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Health Officials Not Pleased Seeing Crowded Places; Vaccine Finally Delivered in Brazil; Cuba and China Join Together to Develop a Vaccine; Australia Inundated with a Once-in-a-Century Flooding; Protesters in Bristol Turned Violent; President Erdogan Ousted Central Bank Chief; Partygoers Ignore Health Protocols; Health Violators May Jeopardize Hard-Earned Efforts; Biden Team Facing Challenges on the Southern Border; Asian-Americans Fear for Their Lives; U.S. Top Official Meeting with NATO Members. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired March 22, 2021 - 03:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[03:00:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR (on camera): Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us here in the United States and all around the world. You are watching CNN Newsroom. And I'm Rosemary Church.

Just ahead, COVID is no concern for spring breakers in south Florida despite the spread of a dangerous variant. Authorities there are cracking down amid a state of emergency.

As Georgia and beyond mourns the victims of last week shootings a K- pop star tells us that anyone surprised by anti-Asian violence has not been paying attention.

And Australian authorities are evacuating thousands of people as floods worsen.

Good to have you with us.

Well, spring break revelers in the U.S. are throwing caution to the wind and disregarding COVID advice from health experts. An emergency curfew orders is now being extended in Miami Beach, Florida due to massive crowds. This was the scene Sunday night moments after the curfew went into effect for a second night.

And as CNN's Paul Vercammen reports it's not the only thing worrying officials.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): At American airports the model seems to be pandemic? What pandemic? One million passengers passthrough TSA and the USA for the 10th straight day. This pair travel to warm Gulf Coast beaches from the chilly land of 10,000 likes. UNKNOWN: We were pretty cautious when we were flying and we are

staying in a cute little Airbnb by ourselves. We've been careful on the beaches and stuff. So.

UNKNOWN: Yes, we ended up double masking on the plane in southern China, to like, touch too much we brought our hand sanitizer and everything.

VERCAMMEN: Health officials worry about Americans getting complacent in the fight against COVID-19, the city of Miami Beach has declared a state of emergency as police try to control large spring break crowds.

UNKNOWN: Quite frankly, I'm concerned that the behavior is getting a little bit too much for us to be able to handle.

VERCAMMEN: The city imposed a curfew but it seems no rest for the sleepless and clueless.

UNKNOWN: Forget that curfew. We are out here. We're out here, no sleep.

VERCAMMEN: Crowds have played a part in the spread of COVID-19 and the subsequent deaths and so did politics. That's from the former head of Operation Warp Speed.

UNKNOWN: Many people probably have died or suffered because the whole situation became so political that, you know, emotions overtook rationality. I do believe that it's a mistake to politicize a health issue. It's a big mistake.

VERCAMMEN: Throughout the country, campaigns continue to get shots into the arms of people in underserved communities of color.

FAISAL KHAN, DIRECTOR, ST. LOUIS COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH: That poses a special risk for the vulnerable groups, which is why it is absolutely vital that we get more vaccine so that we can take care of those group.

VERCAMMEN: Los Angeles ramped up awareness and the number of doses given in poor Black and Latino neighborhoods. And the COVID-19 transmission numbers are looking bad.

MAYOR ERIC GARCETTI (D), LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: COVID makes you never confident, but hope really hangs on the horizon. I haven't felt this optimism in 12 months, Margaret. Here in Los Angeles, we have a positivity rate of 1.9 percent. And we are estimate that anywhere between half and two-thirds of our population has antibodies in it right now.

UNKNOWN: Wow.

GARCETTI: Either because of exposure to COVID-19 and vaccinations.

VERCAMMEN: The former commissioner of the FDA echoes that sentiment, saying it's unlikely the U.S. will suffer through a fourth wave of the pandemic. SCOTT GOTTLIEB, FORMER COMMISSIONER, FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION:

There's not much of a backstop here that I don't think you are going to see a fourth surge.

VERCAMMEN: Paul Vercammen, CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH (on camera): Despite an increase in the number of people getting vaccinated, health experts are warning Americans not to let their guard down just yet.

Speaking to CNN's Pamela Brown on Sunday, the senior White House adviser for COVID response said people need to continue to get their shots, and wear masks in order to help prevent another surge.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDY SLAVITT, FORMER ACTING ADMINISTRATOR, CENTERS FOR MEDICARE AND MEDICAID SERVICES: I would urge everybody to continue to be careful and cautious, I know people feel like they've been patient for a long time but we need a few more months. By the time we get into May, and by the time we get to the end of May, we will have enough vaccines for everybody.

[03:04:53]

So, everybody won't necessarily get an appointment on May 1st, but within a few weeks of May 1st, everybody should be able to have an appointment for their first vaccine shot. And if it's a two-dose regime, that should mean that by sometime in early June, we should be in a position where everybody who wants to be vaccinated, is vaccinated.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH (on camera): More than 124 million doses of vaccine have been administered, and more than 81 million people have received at least one dose.

Joining me from Los Angeles is Dr. Anish Mahajan, he is the chief medical officer for Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. Thank you for talking with us, doctor, and for all that you do.

ANISH MAHAJAN, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, HARBOR-UCLA MEDICAL CENTER: Thank you.

CHURCH: Now, we know that three million Americans receive the COVID vaccine Sunday, which is great news. But what do you think when you see large spring break crowds in Miami, many not wearing masks, and we know that the variants are still spreading out there? What impact could all of this have on efforts to reach herd immunity?

MAHAJAN: Well, it's very concerning. It looks like that kind of behavior could ensure that we snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory. We are in a position now as a nation where we have increasing vaccine supply and provisions at rates that will help us get everybody vaccinated by July.

And what we need to do we have to do is continue to wear our masks, do the right thing, and socially distance appropriately and not reopen so quickly, and so without care that we end up in a situation like the European Union.

CHURCH: It all seems like such a common sense, doesn't it, but the other major challenge, vaccine hesitancy. Could that prove to be a real problem in reaching herd immunity? And how -- how do you convince those more reluctant in the community that the vaccine will save lives?

MAHAJAN: A very important question. We've heard Dr. Fauci tell us that for us to really reach herd immunity, it looks like from the latest scientific evidence that we're going to need to be in the range of 70, to 90 percent of all Americans or of any population being vaccinated.

And now, we do see large, you know, segments of the population hesitant to take the vaccine. For example, w know that some underrepresented minority groups are hesitant due to the racism that they have experienced over generations. This is a huge problem because those groups if they do not vaccinate will be those who are susceptible to continuing outbreaks of COVID as we go through the rest of this year.

CHURCH: And doctor, while the variant spread across the globe, we are seeing a crisis unfold in Brazil with a vacuum in leadership there, record cases, hospitals fall, and the slow rollout of the vaccine. How worried are you about poorer nations like Brazil and others not getting access to the vaccine? And what might be the global consequences of that?

MAHAJAN: Well, very worried. You know, we are one globe. It doesn't matter. These national boundaries will not make a difference for a global pandemic that easily crosses borders. We are in a race against these variants. As you know the variant in Brazil, the one in South Africa, these -- these variants may be better at evading the vaccine.

And so, the more time that we've got virus circulating in human beings anywhere on this planet the more likely that the virus can mutate in ways that make the vaccines we've all taken less and less effective.

And so, nations like the United States, the European Union, the U.K., need to really look at what they can do to improve the supply of vaccines to less affluent nations. And that may mean hard decisions like forcing the issue with drug manufacturers who have received so much benefit from our governments to share the intellectual property, to share the know-how on how to ramp up production of vaccines in factories in these lesser affluent nations.

CHURCH: Yes. So, I mean, perhaps this is your nightmare scenario. Talk to us about what keeps you up at night as we do try to get as many people vaccinated as soon as possible in this race?

MAHAJAN: Well, I think of it as a globe. Wherever we have people who have the virus in their communities and if we're not giving access to the vaccine in a timely fashion, we can see what's going to happen. We've seen it time and again since this pandemic started.

When we let our guard down, and we stop masking, and reduce our social distancing without the vaccine we are going to see a resurgence of the virus. We're going to see more people entering hospitals and then more death.

[03:10:00]

And so, what we have to do is win this race. We need to get vaccines to every single person on this planet as soon as we can.

CHURCH: Absolutely we do. Dr. Anish Mahajan, thank you so much for talking with us. And again, we appreciate you.

MAHAJAN: Thank you.

CHURCH (on camera): The U.S. homeland security chief says the southern border is closed to migrants attempting to enter the country. His comments coming as the Biden administration is racing to find appropriate housing for the surging number of unaccompanied migrant children in U.S. custody.

DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas defended their efforts to CNN's Dana Bash.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALEJANDRO MAYORKAS, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: We are working in parallel streams. We are executing on our immediate plans to care for these vulnerable children, and moving them to the shelter of HHS as fast as possible. We are rebuilding the orderly systems that the Trump administration tore down, to avoid the need for these children to actually take the perilous journey.

And we are investing, we are investing in those countries, we are working in partnership with Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras to build processing centers in country to avoid the need for these children to take the perilous journey.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: So, what's your timeline?

MAYORKAS: I will tell you --

BASH: What's your timeline? When are you going to get this --

MAYORKAS: We are moving as fast as possible.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH (on camera): Well, the need for new facilities is great with more than 5,000 unaccompanied migrant children now in U.S. custody. President Joe Biden was pressed Sunday on whether he wants to see firsthand what's happening at the border. CNN's Arlette Saenz reports from the White House.

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: President Biden says he will travel to the U.S.-Mexico border at some point as his administration continues to grapple with the surge of migrants coming to the U.S.- Mexico border. Now the administration insist that the border is closed, and he is urging those migrants not to make the journey. But president Biden says that more does need to be done to reinforce that message. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNKNOWN: Are you thinking of going to the border?

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: At some point, I will, yes.

SAENZ: You want to see firsthand what is going on in those facilities?

BIDEN: I know what's going down on those facilities.

UNKNOWN: Mr. President, why do you think that message to the migrants telling them to stay home that (Inaudible) now. Why do you think that hasn't resonated yet? What more can be done, sir?

BIDEN: A lot more. We are in the process of doing it now, including making sure that we reestablish logistically for which was they've been staying in place and make their case, come to home country. Thank you.

UNKNOWN: And when will you allow the media into those facilities?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAENZ (on camera): And what he is talking about there is reestablishing the asylum process so people can apply for asylum back in their home countries. Now, one other issue that the administration is grappling with is the surge of unaccompanied minors who have been traveling to the border, and are now housed in this border processing facilities that are not intended to keep children for longer than three days.

The administration says they are working around the clock to try to open up more facilities to shelter these young children. And when I asked the president if he wants to see firsthand what is happening in those facilities, he says he knows and is aware of what's going on.

Arlette Saenz, CNN, the White House.

CHURCH: The U.S. secretary of state is traveling to Brussels today to attend meetings with NATO foreign ministers, as well as top European Union officials. It will be the first time Antony Blinken will speak to his Transatlantic counterparts in person. And he is seeking to strengthen those ties after four years of harsh rhetoric from the Trump administration. The trip also comes at a time of escalating tensions with Russia and China.

CNN international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson joins me now live from London. Good to see you, Nic.

So, Antony Blinken hopes to strengthen Transatlantic ties during his first meetings with the NATO and E.U. officials. What are the expectations, what are the challenges?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, one of the expectations from the European members of NATO will be and others as well, like Canada, will be of course, that they are going to get a more stable and predictable relationship with the United States. And also, that the United States will send a clearer message, a consistent message to its adversaries, in particular, Russia.

That will be an important message that Secretary of State Antony Blinken will be able to communicate. He is coming with a mission to sort of build on what the United States sees as the bedrock of NATO and that a shared values and democracy and a global rule of law.

[03:15:04]

The challenges that they see are from China, are from Russia, and these are threats whether it's cyber threats, whether it's threats in terms of global terrorism. These are the issues that Antony Blinken will be trying to sort of get consensus on in a way to move the forward that strengthens the United States and NATO in challenging China, Russia on these topics.

But I think one of the big topics is going to come up. And we saw this with the NATO defense minister's meeting just a few weeks ago and that's Afghanistan. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will likely have discussions with those NATO members about their ability to continue to commit troops to Afghanistan, remembering that the drawdown was supposed to be the 1st of March.

The narrative coming out to the last NATO meeting was that we went into Afghanistan together, we'll work together on deciding how to leave and we'll leave together. And we know that the U.S. Defense Secretary, Lloyd Austin was in Kabul over the weekend. He told reporters there that President Biden still hasn't made a final decision about troop commitments to Afghanistan.

Remembering that there was an expected drawdown date of all troops coming out on the 1st of May. The president has recognized that that's going to be hard to achieve, but of course the NATO allies will be looking to the United States, and Antony Blinken right now to figure out, Ok, if not, then when. And what are the commitments, are we drawing some down? Are we putting additional forces in? And what can these nations actually commit to at this time?

CHURCH: We'll be watching very closely. Nic Robertson, many thanks for your analysis. I appreciate it.

Well, as Americans more in the victims in the Atlantic spa shootings, hear from a K-pop star who says many in the Asian- American community are living in fear.

[03:20:00]

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CHURCH (on camera): As the U.S. faces an awakening over violence against Asian- Americans, Korean church members pay tribute Sunday to the victims of last week's mass shooting here in Atlanta. Some held signs saying stop Asian hate as they prayed and sang for the victims at the service outside of a spa where one of the shootings happened.

Eight people were killed Tuesday. Six victims were of Asian descent. The 21-year-old suspect told investigators the shootings were not racially motivated. But anti-racism advocates and many others say the deadly attack has added to fears Asian-Americans were already experiencing. Crimes against people of Asian descent in the U.S. have surged particularly throughout the pandemic.

A number of rallies were held across the U.S. over the weekend in response to the Atlanta attacks to demand change and decry violence against all Asian-Americans. That's the kind of support some believe is long overdue for the Asian-American community.

In an opinion piece for Time.com, Eric Nam, a K-pop star from Atlanta says in part, let's be very clear, we have always been pleading for your help, perhaps more than ever over the past year. You did not listen. You did not hear us. Please hear us now. Because being silent now is being complicit.

Eric Nam spoke with CNN's Michael Holmes just a short time ago about his outrage and calls for more support. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR & CORRESPONDENT: So, now there is a big conversation in the U.S. about violence and racism directed at Asians. But, you know, as you said, it's been a long time coming, hasn't it? There has been plenty of warning signs.

ERIC NAM, KOREAN-AMERICAN SINGER-SONGWRITER: Yes, absolutely. I think if anything, over the past year, we have been the loudest we have ever been. We have been asking for allies to stand with us and to fight with us. And unfortunately, all the warning signs they kind of went unnoticed. They kind of landed on deaf ears.

And it's taken such an incredibly tragic and horrific event for this to really hit international and national news in a really targeted way. And so, it's really heartbreaking and I wish that this could've been done in better situations, but this is where we are right now.

HOLMES: You were born and raised here in Atlanta where those brutal murders happened. So, that literally hits close to home for you. Have you, personally, encountered the sorts of things that are now being discussed?

NAM: Yes. I was born and raised in Atlanta. And I think, you know, myself and a lot of Asian-American APPI members of the community across the nation have probably witnessed and experienced a lot of hate that we are seeing that is being brought to the forefront of the conversation right now.

I think it comes from a place of ignorance and it comes from a lack of education and a lack of discourse. But absolutely, myself, as I kind of alluded to in my op-ed piece, there are so many moments where I felt targeted or discriminated against or, you know, things that can also be very casually racist where this is racist? I think it is but I'm not quite sure how to identify it.

HOLMES: Yes.

NAM: And we've never really had that conversation.

HOLMES: I mean, the article, and I urge people to read it on Time.com, you wrote very forcefully. I'll just read one line. You said as AAPIs, we have been excluded, interned, vilified, emasculated, fetishized and murdered. And then you spoke about Asian-Americans feeling like perpetual foreigners. I found that sad but interesting too. Explain that and how it manifests in day to day life.

[03:25:00]

NAM: Yes. You know, I think the American -- the United States has a very incredible history but also a very dark history. And a lot of the Asian-American experience has had a lot of points and moments of that darkness that would kind of swept under the rug that we haven't really properly addressed. I think from the Chinese exclusion act to the Japanese-American internment, there are just so many moments of history that we can point to and discuss.

But in sense of the perpetual foreigner, you know, I think it can be as casual as like, where are you from? Where you really from? For me, it's Atlanta. But it's as if I am not from there. And I've also -- this is still a very common question, why is your English so good? Where did you learn English?

These types of things. Our -- English is my first language. But in many ways, it makes me feel as if do I not belong here. Why am I here? And how do I identify? And I think this is something that so many of us in the community have dealt with our entire lives. And I think that's why so much of this racism can also be very casual, and it can kind of sneak up on us in many ways.

HOLMES: Yes, my former co-anchor Amara Walker is a Korean-American and she spoke of exactly those sorts of things that you have just spoken about. You work in, you know, a career as well around the world. I mean, you're pretty big in the K-pop world. What's been the reaction in Asia to what's has been happening to Asians in America?

NAM: Yes. You know, honestly, I'm not there at the moment so it's hard for me to really get a pulse of what people are feeling and what the sentiment is. What I do think is a general kind of consensus and what a lot of people are feeling is fear and a hesitancy to think of America in a -- in the most positive way for obvious reasons. I think when people say, I'm going to go study in the states, or I'm

going to go l visit the states, for years it's kind of been this thing of are you sure? It's a little unsafe. I hope you have a safe trip, or do you have to go in?

And I think this kind of -- these instances are really rekindling and it kind of adding fuel to the fire in terms of that sentiment, which is I think very, very unfortunate considering that I believe, and I truly do love this country, the United States of America, and so much of what it has offered to the world, and the beauty of what the United States of America is. And to see it kind of shown in that light has been really, really disheartening.

HOLMES: It's a powerful message. It is said that you have to deliver it, but a powerful one, and well made in that time.com op-ed. Eric Nam, a pleasure to speak with you, thank you so much.

NAM: Thank you for having me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH (on camera): And we'll take a short break here. Still to come, bad news for Brits dreaming of a European getaway as one government official warns it's too early to be booking anything at this point. More details to come.

And, the vaccine rollout in Brazil has left people waiting day and night for their shot. The pandemic there was never -- has never been worse, but there may be some relief in sight.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[03:30:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR (on camera): A third wave of coronavirus infection is now advancing through much of Europe. A steep rise in cases paired with a slow than expected vaccine rollout is cause for alarm. German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet with state leaders today to discuss a spike in cases there.

French leaders won't be pleased by these scenes of revelers in Marseilles over the weekend where many people attended a carnival despite a COVID restrictions. All of this being closely watched in the United Kingdom where the vaccine rollout has been more successful. One cabinet minister saying that Brits shouldn't get their hopes up about traveling too soon.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BEN WALLACE, BRITISH DEFENCE SECRETARY: We can't be deaf and blind to what's going on outside the United Kingdom. If you look in Europe the increases in infections. And we can't put at risk the huge amount of effort by the taxpayer, by the NHS, by our scientists in developing this vaccine. And if we were to be reckless in any way and import new variants that put us at risk, then, you know, what would people say about us?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH (on camera): Brazil has received its first shipment of vaccines sent through the COVAX Program. And the health ministry is recommending the million plus doses be put to immediate use.

The delivery of vaccines is welcome news in Brazil of course but it may not immediately help the situation on the ground. The country's healthcare system is teetering on the verge of collapse with hospital ICU's near capacity.

And as Matt Rivers reports, many people are finding that getting a vaccine remains easier said than done.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): There is a sense of desperation outside this Rio de Janeiro clinic. She didn't get one, says Sylvia Silva Santos walking out my 77-year-old mom can't get a vaccine. One of the many that showed up that day waiting for vaccines that don't exist.

This woman says this is a disgrace. People waiting all day and night. Who knows if there will be a vaccine tomorrow?

And Brazil's COVID-19 situation has never been worse. Daily case and death records are the norm, ICUs nationwide are full, and health systems are failing.

And despite health officials saying t the program has been a success, vaccine deliveries are well behind schedule. Months away from making a big impact, experts say. No supply means no shots today back at the clinic.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RIVERS (on camera): So, all these 70 plus-year-olds behind they have been told there are no more vaccines left in this clinic. The weather app says it feels like it's about 100 degrees outside and yet they're not willing to leave because they're scared that if they do leave and some vaccine show up, they won't be here to get them.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RIVERS (voice over): They wait because they are scared of the disease that praise on the elderly. But in Brazil lately, it's not just the old who are dying.

Maria de Pena da Silva Siqueira (Ph) says, she wasn't just a daughter, she was a friend. It was everything to me. Her daughter, Graziani, was only 28 when she died last year of COVID. Her four-year-old son lives with grandma now. Their family forever missing a member.

She says they called me that morning and said she was dead. Then I went into shock. The virus didn't let us say goodbye. [03:34:59]

For the last two months multiple doctors across Brazil have told us they have seen more young people dying of COVID than before. And Brazil's largest state of Sau Paulo officials say that 60 percent of ICU patients are now between 30 and 50. Something Rio de Janeiro doctor Pedro Archer is seeing too.

He says we have patients now in their 30s, in their 20s. Severe intubated patients. I think maybe the virus has mutated and become a new strain. There are new COVID variants here but experts say there is no proof yet they are more lethal for the young. To explain it, epidemiologists point more to scenes like this.

Social gatherings this one a party from this month ramped up during the New Year and carnival holidays. Younger people simply exposed more. In another video given to CNN this weekend, dozens can be seen streaming out of a party broken up by police. And that's just the illegal stuff.

In Rio, bars and restaurants can be open until 9. Many taking full advantage.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RIVERS (on camera): It is crowded out here. And it just doesn't feel like you might expect given that Brazil keeps setting new records for cases and deaths.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RIVERS (voice over): Where it does feel like that is the cemetery in Rio de Janeiro. Both young and old end up here. Today it's a funeral for a 52-year-old COVID victim. There is a lot of services lined up this afternoon so the family only gets 15 minutes to mourn.

Matt Rivers, CNN, Rio de Janeiro.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH (on camera): And despite the COVID crisis in Brazil, the president hosted a crowd of supporters for his birthday at the presidential residence on Sunday. Jair Bolsonaro was wearing a mask, an uncommon scene from him since the beginning of the pandemic. But as you can see in these images there was a little social distancing. The now 66-year-old railed against restrictive measures as he continues to come under fire for his handling of the crisis.

Cuba and China are joining forces to develop a new COVID vaccine. The goal is to combat emerging strains of the coronavirus.

CNN's Patrick Oppmann is in Havana with the details.

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Cuban and Chinese governments will collaborate on a new vaccine designed to combat an emerging strain of the coronavirus. Cuban scientists announced on Sunday. This is the first time that we are aware of that these two communist governments have collaborated on a vaccine.

Cuba currently has five other vaccine candidates in the works. It is the only Latin American country to have vaccine candidates advance through the final stage three trials. Cuba has not vaccinated wildly among its population as of now but they do say that they will produce enough vaccine for this island by August and should have the entire population of Cuba vaccinated by the end of the year.

One of those vaccine candidates Soberana 2 was developed working with the government of Iran and Cuban scientists said over the weekend that starting on Monday they expect to expand trials of that vaccine, Soberana 2, to 150,000 people in the capital city of Havana.

Patrick Oppmann, CNN, Havana.

CHURCH: Could former President Donald Trump be charged criminally for inciting the capital riot? The prosecutor who up until recently was overseeing the investigation is speaking out. What he is saying about that possibility? That's next.

[03:40:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH (on camera): At least two police vehicles was set on fire and two officers injured when a protest turned violent in southwest England. Demonstrators gathered outside a police station in Bristol to rally against a bill in parliament that would give police new powers to limit the noise and duration of street protests.

And CNN's Scott McLean joins us now from London with more. Good to see you, Scott.

So, U.K. officials condemn this anti-police violence but how tone-deaf is this proposed legislation? Will this actually curb the rights of citizens to protest?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. So, this is the primary point of contention in that bill, Rosemary. Is that it would more easily allow police to set restrictions on protests that are otherwise peaceful and not violent. So, for instance, police could crackdown on a one-man protest that was deemed noisy or disruptive or it would allow police to say set start and end times on larger protests.

The government says that right now too much money is being spent on police resources trying to manage some of the ongoing protests that we've seen. And so, and it says that the majority of protests would be ineffective -- unaffected. Critics obviously though, are quick to argue that this is a pretty slippery slope.

The bill right now is in the committee stage of House of Commons, so early days. But there is a conservative majority and it doesn't have a lot of obstacles to actually pass. The irony here though, is that what we saw in Bristol, the city in southeast England last night was not a peaceful protest. This was very much a riot. The local Labour opposition M.P. said, quote, "you don't campaign for

the right to peacefully protest by setting police vans on fire or graffitiing buildings." The mayor of Bristol also said he also has big problems with this bill, this proposed legislation but he said that attacking police, smashing windows that doesn't help make the bill any less likely to pass. In fact, it provides evidence of the need for it perhaps even.

The video that we have is pretty scary as well, Rosemary. In it you can see a police van set on fire. Windows being smashed of the police building in downtown Bristol. At one point, while one of those police vans are burning, officers are trying to move two others. And you can see protesters sitting on the roofs, sitting on the windshield that even looks like one person is trying to set one of those vehicles on fire while police are in it trying to move it.

Police also said that people threw fireworks threw other projectiles at them. One officer ended up with broken ribs and other ended up with a broken arm. Officers from neighboring areas actually had to be brought in to restore order and restore calm.

The chairman of the local police condemned what he said was a mob of animals. The home secretary who is responsible for policing in the U.K. condemned what she called unacceptable thuggery and disorder, Rosemary.

CHURCH: All right. Scott McLean bringing us the very latest there. Many thanks.

Well, the European Union will soon approve sanctions on military officials in Myanmar in response to last month's coup and the ensuing crackdown against protesters.

[03:45:02]

Demonstrators have remained defiant despite the security forces ruthless violence. Activists are planning more protests including a call for vehicle convoys through intersections. There were pre-dawn marches and candlelight protests over the weekend.

Our Paula Hancocks is following all of this from her vantage point (AUDIO GAP). So, Paula, the E.U. is set to approve sanctions on Myanmar's military officials. But how long will that work exactly? And what impact will they likely have?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rosemary, the immediate impact is not likely to be significant. We have already seen the U.S. introduced some targeted sanctions. They have frozen assets in a U.S. bank, they've also targeted individuals within the military leadership and then the business entities that are linked to them.

So, this is what the E.U. is expected to do as well, it's expected to be very closely following that, so the individuals and also their business ties. And we've also seen the United Kingdom freezing assets and putting travel bans on certain military leaderships. But the fact is, and we've heard this from the military leadership

themselves, is that they have dealt and survived many decades with sanctions on them. They were heavily sanctioned when they were last in control of the country and they managed to make due.

But this is what activists on the ground have been calling for. It's what the United Nations has been calling for as well. Saying that international condemnation is necessary but it's definitely not enough. Actions have to take place as well.

So the very fact that some of these leaders, the military leadership in the country at the moment may not be able to get as much finance as they used to be able to if these particular conglomerates that we know are linked to the military state, a military-run, and obviously the profit will go to the military as well, then it could have a longer term impact. We heard from Tom Andrews from the U.N. saying that it's important to limit the money and the weapons. Rosemary?

CHURCH: All right. Our Paula Hancocks bringing us the very latest. Many thanks.

Well the former top prosecutor for the U.S. capitol riot says investigators are looking at whether former President Donald Trump is culpable for the January 6th attack. Michael Sherwin also believes sedition charges could be made against some of the capitol riot defendants. His comments were part of a CBS interview.

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MICHAEL SHERWIN, FORMER ACTING U.S. ATTORNEY, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: It's unequivocal that Trump was the magnet that brought the people to D.C. on the 6th. Now the question is, is he criminally culpable for everything that happened during the siege and during the breach? We have plenty of people, we have soccer moms from Ohio that were arrested saying well, I did this because my president said I had to take back our house.

That moves the needle towards that direction. Maybe the president is culpable for those actions. But also, you see in the public record too, militia members saying, you know what, we did this because Trump just talks a big game. He's just all talk. We did what he wouldn't do.

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CHURCH (on camera): So far, there is no indication a formal criminal investigation has been opened against Trump.

Eighteen thousand people have been evacuated from flood hit parts of Australia's New South Wales and more are expected. That is according to the states' premier. Officials have called it a once in a century flooding event.

Reporter Tiffany Genders with Nine News Australia has the details.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TIFFANY GENDERS, REPORTER, NINE NEWS AUSTRALIA: Only one year ago

Australia was in the midst of a bush fire disaster. Now, it's a major flooding emergency. Small communities like Windsor here on the outskirts of Sydney either isolated or inundated with water.

The rain started falling on Thursday and it has not stopped for a second. Some areas experiencing a once in 50 years storm. The equivalent of water in Sydney harbor now ravaging our rivers each day. And you can see how dangerous the situation is. This water is moving so quickly it has ripped trees from the ground moved entire shipping containers.

That yellow machine is a digger that has been stopped in its tracks. No one is risking it at these particular crossing but there have been hundreds of flood rescues. Many people also now finding themselves homeless. Right now, there are mass evacuations spanning an area of 400 kilometers or around 250 miles, that threat only increasing with this relentless rain.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH (on camera): Tiffany Genders with that report.

Well, Turkey's president has sacked the country's Central Bank chief. And that's been bad news for the Turkish lira. A look at the fallout just ahead.

[03:50:03]

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CHURCH: The Turkish lira plunging over the weekend after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan fired the country's Central Banking chief.

For more on that, let's turn to John Defterios in Abu Dhabi. Good to see you, John. So, what is the latest on this and what's next?

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN BUSINESS EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Well, that's what investors are asking, Rosemary, what's next year. Because President Erdogan less than a month ago went before the Turkish people and said, I have two objectives here when it come to the economic policy. Reviving the lira and dousing inflation. And nothing has happened on that front. He has promised to have Central Bank independence and now he has fired four Central Bank governors in five years. So this is not a lot of stability.

Let's take a look at the latest quote here. We see some recovery in the lira because we went to a low against U.S. dollars 8.09. The trade is now just over 7.9. There are some who suggest we could hit an all- time low yet again of 8.58. And if that doesn't work with the Central Bank policy, they may have to put in capital controls.

President Erdogan putt in another Central Banker that aligns with this unconventional idea of keeping interest rates low to fight inflation. Inflation spike up to 14 percent last month. And that is extremely high if that pace continues for the year. [03:55:08]

There is also ability since 2018 when he had his Senate laws the finance minister and they spent $130 billion not raising interest rates but defending the lira and it didn't work. And they also had a trade dispute with Donald Trump which turned into a currency dispute at the same time. So, it doesn't look like we're going to restore the confidence that President Erdogan promised less than a month ago, Rosemary.

CHURCH: All right, we'll keep an eye on that. And John, what more are you learning about Saudi Aramco posting a 44 percent profit slump in 2020?

DEFTERIOS: Yes, it's extraordinary. If you take a look at the numbers here it dropped 44 percent in terms of earnings. It still earned $49 million but that pales in comparison to 2019 at $87 billion.

As the CEO Amin Nasser said on a conference call that we had with him yesterday with the regional reporters here in the Middle East, 2020 is the worst year ever when it comes to oil market. We slid into negative territory in April of last year because of the pandemic. The pandemic dropped us up to 25 percent in terms of demand. But he did signal a positive note here that China and some of the other far East Asian nations have demand nearly at the levels that we saw pre-pandemic.

And he knows that if fits and starts in Europe with the vaccines right now but he's pretty confident by the fourth quarter of this year will hit 99 million barrels and that would be demand equal to what we saw pre-pandemic wrapping about there about, rounding up about 100 million barrels.

They still have a lot of their facilities under attack and that's a security issue almost on a weekly basis due to the Houthi rebels, Rosemary?

CHURCH: All right. We'll keep an eye on that too. John Defterios, many thanks as always, joining us live from Abu Dhabi.

And thank you for joining us. I'm Rosemary Church. I'll be back with more news in just a moment. Do stay with us.

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