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Crews Continue Searching for Life in South FL Following Thursday's Deadly Building Collapse; President Joe Biden Orders Military Air Strikes Against Iranian-Backed Militias in Iraq and Syria; Australian Officials Are Tightening Coronavirus Restrictions as New Cases Emerge Around the Country; Czech Republic President Milos Zeman's Disparaging Remarks About the Transgender Community; Working From Home: The New Normal. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired June 28, 2021 - 00:00   ET




PAULA NEWTON, CNNI HOST: Hello and welcome to our viewers all around the world. I'm Paula Newton. Ahead right here on CNN NEWSROOM.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our rescue teams are nonstop doing all that we can, searching every area, every bit of hope to see if we can find a live victim.


NEWTON: That hope to find anyone alive is what's keeping crews searching round the clock for signs of life in South Florida following Thursday's deadly building collapse. The country that once had coronavirus cases under control is now seeing a spike, prompting a return to restrictions and lockdowns around Australia. Plus working from home is the new normal for so many, and guess what? They want to keep it that way. Why going into the office could soon be oh so 2019.

Rescue crews are fighting weather, time, and fading hopes at the site of a collapsed building in Surfside, Florida. The death toll there has now risen to nine, and more than 150 people are unaccounted for, and that's as of Sunday.

Meantime, disturbing new details are emerging about the building. Emails have come to light showing a structural engineering firm that inspected the building in 2018 suggested repairs would have cost more than $9 million.

This tragedy has prompted the city of Miami to recommend inspections of all buildings over six stories and more than 40-years-old, and they want reports back within 45 days. Meantime, the hope of finding anyone alive is unfortunately growing more and more remote.

Rescue crews are pushing through the overnight hours, of course, and families face an agonizing wait, desperate for any word, anything at all on the fate of their loved ones. On Sunday, they were given an opportunity to visit the site of the collapse. The Mayor of Miami-Dade County says it was a private and, you can imagine, a deeply-emotional moment.


DANIELLA LEVINE CAVA, MAYOR OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA: We did give all of the families and opportunity to privately visit the site. This was something that many of the family members had requested. And so, our teams worked to set up something to accommodate them, and I think that it turned out very well and they were very grateful for the opportunity. And we ask you to continue to pray for all of them, all of the families during this impossibly-difficult time as they're waiting for news and to continue to pray for our first responders who continue to toil to find loved ones.


NEWTON: Now unfortunately hope is in short supply, although families are still clinging to that and officials praying for an eleventh hour miracle.


CHARLES BURKETT, MAYOR OF SURFSIDE, FLORIDA: I expect miracles. I'm expecting many miracles. We want to keep maximum pressure, maximum staffing, maximum rescue people on that mound looking for people to pull them out alive.


NEWTON: Now good news, though, finally improved weather conditions are adding to that hope as rescue workers are able to make more progress sifting through the huge pile of debris. Ryan Young reports from outside the hotel where family members have been gathering.

RYAN YOUNG, CNN U.S. CORRESPONDENT: Yes. A very difficult few days for these families. We've been outside this hotel for several days. We've been talking to family members. They have been very upset, but they've started to get more updates, and that's something that they've desperately wanted. They've also were trying to coordinate a trip over to the site where obviously workers are still trying to work around the clock to save anyone they can,

We saw three bus loads in terms of three groups going over in buses to the site. They finally got their opportunity to be there. Now we know extra crews have been added. The operation has actually seemed to have speed up over the last few days. The weather was a lot better than before.

Now look at this video from Jason Pizzo. He's a state senator. You can see in this video just how dangerous the situation is for first responders as they try to save anyone they can, but for family members this has been tough. When you speak to that state senator, though, you can understand what rescuers are dealing with. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STATE SEN. JASON PIZZO (D-FL): But right now there is just really just universal, homogenous sadness regardless of anyone's background.


So what we tell the families is you know, they're working as fast as they possibly can. And if you have a loved one in a pile of rubble that's never fast enough.


YOUNG: Yes, it was really here outside the hotel where we saw groups of people coming out obviously very upset about some of the information they were learning. It does seem like authorities have stepped up all their briefings with them, and that's given them a lot more information, but this has been very difficult.

Over the last few days they've been talking with us pretty much nonstop, but this is one of those times where you can see it has been more difficult than usual, especially with that death toll rising. Reporting from Surfside, Ryan Young, CNN.

NEWTON: Joining me now is Fiorella Terenzi. She is witness to the condo collapse and an astrophysicist at Florida International University. I have to admit that I cannot even comprehend what it was like for you to witness this, let alone have to go through the aftermath. Please describe exactly what that night was like for you, what you saw, and what you heard.

FIORELLA TERENZI, ASTROPHYSICIST, FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY & WITNESS TO FLORIDA CONDO COLLAPSE: The night of the tragedy I was asleep, and suddenly got woken up and this very loud sound, this thundering, this bang with some metallic undertone kept going. And the more I pay attention to it the more it sounds very strange. Something I never heard, so I decided to go to the balcony.

The balcony looks down on Collins Avenue, and I could see white dust, debris, and then I knew something strange, something unfortunately tragic - a tragedy must have happened.

So I went downstairs. As soon as I went downstairs from the side - the east side of Collins I could look the Champlain Towers South, and I could see the building - the slice of the building still standing up. However, I did notice that the building had horizontal cracks on every floor. And I was very stressed already. I was wondering what happened, what the cause. So I crossed Collins, and on the west side bound of the curb on Collins, that's when I saw it

NEWTON: And so, we're looking at -


TERENZI: More than half. NEWTON: And we're looking at the pictures as you're describing this, but do you describe was there panic? I mean, and when you say you saw debris exactly how close are you at this point in time to the actual collapsed condominium?

TERENZI: Well the sound was around 1:30. I went downstairs around 1:50. I am one building away from the Champlain Towers South. Within those 10, 15 minutes police and fire truck arrived, but there are wasn't up after (ph).

So there were four or five people already in Collins like me taking a look, taking picture, wondering what's going on, asking. We're panicked. We didn't know how to explain what we were saying. Imagine having friends in the building that you see the day before sipping coffee, the pregnant woman, the elder woman. People you see daily. They are your neighbor. You know where they live, and that part of the building was flattened down. 12 stories compacted down to few floors.

NEWTON: And I'd imagine -




NEWTON: Sorry. I imagine it's become even more profound for you since. As the days have worn on you've realized the enormity of what's happened to those friends.

TERENZI: The day of the tragedy, it's almost like you are in denial. You ask yourself if what you're seeing is real. Are my eyes really seeing this catastrophe, this loss of life? Then as time goes by you think that you can heal, but you don't.


I thought that went I voluntarily evacuated my building and I flew almost out of desperation to Los Angeles where I am right now in Woodland Hills, I was hoping to heal my emotional turmoil, but I can't. I'm here physically, but my mind is there. I'm reviewing those images, looking for an answer, try to understand, remember stories my neighbor told me.

And you know, as a physicist even computing this tragedy in terms of a parameter that analytically I can solve, the pressure of the concrete, the force of the impact, a 12-story building collapsing down. Yet as if I'm teaching physics for closer to 18 years there is no way I can make sense. This is something that really goes deep inside. Those were - this was home to me.

NEWTON: Believe me, I understand.

TERENZI: They were my friends (ph).

NEWTON: I understand. A profound human tragedy, and yet I can hear you in terms of the way you have been trained scientifically. You're saying that as a scientist you were trying to take this in and cannot believe that this happened.

TERENZI: Correct. Correct. And there is also no reason, no - a building should not do that with the standards that we have today, the high-quality concrete, the rebar, structural engineering, learn so much at the Florida International University the engineer department as major names. We progress so much, so how is it possible that in Surfside, which is a great area, nice people, professional, a building of that quality collapses within a 12 cycle (ph) down to nothing carrying within dozen of life? How is it possible?

NEWTON: And that's what everyone would like to know. I know I can hear certainly you're with the people there. The family and friends now trying to figure out - they're trying to figure out what happened to your friends that are there as well. Our condolences to you as all of you try and recover from such a trauma. Fiorella Terenzi, thanks so much for being with us.

Yes, so emotional there for her, and it continues to be for so many families.

Now remember many families who live nearby, like Fiorella, went to the scene as soon as they heard the collapse. Among them, though, the family of 92-year-old Hilda Noriega, a longtime resident of the building. As her family gathered near the scene they made an incredible find amid the rubble.


MIKE NORIEGA, GRANDMOTHER MISSING AFTER COLLAPSE: So we arrived here about 2:30 a.m. on the night that all of this happened. And while we were waiting and praying and sobbing, we were just looking at all the debris. And my father looked down, who his mother was actually in the building when this happened, my grandmother, and he actually found this. And it's a birthday card.

So she had a birthday brunch a couple weeks ago. And so, this was all addressed to my grandmother. This is a picture of my grandmother and my grandfather that unfortunately is no longer with us, and that's my dad in the middle.

It's just a beautiful message in the mess of everything. It's very comforting to be able to see this because really what are the chances?


NEWTON: That just gives you goose bumps. Another heartbreaking detail to the story, Noriega's family says there were, in fact, preparing to move her out of the building very soon.

Now while many relatives of those missing or killed were able to visit the site of the collapse on Sunday as we told you earlier, dozens of other families are watching this tragedy unfolding from abroad. Journalist, Stefano Pozzebon, is in Bogota, Colombia with more details. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

STEFANO POZZEBON, CNN JOURNALIST: The tragedy of the collapsed building in Surfside, South Florida reverberates far beyond the United States border with dozens of families across South America who remain in apprehension over the fate of their dear ones gone missing when the building collapsed over three days ago.


At least 31 people from six different countries in South America are believed to have been inside the condominium when the building fell down, and every hour that passes makes the possibility of safely rescuing them more remote.

Nevertheless, rescue officials are urging to keep their hopes alive, pointing that survivors have been found after several days in similar circumstances, and consulates across the region are working to provide expedited visas and travel options so that relatives can travel to Miami to follow the search and rescue operations from the site.

And some of the those gone missing, including the family of the First Lady of Paraguay, were travelling to the United States in order to receive COVID-19 vaccination. Their loved ones back in South America can now only hope to see them back home against all the odds. For CNN this is Stefano Pozzebon, Bogota.


NEWTON: Now to a developing story we continue to monitor here, U.S. President, Joe Biden, has ordered military air strikes against Iranian-backed militias in Iraq and Syria. House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, says the strikes, quote, "Appear to be a targeted and proportional response to a serious and specific threat."

There has been a series of attacks in recent months by Iranian-backed groups targeting U.S. and allied forces in the region. CNN's Joe Johns has more now from the White House.


JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Just minutes before President Biden was expected to arrive back here at the White House after a weekend at Camp David the words started going out that the president had ordered air strikes on Iran-backed militants in Iraq and Syria, including weapons storage facilities on the border between the two countries.

Administration officials called it an act of self defense and said it was done in order to protect U.S. military personnel who were stationed along the border. The president did not elaborate, but he did tell reporters he'll have more to talk about the situation on Monday. Joe Johns, CNN, the White House.

(END VIDEOTAPE) NEWTON: Empty streets down under. Stay at home orders are in place in Greater Sydney as a cluster of local cases grows and the majority of Australians face new restrictions. We have a live report. That's next.


NEWTON: Australian officials are tightening coronavirus restrictions as new cases emerge around the country. Queensland and Western Australia are among the latest regions to impose stronger rules. A stay at home order is now in effect in the Greater Sydney area through July 9, and separate, shorter restrictions have been imposed in parts of the northern territory.


For the latest now, CNN producer joins us, Angus Watson is live in Sydney. Yes, help us understand what the perspective is on this in terms of how significant these new lockdowns are and how people are reacting to them.

ANGUS WATSON, CNN PRODUCER: Well Paula, they are significant lockdowns. People here in Australia's largest city told not to leave their homes unless it's absolutely necessary. Masks compulsory to the be worn indoors. Most non-essential businesses have been closed. People only really allowed out to either get a vaccine, get tested for coronavirus, seek medical help, or get a bit of exercise if you're not otherwise buying food or something that you need.

So down here at Bondi Beach we have seen people meeting one another to get that amount of exercise in, but they're taking it very seriously, Paula. People here in Australia don't want community transmission. They know that in order to get those numbers of COVID-19 down to a point where there isn't community transmission they need to go into these lockdowns.

So they've come out in force as well to get tested, 58,000 people, more than that I should say getting tested on Sunday, returning just 18 tests here in the state of New South Wales at mass testing sites like the one behind me. So people taking this seriously in order to try to get a lid on this new outbreak of coronavirus, which has had just over 130 cases around the country now in the last couple of weeks, Paula.

NEWTON: Yes, and it doesn't sound like a lot of cases to us, but for Australia, you know, it's significant. We see the testing going on behind you, and we all know, right, Australia has done an excellent job of testing and tracing, but given this Delta variant now, I mean, is there a push to finally get vaccines out and how soon do you think that can be done?

WATSON: In fact the Australian government has been criticized, Paula, for a perceived slow vaccine rollout. Australia has now been vaccinating people since February, but under 5 percent of the population have been fully vaccinated. About a third or just under a third of people here in Australia have had one dose, and the government hasn't yet been able to roll out those vaccines to some of the most vulnerable people in society.

And that's why Australia has to have these lockdowns because not enough of the population are vaccinated and politicians aren't yet ready to say how many people would need to be vaccinated for these lockdowns to become a thing of the past.

Now the problem is both a supply issue and a hesitancy issue as well. Australia has begun the AstraZeneca vaccine, but as per medical health determined by that very rare chance of getting a blood clot associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine, now here in Australia only people over the age of 60 are eligible to get one. People between the ages of 40 and 60 need to get a Pfizer vaccine, but suppliers of those, Paula, are running low, and people are nervous about getting the AstraZeneca vaccine because as I mentioned that's more chance of getting a blood clot.

So the government here has a huge task on its hands to try to ramp up the vaccination rollout so that these lockdowns might become a thing of the past. People here know that they might be here to stay for a little while longer to come, Paula.

NEWTON: Yes, and in the meantime, Angus, behind you we can see the piece of that testing just continue. It's about all that you could do now. Angus Watson for us live from Sydney. Appreciate it.

Now a strict lockdown is in place in South Africa as well as the country fights a third wave of the coronavirus driven, again, by the Delta variant. Now schools are closed. Some travel is restricted, and restaurants can only do take out or delivery. An overnight curfew is also in place, and all gatherings except funerals are prohibited.

South Africa's President said the new measures will be assessed - reassessed, pardon me, in two weeks, and he had this warning.


CYRIL RAMAPHOSA, SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT: We are in the grip of a devastating wave that by all indications seems like it will be worse than those that have preceded it. The peak of this third wave looks set to be higher than the previous two waves.


NEWTON: Bangladesh in the meantime is also experiencing a surge of new infections and a rising death toll, and its tightening lockdown measures as a result. Now when the government made that announcement Sunday, throngs of people rushed to beat new travel restrictions.

Public transpiration is now suspended until Thursday, and earlier restrictions on movement and activities are now extended yet again until mid July. People a have largely been ignoring public health measures. I mean, you can see that in our video right there, but now law enforcement is being employed to try and enforce the rules.

[00:25:00] In the U.K., a cabinet minister says the government will investigate how footage that led to the former Health Secretary Matt Hancock's resignation was leaked to a tabloid. The images caught the married politician breaking COVID rules by kissing an advisor. He apologized and stepped down the day after "The Sun" published them. A new health secretary is already on the job. Here's what Sajid Javid had to say about the man he's replacing.


SAJID JAVID, BRITISH HEALTH SECRETARY: I think Matt Hancock worked incredibly hard. He achieved a lot, and I'm sure he will have more to offer in public life.


NEWTON: Now the health department change comes as new coronavirus infections there are once again on the rise. The country just announced that its Armed Force Head, General Nick Carter, is isolating at home after testing positive. Six other senior military officials including the Defense Secretary are in quarantine after coming into contact with him.

Now the collapse of the Florida condo is raising major questions about the safety of older high rises. Just ahead I'll talk to a geologist and find out if there should be more concerns about buildings all the way up and down the Florida coast. Plus some of E.U. leaders are speaking out against a controversial Hungarian law banning LGBTQ content in schools but others are doing just the opposite. We'll have an international reaction after a short break.



NEWTON: And welcome back. I'm Paula Newton, and you are watching CNN NEWSROOM. We want to return to our top story now. Emergency crews in Surfside, Florida are working through the night in hopes of reaching survivors of Thursday's condo collapse. Rescuers have cut a nearly 40- meter trench across the rubble pile in an effort to suppress smoke and fire as well as recover any victims.

Now the Mayor of Miami-Dade County explained how important it was to continue with that recovery.


CAVA: We're cutting a deep trench to assist us. It's now 125 feet into the pile. It's 20 feet wide and 40 feet deep. Now this trench is very critical to the continuation of the search and rescue process. We've continued all night to build that trench, and as a result of that we were able to recover four additional bodies in the rubble as well as additional human remains.



NEWTON: Such sobering news there. Now the collapse has prompted the city of Miami to recommend all buildings taller than six stories high and older than 40 years be inspected.

Earlier I spoke with geologist, Harold Wanless, and asked him if there are places people are living right now that could be unsafe.


HAROLD WANLESS, GEOLOGY PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI: The not-too- distant future I always look at is a mortgage cycle. You buy a condo or a house and you hope to be able to sell it and have it still standing in 30 years, so - and I've said we could have a two or three foot rise in sea level within the next 30 years, so that puts almost every coastal building at risk for if not flooding at some frequency at least the ground water - the saline ground water moving up in to the lower parts of the structural foundation.

NEWTON: And to be clear - yes.


WANLESS: So I think - but right now, you know, it's a hard question to say no, absolutely not because there are areas that have major subsidence like areas along - excuse me - the Louisiana and Eastern Texas coast that are having a sea level rise rate already of over three feet per century.

So those have low-lying buildings that are already feeling the effects of increase salt, and there are other areas. There are areas around some of the major cities that have had subsidence and they're already moving capitals out of where they are because of subsidence and flooding. All of the areas that already affected by salt water intrusion.


NEWTON: Now subsidence in lay terms is just sinking, and we want to thank Professor Wanless there from the University of Miami.

Now turning to the President of the Czech Republic who made disparaging remarks about the transgender community on Sunday.

Milos Zeman said in an interview with our affiliate, CNN Prima News, he finds transgender people, quote, "disgusting". He also said he doesn't understand transgender people and equated gender reassignment surgery to a crime of, quote, "self harm". He made the remarks while commenting on a new anti-LGBTQ law in Hungary. The Czech President defended Hungary's Prime Minister and said it's a mistake to interfere in the internal affairs of any E.U. member.

Now the new Hungarian law we should say bans materials in schools deemed to promote LGBTQ content, a move that much of Europe now is speaking out against. CNN's Scott McLean has more.


SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On the banks of the Danube River the striking Hungarian Parliament was built more than century ago, another era that some say is better suited for a bill that just passed inside of it. The bill, which erodes gay rights in a country where there are already precious few passed with almost no objections inside the chamber but plenty outside.

Last week protestors filled the streets of Budapest to rally against the bill just signed into law. It outlaws any content available to children which, "portray diversion from gender identity assigned at birth, gender alteration, or homosexuality," effectively barring any discussions on the topic inside classrooms or even in advertising, like this 2019 Coke ad which was controversial in Hungary.

This was all added to a bill meant to better protect children from pedophiles, making it difficult for lawmakers to vote against. Leftist opposition parties boycotted the vote.

ATTILA KELEMEN, SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGIST (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): To mix up homosexuality with sexual crimes is disgusting.

SZEKERES ZSOLT, COORDINATOR, HUNGARIAN HELSINKI COMMITTEE (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Each abused child who fears asking for help because of homophobic or transphobic hatred will suffer because of those M.P.s who voted for this hate-provoking law proposal.

MCLEAN (voice-over): Prime Minister Viktor Orban says the law simply states clearly that only parents can decide on the sexual education of their children, and the ban does not place limit on the content adults can view. European Union Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, tweeted she was very concerned about the new law. Saying she believes in a Europe which embraces diversity, not one which hides it from our children.

MCLEAN: The government says it is not going to apologize for protecting our children, and Orban himself insists that criticism of the law reinforces the Central European conviction that today's liberals are, in fact, communists with degrees.

I wonder what you think this bill says about the direction that Hungary is headed in.

GRAEME REID, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: Well I think it's a continuation of what we've seen in the past.


This is straight out of an autocrat's playbook. It's part and parcel of the erosion of the rule of law and the sustained attack on human rights in Hungary.

MCLEAN (voice-over): Gay people in Hungary already can't marry or adopt children, but it's not just Hungary clamping down on gay rights. Last year some Polish towns declared themselves LGBT ideology free zones. And a 2013 law in Russia bans so-called gay propaganda. REID: In Russia we had groups that built themselves as anti-pedophile groups who targeted young, gay men, would subject them to harassment and torture, to film that, and then upload that onto social media.

MCLEAN: You think that this law goes even further than the Russian law did?

REID: It does go further in the sense that its wording is broader that the Russian law. I expect that it could have greater implications than the propaganda law in Russia.

MCLEAN (voice-over): One more example of Hungary looking less and less like the rest of Europe. Scott McLean, CNN, London.


NEWTON: Now multiple E.U. leaders have said they'll continue to fight against the discriminatory bill but the feeling isn't mutual across all of Europe. Turkish police fired tear gas into crowds in Istanbul on Saturday to break up a pride march after clashes between demonstrators and police. Local reports say 20 people, including a faux (ph) journalist, were detained. Both Istanbul and the Turkish capital of Ankara have banned pride events in recent years.

Palestinians protested for a fourth day on Sunday following the death of a well-known critic of the Palestinian authority. Now hundreds of people demonstrated in Ramallah and Bethlehem and the West Bank. Police fired tear gas and scuffles broke out.

Nizar Banat was an activist who accused the authority of corruption. Palestinian authority forces arrested him on Thursday. His family says he was beaten repeatedly with a metal rod.

The U.K.'s Prince William and Prince Harry will reconnect this week amid speculation about a royal rift between the brothers. They plan to unveil a memorial celebrating their late mother, Princess Diana. CNN's Isa Soares has more.


ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's been said that death brings the living together. That will ring true this week when Prince Harry and Prince William, distant and living on separate continents, reunite to celebrate the legacy of their late mother, Princess Diana.

The two will unveil a statue of Diana at Kensington Palace on Thursday on what would have been her sixtieth birthday. The brothers co- commissioned the statute from British sculptor, Ian Rank-Broadley, whose portrait of the Queen appears on all British coins. And the memorial will I've in the palace's sunken garden, a place Diana loved, allowing those who visit Kensington Palace to remember and celebrate her life the princes said in a joint statement issued in 2017 when the project was announced.

Ahead of the unveiling of Diana's memorial there's been increase speculation over whether there'll be visible tension between her two sons. The last time Harry and William saw each other in person was at their grandfather, Prince Phillips, funeral where the two were seen talking quietly before parting ways.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fortitude and faith.

SOARES: Since then reports of their relationship breakdown have continued to fill the British tabloids, citing the decision by Harry and his wife, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, to step away from royal life as the main catalyst along with a bombshell interview the couple gave to Oprah Winfrey that aired in March in which they suggested racism and increased neglect had forced them to flee the palace.

But while the brothers' bond may not be what it once was they seemingly still agree on one thing, the importance of keeping their mother's memory alive. And it's expected Thursday's even will do just that. Isa Soares, CNN, London.


NEWTON: And CNN NEWSROOM will be right back in a moment.



NEWTON: So many people, of course, found themselves working from home during the pandemic, and a lot actually prefer it, but now that more are vaccinated more employers want those employees back. Anna Stewart takes a look at this debate on the future of work from home.


ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): The morning commute, welcome return to normal for some, but others are less keen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm looking forward to maybe two days in the office.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I work from home, and I actually do like working from home, but I'd like a bit of both to be honest moving forward.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I like to work in the office, and I prefer that actually.

STEWART: The divide is only deepening as businesses implement their post-pandemic strategies. For those at Twitter, Facebook, and Google, remote working part-time or full-time is now a permanent option. Apple and Uber want their employees back in the office for at least part of the week, and then there are the banks of Wall Street, some of which want to see their workers back at their desks full time.

Goldman Sachs CEO, David Solomon, called working from home an abortion, saying, "for a business like ours which is an innovative, collaborative apprenticeship culture - this is not ideal for us. And it's not a new normal." Its New York employees are already back in the office. Meanwhile, the CEO of Morgan Stanley made clear that the bank's New York employees should be back by September, saying, "If you can go to a restaurant in New York City you can come into the office, and we want you in the office."

MICHAEL SMETS, PROFESSOR OF MANAGEMENT, SAID BUSINESS SCHOOL: If it is so beneficial to be in the office, why are so many people choosing not to be there? And in fact, you have to start threatening pay cuts for them. That is a little bit of a kind of cultural disjoint I would say.

STEWART: Telling people to go back to the office may not be popular, but can they actual compel employees to comply?

SINEAD CASEY, PARTNER, LINKLATERS LAW FIRM: Generally, yes. Governments around the globe have taken the approach of ensuring that an employer has some discretion to refuse a request to work from home if it's not feasible for the work to be done from home, and you can see why there's legitimate grounds for that because clearly not every job can be done effectively from home.

STEWART: Forcing workers back to the office full-time may have some undesired consequences.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I wouldn't do it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not sure I'd feel so comfortable about that at this point because I think we've shown that it's not necessary.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just think (ph) it's absolutely individual really, but yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Trust me. I wouldn't be happy to be forced to be back.



STEWART: Anna Stewart, CNN, London.


NEWTON: Tell it like it is, I guess. Thanks for spending part of your day with me. I'm Paula Newton. Stay tuned now for "World Sport".