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CNN NEWSROOM

Arab League To Discuss Jerusalem Unrest In Special Session Monday; Pieces Of Chinese Rocket Land In Indian Ocean; NYC Times Square Shooting; Russia Marks WWII Victory Day; Jersey Fishermen Caught in U.K.-France Dispute; Brown Family Demands Release Of Full Police Video; Olympic Torch Completes Route Through Nagasaki; Dracula's Castle Becomes Vaccination Center. Aired 4-5a ET

Aired May 9, 2021 - 04:00   ET

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


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KIM BRUNHUBER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Thank you all for watching from around the world. I'm Kim Brunhuber.

Some of Jerusalem's holiest sites turned into battle zones.

The wait is over. An out-of-control Chinese rocket has crashed to Earth. We'll tell you where.

India's second COVID wave spiraling out of control as cries for a national lockdown get louder.

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BRUNHUBER: The Palestinian Red Crescent says 100 have been injured in the latest clashes in Jerusalem. Tensions have hit a boiling point after possible evictions of Palestinian families. The Arab League will hold an extraordinary session to discuss this. Hadas Gold joins us now.

HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Last night was the holiest night for Ramadan. I'm outside of Damascus gate. This is one of the main entrances. In the neighborhood where the Palestinian families are facing eviction, they're having ongoing clashes there. And there was some unrest there early this morning at the Al-Aqsa or the Temple Mount. Although last night they were peaceful at the compound, that was not the case on Friday night.

We saw some of the highest levels of tensions and clashes that Jerusalem has seen. We have 17 police officers injured on Friday. Last night we had around 100 Palestinians injured, including six that were under the age of 18 years old.

Police say that protesters in these areas here were hurling rocks, fireworks and other objects at them. Policies used some kind of skunk water that we can still smell. There has been tension rising since the beginning of Ramadan. There was clashes here in this area. And potential evictions are flaming tensions even further. We are

seeing growing reaction and condemnation. Several members of Congress also expressed concern about the possible eviction of those families. The Arab League are meeting in an extraordinary session on Monday and the Israeli cabinet will be meeting later today in the afternoon because tomorrow is a day that a lot of people are very worried about.

Tomorrow is known as Jerusalem Day. It's marks when they took control of the Western Wall. They are expecting hundreds and thousands of people through what could be sensitive areas of the Old City.

This it is also the day we may see a ruling from the supreme court on the possible evictions of those families. So a lot of concern here that this city is on the edge of an even bigger clash, tension teetering on the edge here.

BRUNHUBER: Hadas Gold, thank you so much.

Earlier, Michael Holmes spoke with Peter Beinart about the tensions playing out over these possible evictions.

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PETER BEINART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, I agree. It's worth remembering the Second Intifada which raged from 2004 broke out in Jerusalem, particularly over events that had to do with the Temple Mount, which is a very sensitive area. It's very important to put these evictions into context.

For Palestinians, 700,000 or so Palestinians, who were essentially expelled from Israel in 1948, and there been other large-scale expulsions after the 1967 war and since, the issue of expulsion for Palestinians cuts very deep.

[04:05:00]

BEINART: There has been this process going on in East Jerusalem where you had more and more settlers moving in and often Palestinians being forced out. So this is a very combustible issue and I think there's a lot of reason to worry.

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BRUNHUBER: The voyage of that wayward Chinese rocket is over but we're still not exactly sure what happened to it. Parts fell into the Indian Ocean. The U.S. Space Command says parts reentered the atmosphere over the Arabian Peninsula but they have not yet confirmed the impact site.

People reported seeing a dot in the sky but it was a massive piece. It was 10 stories high and weighed 22 tons. Most of the devices it carried were destroyed on the way back into the atmosphere. So far no reports of damage or casualties or any debris yet.

Will Ripley joins us now from Hong Kong.

Will, so around the world, a huge sigh of relief but still a lot of finger pointing at China.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was like the odds no one wanted to win. This 22 ton hunk of metal, much of the world, was at one point in the possible impact zone. In the end, the lucky winner right there, near the Maldives. In the Indian Ocean.

People were obsessed by this thing. It is hard for me to see this little dot here but people were watching the sky and they were uneasy. It's that lack of certainty that the odds were it would go down in the ocean.

China had been saying they were confident it would not cause damage or interrupt any aviation but you can't be sure because it is an uncontrolled reentry. What China has done with the launch of this giant rocket they're using to put modules of their space station into orbit is create a design that allows them to more efficiently get it up.

The weight alone is one fifth of the size of the Statue of Liberty in the U.S. When they launch something like this, they control it so, if they need to bring this part of the rocket, the body of the rocket back down, they do so in a way where they can control where it lands.

But this indication, what China did is, once this rocket put the module, the space station into orbit, it was hurtling out of control at 18,000 miles per hour. This was just hours before the eventual impact.

And you could see in this video, it is kind of spinning, the reflection of the sun getting bigger and imagine if it had hit a populated area.

And now you have comments coming out, people like Senator Bill Nelson that posted, saying, "Space-faring nations must minimize the risks to people and property on Earth of re-entries of space objects and maximize transparency regarding those operations. It is clear that China is failing to meet responsible standards regarding their space debris."

He is not the only one saying this was reckless, potentially very dangerous and the fact that they have more launches planned, what if it did land in a populated area?

BRUNHUBER: Will Ripley in Hong Kong, appreciate it.

You heard many have called the uncontrolled reentry irresponsible. This engineer from the University of Texas looked at what China could have done differently.

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MORIBA JAH, UT AUSTIN: I think the main issue that exists is that the rocket did not do a deorbiting burn, which would have forced it to come into the atmosphere at a much steeper angle, forcing it to burn up as much as possible.

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JAH: Leaving it up to Mother Nature to take care of it is probably not what we want to continue to do. I believe that, unless there's enough pressure from the global community when it comes to space sustainability and space safety, then this will become business as usual for sure.

There is an increased activity of space launches and, in fact, just two weeks ago, we saw a Falcon 9 upper stage actually land and not too far from Seattle. And even though it had the propulsion to do a deorbit burn, that failed because, statistically, things don't work all the time.

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BRUNHUBER: And the COVID crisis is breaking global records every day. Delhi has now extended their lockdown by another week.

Plus, a problem for California restaurant owners. Why they can't expand services despite restrictions being lifted. Stay with us.

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BRUNHUBER: For the fourth straight day in reporting, the rate of infection in India is unheard of. The total number of cases passing 22 million since the start of the pandemic. The daily death told has surpassed 4,000.

States are about to impose strict new lockdowns. The chief minister is begging for more vaccines. The available will run out in less than a week. Paula Hancocks has the latest developments.

More criticism here is unusual but not unprecedented.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The medical journal, "The Lancet," are not usually in the business of criticizing governments' handling of the pandemic.

But they said the success of India early in pandemic has been squandered. They say Modi's government has been trying to stifle the criticism rather than trying to get a handle on the latest outbreak with the devastating figures.

Also saying complacency has played a role. Another thing they're saying is there is a projection that is very concerning. There could be 1 million deaths by August. Certainly there is concern things could get worse before they even start to get better.

If they see that million mark of deaths, then the government would be responsible for a national catastrophe. We're also seeing the supreme court has decided there needs to be a task force to dealing with the distribution of oxygen. This is something that the usually government would spearhead but we see here that the supreme court took control of this. There will be government officials involved, they say.

And they're going to look at the bigger picture and figure out where the oxygen is needed and make sure it gets there. It is one of the other criticisms that we have heard, even though many countries around the world are donating oxygen, it hasn't gotten to where it's needed.

BRUNHUBER: Paula Hancocks, thank you so much.

India's COVID-19 crises is having a domino effect in other nations. The government is suspending exports of vaccine doses. That leaves the African continent vulnerable.

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DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The awful consequence of the COVID- 19 tsunami. It's forcing the Indian government to ban all vaccine exports to COVAX, the global vaccine alliance, so it can give precious doses to its own people, immediately impacting at least 90 million COVAX doses.

The crisis in India is causing a crisis here, Kenya and other African nations where lives depend on COVAX, are running out of vaccines. Tour guide Martin Mutisya is one of the very last Kenyans to get his first AstraZeneca shot.

MARTIN MUTISYA, VACCINE RECIPIENT: Feels like a big moment. I'm feeling excited, I think we'll have to wait and see what happens.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): Kenya got around 1 million doses from COVAX, produced by India's Serum Institute. Kenya's supply dries up and days.

MUTISYA: They're supposed to be 2 shots, I am concerned. But if it doesn't happen what is our scenario?

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UHURU KENYATTA, PRESIDENT OF KENYA: I want to assure you that nobody who has taken their first dose is going to miss out on their second dose.

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MCKENZIE: Does this worry you?

It seems the second doses don't come in time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very clearly it worries and the second doses will not come in time.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): A senior humanitarian official familiar with COVAX's plan told CNN that the Indian vaccine supply is not expected to resume until June at best or even later. Then millions of AstraZeneca doses promised by the Biden administration will not be enough or come soon enough. Neither will Moderna's vaccine, after a half billion doses will be supplied to low and middle income countries but not until later this year.

MCKENZIE: Right now there is not equal access, so what is the impact of that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That impact is that maybe we're going to prolong this pandemic much longer than it would happened if there was equal access.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): Researchers at Duke University tracking dose availability say the vaccine freeze could have catastrophic consequences, with some African countries facing yet another wave of the virus.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They did put a lot of eggs in this basket and that was a strategic error given that what has happened in India was entirely predictable. It should not have caught any of us by surprise.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): But it may be too late -- David McKenzie, CNN, Johannesburg.

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BRUNHUBER: A senior White House advisor offering a new reason for people to get the vaccine.

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ANDY SLAVITT, SENIOR ADVISER, WHITE HOUSE COVID-19 RESPONSE TEAM: I have seen early data that shows the South African vaccine is effective against the variant. It looks like we're going to get very good levels of protection from our current vaccines. I think we'll see that confirmed over the coming week.

But Americans should expect that, if they're not vaccinated, they're going to be more exposed. If they are vaccinated, I think they can look at these variants and there's going to be very good levels of protection so far.

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BRUNHUBER: Those comments come amid new signs that demand for the vaccinations is dropping in the U.S. Average daily doses have fallen below 2 million since early March. It could hinder President Biden's goal for at least 70 percent of adults to receive a dose by July 4th.

Now it stands at about 58 percent. But with slight dips in vaccination rates, numbers keep decreasing. California plans to reopen and restaurants are able to expand capacity but in southern California, they're facing a problem they didn't expect.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Restaurant owners throughout Southern California are telling us they need to rehire or hire more employees. Here at AOC, a Los Angeles landmark, they can't even open up one of their dining rooms because they do not have enough workers.

And the owner here wants to open up some other restaurants. So in all, they need more than 100 workers.

CAROLINE STYNE, LOS ANGELES RESTAURATEUR: I think in total we need to hire about 250 people. And I know that we're not alone in this. Other restaurateurs are having this issue. A lot of job sectors are seeing this. But ours is being hit particularly bad.

VERCAMMEN: And this restaurant, AOC, L.A. icon, pretty good-paying jobs, I know you had a manager that was getting paid $75,000 a year. But the pandemic hit. And tell us what happened to that manager as a consequence of not having a job.

STYNE: Oh, yes. It's so expensive to live here in L.A. that she and her husband and their 1-year-old son, they decided to move to Bend, Oregon, where they could afford to live, with this uncertainty about their financial future.

And they have family there. And this is a story that we have across the board, with so many employees who have left. They've just left the state. It's too expensive. And without a job and without prospects, they just had to take off.

VERCAMMEN: Now while some restaurant owners in Southern California have been very critical of Governor Newsom and all of his social distancing and lockdown policies, Styne is not. She says California would not be where it is now in terms of its low positivity rate if it wasn't for a serious lockdown.

She just says now they need to look forward, try to get people back to work. If they can put the restaurant workers back on the job, then that, in turn, will spark the rest of the economy -- reporting from Los Angeles, I'm Paul Vercammen, now back to you.

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BRUNHUBER: Just as New York begins to open up after a strict pandemic lockdown, Times Square becomes a crime scene. Police are looking for a suspect. They're looking for people that have information.

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EVAN MCMORRIS-SANTORO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Police say a dispute ended in gunfire in Times Square early Saturday evening, leaving three innocent bystanders hit, including a 4-year-old girl who was shot in the leg.

Surveillance video shows the moment when busy crowds, walking around in broad daylight, were stopped by the gunfire. At a press conference, the commissioner of the New York City Police Department said all the victims are in stable condition.

But he expressed extreme frustration at what he said are local policies that are leading to more shootings. The police are doing their job, he said, asking the politicians to do theirs.

DERMOT SHEA, NEW YORK POLICE COMMISSIONER: How many more kids do we need to be shot before we realize that bad policies have consequences and we need action and we need policies regarding laws to have consequences?

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: This shooting comes at a very important moment for New York. Times Square is the heart of this city, trying to reopen itself to tourists. Broadway theaters all around this area just started selling tickets again last week. Officials are hoping to bring tourists back to the city.

And incidents like this shooting, in the tourist heart of the city, could make that a tough sell -- Evan McMorris-Santoro, CNN, New York.

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BRUNHUBER: And a new vocation for a spooky vampire lair, a unique COVID vaccination site, we'll explain.

Russia is celebrating 76 years since Nazi Germany surrendered. It's rolling out in Red Square all against a backdrop with testy relations with the U.S.

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BRUNHUBER: Welcome back to all of you watching here. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.

Moscow's Victory Day parade just wrapped up. The parade showed off Russia's troops, military vehicles and aircraft. Vladimir Putin was there watching it all. Compared to the same time last year, Russia's relations with the West have gotten even worse.

And let's bring in Fred Pleitgen, who is standing by in Moscow.

The context of this is different, with COVID and growing tensions in the U.S.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Especially given the fact that, last year on the 19th of May, the parade didn't take place because Russia was in a really tough lockdown.

So certainly, this is a very special day for Russia and other countries in the former Soviet Union. Every year here you see the Russians showing off their military might. You have the intercontinental ballistic missiles. You can see that here right now, going past the Kremlin.

Those are some things that you can see here. And Vladimir Putin spoke to the nation here. He thanked the nation that did so much to defeat Nazi Germany.

One of those things is the fact that it does take place in an era of tensions, also very much Russia and Ukraine as well. Over the past couple weeks, the troop buildup on the southern border with Ukraine. The West taking a very different view of that. And you could also hear that a little bit in the speech.

I want to read to you a little chunk of what he said.

He said the war brought so many unbearable trials. And then he said there is no forgiveness and excuse for those that contemplate aggressive plans.

So the government trying to say that the Russians believe that once again the West is against them. Of course all of this, as we have been saying, seeing in those rising tensions between Russia and the U.S. also things that had been going down recently there as well.

BRUNHUBER: You talk about the international political context but there is also a domestic political element here, right?

We're seeing protests over Alexei Navalny, the parliament elections as well.

PLEITGEN: Of course, and this that is always part of the atmosphere here. One of the things we have to keep in mind about the Victory Day is that this is something that all Russians and pretty much all people in former Soviet countries, Soviet Republic, that they can agree on.

This is a very, very big day that unites this location. They take pride in the Soviet Union's contributions, defeating Nazi Germany, as Victory Day and obviously doing a lot for really the world pushing back Hitler.

At the same time, of course, it happens in a political context where there is a number of people who are not satisfied with the direction. The economic situation also one of a deterioration of the rights of speech.

Alexei Navalny is not someone they're thinking of today as far as the situation is concerned. But it feeds into a little bit of unhappiness and a lot who are feeling this nation is becoming more repressive as time rolls on.

[04:35:00]

BRUNHUBER: All right, Fred Pleitgen, thank you for that. Appreciate it.

The U.S. Navy has seized weapons in the North Arabian Sea, including antitank guided missiles and thousands of Chinese made assault rifles. They found it on a stateless vessel. The crew was although released. Nicola Sturgeon's party has come out on top in the Scottish

Parliamentary election. Even though the Scottish National Party are one seat short of a outright majority, it picked up an extra one. With the Scottish Greens, there is now a pro-independence majority. Sturgeon is promising to hold another independence referendum.

CNN's Scott McLean joins us live from London.

What's the significance of the result?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, one seat short but the Green Party puts pro independence parties over the top. The power to actually granted an independence referendum lies with those in Westminster, not with the parliament in Scotland.

The would need the majority Conservative government to do that. And Johnson made abundantly clear over the area that's he is not going down this route of a Scottish independence referendum.

So while politicians in Scotland have options, they can hold a vote in their parliament, which is very likely to pass in favor of a referendum that may or may not be legally binding.

A wildcat referendum would likely not be legally binding as well. But the possibility of that is unlikely considering what the leader of the Scottish Green Party said, that they want any referendum that is proposed to be recognized, now held up for years to come.

The SNP say they're not going to do anything about this after the pandemic has is over. Results from the London mayoral race came in late last night. London's left leaning Labour mayor Sadiq Khan has been reelected.

The Conservative candidate certainly out performed expectations and that is part of a wider trend across the U.K., where Labour lost ground and the Conservatives managed to pick up one seat in one federal by-election Labour held for years.

If you survey the press, they clearly have some soul searching to do. This party needs to go back and try to win back its traditional working class and middle class base.

BRUNHUBER: Thanks so much, Scott McLean in London.

The chief minister of Jersey is vowing to resolve an ongoing dispute with French fishermen causing headaches, confusion and anxiety for the fishermen that make their livelihood on these waters. Nic Robertson has the latest.

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NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): Back to what they know best. Jersey skipper Adrian and crewman, Harry, hauling the harvest from the sea, undisturbed.

Angry French fishermen, gone. But the dispute over fishing rights?

Not done. A post Brexit-for-tat, France refusing their catch, after Jersey withheld permits for French boats.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now the markets are closed in France, so we're just going fishing because it's a nice day.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Among Jersey's tiny fishing fleet, a sense of foreboding: most of what they land goes through France. Many aren't bothering to fish.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We can't sell our fish to France. We can sell a little bit, locally but we catch way more than the local market needs.

ROBERTSON: What does that do to your livelihood?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Destroying it, slowly.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've had a couple of really hard years and this could just be another nail in the coffin for Jersey's fishing industry.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Jersey didn't vote on Brexit or get a say on the new U.K.-E.U. trade agreement. But it is bound by its terms, leaving fishermen feeling caught in a Brexit whiplash.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not just us, is it?

The whole of the south coast of England will have trouble exporting their stuff into France.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): The island's chief minister, disagrees. Season end in sight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For French fishermen, they can demonstrate that they meet the thresholds for the time to fish in their waters and essentially, they'll be going from the old permit to a new permit. All they need to get through is this transitional period.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Pressure is on him, too. Brexit's torturous birth has his island, with its close historic ties to France, snared in its myriad complexities, leading, he says, to confuse license submissions by some French fishermen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The data we received through the process goes up from France, to Paris, to Brussels, United Kingdom, back down to us. It's incomplete or incorrect in certain instances.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Back in the harbor, we hope the chief minister is right.

Your politicians good enough to stand up for the French right now? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know, the jury is out. They've been weak, they've rolled over to the French numerous times. But the last couple of days, they seem to be taking a tougher stance, which I think is good, because you can't give in to bullies.

ROBERTSON: The drama of the French fisherman's dispute seems done for now, at least diplomacy is kicking in. But was so much at stake it will still be a rocky ride ahead -- Nic Robertson, CNN, off the coast of Jersey.

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BRUNHUBER: Coming up on CNN NEWSROOM, deadly protests continue in Colombia. We'll have a report from there next.

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BRUNHUBER: Religious leaders and clergy members marched in Elizabeth City on Saturday, protesters calling nightly for authorities to release the full body camera footage. The family says they have only seen 20 seconds of the incident. Now the district attorney is under growing pressure to recuse himself on the case.

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NATASHA CHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Clergy from all over the state of North Carolina gathered to walk the streets in what has become a daily practice of peaceful protests in the two-and-a-half weeks since Andrew Brown was killed.

Now in the 17 days since that happened, there has not been any body camera footage released publicly. Family can see some but it only applies to his son and immediate family members.

They spoke at Saturday's rally, talking about the need to change North Carolina's law to make body camera footage more readily available.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) this North Carolina law. And we've got to change this law. We need to see the body cam, 20 seconds is not enough. 20 minutes, not enough.

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CHEN: In the past week, the commission issued a resolution saying they would support a change in the North Carolina law, making body camera footage more easily viewable by the public. The Brown family's attorneys have issued a letter to the district

attorney, asking him to recues himself from the case, saying he had infrequent actions with deputies in the past and this creates a conflict of interest -- Natasha Chen, CNN, Elizabeth City, North Carolina.

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BRUNHUBER: Colombia's president is renewing his invitation to meet with protest leaders as unrest continues there. On Saturday, demonstrations continued and at least 2 have been killed. They started over a tax reform bill that has now been scrapped. Polo Sandoval is in Bogota.

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POLO SANDOVAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, 1.5 weeks into these protests and the president is calling on protest leaders to come to the table, hoping to find some common ground. People are hoping that meeting could possibly happen as early as this Monday but we'll have to wait and see.

There are sporadic roadblocks throughout the country. The government insist they are preventing the free flow of goods, food and medical equipment. Some Colombians agree with this movement but they feel the roadblocks are doing more harm than good.

They're feeling frustrated and they don't have any other ways of having their voice heard and having demands addressed, including police violence and rising poverty -- Polo Sandoval, CNN, Bogota, Colombia.

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BRUNHUBER: Explosions outside of a girls' high school killed 50 people and injured more than 100. Authorities say the blasts were caused by a car bomb and two improvised explosive devices. The Taliban is denying involvement.

But the gruesome attack comes as the U.S. withdraws from the country. It is raising concerns of a surge in violence after U.S. troops are gone.

We'll be right back.

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BRUNHUBER: The Olympic torch is heading to Tokyo. But there are growing calls to cancel the games. Japan extended a state of emergency in Tokyo due to a surge in COVID-19. Almost 3,000 people have signed an online petition to have the Olympics canceled.

The blood is life according to the famous book, "Dracula." Now the Prince of Darkness' home is now a COVID-19 vaccination center.

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BRUNHUBER (voice-over): Dracula's castle in Romania, in folklore the lair of the famous ruler that inspired Bram Stoker's classic vampire novel. But in modern times and in daylight, it's not such a scary place unless you're afraid of needles.

Part of this renowned tourist attraction in Transylvania is now being used as a COVID-19 vaccination center, luring people to this fortress in the Carpathian Mountains. No, not with hypnotic stares but with billboards and offers of free shots of the Pfizer vaccine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was already planning to come to the castle and I just decided was a two for one special. I could go and see the castle for free and at the same time get vaccinated. It was a dream come true.

BRUNHUBER (voice-over): The only fangs in sight are the stickers on the scrubs of the doctors and nurses administering the shots.

[04:55:00]

BRUNHUBER (voice-over): And to take your mind off a possible sore arm, castle staff are offering free entry to the castle's medieval torture exhibit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): It was a way of showing those who come to get vaccinated how jabs used to be done 500 to 600 years ago in Europe.

BRUNHUBER (voice-over): A way to boost tourism, which slumped during the pandemic, and the chance to show visitors the only real villain here is the virus -- Kim Brunhuber, CNN, Atlanta.

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BRUNHUBER: Elon Musk's jokes about dogecoin on "Saturday Night Live" didn't just fall flat, they nearly tanked the cryptocurrency. Musk's mom mentioned it during his opening monologue. The currency dove 24 percent in early trading and it wasn't all cryptotalk for Musk. He also took on the role of a TV producer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I see my producer right now that's trying to get my attention.

What's wrong, did I mess up?

MUSK: You, ha, ha, ha, never. I just can't hold it any longer, I'm in love with you.

Please, will you be my girlfriend?

You're so silly but, no.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRUNHUBER: I can't quite tell if that was him or not from here but "SNL" was also notable because it the first time it was streamed nationally on YouTube in more than 100 countries.

More on that Chinese rocket crashing back into Earth when CNN NEWSROOM continues. Stay with us.