations, we made a decision together
and we knew that it entailed risks to end our military presence in Afghanistan, the risk of Taliban returning. But we also knew that the
alternative to stay entailed risks of more fighting, more casualties, including civilian casualties, and also the risk of the need to increase a
number of NATO forces, and face that dilemma, allies agreed to end their entire mission in Afghanistan. We have to remember that the reason we went
in was to protect the United States of the terrorist attack on the United States.
And for 20 years, we had prevented any terrorist attack organized from Afghanistan against any NATO-allied country.
GORANI: Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO Secretary General, thank you so much for joining us this evening, we appreciate it. Breaking news now in the
case of the slain American woman whose news has really gone around the world, Gabby Petito. You'll remember the coroner and a cadaver dog have
been called to a Florida park where authorities say they have found several items belonging to her missing fiancee and traveling companion, Brian
Laundrie. Investigators are now searching that entire area. You're seeing aerial images of that operation.
The items were found after Laundrie's parents said they intended to come to the park to join the search for him. Now, as I mentioned, these are aerial
pictures of the park where they have set up a tent. They've deployed a mobile unit. This is a case that has attracted a great deal of attention in
the United States in the last month. Petito went missing in late August after traveling the country with Laundrie. She was found dead September
19th in Wyoming. Now, Laundrie returned to his family's home in Florida, then went missing himself as his family said that he went to a hike in a
nearby nature preserve.
We are following the story. We'll bring you more details as we get them, including a live report a little bit later in the program. Still to come
tonight, the U.S. Secretary of State says the Biden administration is relentlessly focused on the kidnapping of those missionaries in Haiti. What
does that mean? The latest from Port-au-Prince. But first, a blow to Netflix as employees say they are staging a walk-out. We'll tell you why
right after the break.
GORANI: And we have breaking news in the case of the murdered American woman Gabby Petito and her missing fiancee, Brian Laundrie. The coroner and
a cadaver dog have been called to a Florida park where Laundrie was believed to have traveled. CNN's Randi Kaye is in Sarasota, Florida, where
the search is taking place. What more can you tell us, Randi?
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Hala. We are here at the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park. This is just at the entrance to the
Carlton Reserve where authorities have been searching for Brian Laundrie, Gabby Petito's fiancee, since September 17th. So it's been quite some time.
And now we know from the Laundrie family attorney that they did find some articles belonging to Brian Laundrie today. Just to set the scene for you,
we know that from the family attorney that the parents, Roberta and Chris Laundrie, called the FBI and called North Port police where they live to
alert them that they were going to come to this area today and search for their son, who has been missing for quite some time.
So law enforcement came with them. They trailed them and they found these articles according to the family attorney just off a trail that Brian
Laundrie frequented. This is a reserve that Brian Laundrie would come and hike and camp -- in fact, his father came here back with authorities as
well to search for him and showed him some of the -- showed authorities some of the areas that Brian would camp and hang out in. So, we also know
that the coroner has been called to this area. We don't know what items were found and we don't know if Brian Laundrie was found, but we know the
coroner was also called this morning from Sarasota County to be out here as well as a cadaver dog or a human remains detection dog as they're
officially called, with the Pasco County Sheriff's office.
We know there's a dog on scene, and I can tell you just a bit about those dogs. They only search for decomposing bodies, Hala. They do not search for
They are not here to sniff out anyone who is on the run. They strictly focus and alert on a decomposing body, not on a decomposing animal and not
on a living human being, Hala.
GORANI: Well, so that perhaps tells us what the aim of the operation is here. But why did they -- they've been searching for Laundrie for days now,
weeks. If this is a trail that he frequented often and his parents knew to go there, why did it take so long to get to that spot?
KAYE: That's a question that we all want answered. We know that they just opened -- authorities just opened this area here yesterday to the public.
So the timing is certainly curious that all of a sudden today, they find these items, these articles belonging to Brian Laundrie. But the
environment has changed. There was a lot of deep water here in the reserve, they had swamp buggies, they had divers. They've had drones out as well.
That water has receded and all along authorities had been saying they hoped to get into some of those areas where the water had dried up. So perhaps it
was just timing.
We just don't know, but it is interesting that this area had just reopened. Mrs. Laundrie, Roberta Laundrie had not been out here before searching for
her son. So, they came out this morning and sure enough, they hit on something.
GORANI: All right, well, we'll stay in touch with you. Randi Kaye reporting live there on the discovery of items potentially linked to Brian
Laundrie, the fiancee of the murdered American woman Gabby Petito. Thanks so much. Now, let's turn to something completely different, and that is
Netflix. Employees of the streaming company are staging a walk-out over its decision to release Dave Chappelle's comedy special called "The Closer". A
group of transgender employees and their allies are protesting how the streaming giant handled complaints that the show ridicules trans people.
The Netflix head, Ted Sarandos, has so far stood by the decision to air the show. So, we want to show you now, why these protesters are rallying today.
Here is a short clip from the comedy which includes some of Chappelle's more controversial comments on transgender people.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVE CHAPPELLE, COMEDIAN: They cancelled J.K. Rowling, my God, J.K. Rowling wrote all the Harry Potter books by herself. She sold so many
books, the Bible worries about her.
And they cancelled her because she said in an interview, and this is not exactly what she said, but effectually, she said, gender was a fact, and
then the trans community got mad as -- they started calling her a turf. So, I looked it up. TERF is an acronym, It stands for trans exclusionary
radical feminist. I'm team TERF. I agree. I agree, man. Gender is a fact.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: So where does this all go from here? Let's bring in Brian Stelter; our chief media correspondent and Lisa Respers France; CNN senior
entertainment writer to break this all down for us. Thank you to both of you for being with us. Now, Netflix, the CEO originally wholesale supported
Chappelle, then it was a bit of a backtrack, saying perhaps that it was insensitive the way they reacted. And today, the company released a
statement saying we have much more work to do on this issue. Brian, what's going on at Netflix internally.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: They have not done a good job of explaining their decision-making around free expression and variety
of content. So, here is the statement today, saying, "we respect the decision of any employee who chooses to walk out right now. We recognize we
have much more work to be done both within Netflix and in our content." At the same time, Ted Sarandos; the co-CEO says overnight in interviews, I
screwed up, we screwed up, you know, by not communicating the decision and the choices here.
But this may be a turning point for so-called Cancel Culture. I hate that phrase, it doesn't mean anything anymore. But there is this sense that
pressure groups can go after companies and universities and institutions and try to cause change if they're offended. Netflix is holding the line,
saying, no, we're not going to take this special down, no, we're not going to apologize for it even as some of the employees walk out and hold a rally
as we speak.
At the same time, Netflix now saying we have more work to do. So I think they're trying to --
GORANI: Yes --
STELTER: Appeal to everyone kind of, which is the whole point of Netflix, to have enough content diversity for everybody.
GORANI: So, Lisa, what does that say about where the entertainment industry is today? I mean, whether you find Dave Chappelle's particular
special funny or not, I thought other specials were funnier, but that doesn't really matter. It's whether or not people are offended, right? And
if you're offended, what happens then to the content, to the performer, to the entertainer in the world that we live in today?
LISA RESPERS FRANCE, CNN SENIOR ENTERTAINMENT WRITER: Well, plenty of people were offended, of course, as you point out. But the thing with Dave
Chappelle is, you can't cancel Dave Chappelle. He doesn't care anything about being cancelled. This is a man who walked away from a $50 million
deal, never looked back, it didn't stop him from being famous, as a matter of fact, it made him more famous, it gave him a bigger career.
So, some people think what he actually is doing is kind of genius. He is using Cancel culture against itself because he's showing that, like, hey,
you can say that I'm cancelled all you want, people are going to flock to the special to see what the big deal is. People want to see what folks are
so offended about. So, you know, I don't think that people are going to stop watching the special, and I don't think that Netflix is ultimately
going to pull it because, keep in mind, it's not like while we think of Netflix in terms of TV, there aren't --
GORANI: Yes --
FRANCE: Ads on this Netflix special. So, it's not like, you know, all of a sudden, the advertisers are going to be up in arms and they're going to be
able to pressure. The pressure comes from people watching it, and I think some people who even say that they are not going to watch it or don't want
to watch it, I think secretly they're going to go ahead and watch it because everybody has FOMO, that fear of missing out. You want to know why
GORANI: Sure --
FRANCE: Are so upset.
GORANI: Well, I had to go re-watch it so I could remind myself of some of the jokes, so they got two viewings out of me. Let me show our viewers the
trailer that Netflix produced to promote the show, and then I'll ask you a question, Brian.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHAPPELLE: Media has a responsibility to speak recklessly. Sometimes the funniest things we say are mean. Remember, I'm not saying it to be mean,
I'm saying it because it's funny. So, let's play.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: So, he is saying it in the trailer, to be funny you have to be mean and to be mean makes the joke more funny -- I'm sorry, I'm just
paraphrasing. But essentially, this is the brand. So if this is the brand of Dave Chappelle, what does Netflix do?
STELTER: Right, there could be a turn-off to somebody and turn on to others --
GORANI: Why does he even apologize? I guess my question is, why does he even apologize?
STELTER: But I think this is where we are both in the United States and around the world. These debates about free speech, whether speech can be
considered violence, whether speech is offensive, needs to be tamped down by an institution like Netflix, which is now one of the biggest streamers
in the world or the biggest streamer in the world. And that's why you have this counter-protest at the walkout right now. Counter-protest from people
saying, don't cancel free speech, learn how to laugh at yourself, truth is not transphobic.
But you have a greater number of employees including trans employees saying our voices are not being heard inside Netflix, our views are not been taken
seriously enough by management. And this is one of those internal wars we see at major companies about who is valued most, about what voices are
valued, and about what voices are protected. And frankly, I don't know how this all unfolds in the next few years. We are in the middle of something,
which is a re-evaluation of free speech and free expression and how those values should be handled by major corporations.
Frankly, that ultimately the consumer decides, right? Because as Lisa was saying, people want to tune in and see what the fuss is all about, see what
the special is all about. I think it's always important, Hala, in these situations to listen to those who are offended, listen to their cases, hear
them out --
GORANI: Yes --
STELTER: Thoughtfully, but also hear perhaps the louder -- the less vocal majority, right, who may not bother complaining or talking about it or
defending Dave Chappelle, but actually liked the special. If you go on rotten tomatoes you'll see it has really positive reviews, even though some
of the critics soured on it. That's the kind of tension I think that exists here between a vocal minority and a much less vocal majority.
GORANI: So, rotten tomatoes, 43 percent positive reviews by critics, 95 percent positive reviews by --
STELTER: By viewers --
GORANI: From the audience, by viewers --
STELTER: Yes, so interesting.
GORANI: You know, OK, we're all in some way, shape or form a member of a minority. I am, my gender and my religion. We've all been made fun of by
stand-up comics. Some things I laughed at, other things I take offense at because it is mean-spirited and in some cases I think it might lead to
expressions of violence against my own community. Is there a risk, Lisa? For instance, the joke against -- the joke talking about the COVID virus in
his body and likening it to random attacks against elderly Asian people in the street that we've seen over the last few months, like is there a risk
there? And if that risk exists, should we be more careful what goes into comedic content?
FRANCE: Absolutely. Words can be dangerous. The thing is, yes, it's funny, some of his jokes. Some people did not find his jokes to be funny. Me
personally, I feel like Dave Chappelle has become more of a pundit than he is a comedian in a lot of ways, but when you are talking about the trans
community, you also have to recognize right now, there's such a high murder rate for trans women, especially trans women of color. So while Dave
Chappelle, you know, was being provocative and he says, you know, what he's really trying to talk about is race, that gets lost when you're talking
about a group of people who right now are being murdered.
And we can't play the oppression Olympics. We can't say, oh, take the attention away from the trans community who are being killed because people
of color are being killed. And so --
GORANI: Yes --
FRANCE: You know, so while he may be trying to get across an important message, it is being drowned out by all of the outrage. As Brian points
out, right now, outrage is the thing. Like outrage is what fuels social media.
Outrage seems like what is fueling our country right now. And Dave Chappelle is making money off of it.
GORANI: Right. He's in London, actually. He's got shows on in London. So this is an international story.
GORANI: It really went beyond the borders of the United States. Brian Stelter, Lisa Respers France, thanks so much to both of you for a
FRANCE: Thank you.
GORANI: Still ahead. Flying over the dangerous streets of Haiti, we will give you a bird's-eye view of the area where 17 missionaries were kidnapped
plus an update on those efforts to free them. We'll be right back.
GORANI: Well, as authorities work behind the scenes to try to free 17 kidnapped missionaries in Haiti, some Haitians are taking to the streets to
demand their release.
They're also protesting the lawlessness that is allowing gangs like this to operate with so much impunity, gangs like the one that is now demanding $17
million for the hostages' freedom. Our Joe Johns flew over the area controlled by 400 Mawozo, where the missionaries are being held.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: I've been on many of these roads outside of Port-au-Prince 10 years ago. But it's very different now,
simply because of the kidnappings. It is not safe for a foreigner to drive on the roads. That's why we're in the helicopter.
400 Mawozo is Creole for "out in the country," outside the city, and that's where this group and that's where this group comes from, an armed gang that
has grown larger and larger and more powerful.
JOHNS: Particularly over the last several months since the assassination of the president of Haiti, they control the roads in many ways. The police
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, Joe Johns joins me live from Port-au-Prince.
It is important to remember there are five kids, including a baby, held among the 17.
What is the latest on this effort to free these people?
JOHNS: Hala, the authorities have been maintaining radio silence. There's very little information that has gotten out. We do know about that $17
million demand by the kidnappers.
And we're told essentially that they have not changed that demand at all. So that's concerning.
In fact, I did talk to a Catholic priest, named father Rick Frechette, who has been here in Haiti for years, best known for providing medical care to
sick Haitian children. But he has also been called in to something like 70 different kidnapping situations to try to help negotiate, including four
times with this 400 Mawozo group that is alleged to have participated in this kidnapping.
He says he's very concerned about that $17 million ask because, if it is paid or a large ransom is paid, that it could put a price on the head of
people like him and other foreigners, who are inside the country. Listen in.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICK FRECHETTE, FOUNDER, ST. LUKE FOUNDATION FOR HAITI: If there's big ransom paid for these people, you can kiss all of us goodbye because
there's not going to be hope for anything. An 8-month-old child is in their hands, a 3-year-old child is in their hands.
So it is different. And it is taking on a whole symbolic -- it is taking on a symbolic nature that the individual cases haven't had.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNS: So we've gotten a little more information, too, about the mission of these missionaries, who were in the country. Most of them are from Ohio,
that organization in Ohio. What we're told is, of late, they've been helping to rebuild the homes of people from Haiti that had been destroyed
in the August earthquake.
So sort of a convergence of the international crises of late here in Haiti -- back to you, Hala.
GORANI: All right, we'll stay in touch with you. Thanks very much, Joe Johns, live in Port-au-Prince.
Now to a deadly flare-up of violence in Syria, that began with the worst bombing in Damascus itself in years. It is a rare occurrence. Two bombs
exploded on a bus carrying government soldiers today.
A state-run news agency says 14 people were killed. No one has claimed responsibility. A short time later, government forces shelled a rebel-held
town in Idlib province as children were heading to school, killing at least 10 people.
We warn you, we are about to show some graphic and very disturbing video filmed by the rescue group, White Helmets.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI (voice-over): It is a terrible scene as usual, children screaming in terror. UNICEF says four students and a teacher are among the dead. It
says today's violence is yet another reminder that the war in Syria has not come to an end, even if the attention of the world has moved on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: We're going to take a quick break. Much more on COVID coming up after this, including the vaccination guidance in the United States and a
closer look at how Asian countries are dealing with this stage of the pandemic, quite different from Europe. We will be right back.
GORANI: China is sticking to its zero COVID model as other countries abandon theirs. The country recorded just 17 new cases today. But officials
are responding with lockdowns and ramped-up tracing measures. So this is coming at a cost of people's personal freedom.
Meanwhile, Singapore is letting fully vaccinated travelers from eight more countries enter without quarantining. That includes the U.S., the U.K. and
Australia will not bend its vaccine mandates for travelers, even tennis superstar Novak Djokovic. Back in April, he said he is opposed to vaccines
but all players in the upcoming Australian Open will need both shots.
India's top court approved a compensation program for people who lost loved ones to COVID-19. But some experts say hundreds of thousands of victims'
families could miss out on the aid.
Why is that?
Here's Vedika Sud.
VEDIKA SUD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The tears haven't stopped. It has been six months since Pooja Sharma lost her husband to COVID-19. He
died gasping for death in a Delhi hospital in the peak of India's devastating second wave.
POOJA SHARMA, COVID-19 VICTIM'S WIDOW (through translator): Why was there no oxygen?
When you know there is a problem and everyone is troubled, why weren't there any facilities?
SUD (voice-over): A compensation program by the federal government allows payment of approximately $670 (ph) to the next of kin of COVID-19 victims.
This will provide immediate succor to families but many can't prove their loved ones died from COVID-19.
RAMANAN LAXMINARAYA, SENIOR RESEARCH SCHOLAR, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: The main challenge is to show that your family member died of COVID. Unless
they had had a COVID test or their cause of death is related to COVID -- and for the latter you need the former -- they are not going to get the
SUD (voice-over): The Indian government has promised no families will be denied compensation if death certificates do not mention COVID-19.
A mother of two, Pooja paints urban lands and stitches bags for a living. She barely makes $60 a month. She showed us the death certificate, which
cites COVID-19 as cause of death. But she finds the application process intimidating.
SHARMA (through translator): I will definitely apply but they need to ensure that we get it.
SUD (voice-over): Realtor Sunil Maggon, who is a member of the country's main opposition political party, lost his parents and brother to COVID-19
within a span of just four days.
SUNIL MAGGON, REALTOR (through translator): My brother needed a ventilator, which wasn't available. Three family members couldn't get
oxygen. For my mother, we needed oxygen for one day. We just didn't know how to get it.
SUD (voice-over): Maggon has COVID-19 reports to prove his family members were infected. But he says he won't apply for compensation. The loss, the
anger against the system, still too raw, he says.
MAGGON (through translator): Why do I need $670 from them?
Take double from me, take 10 times from me and give me my family back.
SUD: According to a report published by the U.S.-based Center for Global Development published in July, India's excess deaths from the pandemic
could be 10 times higher than the official death toll.
SUD (voice-over): One reason for this is many states have attributed fatalities to comorbidities instead of COVID-19.
SUD (voice-over): India's health minister has gone on record to say the government has no reason to hide deaths.
While state governments are in the process of advertising details and setting up grievances to address with committees, experts say the immediate
need is to make the process less complicated and more empathetic -- Vedika Sud, CNN, New Delhi.
GORANI: Well, staying with COVID, the White House is trying to fight misinformation about the vaccine. They are planning a public education
campaign, aimed at parents primarily. And they hope it will get more Americans on board when health officials approve the shots for kids.
CNN's senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen joins me now.
What will this messaging campaign look like?
Because there are some vaccine hesitant parents, who don't want their kids jabbed necessarily.
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SR. MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: There certainly are. Now we don't exactly know what this campaign will look like. We know that a
campaign that was recently done for adults really tried to home in on folks who had COVID and really suffered and how much they wished that they had
We don't know if they're going to do sort of a similar kind of a strategy with the campaign for parents. But let's take a look at how the vaccine
rollout is going to go for children.
So unlike with the adults, where they didn't focus on doctors' offices, for children, they are going to be sending a lot of vaccine to pediatricians'
offices. In the U.S., that's where children get vaccinated.
So they're emphasizing that, as well as sending it to pharmacies and to children's hospitals and likely to also schools. So it will be interesting
to see, you know, if you follow the rollout for adults, Hala, in the United States, at the end of last year it got very messy.
They are hoping that by planning early before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has even authorized the shots for children, they're hoping
if they plan the rollout now that it will go more smoothly -- Hala.
GORANI: And what about booster shots?
There's a possibility perhaps that younger Americans could be eligible?
COHEN: That's right. So what a source is telling me is that there is -- it is likely that U.S. health officials are going to do something sort of a
bit along the lines of what Israel has done and go down in age.
In the United States, that's not the case right now. The feeling is that there's more data coming in that says even people in their 40s and 50s, who
are fully vaccinated, are ending up in the hospital with COVID.
So let's take a look, sort of big picture how this works. Right now, only the Pfizer booster is authorized in the U.S. And you have to be 65 or
older. Or if you are younger, you have to be at high risk, for example, of certain medical conditions. Health officials say that's likely to change.
So that it would be everyone over age 40 or age 50 and that the same would happen with Moderna. Now we don't know for sure. This hasn't all played
out. But a panel of CDC experts will be meeting and talking about this tomorrow -- Hala.
GORANI: All right. It will be interesting to hear.
In the U.K., I just heard over 50s will be offered the flu shot. It is usually over 65. So we'll see how that impacts the winter season. Thanks so
much, Elizabeth Cohen.
Brazil's president is rejecting accusations made against him over his handling of the pandemic saying he is "guilty of absolutely nothing,"
quote-unquote. A senate committee released a report today recommending that president Bolsonaro face at least 10 charges, including crimes against
It alleges his, quote, "reckless mismanagement" of the crisis led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people.
Still to come, the U.N.'s COP26 is less than two weeks away. But the leaders of some of the world's biggest polluters probably won't show up.
What that means for the climate summit -- coming up.
GORANI: World leaders will be leaving for the COP26 climate summit in about 10 days but two of them may be missing. They're important ones,
Russia's Vladimir Putin, who is staying home, and China's Xi Jinping, who is not likely to attend.
That's even though Mr. Putin has said Russia would try to be carbon neutral no later than 2060 and that natural gas could play a larger role in energy
usage. Russia is the world's largest natural gas exporter.
And it recently decided not to send more supplies to Europe, which is counting on them to help fight climate change. Let's make sense of all of
this. Angela Dewan is CNN international's climate editor and joins me now.
How can COP26 be a success if two of the world's largest polluters don't show up?
ANGELA DEWAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CLIMATE EDITOR: It is a good question. I think when world leaders come to COPs they're sending a strong symbol
climate change is important. There have been a number of COPs where we had world leaders turn up, there have been those where we haven't.
This one was one with a lot of momentum and we were hoping to see that unity from world leaders by turning up.
When we don't have China at the table, in terms of Xi Jinping at least, that's a big deal because China, as you say, is the world's biggest
emitter. You could say the same for Putin, although some might argue, having him out of the way may make some negotiations smoother.
But there's certainly a sense of, you know, a loss of momentum ahead of this conference, as a number of world leaders say they're not going to
GORANI: And stand by, because I want to show our viewers this fascinating piece. It is on our website. It is about carbon capture and carbon capture
-- viewers can explore that at cnn.com, by the way. This is how the technology works to capture carbon from the atmosphere. Let's take a look.
KIM BRUNHUBER, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In Iceland's rural hillside enormous futuristic looking fans are using an unusual method
to fight climate change.
DR. JAN WURZBACHER, CEO AND COFOUNDER, CLIMEWORKS: We have just turned into operation our Orca plan, which is the largest carbon capture plan
currently operational in the world, with a capacity of 4,000 tons of CO2 that are captured from the air every year.
BRUNHUBER (voice-over): A Swiss startup, partnering with a Icelandic carbon storage firm, developed the plant called Orca, a reference to the
Icelandic word for energy.
Powered by renewable energy from a nearby geothermal plant, Orca's eight large containers use high-tech filters and fans to capture or suck planet-
heating carbon dioxide from the air.
WURZBACHER: And we are then handing over this CO2 to our partners from Carbfix, who inject it in the ground and the CO2 there is mineralized with
the basalt rock, so then it's turned into stone literally and that is happening within a period of two years.
That's the really most safe and most permanent method of removing CO2 from the atmosphere that is currently available on the market.
BRUNHUBER (voice-over): The technology is innovative but expensive and needs a lot more development before it could impact global warming; 15
climate capturing plants worldwide removed less than 10,000 tons of CO2 in 2020, according to the International Energy Agency.
That pales in comparison to the billions of tons of carbon emissions the world releases each year. But Orca's developers say they're planning to
scale up. And leading air capture firms say they're seeing more investment and government interest in their technology.
BRUNHUBER (voice-over): A hopeful start, they say, in the growing fight against the world's climate crisis -- Kim Brunhuber, CNN.
GORANI: All right. So, Angela, this is only viable, we are talking about large scale. We don't have scale yet.
DEWAN: No, that's right. This is just, you know, technology in development. Certainly in Iceland, this is technology that is working but
only, as you say, at a small scale.
So we have to really think about how much we want to bank on this technology to save the day, if you will.
What we do know is scientists say that, even if we reached zero emissions today, that wouldn't be enough. We have emitted so much carbon since the
Industrial Revolution, we need to think about technologies like this to remove carbon from the atmosphere.
So in some ways this is a slightly depressing symbol of where we are but it is also one of hope. Hopefully, technology like this might work when we
need to go negative emissions in the future.
GORANI: All right. Angela Dewan, thanks very much.
I will leave you with this. In the Canary Islands where a volcano has been erupting for more than a month now, a daring drone rescue is being planned
to save three stranded dogs.
The dogs have been stuck in an abandoned yard on La Palma island for weeks, surrounded by volcanic ash with no one to take care of them. Small drones
have dropped food for them but they're still hungry and weak. Look how skinny they are.
Conditions are too dangerous for a helicopter rescue, so a drone with a big net will try to catch the dogs one by one and fly them to safety. The
company in charge of the operation says its success will depend on how the dogs react. So the drones will only have a few minutes to rescue each dog
so their batteries don't run out.
Oh, my goodness. Poor things. Oh, they're living creatures, they need to be rescued and I hope they send us images of the dogs actually getting rescued
on La Palma island where the volcano is relentless.
It has been spewing lava and ash for so long with no respite for the inhabitants of the island.
I'm Hala Gorani. We'll have more after this break. QUEST MEANS BUSINESS after this.