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CNN NEWSROOM

Egypt's Sisi Promises New Investment in Suez Canal; Deliveroo Set for IPO on London Stock Exchange; Iconic Band 'Crowded House' Plays Live Shows in New Zealand; Fears of Fourth Surge as COVID Cases Spike 23% in a Week; COVID Vaccines Now Being Tested on Kids; Countries React to WHO Study on COVID-19 Origins; Emotional Testimony from Witnesses in George Floyd Murder Trial; Armed Ethnic Group Warns of Major Conflict in Myanmar; Brazilian President Replaced Military Chiefs; India Struggles to Contain COVID-19 Surge. Aired 12-12:45a ET

Aired March 31, 2021 - 00:00   ET

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


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JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello and welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm John Vause.

Coming up on CNN NEWSROOM, the head of the World Health Organization breathed new life into the controversial theory that the coronavirus pandemic was born of a possible research accident at a lab.

Powerful testimony in the case of the officer charged with killing George Floyd. The jury hearing from the youngest witnesses in their own words, their reaction to seeing Floyd's arrest and the toll it's taken.

And the double mutation in India and a spiraling number of infections. And an already overwhelmed health care system now buckling under the weight of 60,000 COVID cases a day.

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VAUSE: Much anticipated, long delayed; a 120-page joint WHO-Chinese report into the origins of the coronavirus has landed with a thud. More than a dozen countries, including the U.S., U.K., Canada, Japan and Australia, issued a joint statement raising concerns about the credibility of the research and the independence of the findings.

The report goes into details about epidemiology, molecular biology, DNA sampling, supply chain tracing and a whole lot more. What's not included is a definitive conclusion about where the virus came from.

Four scenarios are outlined from it most likely jumping from a bat to a human, to a leak from a lab in Wuhan. The WHO director-general says the lab leak theory needs a closer look.

Quote, "I do not believe this assessment was extensive enough. Further data and studies will be needed to reach more robust conclusions." Steven Jiang tracking developments from Beijing.

Is this what the officials in Beijing were expecting?

STEVEN JIANG, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER, BEIJING BUREAU: It's interesting to hear Dr. Tedros, who has long been accused by some critics as being too close or cozy to the Beijing leadership heading the agency. It's been described as China's puppet.

For him to say that more data and studies are needed for the lab leak theory, he also said in the same briefing that WHO experts encountered difficulties in accessing raw Chinese data during the investigations and he expects more timely and comprehensive data sharing in future collaboration.

For him to make these points that have long been said by the U.S. government and again mentioned in the latest joint statement, this is quite remarkable and it won't sit well here in Beijing.

The Chinese government has responded to the release of this formal report with an overnight foreign ministry statement. They say this report is the result of great and close collaborations between Chinese and foreign experts and it demonstrates the Chinese government's open, transparent and responsible attitude.

They also denounced any attempt to politicize the issue of origin tracing and again calling for more investigations to be conducted into other countries. They've been really promoting this multiple origin theory, saying the virus may have emerged from various locations around the same time.

Especially pointing fingers at the U.S. including from a U.S. military run lab in Maryland. This is something a foreign ministry spokesperson said as recently as yesterday, on Tuesday. So the state media here also is highlighting only the parts they consider favorable to Chinese claims, including the lab leak theory being labeled extremely unlikely, as well as the need and importance of conducting more investigations in other parts of the world.

Even though with the foreign ministry saying no one should politicize the issue, many will say the Chinese themselves seem to be not immune from doing this -- John.

VAUSE: Steven Jiang, live for us in Beijing, thank you.

Three more emotional testimony on the second day of the Derek Chauvin murder trial. The former police officer in charge of George Floyd's death after kneeling on his neck for more than 9 minutes. Six witnesses, one as young as 9 years old, described feelings of horror and fear as they watched Floyd's final moments. CNN's Omar Jimenez has details from Minneapolis.

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VAUSE: And his report contains images you may find disturbing.

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PETER CAHILL, HENNEPIN COUNTY, MINNESOTA, JUDGE: Good morning, members of the jury.

OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The story of what happened May 25, 2020, in Minneapolis told today through the lens of eyewitnesses.

GENEVIEVE CLARA HANSEN, MINNEAPOLIS FIREFIGHTER: I had already assessed that he had an altered level of consciousness. What I needed to know is whether or not he had a pulse anymore.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): Genevieve Hansen is an EMT and was off duty on a walk when she ended up feet from George Floyd as he was pinned under the knee of Derek Chauvin, wanting to help with, at the very least, chest compressions.

MATTHEW FRANK, MINNESOTA PROSECUTOR: And when you couldn't do that, how did that make you feel?

HANSEN: Totally distressed.

FRANK: Were you frustrated?

HANSEN: Yes.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): Donald Williams was standing right next to her.

DONALD WILLIAMS, WITNESS: I believed I witnessed a murder. After Floyd's seemingly unresponsive body was loaded into the ambulance that day, Williams called the police on the police he had just witnessed, in particular Derek Chauvin.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): That 9-1-1 audio was played in court.

WILLIAMS: He just pretty much just killed this guy that wasn't resisting arrest.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): Williams didn't feel he could talk to the officers at the scene.

FRANK: Did you, well, believe that they were involved?

WILLIAMS: Yes, totally.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): But the most contentious exchange of the trial so far...

ERIC NELSON, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Did you say that?

WILLIAMS: Is that what you heard?

JIMENEZ (voice-over): -- was between Williams and Chauvin's attorney during cross-examination.

NELSON: You called him a bum at least 13 times. Those terms grew more and more angry.

Would you agree with that?

WILLIAMS: They grew more and more pleading for life.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): The defense emphasizing a point it made during opening statements, that the perceived threat from a growing crowd caused Chauvin to direct his attention away from Floyd's care.

The next witnesses appeared by audio only, since they were under 18 at the time of Floyd's death, including a 9-year-old and her now 18-year- old cousin, only identified as D.F. She's the one who filmed the now infamous cell phone video scene around the world.

D.F., WITNESS: I seen a man on the ground and I see a cop kneeling down on him.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): She was asked to identify Derek Chauvin in court.

JERRY BLACKWELL, PROSECUTING ATTORNEY: Are able to tell the ladies and gentlemen of the jury if you know who this man is? You can take your time.

D.F.: Yes. Yes.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): She said she felt threatened by the police there, including Chauvin that day, a day she can't let go of, even close to a year later.

D.F.: When I look at George Floyd, I look at -- I look at my dad. I look at my brothers.

It's been nights I stayed up apologizing and apologizing to George Floyd for not doing more and not physically interacting. But it's like, it's not what I should have done. It's what he should have done.

JIMENEZ: This was the most emotional and contentious day of testimony we've seen yet over the course of this trial. In fact, the final witness called for the day, the EMT, was actually scolded by the judge for arguing with Chauvin's defense attorney.

Her testimony is where the day ended on Tuesday. Wednesday morning, when court resumes, we will pick things back up with her testimony as part of trying to establish the record of what happened and why on May 25th, 2020, from those closest to the story -- Omar Jimenez, CNN, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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VAUSE: There are ominous signs of a looming major conflict in Myanmar. The Korean national union armed ethnic minority groups as thousands of government troops are advancing towards a territory and they say they have no choice but to confront the army.

Weekend airstrikes on new territory sent thousands of villagers across the border into Thailand. Refugees received medical treatment at the border. CNN's Ivan Watson is following the story. He has the latest for us from Hong Kong.

Just 24 hours ago, there was the concern that maybe this was ballooning into a wider dispute and possibly a civil war. We are now one step closer.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's important to note that, basically, Myanmar has been in some kind of civil war ever since it first got independence after World War II, that with dozens of armed ethnic militias that have been fighting on and off against the central government.

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WATSON: The central fighting in the national union territory has heated up in past months, particularly over the course of the past weekend, with daily airstrikes being carried out since Saturday in the area, according to aid organizations.

This has triggered the flow of people fleeing across the border into Thailand and then coming back into Myanmar territory. Now they are claiming that the Myanmar military is sending thousands of ground troops into the area, which suggests that there is going to be more bloodshed and more displacement of the civilian population there.

That's just one piece of the bigger puzzle of the worsening crisis in Myanmar, because you also have the deadly crackdown on anti-coup protesters in cities and towns across the center of the country, with the distanced association for political prisoners reporting there were 11 deaths on Tuesday alone in different cities.

We have seen that the demonstrators are increasingly setting up barricades at the entrances to their neighborhoods, trying to defend them and getting eyewitness reports of the military using increasingly heavier weapons to try to break through this resistance, the battle lines really being carved out here.

The forecast for Myanmar going forward just does not look good right now. There is no off-ramp that I can see between the anti-coup movement and the military dictatorship for negotiation out of a worsening crisis here.

VAUSE: It seems like it is heading towards a failed state. Ivan, thank you very much, senior international correspondent in Hong Kong.

There are conflicting reports about who is control of Mozambique. ISIS attacked Palma last week, killing dozens of people a week ago. Many are missing. Thousands fled the area.

Witnesses say the insurgents were heavily armed and came from three directions in a well-organized attack. Some wore military uniforms and seemed to deliberately target foreign workers. Human Rights Watch fears the violence could spread.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DEWA MAVHINGA, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: It is no time for sadak (ph) (INAUDIBLE) community the African Union to intervene and support the people of Mozambique, because, if there is not this urgent intervention, this crisis would spread and engulf the (INAUDIBLE).

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VAUSE: Mozambique's military says it regained control of Palma. The Portuguese public broadcaster RTP was the first network to enter the town after the attacks and took this video. The head of a private security group hired by the government says the insurgents still hold the town. He spoke with CNN's David McKenzie.

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LIONEL DYCK, DYCK ADVISORY GROUP: The situation on the ground was awful when my pilots (ph) got there and the first thing they saw was two food trucks on the road and where the drivers were obviously pulled out in their assistance and been beheaded. There were lying next to their cars.

Then there were more people around that (INAUDIBLE) and then we came under fire from these people and, obviously, we do what we do best. We engaged them.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What is the situation now in Palma?

DYCK: It is not much different. These people are still all in their houses. They live the in houses, amongst the people and they come out shooting and run to the houses. It's a standard ISIS-type tactic to hide amongst the people.

I think the operation (INAUDIBLE) is like a cancer. It will insidiously grow because there's quite a good growing ground for them. And as they grow and there is no real control of this, they could lose their province.

And losing their province would be a huge political benefit to the terrorists and, of course, the government would battle. So right now, I see no ships any hardships (ph).

MCKENZIE: What do you feel about that reputation, that private military contractors have in this region?

DYCK: We had that reputation, too, good or bad. I don't understand it. You know, we're doing something and right now, today, we are doing something that no one else can do, always wanted to do. So use what you've got. And if it's not efficient, fire us.

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VAUSE: More upheaval in Brazil, with president Jair Bolsonaro placing all 3 commanders of the armed forces. This comes a day after he sacked 6 senior ministers. Bolsonaro is under great criticism for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. He could face a tough reelection battle next year. [00:15:00]

VAUSE: Analysts believe he is isolated and moving to surround himself now with loyalists.

We will take a short break. When we come back, days of record-breaking COVID cases in India threatening to overwhelm the health care system. Details in a moment.

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VAUSE: First there were the warnings for those over 60 to avoid the AstraZeneca vaccine, now in Germany, anyone under 60 been excluded from receiving it. This comes after several rare cases of blood clots were reported. Even though AstraZeneca has said there is no evidence the vaccine is the cause.

One vaccine leaves Germany looking for another option for a struggling vaccination campaign.

Could Russia have the answer?

The French government says Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel are considering the use of the Sputnik V vaccine, still being reviewed by the E.U.'s medical regulating agency. Australia is also in talks with Moscow about Sputnik V. India's health secretary warned hospitals could soon be overwhelmed if lax pandemic measures are not improved now.

India has partially contained the spread of COVID-19 after it seemed to peak last October but now infections are spiking again. More than 68,000 on Monday alone, adding to more than 12 million since the pandemic began.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The last couple of weeks, few weeks, the situation is going bad to worse and a serious cause for concern. In some states in particular, there is a huge cause for worry.

But I think no state and no part of our country nor district should be complacent. So we cannot accept the situation. We have to respond. If it is business as usual, we will continue to be changed by the virus rather than the other way around.

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VAUSE: I'm joined now by Dr. Naresh, managing director of the Medicity.

Thank you for being with us. Is there evidence to know for certain if this new variant we are

talking about, this double mutation which they found in India, is driving the increase in the spread of the virus?

DR. NARESH TREHAN, THE MEDICITY: We know the samples, small sample size, samples that have been tested is not really prevalent right now. It's been identified but it's not ample in the country.

So what's happening is, out of the samples that have been tested for mutation, most of it is U.K., some small proportion is South Africa. Today, we are not blaming the spread on any double mutation yet.

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TREHAN: The point is we have to be alert, there's no question, we don't know that this virus meets all estimates. And it's dangerous. So we need to be on alert, more sampling, more testing, that's what's needed today and then real-time communication with the public of what's being found by the laboratories and the government.

VAUSE: Let's talk about double mutation for a moment. You say it's of concern, something that should be watched. Mutations are not new but this variant in India has two mutations on it.

What difference does that make in the virus itself in terms of how contagious it is and how deadly it could be?

TREHAN: So like I said earlier, we don't know the impact of it in its entirety today. Yes, double mutation does lend itself to faster spread and maybe more deadly virus.

The point is, today, the surge we are seeing and the amount of percentage of the testing we have done is small. And the fact is that, in that small test group, the mutants, the double mutation is a little fraction.

We don't know what this behavior will be except in the lab that's being tested. The point is there's double mutation and it makes it more tricky to handle. We don't know whether the vaccination we are using today will be effective or not.

So I think these are the concerns on the horizon. I think as far, as India is concerned, the government is actually real-time working on it day and night. And we are doing enough background check on this in our laboratories.

I think overall, there is a sort of danger looming over our head around the world. And like we said, we, in India, thought we were seeing a decline and we may escape the second surge. But obviously we were wrong.

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VAUSE: Talk to that for a moment.

What's driving these new numbers, the surge? Everything seemed to peak in October with those record daily cases and then fall rapidly. Now we are back to a situation where these numbers are surging once again.

Is there a reason for that?

TREHAN: There a number of factors which are at play here. As the country opens, and people start moving around and traveling, of course the spread had not gone away and you know that.

Our comfort came from the low numbers and that was obviously not the comfort which works. So as people started traveling, the commuters coming to work, the festivals have come, you can see what has happened is recently we are moving.

And you must have seen the visuals, with hundreds of thousands of people out there in congregation, playing audiences, which is important for festivals in our culture. And people go to temples.

What had happened was people had relaxed. They actually felt now it's safe to throw away masks and be able to socialize. Weddings were happening, all these things started happening in the belief that we were over the worst.

This happened around the world, not just in India and we should have learned that lesson. And now we are doubling up every effort by the government, by the social media, by the news media, experts, doctors, the scientists. We're on the TV 24/7 to convince people to do things.

One, that COVID appropriate behavior has to be enforced, they must follow it because the real battle against the virus is the appropriate behavior.

The other is that there is, because of some reports coming from around the world and in India, people have vaccine hesitancy now. It means the vaccine is available and people aren't getting it. It's reached about 60 percent or more.

But the fact is we have to convince the people the vaccine is safe, it's effective and unless we get -- and India has -- with credit to the government -- established 30,000 vaccination centers. So there's enough vaccine available now and we are requiring more and more.

So if we can, upwards of 300 million vaccines are given, two doses to our population, I think we'd be able to live a little easier because of the belief there will be herd immunity at that time.

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VAUSE: Another fact is when we do sampling, we find and clusters of urban areas and health care facilities, upwards of 45 percent, even 60 percent of the people actually have developed antibodies.

If that's the case, then we already have a large portion of the population. We didn't know they got the virus but have developed antibodies, means that we have a good start in this campaign trying to reach herd immunity.

VAUSE: Dr. Naresh Trehan, thank you so much. We appreciate your time today. Thank you.

TREHAN: Thank you.

VAUSE: The record number of daily COVID deaths brings Brazil's overall death toll to more than 317,000. That is still the second highest in the world. The tally of cases rose sharply as well, aid groups say more people in Brazil are being pushed into poverty as well as hunger as the pandemic rages.

Millions of jobless, the government has halted emergency aid. A doctor from Duke University weighed in on the situation.

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DR. MIGUEL NICOLELIS, DUKE UNIVERSITY: Brazil is now the epicenter of the pandemic in terms of deaths and also the epicenter in terms of the global threats that it poses if the virus can keep running amok here without any federal government intervention that can actually have some effect.

So that's the reason I feel that international committees should pay a lot of attention to Brazil and try to provide help in terms of allowing vaccines to be purchased by Brazil in large numbers, any country that has an accident (sic) of vaccines -- an access of vaccines should make them available because Brazil can't purchase them, can't get them.

We also need ICU medication. Basic medications are running very low around the entire country. So we need to acquire them from the international market.

So these actions could help. And the Brazilian government has to be pressured to act. He's in a comfort zone, the Brazilian president, because it feels no one is going to bug him about this. But this is an international threat right now.

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VAUSE: We will hear more from the Dr. Nicolelis next hour right here on CNN.

More than 20 world leaders are warning, it is not a question of if but when the next global health crisis hits. They are calling for pandemic treaties so everyone is prepared this time. Some countries have been clashing over vaccine supplies and the head of the WHO says that me first approach is disastrous.

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DR. TEDROS ADHANOM GHEBREYESUS, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: The time to act is now. The world cannot afford to wait until the pandemic is over to start planning for the next one.

We must not allow the memories of this crisis to fade and go back to business as usual. The impacts on our societies' economies and health, especially for the poor and the most vulnerable, are too significant.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: More than 128 million people worldwide have been infected with the coronavirus; almost 3 million have died.

Just ahead here on CNN NEWSROOM, Egypt's president promises new measures to avoid a repeat of the blockage of the canal. More on that when we come back.

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VAUSE: A moment of pride mixed with a promise to be better from Egypt's president, boasting about the importance of the Suez Canal to world trade, while promising new investment to prevent another closure.

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More than half the maritime traffic backed up in the waterway are expected to pass by early Wednesday, now that the Ever Given has been unstuck. CNN's Ben Wedeman reports now from Suez.

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BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Suez Canal is fully open again, and for extra hours. Normally it's open for about 10 to 12 hours a day. Now, to relieve the congestion in the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, it is open 24 hours a day to relieve this congestion, which at its height, there were about 450 ships waiting to pass through the canal.

But after the Ever Given was pulled out, was moved away to the Great Bitter Lake, till 9 a.m. Suez time, 113 ships were able to pass. And it's expected that another -- perhaps as many as 100 will be passing overnight between Tuesday into Wednesday.

As far as that ship, the Ever Given, it is in the Great Bitter Lake, where Egyptian authorities and maritime experts are making sure the ship is seaworthy, and also investigators are trying to figure out how this accident happened in the first place.

I'm Ben Wedeman, CNN, reporting from Suez.

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VAUSE: Food delivery service. Deliveroo is set for its IPO on the London Stock Exchange into the coming hours. It's considered Britain's biggest listing in a decade and the latest in a flurry of tech offerings. But as CNN's Anna Stewart reports, there may be less of an appetite for Deliveroo once the pandemic is over.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ready for that Burger King.

ANNA STEWART, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The pandemic proved to be the perfect recipe for quick food delivery apps. For the public ordered to stay at home and restaurants ordered to shut their doors to diners, demand exploded.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your favorite restaurants are back on delivery.

STEWART: Deliveroo's revenue jumped 64 percent last year compared to 2019.

(on camera): This sort of growth may not be sustainable. As lockdowns lift, and they already are here in the U.K., people will be able to return to restaurants, to bars, to cinemas, and nightclubs. And if you can go out, why stay in?

(voice-over): Founded in London in 2013, Deliveroo hasn't yet turned a profit, despite the increased demand last year.

In the initial stages of the pandemic, it was close to collapse and rescued by Amazon, which remains its biggest investor.

Deliveroo operates in 12 markets around the world but is most reliant on the U.K. and Ireland, which account for over half its revenue. It's not the first delivery app to join the IPO bandwagon. It follows Uber Eats' parent company, Grubhub, DoorDash, and Just Eat. Although Deliveroo has a slightly different offering.

SUSANNAH STREETER, SENIOR INVESTMENT ANALYST, HARGREAVES LANSDOWN: What Deliveroo does offer, which is different, is more access to, say, higher end restaurants, whereas some of its competitors are going after the takeaway market. It's opened up the opportunity for you to go direct to your favorite restaurant and then have that delivered at home.

STEWART: Deliveroo also partners with restaurants, setting up delivery-only kitchens via its Additions business; maximizing supply of cuisine in high demand locations. Several big U.K. investors have told CNN they won't be buying Deliveroo shares due to concerns over workers' rights.

STREETER: Look at the recent ruling against Uber, and now Uber has promised to give all of its workers in the U.K. worker status. Now, even though Deliveroo would say that its model is different and, in fact, it's fought through the courts to prove that.

There is, without a doubt, going to be changes down the line, not least in the European market, because the European Commission is looking at the way the gig economy works. So in those markets that Deliveroo might want to expand into even further, there are questions about its model going forward.

[00:35;11] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the year of food.

STEWART: There are clear challenges ahead for Deliveroo. Of course, that may not dampen investor appetite for yet another new textile on the market.

Anna Stewart, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: So it's all just an early April Fool's Day joke, apparently. Those crazy funsters at the U.S. division of Volkswagen released a partial memo on Monday, saying the company's name will be changed to "Voltswagen" with a "T" -- get it -- as a reflection of the focus on electric cars.

Well, on Tuesday came an official news release, announcing the change, but then the company kind of called it all off, saying it was a joke and a marketing campaign which had gone awry.

Well, the house is crowded once again.

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(MUSIC)

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VAUSE: The old and the new from Crowded House hit the stage. Things look almost normal. And we'll chat with two of the members.

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VAUSE: There was a time when people gathered in large numbers, total strangers in close proximity, often at night, while on a stage in the distance, musicians would entertain. It looked like this.

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(MUSIC)

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VAUSE: That was Queenstown, New Zealand, just a few weeks ago. It seems being COVID free, as New Zealand is, means music, and fun, and get-togethers. And fittingly, it's Crowded House, more of a kiwi national treasure than just a musical act, which has been packing them in.

Joining us now from Auckland is Neil Finn and Nick Seymour. So guys, thank you very much for being with us. We really appreciate it.

NEIL FINN, MEMBER OF CROWDED HOUSE: It's lovely to be here.

NICK SEYMOUR, MEMBER OF CROWDED HOUSE: Thank you. VAUSE: There really seems to be something special about this tour. It's almost like a country which has sort of been waking up from a COVID haze. What was the feeling like from the stage?

FINN: Well, it was -- every night we did on this 12-day tour of New Zealand felt incredibly special, and none more so than the Queenstown show was magnificent setting with the mountains behind us. But everybody is well aware of how fortunate we were to be able to gather and have concerts. And the -- both the familiarity of it and the -- that we've missed it. You know? There's been a yearning through the year.

So yes, really special and a hint of hope for being able to continue on in the rest of the world. For us, anyway.

VAUSE: After one concert, "The New Zealand Herald" had a headline, "Crowded House Clear Auckland's COVID Blues with a Dose of Pure Joy." And here's what that night was like, part of it. Here it is.

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(MUSIC)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Nick, to you. The Auckland crowd seemed a little rusty. Were they? They didn't want to really stand up for the first hour or so, I think, and did they really botch "Weather with You"?

SEYMOUR: Botch it?

VAUSE: Yes. The sing-along. The crowd.

FINN: Oh, "Weather with You." He actually tries to guide them every night, but it's a tricky one. Because you should be able to just repeat that. Everywhere we go, you always take the weather with you. Over and over. But there's a little sort of step off, you know. And Nic tries to guide them through it. And half of them want to do it, and half of them don't.

VAUSE: Why didn't they want to get up? They stayed in their seats. Are they rusty?

FINN: The weird thing is the first night, they stayed in their seats till halfway through and then went nuts for the second half. The second night, they got up right at the very beginning, and they sort of got a bit tired about halfway through. So, you know, then they sat down again.

Between the two nights, New Zealanders are very keen on having a bit each way, you know? So you think we should stand up? We'll try it for a while.

SEYMOUR: We have to arrange -- we have to arrange the set in such a way to actually have respite. I mean, not like going to church, where you're standing up and sitting down, and standing up and sitting down, and standing up and sitting down.

But, you know, when you have a lull in the middle of the set where you have a couple of ballads or a song that spaces out in an ethereal away, there has to be a dynamic in the set. And if chairs are provided, people will sit on them.

VAUSE: One thing about the music, Nick, is that it brings back so many different memories for so many different people, because there's so much -- it's been part of so many people's lives for such a very long time. And it brings back different memories for different people.

But having this collective experience when you can reconnect, I guess, with everybody else around you in a live performance with a lot of people, seems to be incredible special, and it's something which is going to help us, I think, get through this pandemic and come out the other side. How do you feel about that?

SEYMOUR: Well, you know, the pandemic has obviously canceled the collective consciousness. You know, physically. And I think to rediscover that is part of the human experience, you know, whether you're in, you know, a public transit scenario, getting a public transport or going to a sports game or going to -- even going to church, you know, going to see a band. The collective yes is a big part of, you know, being able to identify who you are.

VAUSE: Yes.

SEYMOUR: And feel comfortable and have confidence.

FINN: There's been a lot of (UNINTELLIGIBLE), so hopefully, that's true.

Put artists into all of those empty offices, and good things will happen there.

VAUSE: We hope so. From your lips to God's ear. Nick and Neil, thank you so much for being with us. We really appreciate it. And good luck for the rest of the year, the tour to come.

FINN: We've got to sign off with a little high. I'm Neil in Auckland, and this is CNN.

VAUSE: Love it, thank you.

FINN: Sorry.

VAUSE: That was great. Thanks, guys.

FINN: OK.

VAUSE: I'm John Vause in Atlanta. This is CNN. And I will be back with a lot more news at the top of the hour. In the meantime, WORLD SPORT is up after a short break.

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