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Hala Gorani Tonight
Alec Baldwin Heartbroken Over Fatal Film Set Shooting; Global COVID Cases Keep Rising; Biden Vows to Defend Taiwan from China Attack; Biden Comment Ignites New Firestorm Over Taiwan; Woman Dies After Alec Baldwin Fired Prop Gun On Film Set; Queen Elizabeth Back Home After One Night In Hospital. Aired 2-3p EST
Aired October 22, 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 on this Friday, I'm HALA GORANI TONIGHT. Alec Baldwin says he's heartbroken after
he fired a prop gun on a New Mexico film set killing a cinematographer. We'll have the very latest. Then fears over rising COVID cases in more and
more countries. We have CNN reports from all around the world.
And after President Biden said the U.S. would defend Taiwan if China invaded, we look at the overall geopolitical tensions in the region. Alec
Baldwin has spoken out after a woman was killed when he fired a prop gun on the set of his latest movie, "Rust". The actor says, quote, "there are no
words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired
colleague of ours. I'm fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred, and I'm in touch with her husband,
offering him my support to him and his family.
My heart is broken for her husband, their son and all who knew and loved Halyna." The victim was the film's director of photography, seen here on
set just a few days ago in Santa Fe. Authorities say the crew were filming a scene in New Mexico using the prop gun when the incident happened. And in
these two images following the accident, you can see Baldwin appearing completely distraught outside the county sheriff's office. There are so
many questions in the air about how this could happen.
You would think that all the safety and security measures are in place on film sets when it comes to handling firearms, even if they are loaded with
blanks. Our correspondent Stephanie Elam has been tracking the latest developments and she had this report a short time ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What we do know is that according to the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Department is that, they got the call just
before 2:00 p.m. that there was a shooting on the movie set. They responded to two people shot. We know that Hutchins was airlifted to the University
of New Mexico hospital where she was pronounced dead. We know that Director Joel Souza was taken to a regional hospital by ambulance, still no official
word on how he is doing at this point. It's still not clear though how anyone, especially the director of photography and the director could be in
the line of this gunfire.
That's part of the questions that people have out there. And then just many people wondering why there needs to be these kinds of props that could be
so dangerous on set. Obviously, this is not the first time that we've seen something like this happen. So many were saying there's computer technology
now, there's ways to get around this where you don't actually have to have this danger on set.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, our Stephanie Elam reporting there. We'll be speaking with a firearms specialist, someone who is used to handling prop guns on film sets
and I'll be asking him, you know, how this could have happened and what kind of safety precautions are in place. What actors and actresses are told
when they are handling these prop guns, that obviously as we've seen not just today, in the past it's happened before, can be very dangerous and
To COVID now. We're bringing you the latest from around the world. Some countries are starting to ease up on restrictions, but others are seeing
worrying rises in cases. China's health ministry says there were 35 new locally transmitted infections on Thursday. Officials are aiming for no new
cases and Steven Jiang tells us how they're handling this development.
STEVEN JIANG, CNN BEIJING BUREAU CHIEF: Hala, as this latest outbreak continues to spread across the country, Chinese officials are now turning
to a familiar playbook, imposing targeted lockdowns and travel restrictions and conducting mass testing and contact-tracing. All of those measures
because China is now the only major country in the world that sticks to this zero COVID policy, especially ahead of several major events including
the 100-day countdown to the Beijing Winter Olympics next week, and shortly after that, a very important communist party leadership meeting being held
here in Beijing in early November.
But of course, all of this really shining a spotlight on some grave challenges faced by the authorities including how to strike a balance
between containing the virus and maintaining economic and social activities, especially at a time when the economy is facing some very
strong headwinds, and also this calls into question of the efficacy of Chinese vaccines because this cluster of cases was first detected among a
group of people who had been fully vaccinated with domestic vaccines. Hala?
GORANI: Thank you very much. Australia's second largest state, Victoria, is opening up, some might say finally, after more than 260 days of
lockdown. Other states though are fighting to get enough people vaccinated before they can open their borders with the view from Australia, here is
ANGUS WATSON, CNN PRODUCER (on camera): One of the most locked down cities in the world, Melbourne, Australia, emerging from its latest COVID-19
shutdown on Friday. People out and about celebrating freedom from their sixth lockdown some 262 days spent in lockdown cumulatively since the
pandemic began. Melbourne, a cultural capital for Australia, a restaurant capital, people there now able to enjoy those things once again, and they
were out on a beautiful Friday afternoon down in Melbourne celebrating today.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Visiting family and friends is just fantastic, it has been such a long time since we've been able to do that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like being sort of separated from what I do for so long. It was -- it's super nice to be back today, and it's a sunny day, so
it's like perfect.
WATSON: Now, it is a cautious opening that the state of Victoria has put in place for Melbourne, and it's possible because of the state's high
vaccination rates, 70 percent of the adult population is double-vaccinated against COVID-19, 90 percent of that adult population has had at least one
shot. So some good news today, more good news announced by the State Premier Daniel Andrews. He says that as of the 1st of November, the state's
international border will open through its airport in Melbourne, joining Sydney in welcoming Australians and residents and their families from
across the world back into those cities without having to quarantine if you're double vaccinated.
But we are seeing this very strange situation in Australia right now where states that have had COVID-19 in the community, that still do have COVID-19
in the community, but have high vaccination rates, living with the virus and beginning to talk about opening up to the rest of the world, whereas,
other states won't open up to one another. Those states like Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia with lower vaccination rates, wanting
to hold on, to give their populations a chance to up that vaccination rates before deciding to live with the virus. Angus Watson, CNN, Sydney.
GORANI: Thanks for that, we're expecting to see a mass -- we were expecting to see a mass demonstration against COVID health passes in Italy,
but it was called off in the end. The view from there with Barbie Nadeau.
BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Hala, protests in the northern Italian port city of Trieste set to demonstrate against the green-pass vaccine
mandate were called off after organizers received credible information that violent extremists planned to cause trouble. The organizers had hoped
around 20,000 people from across the country could attend, but quickly cancelled and told people to stay home and protest in their own cities. The
fear that violent attacks could derail a legitimate demonstrations comes after neo fascist groups attacked a Labor Union office here in Rome two
The port protest organizers plan to meet with government officials this weekend and did not want to be associated with violence for fear their
complaints about the green pass would go unheard. Italy's green pass requires all workers to be vaccinated or show proof of a negative COVID
test every 48 hours, and it's the strictest mandate in Europe. Hala?
GORANI: Thanks Barbie, and finally, the British government says soaring case numbers in the U.K. are within their expectations. So, they're
sticking with the current plan. That means still no obligatory masks, no mandates, no lockdowns, none of that. Salma Abdelazizi tells us about the
SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN REPORTER: Hala, the British Medical Association is accusing the government here of willful negligence over their refusal to
put tougher coronavirus restrictions in place despite a surge in cases. On Friday, the U.K. recorded more than 49,000 new infections, that's an
increase of 18 percent over the last seven days. Still, the Health Secretary Sajid Javid says for now, the rules will not change. Instead, the
authorities want to focus on increasing the vaccination rate, especially among the very young. Now, there is a contingency plan known as plan B.
That would see masks mandated, potentially the use of COVID passports, people urged to work from home. But even if plan B was imposed by the
government, that would only put the U.K. really in line with other European countries. Hala.
GORANI: OK, Salma, thanks very much. Let's talk more about the state of the pandemic, specifically in the U.K. Dr. Kamran Abbasi is the executive
editor of the "British Medical Journal", he joins me from Cambridge, thanks for being with us. Doctor, first of all -- I mean, the U.K. vaccinated
earlier than mainland Europe, so, therefore, the efficacy of the vaccines is waning sooner. Is that one of the reasons we're seeing so many new cases
compared to the continent? We are at almost 50,000 a day.
KAMRAN ABBASI, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL: Possibly. I mean, that could be one of the reasons. It's one of the reasons people are
concerned. I think the bigger reason though is that we've -- as you rightly just pointed out, we have some of the most liberal policies now across
Europe in terms of people mixing, contacting, and that's really what's behind this surge in cases. Yes, there may be an effect on transmission,
but what we know about the vaccines is they don't really have a major impact on transmission. They're more focused on reducing severe illness,
hospitalization and --
GORANI: Yes --
ABBASI: Death --
ABBASI: That's where the benefits come.
GORANI: OK, so, therefore, what you're saying, I think what I'm hearing you say is the government should reimpose some restrictions including
mandating masks in indoor public places. Would you recommend that?
ABBASI: Well, yes, absolutely. I think this is the -- this is the concern. The British -- the English government specifically has had, you know, a
very poor pandemic in terms of responding too late. Every time there are these signals that we should be alarmed about, and the signals are there,
50,000 cases, 40,000 people a year now dying from COVID, hospital admissions up, the hospitals are full. The intensive care that are partly
filled with COVID patients, and so it's only going to get worse and the government's projections suggest that, and everybody knows that this will
all get worse over the Winter.
And the two factors are to reduce that toll, are to give boosters to the vulnerable and to the elderly. And secondly, to reduce contact. And this is
why people are now saying you have to introduce the plan B measures, the preventative measures to reduce contacts, to reasonably reduce those, to
make sure that the cases don't then continue to rise, and that then doesn't lead to massive pressure on the hospitals, because the government is
saying, hey, the pressure is not unsustainable at the moment. But the people --
GORANI: Right --
ABBASI: Who work in the health service entirely disagree with that.
GORANI: Right, then you have the flu coming and other obviously other emergencies happen. People are still getting sick with other illnesses. We
asked a random selection of Londoners on the street what they thought about wearing masks at this stage of the pandemic. Here is what they told us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mostly I feel safe. I think -- I think I've kind of taken that personal responsibility to accept you just have to sometimes
move away from people in crowded places if they're not choosing to wear masks or, you know, you can't have that 2 meters between you. Sometimes you
just have to move. It's not ideal, but it happens.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, we only wear masks where 100 percent necessary. I don't enjoy wearing masks, so that's not something I would keep or I would
have kept. As I said to you earlier, life is what it is now and there's no choice. We kind of grew to be where we are and that's it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've been in the tube a couple of times, I've done a little survey of people in the tube where people are certainly not keeping
social distance because they can't. And 50 percent of the people technically are not wearing masks. That is nuts. That's crazy. So they want
to get -- do they want to get sick? Because they pretty soon will.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: So, it's interesting because I take the tube, which is the underground in this country, every day. And I would say on some days, 80
percent of the people are maskless in a closed, public place, and I don't quite understand what's going on. What's your take on why in this country
in particular, there's so few people wearing masks, even though the numbers are so high?
ABBASI: Yes, I mean, we can't blame the people. I think this problem comes right from the top, from Boris Johnson, his government and the leadership,
setting a very bad example, giving mixed messages and also being regularly seen without wearing masks, not distancing. Because if we remember during
the first and the second waves, particularly the first wave, the population of the U.K. very much complied with all these measures, and they're not
doing so now simply because they're getting the signal right from the top, from the country's leaders that you don't have to do these things.
So that mixed messaging is creating the problems and the government needs to have a clear message around what needs to be done and what the public
needs to do, they need to act now.
GORANI: All right, thank you so much Dr. Kamran Abbasi for joining us live from Cambridge, he's the "British Medical Journal" executive editor. Really
appreciate your time this evening.
Let's get back to that prop gun accident, that fatal prop gun accident we brought you at the top of the show. Alec Baldwin appears to have fired a
prop gun, it killed the cinematographer of the movie he was working on in New Mexico and injured the director. I want to bring in an expert now,
Joseph Fisher joins me now, he's a prop specialist, he works on movie sets, he's also a retired NYPD detective. Thanks for being with us. First of all,
the obvious question, how? I mean, I imagine there are many safety and precaution procedures on a movie set when it comes to handling firearms,
even loaded with blanks. So how surprised were you when you heard that this accident had had such fatal consequences?
JOSEPH FISHER, PROP MASTER ON MOVIE SETS: Thank you for having me on today. It came as a big shock, knowing how many safety protocols and how
many stuff are in place as a prop master and as a weapon wrangler. It's almost impossible but not completely out of the realm of possibility for an
accident like this to happen.
GORANI: What do you -- I mean, what safety precautions do you take? Let's say -- I mean, obviously, we often have guns, prop guns used in movies and
TV series. What safety precautions do you take to try to avoid accidents like this one?
FISHER: Well, the first step, which is a big one, is making sure that there are no live firearms on any set whenever there's going to be any kind
of gun play on camera. The second step that we take is ensuring that the cast and the crew have been given a safety brief on what is going to be
used as far as prop weaponry, prop ammunitions, anything like that which has a possibility of risk on set. I take time to introduce the weapons to
each and every cast member. I take time to take the actors on the side, train them on how to use the weapon, how to do it safely, work with the
director so that we're not increasing the risk when we're bringing a weapon on camera.
GORANI: How does the scene usually unfold when it involves a weapon? I mean, I imagine that actors are discouraged from aiming directly at other
actors or anybody on set. I imagine that in a scene they would be aiming at an empty space just to make sure that even with blanks -- because we've
heard of instances where blanks have very severely injured people -- you're not hitting anyone. Is that the case?
FISHER: That is usually the case. What we will do is what they call cheating the shot, and that means having an actor standing in one position
and having a second actor standing off on an angle, but to the camera, it looks like they're both in line with each other.
GORANI: Right --
FISHER: And there's usually a safe distance between the actor and the person that they may be pointing at, because even with a prop blank
ammunition such as this one, there's an inherent risk. And that is because these are still firing gun powder. They still have a primer in them, and
they're discharging a small bit of wax or paper wadding as well as the powder that's igniting inside the round every time a blank weapon is fired.
GORANI: What is the range --
FISHER: Some blank weapons --
GORANI: Sorry, keep going, sorry. I thought you were done. Go ahead.
FISHER: Some blank weapons have a plugged barrel, which means that nothing can come out of the breach of the weapon. Others have an open -- which
allows a small flash of fire and gun powder to come out at the end. And I believe that was used in this circumstance.
GORANI: And my question is, what is the range of one of these blank bullets? Is it similar to live ammunition?
FISHER: No. Typically, a blank ammunition will only have 25 percent to 50 percent of the gun powder of an actual ammunition, and they are designed
very differently. This isn't a real bullet where you have the projectile on the top, you have the casing on the lower end. In our industry, we use
crimped blanks. This cannot fit into a live weapon and vice versa. And that's one of the safety protocols that we take when we're dealing with
prop weapons. When a blank discharges you still have gas, you still have powder, you still have pressure coming out of that barrel, and anything
within 15 to 25 feet, you could cause serious injury. Anything between 25 feet and 50 feet, you still have a risk of injury but it's not as severe.
GORANI: Oh, that's really interesting and it's great to see a live bullet versus one of the blank bullets. Do you test fire the weapons before
they're used in any scene just to make sure that there's no residue or anything like that in the firearm itself that could cause injury?
FISHER: Typically, the weapons are cleaned in between uses. They're tested before they're brought to the set, and then they're tested again on set. We
do that so that the actors and the crew know what to expect when the gun goes off. This way nobody gets shocked, nobody gets scared. Safety is key
GORANI: All right. Well, thanks so much for your insight and expertise there, Joseph Fisher, who is a prop master on film sets and a retired NYPD
detective joining us from New York. Appreciate your time. Still to come this evening, U.S. President Biden's controversial remark on CNN about
defending Taiwan against China. Why the White House is quickly back- pedaling as tensions soar in the Pacific. We'll be right back.
GORANI: The White House is trying to calm a new firestorm over Taiwan, insisting that America's military policy toward the island has not changed.
The controversy erupted on a CNN town hall last night when President Biden said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You hear people saying, Biden wants to start a new cold war with China. I don't want a cold war with
China. I just want to make China understand that we are not going to step back, we are not going to change any of our views.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN: So are you saying that the United States would come to Taiwan's defense --
COOPER: If China attack?
BIDEN: Yes, we have a commitment to do that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: But America's longstanding policy has been to stay intentionally ambiguous on whether it would intervene if China does attack the island.
Mr. Biden's comment drew an immediate rebuke from Beijing. A foreign ministry spokesperson said, "China urges the U.S. to be cautious in its
words and deeds on the Taiwan issue, and refrain from sending any wrong signals to the separatist forces of Taiwan independence." Taiwan though was
delighted. It said, "our government will continue to strengthen our self defense capabilities to fully defend Taiwan's democracy."
Meantime, Japan is rushing to boost its military readiness. In addition to getting more war planes, ships and submarines, Japan's self-defense forces
are stepping up ground drills. It's a new Japan these days, and Blake Essig, embedded with Japanese troops sent us this report.
BLAKE ESSIG, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the closest members of Japan's ground self-defense force have ever come to
fighting a war.
(on camera): But you can hear the sound of simulated gunfire starting to erupt just as the enemy is starting to make its way down that hill side.
(voice-over): Established in 1954, the force has never experienced actual combat, so for now, this is as real as it gets.
(on camera): Instead of live ammunitions, troops and tanks are armed with simulation weapons that fire lasers. They'll know if they've been hit
because of the sensors lining their uniforms and the vehicles that will let them know if they've been injured or killed.
(voice-over): This man was just hit by a simulated mortar, which severely injured his right leg. Even though it isn't real, these unscripted war
games that are a departure from Japan's post World War II passivism have never been more important.
YUICHI TOGASHI, COMMANDING GENERAL (through translator): The most important thing is to demonstrate the combat power we have as a unit. We
have planned and prepared for this drill for a long time, however, there is room to improve our skills. I hope everyone understands that we train
ourselves day and night to protect our country and do our best.
ESSIG: Ongoing security threats from neighboring countries like North Korea, Russia and China make drills like this even more urgent,
especially amid concerns that Japan could get drawn into a conflict over Taiwan.
BIDEN: We all recognize the imperative of ensuring peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific over the long term.
ESSIG: A region that's instead been growing more hostile in recent years. In fact, GSDF officials say Japan's national security environment is the
worst it's been since shortly after the end of World War II more than 70 years ago.
TOGASHI: Given that the current security environment surrounding Japan is extremely severe. We, the self-defense forces, are required to enhance the
effectiveness of operations.
ESSIG: To that end, Japan's ground self-defense force is holding its largest drill in nearly 30 years, focused on operational readiness in case
the country is forced to defend itself.
(on camera): From above looking down on the battlefield below, the camouflaged troops and equipment are hard to see. That's because they
easily blend in with the thick, forest-like terrain that surrounds them. This is what war could look like if it breaks out in Japan's southern
(voice-over): And if it does, Commanding General Yuichi Togashi says the GSDF will be ready. Blake Essig, CNN, Oita, Japan.
GORANI: Well, Joe Biden's comment at the CNN town hall about defending Taiwan against China comes at a delicate time because tensions between
China and Taiwan have been soaring. Ian Bremmer joins me now from New York. He's written about the situation in the latest issue of "Foreign Affairs"
and he is founder and president of the Eurasia Group. Thanks very much for joining us. Let's talk a little bit about what Biden said about coming to
the aid of Taiwan in case it is attacked by China. What did you make of that comment?
IAN BREMMER, FOUNDER & PRESIDENT, EURASIA GROUP: He misspoke. I mean I hate to say it. They came out very quickly afterwards, the Biden
administration, and says the policy of the United States has not changed, and that policy is that we provide support to allow the Taiwanese to defend
themselves effectively in the incidents of an attack, but we do not commit to come directly to their defense. So if there has been no change in policy
and Biden's advisors have told us after this statement, there has been no change in policy, the only remaining alternative is that the president made
a mistake when he made that statement.
GORANI: Well, that's a big mistake to make in a public forum. Let me ask you about the piece that you wrote that I referenced because it's all about
how big tech companies are becoming as powerful and influential as nation states. And one of the battles that is taking place and that will take
place over the next decades, possibly longer, is in cyber space. Let me just quote from this piece. "The world's largest technology firms are
assessing how best to position themselves as Washington and Beijing steel themselves for protracted competition.
The United States believes that its foremost geopolitical imperative is to prevent its displacement by its techno-authoritarian rival." So, what shape
does this battle take?
BREMMER: Well, it's pretty clear that the Chinese government is doing what it can to have control of its technology companies and of its digital and
virtual space. You will note, Hala, that they've made crypto and mining for crypto illegal because they see it as a threat to fiat currency, the United
States has not done that. They've told young people, you get three hours on your video games a week. And if you don't use those hours, you'll lose
them. This is the largest consumer market in the world, the largest digital market in the world and they don't care if they're undermining the business
case for these big companies. They're saying we are worried about losing control of our population.
In the United States, when you talk about the digital space, the virtual space, actually companies hold a lot more sway and understand what's going
on. They create the architecture, they create the algorithms, we're not regulating that space.
GORANI: Yes, and we're talking about companies like Facebook, Instagram owned by Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, TikTok, all the rest of it, they have
the kind of power that countries have on the global stage. Will that chain --
BREMMER: When we talk about the --
GORANI: Will governments intervene and break up some of these companies?
BREMMER: I don't think so, in part because the -- even though everyone's unhappy with tech companies, they're unhappy in different ways. So for
example, on the right, you have a lot of people that are unhappy because of cancel culture. And because they feel like their voices aren't being heard
on the left, it's because they're not paying enough taxes, and they're monopolies that have too much control. And then you have people that say,
well, if we undermine our tech companies, then they're only going to be less competitive vis-a-vis China, where they're supporting national
champions that are more aligned with the state.
But I think it's important for us to realize that, you know, on January 6, which was the most important domestic political crisis in my country of my
lifetime, the government was asleep at the switch. There was no response from the government. The tech companies deplatformed a sitting president of
the United States, they had much more impact on what happened to the country.
GORANI: And so therefore -- but then why then wouldn't governments, in order to claw back some of that control, take back some of that narrative
from the tech companies, not attempt to destabilize them, break them up and make them a little bit less powerful? Because right now, it is the tech
companies setting the agenda. As you said, deplatforming the President of United States, that's a lot of power.
BREMMER: Well, that is a lot of power, and -- but the government would have to know what to do, they'd have to agree on it, and they'd have to have the
ability to implement on it and, Hala, on all three of those, the U.S. government is really not well set up to effectively respond.
GORANI: Yes. All right, Ian Bremmer, as always pleasure. Thanks so much for joining us live from New York.
BREMMER: Sure. See you soon.
GORANI: Still to come tonight, the latest on Queen Elizabeth's condition following an overnight stay at the hospital. We'll bring you that after
GORANI: Let's get back to one of our top stories. Police investigating that deadly shooting incident involving Alec Baldwin on a movie set in New
Mexico. They are trying to figure out how a prop gun that the actor was using could have killed someone. In this case, the film's director of
photography, another person was injured. Our correspondent, Stephanie Elam, has been tracking all the developments for us. So what more do we know? We
were speaking to a prop specialist who said essentially, this was a very surprising and rare accident.
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I mean, if you think about how many times you watch a movie and how many times you see a gun in a movie, we
should -- I mean, if you think about it, it has to be rare, right, Hala? Because we just don't hear about it enough. But it doesn't really matter
when, if one time, there is a tragedy as large as this one.
And what we know is that Halyna Hutchins, the Director of Photography, losing her life, we know that the director, who Alec Baldwin has worked
with previously, Joel Souza was also injured in this. No word yet -- official word on whether or not he is out of the hospital at this point.
We know the investigation continues. But we have now heard from Alec Baldwin himself who sent out a couple of tweets just pretty recently with
the last couple of hours. Let me read it to you. He wrote, "There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that
took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours. I'm fully cooperating with the police investigation to
address how this tragedy occurred. And I am in touch with her husband offering my support to him and his family. My heart is broken for her
husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna."
At this point, we know that this investigation is continuing. We have word from New Mexico's First Judicial District Attorney. Right now, we know it's
unclear whether or not charges will be filed because the investigation is going on. But she also wrote in part "We will look into all the facts and
evidence of this case with great discretion and have further information at a later time. Our thoughts are with all of the affected by this tragedy."
Of course, people here in Hollywood who work in Hollywood, really shocked by this, dismayed by this. People are calling for reforms on how guns are
used on sets these, prop guns. And some saying that you don't even need to do that anymore. You have computers to do this. Her agency coming out
behind Halyna and saying that she was a rising star and it's a shame that her talent has gone away now.
And all of this, when you put it into the context of the film that they were actually shooting, Hala, it's a Western based in the 1880s, supposed
to be in Kansas, and it's about a 13-year-old boy who goes on the run with his estranged grandfather, who's played by Alec Baldwin, after an
accidental murder of a rancher. So it's just interesting to look at what they're filming. And then what has happened now actually in real life.
GORANI: It's such a tragic case and, you know, it has experts in the field puzzled, so we're going to wait and see what the investigation reveals.
Thanks so much, Stephanie Elam, in Los Angeles.
Britain's Queen Elizabeth is back at Windsor Castle after spending a night in the hospital this week for what Buckingham Palace calls preliminary
investigations. The Queen is reportedly in good spirits spending the day resting and performing some light tasks. Phil Black is at Windsor with more
on the story.
PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hala, you'll remember we first heard the Queen was unwell on Wednesday. That was when we were told she was
reluctantly accepting doctor's advice, staying home to rest instead of traveling to Northern Ireland as planned that she was disappointed about
that. We now know there was a little more to it. Buckingham Palace has confirmed she spent Wednesday night in a private hospital in Central London
undergoing what are called preliminary investigations. That's what the palace statement says. She was out Thursday morning, back here at Windsor
Castle by lunchtime.
And she's been here ever since resting, but also undertaking light duties. In terms of what the issue is, we know it's not COVID, but that's all we
know. And that's not unusual because the Queen is famously discreet when it comes to health matters. We rarely hear details about the effort and care
that is taken to manage her health. This would only be the second confirmed overnight stay in a hospital since 2013. And the last one was for a stomach
In this case, a palace source has said the overnight stay was confirmed after the fact because the Queen deserves medical privacy. The source just
told CNN that there were practical reasons for staying overnight and the medical team was being very cautious. The palace is also using an important
reassuring phrase. She is in good spirits while stressing that she is resting but also working. So, the key theme through all the palace
statements on this is please don't make a fuss, Hala.
GORANI: Phil, thanks very much. The E.U. Chief says it will not fund any barbed wire or wall at its border with Belarus. Poland's Parliament
approved the construction of a border wall last week to deal with an influx of migrants. While Belarus has been heavily criticized for creating the
crisis, Polish authorities' behavior has also come under some scrutiny. Fred Pleitgen has our report.
FRED PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Utter desperation in the dark and cold. Refugees screaming and Polish border guards begging to be led out of
Belarus. They're literally caught in the middle of a standoff between Belarus and the European Union. This video provided to CNN by an activist
shows a group of Kurds and Yazidis stranded without shelter for days.
While E.U. leaders accuse Belarusian strongman, Alexander Lukashenko, of manufacturing this refugee crisis, Poland is also facing criticism after it
declared a state of emergency in the area around the border banning journalists, NGOs, and initially E.U. officials from coming in. Many of
those who do try to help the refugees, refugees often lost in the vast forests of the border area, say Poland is keeping aid workers and reporters
out because border guards are forcing people back into Belarus, a practice known as pushbacks says Piotr Bystrianin of the aid group Ocalenie
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PIOTR BYSTRIANIN, HEAD OF THE OCALENIE FOUNDATION REFUGEE AID CHARITY: They know that people will be dying there and they know this and they continue
to do this. That's why they need to be stopped. The international community need to put pressure on Polish government.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PLEITGEN: While the Polish government has vowed to remain tough even replacing barbed wire at the border with a wall and passing an amendment
allowing migrants to be pushed back at the border, the U.N. refugee agency says that the new law contravenes the 1951 Refugee Convention and other
laws by undermining the fundamental right to seek asylum. But the Polish president says Belarus's cruel policies are the real problem.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDRZEJ DUDA, POLISH PRESIDENT (through translator): The situation on the border is as it is, what you can see are hybrid activities from the side of
the Belarus authorities. There is no doubt migrants from different countries are being deliberately pushed across on purpose.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PLEITGEN: Poland says it's recorded more than 21,000 attempts to cross its border, all of which it called illegal and released this video, the
government says it shows people trying to force their way into the country. The E.U. says it might impose sanctions on airlines that fly refugees to
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HEIKO MAAS, GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): We will have to talk about consequences for these airlines. We need sanctions that make
clear that we are not prepared to tolerate these kind of actions any longer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PLEITGEN: A solution doesn't appear to be in sight and those suffering the most are the ones trapped in the border area. Several have already died,
Polish authorities say, and the approaching winter will make the situation here even worse. Fred Pleitgen CNN, London.
GORANI: Still to come tonight. The latest on those missionaries kidnapped in Haiti last weekm what a gang leader is now demanding for their release.
Plus, the FBI confirms it's identified human remains belonging to Brian Laundrie after a manhunt that had been going on for weeks. How a notebook
could now answer key questions about the Gabby Petito case. We'll be right back.
GORANI: The stakes have been raised in the Haitian gangs kidnapping of 17 American and Canadian missionaries. The gang leader is threatening to kill
the hostages unless his demands are met. The leader of the 400 Mawozo gang made the threat in a video released Thursday, the kidnappers are demanding
a million dollars for each of the hostages. And remember, the group includes an infant, a baby, and four other children. CNN's Joe Johns is in
the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince with more.
So this demand, or this threat I should say, was made yesterday. What's happened since? Do we have any more clarity on whether or not discussions
will lead to the release of these missionaries?
JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There is no more clarity, Hala, at least at this time. And that's not surprising. The authorities try to keep this
information close to the vest. It's not clear at all that they were happy that the $17 million ransom demand made its way into the news media simply
because the more information that gets out, the harder it is to try to negotiate behind the scenes nonetheless, that's what we know.
And we know also that that video was recorded at a funeral of a number of members. Listen, Joseph's gang, 400 more Mawozo, and he said that those
individuals have been killed at the hands of police officers. So that's what we know. And this follows sort of a familiar script, if you will.
First you have the abduction. Then you have the demand, which is usually an astronomical number. Then you have what is called proof of life where the
people doing the kidnapping show the authorities that they have not killed the hostages.
And then you have this threat, this threat against -- of bodily harm against the people who have been kidnapped. So, all of those things have
been happened. There have been some developments now in the area of law enforcement here in the capital of Port-au-Prince because as you may know,
people and politics converging have put a lot of pressure on law enforcement about, you know, the police chief's work over the years
allowing this hundreds and hundreds of kidnappings, something really they probably could not stop.
The police chief has now left his job and a new police chief has been replaced and what we know is this new police chief, whose name is Frantz
Elbe, is promising to dismantle the gangs, of course, a monumental task by any measure because this has been going on for generations.
It's just gotten very much worse over the last few years and certainly since the assassination of the president here in Haiti in July, Hala.
GORANI: All right. Joe Johns live in Port-au-Prince.
The FBI is now confirming that the remains found in a reserve in Florida belonged to Brian Laundrie. Police say they notified his parents before the
information was made public. He vanished last month after Gabby Petito was reported missing. You may remember she was later found in a national park
in Wyoming strangled to death. Nick Valencia is following the story for us.
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Now that Brian Laundrie is confirmed dead, much of the public's interest in suspicions have zeroed in on the
Laundrie parents, that's something that Steve Bertolino, the family attorney addressed in an interview earlier this morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE ROBERT STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS CHIEF ANCHOR: Did Brian tell the Laundries anything about what happened to Gabby before he disappeared?
STEVE BERTOLINO, LAUNDRIE FAMILY ATTORNEY: George, that's not something I can comment on right now. And I'd like to just leave it at that.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, if you can't comment on it means you know something about it.
BERTOLINO: Well, I think everybody out there knows that, you know, whether the family or myself, have some information to share. But, you know,
there's not much we can say at this point in time. And, you know, I'm going to leave it at no comment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VALENCIA: Bertolino went on to say that when it comes to Gabby's death and disappearance, the Laundries have nothing to say to the FBI and when it
comes to Brian Laundrie, their son, that they have allegedly cooperated with the FBI since day one, those words are unlikely to be of any solace to
Gabby Petito's parents who have indicated that they believe the Laundries no more than they are letting on.
They have not released public comments since their interview to 60 Minutes over the weekend, but their attorney released a statement on their behalf,
saying in part, "Gabby's family is not doing any interviews or making a statement at this time. They are grieving the loss of their beautiful
daughter. Gabby's family will make a statement at the appropriate time and when they are emotionally ready."
GORANI: Thanks, Nick Valencia. We'll be right back with more.
GORANI: Every country in the world will face the adverse effects of climate change. That is the big takeaway from a series of reports from the Biden
administration. They detailed how climate change is driving migration and outline the impact on U.S. intelligence and defense.
President Biden is trying to bring ironclad commitments to the COP26 summit, but he's running into some domestic opposition. CNN's Chief Climate
Correspondent Bill Weir has the big picture.
BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT: The first acknowledgement that climate change is a so-called threat multiplier came from the U.S. Naval
War College over 30 years ago. But now for the first time ever, all 18 elements of the U.S. Security apparatus put out a consensus report saying
this will be a game changer when it comes to national security, at the top of their concerns is migration. Climate migration.
What happens if the 80 million people in the Nile Delta run out of arable land and freshwater and have to go north into Europe? What happens when the
glaciers in the Himalayas stop providing enough fresh water for both Pakistan and India? Here in Charleston, South Carolina, it's so real
they're planning for a billion dollar seawall and they're completely resume rezoning this historic city to deal with the realities. But the politics in
Washington continue to whistle past this graveyard. Joe Biden's Build Back Better Plan would spend about $350 billion a year, including a big carrot
and stick program for big utilities to move away from planet cooking fuels and into renewable resources like solar and wind. But senators like Joe
Manchin say that's too expensive.
In the meantime, they approved a $750 billion a year budget for the Pentagon, 10 billion more than they asked for going forward there. Of
course, all of this comes as we count down the days to COP26, that is the Conference of Parties who signed on to the Paris agreement that's happening
in Glasgow where all nations are expected to come with even more ambitious promises than they made a few years back. But so far, Joe Biden's ambitions
are falling short in the halls of Congress. Bill Weir, CNN, Charleston, South Carolina.
GORANI: On the Spanish island of La Palma, there are new evacuations as lava from a volcano advances onto two towns now. It's been erupting for
more than a month. It's already forced 6,000 or so residents out of their homes. The lava has destroyed almost 2,000 homes so far and buried more
than 800 hectares of land. And it's not just devastating land, ash is sinking into the sea and it's buried wildlife and triggered lava landslides
400 meters under water. This volcano cannot stop erupting soon enough.
Thanks for watching tonight, I'm Hala Gorani. If it's your weekend, have a great one. Stay with CNN, "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next.