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Indonesia Narrows Search for Missing Submarine; Alexei Navalny Ends Hunger Strike; India Struggles with Devastating Second COVID-19 Wave; New Lockdown Restrictions in Germany; Biden to Declare 1915 Armenian Deaths a Genocide; Yemen's Civil War; Worldwide Climate Summit. Aired 2-2:45a ET

Aired April 24, 2021 - 02:00   ET




MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Time and oxygen, running out for more than 50 Indonesian sailors, trapped in their missing submarine.

Two COVID vaccines, with blood clot concerns, E.U. and U.S. health officials conclude, benefits far outrage the risks.

Plus, CNN takes you inside of Yemen where, on the front line, attacks on the oil rich city from Houthi rebels intensifies.

Hello, everyone, welcome to CNN NEWSROOM, appreciate your company, I am Michael Holmes.


HOLMES: It is 2 in the afternoon, off the coast of Bali in Indonesia and the clock is ticking. That is where urgent international efforts to locate a missing navy submarine is struggling. The chance of survival for the 53 crew members, diminishing.

The oxygen supply estimated to run out hours ago. Ships in the search zone are analyzing a magnetic object that they detected under the water. It could be from the missing vessel and, is one of the few lead searchers have to go on. CNN's Blake Essig, monitoring the search for us from Tokyo.

Blake, the search and rescue effort, still underway.

What are the chances of finding that sub with everyone on board, alive?

BLAKE ESSIG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Michael, hope is not lost but it is fading quickly. As you, mentioned the search and rescue operations underway to find the missing submarine with people on board. According to navy officials, if the sub is still intact, the crew would've run out of oxygen several hours ago.

This 44-year-old sub lost contact during a torpedo drill in the Bali Strait on Wednesday morning. Shortly after, an oil spill was spotted from the air. now this particular sub has a dive capacity of 500 meters, and a big concern is it descended to around 700 meters, which is well beyond its survivable limits.

We talked with our retired rear admiral with the Indonesian Navy, who was a crew member on the submarine currently missing, when it arrived in Indonesia back in 1981. His concern is a possible blackout scenario was experienced while the submarine was in diving position.

He said, on this sub, the steering is only powered by electricity and hydraulics. So if there is no power, there is no chance to change direction, meaning, the submarine would have continued its dive and could not be stopped -- Michael.

HOLMES: All right, Blake Essig, in Tokyo, following it for us, thank you very much.


HOLMES: Frank Owen is a submarine rescue expert with the Submarine Institute of Australia, joining me via Skype in Sydney.

Thank you for doing so, sir. They said that there was enough oxygen to last until 3 am Saturday local time and that time has passed.

Realistically, do you hold out any hope for the crew?

What do you think might have happened?

FRANK OWEN, SUBMARINE RESCUE EXPERT: Personally, I don't hold much hope and my thoughts are with the crew and their families because the period until all hope is given up, if you like, is particularly harrowing.

I think the advice of the Indonesia chief of navy, that the oxygen supplies were limited until 1 am Indonesian time this morning, was an indication that they are not going to keep searching forever and ever.

They have to put a peg in the sand, if you like, that says, beyond here, we are now searching for the submarine trying to understand what happened, rather than to save the people.

HOLMES: Do you have any theories?

What can go wrong if it was diving as reported?

OWEN: Well, submarining is a dangerous activity. There is always something that can go wrong. In the excerpt you played, just before you started talking to me, there was some theories and speculation about power failures.

That is one of the possibilities. But it also could have a flooding incident. Generally, if a submarine sinks, it's because it takes on more water than its ballast tanks, its buoyancy system can handle or overcome.


OWEN: So, if you take on more than about 10 percent of the weight of the submarine, you almost have no chance of getting back to the surface unless you can pump the water out. If you go by power, you can't pump it, out and it takes a long time.

The deeper you go, the slower the pumps works, because they are pushing against higher and higher pressure. So it is difficult. And I really don't know what has happened. I would be only speculating.

I have heard and I read an article by "Janes International" that reports that the submarine, actually, sailed with an unsoakable (ph) underwater telephone. This is a sonar that submarines use to communicate other ships and submarines by voice. Generally, it is a mandatory system before you can go to sea.

HOLMES: Wow, Janes a very reputable organization, it would be shocking if that turns out to be true.

You are a former submariner and you also helped an Australian submarine rescue system. This sub is an older one and doesn't have the right hatch to attach to a rescue vessel.

Given that fact, what could rescuers do, if they even somehow found this sub?

OWEN: If it's greater than 180 meters of water, there is, in fact, nothing you can do to rescue the people from the submarine. If they managed to find a shallower part of the Bali Strait -- and there really isn't one -- then they may have been able to escape if there were less than 180 meters and water.

Really, the best way to get out of the submarines is for them to be on the surface or to settle somewhere on the seabed on the Continental Shelf.


What lessons can be learned, perhaps changes made, as a result of an incident like this?

Or are these just the risks of being a submariner?

OWEN: Well, there are risks of being a submariner and this is the reason everyone in the world is trained to a very high level so that you're not just relying on the experts; everyone has a level of skill.

This submarine had an extra 19 people on board, on top of a crew, a normal crew of 34. So what that means is not only is the oxygen being consumed and the carbon dioxide being generated, perhaps, in excess of the capacity of the systems to bring that down, because it makes people drowsy and behave not as well as they might.

But if you are in an older submarine, then those risks are increased exponentially. HOLMES: I appreciate your time, Frank, thank you, it isn't looking

good, but we will keep our fingers crossed. Frank Owen, thank you very much.

OWEN: Thank you, Michael. Thank you.

HOLMES: Alexei Navalny says he has ended his weeks-long hunger strike, amid concerns he was near death. But the imprisoned Russian opposition leader, still, not satisfied with the treatment he's received. Fred Pleitgen with details, on Navalny's announcement and what lies ahead.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Alexei Navalny essentially said there was 2 main reasons why he is ending his hunger strike. On the one, hand he said in a post on his Instagram account, that he believes that public pressure here, in Russia and indeed, from around the world, made it possible for him to be seen by independent doctors.

He said, there were two visits, two independent doctors and they essentially surveyed his condition. His doctors then, frankly, told him that he was going to die if he would continue his hunger strike. They said, there were already symptoms of possible kidney failure, there were neurological issues and possible heart failure in the future as well, if he continued his hunger strike.

So he did say that was, certainly, something that played into his decision. On the other hand, he also said that the public support was, really, something that moved him. There was even an organization here in Russia that went on a hunger strike, in solidarity, with Alexei Navalny.

He said that was, certainly, something that, as he put, moved him to tears and that he simply didn't want other people to suffer, simply because he is suffering, well and Russian incarceration.

Navalny did, say he does still want better medical attention and one of the things he said, right here, is, "I do not withdraw the requirement to admit the necessary doctor to me. I am losing sensitivity in parts of my arms and legs and I want to understand what it is and how to treat it.

"But taking into account the progress and all the circumstances, I'm starting to get out of the hunger strike."

Navalny added, he believed it would take time to get out of the hunger strike. He believes around 24 days, which is also the amount of days he's been in the hunger strike.


PLEITGEN: Simply, because he needs to get used to, again, taking in food and certainly, solid food as well.

Now all of this comes in one week, when tens of thousands of people took the streets, both in the Russian capital but of other cities, here, in Russia in solidarity with Alexei Navalny and, of course, especially the way he's being treated by Russian authorities, of course, being incarcerated in that jail, about three hours outside of Moscow -- Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Moscow.


HOLMES: Hospitals treating COVID patients in India, running perilously low on oxygen. When we come back, how the government is working to boost supply and struggling against a dangerous second wave.

And American and European regulators, pushing ahead with vaccines linked to small numbers of blood clots. We find out why they say the benefits far outweigh the risks. That's when we come back.




HOLMES: India setting a new global record for new cases reported in a single day, for the third day in a row. Health officials just reported more than 346,000 new infections. India's death toll hitting a new record as well. The nation gripped by a devastating second wave of the virus.

India's health care system straining and oxygen to treat patients in short supply. Some hospitals and individuals now using social media to locate oxygen for loved ones. Our Anna Coren, joining us now from Hong Kong, to talk about all of this.

How severe is the oxygen shortage?

What impact is it having?

ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Michael, it's acute to say the least. Hospitals, major hospitals in Delhi, as you say, have been tweeting on social media, pleading for more oxygen.

The high court, a few days ago, ordered the government to make sure that Delhi, the capital of 20 million people, was receiving more oxygen. It had been receiving less than half of its necessary supplies.

But these hospitals are saying they are down to the last hour, the last 15 minutes of oxygen. There are critically ill patients whose lives are at stake if their oxygen doesn't arrive.

The government, central government, has ordered oxygen from Germany. But this is a country that has no sort of industrial or medical oxygen. But it is getting to the cities, getting into the hospitals. The infrastructure is not there.

And, Michael, many say that what the government has done for the first wave has been criminal. It has been complacent, incompetent, no preparations, no stockpiling, which has led to the second wave.


COREN (voice-over): The rituals of death light up the sky across India.


COREN (voice-over): A second wave of the coronavirus, which began mid- March is spreading through the country, leaving grief-stricken families desperate for ways to perform the last rites for the loved ones.

On Friday, India recorded more than 330,000 new cases, the highest daily case count in the world. The country's crematoriums are pushed beyond capacity, some facilities using their parking lots and piles of wooden planks to meet the demand.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): There are so many bodies coming, we are running out of wood. If it continues like this, then in 4 to 5 days, we will have to cremate bodies on the road.

COREN (voice-over): One man was forced to keep the body of his mother at home for nearly two days before coming here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Nobody helped in time. We were running here and there for a ventilator. She died after the oxygen ran out.

COREN (voice-over): Volunteer groups are working morning to night to receive the bodies of those who died from the virus, whose families are unable or unwilling to take them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): When the bodies come to us, we inquire about the person's religion and if the person is Hindu, we perform the funeral as per Hindu customs. But if they're Muslim we do the funeral accordingly.

COREN (voice-over): Gravediggers in this cemetery of New Delhi say they too are struggling to bury the dead, with 15 to 20 bodies arriving daily over the past few weeks. They say it's overwhelming and cannot be sustained for long.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Now the condition of our graveyard is that if the death toll keeps rising, then in the next 2 to 3 days, we will have to close it down. There will be no space left here.

COREN (voice-over): For many of the victims, the virus taking not only their lives but also the dignity they deserved in death.


COREN: Michael, less than 2 percent of the population has been fully inoculated. Health experts say that the 3 million daily jabs that are being administered each day will have to rise to 10 million a day to flatten the curve -- Michael.

HOLMES: That is worrying, Anna, in Hong Kong for us, thank you.

Now the White House says the United States has 9 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine ready for use as the U.S. lifted a temporary suspension of the drug on Friday.

That pause was put into place, of course, among reports of a rare type of blood clot in a few patients who received the shot. Dr. Rochelle Walensky explained how the J&J vaccine safety information would be updated.


DR. ROCHELLE WALENSKY, CDC DIRECTOR: With these actions, the administration of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine can resume immediately. That said, FDA will add more details to the health care provider and patient fact sheet, including information about the risk that events have occurred in a very small number of people who have received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.


HOLMES: Meanwhile the European drug regulator reiterated its recommendation of the AstraZeneca vaccine. That shot faced similar scrutiny as the Johnson & Johnson one after several where blood clots were reported.

Now the guidance comes as some places in Europe deal with worrying numbers of infections, large parts of Germany beginning the day under new lockdown restrictions after the government passed what is being called an emergency brake law.

The move designed to end a state by state approach to tackling the country's third wave. On Friday, Germany reported more than 27,000 new cases, taking the total well above 3 million. For more on all of this, let's go to our Scott McLean, standing by in London.

It's interesting; there's been a real striking difference between U.K. messaging where you are on COVID and vaccine response versus Germany.

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That is exactly right. Here you have Europe's two largest economies very much going in opposite directions when it comes to the pandemic right now. In the U.K. today, obviously the rate of transmission continues to decline. New numbers show that the decline is starting to slow a little bit.

But nonetheless, the prime minister says that the country is still very much on track to reopen according to its plan. That means that in mid-May, restrictions will be further loosened. Right now, if you walk around central London, pub patios are already reopened. Nonessential shops are already reopened.

Things are starting to feel like normal. But the country is trying. It's on track, according to the prime minister, to completely eliminate all restrictions by late June. That is a big deal for a country that's been under some pretty harsh restrictions for the better part of a year right now or more than a year I should say.


MCLEAN: On the other hand, Germany, as you mentioned, has passed a very controversial piece of legislation that allows Berlin to override the autonomy of local governments and set restrictions once virus levels reach a certain threshold, even in post school closures, if they reach a higher level.

And, unfortunately, for Germans most of the country, the infection rates have already reached those thresholds. Starting today, those restrictions will begin to be imposed. In fact, there are very few parts of Germany which will be immune from these new restrictions coming from Berlin.

There's also some restrictions being loosened in other parts of Europe, Hungary for example, is one of those rare success stories we are seeing. Starting today, pub and restaurant patios will be reopening there. The prime minister says next week they will be able to further ease restrictions for people who've had the vaccine.

That is about 40 percent of the country or will be about 40 percent that has had at least the first dose of the vaccine by mid next week. That's about in line where things are approaching in the U.S. And well, well above countries like Germany, Italy and France, thanks to Hungary's decision to use the Chinese and Russian vaccines to bolster their supplies, Michael?

HOLMES: Yes, well, some good news. CNN's Scott McLean in London, thank you.

Well, a grim chapter of World War I is again gaining international attention. Now the U.S. is preparing to join other nations in labeling the massacre of Armenians a genocide. We will explain why it's still a very sensitive issue in present day Turkey.




HOLMES: For the first time the U.S. government will openly call the mass killings of Armenians during World War I a genocide. U.S. President Joe Biden spoke with the Turkish president on Friday to let him know about that. A statement from the White House expected sometime Saturday.

CNN's Arwa Damon explains why the massacres of 1915 still stir deep emotions more than a century later.


ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For decades Armenians have lobbied and pleaded to have the mass killings of their ancestors recognized as genocide. The exact number of Armenians who lost their lives more than a century

ago is in dispute. But experts put the numbers between 600,000 and 1.5 million. The campaign against Armenians in Ottoman lands included forced migrations, massacres and starvation.

For many Armenians, recognizing the brutality endured by their ancestors is a crucial step in righting a historic wrong. But modern- day Turkey that rose from the ashes of the Ottoman Empire has long maintained the killings were not systematic, were smaller in number and do not meet the legal definition of genocide.

In fact, the word "genocide" in the legal framework around it only entered the mainstream after World War II. The word was coined by a Polish lawyer to describe the Nazi's systematic attempt to eradicate Jews in Europe, what we now call the Holocaust.

Turkey has softened its position over the years with Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2014, issuing a first ever statement.


DAMON (voice-over): Calling the events of 1915 a shared pain and offering condolences to the descendants of the killed.

Turkey, still arguing that events need to be put in historical context, that hundreds of thousands of people from other groups also lost their lives in rampant killings, some of which were carried out by Armenians. The historical debate long overshadowed by politics in recognition of the Armenian genocide.

For years, Turkey's allies in the West had sidestepped the label of genocide in order to keep Ankara in the fold. As Turkey's ties with the West became rockier than ever, a slew of genocide recognition bills have been passed in European capitals.

Turkey's rivals, like Russia and Syria, also jumped in to recognize the genocide label. One of the remaining holdouts has been the United States. With U.S.-Turkish relations straining to new lows over the last two years, momentum has been building in Washington to recognize the events as a genocide.

During his term, President Obama shied away from using the term genocide, choosing to call it Mets Yeghern, an Armenian term meaning the great calamity.

In 2019, both the Senate and House passed a resolution to recognize Armenian genocide. But President Trump refused to call the events a genocide. Now it is up to President Biden, to decide which side of history the U.S. stands on -- Arwa Damon, CNN, Istanbul.


HOLMES: We are taking a quick break here on the program, when we come back on CNN NEWSROOM, the city of Marib, Yemen, not only holds vast oil riches but also the key to the conflict in many ways. We will take you to the front lines. (MUSIC PLAYING)



HOLMES: In Yemen, fierce clashes in the last major northern stronghold for the internationally recognized government could mark a turning point in the deadly six-year conflict. The oil-rich city of Marib is now at the center of a military escalation by Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

They are attempting to extend their control of the country further east with a devastating campaign of drone and missile attacks on both Yemen and Saudi Arabia. Saudi-backed forces say that U.S. President Joe Biden's decision to reverse Donald Trump's widely criticized designation of the Houthis as a terrorist group has only emboldened the rebels.


HOLMES: CNN's international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson gained exclusive access to the front line where the battle for control is raging on.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): Saif Abulwi (ph) writhes in pain, the 13-year old hit by a Houthi missile in the Yemeni city of Marib.

"I can't breathe, I can't breathe," he cries.

Still recovering a week later, he tells me what happened.

"We were playing football, the missile hit, my leg was injured, I couldn't breathe. One of my friends was dead and the other looked like he was about to die."

In another ward, the hospital's deputy director shows me Saif's (ph) friend.

ROBERTSON: And what's his condition?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).


ROBERTSON (voice-over): Under sedation, he is clinging to life.

ROBERTSON: He's in a bad way.

How is it that you as a doctor that sees so many injured children come in from all these rockets after all this time? ROBERTSON (voice-over): An ophthalmologist by training, he says he has no words to describe the suffering, no choice but keep trying to help and hope that the fighting will end.

ROBERTSON: The Houthis are trying to come towards Marib.

They're trying to push this way towards Marib?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).

ROBERTSON (voice-over): But, as Yemen's defense minister shows me, Marib's situation is getting worse. Long a target of the Houthis, they've stepped up attacks from three directions.

He blames President Biden for an escalation that brought the Houthis to within 10 kilometers of the city and will blame him if the city falls.

LT. GEN. MOHAMMED ALI AL-MAQDASHI, YEMENI MINISTER OF DEFENSE (through translator): The American administration holds a big responsibility for this crime. They removed the Houthis from the terrorism list but there is no greater terrorists than the Houthis.

They should support us, and we expect that they will because our fight is righteous and because we are fighting for democracy.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Once a fabled desert oasis, Marib is now wartime sanctuary to more than 2 million people, gateway to much of Yemen's gas and oil wealth and is the internationally recognized government's last major stronghold in northern Yemen.

ROBERTSON: Marib is too important for the government to lose. It's vital leverage in any future peace talks. What happens here now is pivotal to the future of the country.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): In Marib's many internally displaced people -- or IDP -- camps, life is lived in the balance. Nine-year-old Dua (ph) has been throwing up, can't eat. Her mother worries she'll starve. She tells us Houthi attacks are making Dua very afraid.

"When we hear the missiles land close by, we're all scared," she says.

Around the city, tent camps with recently displaced are growing. The government claims there are more than 2.7 million IDPs, although the U.N. believes it's less. What they both agree on is that a Houthi offensive could force many to flee again and it would be harder to help them.

NAIMA TAHIR, SHELTER OFFICER, INTERTNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR MIGRATION: Because they keep moving now, we have a lot of IDPs. We've been displaced for the third or fourth time. There will be a lot of other movements for people and then adding to the suffering.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): A Yemeni military trip to the front line reveals how precarious the city is. ROBERTSON: Soldiers in the truck tell us that there's fighting around here every day for the past few months. The reason we're driving so fast, well, that's because of the danger. And the guy at the wheel, that's the army chief of staff.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): On the way, he stops, greets tribal leaders, without whose fighters he can't hold the front line.

And another stop, this time with his own troops, both he and the information minister promising them their morale-sapping pay arrears will be sorted.

The front itself, a small dirt berm. Dust rises from Houthi vehicles and shooting starts.


ROBERTSON: You can see the Houthi?

BIN AZIZ: Yes, yes, see this.


ROBERTSON: Then they push you back?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).

ROBERTSON (voice-over): His answer, yes, in some places. The mountains they have and the open areas, we are doing better, and vows they'll never take Marib.

ROBERTSON: Three years ago, commanders took us to their front line. It was on top of the mountains overlooking the capital. They were confident they'd be able to take it. Now they've been pushed back. They're on the back foot, defending their own city.

We're pulling back from the front line. The commander felt it was just getting too dangerous, that exchange of gunfire was heating up and it wasn't quite clear to him how it was going to play out.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): We stop near a ramshackle gun emplacement. Military hardware here is old, scattered and scarce. Nothing here that couldn't be overrun in a hurry.

They're relying on Saudi coalition airstrikes to hold the Houthis back and feel weakened by Biden's decision to end American military support for it.

BIN AZIZ (through translator): America's decision hurt us and we hope that the American administration will go back on their decision.

ROBERTSON: So far, Biden's Yemen policy is raising the stakes for this city. Whether or not that can produce political compromise necessary to make peace remains unclear -- Nic Robertson, CNN, Marib, Yemen.


HOLMES: President Biden closed out his two-day climate summit with a message of economic prosperity if the global community shifts from fossil fuels to renewable energies in the year ahead.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Today's final session is not about the threat that climate change poses, it is about the opportunity that addressing climate change provides. It is an opportunity to create millions of good paying jobs around the world.


The president also said tackling the climate crisis could lead to greater international cooperation. He noted Russia's willingness to work with the U.S. on CO2 removal despite differences on other issues.


HOLMES: Dr. Deborah Brosnan is a scientist, environmental entrepreneur and a marine resilience specialist. She's also president of Deborah Brosnan & Associates. She joins me now from Washington.

Thank you so much for doing so. Let's talk about what has come out of this.

How important, for a start, is the fact that, after four years of Donald Trump pulling out of the U.S. climate accord, how important is it that the U.S. is back in a leadership position as the world faces this critical issues?

DR. DEBORAH BROSNAN, DEBORAH BROSNAN & ASSOCIATES: I think it's tremendously important. This is probably one of the most exciting times for the U.S. in a long time. It was a huge success for President Biden and a huge success for the U.S.

He signaled to the rest of the world that America's back in business. America is back doing what it does best, which is leadership, innovation, entrepreneurship and bringing the rest of the world together. This was amazing.

HOLMES: There is such urgency on this issue of emissions. Time quite literally running out to mitigate what's already happening.

Are you confident we are perhaps moving past noble words and into meaningful and impactful action?

BROSNAN: I'm optimistic that we're moving out of these pledges and promises which we've heard for many years now. And (INAUDIBLE) particularly in day one. Certainly, there was an element of, I think, countries showing up for a (INAUDIBLE) cup of tea and a chat and talking about what they're doing without necessarily saying how.

But I think as the conference progressed and certainly into day two, we began to see a little more about how we're going to get there. HOLMES: Yes. Something that the president did on day two was he made

that economic case for fighting climate change and that's a significant aspect of winning over doubters, isn't it?

The fact that moving to renewables is actually good for the economy and jobs, right?

BROSNAN: Oh, absolutely. I think if we look at the data and the facts, right now, there are three times as many jobs in renewable energy as there are in fossil fuel energy. And the IMF came out and said there are at least 80 million jobs to be had in green technology.

So, these numbers are already very high. I think our challenge is to help educate the rest of the world, that have been perhaps schooled in more of the fossil fuel industries, that climate change and protecting the planet against climate change is not synonymous with losing jobs or prosperity; in fact, quite the opposite.


HOLMES: You still have Russia champing at the big to drill in the Arctic. China added more coal plants last year than the rest of the world took offline. It significantly showed up.

Can you see for example China moving quickly enough?

BROSNAN: Yes, I can see it start to move faster. Similarly, with Russia. I think there's something very important. One is that China and Russia are experiencing climate change just like the rest of us. Northern China has experienced water droughts. Russia has permafrost melting, more wildfires. They're suffering like the rest of the world.

They're having to deal with the same problems. So, I think it's not surprising they showed up. I think they showed up because they've got concerns and they have something to offer. I think they showed up because America is leading, too.

HOLMES: We're almost out of time. I wanted to run this by you, too. Speak to the view expressed by many that climate change is a crisis multiplier. It has national security implications with flow-on effects on weather, food, crop issues, forced migration, competition for resources and so on.

BROSNAN: Absolutely, I think climate change is one of the most wicked problems because it's so interconnected. When we have droughts, when we have livestock, people are displaced, they move into cities. We get an increase in crime and migration. We get refugees.

Pretty much all the ills of the world can be traced back, in some way or another now to climate change problems. Absolutely, it's a wicked problem. We have got to be tackling it on all fronts. But I believe that we can.

HOLMES: Deborah Brosnan, thank you so much, fascinating to speak with you. Let's talk again.

BROSNAN: Thank you so much for having me, Michael. It was a pleasure.


HOLMES: Now the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule is now an orbit. Getting ready to dock soon with the international space center. The endeavor capsule launched on Friday. Picture perfect. But later its four astronauts had an unexpected close encounter, a piece of space debris seemed to be getting too close as the crew was getting ready to go to sleep.

SpaceX says the astronauts put on their spacesuits out of, quote "an abundance of caution." As it turns out, that object, whatever it was, was further away than first thought. We will have live coverage of the docking in just about 2.5 hours or so from now.

I'm Michael Holmes, thanks for spending part of your day with me. I will be back at the top of the hour with more CNN NEWSROOM. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @HolmesCNN. "MARKETPLACE AFRICA" is up next.