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Visitors Flocking To U.S. Tourist Spots; Parts Of Europe Begin Reopening To International Tourists; Argentina Set To End Nine-Day Lockdown; Second Mount Nyiragongo Eruption Looms In DRC; Texas Republicans Deal On Sweeping New Voting Legislation; Hong Kongers Flee Over Security Law; Countries' Incentives To Overcome Vaccine Hesitancy; Chelsea Fans Celebrate Victory. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired May 30, 2021 - 02:00   ET




ROBYN CURNOW, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hi, welcome to CNN. I'm Robyn Curnow.

Coming up, European vacation: travel taking off again for the vaccinated.

But exactly where can you go and how do you prove you got the shot?

After four elections and a failure to form a government plus a bloody battle of Hamas, a major announcement is pending that could oust Benjamin Netanyahu from power in Israel.

And fears of a new volcanic eruption in the Democratic Republic of Congo that has already cost billions of dollars and forced thousands to flee.


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

CURNOW: Thanks for joining me this hour.

So a solid year of lockdowns, face masks and social distancing is gradually winding down in many places as vaccination numbers increase. But COVID remains widespread and dangerous, as you can see here. Countries in red are still struggling.

The World Health Organization is investigating whether four cases in Vietnam came from a possible new variant. But wherever vaccines have been widely administered, cases and deaths have been steadily declining; 5,000 people in Paris were finally able to enjoy a large crowded concert on Saturday.

And dining out in London is once again possible. The NHS says more than half of people in their 30s have now received at least one shot. In the U.S., COVID restrictions are melting away with warmer weather

and pent-up travelers who are itching to get away this Memorial Day weekend. American airports reported nearly 2 million passengers on Friday. More than 37 million Americans are expected to hit the road this Memorial Day holiday. That's up 60 percent from last year.

And the CDC says just over half of all U.S. adults have now received at least one shot. President Biden's goal is to get that to 70 percent by July 4th. We get more now from Natasha Chen in Miami Beach.


NATASHA CHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A lot of people we're meeting here in Miami Beach say they're taking their very first trips in more than a year since before the pandemic began.

So there's a lot of that energy, with people who have been stuck inside their homes for so long, eager to come out and enjoy themselves under fewer COVID restrictions.

The mayor of Miami Beach told us the volume of people coming here is unprecedented. We saw those unprecedented crowds partying in the streets at night, creating traffic gridlock. A lot of people tell us they feel more relaxed and they're able to have fun, knowing case numbers are falling and more and more people are getting vaccinate.

But with the crowds comes a different problem; the mayor of Miami Beach talking about the need for law enforcement to keep a close eye on these crowds.


MAYOR DAN GELBER (D), MIAMI BEACH, FL: The one thing that we've seen over the last few months has been an increase in both volume and disorder. And what I mean by that is we're getting more people that have ever come here, even on weekday nights.

And if you get 25,000 or 50,000 people in a small, little area, which is what you're talking about, and just a small percentage feel like they're acting out, it's very hard to control that without the huge presence of policing.


CHEN: Hundreds of Miami Beach police officers are all hands on deck this weekend, plus they've got help from other jurisdictions as well. There are businesses here very happy to see all these people come with the dollars flowing in after a difficult economic year.

Right now, the hotel occupancy in this county is back to where it was in 2019 during this same week. And according to the Convention and Visitors Bureau, they're saying that the dining activity, people dining out is actually more than a third higher than this point in 2019 -- Natasha Chen, CNN, Miami Beach, Florida.

(END VIDEOTAPE) CURNOW: Thanks for that.

So parts of Europe are also reopening to international tourists as more people get vaccinated but there are still some problem areas even as the U.K. ramps up vaccinations, new cases we understand crept up above 4,000 on Friday. For the first time in weeks.

Let's go over to London. Scott McLean joining us.

Europe opening back up. These cases, these worrying cases spiking where you are. Why?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, there's a lot of competing pressures right now in Europe, Robyn. Obviously weighing the benefits of opening up and the obvious risks of potentially opening up too quickly as well.


MCLEAN: Europe is getting its vaccination up to speed. More than one third of the population has got at least one shot of the vaccine so far.

And as a result of that and, also, as a result of, you know, restrictions that have been in place for many months, cases are really falling sharply. And it also brings up pictures like the ones you showed earlier, of 5,000 people at a concert in Paris, partying like it was 2019.

The only big difference there is that masks were required at that party.

You've also got places like Italy, Hungary, Switzerland, Ireland planning to loosen some restrictions this week. You've also got the tourist destinations like Spain, Portugal, Greece, all rolling out the red carpet.

Countries like Germany and France are actually putting up new travel barriers from people coming from the U.K. because of the Indian variant, I should say, which spreads even faster than the previous dominant strain, which was the U.K. variant.

This variant is present in Europe but not nearly in the numbers we're seeing in the U.K. where cases have really exploded over the past couple of weeks. We know it spreads faster. The jury is just out on how much faster.

As you say the U.K. case counts is starting to go up a bit. Hospitalizations are also ticking up slightly and as a result here in the U.K. they are trying to get shots in arms as quickly as humanly possible. They've opened up it up to everyone over the age of 30.

They've managed to get more than half of them to have their first shot of the vaccine. Not too bad.

Now sort of comes this critical test for the U.K. and more broadly for Europe is that can you let the virus, to some extent, run wild amongst younger populations that haven't had a chance to get a vaccine yet but are enjoying the benefits of having society opened up with the expectation you have enough of a firewall with the vaccine to prevent mass hospitalizations and mass deaths with older segments of the population?

The British government certainly has some decisions to make on that. Its final phase of loosening restrictions was scheduled to come in three weeks from now. But now the government says they're going to wait until the 11th hour to make a decision what to do there.

CURNOW: OK, Scott McLean there in London. Thanks so much for that.

Let's talk more now about the excitement and quite frankly a lot of the confusion about air travel right now. Dr. Leonard Marcus is the codirector of the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative at Harvard School of Public Health.

Thank you, sir, for joining me. There is a bit -- I think I might be understating things -- a bit of confusion whether or not people want to travel and when they do travel what exactly to do.

DR. LEONARD MARCUS, CO-DIRECTOR, NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS LEADERSHIP INITIATIVE, HARVARD SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH: Robyn, first thank you for having me. And it is a situation right now with travel, in which you really have to do research before you start, in particular, international travel.

What's your destination, what's the situation with COVID in your situation, what are the requirements?

For example, requirements regarding quarantining potentially for vaccination, it's different in every country and even in the United States. It's different in every state and municipality. So if you're going to travel, it's really important for you to do your research before you head to the airport.

CURNOW: What's the main thing, do you think, as folks sort of start venturing out, particularly if you're vaccinated?

MARCUS: It's important to know, if you're vaccinated, that you can travel on an airplane with a high level of confidence. Here in the United States, people are still required to wear masks when they're on public transportation. So keep your mask on.

I double mask when I'm flying. If you have to drink or eat, make it really, really quick. Slip it under your mask so you keep your mask on, especially while you're on board the airplane or while you're at the airport. Keep distance as appropriate and as you can.

And if you follow all of those precautions, if you're vaccinated, the risks of air travel are very, very low at this point.

CURNOW: But what about the CDC, saying there is some risk, even if you're vaccinated?

And how does that sort of -- you know, how is that counter the negative?

MARCUS: Well, there is some risk and it's a question of whether we'll ever be free of some small measure of risk. There are situations in which people have acquired a breakthrough case of COVID-19. Those situations are very, very rare.


MARCUS: The CDC is encouraging people when they're traveling to maintain these precautions as a way of significantly reducing those risks, which is why I say, if you're vaccinated, you keep your mask on and keep the distance, all those things we've become very accustomed to, you can fly with a high degree of confidence.

CURNOW: There's such a patchwork of security when it comes to where you're going, what flights you're taking, where you are in the world.

I mean, it's going to take a long time for all of this to be ironed out, isn't it?

MARCUS: It is going to take a long time. And my wife and I are hoping to do international travel and we just talked about it the other day. It's simply going to have to be wait and see.

Among the questions, what's the level of disease in our destination?

What are the requirements by our government in terms of quarantine, in terms of demonstrating that we are vaccinated?

All those questions, we simply decided, we're going to have to wait and see and make our travel plans a lot later than we would have before the pandemic.

CURNOW: And we've had a lot of coverage particularly in the last few day but it's certainly by no means limited to the last few days of the number of people getting agitated on flights, just sort of tempers flaring, whether it's over the issue of masks or whether it's just because people are, you know, feeling anxious.

That is also something that seems to be on another level entirely, doesn't it?

MARCUS: There are a small percentage of people whose behavior is just unacceptable when they're on a plane. And this, of course, presents a significant challenge to flight attendants. Through our aviation public initiative, we've had the opportunity to interview many in the industry, including flight attendants. They've been the enforcers.

A very small percentage of the population are unwilling to wear their masks. They're unruly when they get on the plane and it makes it very difficult for everybody on board and, in particular, for the flight attendants.

CURNOW: Thank you very much for joining us. Really appreciate it. And hopefully very soon, we can all be traveling and enjoying each other in beautiful places around the world, so thank you. MARCUS: Thank you, Robyn.

CURNOW: Well, protesters in Brazil are unhappy with the handling of the COVID pandemic in their countries. So tens of thousands of people marched across Brazil on Saturday. They're demanding better access to vaccines and they want president Jair Bolsonaro to be impeached.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): It's a duty to fight for democracy. This government is of no use to us. It doesn't serve the people. We've taken to the streets because we have no alternative.


CURNOW: The country is facing a possible third wave of COVID. More than 16 million people are infected and less than 10 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated.

Meanwhile Brazil's neighbor, Argentina, is also dealing with a soaring number of COVID cases. On Saturday, it surpassed 77,000 deaths from the virus. This, of course, comes as the country is set to end its nine-day lockdown. Rafael Romo has more.


RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SR. LATIN AFFAIRS EDITOR (voice-over): It's a lockdown that doesn't feel like one.

"I see a lot of people," this man says, "too many for me."

It was the first working day since Argentina went on lockdown to stop a devastating second wave of COVID-19. At checkpoints on roads going into the city, frustrated drivers describe the long lines as chaos and a disaster.

"The truth is that I wasn't expecting so many cars on the roads," this driver said.

President Alberto Fernandez announced a lockdown on May 20th, saying Argentina is living the worst moments since the beginning of the pandemic. The president said people would only be allowed outside their homes for 12 hours a day, starting at 6 in the morning, except for essential workers.

Schools and nonessential businesses were to remain closed until may 30th. Argentina, along with Brazil and Colombia, are the 3 South American countries that remain in the top 10, with the highest numbers of daily confirmed new cases in the world.

ROMO: The strict lockdown aimed at reversing the worrying trend and the explosion of cases Argentina has had in the last few weeks. In the long term, this South American country is hoping to become a major source of COVID-19 vaccines.

ROMO (voice-over): Argentina is partnering with Oxford University and AstraZeneca to produce massive amounts of the COVID-19 vaccine, developed by both institutions. In a lab in Buenos Aires province, the process has already begun.

But a lab representative says it will be the end of the year before they expect to begin clinical trials, with the goal of launching production by early 2022.


ROMO (voice-over): Meanwhile, COVID-19 remains a deadly challenge for Argentina. An additional 551 people died of the virus Thursday, the same day the country broke its own daily record, with more than 41,000 new confirmed cases.

And the government has yet to find out if the current lockdown imposed out of desperation is going to reverse the trend -- Rafael Romo, CNN.


CURNOW: Israeli media reports Benjamin Netanyahu's time as prime minister could be coming to an end soon. All of it hinges on a possible coalition deal to form a new government without him. The right wing party leader Naftali Bennett is expected to announce whether he'll join with centrist Yair Lapid to make it happen. Hadas Gold joins me now from Jerusalem.

What more can you tell us?

HADAS GOLD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this could be a seismic event if it happens as it's being reported. It could be the end of Benjamin Netanyahu's 12-year reign as prime minister, the longest serving prime minister in Israeli history.

We may be hearing about this potential coalition deal within the next few hours. Even though the centrist leader Yair Lapid has the mandate right now to try and form a government, it's all been hinged on the leader of the Yamina party, Naftali Bennett.

A lot of the question on who will be the next prime minister had hinged on who he'd sit with. They seem to have almost fallen apart during the conflict with Hamas in Gaza and everybody felt it was the end of this possible anti-Netanyahu bloc.

But in the last few days, things seemed to have changed back or perhaps they never changed at all. And now if these media reports are to be believed -- and a source close to negotiations is telling CNN they're expressing cautious confidence -- this could be a new government.

This government would actually likely first be led by Naftali Bennett. And they'd sort of switch off being prime minister. And this would be a broad coalition with parties from the right, to left, to center, all sitting together, all of them united in not wanting prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu as prime minister anymore.

And they'd also need support of some outside parties, including a small Islamist party and it would be a coalition with a lot of differing views. But this would be a seismic event in Israeli history because it would be the end of Netanyahu.

It would mean a new prime minister in Naftali Bennett. We may be hearing some news about this in the next few hours to see if this will happen and they could be sworn in within a week.

CURNOW: So what would this so-called changed government make a priority in these early days, if this all happens?

GOLD: I think this would be a very unique government just because how wide of a swath of the political ideologies would be sitting together in a government.

Everybody from left wing Labor Party all the way to Naftali Bennett, who's a former Netanyahu lieutenant, sitting all together in one government. So it'd be interesting to see how their policies shake out, especially since the recent conflict with Hamas and, of course, the rising tensions with the Palestinian Authority, with the Palestinians, with the situation in East Jerusalem, with the situation in Sheikh Jarrah.

Again, a really wide swath of beliefs, of ideologies, all sitting together in one government, so far united in not wanting Netanyahu to be prime minister anymore. But it will be very interesting to see what their policies will be like on all these issues going forward.

CURNOW: We'll come back to you if we hear anything changes in the next few hours. Hadas Gold, live there in Jerusalem, thank you.

A humanitarian disaster in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The city of Goma trying to rebuild from a volcano threatening to erupt again. We'll have the details on this scene. That's next.





CURNOW: Welcome back.

So the threat of another volcanic eruption looms over the city of Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Now if it happens, it could be the second eruption in a week.


CURNOW (voice-over): Already the city is unrecognizable, as you can see here, with damaged roads, no water, hundreds of homes washed away in the lava. Now officials say the cost of repairing the damaged infrastructure will be huge. And another eruption could be catastrophic. Larry Madowo is in Goma and filed this report.



LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Crews stride over hardened ground at the foot of the Mount Nyiragongo. Workers from Burundi National Park race to repair electrical lines destroyed by the volcano and the aftershocks that followed.

Seismologists reporting 61 earthquakes in a 24-hour period. Officials and experts say getting the power back here is critical to the nearby city of Goma's survival.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): It is a huge problem, not only because it deprives the population of electricity but also because it's the main source of energy for the water pumping stations in the city. If we can't get clean water to too many people, the problems of waterborne diseases surface.

MADOWO (voice-over): The United Nations says it will cost more than $1 billion to fix the damage so far caused by the volcanic eruption. Around 400,000 people have been evacuated. Many homes, shops and the power grid and water supplies that sustain them were left to the lava and that could take time to rebuild.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're talking about infrastructure, mainly roads, which are being covered by lava. Fortunately, it did not advance to the airport. The needs are huge but I think, if the situation stays as it is, maybe something can be done rapidly.

MADOWO (voice-over): Some have fled Goma into neighboring Rwanda and have tried to return, some thinking the danger is over, even though the DRC government says it is still not safe to return.

MADOWO: This apocalyptic scene is what the eruption of the volcano of Mount Nyiragongo left behind.


MADOWO: The lava that went through this wooded area is now cooled igneous rock. But it's still smoking and it smells like charcoal.

MADOWO (voice-over): One man who stayed behind in Goma said he decided not to leave because he thought being on the road would be just as dangerous as staying home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Even if others left, (INAUDIBLE) would kill people. That's why I said no. If the volcano erupts and the gas comes, I will stay.

MADOWO (voice-over): The International Committee of the Red Cross says food shortages are likely. With the cultivated lands near Goma scorched, main supply roads cut off and thousands of people searching for shelter and potable water.

Aid agencies also say hundreds of children have been separated from their families in the rush to leave Goma. It's a humanitarian nightmare that scientists say could get even worse if another volcanic or ground eruption happens, especially if that activity spews more debris and toxic gases -- Larry Madowo, CNN, Goma.



CURNOW: Coming up on CNN, Texas is trying to join other Republican led states that have set sweeping limits on voting. We'll hear why the U.S. President calls those laws un-American.

Plus she may be America's most famous freshman congresswoman but for all the wrong reasons. What voters are saying about the latest comments from Marjorie Taylor Greene ahead.





CURNOW: Welcome back. To all of your viewers here in the United States and all around the world, I'm Robyn Curnow. Thanks so much for joining me this hour.

So the U.S. President is slamming a new Republican effort to restrict voting in Texas. The bill would make it harder to mail in ballots and also ban after-hours voting and drive-thru options. Mr. Biden isn't mincing his words. This is what he had to say.

"It's part of an assault on democracy that we've seen far too often this year and often disproportionately targeting Black and Brown Americans. It's wrong and it is un-American.

"In the 21st century we should be making it easier, not harder, for every eligible voter to vote."

Dianne Gallagher has the details.


DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lawmakers in the state of Texas are one step closer to adding new restrictions to the voting process here, following in the footsteps of more than a dozen other U.S. states, that have added new laws that make it a little bit harder for some people to vote.

Now here in the state of Texas, this legislation, Senate Bill 7, still would require final approval by the house and senate before it could go to the desk of the governor. The legislation adds new restrictions and requirements as well as criminal and civil penalties to the voting process.

And it really would impact just about everybody, voters and election officials as well as volunteers and voting rights groups, especially those that focus on registering people to vote.

Again, the governor has indicated that he plans to sign this if it gets to his desk. U.S. President Joe Biden on Saturday called the legislation un-American and wrong.

Now the last day of the legislative session in Texas is Monday, May 31st. The two chambers here have until Sunday night at midnight to get it approved -- Dianne Gallagher, CNN, Austin, Texas.


CURNOW: Marjorie Taylor Greene is sparking more controversy, this time comparing Democrats to Nazis. The Georgia congresswoman already compared mask mandates to the Holocaust. Her comments have drawn outrage from both sides of the aisle. Martin Savidge has more.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Marjorie Taylor Greene!


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Back home and not backing down.

REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE (R-GA): You know, Nazis were the National Socialist Party, just like the Democrats are now a national socialist party.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Following her comparison of mask mandates to the Holocaust, Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene on Thursday night turned against what she called a little group in the Democratic Party.

Singling out Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Ilhan Abdullahi Omar of Minnesota.

GREENE: So we have actual United States members of Congress, the Jihad Squad. And there's a big group of them, by the way.

SAVIDGE: Until now, Marjorie Taylor Greene has been brushing off criticism from her fellow Republicans. But can she ignore her own voters?

Those we talked to wonder what was she thinking?

STEVE KARAKOS, ROME RESIDENT: The Holocaust was terrible, terrible.


KARAKOS: And why she said that, compared to that, I really don't know.

SAVIDGE: At a diner in Rome, Georgia, Wayne White says he voted for Greene but that the congresswoman's comments have gone way too far. SAVIDGE (on camera): What do you think?

WAYNE WHITE, ROME RESIDENT: I don't think anybody should be comparing anything to the Nazis and the Holocaust. That's a different world. Just not appropriate.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): White says Greene has essentially become all talk and little action when it comes to representing the 14th District.

(on camera): Would you vote for her again?

WHITE: No, no.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Nancy Jones said she's Republican but didn't vote for Greene. She calls the congresswoman's Holocaust comparison reprehensible.

NANCY JONES, ROME RESIDENT: And I'm ashamed that that lady is representing my district in Congress.

SAVIDGE (on camera): Why do you think she did it?

JONES: I think she's ignorant. She has no clue.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Before you start thinking Greene may be in trouble at home, you need to remember how she got to Washington, earning close to 75 percent of the vote in the 14th District, one of the reddest in the state.

Former President Trump calling her a rising Republican star. And she has ridden outrage all the way to the bank, raising $3.2 million in just the first quarter of the year.

Steve Karakos doesn't like her Holocaust talk but he still likes Greene.

SAVIDGE (on camera): This wouldn't change your vote?

KARAKOS: Probably not because of what's going on with the left. I would probably vote for her again.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Robin Deal also voted for Greene and said the congresswoman has been taken out of context.

We came prepared.

SAVIDGE (on camera): I can show you the tweet. And it's not just the tweet. There's been interviews. And maybe you've seen them.

That first line right there: "Vaccinated employees get a vaccination logo just like the Nazi's forced Jewish people to wear a gold star."

It's actually a yellow star but that's immaterial.

ROBIN DEAL, ROME RESIDENT: Right. SAVIDGE: She makes a direct contrast --

DEAL: She does.

SAVIDGE: -- to a horrific murderous event in history.

DEAL: Well, I don't necessarily agree with that statement. But I do agree with her right to say it.

GREENE: Thank you, Georgia.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Like many other Greene supporters, Deal was concerned I would twist her words.

SAVIDGE (on camera): To compare safety measures for the coronavirus against Nazi Germany and the Holocaust, that is wrong.

DEAL: Again, I'm not saying I agree with what she said but I understand the emotion of what she said it with. How about that?

SAVIDGE: Would you vote for her again?

DEAL: Absolutely.


SAVIDGE: She still represents to you --

DEAL: I absolutely would. I absolutely would vote for her again. Yes, sir.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Martin Savidge, CNN, Rome, Georgia.


CURNOW: Thanks to Martin for that.

So fears over personal freedoms have many in Hong Kong on edge. A growing number of people are choosing to leave rather than live under the Beijing imposed national security law. As Kristie Lu Stout explains, the United Kingdom is often the destination of choice.


KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Goodbye for good. Last October, Gavin Mok and his family said farewell to their home city of Hong Kong from a new address outside Exeter.

The stock trader turned YouTuber streams advice for his fellow Hong Kongers in self imposed exile, like how to buy groceries in a British supermarket, practical advice for life in a new land.

GAVIN MOK, YOUTUBER: My channel is sharing my life in the U.K. Where you drive, where you live.

STOUT (voice-over): Hearing the impact of a sweeping new national security law, Mok moved to the U.K. with his wife and two daughters. He says he hasn't found a new job and has been living off his savings.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The very warmest of welcomes.

STOUT (voice-over): Last month, the U.K. launched a $59 million fund to support Hong Kongers immigrating to the country, under a new scheme for holders of British national overseas or BNO passports. The fund would help new arrivals find jobs, houses and schools.

STOUT: Hundreds of thousands of Hong Kongers are expected to move to the U.K. under the program, providing a path to citizenship for 3 million people eligible for the status, an estimated 2.3 million dependents.

STOUT (voice-over): China has slammed the program.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): This action severely invaded China's sovereignty.

STOUT (voice-over): Paul (ph), not his real name, and his wife, are considering the offer. Changes in the city's education under the new law have prompted plans to leave with their young daughter. They asked to not be identified, due to concerns of speaking out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One word can sum up all our concerns, it's the brainwashing, especially the National Security Education.

STOUT (voice-over): Outspoken political commentators Kim-wah Chung has a BNO passport. He plans to stay put but has been advised by friends and family to leave.

KIM-WAH CHUNG, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I have never been so uncertain about the future in my whole life.


KIM-WAH: Because of the rapidly deteriorating political situation and some kind of uncertainty and threats.

So I have been warned by many people, you have to consider this.

STOUT (voice-over): The path to a new life can be painful. Gavin Mok leaving his parents behind, he misses the comforts of Hong Kong but relishes his freedom.

STOUT: Why did you leave Hong Kong?

MOK: You can't say anything in Hong Kong now. Everyone should have their right to live freely, to criticize their government. You should be able to do this. It's a human right.

STOUT (voice-over): In every YouTube video he hosts, he shows a figurine. It's a black clad, pro-democracy protester, with a yellow helmet and umbrella, a token of free speech and another exile in the U.K. -- Kristie Lu Stout, CNN, Hong Kong.

(END VIDEOTAPE) CURNOW: Protesters outside Belarus are turning up the pressure on its government over the arrest of an opposition activist. Rallies were held Saturday to demand the release of Roman Protasevich.

But a top Belarusian opposition leader who took part in a rally in Lithuania believes better days are on the horizon in her country. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I'm very touched by the support I see in Lithuania and all around the world. But it's a pity that it's been a year and we haven't won yet. But I'm sure changes will come and new elections will come because there's no other way.


CURNOW: Meanwhile the leader of Belarus met with Russian president Vladimir Putin for the second time in two days. They discussed the status of the activist's girlfriend; she's a Russian citizen and was arrested with him when the plane was forced to land.

And if not getting COVID isn't enough to make you get vaccinated, how about a flat in Hong Kong or $1 million?

Just ahead what governments around the world are doing to overcome vaccine hesitancy.





CURNOW: It's an offer you can't refuse; at least that's what countries around the world are hoping. They're pulling out the stops to encourage people to get vaccinated. Condos, cows, cash, all up for grabs to lure hesitant people into just getting the shot. Here's Michael Holmes.


MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): A catchy rap song about one of the best ways to not catch the coronavirus. Local officials in southwest China's Sichuan province releasing this video to encourage people to get the COVID 19 vaccines, as the country aims to inoculate 40 percent of its population by July.

It's this carrot over stick approach that is catching on in countries around the world, at least the ones that have enough vaccine supply to try and encourage people who might be hesitant to roll up their sleeves.

And some of the incentives are pretty hard to beat. In Hong Kong, property developers are organizing a lottery, with the grand prize of a $1 million flat. But only residents who have received both doses of the vaccine can enter the drawing. Less than 20 percent of Hong Kong's population has gotten their first shot.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I've been vaccinated. Only one jab though. I'm going to get the next one a few days later. So yes, I'm definitely going to sign up for this.

Why not, right?

Lucky draw anyway (ph). Let's see. I'll test my luck (ph).

HOLMES (voice-over): Others are less flashy but maybe a little more practical. The mayor of a rural town in the Philippines raffling off a cow a month. No shot, no chance of winning.

Israel has one of the most successful vaccination drives in the world, it offered free pizzas to lure people to its vaccination centers.

A free 7-day pass to ride the subway in New York comes with the jab at select stations across the city.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was in no hurry, because I had coronavirus in April of last year. Once I heard about this extra incentive, I got even more motivated.

HOLMES (voice-over): To scale up the motivation, some businesses are offering freebies to anyone flashing their vaccine card, Krispy Kreme giving away a free glazed donut. United Airlines has a drawing to win free flights.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The first winner, Abigail Bugenske from --

HOLMES (voice-over): Ohio just enhanced the first winners of its Vax- A-Million lottery. One woman $1 million richer for getting vaccinated.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I did come up to Cleveland from Cincinnati to look at a used car and I think buying a used car is still in my future. So that's about as far as I've gotten.

HOLMES (voice-over): A new set of wheels and the freedom to move about, both compliments of a vaccine scientists wish more people would take -- Michael Holmes, CNN.


CURNOW: Apparently love finds a way, even in a pandemic. British prime minister Boris Johnson reportedly married his girlfriend, Carrie Symonds, on Saturday in a low-key ceremony as required by government rules.

Those rules were recently relaxed to allow up to 30 guests. According to the British press, it was a, quote, "secret wedding" at Westminster Cathedral, with some close friends and family in attendance. Downing Street has declined to comment.

And coming up on CNN, an upset in the Champions League final. We go to London, where Chelsea fans celebrated long into the night.






CURNOW (voice-over): Those were the scenes outside Chelsea's Stamford Bridge Stadium in London, just minutes after the team clinched the Champions League title. The Blues beat Manchester City 1-0 in an all- English final in Portugal.

Chelsea won their second Champions League trophy after a nine-year drought. For Man City, the defeat is a bitter pill to swallow. The team was favored to take home the Champions League silverware for the first time in their history. Those celebrations went deep into the night.




CURNOW: B.J. Thomas was a country-pop-gospel singer, who will be remembered for a song curiously out of place in the movie, "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.


CURNOW (voice-over): Thomas has died at the age of 78 from complications of lung cancer. His recording of that romantic song enshrined in the Grammy Hall of Fame.

His smooth voice gave him hits in the '60s and '70s, including "Hooked on a Feeling" and "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry." Thomas won five Grammys all for gospel songs are recovering from substance abuse.

Before he died, he wrote, "I'm so blessed to share those wonderful songs and memories."


CURNOW: I'm Robyn Curnow. I'll be back in a moment with more CNN. Thanks for joining me.