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Palace Faces Crisis over Racism Allegations; China Bears Responsibility for Uyghur Genocide; Military Troops Occupying Myanmar Hospitals and Universities; Vaccinated Israelis Getting "Green Passes," More Freedom; CDC Issues Guidelines for the Fully Vaccinated; Millions of Women Falling into Poverty. Aired 2-2:45a ET

Aired March 9, 2021 - 02:00   ET




ROBYN CURNOW, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Welcome to all of our viewers here in the United States and all around the world, thank you for joining, me I am Robyn Curnow.

Ahead, on CNN NEWSROOM, the U.K. braces for fallout after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have given that bombshell interview.

Then protests in Myanmar continue with tear gas and violence, as the military tries to shut down independent media companies.

And it has been called the vaccine passport, how Israel is rolling back restrictions.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Live from CNN Center, this is CNN NEWSROOM with Robyn Curnow.

CURNOW: Great to have you along this hour.

Television audiences in the U.K. got their first look at the controversial interview with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Buckingham Palace has yet to respond to their claims of racism and neglect from a royal family, a situation the Duchess of Sussex says made her consider suicide.


PRINCE HARRY, DUKE OF SUSSEX: One of the most telling parts, saddest parts, was that over 70 members of Parliament, female members, both Conservative and Labour came out and called out the colonial undertones of articles and headlines written about Meghan. Yet, no one from my family ever said anything over those three years.


CURNOW: Harry and Meghan, reviewing that an unknown family member had asked about their son, Archie's, skin color and what that would mean. Oprah Winfrey said that Harry told her it was not the queen or her husband, Prince Philip.

Head straight to Windsor, England, where Anna Stewart is standing by with more reaction.

Hi, Anna. Good to see you. Give us some sense of the reaction in the U.K. newspapers and across the British media. What is clear is that the sympathy for them and their interview on this side of the pond in the U.S. is perhaps not being felt as much in the U.K. where you are.

ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I would say opinion here in the U.K. has been far more split or even splintered really.

"Daily Express," "So Sad It Has Come To This," with a picture of the queen.

"Daily Mail," "What They Have Done?"

And "The Mirror," "Worst Royal Crisis in 85 Years."

There is a lot of empathy, particularly for Meghan and some of the issues she has raised around racism and mental health. However, not all outlets are being sympathetic and I want to show you a clip from one of the leading morning TV shows here. This is what Piers Morgan had to say yesterday.


PIERS MORGAN, "GOOD MORNING BRITAIN" ANCHOR: This is a two-hour trashathon of our royal family, of the monarchy, of everything the queen has worked so hard for and it's all being done as Prince Philip lies in the hospital. They trashed everybody, they basically make out the entire royal family are a bunch of white supremacists.


STEWART: I mean, that is incredibly incendiary view but there is a point within that that is shared, more widely and has been really revealed in a YouGov snap poll that come out, that shows that 20 percent of the audience polled in the U.S. felt that this interview was inappropriate, only 20 percent.

In the U.K., it was nearly half, 47 percent of Brits polled, felt that the fact that the couple did this interview was inappropriate. There is a feeling in the U.K. that while they love to read about the royal family, they like a bit of scandal, they like to see what goes on behind the walls of the palace that they can but they are still very protective of the royal family.

Plenty of people saw this as an attack, even though Prince Harry and Meghan said lots of great things about the queen and said they had a good relationship with her. That is how many people have interpreted it.

I think there's a good point to make the Prince Harry said that the royal family are trapped. He used to feel trapped, he doesn't anymore but he said that Prince Charles, Prince William, still are.

Laying claims like the way they have, some people say, is incredibly difficult. The people they have made these claims against, potentially, cannot answer -- Robyn.

CURNOW: That is the big question, that nobody in the royal family can defend themselves in terms of the detail that came out of this interview. There is normally a tradition of silence, of not answering questions.

But are we expecting the queen to say anything?

Or do you feel like they are going to use the traditional way of doing things, which is to try and work behind the scenes, to acknowledge this?


STEWART: One can only imagine what is going on behind the walls of Windsor Castle behind me. Pressure is mounting for some sort of response. The allegations made were so serious, about racism, about mental health, I would expect to have some sort of statement.

But for the royal family, this will be a statement from the palace, from the institution. It will cover all of them. There will not be a response to each claim made, against each individual. That would be highly unlikely and would go against royal protocol.

Also, let's remember, we saw a two-hour broadcast but there was two additional hours of Oprah's interview left that could come out. So if they do make a statement, there is a concern, of course, that more would follow.

And then, how many statements do you make? -- Robyn.

CURNOW: Anna Stewart, there, live in Windsor, thank you for bringing us up to date.

Charles Anson was Queen Elizabeth II's press secretary from 1990 to 1997. He tells CNN, there was never a strand of racism in the royal household while he was there. Take a listen.


CHARLES ANSON, FORMER PRESS SECRETARY TO QUEEN ELIZABETH: I would say the root of the monarchy is, very much in a multiracial society. In fact, I can't think of any other arrangement, Francophone Africa or any other alliances which are quite as multiracial as the commonwealth.

And it has been a large part of the queen's work in this range to develop that. And in a sense, I think she has been a pioneer, a post war, multicultural society. And that is what Britain is becoming.

So I don't think that there is embedded racism. I think what there is, in our country, in your country, of the United States, and many other countries, are individuals who have strong racist theories, which they actively promote, and tweet and retweet on social media.

So it gives a sense of a society that has a strong streak in it. But I suspect it is less people, with a rather large or exaggerated voice. I don't sense an embedded form of racism at all.


CURNOW: Let's talk more about the royal rift with Sally Bedell Smith, CNN contributor and author of a biography of the queen. It is called "Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch."

Now Sally, it is lovely to have you on the show, thank you for joining me.


CURNOW: This TV interview and the crisis surrounding it has the makings of a modern problem for this modern monarch. There's Oprah, Twitter, Los Angeles, culture wars.

How will the queen respond, if at all?

SALLY BEDELL SMITH, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I think that the default response has always been to say nothing. That has in almost every instance, worked.

But this is, I think, going to require some sort of response either privately or publicly because of the nature of some of the allegations and allegations particularly that a member of the royal family said something, talked about, speculated, allegedly, about the color of Archie's skin.

CURNOW: Will the queen see this as an attack on her?

On the monarchy?

On the crown?

Or is this about a different audience?

Where have these blows landed?

SMITH: I think the blows, although Meghan and Harry were quite careful to say a lot of nice things about the queen and to say how much that they admire her, every single thing that they said was an attack either on Charles or William or, more generally, the institution, as Meghan said several times.

And I think, when you talk about the institution, you are, naturally, talking about the woman who is the head of that institution and has been the head of the firm as George VI, the queen's father, originally called it. And that is in attack on her.

Even though they were very careful to kind of try and separate her from everything else they were saying, the blows are landing on her just as much as they are on everyone else. CURNOW: The British people and the British press, have fact-checked

some of the claims made by the couple and while acknowledging their emotional pain, in some of these pretty damaging allegations.


CURNOW: Certainly, there has been pushback as to why young Archie was not given a title. According to the British press, this was not personal or racial, it was protocol.

SMITH: It was protocol, exactly. There is something that is sort of obscure but it's called the letters patent. Basically, it is a rule for the way the monarchy operates and how it manages its titles.

It was at first promulgated in 1917 by King George V. And basically, insofar as it applies to Archie's, it means that he cannot -- he is a great grandson and cannot be born a prince. But when his grandfather, Prince Charles, becomes king, Archie could become a prince.

So Meghan was really mistaken in the way she characterized it by seeming to make it an option for the queen or Prince Charles to change it or to modify it, in some way, for him. They really couldn't. It is something that he will be entitled to, if he wants it, particularly after what has gone on with this interview.

So I think it's still to be determined. However, they didn't deny him a title of prince. It is something, according to protocol, he was not entitled to when he was born.

CURNOW: Sally Bedell Smith, thank you so much for joining us, the author of the biography on Queen Elizabeth, appreciate you taking the time.

SMITH: Thank you, Robyn.

CURNOW: Now to a damning new report that finds China bears responsibility for the alleged genocide of Uyghur Muslims an ethnic minority in China's western Xinjiang province. Dozens of experts, coming to this conclusion after examining evidence from Chinese state media, leaked state communications, satellite images and witness testimony.

The independent report accuses China of violating the U.N.'s genocide convention and committing systematic atrocities. CNN has exclusive first look at these findings and Ivan Watson joins me now, with more, on this.

Ivan, what can you tell us?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We have an advanced embargoed copy of this report from the New Lines Institute for Strategy and Policy. This is basically the first time that a non governmental organization has conducted an independent, legal analysis of the case of potential genocide in China's Xinjiang region.

The conclusion it comes to, it draws from evidence that comes from a lot of Chinese government statements and documents, that are in the public sphere, as well a lot of reporting by media organizations, like CNN, and testimonies from victims as well.

There are, at least, 40 legal scholars, academics, human rights experts, who have all contributed to this. They have come to the conclusion that the Chinese state is guilty of committing genocide in the Xinjiang region against the largely Muslim Uyghur minority there.

They cite a number of state policies that, they say, have contributed to this conclusion, including government mandated home stays, where Chinese Communist Party officials, more than 1 million of them, have been living in Uyghur families homes without any option for them to say no to that policy.

The mass internment, according to the U.S. State Department, of more than 1 million people in detention centers, a massive birth prevention policy, the forcible transfer of Uyghur children to state-run facilities, eradication of Uyghur identity community and domestic life and selective targeting of intellectuals and community leaders.

They cite that the convention in the United Nations against genocide, the definition of genocide, is not purely gas chambers that the Nazis did or killing people with machetes in Rwanda, that it includes causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group, deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about physical destruction in whole or in part or imposing measures intended to prevent births from within this group.

The Chinese government insists that not a single human rights abuse has, basically, ever been committed in the Xinjiang region. The Chinese foreign minister repeated denials about allegations of genocide just a couple days ago.


WANG YI, CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): The claim that there is genocide in Xinjiang could not be more preposterous. It is just a rumor, fabricated with ulterior motives and a thorough lie.


WANG (through translator): Over the past four decades and more, the Uyghur population of Xinjiang has more than doubled from 5.5 million to over 12 million.


WATSON: The population has grown over more than 40 years, Robyn, but look at the Chinese government's statistics for what happened to the birth rate in Xinjiang, from 2017 to 2019. It suddenly dropped by almost half.

The Chinese government insists all of the women who underwent sterilization procedures and implants of contraceptive devices did it voluntarily. The people we have spoken to say that they were forced to undergo these invasive procedures -- Robyn. CURNOW: So the next question is, what happens next?

Is there any international support for prosecuting or accusing China of genocide?

WATSON: This is just the beginning of what seems to be a case being made against China. The Trump administration, on their last day in office, accused China of genocide. You also have the parliaments of Canada and the Netherlands passing nonbinding resolutions, accusing China of genocide.

Notable that the leaders of those 2 countries were against those motions. So clearly, there is reluctance to accuse China, the world's second largest economy, of this. There wouldn't be any precedent for it because, in the past, the convictions that have taken place involve the former Yugoslavia, involved Rwanda or Saddam Hussein, for example, after he had been ousted from power.

This is a much bigger, potential, legal battle.

CURNOW: Ivan Watson, great to speak with, you live in Hong Kong.

Next here on CNN, Myanmar's military steps up its crackdown on protesters in the news media, trying to cover increasing violence there.

Also, Brazil's hospitals are on the verge of collapse as the country fights its brutal wave of COVID. Ahead, what the government is and isn't doing, to stop it.




CURNOW: Myanmar's military isn't only battling protesters on the streets but is moving to end news coverage of the violence. Five independent media companies having their licenses revoked. One is still broadcasting via satellite. Another has switched to the internet and YouTube.

Meanwhile, security forces are also surrounding a neighborhood in Yangon, forcing hundreds of protesters into hiding. Overnight, on Monday, activists say that they are now not allowed to leave but about 50 people have been arrested.

Paula Hancocks is in Seoul, with the latest on this.

Certainly, in escalation in Yangon but the fact that the media is being censored, what does it mean for getting these images, these all- important images, out?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Robyn, we have really seen, from day one, that the military wanted to target the media.


HANCOCKS: And also wanted to make sure they can control the narrative. They started very early on to change certain laws, to amend laws that meant freedom of speech was curtailed.

We are hearing from, as you say, at least 2 that will continue and find ways around this, to make sure that they can get the information out. What we are seeing an awful lot of, as well, is individuals, protesters, posting what they are seeing on social media, putting it out for the world to see, so that what is going on is noted.

You did mention as well the township, which is in Yangon, the most populous city and there were hundreds of protesters, overnight, that were cornered by police. We understand from local media and from Reuters, the local police saying that they were going to go house to house, door to door and find out who is not from that neighborhood and arrest them.

We understand, as you say, there were dozens of arrests that did take place. One of the things that was about this particular incident, there was a lot of international condemnation; the U.S., the U.K., the United Nations, the secretary general, Antonio Guterres, mentioned it himself.

We did see, according to those on the ground and some activists, that around 2:00 am, the military did pull out. Once the curfew ended at 4:00 am, many protesters could go home.

Of course, this is one of the incidents that we do know about. The activists are more concerned about the ones we do not hear about and do not have the international condemnation for -- Robyn.

CURNOW: Thanks for keeping an eye on it, Paula Hancocks, live in Seoul.

A surge of COVID cases in Brazil is putting Rio's hospitals on the verge of collapse. Almost all of the city's ICU beds are filled and the state of Rio de Janeiro has about 5 percent of the country's 11 million confirmed cases.

Strict containment measures are already in place but officials are admitting that tougher actions could be needed. More from Stefano Pozzebon.


STEFANO POZZEBON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Coronavirus is still spreading across South America and the situation is most serious in Brazil, where a local variant of the virus is acting with devastating effects across the country.

At the center of the crisis, right now, is the iconic city of Rio de Janeiro, where the occupancy rate for ICUs is over 95 percent on Monday.

And on Monday, president Jair Bolsonaro has said, although Brazil has been one of the most affected countries in the world, over the last 12 months because of the pandemic, the presidency will not impose a new national lockdown.

Bolsonaro said Monday, although he did have the capacity and the power to impose a lockdown, he would not do it. Yet again he put into question the seriousness of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, a group of governors has started coming together to come up with a contingency plan to try and curb the spread of the virus at the back of the presidency -- for CNN, this is Stefano Pozzebon, Bogota.


CURNOW: With Israel's vaccination program moving at lightning speed, the country is easing more restrictions. They're also issuing so- called "green passes," giving those who've been vaccinated more freedoms. Sam Kiley explains how they work.


SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): An hour before reopening, Israeli celebrity chef, Assaf Granit, is onsite for the renaissance of the kitchen at the center of his restaurant empire.

ASSAF GRANIT, CELEBRITY CHEF: It's like a re-branding. It's like opening all over again. Let's see it's going to -- I think lunch will be, slowly, picking up. And then they're already booked. So it will be a long and happy day.

KILEY: It is not surprising really that there's a party atmosphere her in Machneyuda. It's perhaps the most famous restaurant in the city, famous for its high energy music, high energy food, high energy chef.

But also, it's going to be working at 75 percent capacity. Patrons have to be 6 feet -- 2 meters -- apart. That is going to be policed and vigilated by an extra member of staff.

And this is all going to be a result of the introduction of the Israeli green passports, the vaccinations certificates, that means that, slowly, at least, this economy could start to recover.

KILEY (voice-over): First in line, 30 minutes ahead of their booking, a couple from Tel Aviv, proud of their vaccine passes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have it on the phone, but here, you can see.


KILEY: Why are you so excited?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- after a year.

KILEY (voice-over): Forty percent of Israelis have had both vaccine shots and can now enjoy new freedoms to attend concerts, hotels, restaurants, bars, even universities, with some limits on total numbers. But the fears of another lockdown loom over even the most optimistic.


KILEY (voice-over): Renewed restrictions would be ruinous.

About 5 million Israelis have had a first dose of the vaccine, a world leading level of take-up, even though ultra orthodox Jews and Israeli Arabs are lagging behind. It's an achievement that prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party will trumpet in the couple of weeks remaining before elections here.

KILEY: How does it feel to be opening?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A little scary and very exciting.

KILEY: Why is it scary?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: First of all, opening up, getting customers again, it's been a year.

KILEY (voice-over): He's screening customers for vaccine certificates.

KILEY: What if people don't have it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Then they can sit outside.

KILEY: Not a bad option. After all, spring is in the air -- Sam Kiley, CNN, Jerusalem.


CURNOW: Thank you for that, Sam.

Coming up on CNN, COVID vaccinations rising in the U.S. and those who are fully protected will soon have fewer restrictions to worry about. We will have the latest guidance from health officials on their story.

Also, British tabloids have a field day with Harry and Meghan's interview with Oprah Winfrey. How their coverage compares to the press in the U.S.




CURNOW: Welcome back. I'm Robyn Curnow, thank you for joining me, it is 28 minutes past the hour. The British royal family is facing a crisis after these explosive

claims of racism from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Harry and Meghan's interview, with Oprah Winfrey, aired on British television on Monday night. The couple claims an unnamed family member asked about their baby Archie's skin color.

Oprah Winfrey later told -- later said that Harry told her it was not Queen Elizabeth or Prince Philip who made those comments. Meghan also revealed she felt so isolated that she said she thought of suicide. She also says neglect from the royal family and racism from the tabloids forced them to step away from their official duties.

CNN's royal correspondent Max Foster has more on how the U.K. press covered their interview -- Max.

MAX FOSTER, CNN LONDON CORRESPONDENT: Robyn, pretty much all the newspaper front pages are in agreement this morning. They talk about a palace in crisis, a palace in turmoil and, still, no word, no official statement from the palace itself.


FOSTER (voice-over): Fights, camera, action: "Harry the Hostage," "Kate Made Me Cry."


FOSTER (voice-over): Flashy headlines filling U.K. newsstands, as British tabloids hit back after an explosive royal interview.

In a two hour tell-all, Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, leveled bombshell accusations against two of Britain's most recognized institutions, the royal family and the press.

But in the aftermath, a deluge of stories, focused on Meghan, revealing that she had thoughts of suicide and the allegations of dysfunction and racism in the palace.

One paper calls the interview self-serving. Another, nicknames the couple's rift with the royal family, "Megxile."

While American outlets often appeared somewhat sympathetic, some U.K. tabloids seem to be venting their anger. In the morning news, reactions ranged from shock, to dismay.

MORGAN: I am sickened by what I've had just to watch. This is a two hour trash-a-ton of our royal family, of the monarchy, of everything the queen has worked so hard for.

FOSTER: Such media scrutiny is one of the key reasons the couple said they move to the U.S., Prince Harry going as far as saying the royal family was scared of press turning on them.

PRINCE HARRY: The control and the fear by the U.K. tabloids, it is a really -- it's a toxic environment. FOSTER: Meghan spoke of the tabloids unchecked racism, comparing headlines about herself with those about her sister-in-law, Kate but she laid blame for media pressure, firmly, on the royal family.

MEGHAN MARKLE, DUCHESS OF SUSSEX: We haven't created this monster machine around us, in terms of clickbait and tabloid fodder. You have allowed that to happen. I think there is a reason that these tabloids have holiday parties at the palace. They are hosted by the palace. The tabloids are why there is a construct that is a play there.

FOSTER V.P.: She also spoke of outlets working with her estranged father to publish private information, which has lead to a lawsuit that she recently won. Now Harry and Meghan's tumultuous relationship with U.K. tabloids seems to be continuing as the fallout of their explosive interview ricochets worldwide.


FOSTER: The pressure really piling on the palace to come up with some sort of statement at this point. The country is talking about this interview, the world is talking about this interview.

What is the holdup from the palace?

It is still unclear but they will have to speak at some point. I think that is increasingly likely -- Robyn.

CURNOW: Thank you for that, Max.

For more news about the British royal family, be sure to visit our website, we now have a weekly newsletter, sign up for it at

The British prime minister refusing to comment on Harry and Meghan's interview on Monday, instead, focusing on COVID and the reopening of schools in England.

This week, students are being allowed back into the classroom for the first time since January when the nationwide lockdown was imposed. The reopening offers much needed much needed relief to many parents who have had to balance work with childcare. On Monday the prime minister thanked them for their efforts.


BORIS JOHNSON, U.K. PRIME MINISTER: I want to thank the parents and all those who have been teaching at home, who have had to master Zoom and communicate every detail of the syllabus, from fronted adverbials to quadratic equations.

We all know that the burden has disproportionately fallen on women, often holding down jobs and providing childcare at the same time.


CURNOW: COVID cases may be falling in the U.K. But other parts of Europe still see rising infection rates. This includes Italy, which topped 100,000 COVID-19 deaths on Monday, becoming the 6th country to do so in the world.

Eastern and Northern Europe are also seeing a steady rise in cases with several countries reporting a weekly increase of more than 50 percent.

I want to take you now to the U.S. where there, is finally, some positive news about the pandemic here. While the U.S. reported close to 48,000 new cases on Monday, data from Johns Hopkins University shows new cases are trending downward, as you can see from this.

Also, vaccinations are rising, more than 92 million doses, having been administered so far. On Monday, the CDC announced these new guidelines for people who are fully vaccinated. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, breaking it down for us Sunday.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Robyn, we finally do have some guidance on what exactly people who are fully vaccinated can do. I think we should preface by saying, it is clearly very good for the people who have their vaccines, that they are well protected, very well protected, from getting sick with this disease.

But in terms of their day to day lives, there hasn't been a lot of guidance. This is some of the first we're getting.

First of all, what does fully vaccinated mean?

Most know by now it means 2 weeks, roughly, after you have received either both of your shots with the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or after your single shot with Johnson & Johnson.


GUPTA: Take a look here, specifically in terms of what you can do. People who are vaccinated can spend time with other people who are vaccinated. Kind of makes sense. I mean, you would likely surmise that by now but this is now part of the official guidance from the CDC.

Getting together indoors, no need for masks, no need for distancing in that scenario. Also, taking it a step further, if you've been vaccinated, you can hang out with a group of people who have not necessarily been vaccinated but are low risk, still having indoor gatherings with no masks and no need for physical distancing.

One thing to point out is that there are still a lot of recommendations in terms of being out and about, traveling, being around households with multiple household members and, in those scenarios, the recommendation is, still, people wear masks. There is a small, they say, but real chance of someone who is vaccinated still being potentially able to carry the virus and transmit it. Unlikely but possible.

I did talk today to Andy Slavitt on the task force and one of the points that he makes is that the new recommendations will be tied directly to the percentage of people who were vaccinated.

So right, now about 10 percent of the country vaccinated; when we get to 20 percent, which could mean the next couple of weeks or so, we will probably hear more recommendations.

Those recommendations, probably even looser in the sense that people can do other things including, possibly, airline travel besides essential airline travel. So we will keep tracking that. But obviously, this is a question many people have had for a long time.

I have my vaccine, now what can I do?

How is my life different?

That's the sense of it -- Robyn.

CURNOW: Some very good news there, thank you for that, Sanjay.

A long time advocate for young women's empowerment is working to expand her message. Coming up the new deal for Malala Yousafzai.

Plus --


MELINDA GATES, THE BILL AND MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION: Governments need to stop thinking about women as the side or nice to do issue and realize it's the central issue. It's the infrastructure you have to build back.


CURNOW: Melinda Gates on what has to happen to bring women out of poverty. You're watching CNN.





ZAHRA ARSAIN, PROTESTER (through translator): We have to question our place in society.

Why, when I do the same job and put in the same effort, that I am paid less, for example?


CURNOW: Women around the world, calling for equality and security, on International Women's Day. In Chile, a place in a square in Santiago ahead of a march where demonstrators demanded gender equality and an end to violence against women. There were also some skirmishes with police in Turkey. Take a look at

these images when women gathered in Istanbul's Taksim Square to protest what they see as the lack of action to prevent violence against women.

Then, in Spain, hundreds took part in a flash mob dance, despite a ban because of COVID restrictions.


CURNOW: And the cofounder of The Gates Foundation used the day to point out 47 million women around the world are falling into poverty due to the pandemic. Melinda Gates says that women are dropping out of the workforce in droves because they are caregivers or their jobs were eliminated.


GATES: So we have to look at 3 things. And governments are starting to do this. They have to look at the caregiving work that women do, the unpaid caregiving work. That is 30 hours a week, globally, for women. So that is almost a full-time job.

We have to address that sector, the unpaid work that is happening and the caregiving. Secondly, we need to realize that women are in these informal jobs around the world. So we need to do things such as digitize social payments to them to support them during this time.

Third, we need to look at women's jobs and realize that women-led businesses are some of the most new and fragile in the economy. That there are things that we need to do to prop up those women-led businesses, so they don't collapse and go away.


CURNOW: To hear more from Melinda Gates, visit our website at

Also, on International Women's Day, a new deal announced between Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai and Apple TV, expanding her message of female empowerment. Entertainment reporter Chloe Melas has the details.


CHLOE MELAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Malala Yousafzai is teaming up with Apple TV to create what she says will be empowering content for the streaming platform.

The multi-year deal, in partnership with her production company, Extracurricular, will include everything from documentaries, comedies to children's programming.

MALALA YOUSAFZAI, ACTIVIST: I'm really excited about it, because I have been -- you know, there's my own story and I have been telling that. And I have met so many girls. And I have -- you know, I have been able to build a platform, where

they can tell a story, but now it's time to go even more and to do even more and to -- and to, you know, get this platform of storytelling and bring in new perspectives.

MELAS (voice-over): The news of the deal came on International Women's Day and she told me her message for women everywhere.

YOUSAFZAI: Well, on International Women's Day, you know, every year, we highlight the issues that women are facing to this day, from like harassment to inequality, to discrimination based on their gender, to unequal pay. All of these things are important and we need to keep working on it.

But I also want to take this moment to remind all of those amazing and incredible women out there just to take a break. They have done so much and, right now, you know, some of them are studying from home.

Some of them are looking after their kids. And they're, you know, parenting and they also have jobs to do. And it's just so much. There is so much on their shoulders. And they -- getting all of that with grace and with dignity.

So be proud of yourself. Be proud of all that you have done and achieved in your life. So, you know, let's celebrate. Let's be proud of who we are and what we have done for women and for everyone around us.

MELAS: Back to you.


CURNOW: Thank you for that, Chloe.

By the way, for the fifth straight year, CNN is partnering with young people worldwide for a student-led day of action against modern-day slavery. This year, we ask young people to make a pledge on what actions they are taking to be responsible consumers and spread awareness of slavery in supply chains.

So please do join CNN on March 16th for My Freedom Day, sign the pledge and nominate your friends to do the same. Share your pledge on social media using the hashtag #MyFreedomDay. For more, go to

Thank you for joining me, I'm Robyn Curnow, it's been a pleasure being with you. Be sure to find me on Instagram and Twitter, @RobynCurnowCNN. I will hand you over to the good folks at "WORLD SPORT" right now.