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Israel's Assault on Gaza; Monster Cyclone Disrupts Testing, Vaccinations in India; Myanmar Seeks to Silence Celebrities on the Military Coup. Aired 2-2:45a ET

Aired May 18, 2021 - 02:00   ET



ROBYN CURNOW, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hi, I'm Robyn Curnow, welcome to our viewers around the world. Thank you for joining me.

Ahead on CNN, targeted strikes, lighting up the night sky over Gaza as Israel keeps up an aerial assault. International pressure, growing for a cease-fire.

Plus, a one-two punch of bad news in India, a critical shortage of COVID vaccines and a rare, powerful cyclone, slamming into the west coast.

Plus, how the Myanmar military, working to silence celebrities speaking out about the deadly coup.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Live from CNN Center, this is CNN NEWSROOM with Robyn Curnow.

CURNOW: The Israeli military, bombarding Gaza, once again, with another round of airstrikes overnight and into the morning. Despite growing calls for a across the region, the Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowing to continue striking what he calls, targets of terrorism.

This building near the UNRWA and the Islamic University collapsing, in central Gaza, hours ago, as you can see here. The building was empty, a warning was issued before the strike. Israel says, its targets included tunnels and rocket installations, as well as the homes of Hamas commanders.

Hamas run Gaza health ministry reports that 212 people have been killed since Monday including 61 children. Israel blames Hamas for putting military equipment near schools and hospitals.

Meanwhile, rockets in Israel have claimed 10 lives. The Red Cross says three people were hurt in Ashdod.

Journalist, Elliott Gotkine joining me live this hour.

Elliott, hi, what is the situation there right now? ELLIOTT GOTKINE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Robyn, we have heard fighter jets flying overhead and we know more airstrikes have been carried out and rockets are fired into Israel. Last night was the quietest inside of Israel since the latest outbreak of hostilities.

There was a lull between 11:15 pm last night, to about half past 5 this morning. Which would have come a bit of a relief, as the communities in and around the Gaza Strip, although I don't think they have any illusion they are close to a cease-fire.

The IDF chief of staff says that Israel will intensify its campaign, last night targeting 65 locations regarding the tunnel network that Hamas has, using 62 fighter jets and 110 guided armaments. So a really intensive bombing going on in the Gaza Strip.

There are attempts to broker a cease-fire, we heard from President Biden for the first time, expressing his desire for a cease-fire, saying they're working together with partners, such as the Egyptians, to achieve that aim.

To be perfectly honest, right now it doesn't seem like either side is interested. A cease-fire will happen eventually but it doesn't seem like it will happen immediately.

There were 6 rockets fired from Lebanon into Israel, towards Israel, they fell short, Israel returned artillery fire and the peacekeepers there are calling on both sides to exercise maximum restraint.

There's no indication those rockets came from Hezbollah but Israel will be on alert there. We've also seen the funeral of a Jewish man who was beaten by an Arab mob in the city of Lod about one week ago. He was hospitalized since then and succumbed to his injuries. He will be buried. Today, the president Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying the perpetrators will be held accountable.

That's the situation, currently, right now, I'll bring you updates throughout the day as things develop.

CURNOW: Thank you for that reporting, live, thank you Elliott Gotkine.

As mentioned, U.S. President, Joe Biden, resisted calls from Democratic lawmakers to increase pressure on Israel. The U.S. has blocked the U.N. Security Council from making a statement on the conflict.


CURNOW: The White House says it's engaging in quiet yet intensive diplomacy. The Biden administration emphasized Israel has a right to defend itself but in his 3rd call and 6 days, to prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Biden said he supported a cease-fire for the first time.

Meanwhile, the Democratic lawmakers, pushing for more pressure on Israel, now have to weigh a proposed U.S. arms sale to the Israelis. It came up earlier this month as Kaitlan Collins reports.


KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: We have also learned that the Biden administration, approving a proposed arms sale to Israel for $735 million. We found out about that because the administration notified Congress, formally about this, on May 5th.

That is before this latest violence broke out but it does raise concerns about what those congressional Democrats, those who are pushing back on Biden's stance toward Israel, what they will say about that.

It does open up a 15-day window for Congress to push back on the sale, it is not expected right now but of course, at this point, a lot of things are tenuous when it comes to the situation, as the White House is monitoring, it closely.


CURNOW: Joining me now is Julie Norman, a lecturer in politics and international relations at University College London.

It certainly appears to be no end in sight, diplomatically or on the ground.

JULIE NORMAN, UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON: That's exactly right, Robyn. As we've seen up through last night, we continue to see Israeli airstrikes on Gaza, as well as rockets from Hamas going into Israel. This has resulted in numerous civilian casualties, over 200 in Gaza -- and a quarter of those children.

With those images coming out of the region, we are seeing increasing pushes for a cease-fire from many different areas. Where we have seen a bit more of a muted response, still, is the United States.

Until last night when Biden did express support for a cease-fire but came short of calling for an immediate cessation on my stomach, not putting any pressure on Israel at this point.

CURNOW: That would be my next question. In terms of analyzing President Biden's carefully worded words, how much pressure can and will the Biden administration put on Israel, particularly as casualties mount and Democrats are split?

NORMAN: What we've heard is they're pushing behind the scenes diplomacy and trying to bank on the fact that by publicly giving tacit if not explicit support for Israel, that might give them more leverage in private negotiations.

We know that these conversations take place. However, with that said, the Biden administration at the same time has now blocked three U.N. Security Council resolutions to push for a cease-fire.

As you noted, they are also getting increasing pressure from their own caucus as well, with 28 Senate Democrats now calling for an immediate cease-fire. I think we will see more pressure on Biden in the coming days, both domestically and internationally for more forceful language, for more diplomatic engagement and for possibly trying to leverage some of the U.S.' influence in terms of what the U.S. sends Israel, under $4 b per year, or in terms of arms sales, $700 for this last package.

CURNOW: This doesn't coincide well in terms of perception for the Biden administration, does it?

NORMAN: That's exactly right. It's important to note, the administration approved this arms deal, prior to the current escalation. This was earlier in May. It was approval for, precision weapons, so targeted -- ammunition that can be used in a targeted way, which are the kinds of weapons that Israel is using, in this engagement, this current violence, this escalation.

The timing is unfortunate for the Biden administration. We expect a lot of pushback, from Democrats in particular, on this going forward, even though it took place before this escalated.

CURNOW: When we talk about diplomacy and when it comes to historical diplomacy in the region, Egypt, always, is key.

I know they say they are behind closed doors, the U.S. is engaged with Egypt on this but how much of a role will Egypt play?

Also, in speaking, of course, to Hamas.

NORMAN: Robyn, in the previous Gaza wars we've seen in 2014 and previously, Egypt tends to be a key player in getting the cease-fire, finally, approved. It's important to note, because the U.S. designates Hamas as a terrorist group, they can't negotiate directly with Hamas.


NORMAN: So a country like Egypt is essential, because they have peaceful relations with Israel and relations with Hamas and, crucially, also have relations with the U.S. and with Qatar, which provides financial support for Gaza.

So Egypt is really the player that can talk to all parties. So we expect a lot of diplomacy between the U.S., not only in Israel but the U.S. and Egypt as well, in the coming days.

CURNOW: What is Mr. Netanyahu's endgame?

NORMAN: For Netanyahu, what we've heard and seen in past conflicts that are similar to this is that Netanyahu, really, wants to show that he is cutting down the infrastructure of Hamas as well as pushing back on tit-for-tat violence.

We see targeting for specific Hamas militants but moreover Hamas tunnels and manufacturing sites.

The other thing Netanyahu wants to do, is show he is strong on defense, strong on security and really to send a message to Hamas and deter future conflicts, like this.

But he is savvy, wants to come out as a winner in this, doesn't look like he's agreeing to a cease-fire. He wants to say Israel went in with the specific operation to contain Hamas and they will continue to do that, until they deem it appropriate to withdraw. Of course, numerous civilian casualties and suffering in the meantime.

CURNOW: Julie Norman, in London, thank you for your analysis. Thanks for joining us.

NORMAN: Thanks, Robyn.

CURNOW: Still to come, a deadly cyclone hammering India's West Coast and preventing COVID relief efforts. And Taiwan officials are concerned about a rush for vaccinations leading to shortages.




CURNOW: Welcome back.

The U.S. is promising to share more of its massive coronavirus vaccine stockpile with other countries. On Monday, President Biden vowed to donate at least 20 million doses, by the end of June in addition to the 60 million doses of Oxford AstraZeneca that the U.S. has already pledged.

This is a big boost for the COVAX global vaccine initiative, which was falling far short of its delivery goals. Its partner, UNICEF, says COVAX wanted to get 170 million doses to low income countries this week but will deliver far less.

The head of the World Health Organization is calling the vaccine shortage a form of apartheid.




GHEBREYESUS: As you know, high income countries account for 50 percent of the world's population but have 45 percent of the world's vaccines. Lower and lower middle income countries count for almost half of the world's population but have received only 17 percent of the world's vaccine. The gap is huge.


CURNOW: President Biden has said there will be enough COVID vaccine supply for every American adult by the end of this month. Meanwhile, Kenya is one of the countries close to running out of

vaccines. They said, 2 percent of the population had their first shot. CNN's Larry Madowo, picking up the story, from Nairobi.


LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kenya received 1 million AstraZeneca shots from COVAX, that is the global vaccine alliance that has been helping low and middle income countries, receiving vaccines for free or at heavily discounted prices. They country expected 2.6 million but was hoping for more.

So it put nearly all of them in the shadows of the arms that need it most. Priority given to essential workers, to people in security services and to anybody over the age of 58. The guidance was a distance of 8 weeks between the first shot and the second. The country revised that to 12 weeks hoping there will be more available but that is a big question mark.

The chairperson of the COVID task force, of the minister of health in Kenya, telling CNN, the country may run out of vaccines by the end of May or early June and it just doesn't know when it will get more vaccine. They're looking to other places, hoping for millions of Johnson & Johnson shots.

But for those already vaccinated, it isn't recommending you take the first shot of AstraZeneca and the second shot of Johnson & Johnson. So the true fear here, a fourth wave, might hit the country, the health care system can't take it.

And there is no clear sign on when it will get more vaccines. So any help from COVAX or any other source, would be so useful to stave off a crisis here in the country -- Larry Madowo, CNN, Nairobi.


CURNOW: Following the COVID crisis in Asia as well, where 2 places have beaten the virus with the first wave, are now fighting their biggest outbreaks yet. India, now the second country to top 25 million known coronavirus cases.

This, as a massive cyclone pummels the country's west coast, disrupting both testing and vaccination efforts.

Meanwhile, Taiwan is seeing a record rise in COVID cases. One senior official asking people to reserve medical resources for critically ill COVID patients. Anna Coren, in Hong Kong and Will Ripley is in Taipei with the latest on the stories.

Let's start with you, Will. Give us an update on with the situation is there right now.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Robyn, minutes ago, we got the latest daily infection numbers from the Taiwanese government. I do have some good news to pass along. After a fourth consecutive record high of 333, today, the number is

240. It has gone down. Certainly, that is encouraging. Not to say the Taiwan is out of the woods yet, because we see case numbers start to fluctuate. But that's a welcome piece of news.

Certainly, Taiwan not out of the woods yet, as it faces its most severe outbreak since the start of the pandemic. It is not just the infection numbers that have the government and, the people concerned here, an island of 23 million.

It is the lack of vaccines, that even high-risk groups and frontline workers, cannot get jabs in arms are now, because they don't have the vaccine doses available.

Taiwan's president is looking to late July when, locally developed vaccines, should be available. Given that Taiwan struggled to get vaccine doses into this country, partially because of regional politics, its complicated relationship with Mainland China, loyalties among regional distributors, to Beijing, made it tough.

It is like a time warp, in some ways, when you see images of supermarkets in recent days. There's been panic buying of items like toilet paper and cup noodles, things people stock up in a crisis.

It just reminds me of when I was in Japan a year ago, seeing the same thing happening there as numbers were spiking up.

But if people continue following social distancing guidelines, the most severe that have been in place for Taiwan, which for months eliminated local transmission, people ere out without masks in large groups. Now the streets are empty and there is a rainstorm happening behind me, that wipes away some of the heat.

People are hoping these measures will wipe away the infections and get life back to normal here as soon as possible. But still, a long way between now and then.

CURNOW: Live there in Taipei, Will Ripley, good to see you, thank you for the update.

I want to go to Anna who's following developments in India.


CURNOW: Obviously, India hitting fresh records and that's not good news.

ANNA COREN, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely not. This is a double blow to India. Certainly, the west coast that has been hit by this cyclone. From Gujarat to Goa, the four states that have been heavily impacted, with heavy rain and extensive flooding, high winds.

Even though the cyclone made landfall in Gujarat overnight, we're still seeing the aftermath. The cleanup is ongoing, the flooding is ongoing, it's going to take many days if not longer to return to normal. So things like the vaccination program, that was being rolled out, can

actually resume. It has been suspended. We don't know when that will go back to normal. As I say it's a double blow. We've seen case numbers coming down, particularly in Maharashtra and Gujarat.

But with hundreds of thousands of people being evacuated, from low- lying areas and moved to shelters and evacuation centers, being crammed together, this is giving an opportunity for COVID to just spread again, for clusters to form.

COVID patients being moved from hospitals in low lying areas. Their lives very much put a risk. In Gujarat, the Indian air force is on standby, the prime minister, he is across everything that is taking place at the moment.

The current death toll, as it stands, is 23 but that could grow. But having moved all those from low-lying areas, something Indian authorities have honed in recent years, that means that we don't see such high death tolls these days.

I should mention there is a search and rescue mission happening off the coast of Mumbai, 146 rescued from a barge that had sunk but 127 are still missing. The navy want to get helicopters up but conditions are horrendous. So we don't know when they will be able to get those helicopters up -- Robyn.

CURNOW: It doesn't look great. Anna Coren, thank you for that report.



CURNOW: One of South Africa's most revered figures is hoping to give his country's COVID vaccination drive a boost. Anti apartheid leader, Desmond Tutu, getting a shot on Monday. The 89-year-old giving a thumbs up as he left the hospitals. It was the first day South Africa began vaccinating people over the age of 60.

It comes amid fears of a third wave in the country. Tutu's message to South Africans, get vaccinated against COVID-19, it is definitely the right thing to do.

Good to see him there.

Travelers, itching to get away, as COVID restrictions are lifted around the world. Almost 2 million travelers, screened at U.S. airports on Sunday, a pandemic record. But with more passengers comes more problems and U.S. authorities have leveled the biggest fine yet against a violent passenger. Pete Muntean with more, from Washington.


PETE MUNTEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The FAA, cracking down on those who become aggressive on commercial flights. The agency, just announces its biggest fine yet, since rolling out a zero tolerance policy against unruly passengers. A Delta passenger accused of repeatedly assaulting a flight attendant,

then trying to get into the cockpit now faces fines of more than $52,000. It is the latest of 17 such fines, now totaling more than $300,000.

This is a bit problem, according to the FAA administrator, Steve Dickson. He tells me, the numbers keep going up. The FAA has received reports of more than 1,300 unruly passengers on commercial flights in the last few months alone.

This is happening as more and more people are coming back to flying. The TSA, screening more than 1.8 million people at airports across the country on Sunday. That is a new record of the pandemic. That number, around 70 percent of what numbers were before the pandemic -- Pete Muntean, CNN, Washington.


CURNOW: Coming up on CNN, the controversy over Israel's strike on a building that housed two media outlets, demands for an explanation and Israel's response.




CURNOW: Welcome back I'm Robyn Curnow and it's 20 minutes past the hour.

U.S. President Joe Biden is joining the chorus of world leaders calling for an end to the fighting in the Middle East.


CURNOW: According to the White House, he voiced his support for a cease-fire in a call to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday. Israel says rocket fire from militants in Gaza have claimed 10 lives as the fighting began more than a week ago.

And as the military continues to hit targets in Gaza, killing at least 212 people, that's according to the Gaza health ministry, which is run by Hamas.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL (voice-over): The directive is to continue to strike at the targets of terrorists. The idea is doing well. Today it has eliminated another senior Islamic Jihad commander.

We have heard the Hamas naval unit and we continue to strike at the underground medium, the Hamas metro. And there are other targets. We will continue to act as necessary to restore peace and security to all residents of Israel. (END VIDEO CLIP)

CURNOW: For more on the escalating violence, here is Ben Wedeman, reporting from Jerusalem. Ben?


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Destruction, again, in Gaza City. Israeli firepower, destroying the top floors of this building in a neighborhood. The Israelis say, the targets were militants from Hamas.

The Israeli strike, blowing out the windows of a health clinic across the street, a key coronavirus testing center, according to officials in Gaza.

"The Palestinian situation is devastated and in crisis, for 15 years. Now the crisis is worse and suffering has increased," says this Gaza resident.

Meanwhile, just a few miles north, the Israeli military continues with their artillery assault.

Monday evening, the Israeli military claimed airstrikes had rendered 100 kilometers of tunnel, inoperable. Taking out the network of underground passageways, beneath Gaza, where Israel says fighters take shelter and store weapons, a major objective in Israel's campaign.

Another priority, degrading rock Hamas' rocket building capability; 80 to 90 percent of the capacity, now destroyed, say the Israeli military.

For Israelis in towns like Ashkelon, Ashdod and Be'er Sheva, it's a message they need to hear.

"Two days, it fell next to my house and did massive damage," this resident says, "this time, it went into the building."

Several times a day, the alarms ring out and they run for cover.

NETANYAHU: We'll do whatever it takes to restore order and quiet, and on the security of our people in deterrence, we're trying to degrade Hamas' terrorist abilities, to degrade their will to do this again. So it'll take some time, I hope it won't take long but it's not immediate.

WEDEMAN (voice-over): Short thrift for those demanding an immediate cease-fire -- Ben Wedeman, CNN, Jerusalem.


CURNOW: Israel is defending that strike that destroyed a Gaza building that held offices of the Associated Press and Al Jazeera. The IDF says there was a warning before the attack and the building contained Hamas military intelligence assets. Hamas denies that claim. The managing director for Al Jazeera English had this to say. Take a listen.


GILES TRENDLE, MANAGING DIRECTOR, AL JAZEERA ENGLISH: We have no knowledge, no evidence of any Hamas operations in that building. And that is what we are demanding. We are demanding an explanation.

But we are saying, where is the evidence?

I think the U.S. secretary of state earlier today in a press conference in Copenhagen said that, up until now, he had not seen any evidence. No evidence had been produced by the Israelis.

No matter how many times they keep saying this, they seem to be operating on the idea that, the more you say something and the more you repeat it, it becomes accepted as truth and fact. Well, we can't accept that.


CURNOW: Israel insists it shared information justifying the strike with the U.S. But secretary of state Antony Blinken said he has not seen it, as you heard, there the U.S. National Security Council has not commented. The White House said it could not provide any indication the intelligence had been received.

But Israel is not wavering in its position.


MARK REGEV, NETANYAHU SENIOR ADVISER: Our intelligence is crystal clear. I can't talk about how the Americans filter up and what comes from the intelligence community to senior leaders. But I can tell you the evidence has been shared with the United States and it is crystal clear.

And this example of this building, of this high-rise, is a classic example of Israel doing things right. There was not a single casualty. No journalist was hurt. No journalist, heaven forbid, was killed. We gave an hour's warning so they could clear out the building. In so doing, of course, we have had Hamas to clear out as well.

But the goal was to neutralize what was an important Hamas target, from our perspective. We succeeded without the loss of life.


CURNOW: You are watching CNN.


CURNOW: Stay with us as we continue to follow this story.

Meanwhile, coming up, two of the world's biggest media brands are planning to get even bigger together. It's a huge deal for the world of streaming. We'll tell you about it next. (MUSIC PLAYING)



CURNOW: Welcome back. I'm Robyn Curnow. In Myanmar, the military junta is trying to silence anyone who disagrees with them, especially if that person is famous or has a large following. Paula Hancocks spoke to a well-known Myanmar actress and a beauty queen about how they are determined to protest the coup despite all the risks.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Speaking foreign language).

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Han Lay is more used to representing her country in beauty pageants. But after the February 1st coup, she took to the streets, calling for a return to democracy.

The following months she traveled to Thailand for a pageant, not wanting to win but to speak out.

HAN LAY, MISS GRAND MYANMAR: I am deeply sorry for the people who have lost their lives on the streets.

The situation is really bad in Myanmar and I have decided that, in my speech, I need to talk about that.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): The 22-year old is sure, as she returns home, she will be arrested at the airport. Her mother is already in hiding.

HAN: I love my country and everything I do right now is for my country. If I have a chance I really want to go back home and I want to meet my parents.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).

HANCOCKS (voice-over): Unlikely while the military junta is control. It has issued warrant lists for celebrities.

HANCOCKS: The one thing we have been seeing consistently with this military junta is the effort to silence voices that are against them, especially those who have a following or an audience.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): Countless well-known personalities have been detained already. A famous comedian who criticized the military for many years; a well-known model with millions of followers in Myanmar and overseas and Myanmar award-winning actors who use their platform to criticize the coup and the junta.

Most are charged under Article 505(a) of the penal code, a clause amended by the military leadership to effectively make disagreeing with them a crime. The days of actress Paing Phyo Thu, protesting in public are long gone

but she is determined to keep speaking out. She and her film director husband, Na Gyi, are on the warrant list. They have been in hiding for almost three months.

PAING PHYO THU, ACTOR: To be honest, we feel guilty because I'm not and I can't be among the people while protesting. It's very sad for me to see these people getting killed and I can't do anything. And I can't do anything to help them.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): She was helping to finance protesters struggling to get by. But with the banking system at a standstill, it is becoming too challenging. She refuses to flee the country but to continue to fight the only way she can now, through social media and her platform.


HANCOCKS (voice-over): The reason the military want to silence her.

PAING: My husband and I, we don't have any kids. So the worst thing that could happen is they could kill us or they could put us in jail. That's the worst that could happen to us. But we don't have to worry about anyone left behind.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): Arbitrary arrests continue on the streets of Myanmar. What they once did at night, they now do in broad daylight. Protesters, celebrities, bystanders, no one is safe under this brutal military crackdown -- Paula Hancocks, CNN, Bangkok.


CURNOW: And big changes are coming for the media conglomerate behind the broadcast you are watching right now. CNN's parent company, WarnerMedia, is being spun off and the plan is to have a joint forces with Discovery Networks. Here's Brian Stelter with more on all of. That Brian?


BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: This is a streaming spin-off that tells a lot about the future of media. In a streaming world dominated by Netflix, Disney and Amazon, WarnerMedia and Discovery believe they need to team up and get bigger together in order to grow around the world.

It was three years ago, in 2018, that AT&T acquired TimeWarner, renamed it WarnerMedia, took control of CNN, HBO, Warner Brothers. What we've seen as a result is the HBO Max's streaming service, which has been gaining subscribers but is lagging far behind the likes of Netflix.

It's a similar story over at Discovery run by CEO David Zaslav. They recently launched something called Discovery Plus, a streaming service with the kind of lifestyle programming the country is known for, food, cooking, house -- home renovation shows, all those sorts of programs, available on a streaming service.

But these services are relatively small compared to the Disneys of the world. So now they are combining forces, trying to be one of the three or four dominant streaming brands in media.

Here is how Zaslav describes the deal speaking with our colleague, Poppy Harlow, he talks about bringing together "Game of Thrones," for example, from HBO with Discovery's programming for around the world.


DAVID ZASLAV, DISCOVERY CEO: You take this incredible IP, that content at Warner that people would pay for before they would pay for dinner, like Superman and Batman and "Game of Thrones."

And you put that together with all the local content that we have in the market and the relationships that we have, I think it gives us a big advantage in going global.


STELTER: "Going global," those are the keywords that companies like AT&T and Discovery feel like they have done a lot in the U.S. market to gain American subscribers but they need to do a lot more in other markets.

Discovery already has lots of television channels in Europe and in other parts of the world. But now it needs to focus on streaming. That is what this is all about and that is what we are going to hear, not just from Discovery and WarnerMedia but from other media giants in the months to come.

There's already speculation about whether other media companies are going to have to go out there and see another round of consolidation as a result of this WarnerMedia-Discovery deal. First though, it has to get reviewed by regulators. That process could take about a year.

So nothing changes right away. As for the channel you are watching right now, CNN, I spoke with Zaslav and he says he will continue to be committed to CNN's editorial independence just as AT&T has for the past few years -- Brian Stelter, CNN, New York.


CURNOW: Brian, thanks so much for that.

And thank you all for watching. I'm Robyn Curnow, live here in Atlanta, be sure to find me on Instagram and Twitter. I'm now going to hand you over to the good folks at "WORLD SPORT." They start right after the break. Enjoy.