Return to Transcripts main page


Tensions Escalated Between Gaza and Israel; India's Rural Areas Not Spared by the Pandemic; Normal Life in U.K. Seen in the Horizon; Russian Hackers Targeted Oil Pipeline in the U.S.; Hacked Oil Company Affects Gas Prices; Palestinians Fight Eviction From Homes In Sheik Jarrah; India's COVID-19 Infections Drop For Second Straight Day; Columbia Protests, Anger Grows As Government Tries To Quell Unrest; Showdown At Sea, U.S. Fires Warning Shots At Iranian Boats; United Nations Panel Finds ISIS Committed Genocide Against Yazidis; Massive Wave Of Migrants Overwhelms Italian Island; China's Population Growth Slows. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired May 11, 2021 - 03:00   ET




ROSEMARY CHURCH CNN ANCHOR (on camera): Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from and all around the world. You are watching CNN Newsroom. And I'm Rosemary Church.

Just ahead, Israel retaliates with airstrikes after rockets are fired from Gaza in a day of escalation. We are live from the Israel Gaza border.

While European countries ease restriction calls grow for India's prime minister to order a national lockdown. CNN is on the ground with a look at how even rural areas are not being spared.

Plus, a Russian cyber gang is reportedly behind the scheme to paralyze a major gasoline pipeline in the U.S. What we know about DarkSide and this ransomware attack.

Good to have you with us.

Well, Israel and Gaza exchanging rocket fire overnight as tensions rose in the region. This was the scene in Gaza today. The Israel defense forces said 200 rockets were fired from Gaza and Israel responded with airstrikes.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the attacks crossed a line and warned the attackers will pay a heavy price. Palestinian health official say that the strikes killed nearly two dozen people in Gaza and renewed clashes erupt between Palestinians and Israeli police after the police enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque following evening prayers.

Elliott Gotkine is in the Israeli City of Ashkelon with the very latest, he joins us now. So, Elliott, what more are you learning about this escalating violence? And of course, the Israeli strikes launched in response to rocket attacks coming from Gaza.

ELLIOTT GOTKINE, JOURNALIST: Rosemary, from what we know according to the Israeli defense forces we know more than 200 rockets were fired from the Gaza strip into Israel since this latest round of hostilities began. Now, 90 percent of them taken out by the Iron Dome missile defense system according to the IDF. But some of them as you can see behind me do get through.

This is a residential building in the city of Ashkelon which lies only about 10 miles away from the Gaza strip, kind of between Gaza and Tel Aviv. It was struck by a rocket at about a quarter to six this morning. A resident Victor (Ph) told us that the sirens didn't actually sound because it's so close you only usually have about 30 seconds between the sirens sounding and time to seek cover.

Six people were injured and evacuated to hospital. Now, in response to this rocket attacks, the IDF launched air strikes using drones and fighter jets on 130 militant targets it says. It estimates that it killed 15 militants from Hamas and Islamic Jihad. It said it was targeting weapons manufacturing facilities, training facilities, and also two tunnels and a home of a Hamas battalion commander.

Now in the Gaza strip the Palestinian health ministry says now that the death toll has actually risen since our last conversation. It now does stand at two dozen, at 24 killed in the Gaza strip that includes nine children including one 10-year-old girl.

Now the IDF says that about third of the rockets being fired from the Gaza strip fell short which is an abnormally large number and that it's possible that some of those fatalities were due to fire from militants within the strip but it can't say for sure.

What it has said, though, is that it's in the early stages in its words, of counter strikes on militant targets in Gaza and it says that it's prepared for all scenarios and including any possible escalation. Rosemary?

CHURCH (on camera): All right. Elliott Gotkine joining us live from Ashkelon, many thanks.

We are seeing sharp contrast in the COVID situation in Europe which is seeing tremendous improvements. In South Asia where most of the world's new infections are happening though, India is still reporting very high case counts, while they have fallen a bit in the past two days, it's still too soon to know if the worst is over.

But in the U.K., there is no doubt it is. England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland recorded zero COVID deaths on Monday. Wells did report a few.


The British prime minister says England can enter the next step of its phased reopening on Monday. People will be able to meet in groups of up to six indoors and they can hug. Coronavirus cases are down across much of Europe but the head of its CDC says it's still too early for Europeans to start planning summer vacations.

CNN's Scott McLean is standing by in London. But we begin with Sam Kiley who is live in New Delhi. Sam, it is a devastating situation across India, of course. What is the latest on cases and deaths and restrictions put in place to try to control this virus?

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Rosemary, on the issue of numbers, of course, right across the world, but particularly here in India the number of estimated people having infections really reflects the ability of a nation to carry out tests more than whether or not people are affect -- affected by the COVID pandemic.

Indeed, there have been estimates here that suggest that government figures could be out by a factor of some 20 times. It's a bit more accurate when it comes to deaths. Over the weekend, awe did see a slight decline in the number of known infections, a slight increase in the numbers of deaths. But again, these figures are not accurate. Not least because people are dying in their homes unrecorded as we discovered in rural Gujarat.


KILEY (voice over): It's the injustice of a disease that strikes at random that Guvirdan (Ph) finds hardest to bear. He insists that he hasn't cheated anyone in this life, at 70, no one would speak ill of him. A lifelong potter every household knows him. "I haven't had a single bad habit like cigarettes or tobacco or anything. I'm 70. I've never had a row with anyone. So why is this happening to me," he pleads?

For the local pharmacist Jutu (Ph), it's too much. He's done what he can to help but dozens have died here in the last month. And Guvirdan has been ill for three weeks. This is Jutu's (Ph) home. Most in this Gujarati village in India's western farmers enjoying fertile soil and plentiful livestock.

When the wave of India's second pandemic engulfed India's teaming cities, people in the rural areas were not spared.

With no village doctor or medics and the shortage of hospital beds in faraway cities, many here relies on Jutu's experience as a pharmacist. He sourced oxygen prescribed drugs. "There's no one here, no health center, no doctor, no nurse. There's no facilities in this village. So, then, I tackled it in the way I saw fit."

Does that make you angry? "I got very angry but what can one do, we've got no solutions," he says.

Dina (Ph) says he tried to get his father Givraj (oh) into full hospitals but they were full. His father was diagnosed as a severe COVID patient. Givraj (Ph) has seen the devastation of his village, yet his fear is no longer death, it's the COVID will destroy his family.

His daughter has COVID. And his wife, too. She is struggling to breathe on their veranda under the eyes of Hindu deities. Their home is not far from the village crematorium, which is where volunteer efforts shift from Jutu (Ph) to Gijashangga (Ph). Until today, he's been cremating people almost constantly. Now he clears up their demands. He's brought extra wood for what he fears is coming.

In the village there are homes which have lost up to three people. Uncle, son, mother. He's kept careful records.

So, in just a last month he tells me that and this is the list of them, he's burned 90 people. In an average year, he burned 30 over 12 months. Ninety in one.

Vessels are ready for families to carry the ashes of their dead. Urns made by Guvirdan (Ph) the potter before he fell ill to a disease which has taken so many of his neighbors.


KILEY (on camera): Now, Rosemary, some 27 states and other territories in the sort of the federal structure within India have declared some kind of lockdown. In Gujarat it's almost total here in New Delhi. It's very stringent indeed, but it's piecemeal across the country.


And Narendra Modi, the central government's prime minister is under growing pressure particularly from epidemiologists and doctors to impose a nationwide lockdown to try and get a grip on this pandemic second wave ahead of the potential third wave and in the midst of an ongoing crisis over the supply of oxygen, particularly still here in the capital, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Indeed, more needs to be done. Very distressing. Sam Kiley bringing us the latest from New Delhi, I appreciate it.

For more now on England's reopening plan, CNN's Scott McLean is standing by in London. He joins us now. Good to see you, Scott.

No new cases recorded in England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. And next week restrictions will be eased. What's the latest on all of this very encouraging news?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): It is all very encouraging. There were four deaths recorded in Wales, but as you said, no deaths across the other three U.K. nations, and so this country is moving closer and closer to that day when there are zero COVID-19 deaths.

And keep in mind just how far this country has come. If you go back four months in January around this time, this country was recording 1,200, 1,300 COVID-19 deaths every single day. It is really a testament to the effectiveness of the lockdown measures that that have been in place since early January, and also the effectiveness of the vaccination as well.

Now the U.K. yesterday officially drop its COVID-19 alert level. That's more of a technical classification. But there are some very practical changes coming to this country on Monday the people have been waiting a very long time for. So, starting on Monday, you will be allowed to gather indoors with your friends and family in small groups, pubs and restaurants will be allowed to serve people indoors. Theaters and sport stadiums will be allowed to open with limited capacity. You can go on vacation either domestically or to some countries abroad. And masks are being ditched altogether in schools.

Life over the last four months and for the better part of the last year plus have really been dictated by what the government says you can or cannot do. But the prime minister says in the coming days, well, he thinks that people ought to be taking personal responsibility for their actions and really just using common sense. Listen.


BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Today, we are taking a step towards that moment when we learn to live responsibly with COVID. When we seize, eventually to rely on detailed government edicts and make our own decisions.


MCLEAN (on camera): So, as you mentioned earlier, Rosemary, hugs are back in style in the U.K. if you'd like. Obviously, the prime minister and the health experts say that you should take into accounts, things like vaccination status, whether indoors or outdoors, et cetera, et cetera.

And obviously, when you're with strangers social distancing is still important. Some more good news. The prime minister has said that this country is on track in about six weeks from now for the final stage of the lifting of all of the COVID-19 restrictions.

And he also promised that later this month this government would have more to say about rules on social distancing and what he'll decide on vaccinating certificates or immunity passports, whatever you want to call them which has been quite a controversial topic here, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Yes, most definitely. Scott McLean bringing us the latest from London. I appreciate it.

And still to come, as India's pandemic spirals further out of control across the border Nepal is overwhelmed by rising numbers of cases and deaths.

And Russian hackers are reportedly messing with gas prices, revealing just how vulnerable the U.S. infrastructure actually is. What you need to know about the cyberattack after this quick break.



CHURCH (on camera): Welcome back, everyone. Well the company running one of America's largest fuel pipeline says it hopes to restore service by the end of the week. Colonial Pipeline has largely been paralyzed after a cyberattack forces the company to shut down operations last week.

On Monday, the FBI confirmed that ransomware from a criminal gang in Russia known as DarkSide is behind the attack. A U.S. cyber security tells CNN the fuel supplier has yet to share how the hackers manage to cracked their systems. Colonial Pipeline transports nearly half of the diesel, gasoline, and jet fuel consumed on the U.S. East Coast.

The White House does not believe the Russian government is link to this attack, and President Biden still plans to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin soon. The Kremlin also denies any involvement. President Biden says his administration is looking to crack down on similar attacks on critical systems.

And you will recall the SolarWinds attack went undetected for months and infiltrated U.S. agencies and private sector systems. Foreign actors are suspected of recent hacks on police departments and hospitals during the pandemic even a water treatment plant near Tampa, Florida. Now this latest ransomware attack yet again exposes the vulnerabilities in U.S. infrastructure.

Now CNN's Oren Liebermann reports.


OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): It will be several more days before the 5,500-mile pipeline that fuels much of the eastern seaboard will be back online. Colonial Pipeline says they are bringing the pipeline back in steps. They had to shut down parts of their system to contain the cyberattack and each part has to be checked before it becomes operational again.

It is a massive destruction, not only to Colonial Pipeline, but potentially the Atlantic Seaboard. The company says it provides 45 percent of the fuel for the East Coast not only gasoline for cars but diesel and jet fuel.

ELIZABETH SHERWOOD-RANDALL, U.S. HOMELAND SECURITY ADVISOR: Thus far, a Colonial has told us that it has not suffered damage and can be brought back online relatively quickly but that safety is a priority given that it has never before taken the entire pipeline down.

LIEBERMANN: The FBI confirms the attack was conducted by a group of cyber criminals, calling themselves DarkSide, a group that started in Russia. The White House there is no evidence so far, the Russian government was behind the hack. And DarkSide claim their goal was financial not political. The attack against Colonial Pipeline was a ransomware attack which locks a computer and holds it hostage for money.

MAYA HOROWITZ, DIRECTOR, CHECK POINT THREAT INTELLIGENCE: These organizations need to have some holistic solution that would cover all the potential holes in their environment that could be used by potential threat experts. LIEBERMANN: The Colonial Pipeline highlights the vulnerability of

critical infrastructure in the United States. In February, hackers infiltrated a Florida treatment plant, momentarily increasing the levels of chemicals in the water which could have sickened thousands. According to cybersecurity Check Point, the average American utility is subject to 260 cyberattacks a week, a 50 percent increase from just two months ago.

It's also part of a barrage of cyberattacks from Russia, some independent, some state-sponsored like the massive SolarWinds hack that targeted government agencies and Fortune 500 companies.

ROB LEE, CEO, DRAGOS CYBERSECURITY FIRM: If they're not enforcing the rules and making sure that they take care of their criminal sector there is some culpability to that state government regardless if they are involve or not.


LIEBERMANN (on camera): According to Check Point researchers, the three industries that are the biggest targets for ransomware attacks are health care, education, and government. And ransomware attacks have surge in the U.S. according to their data, they say they've seen a tripling of ransomware attacks in the United States in the past nine months.

Oren Liebermann, CNN, Washington, D.C.

CHURCH: Joining me now to discuss all of this is CNN contributor, Garrett Graff. He is the director of Cyber Initiatives at the Aspen Institute and a contributor at Wired. Great to have you with us.



CHURCH: So, this ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline revealed just how vulnerable the U.S. infrastructure targets are, and raises many questions, the most critical being if the U.S. can't defend its key infrastructure from criminal actors how can the U.S. protect targets like this from a state actor?

GRAFF: It can't, is the short version. And this attack is hardly a surprise to anyone who has been paying attention to the years and decades' worth of alarms that have been ringing inside government and the private sector about cybersecurity and the challenges of securing critical infrastructure.

One of the things though that does make this unique, is that over the last 18 months during the pandemic we have seen an explosion in epidemic, really in parallel of ransomware across the country. And particularly across corporate networks. And that those ransomware groups are operating at a level of sophistication and ability that really only is equaled by nation-state adversaries like Russia and China. U.S. officials used to talk about the big four, Russia, China, Iran,

and North Korea. And now when they talk about cyber threats, they talk about the big four plus one, Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, and transnational cybercrime groups.

CHURCH: Right. So, how do you get one step ahead of it? What does the U.S. need to be doing right now to protect fuel pipelines, hospitals, water plants and other targets from any future ransomware attacks like this? Because they will keep happening. Is it even possible to protect potential targets, certainly not 100 percent or close to it?

GRAFF: The government has very limited ability to go out and dictate cyber standards to private sector companies even in whether they identify as the 17 critical infrastructure areas like gas pipelines. What companies instead are moving towards is a resilient-focused approach where you assume that attacks like this will happen. And that instead, you need to build systems that are able to withstand them or recover from them quickly.

CHURCH: So, how likely is it that this wasn't just a criminal cyberattack? That it was perhaps state-sponsored? Or one that was supposed to make America and the world very much aware of just how vulnerable the U.S. is to attacks like this to humiliate it, if you like.

GRAFF: Yes. So, there's probably actually a little bit more nuanced to the idea that this is a transnational cybercrime group. The FBI has identified it as a criminal group known as DarkSide operating from Eastern Europe, likely from Russia itself or at least part of its operations within Russia.

And what we have seen a lot over the last decade are criminal groups operating within Russia, basically under the protection of Russian intelligence, operating on an explicit set of targets that they are allowed to focus on overseas and sometimes actually even carrying out intelligence mission sin parallel with their criminal enterprises.

CHURCH: Yes. This group interestingly, DarkSide, has its own code of conduct. So, it won't attack medical facilities like hospitals and various other targets which is quite intriguing which is bringing those up now to show our viewers. But even so, if this is indeed linked to Russia, maybe not state-sponsored, Biden, President Biden has said it still makes Russia responsible. And he will discuss with Putin in upcoming talks. Where do things stand with that?

GRAFF: It's not clear that there is a lot that the U.S. is able to do at this point to reshape these cyber norms. What actually the U.S. has had some surprising success with is capturing these hackers. The FBI and Secret Service and other U.S. law enforcement have been relatively successful in identifying the perpetrators of some of these.

And more often than not, it turns out these Russian hackers like to vacation in Europe, in the Middle East, in Asia. And when they do, U.S. law enforcement and overseas partners have been able to arrest them. More often than you would think Russian hackers listen to their girlfriends and travel to resorts where they're able to arrested. [03:24:58]

CHURCH: Interesting. Garrett Graff, thank you so much for talking with us. I appreciate it.

GRAFF: Happy to.

CHURCH: Well, the White House says it's monitoring fuel supply shortages in parts of the U.S. southeast after the Colonial Pipeline attack. The critical infrastructure being shut down is raising fears it could set off a nationwide surge in gas prices.

CNN's Richard Quest has our report.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS EDITOR AT LARGE: The $65 million barrels or so stored up in the northeast of the United States across the region. So, three to five days you have pressure but you are OK. Once you're going longer if Colonial may keep what they say and say it's up and running by later this week but you won't notice a mega effect. If they find there is some serious things wrong with the pipe or they can't open for whatever reason, then the ripple effects will begin and then you will start to notice a much greater effect in the market.

At the moment, it's really a case of, hold your breath and wait to see what happens.

CHURCH: Well, that was Richard Quest reporting. And be sure to stay with CNN as we continue to cover the story.

Coming up, Nepal's prime minister loses a vote of confidence amid the surge in pandemic as the hospital system is pushed to the brink of collapse. And no letup in the escalating violence in Jerusalem. The growing concerns about where it could lead. That's next.


CHURCH (on camera): Israel responded to rocket fire from Gaza with airstrikes through the night as tensions reach a high not seen in years. The Israel Defense Forces say hundreds of rockets have been fired towards Israel, and Israel responded with airstrikes.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the rocket attacks crossed a line. And the U.S. is calling for a de-escalation from all sides.

Well one of the reasons for the tension a battle over eviction in Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. The area has seen intense clashes between Jews and Muslims with each side saying the land is theirs.

CNN's Andrew Carey takes a closer look.


ANDREW CAREY, CNN JERUSALEM BUREAU CHIEF (voice over): A divided street in a fractured city. Palestinians breaking the fast. A ritual during the holy month of Ramadan. On the pavement opposite about a dozen, mostly young Jewish nationalists. A blast of pepper spray, and a volley of plastic chairs. Scenes like this have become a familiar sight in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in east Jerusalem.


ANDREW CAREY, CNN SENIOR NEWS EDITOR (voice over): Extreme right-wing Jewish lawmaker Itamar Ben-Gvir makes an appearance this evening alongside Deputy Mayor Arieh. After talks of Nazi, (inaudible) says the deputy mayor makes a joke about a bullet entering a man's head.


CAREY: Later, after car is torched nearby, videos emerge of religious Israelis with pistols poised apparently taking their positions to defend the building. This does not look, or feel, like a city at peace of itself.

Back on the street, bottles, rocks, and other objects are thrown by protesters. Police use stun grenades to make arrests to public disorder offenses. Palestinian residents say, the real aim is intimidation.

Another common sight. Skunk water, blasting out on the truck, sprayed to disperse, police say. Residents to have live with the (inaudible) of its smell in their homes and their gardens, say it means and humiliates. It's these homes and gardens, this land that all this is ultimately about. Seven extended Palestinian families, who have lived here since the 1950s faced possible eviction over the summer. Israel's Supreme Court is to hear their appeal soon. 77-year-old Nabeel El Kurd, is head of one of the seven families.

NABEEL EL KURD, SHEIKH JARRAH PRESIDENT (through translator): We are in the right, we are the owners of the land, we are still resisting, we are staying here even if they don't want us.

CAREY: Nabeel was a little boy when he moved here after his family were expelled from their home in (inaudible), by Jewish forces in 1948. Under an arrangement between the U.N. and Jordan, which are the time controlled east Jerusalem, 28 Palestinian families were found a place to live here in exchange for giving up their refugee status.

But, using a law passed in 1970, after Israel took control of the whole of Jerusalem, an organization called (inaudible) international is seeking their eviction. Arguing that the land have once belonged to Jewish families.

Three evictions have already taken place, including the front half of Nabeel's house 12 years ago.

EL KURD: They took all my furniture out and out it in the garden. I had a little cover which I used for food and drink that I would give to visitors. They stole it.

CAREY: Nabeel's daughter, Munah, was filmed in exchange with a man who currently lives there.

UNKNOWN: Jacob, you know, this is not your house.

UNKNOWN: Yes, but if I go, you don't go back. So, what's the problem? Why are yelling at me? I didn't do this. I didn't do this. You keep yelling at me, but I didn't do this.

UNKNOWN: But you are stealing in my house.

UNKNOWN: If I don't steal, someone else is going to steal it.

UNKNOWN: No, no one is allowed to steal it.

CAREY: We don't understand why Arabs are here, I don't want any problems, but this area called (inaudible), is with the Jews, even before the establishment of the state. This land is Jewish and belongs to us. We don't believe anyone, not the courts or anyone else. Israel's foreign ministry, characterizes what is going on here as a real estate dispute.

But, Palestinian families say, there is a huge injustice at the center of it all. Which is that under an Israeli law passed in 1950, they have no right to return to their old homes in Israel that were taken away and given to Jewish families.

Deputy Jerusalem fleur Hassan-Nahoum refuse to address the different restitution laws when interviewed by CNN. But said the municipality was committed to helping all people in the city.

FLEUR HASSAN-NAHOUM, JERUSALEM DEPUTY MAYIR: In local government, we cannot be involved in those matters. It is not us who make any type of laws like this. This is a property dispute, but will be solved in the courts.

CAREY: But, which courts? Israel wants this settled in its own high court, under its own laws. International law considers east Jerusalem occupied territory, which Israel strongly rejects.

IVAN KARAKASHIAN, NORWEGIAN REFUGEE COUNCIL: And the people living here are protected -- have protected status under international law. And accordingly Israel's obligated under international law not to transfer the protected population in or out or within occupied territory nor is it allowed to transfer its own population into that territory.

CAREY: For all the legal complexities the provocation and the violence, it's hard to avoid conclusions that something pretty basic seems broken in Sheik Jarrah, something isn't working. Andrew Carey, CNN, Jerusalem.


ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR (on camera): Mohammed El Kurd is a Palestinian writer, whose family is facing eviction from Sheik Jarrah. It would be the latest instance in a long history of being displaced. Here's what he told CNN earlier.

[03:35:05] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MOHAMMED EL KURD, PALESTINIAN WRITER: This is what every Palestinian feels like, under the crushing flames of Israeli colonialism in Palestine. My grandmother was sworn out of her home and they (inaudible) and she was thrown out again in 1967, and again, in 2009, when Israeli (inaudible) organizations colluded with Israeli state took over half of our home. And this is my second time being dispossessed for my family, should they go ahead and do it to me.


CHURCH (on camera): And earlier, Danny Danon, chairman of World Likud gave his take on the evictions in the Sheik Jarrah neighborhood.


DANNY DANON, CHAIRMAN WORLD LIKUD: That's an excuse. Yes, we do our (inaudible) disputes on different sites in Jordan. We have courts, it takes years to determine the result. This aren't the only location that we are dealing with. But we know it when you looked at the history that whenever you want to incite the mob against Jews, (inaudible) it happened in 1929, in 1936, 1948 and to demonstrate happening again, by using holy sites within religion in order to incite and to provoke violence in the region.


CHURCH (on camera): And we will of course continue to follow developments in Jerusalem. Well, for the second straight day. The official number of new coronavirus cases has fallen in India. Some 330,000 infections were reported on Tuesday. That's still quite high but, significantly, below what we saw over the weekend.

The death toll, also (inaudible) back up a little. So, it's too early to know if India's pandemic has peaked. Right now, more than half of its states, and union territories, are under full lockdown. India's crisis, has been spilling into neighboring Nepal, which has set new records for daily cases and deaths. Nepal reported nearly 9,300 new infections on Monday and more than doubled its highest previous death toll. It comes as the Nepali Prime Minister called for, and then lost, a confidence vote. Plunging the country into a political crisis. Here is what it's like on the ground in Nepal.


KANCHAN JHA, CEO AND FOUNDER, SANO PAITA: The ground reality is horrible, and depressing. Nepalese, watch fears are coming thru as the nationwide surge of infections is pushing the health system to the brink of collapse. (Inaudible) of Nepal's hospitals are full and all this threats to its towns and communities near the border with India, unable to attained -- unable to handle their increasing number of people who need treatment.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CHURCH (on camera): And Anna Coren is joining us from Hong Kong with

details on what's happening in Nepal and the regional spillover of cases from India. Ann, how is Nepal responding to this crisis and what are those numbers telling us?

Well, as we just heard then, it is facing a crisis like no other. That it has experienced. It is going through this 2nd wave, and as you see, from those numbers, the trajectory only heads in one direction.

ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Well, as we just heard then, it is facing a crisis like no other that it has experience. It is going through the second wave and as you could see from those numbers, the trajectory is only heading in one direction with that graph the numbers will come out later today, but according to the experts here, the cases and the deaths, will continue to rise.

Yesterday there are a 159 deaths that is more than double the previous record. There is a shortage of beds, if anything hospitals are at over capacity, there's an acute shortage of oxygen. Some hospitals are reporting, no oxygen supply, whatsoever. The government, in fact Rosemary, has taken it upon itself to control at distribution of oxygen.

To prevent people from hording it, but people are saying that this is just creating more red tape, making it very difficult for people to get oxygen cylinders as well as oxygen for their love ones being treated in hospital. There is a political turmoil going on in Nepal, as you mentioned, the Prime Minister, he failed in his confidence vote.

Interestingly, it coincides with his comments that he made over the weekend, to CNN saying, the situation in Nepal was under my control. Clearly, it is not. With what we are hearing, and seeing on the ground and he is now caretaker, once the opposition has three days to see if they can form a government. If the opposition party, the main opposition party fails, then it will head to elections, which can be held at the end of the year.


But, Nepal is obviously going through a crisis that we were witnessing in India, the problem with Nepal it is impoverish. It has a very porous border with India. Some 400,000 Nepali migrant workers, are expected to return from India, in the coming days, and weeks. And many fear, they will be bringing the virus with them.

That Indian variant, the b1617 has already been detected in Nepal. And the Prime Minister after making the comments that the situation was under control. He claimed that up in an editorial or an opinion piece in the Guardian newspaper saying, no, we do need international help. We need vaccines, we need medical supplies, we need oxygen and we believe, Rosemary, that 20,000 oxygen cylinders will be flown in from China, later today.

CHURCH: Yes. Let's hope that happens quickly and make it distributed to those in need. Anna Coren, joining us there with an update on what is going on in Nepal. I appreciate it.

Well, coming up here on CNN Newsroom, the crimes of ISIS. You will hear from a U.N. investigator who says the terror group committed genocide against the Yazidis of Iraq.


CHURCH (on camera): Monday. So more clashes between police and protesters in Columbia. Strain from the pandemic, and a proposed tax hike ignited a powder keg last month. Now, crackdown by security forces and the killing of at least 27 demonstrators is making the situation worse. The president, is calling for calm in the city of Cali, but he's meeting with the national strike committee, appears to have failed.

That group is leading many of the protests, it's vowing to keep demonstrations going after the government didn't show quote, empathy with its demands. CNN's Polo Sandoval is in Bogota, with a look at the shifting demands of protesters.


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): This is the release of decades worth of repressed anger and decent. For nearly two weeks now, frustrated Colombians have been taking to the streets. Tensions started rising April 28, over government tax hikes proposed to ease the strained of the pandemic on the economy. Colombian president, Ivan Duque withdrew his plan days later, but a wave of anger was already sweeping across the nation. One too late to contain.

GERALDINE LOPEZ, PROTESTER: This tax reform was opportunity to loud our voices, and say, no more.

SANDOVAL: But Geraldine Lopez and her fellow protesters packing into parks, and some in blocking roads, the movement has evolved into something else. Activists want to expose, what they say, is excessive force from Columbia police directed at protesters, much of that in the city of Cali, the heart of the movement.


LOPEZ: We need the international community to see what is happening in Columbia.

SANDOVAL: One thing she wants the world to know about, the police shooting of protester Marcelo Agredo on April 28th. The first day of protest, widely shared video shows a 17-year-old kick an officer on a motorcycle as he runs away, the officer shoots and kills the young man.

A senior member of Columbia's national police tells CNN this case is now in the hands of prosecutors. The U.N. secretary general, calling on authorities to exercise restraint, amid reports of human rights violations. At least 27 protesters have been killed, according to the government. But one human rights groups reports, as many as 47 dead, 39 of them, by security forces. JUAN PABLO RANDAZZO, PROTESTER: They decided to take these things and

to bring the police forces and the military forces against their own people. That's why we are all here. We are not prepared to hear the next day that one of our friends, that one of our family, that one of our brothers, is the one who is getting killed.

SANDOVAL: Government officials maintain that leftist militants and illegal armed groups, are behind some of the violence. Meanwhile, Colombians are sinking deeper into poverty. Government statistics showed the poverty rate increase from 36 percent in 2019, to 42.5 in 2020. The once bustling colonial tourist town of (inaudible), Moslem Peralta (ph) was forced to go from business owner to waiting tables to support his family. Waiting down the few visitors who drive past, mostly, to empty tables.

Peralta tells me, he's never seen his country in such a dismal state. He feels the pandemic, only helps make the rich richer, and the poor, poorer, due to Columbia's economic inequality. The husband and father of five, getting emotional, saying that he feels he may be a rich man when it comes to his health and his family, but financially he is at his worse.

The quiet streets of historic towns to the protester packed avenues in the nation's capital, there is hope among Colombians that things will get better. With a persistent pandemic, and a violence torn country, the only question, is when? Polo Sandoval, CNN, Bogota, Columbia.


CHURCH (on camera): Well, now, to a showdown at sea in the Strait of Hormuz, just south of Iran. More than a dozen Iranian fast attack boats traveling at high speed, came within about 135 meters of U.S. Navy ships, escorting a guided missile submarine. U.S. ships, tried repeatedly to communicate with the Iranian boats before a Coast Guard (inaudible) fired 30 warning shots and the Iranian boats broke contact.

A United Nations panels says it has clear and convincing evidence that ISIS committed genocide against Yazidis seven years ago in northern Iraq. Tens of thousands of (inaudible)


IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): We could see the people below trapped in Sinjar Mountain, they are clustered under all of tress right now, waving to us. They seem to have gathered in these shelters down here, a lot of women and children waving.

The crew throws packages out the door. People swarm the chopper.


CHURCH (on camera): But, thousands of Yazidis were unable to escape. Many women, and girls were rape and enslaved, while the men were massacred. For the past three years, a U.N. team has been a gathering evidence, testimony, data, and documents to build the case against ISIS. Here's a look on some of what they found.


UNKNOWN: When we first got into trucks, we thought we were going towards Sinjar Mountain. But, when it turn towards here, we started to get scared. Unknown to them, the men were being collected, for mass execution at number of sites around in (inaudible) village.

UNKNOWN: They told us to get out of the vehicle and organize ourselves, within a single line. We can begin to organize ourselves in the line. As we are panicking and killed. So, we held each others hands at the moment all, I though of where's my son, because I felt to myself that (inaudible) would killed our children too.


CHURCH (on camera): The U.N. report also found evidence of mass execution. So, predominantly, Shia Muslim cadets at the military camp in Tigris, Iraq.

Karim Khan is the head of the U.N. panel that investigate the crime committed by ISIS, he spoke with CNN about his team's report.



KARIM KHAN, HEAD OF THE U.N. INVESTIGATION TEAM: The crimes were so targeted and so widespread. So, we have collected thousands of witness accounts from our own investigations from NGOs, from the Kurdish regional government of Iraq and from the federal territory. We also have a specialist unit for crimes, sexual and gender base crimes and crimes against children. And we have clinical psychologist. But you know, the testimony was anyone part of it, we have video evidence, we have publications by (inaudible), they were not doing this crimes in the shadows.

They were brandishing these crimes, these rapes, the slavery as if it was something to be admired across the board. So, we tried to reach out, galvanize different parts of the community, and religious leaders. Survive a groups and states, including Iraq, to make sure that we can assemble evidence are then subjected to scrutiny, to make sure that evidence is part of our brief. It is reliable, it is authentic, and it is capable of sustaining the burden of proof that domestic prosecutors will have, in order to establish this international crimes.


CHURCH (on camera): The Italian island of Lampedusa, is being overwhelmed with migrants, desperate to get to Europe. More than 2,000 arrived there over the weekend. That is according to Italian state media. The country's interior ministry says nearly 13,000 migrants have arrived on Italian shores since the beginning of the year. That's three times as many during the same period last year. The E.U. is calling for solidarity with Italy. Stressing, the need for other member states to help with this crisis.

Few people are being born in China, than there had been in decades. Up next what a slow population growth means for the world's second largest economy and its future.


CHURCH: As Japan struggle with a fresh wave of coronavirus cases, a visit by the head of the international Olympic committee has been postponed. Thomas Bach, was set to visit Japan next week. Tokyo 2020 organizers, say that this will be rearranged. They cited a newly extended state of emergency in Tokyo as one reason for the delay. The summer games are set to begin on July 23rd.

Do stay with CNN for more on this story, we will have a live report for you from Tokyo, next hour.

Well, China is reporting, it is slowest population growth in decades. Despite scrapping its one child policy back in 2015. CNN's Kristie Lu Stout, is looking into China's new census report, and the implications for the global superpower. Good to see you, Kristie. So, what is behind China's slow population growth? What's the story?

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Well, experts say, that China is a slowing population growth is due to a number of factors including rise in custom living, especially in China's urban areas, and the fact that young urban couples value their independence more than starting a family or having kids. But I want you to listen to this official take. This official reason why. Straight from the head of the national bureau of statistics, Ning Jizhe. He spoke at press conference earlier today.



NING JIZHEM, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL BUREAU OF STATISTICS OF CHINA (through translator): The number of women of childbearing age, especially the most fertile women was declining. There is a postponement of childbearing, and also a rising cost of child raising. All of these are the reasons behind the decline in newborns. That is a natural (inaudible) and economic development.


LU STOUT (on camera): According to China's national bureau of statistic, it's decade long census was released earlier today, but 10:00 a.m., local time. The average rate of population growth over the last decade was 0.53 percent. Which is 0.4 percent lower than the previous decade. So, China is not doing its lowest population growth since the early 1960s. This is a very big deal. This is very significant because of the implications for policy making in China.

It affect policy making for health care, for social welfare, for technology and especially for China's economy. You know, if you have a slowdown in population growth, you are also going to have a slowdown in workforce growth which means, it's going to be a lot harder for China to compete with United States and to be able catch up with United States in terms of GDP or economic growth.

Now, earlier today, I spoke with Yong Cai, he is a sociologist and associate professor at the University of North Carolina and he pointed out, that this is something that has been factored into the Chinese leadership decision making for quite a while now. That is the reason why China has put the focused more on high tech development, and not on a manual labor. Listen to this.


YONG CAI, SOCIOLOGIST PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA: The Chinese government is creating a world that society is, you know, aware of that and the adjustment -- the structure adjustment is on going. The truth is -- that you would be able -- basically, and the people walking nonstop and are leaving their family behind, being (inaudible). Those kind of base are getting behind us.


LU STOUT (on camera): But nevertheless, there is a lot of pressure on Beijing to rollout some new measures to mitigate this phenomenon. A lot of pressure for China perhaps to further relax its birth control polices. Remember, it was back in 2016, when China, officially scrapped the decades long, one child policy and replace it with a two child policy, bust despite that change, population growth has continued to slow down in China. Rosemary.

CHURCH: Kristie Lu stout, bringing us the latest there from Hong Kong. Many thanks. And thank you for joining us, I'm Rosemary Church, I'll be back with more news, in just a moment. Do stay with us.