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U.S. Vaccinations Up, but Experts Still Cautious; U.K. Plans for Vaccine Passports; India Reports Highest Daily Infection of Coronavirus; Benjamin Netanyahu Back in Court for his Corruption Case; Jordan's Prince Hamzah Accused of Destabilizing the Country; Jordan Accuses Prince Of Trying To Destabilize Country; Ethiopia: Eritrean Troops Are Withdrawing From Tigray; Flash Flooding Kills At 41 People In Indonesia. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired April 5, 2021 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN HOST (on camera): Hello and welcome to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. I'm Michael Holmes. Coming up here on "CNN Newsroom," as the United States administers millions of vaccines a day, there is cautious optimism, but others warn we could be at the start of another surge.
In Israel, the corruption trial for Prime Minister Netanyahu resumes this hour. We'll have a report.
And a Taiwanese court revokes the bail for the truck driver involved in Friday's deadly train crash.
And we begin with the progress in the battle against the coronavirus. The U.S. steadily making headway with COVID-19 vaccinations. According to the CDC, more than 3 million shots are being administered per day. About a third of the U.S. population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, and a little more than 18 percent are fully vaccinated.
But health experts remain cautious, pleading with Americans to keep wearing masks and social distant. And scenes like this don't instill much confidence, do they? The Transportation Security Administration saying Friday marked the 23rd straight day with more than a million people flew by air.
Now, the progress of the vaccination campaign so far might have encouraged more Americans to travel this weekend as this Easter brought with it more promise than last year's.
CNN's Natasha Chen with more on that.
NATASHA CHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On the second Easter into the pandemic, there are more signs of hope. And a resurrection of life compared to a year ago. JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We share the
sentiments of Pope Francis who said that getting vaccinated is a moral obligation. One that can save your life and the lives of others.
CHEN (voice-over): The U.S. is now averaging more than 3 million COVID-19 vaccines administered every day even with the recent discarding of 15 million potential doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. A source familiar with the company's vaccine manufacturing process says, it's not a major setback and that it can be made up in a few weeks.
The federal government has now directed Johnson & Johnson to take over the manufacturing of its vaccine at the Baltimore facility where the contamination occurred. But even with a strong U.S. vaccine rollout, some places like Mississippi are seeing what appears to be widespread vaccine hesitancy.
TATE REEVES, GOVERNOR OF MISSISSIPPI: We need to make sure that we educate our people and let them know that this vaccine is safe, that it is -- and while it was under an emergency use authorization, it has gone through clinical trials with literally tens of thousands of individuals who have done that. It has been peer reviewed.
CHEN (voice-over): Mississippi also just relaxed indoor capacity guidelines. Meanwhile, on Saturday, Michigan reported its highest daily case count since December 7th. And experts warn that things could soon get worse.
MICHAEL OSTERHOLM, EPIDEMIOLOGIST: At this time, we really are in a Category 5 hurricane status with regards to the rest of the world. At this point, we will see in the next two weeks the highest number of cases reported globally since the beginning of the pandemic. In terms of the United States, we're just at the beginning of the surge. We haven't even really begun to see it yet.
CHEN (voice-over): The CDC hasn't said whether the b117 variant is the dominant strain in the U.S., even though its own scientists predict that it would be by now.
KIZZMEKIA CORBETT, IMMUNOLOGIST: These variants are concerning, but this is exactly what the virus is built to do. And the vaccine is eliciting such good immune responses that while there is a damper in efficacy, probably, it won't completely obliterate the response especially on a pandemic scale.
CHEN (voice-over): Eighteen percent of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, including George Chinowski (ph), who traveled from Buffalo, New York to be with family in Marietta, Georgia for his first in-person, socially distanced church service since the pandemic began.
UNKNOWN: Big step in the right direction. We are headed in the right way.
CHEN (voice-over): Tim and Joey Minister are vaccinated too.
JOEY MINISTER, ATTENDED EASTER CHURCH SERVICE: I got to tell you, it's wonderful to be here, but it's also wonderful to see people we haven't seen, you know, in almost a year. And you hope to be connected to them.
CHEN (voice-over): Celebrating the spirit of renewal while acknowledging the challenges that are still here.
RAY CADRAN, CATHOLIC CHURCH OF ST. ANN: In coming back, we don't want to lessen the concern for the safety of our people.
So, we continue to keep our safety protocols.
I still consider with the safety of the youngest ones to the most elderly.
CHEN (voice-over): Natasha Chen, CNN, Marietta, Georgia.
HOLMES (on camera): A growing number of Americans aren't waiting for any official green light to travel for leisure again. Evan McMorris- Santoro reports on the surge in air travel from New York's LaGuardia Airport.
EVAN MCMORRIS-SANTORO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Saturday was the 24th day of more than 1 million passengers, traveling through TSA screening points at American airports. Another sign that Americans are ready to return to normal despite the ongoing pandemic.
I spent the day at LaGuardia Airport talking to passengers. Let's listen to one of them explaining how she feels about travel right now.
The CDC says, if you have the vaccine, it is safe to travel, but they're asking people not to travel that much if they don't have to. Does that still factor into the decisions you make when you think about making travel decisions?
UNKNOWN: Can I say not so much? No, not so much. I mean, we'll be vaccined, were scheduled, so that I guess will alleviate some worries for us.
MCMORRIS-SANTORO: The rise in travel appears to be continuing despite experts warning that a third coronavirus surge could be just around the corner. Experts say the best way to prevent something like that or to mitigate it if it comes, is to keep wearing masks and maintaining social distance. And get the vaccine as soon as you can.
Evan McMorris-Santoro, CNN, LaGuardia Airport.
HOLMES: And later today, we could get details on how the U.K. plans to restart travel beyond its borders. Prime Minister Boris Johnson set to lay out a road map to further ease COVID restrictions. We also expect to find out more on his plan for what are commonly being called vaccine passports. The government plans to test the program at live events in the coming
weeks. For more on all of this, let's turn to CNN's Salma Abdelaziz joining me from London. On these vaccine passports, I mean, before it's even really being tried out, there is an awful lot of pushback on the idea.
SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN REPORTER: Good morning Michael. Yes, if you ask government officials, it's not a vaccine passport. It's called a vaccine status certificate. That's the terminology they are using. But in effect, it is the same thing.
So this is the big announcement that we're expecting today from Prime Minister Boris Johnson, laying out how and when and if we can resume foreign travel. That's a big deal. People here have been banned for many foreign holidays essentially because of the COVID restrictions.
And also, when can social events, venues, nightclubs, concerts, soccer matches, when can all of that resume? So, the prime minister will be laying all of that out today, and that all comes down to for foreign travel.
A traffic light system. So you're going to have countries will be listed is either red, green, or amber. If it's a green country, it can go without quarantine, amber, you have to quarantine at home, and if it's a red country, you'll have to agree to a hotel quarantine held by the government.
Now, that's of course for foreign travel. The other part of this announcement will be about that COVID status certification. So, the authorities want to have this document. It will either be on an app or a document, a sheet of paper, essentially and it will have three basic facts on it. Have you taken your vaccine, yes or no? Have you had a recent negative COVID test, and do you have natural immunity? As in you've tested positive in recent months and might have antibodies?
And with that document, they want to start testing and seeing how that will work. So they have a few pilot schemes this month. The first one is actually a comedy night in Liverpool on April 16th. That will be a pilot program to see how this works.
There will be people tested before and after the event. There is more events happening this month, and if it all goes well, we are expecting that the prime minister will say, this is the way forward. Michael?
HOLMES: Yes. And meanwhile, in the U.K., there are plans, are there not, to roll back some restrictions?
ABDULAZIZ: There are. Absolutely. I mean, you have, of course, this plan that everybody is anticipating today with Prime Minister Boris Johnson laying all of this out. But you also have a great deal of opposition to it. You have dozens of members of parliament, 72 members of parliament over the weekend sign an open letter saying that these plans are divisive, that they are discriminatory, and that they will be opposing them in parliament.
So, Prime Minister Boris Johnson could face some tough opposition there. And yes, restrictions are being eased across the country, but only little by little, Michael. The only change that's happened so far is that we're now allowed to meet our friends outside, as you can tell, by this very windy weather.
It's not exactly the type of day to want to meet you friends outside. But, no indoor gatherings, that's where we are now, slowly but surely, you're going to start seeing retail shops open up later this month, other restrictions ease up, but a lot of concern about what's happening in Europe as well because the exact opposite is happening there. We are seeing lockdowns take place. Michael?
HOLMES: Absolutely. Dodgy London weather, surely not. Salma Abdelaziz, appreciate it. Thanks.
All right, let's discuss further with CNN European affairs commentator, Dominic Thomas, joining me from Los Angeles. Sir, good to see you Dominic. I mean, in the U.S. partisanship is making the vaccine passport a political issue rather than a health and pandemic control one. And you know, we've seen Florida's Republican governor, you know, painting it as a privacy and rights issue.
But Boris Johnson launching this passport in the U.K. Israel is looking to a smartphone app. You got Japan, China, Denmark considering it too. Is it an idea with legs, politically? What's your take?
DOMINIC THOMAS, CNN EUROPEAN AFFAIRS COMMENTATOR: Yes, Michael. I mean, it's so interesting how politics, health care, all of these sort of issues and responses to the pandemic have been so incredibly polarizing from, you know, talks about whether or not to wear masks, how to social distance, lockdown measures, and even vaccination skeptics.
And I think what we're seeing here now, with this broad (ph) of discussion of passports is simply another facet of this particular question. Now, it's interesting because the primary concern here or the way in which it's playing out, is the way in which the passport will impact the activities within the country.
And this is a conversation that has not really been had yet in the United States in terms of reopening, you know, schools, colleges. What will these requirements be? So it's a bit of a testing ground as to what's happening in the U.K. here.
Now, what we're looking at in the U.K., of course, are access to services, businesses, and so on. And of course, there is concern over privacy issues, data protection, and so on. But I think the bigger question pertains to sort of the whole discussion around COVID, is the extent to which this pandemic has produced a whole range of kind of social inequities.
So, who gets to have this passport? Who gets to have access to particular services and so on and to what extent might it exclude people in the community, rather than include them? And of course, we end up with this precarious balance between a government seeking to open up businesses, and people with broader concerns in the country.
HOLMES: Yes, and I guess in Europe, I mean, do you see a united front on the notion of such passports or green certificates or whatever that will be called? I mean, in Europe, so many different nations, of course. If there is a fractured approach, what might the complications be politically, medically, for that matter? I mean, you know, there are requirements to prove you're vaccinated already, for other non- COVID illnesses, if you want to travel or so on.
THOMAS: Yes, there is. There's obviously a long history about the WHO, the famous, you know, yellow books and so on that you need for certain African countries. So we know that. The interesting things is, is actually in the E.U. 27, most of the discussion has focused on international travel, and also therefore, data protection and so on.
The impact of circulating, moving, traveling to under vaccinated countries, that the tourist industry and the travel industry is such a huge component of the E.U. economy. And not just the E.U. economy, the E.U. 27 are essentially buying into this passport idea as are many other European countries.
So we see the question playing out in different ways here because of the focus on international travel and circulation, rather than immediately on access to services within their own communities.
HOLMES: Yes, I suppose, you know, private enterprise could demand such a thing if they felt it was necessary. That's their business. I mean, the U.K. approach, you know, is to sort of test the system with sports events and so on.
And, you know, just sort of wondering, you know, with vaccine hesitancy a big issue in Europe. Could the idea of a passport to do some fun things actually spur some people to get a jab?
THOMAS: You know, that's an interesting question. But I think, once again, the same kind of questions get up, is who has access to the vaccine? Who is excluded from it rather than included in this particular process?
And I think that along the way, any kind of measure that will incentivize people to get the vaccine would be positive. We know that ultimately, the passport to freedom is through vaccination. This is what they need to do, but kind of the inconsistent messaging and response of certain E.U. governments has eroded trust in these particular questions and we are seeing growing frustration in the E.U. around these sorts of issues.
HOLMES: I guess COVID fatigue and despair, even anger is evident in a lot of nations. You got demonstrations and protests on the rise as the northern hemisphere summer comes. Can you see those protests increasing?
THOMASL: Michael, we're already seeing protest and it's interesting you're seeing on the one hand people protesting against measures, so against lockdowns, against mask wearing, but you're also seeing growing and dissatisfaction particularly as we exit the cold winter months with the handling of this -- of the COVID pandemic.
I think you're seeing other areas as well which is lack of compliance of course, not wearing the masks, larger gatherings as the weather improves and ignoring or not abiding by guidelines that are being given by various governments.
But I think there's another way in which this protest is going to sort of play out as we make our way through the summer and I take the case of Germany where we're heading into general elections or federal elections in September. And the lack of handling or the mishandling of this is already playing its way out in the polls as people are so dissatisfied with the way in which this has gone now into the second summer of essentially COVID restrictions and lockdown measures.
HOLMES: Really good point. Dominic, good to see you. Dominic Thomas there. Thanks.
THOMAS: Thanks, Michael.
HOLMES: Now, India is struggling to contain the coronavirus, now recording the most new cases in a single day since the start of the pandemic. Just hours ago, India's health ministry reporting more than 103,000 new infections.
CNN's Vedika Sud following all of the developments from New Delhi, a country of a billion people. It's going to be hard to keep things in check, but these numbers are just staggering.
VEDIKA SUD, CNN REPORTER: Staggering indeed. A grim day for India, Michael. But these numbers could increase in the coming days because we've seen a consistent spike in the daily cases ever since the beginning of the month of April.
Now, Maharashtra, which is the richest state in India has reported over 57,000 thousand new infections Sunday, which means more than half the caseload that has been reported this morning as far as the Sunday's numbers are concerned.
Now, why Maharashtra? A few factors here according to medical experts, it's a densely populated state, a lot of people live in slums in these areas. These are crowded quarters that they live in. Also, Maharashtra, Mumbai rather, is capital of the state of Maharashtra and Mumbai is the financial capital of India, which means there's a lot of industrial walk that goes on there, a lot of people from brothels who visit Maharashtra for work and for pleasure as well.
But at this point in time, the chief minister of the state of Maharashtra has imposed a partial lockdown in the state until the end of the month, which means that there is going to be a night curfew through the weeks and over weekends until the end of April.
There will be a curfew for those two days. And also there will be a lot of other restrictions in place in order to bring those numbers down. India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a high-level meeting Sunday where he did also focus on the state of Maharashtra. He is sending a team of people to understand why these numbers are really going up in the state.
Also along with that, the worry is the festival (inaudible). We've seen Easter Sunday just go by. There were a lot of people in church, a lot of people celebrating the day as well. And after that, we've -- rather, before that, we have seen the festival of color, Holi, also being celebrated across India.
A lot of people congregated for that Hindu festival as well. And now you have a very worrying situation in the northern state of Uttarakhand. That's where one of the biggest religious festivals in the world known as Kumbh Mela, is underway until the end of the month. You have millions of people, rather, tens of thousands of people who are going to be gathering there.
They've already started gathering. There are strict laws that have been put into place as far as COVID-19 checks are concerned. But when you have so many people at a venue such as Uttarakhand in the city of Haridwar, you're really going to see a lot of cases perhaps spring up over the next few days.
So that is a cause for concern as well. The Indian government itself has said last week during a press conference that the situation is getting bad to worse. Obviously, there are other reasons as well for the spike in cases. A lot of festivals taking place. This is wedding season in India as well.
That's another cause for concern and COVID fatigue. As you've been mentioning since the beginning of this show, which is another cause for concern. People are really not adhering to the norms and the laws put down by the Indian government at this point in time, Michael.
HOLMES: Yes, when you have the worst numbers on record so far and all of those gatherings going on, my goodness, I can't imagine with the next few weeks are going to be like. Vedika Sud in New Delhi. Thanks so much.
Quick break here. When we come back, fighting political uncertainty on two fronts. Israel's prime minister facing a corruption trial on the same day the president could consider other candidates for his job. We'll be live in Jerusalem with details.
HOLMES: Now, the corruption trial of the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, resuming today with statements from the prosecution and the first witness, is facing charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust which he denies. CNN's Hadas Gold is live for us in Jerusalem. You know, he's got this trial going on and a political stalemate at the same time. How does that all (inaudible) out?
HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Michael, it's definitely a split screen day here in Jerusalem. We actually just saw the prime minister walk into the courtroom just now, but it's interesting because while he sitting in court and people listen to the deputy state prosecutor lay out the charges against him for bribery, fraud and breach of trust, less than two miles away at the president's residence, some of his Likud Party colleagues will be trying to convince the Israeli president that Netanyahu should be the one to form the next government despite nobody seeming to have a path forward to getting a majority coalition in the Knesset and the Israeli parliament.
So, definitely interesting to see how these two will work out in parallel next to each other. Now, the two events today are intricately linked. The analysts say because the success of his Likud Party colleagues at the President's residence, if they can convince the president that Netanyahu should be the one to form the next government and Netanyahu can and is able to form the next government, that could help spell success for Netanyahu in court.
Because analysts across the political spectrum say that Netanyahu could take certain steps, for example, maybe appointing a new attorney general that could affect how his court case goes on. Now, to quickly run through how the case will work today in the courtroom, Netanyahu has to sit through the deputy state prosecutor's opening speech, but then he gets to leave.
The first witness, though, is the first witness in the most serious case against Netanyahu. This is known as case 4000. This is a case of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust.
The state prosecutors allege that Netanyahu who advanced regulatory reforms worth a lot of money, worth hundreds millions of dollars for a businessman in exchange for the businessman changing the coverage on a news website that he owned in favor of Netanyahu. But as we said, at the same time, as this courtroom drama will be going on, Netanyahu's colleagues will be trying to convince the Israeli president to allow Netanyahu to form a government, really a dramatic day here in Jerusalem, Michael.
HOLMES: Indeed. Following it for us, Hadas Gold, there in Jerusalem. Thanks, Hadas.
And we're going to take a quick break. When we come back here on "CNN Newsroom," Jordan says that it has uncovered a plan to destabilize national security and it claims a member of the royal family was involved. We'll be having that when we come back.
HOLMES: Welcome back to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. I appreciate your company. I'm Michael Holmes. You're watching "CNN Newsroom."
Jordan's government has accused former crown prince, Hamzah bin Hussein, of trying to destabilize the country. The deputy prime minister says security officials foiled the plan which, allegedly, involved the prince's associates and foreign parties. CNN's Jomana Karadsheh with more from Istanbul.
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is really dramatic events unfolding in Jordan that all started on Saturday evening with the announcement that a number of high-profile individuals had been arrested.
And reports that the former crown prince, the half-brother of King Abdullah, Prince Hamzah bin Hussein, was involved in whatever the security operation this was. That he -- reports suggested that he was under house arrest.
That he reports suggested that he was under house arrest, that was followed by two videos, one in Arabic, one in English, obtained by news organizations provided by the former Crown Prince.
His statement in which he described his situation saying that the country's military chief had asked him to stay at home that he was - he had lost his security, that a number of friends had been detained that his communications were cut off and warning that we might not be hearing from him for a while.
And what followed was really something unprecedented in Jordan, something that in my years of living and covering that country, we have never seen before a member of the royal family lashing out at the country's leadership, accusing the rulers of corruption, mismanagement and blaming them for the state that the country is in right now.
Now on Sunday, we heard from the government, the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi addressing a news conference and accusing the former Crown Prince, and several people around him and also a former senior official close to King Abdullah, saying that this group was in communication with foreign entities, that they were planning to destabilize the kingdom.
And saying that the country's security services, the military, the intelligence services, had been monitoring this - these communications for quite some time. Right now he also accused Prince Hamza of trying to incite certain activities inside Jordan to undermine national security, as they said.
Now, they say that the Jordanian security services have to move right now because whatever was being planned, that these communications, at this point they were talking about timings of carrying out whatever these activities may have been. And the deputy prime minister says that they nipped it in the bud. Take a listen to what he had to say.
AYMAN SAFADI, JORDANIAN DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (through translator): Well, the Army Chief met with Prince Hamza to send this message and asked him to stop all these movements and activities that target Jordan security and stability.
KARADSHEH: The Deputy Prime Minister's saying that more than a dozen people have been detained in connection with whatever this plan was as part of this security operation. We heard from the former Crown Prince responding to these accusations, even before they were made public by the government. Take a listen to what Prince Hamza said in that video statement on Saturday about links to any foreign entities.
HAMZAH BIN HUSSEIN, FORMER JORDANIAN CROWN PRINCE: I'm making this recording to make it clear that I'm not part of any conspiracy or nefarious organization or foreign backed group as is always the claim here for anyone who speaks out.
KARADSHEH: Even after we heard from the government today, there remains more questions than answers about what is going on in Jordan. This key U.S. ally, a country that is known for its stability in a turbulent region. Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, Istanbul.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN HOST: Ethiopia's foreign ministry says Eritrean troops have begun withdrawing from Ethiopia Tigray region. It is a response to the harrowing reports of human rights abuses and massacres over the last five months. Ethiopia's military has been fighting the Tigray People's Liberation Front, a group in northern Ethiopia, and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed just recently admitted what the world knew, that Eritrean forces are there too.
1000s of civilians are believed to have been killed in the conflict. A CNN investigation compiled eyewitness testimonies, claiming that soldiers from Eritrea were carrying out massacres, extrajudicial killings, and deploying rape and sexual violence as a weapon.
Now a court in Taiwan has revoked bail for a man whose truck may have been part of causing a fatal crash. Now he's being detained over fears he might interfere with the investigation. We'll have that story and a live report when we come back.
HOLMES: A Taiwanese court has revoked bail for the truck driver involved in a deadly train crash on Friday that killed at least 50 people. Authorities believe Lee Yi-hsiang's truck slid down a bank and hit a passing a train carrying almost 500 people causing her to come off the rails and hit the walls of the tunnel as it was passing through.
CNN's Will Ripley following the story from Hong Kong and joins me now live. Bring us up to date on why the bail was revoked.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the concern, Michael is that this driver who made a very tearful apology for his actions, which led to the death, allegedly of 50 people on this crowded train that was driving through this really beautiful mountainous area when it passed by this construction site and somehow this large piece of construction equipment slid down the slope and as you mentioned, was the main factor in this derailment.
That was absolutely horrifying for this train that had nearly 500 people on board, people who were standing together with their families, on these cars that were crumbled into pieces, some people trapped for a number of hours. Because there were concerns of the driver might try to leave the area his bill was revoked.
And there is a major investigation happening right now about the basically lax safety steps that were in place at this construction site. Why were there not proper barricades put up? How was it that this piece of equipment was able to slide down so easily? Why didn't they lay down something on the surface that would have made it less slippery?
These are all questions that are being asked, hard questions that are being asked in Taiwan right now, as this was perhaps the deadliest train crash in many decades. You have to go back to 1948 to find anything even close to the number of people who were killed.
And this follows another accident back in 2018, where dozens of people also were injured and killed. And so there are a lot of hard questions being asked right now. And people in Taiwan are demanding answers. When you think about the death toll of this Michael, 50 people killed.
That is five times the actual death toll for all of the COVID-19 pandemic in Taiwan. So this is a major event that they're looking into.
HOLMES: Yes, puts it in some sort of context indeed. Will, good to see you. Will Ripley there in Hong Kong. Now at least 41 people are dead in Indonesia after flash flooding ripped through four villages on the island of Flores on Sunday. River floods and mudslides crashed through homes wiping out bridges and roads on various parts of the island.
Researchers or rescuers rather can't even reach some of the worst hit areas because of heavy rain and waves. Indonesia's Disaster Management Agency says all 27 people are still missing. And thanks for spending part of your day with me. I'm Michael Holmes. If you're an international viewer, World Sport is coming your way next. If you're still with me here in the U.S., I'll be right back with more news after the break.
HOLMES: Cyber security experts say the personal information of about half a billion Facebook users have been posted to a website used by hackers. CNN's Donie O'Sullivan explains how this sensitive data got out into the open.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN REPORTER (voice over): So hackers in this case, apparently back in 2019, were able to exploit a flaw in Facebook systems where they were able to match phone numbers of apparently hundreds of millions of Facebook users with their Facebook accounts.
Now what that has now resulted in is someone has posted on a hacking form. The details were told of 500 million, half a billion Facebook accounts, phone numbers, email addresses, where people live, people's names. All of this information, really a treasure - treasure trove for cyber criminals who might want to engage in identity theft.
Breakdown of the numbers by country we see 32 million accounts in the U.S., 11 million in the UK, 28 million in Saudi Arabia, and hundreds of millions more around the world. Facebook says it has fixed that flaw, that they said they actually fixed the floor back in 2019. Obviously, this data is still out there.
We asked the company if they are going to tell users, if they're going to tell the people who have been affected by this that their information is out there. They said no comments at the moment. One thing I should also mention is we were speaking to a cyber security expert who now has access to this data. And he was able to quickly pull up the details of two of our CNN colleagues. So a lot of people impacted by this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: That was Donie O'Sullivan reporting them. Now Georgia Republicans say their relationship with beloved home state beverage company Coca-Cola has fizzled. Several state lawmakers are requesting to remove Coke products from their offices. That's according to a letter obtained by the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Now this comes after Coke publicly criticized Georgia's new election law passed by the Republican controlled legislature. Critics of course say the law unfairly restricts voting access, particularly to minorities. Coke as well as the Atlanta based Delta Airlines and more than 100 other companies have publicly come out against the law.
And Major League Baseball has pulled this year's All-Star game from the state of course. Now the corporate fight against Georgia's new election law got started when dozens of current and former black corporate executives joined forces to challenge the law and lawmakers.
Tony West is the Chief Legal Officer at Uber and one of those 72 black executives who signed a letter pledging to protect voter rights. He spoke to CNN about the responsibility corporate America has on the issue.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TONY WEST, SVP & CHIEF LEGAL OFFICER, UBER: Well, look, I think, you know, American businesses have always made their voices heard in our democracy on all kinds of critical issues, right? Whether it's tax policy, or H1b visas, you name it. And that's very appropriate because if our nation's going to thrive, it's important for us to be competitive in the world.
But we also need to make sure that our voice is heard whenever the health of that democracy is threatened. So it's very important and very appropriate for American corporations to lend their voice to this particular issue. And it's important to remember the right to vote, this is not a partisan issue.
This is not a Democrat or Republican issues. This is an American issue. There is nothing American than standing for fair, free and equal access to the ballot box.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: Later on Monday, testimony resumes in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer accused of killing George Floyd. CNN correspondent Sara Sidner that gets us up to date on the evidence and emotional testimony presented so far. A warning, the report contains disturbing video.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JERRY BLACKWELL, PROSECUTOR: On May 25, of 2020 Mr. Derek Chauvin betrayed this badge when he used excessive and unreasonable force upon the body of Mr. George Floyd.
ERIC NELSON, CHAUVIN ATTORNEY: Now Derek Chauvin did exactly what he had been trained to do over the course of his 19-year career. The use of force is not attractive, but it is a necessary component of policing.
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The defense and prosecution's dueling arguments in a case the world is watching.
DEREK CHAUVIN, GEORGE FLOYD MURDER ACCUSED: What do you want?
GEORGE FLOYD: I can't breathe. Please leave my neck.
SIDNER (voice over): The first week of testimony and the former officer's murder trial began with jurors seeing the entire bystander video. That was followed by a long line of eyewitnesses.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My instincts were telling me that something's wrong.
SIDNER (voice over): Jena Scurry, a 911 dispatcher called a police supervisor as she watched officer's treatment of George Floyd on a street surveillance camera.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I did call the police on the police.
BLACKWELL: And why did you do that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because I believe I witnessed a murder.
SIDNER (voice over): Donald Williams was watching from the sidewalk. The professionally trained MMA fighter was overcome with emotion as he heard his own call to 911.
DONALD WILLIAMS, EYEWITNESS: Y'all murders bro. Ya'll murders Thao. You going to kill yourself. I already know it.
SIDNER (voice over): 61 year old eyewitness Charles McMillan was there too.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can't win.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not trying to win.
SIDNER (voice over): He says he begged Floyd to comply.
FLOYD: I can't breathe. I can't breathe.
CHAUVIN: Stop moving.
FLOYD: Mama, Mama.
SIDNER (voice over): Macmillan dissolved into sobs when he saw the video from that day.
CHARLES MCMILLAN, EYEWITNESS: I feel helpless. I don't have a mama even but I just."
SIDNER (voice over): An off duty firefighter and EMT walking by on May 25 2020 testified she begged officers to let her check Floyd's pulse or check it themselves.
GENEVIEVE HANSON, EYEWITNESS AND FIRFIGHTER: There is man being killed and I would have - had I - had I had access to a call similar to that, I would have been able to provide medical attention to the best of my abilities and this human was denied that.
SIDNER (voice over): Some witnesses faces were shielded from the public, only the jury saw them because they were all minors when they witnessed Floyd's death. The teen who took the video that went viral, and her nine year old cousin who testified anonymously.
TEENAGE WITNESS: It's been nights, I stayed up, apologizing and apologizing to George Floyd for not doing more.
9-YEAR OLD WITNESS: I saw that officer put knee on the neck of George Floyd. I was sad and kind of mad.
SIDNER (voice over): A former cashier who accused Floyd of paying for cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill testified too.
CHRISTOPHER MARTIN, CUP FOODS EMPLOYEE: I took it anyways and I was planning to just put it on my tab until I second guessed myself, and as you can see in the video, I kept examining it. And then I eventually told my manager.
SIDNER (voice over): Soon after police were called.
MARTIN: George was motionless, limp and Chauvin seemed very - he was in a resting state.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I saw you standing there with your hands on your head for a while. Correct?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What was going through your mind during that time period?
MARTIN: Disbelief and guilt.
SIDNER (voice over): None of the bystanders knew George Floyd at the time. Only one person who testified this week did. They met at his job years ago when he noticed she was crying.
COURTNEY ROSS, FLOYD'S GIRLFRIEND: Floyd has this great deep Southern voice, raspy, he's like sis, you OK sis? And I wasn't OK.
SIDNER (voice over): They dated for nearly three years. She testified that they shared many things including an addiction to painkillers.
ROSS: Floyd and I both suffered with the opioid addiction. We got addicted and tried really hard to break that addiction many times.
SIDNER (voice over): Chauvin's attorney pounced, pointing out Floyd's drug use. His argument, Floyd didn't die from shoguns actions, but his own drug use and pre-existing medical issues.
NELSON: It was your belief that Mr. Floyd started using again, about two weeks prior to his death. Correct?
ROSS: I noticed a change in his behavior. Yes.
SIDNER (voice over): The jury also heard from a slew of EMTs and police, both current and former. When EMT Derek Smith arrived on the scene Chauvin was still on Floyd even though Floyd was unresponsive.
DEREK SMITH, EMT: I thought he was dead.
SIDNER (voice over): But Smith said that he and his partner along with an officer worked to treat Floyd. Two officers criticized their fellow officer's treatment to Floyd.
STEVE SCHLEICHER, PROSECUTOR: Do you have an opinion as to when the restraint of Mr. Floyd should have ended in this encounter?
DAVID PLOEGER, FORMER MINNEAPOLIS POLICE SUPERVISOR: Yes.
SCHLEICHER: What is it?
PLOEGER: When Mr. Floyd was no longer offering up any resistance to the officers, they could have ended the restraint.
SCHLEICHER: What is your - your view of that use of force during that time period?
LT. RICHARD ZIMMERMAN, MINNEAPOLIS POLICE HOMICIDE CENTER: Totally unnecessary. SIDNER (voice over): Lieutenant Richard Zimmerman testified. He is the
most senior member of the Minneapolis police force. He's been there 35 years, now the head of homicide.
Chauvin's attorney intimated that the lieutenant may not be in the best position to judge patrol officer's decisions.
NELSON: You're not out patrolling the streets, making arrests, things of that nature.
NELSON: All right. And it's fair to say then that your experience with the use of force of late has been primarily through training.
SIDNER (voice over): He shows up on scenes after an incident occurs. Still, with all his years of experience, he did not mince words, when asked if the officers used excessive force that day.
ZIMMERMAN: pulling him down to the ground face down and putting your knee on your neck for that amount of time, it's just uncalled for. I saw no reason why the officers felt they were in danger, if that's what they felt. And that's what they would have to feel to be able to use that kind of force.
SIDNER (voice over): That is, of course, the beginning of the prosecution's case. We have yet to hear from the defense. But in this country, of course, when you are charged with a crime, you are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, Sara Sidner, CNN, Minneapolis.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: And thank you for watching CNN Newsroom. I'm Michael Holmes. Do stay with us. Paula Newton will pick it up after the break.