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Biden To Address Ransomware Hacks With Putin; Trump Suspended From Facebook For Two Years; Californians Can Go Maskless At Work If Everyone Vaccinated; Airlines Scramble To Get U.K. Travelers Home From Portugal; Tokyo Olympics Final Preparations Underway; Sri Lanka Keeps Eye On Sunken Cargo Ship; Experts Alarmed At Mucilage Growth In Turkish Waters; U.S. States Boost Vaccination Numbers With Incentives. Aired 5-6a ET

Aired June 5, 2021 - 05:00   ET




KIM BRUNHUBER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): The U.S. government is warning of a growing risk from hackers with an ability to disrupt infrastructure and even threaten lives.

Plus, mixed messaging on masks. California's new guidelines for face coverings at work raise new questions.

And summer travel uncertainty. U.K. tourists scramble to get home from Portugal before new restrictions go into effect. We go live to London.

Welcome to all of watching. I'm Kim Brunhuber, this is CNN NEWSROOM.


BRUNHUBER: Ransomware attacks are so frequent that the government is warning they could cripple America's infrastructure if they are not stopped. Back in April, Colonial Pipeline was hacked and suddenly millions couldn't get gas. Experts say cyberattacks are up 100 percent from last year. We get more from CNN's Jessica Schneider.


JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Biden administration sounding the alarm of growing threats of cyberattacks. FBI director Christopher Wray comparing the effort needed to combat this rapid succession of hacks and ransomware attacks to how the FBI approached the response to terrorism after 9/11.

"There are a lot of parallels and a lot of importance and a lot of focus by us on disruption and prevention," Wray said.

Director Wray told "The Wall Street Journal" the FBI is investigating about 100 different types of ransomware, many that trace back to hackers in Russia. One study shows the U.S. was hit by more than 15,000 ransomware attacks last year alone, costing businesses and organizations between at least $500,000 and $2.3 billion in 2020. Ransomware locks up computer files and hackers demand payment to

release the files.

JOHN CARLIN, PRINCIPAL ASSOCIATE DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL: A study of cryptocurrency payments using similar techniques that will just distract you show a 300 percent increase in ransom payments over the prior year.

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Ransomware attacks have impacted everything, from the gas pipeline operated by Colonial that led to gas shortages all along the East Coast, to meat production plants being shut down. And even individual health care networks, whose computer systems have been shut down sporadically across the country and the world.

JOHN HULTQUIST, DIRECTOR OF INTELLIGENCE ANALYSIS, FIREEYE: Before long, we are worried that some people will get hurt especially when we consider all these incidents that are affecting health care. Ireland's health care system went down.

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): The Department of Justice signaling this week it plans to coordinate its cyber investigations the same way it treats terrorism cases by sharing information and interagency coordination. Former FBI cyber official Shawn Henry says it's going to take an international effort.

SHAWN HENRY, PRESIDENT, CROWDSTRIKE: They've got to work collaboratively with foreign law enforcement agencies to take these people off the field.

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): The massive threat from cyberattacks have been looming for years. Former Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, warned about the threat three years ago.

DAN COATS, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: Today, the digital infrastructure that serves this country is literally under attack.

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): The White House this week's and business leaders nationwide, a letter appealing for immediate action saying, "We urge you to take ransomware crime seriously and ensure your corporate cyber defenses match the threat."

And the FBI director also called out Russia in that interview for knowingly harboring cyber attackers. But President Vladimir Putin is fighting back, calling it nonsense that Russia was ever involved in any cyberattacks, specifically on the JBS meatpacking plants.

And President Biden will get the chance to confront Putin at a summit in Switzerland later this month. The White House says President Biden will address that JBS attack with Putin as well as the increased cyberattacks that we know have been emanating from Russia -- Jessica Schneider, CNN, Washington.


HOLMES: As Jessica mentioned, Russia's leader is brushing off U.S. allegations that Russian hackers were behind the most recent ransomware attacks. CNN's Matthew Chance has that part of the story.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Vladimir Putin sharply rejecting allegations that Russia is in any way implicated in the recent ransomware cyberattacks in the United States, describing them as nonsense, ridiculous and just hilarious.


CHANCE (voice-over): U.S. officials say two recent attacks on a crucial U.S. fuel pipeline and on a major meatpacking company were carried out by cyber criminals based in Russia. They've called on the Kremlin to crack down.

The suggestion being that the Russian authorities are currently allowing the cyber gangs to operate with impunity. President Putin made his remarks at an interview with Russian state television on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. Take a listen to what he had to say.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): It is just ridiculous to blame Russia for this. I think that the relevant U.S. services should find out who the scammers are. Not Russia, for sure.

For us to extort money from some company?

We are not dealing with some chicken meat or beef. It is just hilarious.


CHANCE (voice-over): Strong words from the Russian leader and they come less than 2 weeks before he is scheduled to meet the U.S. President Joe Biden in a face-to-face summit in Geneva, Switzerland.

Hacking and cyber warfare just one of the fraught issues on the agenda, which is also likely to include sanctions, Russia's treatment of Kremlin critics and military threats against its neighbors.

President Putin says he's hoping the meeting will be held in a positive manner but he doesn't expect any breakthrough in Russian- American relations -- Matthew Chance, CNN.


BRUNHUBER: Despite the urgent messaging coming from the White House, President Biden isn't yet calling the issue a national security threat. Here is how the White House explained it when asked by CNN's Kaitlan Collins.


KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: On these ransomware attacks, does the president view those as a national security threat?

JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I certainly think the president views those as a rising national security concern in an area where we need to continue to keep our focus, keep our assets, focus on energy and brainpower on what we can do to address this.

Certainly, this is a priority to him and an area where we will be spending a significant amount of time in the coming months.


BRUNHUBER: The U.S. Senate's top law enforcement officer says cyberattacks are her top security concern and not another riot like we saw on January 6th. In an exclusive interview with CNN's Pamela Brown, sergeant-at-arms Karen Gibson says hackers are targeting the halls of Congress every day. Listen to this.


KAREN GIBSON, U.S. SENATE SERGEANT-AT-ARMS: I worry a lot more about cybersecurity than I do about another mob attack in the Capitol. Certainly, our networks have attempted intrusions every single day. And so cybersecurity for me is a much greater concern than the prospect of thousands of people storming the West Terrace.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Christopher Wray, the FBI director, compared the current cyber threat with ransomware to the terrorism threat around 9/11.

Do you view it that way too?

GIBSON: I think whether it's ransomware or other cybersecurity threats, yes. I actually -- again, I see cybersecurity as my greater concern.


BRUNHUBER: A short time ago, my colleague, Michael Holmes, discussed with an expert the threat ransomware poses. Robert Lee was a U.S. Air Force cyber warfare operations officer and now he is CEO of the cybersecurity company, Dragos. Here is part of their conversation.


ROBERT LEE, DRAGOS: So far, everything has been criminal in nature, both, from non-state actors and state actors taking advantage of these things. But it does expose the weakness everybody is concerned about, where you could do disruptive attacks.

We've seen these types of attacks before, not with ransomware but with cyberattacks on infrastructure, including Ukraine 2015 and the Ukraine in 2016, when cyberattacks took down portions of their electric power system.

HOLMES: Yes. Absolutely.

And what worries you, most, in terms of potential impacts?

I mean, you mentioned health care organizations being hit. One -- one imagines, at some point, lives are going to be at risk or -- or -- or even lost.

LEE: Absolutely. So I think, we have to, first, focus on human life. That is, obviously, what we need to protect the most.

Beyond that, it also is just a significant economic impact. A lot of these companies, especially when you look at industrial companies, they are portions of our supply chain for food, fuel, energy, water.

When you disrupt those, it can have a real impact on our day-to-day lives. And when you start looking at manufacturing, some of those companies are just-in-time manufacturing.

So disruption to them is very difficult to catch up for, especially if you are in the middle of a global pandemic. It's not exactly easy and that can lead to significant impacts.


BRUNHUBER: Coming up on CNN NEWSROOM, the U.S. president is working to keep infrastructure negotiations bipartisan but he is facing pressure from his party to keep things simple if Republicans won't play ball. That is next.


BRUNHUBER: Plus, as the U.S. opens back up for business, workplaces are struggling to come up with mask policies that are confusing or difficult for employees to follow. We will discuss that after the break. Stay with us.




BRUNHUBER: Former U.S. president Donald Trump is set to speak at the North Carolina GOP convention late Saturday evening. This will be his first public appearance in three months.

It comes, as Trump continues to rehash debunked claims that he lost the 2020 election because of fraud. This also follows Facebook's announcement, Friday, that Trump's suspension from the platform will last at least two years, until January, 2023.

Trump called that decision an insult to the people who voted for him and said Facebook shouldn't be allowed to get away with, quote, "censoring and silencing."

CNN spoke with Facebook executive and former British politician Nick Clegg about the decision.


NICK CLEGG, FACEBOOK GLOBAL AFFAIRS AND COMMUNICATIONS: Our rules are not candidly to try and adjudicate exactly the accuracy what the billions of people who use our platform might be but whether what they say will lead to real world harm.

That was the, if you like, a tripword, that was the violation of the rules that occurred in January and that's the violations for which we will be very, very vigilant in the future.



BRUNHUBER: U.S. President Joe Biden rejecting a Republican counteroffer on infrastructure spending, saying their proposal doesn't meet his policy goals. That doesn't mean the chance of a bipartisan deal is dead. A group of Republicans and Democrats are working on a proposal that we could see as soon as next week. Phil Mattingly has the latest.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Now's the time to build on the foundation we've laid.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tonight, President Biden pressing the path forward to a major infrastructure deal.

BIDEN: We have a chance to seize on the economic momentum of the first months of my administration.

MATTINGLY: A path that remains in limbo. Biden speaking by phone with Senator Shelly Moore Capito, the lead GOP negotiator in the long running bipartisan talks, but a new GOP offer to increase their proposed spending by $50 billion fell far short of Biden's expectations.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki in a statement saying Biden, quote, expressed his gratitude for Capito's effort and goodwill, but also indicated that the current offer did not meet his objectives to grow the economy, tackle the climate crisis and create new jobs.

Biden this week offering to drop the top line of his proposal and take corporate tax increases off the table to finance the plan, a central GOP ask. But Republicans have quietly poured cold water on that effort. Still, the White House not signaling time has run out yet --

JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It's not unlimited, but we have an opportunity. He's going to talk to Senator Capito this afternoon. We're going to see how those conversations go.

MATTINGLY: But Biden also facing crosscutting pressures inside his own party. Progressives pleading with him to drop the bipartisan talks and move to a budget procedure that allows for a simple majority to move Biden's sweeping proposals.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT): If we're going to stand up for working families, what we need to do is use reconciliation.

MATTINGLY: As moderates crucial in a Congress where Democrats hold the narrowest of majorities, calling on them to continue.

SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): These take time. You just can't -- I know everyone is in a hurry right now.

MATTINGLY: For Biden, a critical moment coming as the May employment report showed 559,000 jobs added and an unemployment rate that ticked down to 5.8 percent.

BIDEN: No major economy is gaining jobs as quickly as ours.

MATTINGLY: But the hole from the pandemic still deep, 7.6 million jobs fewer than before the coronavirus shut down the nation and no shortage of choppy economic data from inflation to labor force participation, threatening to derail Biden's goals.

BIDEN: As we continue this recovery, we're going to hit some bumps along the way. We can't reboot the world's largest economy like flipping on a light switch.

MATTINGLY: And for President Biden, the biggest question now is, where does he go next?

White House officials have made clear they don't view Senator Capito and her group of six Republicans as the only game in town. They're willing to have conversations with any Republican or Democrat who believes they may have a pathway forward to a bipartisan agreement.

And that is key obviously. As long as senator Joe Manchin and other Democratic moderates make clear they want bipartisan negotiations to continue, well, they will.

Who they'll be with, well, Manchin may be one of those senators. He and senator Mitt Romney have been leading another group that had been working on the issue, hadn't quite risen to the White House level yet. That may soon change.

But also keep an eye on House Democrats next week. The White House is keying on a June 9th movement on a House surface transportation bill. That is at the core of what President Biden wants to do on infrastructure.

It's much larger than what a bipartisan group in the United States Senate has produced up to this point. So the White House basically juggling a couple balls right now, keeping them all in the air, recognizing they need options as they move forward but also that time is running short -- Phil Mattingly, CNN, the White House.


BRUNHUBER: The majority of Americans are seeing an end to the pandemic in sight. A new poll shows two-thirds of adults in the U.S. feel like their lives are somewhat back to normal. They are feeling optimistic and less worried, even though there is still a big partisan divide over many coronavirus topics.

As workplaces open back up, there is lots of confusion and differing guidance about who has to wear masks and when.

As an example, California's safety board says workers can go maskless at their jobs but only if everyone in the room is vaccinated.


BRUNHUBER: Stephen Hirschfeld is an employment lawyer with Hirschfeld Kramer Law Firm based in San Francisco and he joins me now.

Thank you so much for being here. The ruling in California, that every employee has to keep their mask on unless everyone there is vaccinated, all of the employees, I mean, that is happening simultaneously with the state getting rid of almost all masks and social distancing requirements so you're able to go to the gym, go to the club without a mask but not to work.

That seems to be raising all sorts of problem.


STEPHEN HIRSCHFELD, EMPLOYMENT LAWYER: Oh, no, it's not just that, it's flat-out crazy. It completely is conflicting what the CDC says. It violates a lot of common sense and it's going to create strife in the workplace.

There are employers out here that are trying the best they can to incentivize their employees to all get vaccinated. So you have a situation where you have a facility with a hundred employees and 99 are vaccinated and there's one holdout so now we all have to wear masks. It's crazy.

First of all, it's not what the CDC says.

Number two, you will have people saying, who is the guy that didn't get vaccinated?

That person will feel incredible pressure and it'll create strife and for a whole lot of reasons legally and otherwise, it does not make sense.

BRUNHUBER: Is there a way legally to take this to court?

HIRSCHFELD: No. The interim guidelines, the temporary guidelines, in theory our governor could veto it. And he's up on recall this fall so he's probably going to get a lot of pressure in a whole lot of different directions. So that's possible.

But unfortunately, unless he vetoes it, it's probably going to the rule, for at least the end of July, which conflicts with our June 15th opening. BRUNHUBER: Broadening this out beyond California, it seems we have a

patchwork of rules.

Are you seeing similar tensions playing out across the country, as states loosen restrictions, leaving workplaces and companies to make those decisions, whether to drop the mandates or keep them and then have to play mask cop?

HIRSCHFELD: This has been a constant source of irritations for employers for 18 months now. Instead of the federal government, with one consistent message, we are getting inconsistent messages from Washington and then 50 different rules by each state.

And localities, here in the Bay Area, we have got Santa Clara County, where a lot of the tech companies are, they have different rules than we have in San Francisco. So it's like a moving target trying to make this work. And employers are having a difficult time and they're trying to do the right thing. So are most employees. But it's very difficult to comply.

BRUNHUBER: The CDC guidelines there say it is safe for employees in most situations to work indoors with a mask if they have been vaccinated.

Can employers have different rules for vaccinated and nonvaccinated employees?

And how do you enforce that?

Do you track vaccination status and insist on seeing the proof?

HIRSCHFELD: OK. So the federal and state law, thank God, is clear on this now. You can require employees -- first of all, you can ask them if they have been vaccinated and then ask them to prove it. That is determined to be perfectly OK.

The only issue is can they mandate vaccines?

There is a couple of different schools of thought on that. Most employers right now are not mandating it but creating incentives to get people to get vaccinated.

Put aside what happened in California. Around the country, if most people are vaccinated, according to CDC, what you say inside is those unvaccinated, you probably ought to be masking up or else you're taking a risk with your, you know, with your health.

But to require vaccinated employees to also be masked up just defies logic and just does not make sense.

BRUNHUBER: Then going beyond masks, can you see these same tools used to determine whether employees can go into the building or go to certain events or have certain access, something like that?

HIRSCHFELD: Yes. For example, my law firm in California, we say to employees, if you want to come back to work, you've got to be vaccinated; otherwise, work from home. That is what a lot of employers are doing.

They are saying, when vendors come in, you can be safe, in knowing you're safe inside the premises. For those employees, either medically or for religious religions can't get vaccinated, what most employers are saying, for some reason you can't get vaccinated, then stay home. For those who want to come back, we want you to be vaccinated.

BRUNHUBER: Finally, just, you know, a fix for this. You mentioned federal guidelines.

Does that have to happen the federal government steps in?

How much power do they have in the states have different on this?

HIRSCHFELD: During the Trump administration, they took the position this was about states rights and it was up to the states and local governments to make these decisions. The chance of the federal government stepping in and saying we are going to have a 50-state rule, not going to happen.

Unfortunately, at least for the time being, it's going to be left to each state and each locality to make their own decision. And that is what employers and employees have to grapple with. It is a tough one.

BRUNHUBER: It is a tough one. Thanks so much for trying to navigate us through this. We appreciate it.

HIRSCHFELD: My pleasure. Take care.


BRUNHUBER: British travelers in Portugal are cutting their vacations short. Ahead, how the rise of a COVID variant has holiday makers from the U.K. scrambling to get back before Tuesday.

Plus the troubled Tokyo Olympics are just around the corner. There's a race to put the finishing touches on an event that most Japanese officials wish would just go away.




BRUNHUBER: Welcome back to everyone watching us here in the United States, Canada and around world. I'm Kim Brunhuber.

The U.K.'s drug regulator has authorized the use of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID vaccine for kids as young as 12. The agency says it's carefully reviewed the data in children aged 12 to 15 and has found the vaccine is safe and the benefits outweigh any risk.

It's now up to the country's vaccine committee to give the final go- ahead. Now this comes as concern grows over the spread of the COVID variant first identified in India. Public Health England says it's showing, quote, "substantially increased growth," and is now the dominant form in the U.K.

The rise of variants is at least partially responsible for the scramble to get British tourists home before Portugal is officially off the U.K.'s safe travel green list. CNN's Nina dos Santos joins us from London.

What kind of effect is that scramble having there?

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNNMONEY EUROPE EDITOR: Well, what we are seeing at the moment is, on the one hand, Portuguese politicians taking to the air waves in large numbers, more than we normally see on British TV the last few days, to say they don't understand the British government's logic for adding Portugal to this amber list.


DOS SANTOS: The U.K. have a traffic system of green, amber and red in terms of COVID safe destinations, where you have to quarantine from, if it's amber or red because the likelihood of bringing in one of these variants is higher.

Portugal says we have a similar infection rate compared to the U.K. and, yes, there are cases of the Indian variant the British government is worried about but the U.K. also has some as well.

So that confusion ranges in terms of policy but also for your average person, trying to desperately trying to get back before they have to quarantine. If you've been through the quarantine process, it is invasive. You get called multiple times a day and people come to your house to check on you.

And you also have to do a battery of different tests that can be expensive and lots of holiday makers want to avoid that at all costs and they're desperately scrambling to get back.

The airlines have had to put on more planes, big capacity airplanes to get people back and they've said a number of Britons understandably have decided to cancel their summer vacations that they had previously booked to Portugal.

The bigger problem here is this question of variants circulating inside the U.K. That might seem perplexing to many people, who are looking at the U.K. and saying it's one of the top five vaccinating nations in anywhere in the world and one of the vaccine success stories.

Over half of U.K. adults have now been offered two doses of a type of COVID vaccine. The counterargument from authorities here appears to be, yes, but we don't know whether these vaccines are entirely effective against some of these strains and particularly the Delta variant first identified in India.

As such, caution very much applies. There is something they want to hit and that is the lifting of domestic COVID restrictions in two weeks' time so they say it's best to protect the U.K. the best they can to make sure that they can have at least some type of summer COVID-19-free and COVID-19-restriction free in the next few months to come on the U.K. shores.

BRUNHUBER: CNN's Nina dos Santos, thank you for that in London.

The captain of Brazil's soccer team confirms that players and staff don't want their country to host the upcoming Copa America. Local media previously reported the players were considering withdrawing from the tournament because of the sky-high COVID-19 infection rates in Brazil.

The team plans to go public about the issue next week. The Copa America is set to begin on June 13th.

Organizers for the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix cancelled the event second year in a row due to COVID-19. The event's deputy chairman said the decision was, quote, "incredibly difficult" but necessary due to safety concerns. The race was scheduled for October 3rd.

Organizers say they are working with officials in Singapore to determine the future of the race.

The Summer Olympics are now just 48 days away. Tokyo 2020 organizers have been under huge pressure this week, partially because vaccination rates in Japan remain low in nine regions and including Tokyo under a state of emergency but not keeping the Olympic torch from hitting the road again. CNN's Selina Wang is in Tokyo.


SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Pressure is building for the Olympics to be canceled. But here on the ground in Tokyo, final preparations appear to be underway.

With just less than two months to go until the Olympics, the organizers are pushing ahead in the face of public opposition, with the games in operational mode very much. Behind me is the venue being built for BMX racing and skateboarding and it can hold thousands of spectators.

Already foreign spectators are banned from attending the Olympics but organizers have yet to announce how many local spectators can attend the games.

Over there are stands for marathon swimming and the triathlon and this is temporary for the Olympic Games. This park is normally open to the public but now it's boarded off in preparation for the games.

I spoke to one of the construction workers here, who told me he does not think the Olympic Games should move ahead.

"Infections are rising during the pandemic," he tells me. "I wonder if what I'm doing is good for the people preparing for the Olympics," he says. "But it's my job to work under the assumption the games are going ahead."

Tokyo was planning large Olympic viewing sites across the city, including one at this park, as this sign indicates. But amid public opposition, the government says this will be used as a vaccination site. Japan has fully vaccinated less than 3 percent of its population.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): People here are not protected. I don't think we should have it. I think everyone I know in Tokyo is scared to death of people from all over the world coming.

WANG (voice-over): But others in Tokyo are more optimistic.


WANG (voice-over): "I'm really looking forward to the Olympics," she says. "People are down because of the pandemic. We need something fun."

WANG: This national stadium, where the opening and closing ceremonies will be held, was rebuilt at a cost of more than $1 billion for these Olympic Games. In fact, Japan has already spent more than $6 billion on Olympics infrastructure, like venues and temporary buildings.

The economic cost of cancelling these games would be enormous. But at stake here is not just money and Japan's national pride but people's lives -- Selina Wang, CNN, Tokyo.


BRUNHUBER: A prominent figure in Germany's Catholic Church is offering to resign as the archbishop of Munich, saying he shares responsibility for sexual abuse by clerics over the past decades because he stayed silent and failed to act. Delia Gallagher takes a look at what's next.


DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: A surprise announcement from one of the more well-known progressive cardinals in the Catholic Church is on Pope Francis' council of cardinals, advising the pope on reform in the Catholic Church.

Unlike other resignations over sexual abuse, this one doesn't seem to have been prompted by any personal allegations against the cardinal. Cardinal Marx says he will resign to take his share of responsibility for what he calls the catastrophe of sexual abuse.

He says the Catholic Church is at a dead end and he hopes his offer of resignation will be part of a turning point. He says the pope told him to stay in his position until he has time to decide whether or not to accept the resignation.

The move comes as the archdiocese of Munich is expecting a report later this year on their handling of the sexual abuse. The cardinal said although there maybe things he will have to answer for that was not the reason for his resignation and was more of a symbolic gesture particularly to help the church in Germany, like so many other countries around the world, that are still trying to deal out with the fallout of a lack of church leadership in handling sexual abuse cases. Even if Pope Francis accepts the cardinal's resignation, he will still

remain a cardinal and presumably continue in his roles at Vatican as well as being an influential figure in the Catholic Church in Germany -- Delia Gallagher, CNN, Rome.


BRUNHUBER: Mother Nature wasn't on their side as emergency crews fought a raging fire on a cargo ship off Sri Lanka. How winds got in the way as emergency workers struggled to put out these flames.

And experts are shocked and frightened by a threat to sea life in Turkish waters. We will explain this crisis in nature, made by humans, after the break.





BRUNHUBER: Today, June 5th, is World Environment Day. The Biden administration is marking the moment by announcing plans to revise Trump air regulations that critics feared undermined the Endangered Species Act.

It plans to review and revise a handful of regulations the Trump administration pushed through that rolled back protections for endangered plants and animals. The White House also plans to look at Trump rules that allowed for more oil and gas drilling, regardless of the impact on the climate.

Environmental groups are cheering Biden's plans and say urgent action is needed now.

Sri Lanka now says weather played a role in its desperate efforts to save a cargo ship that sank near its coast. According to their port authority chairman, heavy winds shut down the port for 39 hours while the ship was on fire last month.

Sri Lankan navy divers inspected the ship on Friday to check for oil and chemical leaks but they said later visibility was too low to see if anything is spilling into the ocean. Even without a leak the incident has created one of the worst ecological disasters Sri Lanka has ever had. But if there is a spill, things could get a lot worse. Sam Kiley joins us from New Delhi.

What is the latest, Sam?

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Kim, the immediate effect of this catastrophe for the Sri Lankan environment is, in a sense, economic. And that is because, for 50 miles of that coastline now, indefinitely, the government has banned fishing, which is a vital part both of the economy but also of the day-to-day life of about 100,000 people along that strip of coastline either side of the capital.

This is catastrophic for them in the short and medium term until they are allowed to go back to their fishing industry. Of course, they are also saying, the local fishermen there, that the reputation now for the poison that is getting into the waters, they fear, and they are already reporting a fall-off in catches for those who snuck out to go to defy the ban to go fishing, saying the catches are way down and could get a lot worse.

We don't know the extent either of the oil leak there that appears, at the moment, to have been contained. This is fuel oil, many hundreds of tons of fuel oil in the ship, the Pearl. But also large amounts of acid and other chemicals which may have burned off during long time the ship was on fire before it sank.

But may not have and why it's key as to why the divers are there to try to investigate the effects on the sea bed. But because this is a fish breeding area, there are coral reefs there. So the long-term damage will be felt in Sri Lanka by the fishing community and other tourist industry, which has already been suffering as the whole world has been, as a consequence of the COVID pandemic.

So this is a major economic and environmental blow to Sri Lanka, the scale of which is unknown but there are many tons of small plastic beads that are already in the sea and affecting the wildlife there.

BRUNHUBER: We will keep following this story. Thank you, Sam Kiley in New Delhi.

Marine mucilage is a type of slime that is attacking all forms of life in the waters around Turkey. Now it's happened before but, as Arwa Damon reports, never this much or never for this long.


ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Something is very wrong. An alien like web of slime is choking off all forms of life in the water here.

From above, it looks like streaks of paint.


DAMON (voice-over): It's like sinking through what our future will look like if nothing changes if we continue to pollute our waters and allow our planet to warm.

It's known as sea snot; in science-speak, marine mucilage. And it has happened here before but never like this, getting sucked into the gills of fish wrapping itself around corals suffocating them.

We're in the Dardanelle Strait that connects the Sea of Marmara to the Aegean. Associate Professor Baris Ozalp is a coral expert, who has been diving these waters for more than a decade.

This coral, it's dead another one dying. This one threatened. He points to a healthy sponge. And right next to it he wipes the mucilage coating off a dead one. Back on board the gravity of what we witnessed sets in. Professor Ozalp says he and other scientists first observed mucilage in these waters in 2007.

DAMON: Is this the first year where you've seen mucilage killing coral and sea life?

BARIS OZALP, MARINE BIOLOGIST AND CORAL EXPERT, CANAKKALE ONSEKIZ MART UNIVERSE: Yes. Yes, of course, we feel very bad. Because, you know during our childhood, this ecosystem is -- was a rich ecosystem, even one year ago. They're healthy. They were healthy, you know, one year ago but now it's bad.

DAMON (voice-over): A year ago this is what the underwater life looked like here. This is the exact same spot today. Professor Muhammet Turkoglu, a planktologist, takes a surface sample. He describes mucilage as a dense organic soup, mostly made up of bacteria and phytoplankton's mucus secretions.

DAMON: So what am I looking at right here?

DAMON (voice-over): This little guy is just one of the phytoplankton species that Turkoglu says is one ingredient in that deadly nastiness underwater.

The Sea of Marmara is just like a coronavirus patient who has been intubated, Professor Turkoglu explains, because the oxygen at the greater depths is almost completely depleted. It's close to zero.

Professor Ozalp slides his hand underneath the blanket of thick mucilage on the sea floor. Not only does this .

But phytoplankton is one of the linchpins of life on the planet. It's not the villain here. The imbalance that caused all of these us, humans are pollution, it causes an excess of nutrients in the water that acts as a catalyst for massive blooms, as does the manmade climate crisis that we have failed to prevent or even slow down.

Water temperatures here have increased by two degrees in the last 50 years, says Professor Bayram Ozturk, who studies the impact of climate change on marine biodiversity.

DAMON: When you look at this, what do you think?

BAYRAM OZTURK, TURKISH MARINE RESEARCH FOUNDATION, ISTANBUL UNIVERSITY: I think it's nature's spitting in our faces, simply and this is ecological catastrophe. But not only in the Sea of Marmara and this is transponder issue.

DAMON (voice-over): Experts say this year's mucilage is all across the waters from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean Basin, one of the world's most climate vulnerable areas. The experts we spoke to fear the currents are not strong enough to dislodge the mucilage it's too dense.

It's not just a Turkey problem. This is symptomatic of the lack of global leadership and consensus when it comes to saving our planet. The marine life here is fixating, their habitat is being destroyed and their fate could well become ours -- Arwa Damon, CNN, the Dardanelles Strait, Turkey.


BRUNHUBER: It pays to get the COVID vaccine. For this woman in Colorado, it pays off in seven figures. We will have her story when we come back. Stay with us.





BRUNHUBER: A health care worker in Colorado is the winner of a $1 million vaccination raffle. Sally Sliger (ph) is the first one to win the state's comeback cash drawing. All state residents who received at least one coronavirus vaccine dose are automatically entered into the lottery.

She has worked in health care for years and is a lifelong resident of Colorado and she says winning has been surreal.


SALLY SLIGER, VACCINE LOTTERY WINNER: A stable future after the last year that we have had is worth all of the money in the world but, of course, it doesn't hurt to take your chance at $1 million as well.

I want to thank the governor again, the Colorado Lottery and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for this amazing gift.

And I'm hoping that you all, too, get the vaccine, because this is the gift that we have right now and it is the gift that keeps giving.


BRUNHUBER: Officials say there will be four more drawings. That is just one example of the many types of incentives currently offered by businesses and states. Earlier, I spoke with Lynn Vavreck, the first investigator of a project at UCLA and she has researched the impact these incentives can have.


LYNN VAVRECK, MARVIN HOFFENBERG PROFESSOR OF AMERICAN POLITICS AND PUBLIC POLICY, UCLA: But overall, the average effects of these kinds of incentives worked for all kinds of people.

And I think that, once you move through this next set that you're describing, people who may have been on the fence and were a little unsure about getting vaccinated.


VAVRECK: Once you move through that set of people, whether it's by reminding them that they don't have to wear a mask or social distance or giving them $50 or entering them in a lottery, you will get to a more vaccine hesitant or resistant group.

And for that last group, there may be nothing that works to convince them to go out and get vaccinated.

BRUNHUBER: Yes. Unfortunately.

Then -- then, there's the flip side, right?

First of all, there is some research suggesting it could decrease motivation. And then, I -- I've talked to some experts, who have said that, you know, maybe, it might nudge the percentage up a little bit this time around.

But if you get people conditioned to getting paid to get shots, this could have implications, you know, not just for -- for the next pandemic but with much more mundane but still important campaigns, like the flu shot.

Any worries there?

VAVRECK: Well, there would, definitely, be people who told us they were less likely to go get vaccinated if the government was going to pay them. The idea that, well, gee, I was already a little worried about this and now, they have to pay people to do it?

But on balance, it increased people's willingness more than it decreased.


BRUNHUBER: Thanks to Lynn Vavreck, the principal investigator of the COVID-19 Health and Politics Project at UCLA.

Finally, an out of the world first. We will soon see the closest ever photos of the largest moon in the solar system. NASA's Juno mission is about to come close enough to capture detailed images of Jupiter's moons. The largest, Ganymede, is more than 3,000 miles across and bigger than the planet Mercury.

The images and data should help scientists learn more about the moon's composition, including its ice shell.

That wraps this hour of CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Kim Brunhuber. For our viewers in the United States and Canada, "NEW DAY" is ahead. For everyone else, it's "MARKETPLACE AFRICA."