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Hearing on Palestinian Evictions Delayed; Families Bury Loved Ones after Attack on Kabul School; 3 Indian States Extending Lockdowns; Celebrations in Spain as State of Emergency Ends; COVID Travel Ban in Indonesia Over Muslim Holiday; Social Media Groups Escalating Vaccine Hesitancy in U.S.; Colombian President Calls for Dialogue with Protest Leaders; Biologists Tracking Whale Lost in the Mediterranean. Aired 12-12:45a ET

Aired May 10, 2021 - 00:00   ET



MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Three straight days of unrest in Jerusalem as the threat to evict Palestinians stirs already heightened tensions.


Doing what no parent ever wants to do. Dozens of school-age children in Afghanistan, mostly girls, are laid to rest.

Also, celebrations for some, now that lockdowns are over, but across the world, disparities could not be more stark.

Hello and welcome to CNN NEWSROOM, everyone. I'm Michael Holmes.

Israel's prime minister is vowing to uphold law and order, but an uptick in violence in Jerusalem raising international concerns.

The Palestinian Red Crescent says at least 19 Palestinians were injured Sunday in the latest of what has become nightly clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police. The unrest stems from the possible eviction of Palestinian families from Sheikh Jarrah, a neighborhood in East Jerusalem that Israel captured in the 1967 war.

An Israeli supreme court hearing on those evictions was scheduled for Monday. It's now being put on hold. A new hearing will be within 30 days.

The Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, meanwhile, is defending the police response to the protest. The U.N. calling for restraint. The U.N. Security Council will meet privately in the coming hours to discuss it.

Journalist Elliott Gotkine is in Jerusalem with the very latest. I mean, these clashes continue. And there's concern from within and without, the U.S., Europe, Jordan weighing in. The U.N. Security Council to meet. Bring us up to date.

ELLIOTT GOTKINE, JOURNALIST: That's right, Michael. There's global concern about the escalating violence that we're seeing here in Jerusalem.

In addition to that, there have been more rockets fired from the Hamas controlled Gaza Strip into Israel this morning. There were more rockets last night. And this violence doesn't show any signs of abating, despite the postponements of that court hearing.

And as the U.N. Security Council prepares to meet, as you -- as you say other countries have also expressed their concerns, and there are reports that Jake Sullivan, U.S. national security adviser, has communicated his and the U.S.'s concerns to his Israeli counterpart, Meir Ben-Shabbat, and communicated the expectation that the situation right now will be contained.

HOLMES: I guess the next few days hold some risks, don't they? It's the end of Ramadan. A lot of concern that Jerusalem Day events could fan the flames more than usual, given the route and existing tensions.

GOTKINE: That's right, Michael. The most immediate concern is Jerusalem Day, which is today. This is when Israelis celebrate the reunification of the city after capturing the eastern parts, including the old city from Jordan in the 1967 six-day war, and it's commemorated with marches from the western parts of the city through to the western wall, which is a holy place in Judaism.

It passes through the Muslim corridor, so there are concerns that that is something that could prevent more violence. Separately from that, it's also, in previous years we've seen them go to the Temple Mount, which is known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif, which is revered by both faiths. And there are concerns that, too, could lead to further violence.

Now, the police held situational awareness meetings this morning to evaluate whether the march can take place or if, perhaps, the root needs to be Modified and also if Jews will be allowed to go into Temple Mount to pray. So a very tense situation. And concerns that things perhaps will get worse before they get better.

HOLMES: All right. Good to have you there. Elliott Gotkine in Jerusalem. Thanks.

Now dozens of families in Kabul, Afghanistan, are spending the last days of Ramadan burying their daughters. More than 50 people, many of them young girls, were killed in a gruesome attack outside a school on Saturday.

The Taliban say they're not responsible and have announced a three-day cease-fire for the Eid holiday. But for the families in mourning, there is not much to celebrate.


HOLMES (voice-over): Loved ones gathered to bury the dead. Dozens of school girls killed in a blast as they were leaving class on Saturday afternoon in Kabul. An uncle cries out.

[00:05:08] GHULAM HUSSAIN, UNCLE OF SCHOOLGIRL WHO WAS KILLED (through translator): She was 15 years old and was studying in class eight. She was very intelligent and didn't miss a single day of school.

Yesterday, her mother told her not to go to school, but she said, "No, I will go today, but I will not go tomorrow. She told the truth, and we buried her here today."

HOLMES: Afghan's interior ministry says a car bomb initially exploded, followed by two IEDs just outside the school. More than 50 people killed. More than 100 wounded.

MOHAMMED TAQI, DASHT-E-BARCHI RESIDENT (through translator): First it was the car bomb. And then the second blast. And afterwards came the third. I did not panic. I rushed to the scene, and suddenly I found myself amongst bodies whose hands and heads were cut off. Bones were smashed. All of them were girls. I saw dead bodies were piled on top of each other.

HOLMES: The Afghan government blames the Taliban, but the Taliban denies any involvement, blaming instead the actions on sinister circles operating in the name of ISIS.

No group, though, has claimed responsibility for the attack. Many insurgents in the country are known to despise the education of girls. But for the loved ones, no claim of responsibility will bring back the dead.


HOLMES: And do join us next hour. I'll be speaking with Fatima Gailani (ph), who's an Afghan women's rights activist and one of only four women involved in peace talks with the Taliban. That's next hour.

Anytime now, India should be releasing its latest COVID figures, hoping to get its unprecedented outbreak under control by tightening restrictions.

Three Indian states have extended their lockdowns. New Delhi's is now in place through May 17. Metro train service in the capital territory is suspended, and nonessential shops are closed.

Meanwhile, overwhelmed hospitals anxiously awaiting shipments of crucial supplies. An oxygen express train arrived in Kanpur on Sunday carrying 80 tons of liquid oxygen for local hospitals.

CNN's Anna Coren is covering all of this for us, live from Hong Kong.

Anna, good to see you. We have more curfews, restrictions to get a handle on this. Bring us up to date.

ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Eleven states and two union territories in total, according to CNN. They are putting in these lockdowns, as you say, to try and stem the flow of this pandemic, which is decimating parts of India. Among those states and Indian territories, including major cities like New Delhi, like Mumbai.

And you mentioned New Delhi. This is its third lockdown. It's almost like a rolling lockdown. People are wondering why the prime minister, Narendra Modi, who has gone MIA, why he hasn't imposed a nationwide lockdown. When he addressed the public back on the 20th of April, that was the last time people actually saw him. He said that lockdowns, national -- nationwide lockdowns, would be a last resort.

What happened last year when they imposed a two-month lockdown, it caused a great deal of, you know, emotional and financial pain. There were economic consequences for the country, and -- and for people who very much live hand by mouth. So this is something that he has -- has not wanted to do.

But then you see all these states and cities, districts take it upon themselves to impose a lockdown, because that is the only way they can get a handle on the situation.

Interestingly, Uttarakhand [SIC], which hosted the Kumbh Mela, which was the -- the Hindu festival back in April where we saw thousands upon thousands of people gather at the Ganges, that has imposed a week lockdown because cases there, Michael, have been increasing.

The supreme court of India has weighed in. The courts have been very critical of the Modi government and his party, the BJP, saying that it's going to set up a nationwide task force to work out the needs of oxygen supply and distribution of oxygen to the states. Because as we have seen over the last couple of weeks, hospitals have just been crying out, you know, running acutely short, if not in some cases actually running out of oxygen, Michael.

HOLMES: You made the point, and it's an important one, that mistake of massive political rallies and religious gatherings in the past. India has a sizable Muslim population. What are the concerns about the coming end of Ramadan and the marking of Eid?


COREN: Sure, Michael. And not just in India but -- but in the region, as well. We are seeing a spillover of cases into neighboring countries like Bangladesh, like Pakistan, you know, Sri Lanka, Nepal, you know. And some of these countries have large Muslim populations.

Yes, Eid is coming up on the 12th of this month. It's the celebration of the end of Ramadan. And this normally means a mass movement of people. This is one Muslim's return to their families, and they have a -- a celebration.

That was canceled last year because of the -- the outbreak of the -- of the pandemic. So people are very anxious to join loved ones.

In Pakistan, for example, the government there imposing a nine-day lockdown, suspending travel there, hoping that that will somehow stop the spread of the outbreak.

Mosques, however, will still be open. In Indonesia, where we are seeing cases rise there, the government is trying to impose a ban on domestic travel, but it is proving very, very difficult.

In Bangladesh, it has recorded several cases of the Indian variant, the B., which we know is highly contagious and also targets young people. Bangladesh has -- has tried to stop the border, the land border, as well as the air border, but we know that people are still crossing over Michael.

HOLMES: And going back to India, as well, the thing is that deaths lag case numbers. We've learned this. So I guess there must be a huge fear that the worst is yet to come in terms of the death toll in India and given the case numbers we've seen in recent weeks.

COREN: Well, on the weekend, we saw case numbers reach 22 million. It was the first time that it had reached that number. More than 400,000 infections have been recorded for the last four days, as he mentioned before, we are waiting for those numbers from the health ministry.

And from the modeling that has taken place, not just within India but outside, it shows that the peak is yet to come. We are still aiming for mid-May, and we are -- we're getting very, very close to that. But certainly, with that, more deaths are expected to come, Michael.

HOLMES: Indeed. Anna Coren there in Hong Kong, appreciate it. Thanks, Anna.

We're going to take a break. When we come back here on the program, after months of lockdown, party goers cutting loose across some of Spain's biggest cities, as signs of a post-COVID normality start to emerge.

And while some countries celebrate, others, of course, still struggling just to get enough vaccine. A look at significant disparities around the world, when we come back.



HOLMES: Welcome back. In the coming hours, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to confirm that England will press ahead with its roadmap out of lockdown. That next step is set to begin a week from now, on May 17.

Most restrictions on meeting others outdoors will be lifted. Pubs and restaurants will be allowed to serve indoors, but only to groups no larger than six people from different households.

The government says more than two-thirds of adults in the U.K. have received at least a first vaccine dose. And a third of adults have received two.

Spaniards making the most of their newfound freedom. The streets packed with party goers after a state of emergency expired across much of the country late on Saturday night.

CNN's Scott McLean with more from London. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it was party time in Spain as the country finally lifted its six-month state of emergency in most regions on Saturday night.

People packed Madrid's famous square to celebrate, and this was a square that, keep in mind, at the beginning of the pandemic, was heavily secured with police, and even soldiers, to ensure that Spaniards respected the rules that were set out at the beginning of the pandemic.

Last night, though, it was a very different picture. And it was a similar scene in Barcelona, where people packed the beaches to celebrate their newfound freedoms.

But all of this was still in violation of the new rules that mandate that outdoor gatherings should not involve more than six people. Police tried to push people to go home in both Madrid and Barcelona.

More than one quarter of all Spaniards and at least one shot of the coronavirus vaccine, but one in eight are fully vaccinated.

Scott McLean, CNN, London.


HOLMES: Now, the story is very different in Indonesia. Case numbers there have been rising for months. And officials have imposed travel restrictions through mid-May.

As Paula Hancocks now reports, the timing couldn't be worse for tens of millions of Indonesians who were hoping to see their families.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): During a major holiday for Muslims worldwide, the largest Muslim-majority nation is banning domestic travel.

Officials in Indonesia are hoping to prevent a spike of coronavirus infections. They're urging people not to journey far at a time when millions usually travel to their hometowns to mark the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

DONI MONARDO, HEAD OF INDONESIA COVID-19 TASK FORCE (through translator): Do not return to your hometown. Do not go on holiday in your hometown. Do not spend Eid in your hometown. Be patient. Patience is the key to controlling the spread of COVID-19. By being patient, we can save a lot of people from ourselves, to our families and our nation.

HANCOCKS: Police officers were seen across the capital city of Jakarta Thursday, as a previously announced ban on domestic travel from May 6 to 17 took effect. They were working to prevent those without special permission from leaving the city. Many rushed to return home before the restrictions took effect.

"Last year, I could still be patient," says this woman. But this year, she says she can't hold back. She, like many others in Indonesia, are eager to reunite with loved ones. Some choosing to flout the rules now in place.

BASUKI RIYANTO, JAKARTA RESIDENT (through translator): I will still try to return home, because this has become a tradition. We have not gone home for three years already. Even though the government has tightened the rules, we'll still try to go ahead, regardless of the conditions.

HANCOCKS: Indonesia HAS BEEN suffering the worst coronavirus outbreak in southeast Asia, With more than 1.7 million cases recorded since the pandemic began.

On Monday, the country recorded its first few cases of a COVID-19 variant first identified in India, worrying health officials that infections could rise. Whether a mask ban, or a mass exodus helps prevents that remains to be seen.

Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.


HOLMES: Now, around the world, there are still significant disparities between the haves and have nots, when it comes to access to COVID vaccines, despite efforts to try to address the inequities.

Showing up that map there, you can see there, from the Duke Global Health Innovation Center, showing vaccine doses procured their purchase agreements as a percentage of country's population. Clearly, there is a massive variation.

The countries in green have secured the most doses, while the countries in red and orange have secured the least. Canada, for example, has secured enough doses to fully vaccinate its entire population more than four times over, while India, a major COVID hot spot, lagging behind in vaccine purchases.

There's also stark differences in the number of vaccine doses administered in the past 30 days. The countries in green have immunized the most people, while the countries in red and orange have vaccinated the least.

Joining me now from Falls Church, Virginia, is Rupali Limaye. He's the director of behavioral and implementation science for the International Vaccine Access Center at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. Try fitting that on your business card.

I'm glad you could be with us, because it's such an important issue. There is a natural inclination by nations, I think, to vaccinate their own, prioritize their own, before looking outwards. It's understandable, I think, but is there a moral imperative, too, in terms of the global need when it comes to vaccines? RUPALI LIMAYE, DIRECTOR OF BEHAVIORAL AND IMPLEMENTATION SCIENCE,

INTERNATIONAL VACCINE ACCESS CENTER, JOHNS HOPKINS SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH: I think the first issues is that diseases don't respect borders. We see that very well illustrated through this COVID-19 pandemic, and I think the biggest challenge we're really facing is really reaching countries in lower and middle income settings that are struggling with epidemics out of their control that don't have strong healthcare systems to deliver vaccines, and so they're dealing with a lot more issues than, I think, higher-income countries are.

HOLMES: One of your specialties, your focus has been particularly vaccine hesitancy. I mean, should the focus be on convincing the hesitant and getting them to have a tent, and getting them vaccinated, before sending vaccines to other countries? Or do you think it can be done simultaneously? It doesn't have to be either/or?

LIMAYE: I think it has to be simultaneously. I think a couple of things the questions that we look at with regards to the global vaccine rollout, the biggest challenge that COVAX is facing is really export controls related to raw materials. And there's a couple of ways that higher-income countries can focus on that.

They can assist with waiving patents. The second thing that they can do is really focusing on making sure that there's access to ingredients, as well as manufacturing for the vaccines.

And I think when we think about these, it doesn't mean that we're neglecting people in our own country. I think it's important to think about where people are at highest risk, how we can get the vaccine product to them, and how we ensure vaccine equity. Because the only way we're going to be able to stop this pandemic is through global cooperation.

HOLMES: And when it comes to hesitancy itself, what do you say to people who say, I'm just not going to get it? I'm worried.

LIMAYE: Yes, so here in the United States, we talk a little bit about the context here, and we've been able to vaccinate more than one-third of the population here.

I think, in addition to that, what we're starting to see now is, so far, we've been essentially vaccinating people that wanted the vaccine. So we're starting to see a drop-off with regards to vaccinations.

And so, there's a couple of ways I think, with regards to hesitancy, people really need to feel as though they're being listened to. We have to use trust. We have to be empathetic, and I think those are some key issues that we've seen.

You know, regardless of whether or not it's a COVID-19 vaccine but any type of vaccine. And so I think using those principles, still, to communicate with people is very effective. We're seeing here in the United States that there is still huge pockets, as you probably know, of hesitancy among populations that are at higher risk. So we're talking communities of color specifically. We're also seeing

individuals that -- from the healthcare system, people that work in the healthcare system that are also hesitant over the vaccine.

And so to me, what it really indicates is that now it's sort of time to roll up our sleeves. We will really focus on these populations. Because so far, we've really only been vaccinating those that wanted to get the vaccine, so now the hard work really begins.

HOLMES: Well, I'm curious in the broader picture. Do you think there's been a general decline in trust, in science? But also, in medical information, as well? Even from experts. I mean, why is that and how to combat it?

LIMAYE: Yes. It's a huge challenge, and I think over the last year, we've seen that misinformation has really taken over our lives. More and more of us are reliant on social media, which is also rife, unfortunately, with misinformation.

I think the other piece from a psychology perspective is that we've been living in an uncertain time for a long time. People want to do whatever they can to reduce that hesitancy, right, and that uncertainty. One way to do that is to really speak with people and try to make sense of the world. And that might be through information that might not be scientifically based, et cetera.

And prior to COVID, we were still seeing a decline in sort of trust towards healthcare systems in general, and I think the COVID pandemic has really worsened and exacerbated that whole issue.

HOLMES: Yes. An important discussion. You make the excellent point, if we don't vaccinate the world, it's going to come back to the western nations that are vaccinated anyway. So it's an imperative.

Rupali Limaye, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

LIMAYE: Thank you for having me.

HOLMES: Now, you might be surprised to learn who's spreading a lot of that misinformation online. As Elle Reeve shows us, some social media groups are working overtime to fight the vaccines.


MAUREEN GUARNACCIA, RUNS FACEBOOK MOMMY GROUP: Whenever there is a discussion in the group about vaccinations, or masks, the vibe is disturbed.



GUARNACCIA: Yes, there's a lot of hate, a lot of name-calling.

FELONICE MERRIMAN, CREATOR OF PALM BEACH COUNTY MOMS FACEBOOK GROUP: They'll be like, why are you putting this in your body? No thanks, I don't want to be a science experiment. They'll tell people, you're stupid for wanting to get it.

REEVE (voice-over): One of the front lines of the COVID-19 vaccine misinformation wars is in an unexpected place: Mommy groups on Facebook.

GUARNACCIA: You want to see?

They're hesitant. There's distrust, generally speaking.

REEVE (on camera): What do they say?

GUARNACCIA: They're concerned about infertility.

REEVE (voice-over): Maureen Guarnaccia is a doula who runs a Facebook group called Crunchy Moms of Florida. She's had to monitor the group much more closely since COVID-19 hit.

GUARNACCIA: It says, "Just got my vaccination card," and the card reads, "Go (EXPLETIVE DELETED) yourself." So, that's good.

Rule No. 1 is no vaccine discussion, and rule No. 6 is no mask discussions, because a lot of misinformation follows these types of things, and you kind of want to be someone who's not going to give a platform for any top that's not factual.

REEVE: Misinformation has been circling on social media, that the COVID-19 vaccine can hurt women's fertility by either attacking the placenta or by causing a vaccinated person to shed the virus onto women and somehow affect their periods or pregnancies. There is no evidence of this, and the mRNA vaccines do not contain the virus.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Unvaccinated women report miscarriages after interaction with vaccinated people.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is one woman, who says the case where she got herself that shot and was nursing her 6-month-old, and the baby died.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Women, in their menstruating years, and not, are experiencing severe side effects from people around them having received this jab.

REEVE: Maureen says those in her group trying to evade bans on anti- vaccine talk use the term "medical freedom."

GUARNACCIA: This is our key-word alert.

REEVE: Wow, "medical freedom," "medical freedom," "medical freedom." Wow.

GUARNACCIA: They're all within minutes of each other.

DR. LUCKY SEKHON, FERTILITY SPECIALIST, RMA OF NEW YORK: Pregnant women are allowed to get the vaccine, and it is widely being encouraged. I get asked about this every day. You know, all of my patients who are either trying to conceive or they're already pregnant, they want to get the vaccine. They're interested, but they have that nagging worry in the back of their mind, that this could cause infertility, that this could cause miscarriage.

And we just know that this is not true, but unfortunately, it's such a scary thought that it just really stuck.

REEVE: The mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna do not appear to pose any serious risk during pregnancy. According to preliminary findings published in the "New England Journal of Medicine." But the CDC says pregnant women who get COVID are at an increased risk for severe illness, pre-term birth, and maternal death.

SEKHON: I always talk to my patients about the risk/benefit calculus. We know that there are real risks if you're pregnant and you get sick with COVID. In my mind, the benefits outweigh the risks.

GUARNACCIA: Claims that are made about this vaccination, particularly, do target women. Right? They target women. It's funny, because the hesitancy that's shown among smells as more politically-charged, that's what I've seen.

REEVE: We were sent to interview multiple women who told us they don't want the vaccine, but they all bailed. Some said they feared backlash. That's not an irrational fear. There's a lot of shaming on social media, which public health experts say does not work.

Some of Maureen Guarnaccia's friends wouldn't talk on camera. Neither would women CNN spoke to in public parks. Influencers turned us down. So we went to an outlet mall and found this one woman.

(on camera): So are you going to take the COVID vaccine?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At the moment, no, because I'm pregnant. But I've heard a lot of stories about people losing their babies and stuff.

REEVE: What kind of stories have you heard?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've heard, like, after the vaccine, they were having issues with the baby and losing their baby and everything.

REEVE: Where do you get news about that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was an article, but I'm not sure where.

REEVE: And then what has your doctor said about getting the vaccine?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She hasn't said anything. I haven't really asked her about it.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just taking caution right now.

GUARNACCIA: It is completely understandable to be hesitant. I beat that hesitancy with knowledge. MERRIMAN: I kind of hope that people will look and see where is this

information coming from, and where is the backing of this information. Is this something from the CDC, or is this some quack doctor that who knows where he got his degree from.

REEVE: Is it influential at all, though, to know that there are other crunchy moms who got it? Does that seem to affect them?

GUARNACCIA: I'm always getting these questions, and they'll assume, first, that I'm not getting the vaccine, or that I did not. So, it's kind of hard to tell them. And so, hopefully, me talking today helps some crunchy mom go, OK, all right, I won't do measles, but I guess I'll get the COVID one. You know?



(voice-over): Elle Reeve, CNN, Florida.


HOLMES: Stay with us. When we come back, the pope is addressing the violence in Colombia. More on what he said and the new course for dialog from the country's president. We'll be right back.


HOLMES: And welcome back to our viewers all around the world. I'm Michael Holmes. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.

Pope Francis is expressing his concern over the recent violence in Colombia. He urged people to pray for Colombians, as many in the crowd waved that country's flag at St. Peter's Square on Sunday.




HOLMES: That was the scene in Bogota as the anti-government demonstrations continue. At least 27 people have been killed since protests began over a tax reform bill that has now being scrapped.

Now Colombia's president renewing his invitation to meet with protest leaders. CNN's Polo Sandoval is in Bogota with the latest.


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A week and a half into these protests, and Colombian President Ivan Duque is calling on protest leaders to come to the table and inviting them to hold a dialog, hoping to find some common ground.

Many people here are hopeful that that meeting could possibly happen as early as this Monday, but we'll certainly have to wait and see. Now, on Saturday, the president also calling for no more blockades, or the sporadic roadblocks that we've seen pop up, not just here in Bogota, but throughout the country.

The government insists that those road blocks are preventing the free flow of goods, food, and even medical equipment as this country struggles with the coronavirus. I've spoken to some Colombians who, they do agree with this movement and these protest, but they do feel that these roadblocks are perhaps doing more harm than good, especially to the Colombian people.

But really, protesters in general say they are feeling frustrated, and they don't have many other ways of having their voice heard and having their demands addressed, which includes addressing police violence and also rising poverty rates,

Polo Sandoval, CNN, Bogota, Colombia.


HOLMES: Meanwhile, Bogota's philharmonic orchestra played a concert for peace on Sunday.




HOLMES: That stirring performance taking place in the capital's Bolivar Square, the performance aimed at promoting peace with a message of solidarity amid the deadly anti-government demonstrations.


Well, a criminal group from Russia is believed to be responsible for a major cyberattack that prompted a temporary shutdown of one of the largest fuel pipelines in the U.S. That's according to a former senior U.S. cyber official who also tells us the criminal group is known as Dark Side.

The White House set up an inter-agency working group over the weekend in response. The gasoline supplier, Colonial Pipeline, says some of its smaller lines are back online, but their main lines are still down.

The company transports nearly half of all fuel through the East Coast. There are now concerns over how the attack could impact fuel supply ahead of the summer travel season.

The former chief doctor at the Russian hospital that treated Alexei Navalny is missing. The Russian state media say the doctor left a hunting base in a forest on an all-terrain vehicle on Friday night and hasn't been seen since.

Search teams have apparently found the vehicle, though. The doctor was a chief physician at Omsk emergency hospital when Kremlin critic Navalny was admitted for suspected poisoning.

The doctor, however, gave multiple press conferences at the time, saying Navalny suffered from, quote, "a metabolic disorder, which caused a sharp drop in blood sugar," unquote. He was, in fact, later promoted.

The doctor's disappearance, though, comes after two other doctors from the same hospital died earlier this year. One of those doctors oversaw Navalny's medically-induced coma. It's not clear if the other had anything to do with Navalny's treatment.

Lost at sea and running out of food, that's the case for a gray whale trying to navigate the Mediterranean. Just ahead, why scientists say climate change might have put him off course. We'll be right back.


HOLMES: This is Paris, where thousands of protesters took to the streets on Sunday to call for tougher measures to battle climate change. The protesters -- protests come after lawmakers approved a climate bill that environmental activists say does not go far enough.


AXEL DESVIGNES, PROTESTOR (through translator): Scientists are calling for an overhaul of society. The way we produce food, heat our houses. The way we travel, et cetera. So either we decide to take restrictive measures, and it's like shooting yourself in the foot. Or we will suffer.


HOLMES: In a landmark ruling in February, a court ruled that France must do more to combat climate change.

This is an interesting story, isn't it? The winning horse at the Kentucky Derby may have that victory disqualified after failing a drug test after the race.

Medina Spirit tested positive for more than double the legal threshold of an anti-inflammatory cortical steroid. Race officials will now test another sample before possible appeal or taking any disciplinary action. The horse's trainer denies the horse has ever been treated with the drug.

Organizers of the next big race, this Saturday's Preakness Stakes, will review the case before deciding whether Medina Spirit can run the next leg of the Triple Crown.

We'll have much more on this controversy just a few minutes from now in WORLD SPORT.

Meanwhile, biologists are tracking a gray whale thousands of miles off-course in the Mediterranean. Wally the whale as he's being cold should be enjoying the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean, and scientists say if he doesn't find his way home soon, he might never make it back.

CNN's Saskia Van Dorn with more.


SASKIA VAN DORN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This lost whale is oceans away from home. Nicknamed Wally, the gray whale has been spotted swimming in the Mediterranean Sea near France. It's only the second sighting by biologists ever of a gray whale in the area, because they normally live in the Pacific Ocean, migrating off the coast of California.

Biologists think Wally was in the Arctic and took a wrong turn because some of the northern routes only possible in the summer melted early because of warmer waters.

ERIC HANSEN, STATE BIODIVERSITY AGENCY, SOUTHERN FRANCE (through translator): With global warning accelerating, the melting of the ice this young wheel made a mistake and instead of descending along the Pacific coast, it descending along the Atlantic coast.

VAN DORN: Scientists say the two-year-old whale then became even more disoriented, crossing the Gibraltar Strait into the Mediterranean, which doesn't have the food sources that gray whales need to survive.

CELINE TARDY, CRIOBE RESEARCH LABORATORY (through translator): The Italians have estimated that he has less than 37 percent of the mass of his species at his age. Apart from that, it's just that he's very close to the coast. We really have to watch out for this animal.

VAN DORN: Moving about 80 to 90 kilometers a day, Wally is believed to be making his way back to the Gibraltar Strait, following France's southern shores and approaching the Spanish coast.

ROMAIN HUBERT, GOLFE DU LION NATURAL PARK: Hopefully, it will leave the Mediterranean through the strait and a couple of days, and we'll see if other organizations like ours observe it in other areas, we'll be able to track its moves and know whether it returns to its usual habitat.

VAN DORN: The whale became entangled in a fishing net a few days ago but managed to get free and faces even more obstacles, finding food and avoiding the busy shipping traffic of the street, all of which Wally will have to navigate if he has to find his way to familiar waters.

Saskia van Dorn, CNN, Paris.


HOLMES: We're also monitoring rescue efforts to free whales attacking the River Thames in London, not where he should be. Rescuers have been hosing the whale down while marine experts work to move it.

Officials say the whale was spotted Sunday. And it's believed to be a small mickey whale, about 3 meters or 10 feet or so long. All right. Thanks for watching, spending part of your day with me. My

name is Michael Holmes. Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, @HolmesCNN.

WORLD SPORT coming your way next. I'll see you in about 15 minutes or so.