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Court Hearing To Start For 47 Hong Kong Activists; Migrants Say Biden Presidency Gives Them Hope; CNN Team Helps Migrants Attacked During Journey North; Former President Donald Trump Makes an Appearance at CPAC; Myanmar's Prime Minister Aung San Suu Kyi Appears in Court; Deadly Pro-Democracy Rally in Thailand; CDC Approves Johnson & Johnson Vaccine; Hong Kong Court Charge 47 Activist. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired March 1, 2021 - 02:00   ET




MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN HOST: Hello and welcome to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. I'm Michael Holmes. Appreciate your company. Coming up here on "CNN Newsroom."


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Who knows, I may even decide to beat them for third time.


HOLMES: Back in the spotlight, loving it, and teasing another run, Donald Trump recycles old lines, and lies before a largely adoring crowd. Also, Americans now have a third COVID vaccine available in the fight against the coronavirus. But how soon until it's an arms?

And protesters, back on the streets in Myanmar following the deadliest day yet of anti-coup demonstrations. We'll have a live report from the region for you.

Now, Donald Trump wants you to understand this. There is only one Republican Party, and he is the kingmaker. His speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference or CPAC was the former U.S. president's first major appearance since leaving the White House.

And it was vintage Trump, insisting the party is united and then attacking Republican lawmakers who dared vote for his second impeachment. Singling out many of them by name, a clear sign that revenge is on his mind.

Trump repeated his lies about election fraud, he had no apologies for the January 6th insurrection, and vowed to help put Republicans back into power in Congress and the White House.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: Together in the coming years, we will carry forward the torch of American liberty. We will lead the conservative movement and the Republican Party back to a totally conclusive, victory. And we've had tremendous victories, don't ever forget it.

With your help, we will take back the House. We will win the Senate. And then, a Republican president will make a triumphant return to the White House. And I wonder who that will be. I wonder who that will be.


HOLMES: Still, it seems Trump's grip on the party may not be ironclad. A straw poll at the conference found that 55 percent of the attendees would vote for Trump for the Republican nomination in 2024. It's not that high given the adoring crowd. CNN's Jim Acosta with more now on Trump speech at the conference in Orlando, Florida.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF U.S. DOMENSTIC CORRESPONDENT: Before President Donald Trump closed out this year's CPAC with a speech that was filled with one lie after another, but there was no falsehood bigger than the lie that he's been telling since November 3rd insisting that he won the election when that is just not the case.

Trump went after the Supreme Court, scolding the justices for not overturning the election results and he went after those Republican lawmakers who voted to impeach him urging his voters to throw them out of office the next time they are up for re-election. Here is more of what Trump had to say.


TRUMP: We have a very sick, and corrupt electoral process that must be fixed immediately. This election was rigged. I stand before you today to declare that the incredible journey we have begun together. We went through a journey like nobody else. There's never been a journey like it. There's never been a journey so successful. We began it together four years ago and it is far from being over.

This alone should be reason enough for Democrats to suffer withering losses in the midterms and to lose the White House decisively four years from now. Actually, as you know, they just lost the White House, but it's one of those stuff.

We're not starting new parties. You know, they kept saying he's going to start a brand new party. We have the Republican Party. It's going to unite and be stronger than ever before. I am not starting a new party. Wouldn't that be brilliant? Let's start a new party and let's divide our vote so that you can never win. No, we're not interested in that.


ACOSTA: And Trump sees the possibility that he may run for president once again in 2024, but he said he will not do so with another political party or a party that he may start on his own, telling the crowd at CPAC that he remains a Republican. Jim Acosta, CNN, Orlando. [02:05:00]

HOLMES: Joining me now from Allentown, Pennsylvania is former congressman and CNN political commentator, Charlie Dent. Congressman, a lot to get through. I mean, this former president clearly wanting to run the party as his own, but you know, I found it interesting that's straw poll of CPAC attendees, 55 percent want him to be the next president.

Correct me if I'm wrong, that's pretty pathetic from a crowd of fervent loyalists and it makes you wonder what the number might be like 6 or 12 months from now.

CHARLIE DENT, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. Well, Michael, first, let me just say something about the CPAC straw polls. They're typically fairly meaningless. For years, you know, Ron and Rand Paul would often do extremely well in those straw polls, and of course, they never really won the nomination or even close.

But nevertheless the straw poll, look, that whole CPAC conference or Trump fest was really dominated by, you know, the most sycophantic elements of the Republican Party, in fact, some of the most fringe elements. So one would've thought he would've done better, that Donald Trump would have done better than 55 percent.

But, for the moment anyway, the party still belongs to Trump. For the moment, but there's a long time between now and the next presidential election.

HOLMES: Yes. And some of those potential contenders might decide to jump ship on Trump and at some point and several of them speaking there. You know, in the bigger picture, I'm trying to think of another one term president of any party who lost the House, the Senate, the White House, lost the popular vote twice, impeached twice, who gets treated with such adulation and this sort of expectation of a return to power in this setting. Why is that, this fealty?

DENT: Well, you know, it was so mystifying to me, the fact that so many Republican leaders are doubling down on defeat. You just laid it out. I mean, the man has been impeached twice, he lost the popular vote twice. He cost Republicans that House and the Senate. And so now they are saying, hey, let's do this again. I mean, no. I mean, this is looking backwards.

I mean, the party needs to grow, not shrink. And currently, right now, the party is actually shrinking. I believe since January we've seen about 120,000 people across the country leave the Republican Party. In Pennsylvania, I know it's been about 20,000 alone since the insurrection.

So, it makes no sense to me why anybody thinks that embracing a disgraced twice impeached president is the path forward for the party. We still have a suburban problem here for Republicans. The suburbs are largely gone and a big part of that reason was because of Donald Trump. So, I don't see them embracing him if Pence (ph) is the ball downhill (ph). HOLMES: And to that point, I guess, you know, when you look at not

just what happened at CPAC, but generally speaking with that a so- called base. I mean, it's clear that, you know, there is a good sized portion of the party base that is okay with insurrection and still believes the big lie, that the election was stolen.

I'm curious of your thoughts on whether the extremist wing in the GOP has become almost too big to confront when, you know, you have Jim Jordan, you got Ted Cruz out there singing Trump's praises. And by refusing to confront that, are they normalizing it and bringing that back into the mainstream of the party?

DENT: Yes. There is no question about it that the fringe elements of the party have two large of a voice. Look no further than Georgia where Marjorie Taylor Greene, you know, was welcomed into the Republican conference and protected by many of her colleagues to keep her committee assignments.

I always felt since day one that she should not have been welcomed into the Republican - House Republican conference, and not have been seated on any committees. That's how you deal with people who are, you know, peddling, you know, 9/11 truth or conspiracy theories, you know, that QAnon espouses.

That's what the party needs to do. It needs to crack down on these fringe elements that have outsized voice. In fact, I've often referred to CPAC for years, that conference is often drawn too many what I would call, you know, the tinfoil hat brigades that would show up and, you know, the black helicopter crowd. You know, some pretty odd folks.


DENT: And I think that's always distorted that event. I just heard former Congressman Mickey Edwards who ran CPAC in the early 80's, basically denounce what that whole convention or conference has become. He thinks it's just a cult of personality and I have to say he's probably right.

HOLMES: Good point -- good point. Charlie Dent, thank you so much. I appreciate the time.

DENT: You bet, anytime. Thanks.

HOLMES: Myanmar's pro-democracy protesters are marching after the deadliest day of state-led violence since last month's military coup. And we are already seeing new crackdowns.



HOLMES: Security forces firing tear gas at this protest. This is just northeast of Mandalay. The demonstrators in other cities are putting up barricades trying to protect themselves. The U.N. Human Rights office says 18 people were killed and more than 30 injured by police and military forces Sunday. Meanwhile, Aung San Suu Kyi has appeared in court according to Reuters. The ousted civilian leader now facing a new third charge. Ivan Watson is here to tell us all about it. You know, clearly, this junta is willing to kill to stay in power. Tell us about how much further that might escalate and bring us up to date on Aung San Suu Kyi.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Well, this is according to Reuters that the ousted, de facto, former prime minister of Myanmar that she appeared via video conferencing and seemed to be in good health and has now is facing an additional charge that of publishing information that could cause fear or alarm.

Now, nobody has really seen or heard from her since she was detained as well as the president and a number of other top civilian officials in the military coup that blindsided the civilian government on February 1st, with the military then declaring a year of emergency rule, the state of emergency in the country after that.

Whether or not the military thought through the reaction that we are seeing in the streets of cities and towns across the country since then, hard to tell. But those protest movement has gathered steam as has what is described as the civil disobedience movement which has led to widespread strikes throughout the civil services, through the medical sector, the financial sector.

And increasingly now, deadly violence in the streets. Sunday, really a turning point where the United Nations Human Rights office says that at least 18 people were killed by the security forces. And we have a map to show you where the U.N. Human Rights office says this deadly violence took place.

It wasn't just in the largest city, Yangon, or in the city of Mandalay. It's in at least seven different towns and cities across the country. And that is an escalation violence that has been condemned not only by the United Secretary General and by the U.S.

Also, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken who published this tweet, "We condemn the Burmese security forces abhorrent violence against the people of Burma and will continue to promote accountability for those responsible."

Michael, state media in Myanmar is publishing a very different account of what's taking place, describing the security forces is cracking down against rioters. Michael?

HOLMES: All right. Thanks very much. Ivan Watson there in Hong Kong. Appreciate it.

Pro-democracy protests in Thailand also growing more violent. We saw deadly clashes in Bangkok Sunday. A local medical center says a police captain was killed. At least 16 people injured. Police using tear gas and water cannon on protesters who were marching towards a military base.

This is the latest in Thailand's growing pro-democracy movement and the protests around it, for months now. Young protesters have been calling for the prime minister's resignation and reforms to the monarchy. Public criticism of the king is illegal in Thai law.

Another pro-democracy movement in Asia facing a tough test as dozens of Hong Kong activists are charged under a strict new law. We'll have a live report on what is at stake, coming up.

Also, Americans are beginning a new week with a new coronavirus vaccine. The CDC just gave Johnson & Johnson the go ahead. We'll tell you when Americans could start getting those shots. We'll be right back.



HOLMES: Right now, Johnson & Johnson is shipping millions of doses of its coronavirus vaccine all across the U.S. and Americans could start getting it this week. The CDC recommended the nation's third vaccine just hours ago, one day after it got emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration.

Now, unlike the other two vaccines, Johnson & Johnson requires just one dose and can be kept at normal refrigerated temperatures, making it much easier to store and also transport. Officials say it offers 86 percent protection against severe illness from COVID-19.

Experts say a third vaccine often will make doses far more accessible and potentially save countless lives nationwide. CNN's Natasha Chen reports for us on how the U.S. is trying to stay ahead of this outbreak.


NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The U.S. vaccination effort is getting another shot in the arm with up to 4 million doses of the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine ready to roll out immediately. That follows the meeting of the CDC's advisory committee on immunization practices Sunday afternoon held almost exactly a year since the first COVID related death reported in the U.S.

ROCHELLE WALENSKY, CDC DIRECTOR: People are listening, people are engaged. People really want to know what this important advisory committee has to say.

CHEN (voice-over): The committee voted unanimously to recommend the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to adults over 18. In U.S. trials, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is considered 72 percent effective and offers 86 percent protection against severe forms of COVID-19. An efficacy rate not as high as in Pfizer and Moderna trials, but experts say it's apples and oranges.

LEANA WAN, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: There are advantages and disadvantages of all the vaccines. And actually, it's hard to compare them side by side because they were tested at different times.


CHEN (voice-over): The Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires one does and isn't stored frozen. Another positive sign, there are fewer than 50,000 people in the U.S. hospitalized with the COVID-19 for the first time since early November. That's according to the COVID Tracking Project. But as different states relax restrictions --



BASH: Are the easing of those restrictions just --

FAUCI: I would think it is. I think we -- yes, I think, you know, obviously, each individual state and city needs to look at the situation in their own location where they are. But in general, to think just because the cases are coming down on the daily basis. Take a look at the pattern and just watch over the next several days to a week.

CHEN (voice-over): On Friday, North Carolina increased the mass gathering limit for indoor gatherings and capacity limits for certain businesses. Starting tomorrow, Massachusetts will allow indoor dining with fewer restrictions. And next Friday, New York movie theaters can reopen at 25 percent and no more than 50 people per screen.

FAUCI: It is really risky to say it's over, we're on the way out, let's pull back, because what we can see is that we turn up. It isn't hypothetical because just look historically at the late winter, early spring of 2020, December of 2020 when we started to pull back prematurely, we saw the rebound. We definitely don't want that to happen.

CHEN (on camera): That's a very real possibility with variants floating out there. There are now more than 2,400 cases of variants reported in the U.S. Dr. Fauci says the vaccines may not produce the best response against the variants, but good vaccines that produce a high level of antibodies will be what he says within the cushion of effectiveness. Natasha Chen, CNN, Atlanta.


HOLMES: Joining me now, is Dr. Kent Sepkowitz. He is the deputy physician-in-chief for quality and safety at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Good to see you doctor. So, I read your article on You are vaccinated. Okay, so what is it like? Do you get to run free through your community without a care in the world or the precautions still exist as necessary?

KENT SEPKOWITZ, INFECTIOUS DISEASE SPECIALIST, MEMORIAL SLOAN KETTERING CANCER CENTER: The precautions still exist entirely, but a little voice in my ear keep saying, you know, cut this corner, cut that corner. It's tempting. I resist it, but it feels fundamentally very different to know that once been vaccinated.

HOLMES: Yes. I imagine mentally its good, but you would say, you know, post vaccination, you would tell people to do what?

SEPKOWITZ: Keep doing what you're doing. I think we have to not start celebrating too soon. It's like an athlete who tears their knee up or something and hurries back onto the field. We have a very, very fragile cease-fire or call it what you will, between us and the virus. We've made some headway. But if we blow it, we're going to go way back again as we've done several times with the pandemic. So, I worry that we're celebrating way too soon.

HOLMES: Yes. Good point. At what level of community vaccination do you think there will be a return to some normality?

SEPKOWITZ: Yes. I think we have oversold the notion of monolithic herd immunity. I think what herd immunity really is composed of, a bunch of little communities each with its own habits and its own microcosm of people who have and have not been vaccinated.

So it might be that my neighborhood is in pretty good shape, but the neighborhood a couple of miles away is not. And it's going to be very hard to declare today is the day that United States of America officially has herd immunity. There will be areas with it and there will be areas without it, and that's just going to be the truth.

HOLMES: Our thanks again there to infectious disease specialist, Dr. Kent Sepkowitz. Now, New Zealand reporting no new local cases of COVID-19 after the first day of Auckland's weeklong lockdown. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaking at a news conference earlier. She said zero complacency is the key to getting through the lockdown which was brought on by a single case.


JACINDA ARDERN, PRIME MINISTER OF NEW ZEALAND: We made contact with those who are at risk. We placed testing requirements on them. For close contacts, we have symptom and isolation checks, including in- person checks. Primarily for wealthy (ph) needs, but also to ensure compliance.


We also use wider restrictions as an extra layer of protection, but we also asked people to follow the rules, to play their part, and we have always done that. Quite simply, we cannot do this alone.


HOLMES: Under the lockdown, people can only leave their homes for work and essential shopping. Some high-profile events are being disruptive. Still, some residents say they are unfazed by the restrictions.


UNKNOWN: A little bit disappointed, but, yes. Well, I'm able to work from home so I'm not impacted too much.

UNKNOWN: It's easier and harder at the same time.

UNKNOWN: Yes, pretty bothersome, but I mean, it's just something we're going to have to deal with for the next week, but partially get through it.


HOLMES: Dozens of Hong Kong activists are charged under a strict national security law that supporters of the pro-democracy movement say they won't be deterred. We're going to be live with Will Ripley, in Hong Kong with the details after the break.


HOLMES: Welcome back to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. I'm Michael Holmes. You're watching "CNN Newsroom." Now, a Hong Kong court will soon hear from 47 pro-democracy activists accused of violating the national security law that China imposed.

Leading opposition figure, Joshua Long, is among those charged with conspiring to commit subversion. If found guilty, he and other activists could face life in prison. Let's go to Hong Kong and CNN's Will Ripley.


What are we expecting to happen today and tell us more about these charges? Life in prison? You would think it was some massive heinous crime?


WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The crime amounts to this, Michael.


These are pro-democracy politicians who wanted to run in last year's now postponed primary. It was postponed because of the pandemic, because they were running for the pro-democracy camp, with the goal of getting a controlling majority in Hong Kong's government, which would therefore allow them to veto things like budgets imposed by the pro- Beijing government.

That is what is being used to justify these charges under the National Security Law. Being a politician who supports democracy is now a crime here in Hong Kong. And here at the West Kowloon courthouse, a judge appointed by the Chief Executive, who arguably is in the pocket of Beijing, because he's appointed by Beijing, so far has denied bail to every single defendant who has been facing charges under this national security law.

So the system really stacked against people. This is the biggest crowd that I've seen since the imposition of the national security law here in Hong Kong last summer. Certainly nothing to rival the summer of 2019 when there were hundreds of thousands of people. But considering the crowd size is limited here to just four people during the pandemic, the fact that you have hundreds, running across the block peacefully, standing here, cheering, chanting slogans that could get them arrested.

It is pretty bold. And perhaps the most bold is a woman that we've seen in the media quite a lot here in Hong Kong, Alexandra Wong known as Grandma Wong, who was actually taken into custody in Mainland China for over a year. Now she's back.

ALEXANDRA WANG, ACTIVIST: Every day I take risk. I always look around for risk. Always. Yes. Because a lot of people - some time were on the street also somebody scare me - somebody, somebody say something to scare me or do some - some - some move to scare me.

RIPLEY: Joshua Wong is one of the most high profile names, who is facing his charges here in the courthouse in West Kowloon. There's also another unrelated case the Apple Daily owner and Media Mogul Jimmy Lai, facing charges that are not tied to the National Security Law, those charges will come later for him. They're all facing years in prison, Michael.


HOLMES: Will Ripley on the spot in Hong Kong, worrying times for Hong Kong. Thanks Will. And we're going to take a short break, we'll be right back.




HOLMES: The U.S. President Joe Biden has been dismantling his predecessor's hardline immigration policies change in the White House is one of several factors contributing to a surge of migrants from Central America towards the U.S.

CNN's Matt Rivers introduces us to a pair of young brothers neither of them out of their teens who are making a difficult and dangerous journey.


MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Not far from the Mexico Guatemala border fielding two full soccer teams at (inaudible) migrant shelter is easy because the number of people headed to the United States is surging.

Carlos 19, is bound for the U.S. too. He'd left Honduras five days ago with his little brother, 14 year old Wilfredo. He says a lot of people not just us decided to leave and migrate to look for a better life. After dark there among dozens that will spend the night inside the shelter.

The number of migrants like these lining up each night to enter the shelter has blown away the numbers that we saw last year. In the first two months of 2021, more migrants have already been registered here than in all of 2020. The shelter says more than 5500 people just since New Year's Day.

Father Gabrielle Romero says people are no longer afraid to leave their countries due to COVID. This is a moment of a humanitarian emergency. The next day Carlos and Wilfredo are among a dozen that set out at dawn set to walk for hours through an overgrown unforgiving landscape.

And 1000s have just taken similar trips. The number of people apprehended at the U.S. southern border last month higher than the same month in each of the last three years. Over three days, dozens of migrants told us the reasons for the increase are myriad with poverty chief among them.

Finding work was always hard but never worse than during the pandemic. Plus after back to back Category Four hurricanes destroyed entire Central American communities in November 10s of 1000s were displaced. And as this group of migrants told us, there's another reason too. It's not a Trump White House anymore.

This migrant says it's no longer a racist president because he looked at us like we're animals. The Biden Administration is trying to end Trump's more restricted immigration policies and says it will admit more asylum seekers, but they've also said now is not the time for migrants to come citing the pandemic and policy changes not yet completed.

Though that did not dissuade anyone we met with many saying Biden in charge gives them a better chance of getting in. That's the difference, he says that suddenly the new president is noble with a good heart. On a break from that day's trek, Carlos told us they hadn't left for any one reason poverty, hurricanes, Biden all a part of it.

He just remembers his mom crying as they walked away. We asked what she said. She said not to go. It's so sad leaving not knowing if you're going to die, because all migrants know how dangerous these treks can be. And the proof came just a few hours later in a small village. The group had just been attacked and robbed by armed men left with nothing but their clothes.

We had a basic medical kit on us so producer Natalie Gallon and I tried to patch them up the best we could. Both brothers were pistol whipped. 14 year old Wilfredo with a deep gash on his head. You can see here the blood in his hat after he was hit with a pistol according to the group. Now we've given him a bandage and - OK, so he says he is in a little bit of pain, but he's OK for now so. But just moments later, they had to run.

A van fast approaching. So this is a Mexican immigration and that's why our group here just ran into the woods. We wouldn't find them again until early the next morning.

[02:40:00] They'd walked more than 12 hours after they fled, exhausted resting outside of a small shop. We took the moment to ask, is this worth it? Carlos said it was that a better life awaited. Wilfredo quietly, not so sure. I don't really know, he says, but wherever my brother is, I'll always be there.

Another half mile down the tracks, they enter another shelter for the night. But for the weary, there won't be rest. Because in the next day or two, it will be more trekking through never-ending forest. Their singular group, just one of 1000s doing the same. Matt Rivers, CNN, near the Mexico-Guatemala border.


HOLMES: I'm Michael Holmes, thanks for spending part of your day with me. If you're in our international audience, World Sport coming your way next. For the viewers here in the United States, I'll have more news for you after this quick break.



HOLMES: Welcome back. The White House is defending its decision not to directly penalize Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in the 2018 killing of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi. That's despite U.S. intelligence reports, blaming the Crown Prince for Khashoggi's brutal murder. The Biden Administration is sanctioning some Saudis, but appearing to give the Crown Prince himself a pass.

It's not how Mr. Biden promised to handle the nation's leaders when he was campaigning for the presidency.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: President Trump is not punished senior Saudi leaders, would you?

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yes, I would make it very clear. We were not going to in fact, sell more weapons to them. We were going to in fact make them pay the price and make them in fact a pariah that they are. They have to be held accountable.


HOLMES: Well, on Sunday, CNN'S Dana Bash asked the White House Press Secretary, why the U.S. is not holding the Saudi Crown Prince, personally responsible for Khashoggi murder.


JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We believe there is more effective ways to make sure this doesn't happen again, and to also be able to leave room to work with the Saudis on areas where there is mutual agreement, where there is interest - national interest for the United States. That is what diplomacy looks like. That is what the complicated global

engagement looks like. And we have made no secret and been clear, we are going to hold them accountable on the global stage and in with direct actions.

DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Do you feel like justice has really been done when it comes specifically to the Crown Prince and his role in the brutal murder of a journalist because the journalist was working on stories that were challenging him?

PSAKI: Well, this is a horrific crime. And the President has said that himself. At the same time Dana, it needs to be clear that our relationship with Saudi Arabia is one that is an interest - in the interest of the United States to maintain while still being clear it will be recalibrated. We are going to hold them accountable for human rights abuses.


HOLMES: Later on Monday, the U.S. State Department is expected to elaborate on the actions the Biden Administration has already announced it's taking against the Saudis. CNN's Nic Robertson, with more now on the state of relations between the two countries.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Given the strong pushback that we've heard from the Saudis about the assessment that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman issued the order to capture or kill Jamal Khashoggi and the strength of pushback from the Saudis Gulf partners supporting Saudi Arabia on this.

There will be a degree of concern about what President Biden is going to announce on Monday. He has talked about how he's going to the relationship generally going forward with Saudi Arabia is going to be shaped. He's talked about holding Saudi Arabia to account on human rights abuses.

How is this going to take shape? It's been an extremely bumpy weekend for the U.S.-Saudi relationship. The Saudis also buffeted over the weekend by attacks from Houthis firing ballistic missiles all the way from Yemen to the capital, Riyadh. That will cause concern for the Saudi leader, the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Saudi officials are saying that they see this as an escalation of the Houthi tactics. Of course, the Houthis backed by Iran. So that sense of instability or uncertainty in Saudi Arabia and the region has really gone up over the weekend. And this announcement by President Biden, that there's more to come Monday is really only going to fuel that.

And the Saudis were expecting a bumpy time when President Biden came in, but perhaps not quite like this. Nic Robertson, CNN, London.

(END VIDEO CLIP) HOLMES: CNN's John Defterios is in Abu Dhabi, for us with more on how

all of this could impact business in Saudi Arabia. And I guess, John, the - you know, as we've been saying, the Biden Administration, they said they'll - Joe Biden said he would hold the Crown Prince to account but it does seem more bark and less bite in the real politic world. How could it impact Saudi Arabia's reform plans?

JOHN DEFTERIOS, EDITOR, CNN EMERGING MARKETS: Well, let's look at the two administrations in the United States and the marked difference in tone at least, Michael. Donald Trump, like the bravado of MBS, Mohammed bin Salman, the pledge to invest $100 billion in military hardware from the United States as well.

Joe Biden's putting a premium on human rights, but trying to counterbalance that with the regional threat and regional interests of the United States, Saudi Arabia and Iran, as he opens the Iranian file, at the same time no sanctions on MBS.

But you can't be too surprised about that, Michael, because of sanctions in other countries like Russia and China don't reach to the top brass of the country. So that seems to be the norm and the challenge for Saudi Arabia domestically is kind of the self-inflicted wounds by MBS because of the 2017 moves in the Ritz Carlton to round up the Saudi businessman in the name of corruption.


Did use the Saudi court system, wasn't very transparent, garnered back $100 billion. Those were partners of international players, including American companies. And then the 2018 murder of Jamal Khashoggi, the Prime Minister, or the Crown Prince took responsibility for it, even though he said he wasn't involved.

But he was the leader, so he had to take the cue from that. But take a look at two of the big harbingers of investment and cash flow into Saudi Arabia foreign direct investment, a year after he announced the 2030 plan or the vision 2030, dropped to $1.4 billion, it should go up during reforms.

The investment recovered between $4 billion and $4.5 billion following two years but that's half of the normal rate in Saudi Arabia, and well off the peak of $12 billion. Then you look at cash flow from foreign exchange reserves, Michael. A similar tale here since the Crown Prince has been in charge of looking after the economy from better than $730 billion at a peak in 2015.

And a staircase lower, the next few years all the way to the end of 2020, where the cash burn is just over, now in the reserves $450 billion. What it means is that he has to self-finance his major projects, Neom in the northwest, the Riyadh city development to make it a mega city in the world, tourism development as well.

Because the foreign direct investment although it's up in the first half of 2020, it's not at the pace that they saw in the past before he was in charge. HOLMES: That's fascinating, some tough numbers there. You know, Saudi,

of course, the world's largest exporter, and prices, oil prices surging since the end of last year. So how does the kingdom in OPEC manage this since they've been cutting supplies for a year? How's that going to work?

DEFTERIOS: Well, you know, Michael, we talked about it in April 2020. Prices went to zero, actually negative in United States for 24 hours. Saudi Arabia and Russia came in with this plan to cut 10 million barrels a day. To your point they're still cutting seven. And then Saudi Arabia added another eight to take oil off the market.

Now we see projections of oil prices going to 75 or 85 in the third quarter. That's very politically sensitive in the United States. So Abdulaziz bin Salman, that's the older brother of the Crown Prince has to kind of move with caution. He's advising his players within OPEC plus to do the same. Do they add back in a half a million barrels, a million barrels, 1.5 million barrels?

This is a very sensitive point that's going to come up on Thursday with the OPEC + meeting and the eyes will be on Saudi Arabia. Do they make a gesture to the United States because they know that higher petrol or gas prices don't play well in America? And those prices are up 70 percent since Joe Biden took office, Michael.

HOLMES: Yes, always fascinating to chat to John Defterios. Appreciate it. Good to see you my friend there in Abu Dhabi.


HOLMES: Professional golfers show they had one man on their minds on Sunday. That is Tiger Woods, who of course is recovering from that frightening car crash last week at the final round of Sunday's World Golf Championship tournament.

Golfers like Jason Day, Rory McIlroy and Patrick Reed spotted Tiger's famous colors, red and black, which he was known to wear on the final days of tournament's throughout his career. Now Wood said on Twitter, he was moved by the gesture writing, "It's hard to explain how touching today was when I turned on the TV and saw all the red shirts. To every golfer in every fan, you are truly helping me get through this tough time."

CNN's Paul Vercammen now with more from Los Angeles.


PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Michael, with Tiger Woods recovering from his terrible crash at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Beverly Hills, golfers from around the world decided to honor him and they did so by wearing Tiger Woods style red shirts and black pants as he did on Sundays when he was on the tour.

In Puerto Rico, you could see that the maintenance staff was all dressed in the red shirts and the black pants. And then at the work day tournament in Florida, Rory McIlroy wore red and black for the first time. The winner Collin Morikawa was going to wear a red top. It didn't arrive in time, but he said his agent told them play like Tiger Woods with a lead and indeed he did. He won the tournament.

Tiger is rehabilitating here in Southern California. At last report, he's in good spirits. And he had what many expect to be the first of a lot of procedures are on his legs. Reporting from Los Angeles. I'm Paul Vercammen. Now back to you, Michael.


HOLMES: All right, Paul Vercammen, thanks to you. Now the Golden Globes on Sunday proved Hollywood still trying to sort of find its rhythm in this pandemic. You had Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hosting the show. So that was a good start. The show of course put on by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Awards given the nominees video chatting from their homes rather than walking up and accepting on stage.


Film and Television nominees were notably different with streaming media dominating the categories. British royalty drama 'The Crown' sweeping the television categories, taking home four trophies, including Best Drama, actor and actress. No Man's Land, which I mean to catch that this weekend.

Director Chloe Zhao made history as the first Asian woman and second woman overall, to win Best Director. Her film also took the award for Best Motion Picture Drama, but the night had its share of funny moments as well. You had actress Catherine O'Hara, who won Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy for her work in Schitt's Creek, and was played off the stage by her husband. Just a few words into her speech.


CATHERINE O'HARA, ACTOR: It's an experience I will forever hold dear to my heart, and I'm proud to be part of their family although I'm not really - Thank you Tim - for making me - no, OK, thank you CBC for making this show in Canada. Thank you for - Seriously? Netflix brought the show around the world. Very happy to be - lockdown - lots of comfort to you and yours. I hope that it won't take you six years your greatest asset is having each other -


HOLMES: And it's such a good show. I'm Michael Holmes. Thanks for spending part of your day with me. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @HolmesCNN. Don't go anywhere. Another hour of CNN Newsroom with Rosemary Church coming right your way.