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CNN NEWSROOM

Israeli Police Clash With Palestinians At Jerusalem Mosque; State Of Goa Tests 51 Percent Positive; U.S. Jobs Report Below Expectations; The Big Lie On Tour; Andrew Brown Jr.'s Family To See More Shooting Video; Chinese Rocket Expected To Fall Back To Earth; England's Green List Of Travel Destinations; Colombia Unrest; Scotland Could Have New Independence Vote. Aired 5-6a ET

Aired May 8, 2021 - 05:00   ET

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


[05:00:00]

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KIM BRUNHUBER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Tension turns to violence. Hundreds are injured as Israeli police clash with Palestinian worshipers at a Jerusalem mosque.

Also ahead, as India's COVID crisis deepens, it's also hurting global efforts and vaccine supplies. We will you take to war-torn Syria, where the vaccine rollout is at risk.

Right now, an out of control Chinese rocket is hurtling back to Earth but no one knows when or where it will land. We will explain what you need to know coming up.

Live from CNN World Headquarters, welcome to all of you watching. I'm Kim Brunhuber. This is CNN NEWSROOM.

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BRUNHUBER: We begin with the escalating violence in Jerusalem, where clashes broke out at a mosque following Friday evening prayers. Israeli police in riot gear fired rubber coated bullets and stun grenades at protesters, who were throwing rocks and other objects. Hundreds of people were injured.

The violence comes amid weeks of rising anger in the city. Hadas Gold joins us now.

This is just the latest recent flashpoint. Take us through what has happened and what some are fearing what might happen in the sensitive period over the next few days.

HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kim, last night saw one of the significant nights of unrest that Jerusalem has seen in several years. The Palestinian Red Crescent said more than 200 Palestinians were injured in clashes last night, at that Al-Aqsa, known as the Temple Mount compound. And it is over my shoulder.

They say 80 were taken to the hospital for treatment. They say the clashes happened at the conclusion of Friday evening prayers. Police say 17 of their officers were injured. Some of the clashes began when worshipers in large numbers were prevented from entering the mosque and they attempted to move away police barricades.

Police say they moved in after people started throwing rocks and other objects at them and they threw stun grenades. And one landed inside the mosque, the building behind me with the black roof.

We have seen dramatic video of that. It's one of the most significant nights of tensions and unrest in the city. But it's not coming out of nowhere. Tensions have been boiling in the city for several weeks.

Two weeks ago, there were clashes at the Damascus gate at the Old City of Jerusalem, when police were trying to prevent Palestinians from congregating. On one march, some were chanting "death to Arabs," which inflamed tension. Another incident on Israeli on Palestinian and Palestinian on Israeli.

And what created to the tensions last night in a neighborhood of Jerusalem, some Palestinian families there that are facing eviction, possible eviction, a long running legal battle and all of this is coming together.

And we saw it inflamed last night at the tensions at the Al-Aqsa compound. We are getting reactions from around the world of various governments, the European Union calling for calm.

The State Department put out a statement saying there is no excuse for violence but such bloodshed is especially disturbing now, coming as it does in the last days of Ramadan. They are calling on Israeli and Palestinian officials to deescalate the tensions and bring a halt to the violence.

The Israeli foreign military are citing specifically what is happening, saying the Palestinian Authority and Palestinian terror groups are presenting a real estate dispute between private parties as a nationalistic cause in order to incite violence in Jerusalem.

We are hearing from the European Union, which is also saying that the violence is unacceptable, the perpetrators must be held accountable and they have to de-escalate the situation.

As we noted, we are approaching an even more sensitive time. Tonight is one of the holiest nights of Ramadan. And Monday is when Israel they took control of the Western Wall. And on Monday is the date we might hear a decision from the Supreme Court on those possible evictions from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

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GOLD: So a confluence of things boiling up in such high tensions and the entire city is on edge currently.

BRUNHUBER: We will keep following all of those stories. Thank you so much, Hadas Gold there in Jerusalem. More than a year into the pandemic, the CDC is updating its guidance

on how COVID is transmitted from person to person. It's now stressing, the virus spreads more often by inhaling particles in the air and it's putting less emphasis on the risks of picking it up from surfaces.

Meanwhile, more restrictions are being loosened as cases fall nationwide and as health officials encourage more Americans to get vaccinated. CNN's Nick Watt reports.

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JEFF ZIENTS, WHITE HOUSE COVID-19 RESPONSE COORDINATOR: We are in all- out implementation and execution mode.

NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): And this is the front line. More than 130 million Pfizer vaccine doses already in American under Emergency Use authorization. Today Pfizer announced, it'll apply for full approval.

DR. ASHISH JHA, DEAN, BROWN UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH: What will do is two things. For a lot of people who are on the fence, who are worried about, well, this is emergency use, should I get vaccinated, it will give them confidence. And then there are a lot of businesses who want to require that their employees be vaccinated for those businesses. It will also make them feel better about moving forward with that.

WATT (voice-over): Around 140 colleges already mandating vaccines for students on campus in the fall. Some offering incentives. Rowan University in New Jersey will give up to $1,000 in credits to vaccinated students.

Average new infections nationwide, well, four months ago, this country peaked at over a quarter million per day, now just over 45,000, a huge drop to continue that trend.

DR. CHRIS PERNELL, FELLOW, AMERICAN COLLEGE OF PREVENTIVE MEDICINE: We have to continue to encourage vaccinations. We have to continue to follow the data.

WATT (voice-over): One-time basket case California now has the lowest cases per capita in the country.

DR. MONICA GANDHI, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SAN FRANCISCO: We're opening up and, even despite opening up, with relatively high rates of first-dose vaccination, we're not seeing the cases going up.

When do I think we're going to get to herd immunity?

I don't think it will take anything more than 70 percent first dose.

Half of Californians are now at least partially vaccinated. In some other states, that percentage is way lower.

Meantime, those influential modelers up in Washington just changed how they estimate how many people have died due to the pandemic in this country was under 600,000. Now they say over 900,000 when they add their estimate of unreported fatalities.

DR. ROCHELLE WALENSKY, CDC DIRECTOR: In my line, it's just more and more reason to continue to get vaccinated.

WATT: So the hope if the FDA approves and not just gives emergency use authorization to Pfizer's vaccine, that will increase public confidence. Now the approval process usually takes a few months. Today the White House said that, given the pandemic, it believes the FDA will move as expeditiously as possible, stressing this is all up to the FDA and not elected officials -- Nick Watt, CNN, Los Angeles.

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BRUNHUBER: For the third day in a row, India's health ministry is reporting more than 400,000 new COVID cases. That is 1.2 million people infected since Wednesday, which is an unprecedented rate.

For the first time, more than 4,000 people have died in the past 24 hours. Funeral pyres are burning nonstop along the Ganges River. Even as this second wave exacts a heavy toll, the nation is bracing for what predict will become a third wave of sickness and death. CNN's Paula Hancocks is joining us.

The statistics are quite stunning as well.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, they are, Kim. In the southwest of the country, this is a state that is really a tourist destination for many Indians as well as for those overseas. Clearly, it is paying the price for that.

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HANCOCKS: The latest figures showing there is more than 50 percent positivity rate in the state, which means that of all of those people that they have recently tested, 1 in 2 of them were testing positive.

Of course, the officials are also saying that is just the conservative estimate, considering they are only looking at people that have come forward to be tested. So in actual fact, it could even be higher.

They are seriously considering a lockdown in a number of one of the states there and a number of other states have brought lockdowns to try to break this cycle. In Goa, they are trying to build more ICU facilities and build more COVID treatment centers to take the pressure off.

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HANCOCKS: And they're also asking interns in medical colleges to come work in these places as well, to make sure they are taking some of the pressure off the medical staff that are overwhelmed and overworked.

We did speak to the Goa health minister about the issue. He said the tourism issue is what made this extremely difficult for them.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) VISHWAJIT RANE, GOA STATE MINISTER FOR PUBLIC HEALTH: Without any restrictions in December, it has led to this situation in the state of Goa. The positivity rate of around 51 percent and above is the highest in the country as we speak. This has to be brought under control, the mortality has to be brought under control.

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HANCOCKS: If you look nationwide, Kim, the numbers are still increasing. As you say, more than 4,000 deaths, the first time it's been over the 4,000 mark, showing that it still hasn't plateaued and is only going to get worse at this point.

BRUNHUBER: Frightening. Thanks so much, CNN's Paula Hancocks in Seoul.

Millions people of Indian descent live all over the world and they're responding with an outpouring of money and other support. Sunil Tolani runs a hotel and real estate company in Southern California. He has donated $300,000 to this cause. And I spoke to him about his desire to help his homeland.

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SUNIL TOLANI, PRINCE ORGANIZATION: You know, first off, my family is blessed to contribute a share of our unique blessings, to have a positive impact on the lives of others in the world.

When I was growing up, I saw my mom, I saw my grandmother, their tireless examples of compassion, empathy, giving people hope, courage, kindness and changing lives.

And so then I came to America, America has made my dreams come true. I started here and, you know, I reached a destination here. So India is my country. It's my motherland, it's like my mother, India. So we really have to take care of our mother.

BRUNHUBER: Before we go, I just want to ask, if people do want to help, how can they do this?

TOLANI: There are many, many ways to help, you know. They can make direct contributions, like I have been doing, that is, I know that there are a lot of groups. Asian American Hotel Owners Association is also putting their groups together, where we have 19,000 members.

I have personally reached out to the Biden government. I've reached out to all my partners, Hilton and Inter-Continental Hotels and Choice Hotels and Marriotts and all. And all of these doctors' associations in America, all of the local temples, everyone is pitching in.

Everyone is doing something big, something small, are doing something, to take care of our motherland.

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BRUNHUBER: That was Sunil Tolani in Southern California, speaking to us a short time ago. In the United States, high hopes for a quick economic rebound hit a

snag with a dismal jobs report on Friday. Just 266,000 jobs were added for the month of April, far below what economists predicted. And it has U.S. President Joe Biden pushing his economic package even harder. Kaitlan Collins reports from the White House.

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KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: We saw President Biden weighing in on that grim jobs report, that economists thought was going to say something closer to a million jobs were added to the U.S. economy in April. Instead the numbers were lower at 266,000 and lower than even March and lower than what economists expected.

President Biden came out and he addressed this. He said that something they were expecting. They are actually doing better on job creation, he said, than he anticipated and pushing back on those critics who said this is proof that some of his bills are too much for right now, including that COVID relief bill he signed into law earlier this year.

President Biden said this underscores the need not only for that COVID-19 relief bill, which he says is still trying to take effect, it's not going to go into effect immediately, but he also pushed for his infrastructure bill.

That is something he is currently negotiating, that $2.3 trillion bill he has been trying to sell on the road in Louisiana this week. He said this jobs report does make the case for that.

But I think the biggest data point that people were looking at out of this and that critics of this White House and Republican lawmakers were questioning is this $300 extended enhanced unemployment benefits that you saw as part of that COVID-19 relief bill.

And President Biden was saying that there is no data that he or his top aides have seen to suggest that's why people are staying out of work.

But what you're hearing from business groups like the Chamber of Commerce and Republicans as well, saying this is the reason they believe that a lot of businesses are complaining.

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COLLINS: Even directly to the White House, according to the Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, that they cannot find workers to hire right now. The White House is counting on that it's a one-month jobs report that volatility is something they are experiencing and this is temporary of a dip and it will bounce back next month.

But that remains to be seen and the White House is also waiting to see what happens just like everyone else is -- Kaitlan Collins, CNN, the White House.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BRUNHUBER: Former U.S. President Donald Trump may have lost an election but Republican leaders still feel obliged to kiss the ring.

Did their party complete its evolution into a party of Trump?

We will look at that question ahead.

Plus, it's heavy and tall and scientists have no idea where it will crash land. Ahead, we will have the latest on a Chinese rocket hurtling towards Earth. Stay with us.

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BRUNHUBER: U.S. House Republicans Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene showed a high-profile loyalty to Donald Trump. The two held a rally in support of him and what is known as the Big Lie. Gaetz is facing allegations of sex trafficking and prostitution.

[05:20:00]

BRUNHUBER: And Greene is known for spreading wild conspiracy theories but they still hold sway in the party. Donie O'Sullivan shows us why.

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DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN TECH CORRESPONDENT: Gaetz and Greene kicked off what they are calling their America First tour here in The Villages, a retirement community in Florida on Friday night. We spoke to some folks who were on their way into that event. Here is what they had to say.

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O'SULLIVAN: You guys both genuinely believe the election was stolen.

RITA WARD, ATTENDEE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

O'SULLIVAN: I mean, that's - if you believe that that's true, that is ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is that horrible?

O'SULLIVAN: Yes.

WARD: Yes. It is horrible.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know it is. Is it horrible that we would even be in a situation to even think that?

O'SULLIVAN: But it's false.

WARD: No, it's not. Why would they have all those ballots hidden under the tables? Why did that man drive that truck all the way across state lines with ballots?

O'SULLIVAN: But it wasn't like the ballots under table thing with Giuliani in Georgia, that's all been proven to be false.

WARD: It has not.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.

WARD: I watched it on TV.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'SULLIVAN: They mentioned conspiracy theories but it goes to show the message, the Big Lie about the election, has a very, very receptive audience here in The Villages. Take a listen to what happened inside the event.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE (R-GA): Did anybody in here vote for Joe Biden?

Do you guys really think he won?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'SULLIVAN: While some might look at an event like this as a fringe element of the Republican Party, it really isn't. Take a look at these poll numbers from last week.

It shows 70 percent of Republicans believe the Big Lie, that Joe Biden didn't really win the election. The Republican Party continues to grapple with conspiracy theories -- back to you.

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BRUNHUBER: Many Republican lawmakers hope to put a Trump loyalist in one of its top congressional leadership roles. They are expected to vote next week to replace Liz Cheney, the number three ranked House conservative, with Elise Stefanik.

The Big Lie that Trump has pushed, that Joe Biden stole the election. Stefanik was a vocal Trump supporter during much of his presidency and is now shoring up her own support among other loyalists.

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BRUNHUBER: Jessica Levinson is a professor of law at Loyola Law School and host of "Passing Judgment."

Thanks for being here. Before we get to those fascinating stories about the Republican Party, let's start with this. My lead story yesterday, the giddy excitement over the yet to be released jobs report, as of yesterday anyway, listen to this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRUNHUBER: We begin right here in the U.S., where we are just hours away from a highly anticipated jobs report. Economists are predicting there was a hiring boom last month as the economy shows signs of a robust recovery.

And they estimate from 700,000 to more than 2 million jobs may have been created.

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BRUNHUBER: So yes, that didn't happen. President Biden says the much lower jobs numbers are proof we are in a marathon, not a sprint and so on.

Does it undercut his central message that he is the man to guide America back and that his policies are working?

What are the political consequences of this?

JESSICA LEVINSON, PROFESSOR OF LAW, LOYOLA UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL: So it's not good for him. I think he said, I'm the person to steady the ship in so many ways. I'm going to steady the ship, where we are as a country.

And he talks so much about healing the heart and soul of our country. The big part of his message -- and was the through line for his joint speech to Congress -- was the economy, the economy, the economy. He kept talking about jobs and to have a really disappointing jobs report undercuts that central message.

BRUNHUBER: All right. So let's go to the Republican Party now, the battle to unseat Liz Cheney from the Republican House leadership. We are expecting a vote on that next week. We keep hearing how this exposes the schism and the GOP at war with itself. It seems so one- sided.

Isn't it, you know, more about the party finally completing its metamorphosis?

The few Republicans that seem to be going the way of never Trumpers and fading into oblivion.

Is that too simplistic?

LEVINSON: No, I don't think so. This is largely Liz Cheney versus the world. We can count on one hand the number of politicians who have come out against president Trump, both with respect to his lies about the 2020 election, who voted in favor of impeachment.

And who do we have on that hand?

We have Liz Cheney, we have Mitt Romney, who was booed recently in his home state in front of what should have been a friendly crowd. And we have really just a few other people here and there. [05:25:00]

LEVINSON: So the vast majority of the Republican Party, I think, has, as he said, become the party of Trump. The fascinating thing it's not a policy transformation. It's a political transformation.

The fight with Liz Cheney is not about higher taxes or being more hawkish or a different, you know, a different stance on immigration or the environment. This is about you are talking about the truth. You're not parodying president Trump's lies and that gets you out of the Republican leadership these days.

BRUNHUBER: One can sort of make fun of the Matt Gaetz-Marjorie Taylor Greene road show but these things have consequences, whether it's the voter suppression laws that Republicans are passing across the country.

We saw the latest law passed by the house in Texas yesterday or things like the absurd vote recount in Arizona. There have been legal challenges, the DOJ this week said they may be breaking federal election laws with both the new Republican voting laws and the recount.

So one of the key legal concerns of both of them is the voter intimidation.

Do you think a legal remedy may be the best way to fight these types of measures?

Or will Democrats just have to sort of slug it out at the ballot box?

LEVINSON: So both. You bring up a really important point here, which is that this is not just a fight within the Republican Party without consequences. This is a fight as to whether or not the Big Lie, quote- unquote, will predominate, will permeate the Republican Party and will it give cover to these restrictive voting laws.

I've written about the law in Georgia and I've written about the law in Florida. There is another law I think will be passed in Texas. There is over 330 bills pending their restrictive voting laws throughout the country.

What do we have to do?

It shouldn't just be Democrats but we have to fight these laws and say, is there questions to whether or not they survive 1st and 14th Amendment challenges?

Are they, in fact, legal under what is left of the Voting Rights Act?

And does it show once and for all that we need new federal protection when it comes to voting rights?

These are the things we have to tackle quickly because all of the other issues don't matter as much if we live in a society where we are suppressing votes. And it's antidemocratic where we can't elect the candidates of our choosing because we have this foundational problem, where we have suppressed the right to vote.

BRUNHUBER: Important questions you raise and important points as well. Jessica Levinson, thank you for joining us. I really appreciate it.

LEVINSON: Thank you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BRUNHUBER: George Floyd's family is expressing gratitude after talking with U.S. attorney general Merrick Garland, according to one of the family's lead lawyers, Chris Stewart. He spoke to CNN after a federal jury indicted four Minneapolis police officers, including Derek Chauvin, in connection with Floyd's death.

Stewart said no one is above the law.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS STEWART, FLOYD FAMILY ATTORNEY: He expressed his sympathy and you could hear the intention in his voice and the determination to get the family justice. It meant a lot. We were very honored that he did that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRUNHUBER: A North Carolina judge has ruled the family of Andrew Brown Jr. can see more of the video from his fatal shooting by police. Up to now, they have only been allowed to see about 20 seconds of that footage. CNN's Brian Todd has the latest.

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BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We have significant new developments in the case of Andrew Brown and a timetable for when the Brown family is going to be able to view more body camera footage.

The sheriff ruled a short time ago that members of the Brown family, some members, will be able to see selected portions of the body camera footage this coming Tuesday, May 11th.

So far the family has only been able to view 20 seconds of body camera footage and, so far, we have only seen footage from a street camera, showing sheriff's deputies arriving at Andrew Brown's house the morning of April 21st, in tactical gear, on the back of a pickup truck.

In that video you see sheriff's deputies -- or you hear them rather -- shouting commands at him but you do not see the actual shooting. Also we now know from judge Jeffrey Foster's order that we just received, we now know there is a total of just under two hours of deputy body camera footage in four body cameras and one dash camera.

With the judge's new order, the Brown family can only view 18 minutes and 41 seconds out of that two hours. The judge says that the portion that is being withheld from the Brown family does not contain images of Andrew Brown and, quote, "thus, it is not appropriate to disclose that footage at this time."

Now the district attorney has claimed that Andrew Brown made contact with sheriff's deputies twice in that encounter, once moving his car forward and once backing it up.

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TODD (voice-over): The family's attorney says he never posed a threat and was simply trying to get away. With the judge's new ruling on the incident, we have his version of how things unfolded.

Quote, "Upon the arrival on the scene of the deputies, Brown attempted to flee. As a result of that, at least one and as many as three officers fired their weapons into the vehicle operated by Brown."

Now a source close to the Brown family told me a short time ago, regarding the family's viewing of the rest of the body camera footage this coming Tuesday, quote, "We don't anticipate seeing anything we don't already know. We think it will show an unjustifiable shooting." -- Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BRUNHUBER: Coming up, no one knows where parts of a huge rocket might crash but China is getting a lot of heat over it. We will have the possible locations coming up.

Plus, the British prime minister is enjoying a sweet taste of victory after Thursday's elections. But the counting is not over in Scotland. Why it could leave Boris Johnson with a bitter aftertaste. Stay with us.

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BRUNHUBER: Welcome back to all of you watching us here in the United States, Canada and around the world. All eyes are on the skies because the scientists believe a Chinese rocket will be fall back to Earth. The rocket is roughly the size of a 10-story building.

[05:35:00]

BRUNHUBER: It weighs 22 tons and could crash down as early as Saturday. Chinese officials have been downplaying the risk of damage or injury. The famed astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson criticized China's approach.

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NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON, ASTROPHYSICIST: When you have something that is highly angled, and highly non- aerodynamic, you have no idea especially going at the speeds that it does. You have no idea where it will ultimately land until it's kind of till you're close enough to that ultimate point where you say, OK, now I got this. But until then, the tumbling object becomes very hard to predict.

More than 70 percent of our surface is water, so you're doing good there and half of all the world's population lives in cities hovered together around very small pockets of area around on Earth surface. And so much of what his land is uninhabited.

You know, so much of Siberia and central China, and you know, the Pacific, the southwest and Canada. So, you -- and the outback of Australia. So, it is true that the chances of getting hit are very low..

But that there's a bigger question here is if you're going to send things up into space, and you know they're going to come back, you want to have a controlled re entry, not an uncontrolled re-entry. And it's not that hard to do.

One-third of all longitudes is spanned by the Pacific Ocean, that's the great toilet bowl of the space program. All right? You can you can do orbit something with very high uncertainties and just land it there in the ocean and not hurt anybody. And that's not what the Chinese have been doing.

You can deorbit something with very high uncertainties and land it there in the ocean and not hurt anybody. That is not what the Chinese have been doing.

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BRUNHUBER: Coronavirus uncertainty in rebel-held Syria. Coming up, how the COVID crisis in India is raising concern about vaccine shipments in an area ravaged by war.

Plus England is loosening restrictions in time for the summer travel holiday. Stay with us.

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BRUNHUBER: After months of tight travel restrictions in England, there's some good news for holiday makers wanting to go abroad. Travelers can visit 12 green list countries starting May 17th without having to quarantine when they come back. All others are on amber and red lists. Cyril Vanier joins me from London.

Just in time for the summer holidays but you have to have a specific bucket list, at least for now. Take us through this.

CYRIL VANIER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Kim, let me take you through how England residents are going to look at this entire system of rules, right. You have three buckets. Red countries, forget them. You're not supposed to go and if you go there, when you come back you request to quarantine at a government hotel at your own expense Most will not do that unless under extreme circumstances.

The amber countries are most of Europe and the United States and most of all world, frankly. If you go to those countries, when you come back you have to quarantine for 10 days. Most want to avoid those countries.

That leaves you with 12 green countries you can go to; take a test and you're fine. You can carry on with your life.

But when you look those 12 countries, if I rule out the destinations like St. Helena, Faroe and Falkland Islands, not realistic for most travelers, that shortens the list. If I take out Australia and New Zealand and Singapore, which are all sunny and fine holiday destinations but A, they are far away and, B, if you transit via an amber country, then you still have to quarantine there.

If you take out Iceland, it leaves you other destinations that are not sunny for your summer. That is what all England residents want a holiday for, that is what they are dealing with right now, to figure out where to go for vacation.

[05:45:00]

BRUNHUBER: To be fair, I always wanted to be Gibraltar so there you go. Cyril Vanier, thank you. Appreciate it.

Coronavirus infections and hospitalizations continue to fall in the U.S. as vaccination numbers rise. According to the CDC, almost 111 million Americans are now fully vaccinated. More than 150 million have had at least one shot.

The story is very different in India, which, right now, is the epicenter of the global pandemic. On Saturday, it reported more than 400,000 new cases for the third day in a row and they recorded more than 400,000 deaths in just 24 hours.

India's crisis has spilled across borders to affect much of South Asia. On Friday Nepal reported 191,000 COVID cases, which is a new record. Just a month ago they were posting about 100 cases a day.

The prime minister is appealing to the international community for health.

To the south, infections in hospitals in Sri Lanka have tripled. Efforts to stamp out the coronavirus in Syria are in jeopardy due to the crisis in India. Rebel-held areas have received only one small shipment of vaccines and it's not clear when or even if another will arrive. Arwa Damon reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Opposition held Northwest Syria is according to doctors at the start of its second COVID-19 wave. Not that you would know that to look in the streets where social distancing doesn't seem to exist and masks are barely visible.

Compliance with public health recommendations has been one of the biggest challenges here. A bombed out region whose population is mostly the displaced too accustomed to trying to outrun death to take an invisible threat seriously.

DR. YASSER NAJIB, INFECTIOUS DISEASE SPECIALIST: This is Carlton Hospital. It was affected by air strike.

DAMON (voice-over): And that light at the end of the tunnel, that relief that vaccination is meant to provide it's petering out.

NAJIB: Of course, situation in India regarding COVID will affect all the war as India is a biggest source of vaccine in the world.

DAMON (voice-over): And is the source of the AstraZeneca vaccine that just arrived here. Dr. Yasser Najib, an infectious disease specialist in Idlib, heads out to oversee the rollout of the initial doses. This first batch is only enough for around 1 percent of the total population here to get the two dose regimen.

NAJIB: What happened in India, unfortunately, maybe makes doubtful about the program of offering the vaccine to the countries in need. We hope the next shipment will not be delayed.

DAMON (voice-over): In all likelihood, it will be. These vaccines were provided by COVAX, a global initiative to militate against vaccine inequality that sources or rather was sourcing most of its vaccines to be distributed to low-income countries from India home to the world's biggest vaccine manufacturer, the Serum Institute of India.

The COVAX initiative was already struggling to provide for some of the most vulnerable as withdrew nations for limited vaccine supplies. With India now crushed by its own rampant devastating COVID-19 crisis, vaccine exports from there have understandably now ground to a halt.

So where does that leave war torn places like this and other people in need of production?

NAJIB: Each country wants to afford the vaccine for their own population and the poor countries unfortunately, will receive the vaccine but with delay and this will make the number of cases and the deaths will be increased.

DAMON (voice-over): And so for now, they make do with what they have. There is no other choice -- Arwa Damon, CNN, Istanbul.

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BRUNHUBER: We will be right back. (MUSIC PLAYING)

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[05:50:00]

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BRUNHUBER: More than a week of violence demonstrations in Colombia have now left at least 27 people dead and hundreds more injured. The demonstrations began over a tax reform bill that has now been scrapped.

The government critics say that was just the spark. Widespread economic misery and the COVID pandemic have ignited tensions throughout the country. The government says it's trying to encourage dialogue to resolve the crisis.

A tight race in Scotland. We are waiting on the final results of parliamentary elections there and many people half a world away with playing close to see if Nicola Sturgeon's party wins. They are pushing for a referendum. Bianca Nobilo joins us live.

Possible huge implications here.

What is the latest?

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Gigantic implications for the future of the United Kingdom. Nicola Sturgeon will push forward for the legislation for a second referendum on Scottish independence, regardless of the exact outcome of the Scottish elections.

Even though the Scottish National Party would love to pass that threshold of 65 seats in the Scottish parliament, which has 129 seats, they might not do that and they have made some gains and had a strong showing but it's possible they might fall a little short.

It's on a knife edge as it stands. But there are other policies that the SNP could work with to secure that majority for independence, regardless, such as the Green Party.

[05:55:00]

NOBILO: So it's very unlikely, Kim, we see a situation, where the Scottish National Party are not forming a majority of independence with some other party. That is what we are expecting to see.

But if they can obtain that key majority of 65 seats, that means they will add momentum to this campaign for Scottish independence. The prime minister has said that this would be an irresponsible and reckless moment to have another referendum and to ask all of those constitutional questions yet again.

The last referendum was in 2014 and the difference between then and now is not only Brexit and the pandemic but the fact that polls are showing Scottish independents in the lead more often than not now. So a problem the prime minister does not want to have to deal with. They have said this constitutional tinkering is not appropriate in this context. But it's so much more than that. This would completely up-end a union of more than 300 years potentially. So that is something to keep an eye on today.

We should have a good idea of exactly how much momentum has been added to this cause of independence by later today, when we get the rest of the Scottish election results.

BRUNHUBER: Interesting. I look forward to joining up with you tomorrow to talk about this. I appreciate that.

Now to a Malian woman who gave birth to nine babies in Morocco. She is in good health but five boys and four girls have a difficult path ahead. The smallest weighing more than a pound. We wish them the best of luck.

That wraps this hour of CNN NEWSROOM. For our viewers in the United States, "NEW DAY" is just ahead. For everyone else, it's "Saved by the Future."