Return to Transcripts main page


India: Delta Plus Is Now A Variant Of Concern; W.H.O Warns Of Vaccine Shortages In Developing Countries; Cuba Says Home-Grown COVID Vaccine Is Highly Effective; Britney Spears To Address Court In Conservatorship Case; Bumble Gives Its Entire Staff A Week Off To Recharge. Aired 2-2:45a ET

Aired June 23, 2021 - 02:00   ET




ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. And I'm Rosemary Church. Just ahead, the dangerous Delta variant gains steam across the globe. What the world needs to do to contain the highly infectious virus.

It's game on for Tokyo 2020. The Olympics are now just one month away.

And Britney Spears battles for control over her career and her fortune. The pop stars expected to ask a judge to permanently end her father's guardianship in a highly-anticipated court hearing.

Good to have you with us. Well, concerns are growing as the COVID-19 Delta variant gains traction worldwide. It has now spread to at least 92 countries according to the World Health Organization, that's worrisome to health officials who say the Delta variant is highly transmissible and possibly more dangerous than earlier variants. Even more disturbing the WHO says the variant is slowing the global decline in new cases.


DR. TEDROS ADHANOM GHEBREYESUS, DIRECTOR GENERAL, THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: The rate of decline in most regions has slowed. And every region has countries that are seeing a rapid increase in cases and deaths. In Africa, the number of cases and deaths increased by almost 40 percent in the past week. And in some countries, the number of deaths tripled, or quadrupled.


CHURCH: And here's a closer look at the Delta. New cases are up more than 50 percent in countries shaded in red. That includes multiple countries in Southern Africa, and new cases are up 10 to 50 percent in countries shaded in orange, including large nations such as Russia and Australia. And here in the United States, new COVID-19 cases are declining. But new cases of the Delta variant doubled in the past two weeks. And make up more than 20 percent of the samples tested. Dr. Anthony Fauci calls it the greatest threat to eliminating COVID-19 in the United States. And he has a warning for Americans who are not yet vaccinated.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR NATIONAL, INSTITUTE FOR ALLERGIES AND INFECTIOUS DISEASE: The Delta variant is currently the greatest threat in the U.S. to our attempt to eliminate COVID-19. Good news. All vaccines are effective against the Delta variant. There is a danger, a real danger that if there is a persistence of a recalcitrance to getting vaccinated that you could see localized surges.


CHURCH: And now there is a Delta Plus variant out there. And India's health ministry calls it a variant of concern. It's a version of the COVID-19 Delta variant, and it's been detected in 22 patients across three Indian states. Health experts say it's exhibiting worrying traits, including increased transmissibility. India's government says it's adopting containment measures and enhanced testing and is tracking areas where the variant is found.

For more on all of this, let's bring in Dr. Peter Drobac, an infectious disease and global health expert at the University of Oxford. Thank you, Doctor for talking with us and for all that you do.

DR. PETER DROBAC, INFECTIOUS DISEASE AND GLOBAL HEALTH EXPERT: Thanks for all that you do, Rosemary. Great to be with you.

CHURCH: Thank you. So, the Delta variant has now spread to at least 92 countries. And there are fears that what we saw in India could also happen in other poor nations. What's it going to take to get the upper hand on COVID-19 globally? And how concerned are you about this new Delta Plus strain?

DROBAC: Well, I think that the emergence -- growing emergence of the Delta variant really threatens to change the trajectory of the pandemic for the worse. You know, here in the U.K., 90 percent of adults have antibodies. Either from vaccination or from previous infection. And yet we're still seeing exponential growth in cases, particularly in that small pocket of adults and younger people who have not yet been vaccinated.

And that's a suggestion if you asked me six months ago with 90 percent coverage be enough to create some level of herd immunity, you know, most of us would have said yes. So what this really does is changed the game a little bit.


DROBAC: And what it's going to take then, if the Delta variant continues to emerge as a dominant strain in other parts of the world, is that to really break the back of this pandemic, we would need to see, most people in most places around the world be fully vaccinated. And we're a long way from that.

CHURCH: Yes. The WHO has said that only about 10 percent of the global population is fully vaccinated. And clearly wealthier nations have the lion's share of those vaccines. But even then, some people are choosing not to get the shot here in the U.S., that's about 25 percent of the population refusing to get vaccinated even as poor nations are desperate to get access to those same vaccines.

So what needs to happen to get more of the world's vulnerable population inoculated, and of course, some of these vaccines are better than others, it has to be said. And some of them will fight off the Delta variant and other variants and somewhat.

DROBAC: That's right. There is some level of immune escape with a Delta variant. So vaccines are slightly less effective with this particular variant, but they're still very effective, particularly at preventing severe disease, once you get the full course of vaccination. So that's really important. They're still our best weapon in the fight against this pandemic. In the U.S. it's a social problem in terms of persuading people to get vaccinated where there are pockets of people where vaccination rates are lower.

We are going to see new waves of infection likely with the Delta variant or variants of that variant. Around the world we need to really step up our efforts to increase the capacity to manufacture and distribute vaccines. You know, one little bit of good news last week was the announcement that South Africa would become the first tech transfer hub where investments would be made in mRNA manufacturing technology.

So that hopefully, some months from now, South Africa will be able to manufacture mRNA vaccines like the Pfizer vaccine for Africa. We need efforts like that all around the world.

CHURCH: Yes. I mean, that is certainly critical. Because there are concerns about Africa repeating the tragedy we saw in India. Brazil, hitting more than 500,000 COVID deaths and poor nation struggling with a smaller share of vaccines, COVID meds, oxygen. How much do you worry that this pandemic will stick around for another year or so considering we're already seeing an increase in COVID cases in parts of the world? And in some areas where there are vaccines?

DROBAC: Yes. It's hard to contemplate. But I think there is a possibility that actually the deadliest phase of this pandemic may be yet to come, particularly in the global south and in poor countries that haven't yet been given access to vaccination at scale. And as you say, the threat that we see more tragic scenes, like we saw in India with the Delta variant over the last several months could play out elsewhere.

I think, honestly, that it's going to take several years before we get a full complement of vaccines manufactured and distributed at scale to really break the back of this pandemic.

So we need to be thinking on probably a three to five-year trajectory. The biggest mistake we can make right now is that in places where we have had higher vaccine coverage, like the U.K. and the U.S. is thinking that this is over and really letting down our guard.

CHURCH: Yes, critical warning there. Dr. Peter Drobac, always a pleasure to chat with you. Appreciate it.

DROBAC: Thank you.

CHURCH: Well, Cuba's homegrown vaccines are being put to the test as the country sees a record surge in COVID cases. Cuban scientists say the three-dose shot called Abdala is highly effective. CNN's Patrick Oppman has the details.

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Human scientists are breathing a sigh of relief and celebrating after one of the two most advanced vaccine candidates called Abdala has shown an efficacy rate of more than 90 percent of the other vaccine. Earlier Cuban scientists had said had an efficacy of more than 60 percent.

But it really is the news that Abdala apparently has one of the highest efficacies of any vaccine announced at this point that has got Cuban scientists feeling that they've made the correct choice not to import vaccines from other countries but to focus on making their own vaccines.

For 30 years Cuba has produced its own vaccines. This is a country that is often cut off from the outside world that is under U.S. sanctions so they have a long standing program to develop their own -- their own vaccines and their own medicines.

The question now is whether Cuba will be able to increase production of Abdala (INAUDIBLE) enough of these vaccines to not only vaccinate their entire population but also as Cuban officials have said they intend to do offer those vaccines to other countries. Patrick Oppman, CNN Havana.

CHURCH: A stark warning from the Kremlin as COVID cases surge amid a sluggish vaccine rollout.


CHURCH: A government spokesman says people who were not vaccinated could face discrimination in the workplace.


DMITRY PESKOV, KREMLIN PRESS SECRETARY (through translator): Reality is such that discrimination will inevitably set in. People without vaccination or immunity will not be able to work everywhere. It is not possible, it will pose a threat to those around them.


CHURCH: In an effort to boost the vaccine rollout restaurants in Moscow will start requiring customers to prove their protected against COVID starting Monday. That means they will either have to show proof of vaccination that they've recovered from the virus in the last six months, or that they've tested negative in the last three days. Well, the U.S. is taking action against Iran online. If you go to the Web site of the Iranian News Network Press T.V. right now, this is what you will see. The Justice Department says it has seized dozens of Iranian-linked Web sites accusing them of targeting the U.S. to subvert Democratic processes with disinformation. The move comes just days after Iran elected a new hardline President.

Ebrahim Raisi won't take office until August, but he has made it clear he will take a tough stand with the United States. In his first speech as president-elect to thousands of supporters, Raisi he outlined his goals for domestic and foreign policy. Fred Pleitgen reports from Iran.


FRED PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this was really very much a victory lap for Ebrahim Raisi as he came here to Imam Reza Shrine in the holy city of Masshad to deliver his speech to people who no doubt are very much Raisi followers. Now, of course, this is also a very, very important data this was taking place as the folks here are commemorating the birth of the Imam Reza.

And Ebrahim Raisi of course has a lot of followers here. There were tens of thousands of people who came here to the shrine to listen to him speak. And Ebrahim Raisi said that he would do exactly the things that he said in his election campaign. He said that he would fight corruption. But he also tried to improve the economic situation of this country but also move Iran on a more conservative track.

EBRAHIM RAISI, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF IRAN: I mean, domestic and foreign policy upholding the dignity of these people of our nation and our people and in no negotiations, can we allow the dignity of the Iranian nation to be damaged in our foreign policy and in our engagement with everyone across the globe. Our foundation will be the safeguarding and increasing of the dignity of the people of Europe.

PLEITGEN: Now, of course, one of the other things that Ebrahim Raisi has said is that he plans to follow a much tougher line towards the United States. He has said categorically he will not meet with U.S. President Joe Biden. He has also said while he hopes that the nuclear agreement between the U.S. Iran and other world powers can be once again fully implemented. There is no way with the current Iranian leadership that it could be expanded, for instance, to include Iran's ballistic missile program and also other regional issues as well.

Now, a lot of the things that Ebrahim Raisi is criticized for internationally. Of course, being very tough when he was the head of Iran judiciary. That's exactly the thing that endears him to some of the folks here who are his followers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Raisi is the candidate of the revolutionary front. We totally support him because he has the right beliefs. And also he has been in the judiciary a few years and has shown good performance.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We hope that he will solve people's problems. We hope the economic issues of the country will be solved and that the youth will have an easy life.

PLEITGEN: Even before Ebrahim Raisi began his speech, there were many people who were out here listening to a lot of prayers waving Iranian flags. Of course, a lot of them are hoping that indeed this country will move in a more conservative direction despite the fact that of course, the voter turnout for the election that took place was at a historic low. Fred Pleitgen CNN Mashhad, Iran.


CHURCH: Now to Afghanistan where the Taliban is gaining ground as the U.S. continues its military withdrawal. The U.N. Special Envoy on Afghanistan says since May militants have gained control of 50 of the country's 370 districts. The Taliban's intensifying campaign comes just months ahead of the U.S. deadline to end America's longest war.


DEBORAH LYONS, HEAD OF U.N. ASSISTANCE MISSION IN AFGHANISTAN: For the Taliban to continue this intensive military campaign would be a tragic course of action. It would lead to increased and prolonged violence that would extend the suffering of the Afghan people and threaten to destroy much of what has been built and hard won in the past 20 years.



CHURCH: Deborah Lyons also says most districts taken by the Taliban surround provincial capitals suggesting they will try and take those capitals once U.S. and NATO forces are fully withdrawn.

Time for a short break. Just ahead, the high-profile national security trial is underway in Hong Kong. But something important is missing from the courtroom.

Then it's game on for the Tokyo Olympics. The games are set to kick off in a month despite widespread pandemic concerns. We are live from Tokyo with the latest on the preparations. That's coming up.


CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, the trial is underway for the first person charged under Hong Kong's new national security law. But there's no jury. The defendant has pleaded not guilty to secession and terrorism charges. He is accused of slamming police with his motorcycle last year while carrying a banner calling for Hong Kong's liberation. CNN Anna Coren joins us now live from Hong Kong. So, Anna, what is the latest on all of this?

ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Rosemary, a court has just resumed about 15 minutes ago after a lunch break here at the high court. But as you say this is the first trial to be held under the National Security Law. The defendant is 24-year-old Tong Ying-kit who was arrested on the first of July, last year. A day after the controversial national security law was implemented here in Hong Kong. And he was riding his motorcycle as you say, flying a flag with the slogan, liberate Hong Kong revolution of our time. That slogan is now outlawed here in Hong Kong. He then crashed into a police roadblock, injuring the three officers, including himself and he was charged with incitement to secession and terrorism. He was also charged with driving dangerously causing grievous bodily harm.

He has pleaded not guilty to all those charges. Now, when we were in the courtroom a little bit earlier, it was a packed house. It's a very small courtroom. Tong is in the dark. He's flanked by police officers. He was listening to the opening remarks of the prosecutor who was delivering his remarks in English, interestingly, and Tong was receiving the translation in Cantonese. Now the prosecution is making those opening remarks to three judges.

Three judges handpicked by the Chief Executive Carrie Lam, there is no jury. This is despite Tong making repeated legal attempts to have a trial by jury. But the Justice Secretary Teresa Cheng, she has intervened and said no, that would not be the case citing perceived risk of personal safety to jurors and their families.


COREN: But Rosemary, you know, 113 people have now been arrested here in Hong Kong under the National Security Law. More than 60 charge. The most recent was this morning at Apple Daily, the prodemocracy newspaper, Rosemary.

CHURCH: All right. Anna Coren bringing us the very latest they're from Hong Kong. Appreciate it.

A sweeping wave of arrests continue in Nicaragua. The National Police have now arrested former First Lady Maria Fernanda Flores Lanzas. Police say she is being detained at her home on charges of threatening national sovereignty. At least 17 opposition leaders have been arrested in Nicaragua over the past few weeks. The Human Rights watch is calling for the U.N. to take action against President Daniel Ortega and what they're calling a campaign of violence and repression as he seeks a fourth term in office.

The head of Ethiopia's national electoral board says all opposition parties have reported facing harassment or intimidation on Election Day. They are counting the votes in many places while some districts have begun posting preliminary results. CNN Larry Madowo is in Addis Ababa with more.


LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They have been here all night and they just finished counting at this polling station in Addis Ababa. The sealing the ballot boxes and the party agents are signing against the result. The final results are posted outside polling stations around the country so the public has a chance to look at which parties have won the elections. The National Elections Board of Ethiopia says there were instances

where because of logistical challenges they had to extend voting to Tuesday. It also reported that in isolated incidences in parts of the country, opposition agents who are either intimidated or harassed.

BIRTUKAN MIDEKSA, ELECTORAL CHAIR (through translator): We've received complaints from all parties except the ruling party. We've informed the local administration to take corrective measures. If it's not corrected, if the representative of the party is not able to observe, they should know the process and the credibility of the result will be jeopardized.

MADOWO: This election did not take place in the northern region of Tigray where there's a violent conflict ongoing. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed while casting his votes contradicted aid agencies who say to 350,000 people there are in famine conditions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is no hunger in Tigray, the problem in Tigray and the government is capable of fixing that.

MADOWO: Despite some international concern about the environment around these elections. One major opposition candidate has told CNN, it really came down to Ethiopians to decide.

BERHANU NEGA, LEADER OF ETHIOPIAN OPPOSITION PARTY EZEMA: I really don't need the blessing of any western government. Although it is important if they were hearing, if they observed that could have been, you know, good. That's why at the end of the day, it is what we as Ethiopians feel, what we as Europeans who have a lot to lose from an election that is not credible, how we see it.

MADOWO: Ethiopia wants to liberalize its economy and reform its politics. But the country's fractured by so much ethnic violence that has led to a lot of death, destruction and displacement. And that will be the priority for whichever government takes over. Larry Madowo, CNN, Addis Ababa.


CHURCH: Spain has pardoned nine Catalan separatist leaders for their roles in Catalonia's failed 2017 bid for independence. The prime minister says it's aimed at fostering reconciliation between Spain and the separatist region.


PEDRO SANCHEZ, SPANISH PRIME MINISTER (through translator): Today we are looking at the future with more optimism. Today with this action we want to open a new dialog. A reunion face and end once and for all divisions and confrontations.

PERE ARAGOGNES, CATALAN REGIONAL LEADER (through translator): The decision taken today by the Spanish government is a recognition that the sentences were unjust. This is why we are glad that the colleagues who have been in prison for more than 3-1/2 years have regained their freedom. (END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: Opinion poll show there's still a long way to go for that reconciliation. Reuters is reporting that about half of Catalonia's population want independence. And roughly 60 percent of Spaniards oppose freeing the nine leaders. Some separatist protesters dismiss the pardons as a fast.

It is go time for the Tokyo Olympics as preparations into the homestretch. They'll officially kick off a month from now after the pandemic delayed them by year. On Tuesday, organizers unveiled the official posters for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. There are long standing tradition this time for games that will be anything but traditional.


CHURCH: CNN's Blake Essig joins us now live from Tokyo with the latest. So, Blake, of course there has been much resistance. And now just a month away, these games are going forward. But what is the latest on the fears of possibly being a super spreader event?

BLAKE ESSIG, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Rosemary, the concern regarding health and safety is why these games have been deeply unpopular for a long time. And with just 30 days to go, that sentiment has not changed. Now, despite calls to cancel or postpone the games from medical professionals, industry leaders, a sponsor and a majority of the Japanese population in exactly one month in all likelihood, of course, inside this stadium right behind me.

The Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games ceremony will -- or opening ceremony will be held. Now part of the unpopularity for these games stems from the fact that many feel that the IOC and the government have essentially ignored the will of the people who don't think that it's safe to hold these games in the middle of a pandemic, especially in a country where just shy of eight percent of the population is fully vaccinated.

Now, those health and safety concerns were highlighted over the weekend when a coach from Uganda arriving for the Olympics tested positive for COVID-19 at the airport. This coach was vaccinated to two tests prior to boarding the plane to come here to Japan. Those tests came back negative. So again, it's just proof that no matter what COVID-19 countermeasures are put in place, that there's still the possibility for the virus to not only enter here but spread here once people arrive.

I mean, there's about 100,000 people from roughly 200 countries around the world expected to come to Japan for the Olympic and Paralympic Games over the next month to two months. So, again, a lot of concerns and valid concerns from the Japanese people. Now, this coach and nine others who have since been considered close contacts are now all in quarantine while organizers have put again COVID-19 countermeasures in place to stop the spread of infection.

There's no question that these Olympic Games are going to prove to be a logistical nightmare. And with just 30 days to go organizers are still making plans. It was just a few days ago Rosemary, that it was announced that a maximum 10,000 local fans would be allowed to attend competitions. These fans of course will not be allowed to cheer and we learned today that these fans will also not be allowed to drink alcohol at the events.

So again, a very fluid situation, the rules and regulations keep changing day to day with just 30 days to go before these games are set to start.

CHURCH: Yes. And probably will continue to change. We'll keep a very close eye on all of that. Blake Essig joining us with the latest. Very wet Tokyo there. Appreciate it.

Well, Britney Spears may be ready to break her silence. In the coming hours, the pop star is expected to speak out about her controversial conservatorship case. We will have a preview.



CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, after more than a decade, pop sensation Britney Spears is expected to break her silence regarding her ongoing conservatorship case. The court appointed her father to be her guardian 13 years ago putting him in control of her multimillion dollar estate after the singer experienced a series of health issues.

CNN Entertainment Reporter Chloe Melas has a look at what we might expect during Wednesday's highly anticipated hearing.


CHLOE MELAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER (voice over): Britney Spears isn't shy about sharing with her fans on Instagram. But for the first time, the world may hear from Britney regarding her court order to conservatorship in a hearing on Wednesday. Britney has yet to address the court since their court ordered attorney filed to suspend her father, Jamie Spears, as the conservator of her $60 million estate last year.

The singer's father has been overseeing her finances since the conservatorship began in 2008, following a series of health issues that played out publicly. The highly anticipated hearing has fans and reporters clamoring for a seat in the courtroom. Although Spears is expected to appear virtually, the Los Angeles County Superior Court has already issued a press release stating that they are going to have an overflow courtroom.

Everyone is wondering what Britney might say, and Conservatorship Attorney Lisa MacCarley, who does not work on Britney's case, has been vocal about the court having had appointed Samuel Ingham III as her attorney.

LISA MACCARLEY, ATTORNEY: There is no legitimate reason why Britney Spears was deprived of an attorney around choice. What I am hoping that she won't say and as she really need to say is, I want to hire an attorney of my own choice to talk about my options. That is something that they have steadfastly refused to allow her to do.

MELAS: Spears' attorney had no comments citing pending litigation, CNN has also reached out to two judges who is issued rulings on this case over the years.

Both declined to comment to CNN. Members of the Free Britney Movement planned to demonstrate outside of the courthouse. They want to Gimme More singer released from the conservatorship but they say this is bigger than Britney, and one overhaul of the system that they believe has widespread potential for corruption.

LEANNE SIMMONS, #FREEBRITNEY MOVEMENT: We know that conservatorship abuse is much bigger than just Britney Spears, and that's what this has evolved into. Of course, this movement started because we're Britney fans, a lot of us. It has evolved into a global movement now. There are activists and advocates from across the globe some of whom are not Britney fans who are family members or victims themselves of conservatorship abuse. So this is much bigger than just Britney.

MELAS: As for an end in sight, this legal battle is far from over with another hearing scheduled for mid-July.


MELAS (on camera): It feels like the entire world is watching to see what will Britney Spears say during the hearing. We have no idea if this hearing is going to end up being closed because she might talk about some very sensitive subjects that require the judge to actually clear the courtroom.

Also, many people wondering will Britney ever take the stage again to perform. Well, she just posted a video on Instagram the other day saying that she doesn't know. She's still taking time for herself. So in the meantime, all we can do is sit back, wait and watch.

CHURCH: And Lisa MacCarley is a Conservatorship Attorney. You saw her there in Chloe's piece and she joins me now from Glendale in California. Thank you so much for talking with us.

LISA MACCARLEY, CONSERVATORSHIP ATTORNEY: Thank you thank you for having me, Ms. Church.

CHURCH: So when we hear from Britney Spears in the coming hours, what do you expect her to say and what does she need to tell this hearing to convince them to let her take charge of her own life?

MACCARLEY: Well, what I hope she says, and I don't think there is really any other better option for her, she needs to request or she needs to demand to see an attorney of her own choice. I think that is the best option. So that's what I am hoping for, although it is expected that she is really going to talk about wanting to remove her father as her conservator.

CHURCH: So you don't think you she should go beyond just requesting her own lawyer?


MACCARLEY: No. I think if she requested her own attorney and that attorney is allowed to go through the file with her, I think that she will move very quickly to terminate the conservatorship. So I think that if she wants to terminate it, I believe that there is ample evidence to suggest that with the right legal counsel, she could have this conservatorship completely terminated.

CHURCH: And as in Chloe's package, we heard you criticize the fact that Britney Spears was forced to use a court-appointed attorney. Why was she not allowed to select her own lawyer? What would be the possible justification for that? And why is she paying for both her father's legal fees and her own?

MACCARLEY: Right. So in terms of let me answer the easiest question first, it is not uncommon, meaning that it is often the case that the conservatorship estate does pay for both sides of these proceedings. Most of the time, the numbers are not nearly the astronomical legal fees and costs that we are seeing in this case. This is highly unusual.

Although conservatorships can get expensive when there's sibling squabbling and it is very rare to see a conservatorship fight be between whether or not the conservatee needs a conservatorship and who the conservators actually are. That's actually a rather rare scenario.

Now, in terms of what happens in February 2008, when a conservatorship was established, there actually is and was and always has been a lot in the state of California that a person facing the loss of life, liberty or property is absolutely entitled to a fair hearing and a fair hearing generally means an unbiased tribunal, so a judge that hasn't already made up their mind, and a zealous advocate of his or her own choice.

So I believe it was inconsistent with the law of the state of California for the commissioner then to deprive Ms. Spears of council of her own choice. In fact, I would go as far as to say it was a violation of a sacred constitutional right.

CHURCH: Right. And just very quickly though, what impact will this likely have on other conservatorship cases across the globe?

MACCARLEY: Well, I can't answer to across the globe, but I can say that in Los Angeles County, this is a practice and a policy that extends far beyond Britney Spears. And what, it does, unfortunately, it makes these procedures inherently unfair.

And that is why, for example, I've been writing to my political representatives, begging that they actually audit the Los Angeles County appropriate court to make sure that these proceedings are restored to fair and justice, seeking evidentiary hearings, for example.

CHURCH: All right, we'll wait to see and hear what Britney Spears has to say on this. Lisa MacCarley, thank you so much for sharing your expertise.

And we will be back in just a moment.



CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, Bumble has made a reputation for shaking up the dating app scene. Now, it's innovating again by giving all of its employees a week off. Companies are looking to help their employees unwind in the work from home-era.

One survey says more than one quarter of Americans never prioritized personal commitments overwork. More than half of managers want their staff to take more time off to avoid burning out. And more than one- third of people surveyed say they want a new job, once the pandemic is over because of their work life balance.

Clare Sebastian is in New York with more on all of this.

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Bumble, the dating app known for empowering women to make the first move is giving all of its employees a little extra love this week. Now, 15 months into the pandemic, the company says that this extra paid time off as a way of thanking staff for their hard work and resilience.

And Bumble had a lot of hard work. The company went public in February, that's no small undertaking. It's also seeing really strong user growth. Paid users were up 30 percent in the first three months of the year.

And one staff member writing on Twitter, that tweet now unavailable, said that this move shows that the CEO of Bumble is picking up on the staffs, quote, collective burnout.

Well, this sense of burnout is not limited to Bumble. It is starting to show up in data. In April in the U.S., almost 4 million Americans quit their jobs. That is the highest that it's been over the past 20 years. Microsoft also did a survey after this month, where they surveyed 30,000 workers across the 31 countries and found 41 percent are considering quitting their jobs in the next 12 months.

Now, all these means that employers are really thinking about retention. We're seeing some companies, the likes Google and Uber, offering hybrid work options, some days in the office and some at home. We are seeing widespread wage increases, particularly across the ledger in hospitality.

So, Bumble has paid free week off work. That's just another sign if the jobs market where a dating app, it would be the employees doing the sweeping.

Clare Sebastian, CNN, New York.

CHURCH: Good to see that flexibility. All right, talk about having an elephant in the room, a wild Asian elephant was found in the middle of the night, rummaging through a woman's kitchen in Thailand. It stuck its head through a hole in the wall made by another elephant just last month.

Wildlife experts believe it was looking for food. These types of encounters have been on the rise in Asia as wildlife habitats continue to shrink.

And thanks so much for joining us. I'm Rosemary Church. I'll be back with more news at the top of the hour. World Sports is next.