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Toledo Family Lawyer: Teen Did Not Have a Gun in His Hand; Protesters Gather for Fifth Night Demanding Justice; Closing Arguments to Begin Monday in Chauvin Trial; Biden Administration Sends Unofficial Delegation to Taiwan; China's Economy Grew at Record Pace in 1st Quarter; Resolving Human-Wildlife Conflict; Buckingham Palace Prepares for Private Funeral; U.S. Hits Russia with Sanctions, Expels Diplomats; Experts: Brazil Facing "Unimaginable Loss of Lives"; Inside the Military's Deadly Crackdown on Bago. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired April 16, 2021 - 01:00   ET



JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Live from CNN's world headquarters, this is CNN NEWSROOM. Hello. I'm John Vause.

Ahead this hour:

No more free pass for Putin. The Biden administration announcing sweeping new sanctions and warns the Kremlin there's more to come if needed.

From COVID crisis to a humanitarian catastrophe. Brazil's hospitals run short on crucial supplies, but the average daily number of dead passing 3,000.

And witness to a massacre. CNN speaks to a pro-democracy protester who survived an assault by Myanmar's military which left dozens of others dead.


VAUSE: There has not been a news report like this one for the past 4 years. The U.S. president has called out the Kremlin and other Russians and entities for interfering into U.S. elections, as well as widespread and extensive cyberattacks, and announced sweeping, but targeted economic sanctions as retribution.

There was also warning over Russia human rights violations in the occupied Crimean peninsula. Ten Russian diplomats will be spelled from Washington. And for good measure, President Joe Biden warned, there will be more to come, if necessary. Russia's foreign ministry says Moscow will retaliate.


MARIA ZAKHAROVA, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESWOMAN: The response to the sanctions will be unavoidable. Washington must realize, they need to pay for the deterioration of by lateral relations. The United States is fully responsible for what is happening.


VAUSE: We have more now from CNN's chief White House correspondent, Kaitlan Collins.


KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Biden is vowing to hold Russia accountable after four years of slaps on the wrist by President Trump.

JOSEPH R. BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I was clear with President Putin, if Russia continues to interfere with our democracy, I am prepared to take further actions to respond.

COLLINS: The president sanctioning Russia for committing a major hacking operation against the U.S., and attempting to influence the presidential election.

BIDEN: My bottom line is this -- if there's an interest in the United States to work with Russia, we should and we will. Where Russia seeks to violate the interest of the United States, we will respond.

COLLINS: In total, the U.S. sanctioned 32 Russian entities and individuals, expelled 10 Russian diplomats and officially blamed Russia for the SolarWinds cyberattack on federal agencies, in the nation's biggest companies.

The sanctions also revealed for the first time that a Russian agent received internal polling data from the Trump campaign passed it along to Russian intelligence services in 2016. Konstantin Kilimnik was sanctioned today for attempting to help influence the 2020 election, on Russia's behalf.

Biden isn't punishing Russia for, allegedly, putting bounties on U.S. soldiers after officials said they only have low to moderate confidence in the intelligence.

JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: As challenging to gather this intelligence and this data, this information really puts the burden on Russia.

COLLINS: On the campaign trail, Biden criticized former President Trump for not taking action, on those same alleged bounties.

BIDEN: He's Putin's puppy. He still refuses to say anything to Putin about the bounty on the heads of American soldiers.

COLLINS: National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said President Biden wanted to take action against Russia, without escalating tensions.

JAKE SULLIVAN, U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: His goal is to provide a significant and credible response, but not to escalate the situation. He believes that the United States and Russia can have a stable and predictable relationship. COLLINS: The Kremlin has yet to respond to Biden's invitation for a

face to face meeting.

PSAKI: The invitation remains open, and we believe it. It would be a good step forward.

COLLINS: U.S. officials are also keeping an eye on a massive buildup of Russian military on the Ukraine border, near the Crimean peninsula that Russian illegally invaded in 2014.

BIDEN: I strongly urge to refrain from military action, now is the time to de-escalate.


COLLINS (on camera): In those remarks tonight, you saw President Biden reiterate that invitation for president Putin, to meet him in Europe, for a summit this summer. Of course, that is an invitation the Kremlin has not responded to, and not responded to the sanctions with the U.S. says they're waiting to see what they will do, in retaliation.


Kaitlan Collins, CNN, the White House.

VAUSE: Timothy Frye is the professor of political science at Columbia University, and author of "Weak Strongman: The Limits of Power In Putin's Russia," and he joins us this hour from New York.

Professor, good to have you with us.


VAUSE: There is an executive order the President Biden wrote about Russians' activity which he sent to Congress, and in that, he said that the activities by Russia constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to national security, foreign policy, and the economy of the United States.

He went on to write: I hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat.

The wording seems to be significantly harsh in many ways, but also broadens the scope of the sanctions authority, which they now have, and entirely basically any section of the Russian economy, the sovereign debt will be impacted, the currency would weaken.

So, what will be the everyday impact of these sanctions on, you know, life in Russia, and those that are targeted with these sanctions?

FRYE: So, these sanctions are carefully calibrated to send a message to the Kremlin. They're really targeting the primary market in Russian government debt. But Western companies and banks can still purchased Russian debt on the secondary markets. So, the economic impact is not likely to be particularly strong.

What the sanctions do though is set the table so that if relations continue to deteriorate, then the White House could levy sanctions on the secondary market, which would then have a much bigger impact on the Russian government.

VAUSE: And that's usually part of the goal here which is to I guess, one, to deter bad behavior by the Russians, while at the same time, avoid escalating new tensions with Moscow. It's a pretty fine line. The Russians one of her responses could just be started, and this is the goldilocks of mix of sanctions. Will it get that job done?

FRYE: Well, this is what the Biden administration is hoping, and really, it's a two-pronged approach. They are levying sanctions, and in a way that is really calculated, and is not very -- seen as very extreme by most analysts. At the same time, the Biden administration is reaching out to the Kremlin, proposing to engage in talks on strategic stability, and with hopes of eventually having a summit.

So, the hope is that with these two different steps, you can put the relationship on a more predictable and stable basis. Now, it's hard to see that it's going to be great love between the Kremlin, and the White House anytime soon. So, expectations are pretty tempered.

But the hope is that the relationship could be less bad than it is today.

VAUSE: Less bad is good. More bad is, you know, worse, obviously. But there was that conversation with Putin and Biden on Tuesday. Biden did propose that summit. The Russian foreign ministry, though, tweeted: Joe Biden expressed interest in normalizing Russian ties, but the current administration's actions suggest the opposite. The U.S. is not ready to put up the objective reality of a multipolar world.

So, does that mean that that summit is going to happen? I mean, how did these two men as they sit down and talk after this?

FRYE: That's pretty standard language from the Kremlin. And in general, when summits are announced, they are announced after there's been a great deal of preparation between the two parties, and it's seen as a joint announcement. So, I think once those steps are taken, then you could see a summit because, you know, the countries do have an awful lot to talk about, arms control, the buildup of the Russian military, the war with eastern Ukraine, the nuclear agreement with Iran, and in addition to all the issues that were raised and the sanctions.

So, the plate is pretty fall, and there isn't really a need for talks. I think both sides will realize that.

VAUSE: And if there is some kind of Russian reprisals or response, what would that look like?

FRYE: Well, certainly, some diplomats from the United States, from -- they're currently based in Moscow will be sent back to the United States. There might be sanctions on specific individuals, but I don't think -- there could also be moves around Ukraine or in the seas around Ukraine where the U.S. has floated the idea of bringing ships into the sea near Ukraine, but -- so that their response could also have more of a kind of military coercive element to it than the U.S.'s sanctions.

VAUSE: And Biden has talked about these sanctions and that actions are coming. He ordered an immediate review of Russian relations being one of the first things he did on gate -- being sworn into office back in January. So, obviously, the Russians knew this was coming. Would it be a shock given the last 4 years when Putin has taken cues from everything from Donald Trump?

FRYE: Yeah, I think the sanctions are really designed in a way to make them be a strong departure from the past four years. I mean, these are carefully calibrated. They are long in preparation and the way that they are done with a great deal of transparency.


One of the remarkable things about these sanctions is the detail the U.S. government was willing to provide about the Kremlin's actions in the cyber sphere, and that's a departure from the Trump era.

And in addition, the U.S. really made the point that the allies were on boards with the sanctions and the announcement. Again, another departure from the Trump administration.

So, in that way, I think the sanctions are trying to draw a pretty clear line that -- between the current administration and the past administration.

VAUSE: OK. Timothy Frye, thanks for being with us.

FRYE: My pleasure. Thank you.

VAUSE: Europe's pandemic death toll has now passed 1 million, according to the WHO, and despite some progress on vaccinations, more than one and a half million new infections are being reported every week across the region.

The death toll is spiking in countries like Ireland, France, Poland, Norway. More than 100,000 people have died from COVID in France, the 8th highest death toll in the world according to Johns Hopkins University. Almost 80,000 have died in Germany.

And moments ago, India announced more than 217,000 new COVID infections so far for this Friday. Another daily record there. And just a day earlier, India crossed the 14 million cases mark.

CNN's Vedika Sud is standing by live in New Delhi.

It's pretty obvious what's driving this surge, right?

VEDIKA SUD, CNN REPORTER: It is. It is a religious festival that's taking place in the northern Uttarakhand. Along with, there are social gatherings, as well as election rallies that have been taking place that has actually led to these levels that we're talking about. Over 200,000 cases for a second consecutive day, staggering figures, John, for the country, although we do have a staggering population of 1.36 billion people. We have never seen these numbers since the pandemic outbreak in India.

It's the first time that India's is staring at numbers as high as 217,000 in the last 24 hours. The death toll also is the highest at least for this year. So, this is a worrying situation because of which many states have already enforced partial lockdowns, including the union territory of Delhi this year, reported over 17,000 cases, the highest its ever has. And because of which, they have gone ahead and also announced a weekend curfew two months at least, along with a night curfew, which was already underway.

So, yes, different states are facing different issues, and obviously, you know, an increase in daily cases because they have imposed lockdowns. Other states may follow soon. But word on the elections going on in the union territory.

Politicians are leading the way there, unfortunately, by encouraging rallies that are taking place and participating in them. It's not only the governing party of India, but the opposition party as well that are actually going ahead and addressing these rallies with thousands are converging. So, it's unfortunate to see that there is no end to these rallies as well, along with the largest religious festival in the world that is taking place in the northern state of Uttarakhand -- John.

VAUSE: Vedika, also, we have a situation around the region. What's happening across Asia in terms of a resurgence in a number of cases?

SUD: A quick update on Southeast Asia as well, John. Well, we do know that the Muslim festival of Eid is coming up next month because some countries are mulling putting more restrictions in place along with a ban on interstate travel.

Let me just quickly start with the Philippines and getting the numbers from there, over 900,000 cases have been reported so far, out of which about 11,400 cases were reported on Thursday. Because of which, in the city of Manila and adjoining districts, there are some restrictions that have been enforced, which is turning out to be worrying as well because obviously this also leading to a lot of patients going to the hospitals there.

Also, a quick word in Malaysia, we believed that 2,100 cases have been reported on Thursday. Now, this is the highest since the month of March, which is worrying as well. And because of which, they are also mulling some interstate ban in the region because of the upcoming festival of Eid.

So, not very encouraging figures coming out of Southeast Asia at this point in time, John.

VAUSE: Vedika, thank you. Vedika Sud there live for us in New Delhi.

Well, for weeks now, Brazil's health care system has been pushed to the brink of collapse because of a surge in the pandemic and the number of infections overwhelming ICUs. The number of infections just continues to rise. More cases means more lives lost.

Doctors without Borders now say the Brazilian governments response or lack thereof is essentially killing people by the thousands, as CNN's Shasta Darlington reports.



SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For the 6th straight month in Rio de Janeiro, more people are dying than are being born as hospitals burst at the seams. And at least 10 other Brazilians cities, the trend is the same as a crisis plays out across the nation, a surge in coronavirus spiraling out of control, killing three people each minute and a record high last week, overwhelmed cemeteries resorting to late at burials just to keep up with demand.

Still, experts warn the pandemic may only get worse. A COVID P1 variant first discovered in Brazil maybe dangerously mutating, scientists say, becoming more resistant to vaccines as it spread unchecked across the country. If Brazil doesn't contain the variant, it could lead to an unimaginable loss of lives, writes a team of experts and a report published Wednesday in the journal science.

The federal response has been a dangerous combination of inaction and wrongdoing, they add, pointing to the government of President Jair Bolsonaro for its handling of the pandemic, as criticism mounts worldwide.

CHRISTOS CHRISTOU, INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT, DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS: I have to be very clear in this -- the Brazilian authority's negligence is costing lives.

DARLINGTON: Members of the medical NGO Medecins San Frontieres say Brazil's COVID-19 response has plunged the country into a humanitarian crisis that they warren is only likely to intensify.

But Brazil's far right leader is bristling at the international alarm as he doubles down on opposing lockdown measures.

JAIR BOLSONARO, BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): I think I'm the only world leader taking all this criticism. It would be easier to follow the masses. That way, people don't accuse you of genocide, just because I think differently.

DARLINGTON: Bolsonaro has also lambasted a probe by the country's Senate into his handling of COVID-19 and continues deflecting criticism for a sputtering vaccine rollout. So far, only about 3 percent of the population is fully vaccinated, after political infighting and repeated delays.

Meanwhile, medical systems across the country begin to collapse as worrying trends emerge. JEAN GORINCHTEYN, SAO PAULO HEALTH SECRETARY (through translator): In

the first wave, we saw mainly older people, but this is not what we are seeing now. It's a disease that has shown itself to be more aggressive, particularly in young people.

DARLINGTON: A recent report out of Brazil says most ICU patients are 40 years old and younger for the first time since the countries outbreak began. No one is safe, it seems, from the grip of a deadly pandemic as Brazil's grueling battle with coronavirus rages on.

Shasta Darlington, CNN, Sao Paulo.


VAUSE: Well, a day after the U.S. announces a full troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, America's top diplomat makes unannounced visit to sell the withdrawal to Afghan leaders. Details when we come back.



VAUSE: Police in Myanmar have arrested a prominent protest leader after running his motorcycle with the car. The advocacy group says its new technique used to silence dissent. Pro-democracy protesters there are determined to stay peaceful even as they are targeted with a ruthless military machine. We saw proof of that in last week's deadly crackdown in Bago.

Paula Hancocks live now from neighboring Thailand -- Paula.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, AAPP, the advocacy group, believes that at least 82 protesters were killed a week today, a week ago today. But they do say that the actual death toll was likely far higher. Now, people though we have spoken to who were there in the city of Bago says that is correct, the death toll was much higher. They also say that on that day, the military seemed far more intent on killing than arresting.


HANCOCKS (on camera): Dawn in the city of Bago, April 9th. The shooting is said to have started at 5:00 a.m. One NGO describes what happened that day as a killing field.

Protesters tell us they had six bunkers throughout the city to try to keep the military at bay. Roadblocks made of sandbags to stop the bullets getting through.

One member of the so-called defense team tasked with protecting the neighborhood from the military says they were up against far more than just bullets. An 18-year-old who says he should be starting studies in IT now, he spoke to us over the phone on the condition of anonymity. He's fled the city and is in hiding.

PRO-DEMOCRACY PROTESTER: We have heard 32 members were killed at bunker number one as we were running away. We couldn't make contact with them. As we ran the military shot at us from a monastery they were stationed at. As they were shooting continuously, I think at least 40 of us were killed at that time.

HANCOCKS: What do you have to defend yourself? Kind of weapons or shields do you have?

PRO-DEMOCRACY PROTESTER: We have gas masks, helmets, air guns, that's all we have.

HANCOCKS: He says survivors believe 97 people were killed that day. The military says was the protesters who attacked, not them, and claimed they had handmade guns, shields, and grenades. And they say only one person died.

Multiple sources including an advocacy group, AAPP, says a military group was using assault rifles, grenades, and heavy weaponry like RPGs, weapons you use on a battlefield. These photos taken in the aftermath in Bago would seem to support this.

This audio recorded by one protester shows the intensity of the military onslaught, an onslaught that has been widely condemned.

RAVINA SHAMDASANI, OHCHR SPOKESPERSON: The military seems intent on intensifying the perilous policy of violence against the people of Myanmar, using military grade and indiscriminate weaponry.

HANCOCKS: An accusation rejected by the military junta.

BRIGADIER ZAW MIN TUN, MILITARY JUNTA SPOKESMAN: If we really shot at protesters using automatic rifles, the private you referred to could be killed within hours.

HANCOCKS: This is not the first time the military has been shooting protesters in Bago, but everyone we spoke to said this was different.

One doctor, who want to hide his identity for safety, says he tried to treat the wounded that day was blocked by the military. He says at least one of his colleagues was arrested.

DOCTOR IN MYANMAR: We could see the wounded. We could see people fall to the ground, but we couldn't get to them. We saw a bystander killed by a gunshot to the head. He was only 18 or 19.

HANOCOKS: The military went house to house, neighborhood to neighborhood, activist and doctors telling us many were arrested from inside their homes. Their families received calls the next day to come pick up their body, for a price.

A charge of around $85 in order to be allowed to give a loved one a funeral.

One activist tells us the price has now gone up to $110. The military has said nothing.

Horrifying stories slowly emerging from just one city, on just one day in Myanmar.


HANCOCKS (on camera)P: Now, one factor in the high number of deaths that day, according to this 18-year-old and a number of others we spoke to, is they believed there to be a military informant within the ranks of the protesters. This one protester said they took the names and photos of all the protesters and detailed the weapons they had and gave all that to the military. They believe this individual, they named, him they believe he is back with military.

CNN cannot independently confirm that, John, but the very fact that they believe this is happened as sown distrust within this one particular group.


They are now all scattered. They're all in hiding, and they're afraid to answer the phone to anybody that they don't recognize. So, in one way, the military seems to be getting its way -- John.

VAUSE: Paula, thank you. Paula Hancocks is live for us in Bangkok, thank you.

Well, the U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has made and on announced visit to Afghanistan on Thursday. That's just a day after President Biden announced plans for U.S. troops to withdraw.

CNN's Nick Paton Walsh has details.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: The U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Kabul, he said, to essentially tell and reassure Afghan officials that the U.S. is not simply going away from here. The relationship and has with the Afghan government is simply evolving.

Now, I'm sure some of those words may have rung hollow in the hearts of Afghan officials fearing what a U.S. military withdrawal could do here by September 11th on the battlefield. But, certainly, publicly, and that's something which Antony Blinken said was reflected in private as well, the reception seemed to sustain the first reaction we got from the Afghan government as President Ashraf Ghani who tweeted after Joe Biden's speech that they respected the U.S. decision about troop withdrawals and wanted a smooth transition.

That is something he reiterated when meeting Antony Blinken, saying the Afghan government simply has to adjust priorities. That's putting a very fine a point on it certainly. But Antony Blinken full of messages of reassurance, talking about how their relationship removed to a diplomatic and economic sphere as well.

There is small between the lines reading you could do of Biden's speech, suggesting there's still a possibility for U.S. military involvement before it departs here, particularly if it or Afghan partners are attacked by the Taliban. But Antony Blinken laid out the two essential notions, firstly the idea of keeping behind a large force here to fight a counter-terrorism mission that has involved into other forms in the past 20 years simply didn't make logical sense to the United States, and also, what seems to be the key creed behind this Biden administration's strategy, that is the Taliban essentially wants legitimacy. He said the Taliban wouldn't really want to use force to try and dominate Afghan society, because it would lose the legitimacy.

Some believing that the insurgency after two decades simply wants to have international recognition, that it's part of the transitional government like the U.S. peace plans suggest, and then possibly get international aid if it does indeed get its hands more on the levers of power here.

But it's an enormous gamble and one in the face of the Taliban right now appears to entirely contradict. They keep putting out messages saying they are not interested in the peace talks that the U.S. wants to start on Saturday in Istanbul, particularly if foreign forces are still in Afghanistan. And that, in fact, was a message reiterated, demanding the full withdrawal just before Antony Blinken gave a press conference here. The Taliban put out a statement saying they felt there had to be a full withdrawal, and the U.S. not doing that by May 1st was in violation of the agreement signed by the then-Trump administration known as the Doha Agreement.

They said there could be countermeasures against Americans and Americans would only have themselves to blame. That essentially brings to mind the key threat in the months ahead. The violence could pick up, it could be focused on Americans, it could be focused on the Afghan government. It could simply be focused on taking more territory for the Taliban.

But that's the real risk that normal Afghans run. They see the main guarantor of security now definitively departing, and a possible abyss that the country is edging towards. Diplomacy is where all eyes are now. But the Taliban currently saying that's not in the game plan.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Kabul, Afghanistan.


VAUSE: Still to come, how the coronavirus pandemic might have come just at the right time to help mitigate the impact of the climate crisis. We'll explain.



VAUSE: 31 past the hour, welcome back everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.

I'm John Vause.

Graphic body camera footage has been released showing the moment a Chicago police officer shot and killed 13-year-old Adam Toledo last month. A warning, the video is disturbing.

While responding to a report of shots fired, the officer could be heard shouting for the boy to stop and show his hands. According to police, less than a second later, the teen was seen holding a handgun and an officer fired a single fatal shot.

Investigators say was recovered from the scene. But lawyers for Toledo's family says the video tells a very different story.


ADEENA WEISS ORTIZ, TOLEDO FAMILY ATTORNEY: Those videos speak for themselves. Adam, during his last second of life, did not have a gun in his hand.


VAUSE: The attorneys say the family is not ruling out potential legal action against the officer and the city of Chicago.

Tensions also running high in Minnesota. Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department for a fifth straight night. They want justice for Daunte Wright, the 20-year-old killed during a traffic stop on Sunday. The demonstrators have defied a night time curfew. The former officer charged in Wright's death made a brief court appearance Thursday via Zoom. She has been released on bail and charged with second degree manslaughter.

Meantime in nearby Minneapolis, the murder trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin is heading into closing arguments. And law enforcement agencies across the U.S. are preparing for a verdict.

CNN's Sara Sidner has the latest now from the courtroom.


DEREK CHAUVIN, FORMER POLICE OFFICER: I will invoke my Fifth Amendment privilege today.

SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): For the first time since the start of the trial, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin spoke in court.

JUDGE PETER CAHILL, HENNEPIN COUNTY DISTRICT COURT: Do you feel your decision not to testify is a voluntary one on your behalf?

CHAUVIN: Yes, it is.

SIDNER: He chose not to take the stand as a witness in his own defense leading the defense to rest its case.

ERIC NELSON, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Your honor, at this time, the defense rests.

SIDNER: The prosecution then brought back its star medical witness to refute the idea brought up by yesterday's defense expert -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE, DEFENSE EXPERT: It is an extremely toxic gas.

SIDNER: -- that exhaust from the squad car's tailpipe possibly led to carbon monoxide poisoning of George Floyd.

JERRY BLACKWELL, PROSECUTOR: Do you agree with that proposition that's highlighted there?

DR. MARTIN TOBIN, EXPERT WITNESS: No, I do not. It's simply wrong.

SIDNER: The prosecution also attempted to introduce new lab result evidence about carbon monoxide poisoning.

BLACKWELL: It was discovered yesterday by Dr. Baker. It would return a value for the carbon monoxide content and that would show whether or not that result is in the normal range or not.

SIDNER: The defense argued such a late evidence entry by the prosecution should lead to a mistrial.

NELSON: It's our position that these new test results should not go in front of the jury, first and foremost; and second, if they were, I would be moving for a mistrial.

SIDNER: The judge agreed.

CAHILL: The late disclosure has prejudiced the defense. It's not going to be allowed.

SIDNER: A short time later, all witness testimony came to an end.

BLACKWELL: The state of Minnesota rests.

SIDNER: After the prosecution called 38 witnesses to make their case that Chauvin's knee on Floyd's neck when he was handcuffed in a prone position caused his death and was an unjustified use of force --

DR. LINDSEY THOMAS, PROSECUTION WITNESS, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: There is no evidence to suggest he would have died that night except for the interactions with law enforcement.

SIDNER: And after the defense argued the use of force was by the book, with their expert witness testifying that the cause of death was inconclusive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would fall back to undetermined.


SIDNER (on camera): The judge expects closing arguments to begin on Monday. And the jury could have the case the same day and begin deliberating.

Now, we're standing outside of another memorial, the memorial of Daunte Wright because one of Floyd's brother's, Terrence Floyd, he has been watching the trial all along and he said he felt he had to come out to this memorial to pay his respects.

Sara Sidner, CNN -- Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.


VAUSE: U.S. climate envoy John Kerry is in Shanghai for high-level talks with his Chinese counterpart on global warming. The U.S. wants the climate crisis to be treated as a stand-alone issue, separate to issues like Taiwan where an unofficial U.S. delegation arrived to show America's support for the self-governed island.

Details now from CNN's David Culver.


DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Two sets of American diplomats -- one group to Shanghai on the Chinese mainland, the other to the self-governed island of Taiwan. Both visiting the same country -- China's government would say; for the United States, it's more complicated than that.

BONNIE GLASER, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: The U.S.-China relationship is quite fraught, but no issue is more dangerous than that of Taiwan, because it is the one issue that the two countries could go to war over.

CULVER: In Shanghai Thursday John Kerry, President Joe Biden's climate envoy, engaging with China on what Washington insists is a quote "freestanding issue". "The fate of our planet not linked", the White House says, "to the fate of Taiwan". That's where an official delegation including former U.S. Senator Chris Dodd arrived Wednesday.

CHRIS DODD, FORMER U.S. SENATOR: We are here today at the request of my long-standing friend, President Joe Biden, to reaffirm the U.S. commitment to this partnership.

CULVER: Thursday's meetings come just one month after high-level talks between Beijing and Washington broke down in Alaska. Observers fear that the U.S.-China relations are at an all-time low. That's partly over Taiwan, now facing increased Chinese pressure -- militarily, economically and diplomatically -- all designed by Beijing to nudge Taiwan and its people towards reunification and to prevent independence.

TSAI ING-WEN, PRESIDENT OF TAIWAN: I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Biden administration for reiterating on numerous occasions the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

CULVER: Like much of U.S. Taiwan relations, this trip is considered unofficial. It's been carefully staged to appear that way -- underneath, an unequivocal message of support.

DODD: This administration will help you expand your international space and support your investments in self-defense. The Biden administration will also seek further deepening of our already robust economic ties.

CULVER: That help could make it harder to get Beijing to back Biden's climate agenda.

ZHAO LIJIAN, CHINESE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS: China has already made stern representations to the U.S. side over its sending of personnel to Taiwan.

CULVER: On climate, China is the world's largest producer of greenhouse gases by a long way. The U.S. is second, making the two countries crucial partners in any effort aimed at reducing emissions around the world.

KEVIN RUDD, FORMER PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA: The challenge for both John Kerry and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinhua (ph) is to create a special climate change collaboration lane in the midst of a highway which frankly, all the rest of the traffic is blocked or engaged in collisions.

CULVER: Whether he will be able to keep climate separate from sticking points like Taiwan remains to be seen.

David Culver, CNN -- Shanghai.


VAUSE: Joining me now from Washington is "Time Magazine" environmental correspondent Justin Worland. His report is Time's cover story "Climate is Everything: how the pandemic can lead us to a better, greener world".

Justin, thanks for taking the time to be with us.


VAUSE: Ok. So at the intersection of the COVID pandemic and the climate crisis, you write this. "When COVID-19 hit, the climate conversation at first took a backseat as hospital beds filled. But in the midst of the crisis, interest seems to grow as the pandemic reminded people of the risk of ignoring science and the world interconnectedness."

Ok. So we may be now more aware just how connected we all are. But does that actually guarantee that the world is willing to work together? Meaning Russia and China have used the pandemic to increase global influence, for example.

WORLAND: Well, I mean certainly, there are no guarantees. And I think one of the challenges certainly is whether countries can cooperate and actually work across borders to make things happen. But I think what is clear and I think the points about interconnectedness, what makes that so relevant is that, you know, it's in everyone's self interest to work towards the same end.

And I think COVID is a reminder of that. I mean I think, you know, at the beginning of COVID, I think a lot of people didn't really recognize the sort of interconnectedness of the world in a way that I think they do now.


WORLAND: And I think climate change certainly requires the same sort of collaboration and hopefully people see that now.

VAUSE: Well, the U.S. climate envoy John Kerry has been in Shanghai. He is trying to get some kind of agreement with the Chinese. Here he is talking about on actually working with China. Here he is.


JOHN KERRY, U.S. CLIMATE ENVOY: We cannot resolve the climate crisis without China being at the table and without China's cooperation. We have big disagreements with China on some key issues, absolutely. But climate has to stand alone.


VAUSE: So that's easy. There are a lot of disagreements and as you say, climate change impacts everybody. But is Beijing willing to put all those other issues to one side? And also is it willing to put aside its coal-fired power plants which it continues to build while it also continues to make progress on the climate crisis?

WORLAND: Well, that is really the central question here, right. The U.S.-China relationship is very complicated and Beijing has said, you know, we want climate to be a part of this bigger discussion that we are having on all of these other issues -- human rights, trade, et cetera.

And the U.S. -- Secretary Kerry or Climate Envoy Kerry as well as Secretary Blinken have said no, climate has to be a separate element of discussion. And so I think there's going to be a lot of friction in that conversation.

But at the same time, you see signals from China that they are willing to have a dialog and they are working towards the same end. You know, they brought back Kerry's counterpart from, you know, the time when he was Secretary of State, to serve as climate envoy -- the Chinese climate envoy essentially and, you know, to try to foster that dialog.

So they want to work together clearly. The question is, you know, where exactly do the chips fall. I think, you know, you raise a lot of questions. I mean one of Secretary Kerry's goals is to stop the financing of coal-fired power plants, particularly in belt and road countries.

You know, how that ends up, I think is anybody's guess. But I do think there are signals -- I mean there are clearly signals that they want to work together towards the same end.

VAUSE: The economic side of the equation is kind of the really interesting part here. Here is the U.N. deputy secretary general talking about the pandemic and economic recovery. Here we go.


AMINA J. MOHAMMED, U.N. DEPUTY SECRETARY GENERAL: The challenges we face today go beyond COVID-19 and include the climate crisis, drought, hunger, malnutrition, heightened insecurity -- all of which exacerbated by the long term economic effects of the inequality virus (ph). Our recovery efforts must tackle all of these challenges head on.


VAUSE: You also report that the E.U. and what they are calling this new economy of the 21st century framed its pandemic relief program around so-called green deal that aims to invest hundreds of billions of euros in everything from zero emission trains to growing renewable energy capacity.

It's very similar, it sounds at least on the surface to the Biden plan. So I guess, if you put all of this together, there does seem to be the potential here -- potential for a turning point in history like the Marshall Plan in Europe or in the United States made allies from former enemies -- that kind of stuff, a real change of behavior. Would this moment have arrived without the pandemic?

WORLAND: Well, it's interesting because the E.U. had been talking about a green deal prior to the pandemic. Certainly, you know, the scale would not have been the same and the impetus, the momentum to do so, would not have been the same. So the E.U. have the green deal. There were a lot of questions about how they were going to actually implement that.

And the pandemic came and there was the perfect opportunity to get the stimulus measure passed. I mean I think in the U.S. -- I think certainly that we would not be having the discussion we are having right now about stimulus measures. I mean the trillions and trillions of dollars that the U.S. has already spent, will continue potentially to spend. It's just something that would not have happened without the COVID crisis.

And so it really has generated a once in a generation opportunity to move to spend a lot of money that will allow us to move a low carbon economy.

VAUSE: Never let a crisis go to waste, I think, is the best way to put it.

WORLAND: That's the phrase, yes.

VAUSE: Ok. Well, Justin, thanks for being with us. Justin Worland there, who has the cover story for "Time Magazine", "Climate is Everything: How the Pandemic can Lead us to a Better, Greener World".

Justin, thanks for being with us.

WORLAND: Thanks so much for having me. VAUSE: China's economy appears to be making a strong recovery with

first quarter GDP surging more than 18 percent compared to a year ago when much of China was under a pandemic lockdown.

Live to Beijing, CNN's Steven Jiang is standing by.

Steven, much of this 18 percent rebound is coming from a big surge in domestic spending as you would expect. China's economy though is driven by exports. So how concerned is Beijing given the global economic outlook is mixed at best?

STEVEN JIANG, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER: That's right. These are some of the context. We have to look at this amazing number. You know, 18.3 percent -- unprecedented, the biggest, the best quarterly growth since they started publishing these data in 1992.


JIANG: But just a year ago, you and I were talking about this contraction that was also unprecedented for the first time since 1976. So it was against that kind of extremely low base, we've got this amazing surge today.

On a quarterly basis, the economy actually only grew 0.6 percent which indicated a slowdown in economic growth. Now, officials of course, still painted a very rosy picture for the rest of the year, highlighting aspects of this economy to consider either improving or growing both on international trade and also on domestic consumer spending from especially online shopping.

But when you dive deeper, especially considering a lot of these COVID specific measures are about to expire or be rolled back, then there are a lots of challenges for them ahead.

There are concerns about rising debt levels especially at the government, local government level and other financial risks. There were signs of inflation. Even the much-touted consumer spending rebound is considered to be lagging according to analysts.

And of course, there're always concerns about a potential housing bubble, not to mention continued geopolitical tensions with some of China's biggest trading partners, especially with the United States.

But there are still some hopeful signs especially on the consumer spending front when you look at the domestic situation with most travel restrictions and other restrictions being lifted.

So there is already a lot of chatter about fully booked flights, hotels, and resorts for the upcoming week long May day holiday which could of course, further lift up consumer spending domestically.

So overall, John, the world's second largest economy is ahead of the curve in terms of its recovery and normalization with relatively stable growth expected for the rest of the year.

Now, since the government said the entire year's growth target at a modest 6 percent, you know, level, most analysts expect that threshold to be fairly easily met, John.

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

Still to come on CNN NEWSROOM, one woman's mission to help bring harmony between humans and wildlife.


VAUSE: And now "Call to Earth", CNN's initiative to promote a more sustainable future. Today we head to India's western (INAUDIBLE) region where residential areas are continuing to expand into wildlife habitats and leading to increased conflict with endangered species like tigers, elephants and leopards.

Rolex Awards laureate Krithi Karanth is finding ways to help rural communities live alongside wildlife.



KRITHI KARANTH, ROLEX AWARDS LAUREATE: People who live in cities tend to romanticize living alongside big animals like tigers and elephants. But the reality is very, very different.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For these farmers, life on the edge of India's national parks is a fight for survival.

KARANTH: You live in constant fear of your crops being destroyed, your livestock being killed, and occasionally even being injured due to confrontations with wildlife. It is not an easy life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On average, one person or more is killed by a wild animal every day in India, according to the environment ministry.

KARANTH: India is a high wildlife, high conflict country. One of the biggest challenges is the fact that we have less than 5 percent of land set aside for wildlife and there are millions of people who live adjacent to our protected areas or inside.

Every time your crops are destroyed, you are pushed further into poverty. It becomes harder for your family to survive that year. We absolutely have to figure out ways that people and wildlife can coexist.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Conservation scientist Krithi Karanth has spent 15 years studying human-wildlife conflict in India, looking for ways to lessen the impact on rural communities.

LAKSHMAMMA, FARMER: They said a tiger has attacked your bull in the field. Come quickly. When we got here, we cried in despair. We earned our living with those two bulls.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: While the government offers compensation for losses like damage to this (INAUDIBLE) by elephants Karanth says it remains out of reach for many. KARANTH: The process to get compensation can be bureaucratic, slow and

frustrating which is why most people don't file for compensation today.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She started the Wild Seve program in 2015 to help communities overcome those hurdles. Farmers call a toll-free number and Karanth says Wild Seve staff respond within 48 hours, assessing the damage and helping them submit the documentation needed to make a claim.

KARANTH: We have submitted almost 18,000 claims. People have received almost $800,000 in compensation from the government.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Her work also helps protect animals from those pushed to the limit.

KARANTH: We've had families who call us 50 or 60 times and they rarely retaliate. They retaliate when a sense of frustration builds and they don't get the help they need in time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Finding new ways for people and wildlife to coexist has become more urgent in the face of a global pandemic. Last year Karanth and her team started teaching communities how to protect themselves from zoonotic disease.

KARANTH: I think the pandemic is a deep wake up call for every human on the planet. It shows that you can't endlessly tinker with nature. We need to do more to save wildlife and wild places.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Karanth's passion for wildlife began at a young age.

KARANTH: I had the most amazing childhood. My dad is a tiger conservationist and biologist. So I've seen my first tiger and leopard by the time I was two years old.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She hopes to share that passion with the next generation through her education program which she says has reached over 20,000 children.

KARANTH: To me, they are the stewards of the environment. If we don't get them to understand the value of this they're going to lose the wildlife.

I have two daughters. What I hope I can do is move the needle a little bit in how people and wildlife learn to coexist. I hope to leave a better planet than I inherited from my father to my children.


VAUSE: We'll continue showcasing inspirational stories like this as part of the initiative here at CNN.

Let us know what you're doing to answer the call #Call to Earth.

Back in a moment. You're watching CNN. [01:53:39]


VAUSE: A Canadian member of parliament has apologized after revealing a little bit too much skin. Will Amos, a member of Quebec's Liberal Party was feeling maybe just a little bit too liberated on a conference call Wednesday. A colleague pointing out, he's in pretty good shape -- at a certain time maybe just more appropriate. Amos says he made a very unfortunate mistake. He's very embarrassed.

He accidentally left his camera on as he changed into work clothes after a jog. He promised it would never happen again.

The funeral for the Duke of Edinburgh is set for this Saturday with Buckingham Palace revealing two details about the service, except that it will reflect the Duke's military associations and his coffin will be placed on this modified Range Rover, which the Prince helped design. A private procession will travel from Windsor Castle to St. George's Chapel.

And CNN's Max Foster reports now from Windsor.


MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is very much the funeral that Prince Philip would've wanted. He was intimately involved in the plans. He wanted it to be relatively low-key. And it's even more low- key than even he would've expected, considering the restrictions around the pandemic.

So there will be 30 members of the congregation, they are largely the royal family but also representatives of Philips's family flown over from Germany.

There will be a procession behind Land Rovers designed by Prince Philip, carrying his coffin, and they will include members of the royal family, including Prince William and Prince Harry, who will be separated in the lineup there by their cousin, Peter Phillips. Probably a way of distracting attention from many of the tensions that, of course, exist in the family. Buckingham Palace saying this is very much an event about Prince Philip, about the Queen, and celebrating Prince Philip and his long life. Not necessarily the family tensions.

The Queen has signed off on all of these plans so she feels clearly Saturday will be a true reflection of her husband's life.

Max Foster, CNN -- Windsor, England.


VAUSE: CNN will have special coverage on Saturday of the funeral.

Thank you for watching. I'm John Vause.

Please stay with us. CNN NEWSROOM continues with my friend and colleague, Michael Holmes after a short break.