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Search And Rescue "Top Priority" After Building Collapse; Australia Struggling With Delta Variant Outbreaks; U.S. Airstrikes Hit Iran-Backed Militias In Iraq And Syria. Aired 12-12:45a ET

Aired June 29, 2021 - 00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


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JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, I'm John Vause and coming up on CNN NEWSROOM.

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LEVINE CAVA, MIAMI-DADE COUNTY MAYOR: Right now, our top priority is search and rescue and find the people.

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VAUSE: As rescue work continues almost a week after the collapse of a residential high rise in Florida, new details emerge about compromised state of the building, abundant cracking, and concrete columns corroded and exposed rebar.

More transmissible and more resistant to vaccines as the Delta variant of the Coronavirus spreads worldwide. Authorities, once again, ordering set lockdowns and implementing travel bans. And the climate crisis is now, temperatures have soared to new records from Canada to the U.S. from Western Russia to the Arctic Circle, and the northern summer is barely a week old.

From Australia to South Africa to Germany and beyond, the rapid spread of the Delta variant of the Coronavirus is forcing many countries to re-impose lockdowns as well as other pandemic restrictions with health officials warning even those who have been vaccinated are at risk of being infected. Los Angeles County public health officials are strongly recommending facemasks to be worn indoor public places regardless of vaccination status. And on Monday, Moscow and St. Petersburg set new daily records for Coronavirus deaths.

More than 10 million Australians, more than a third of the entire population will soon be under a lockdown with authorities issuing stay-at-home orders for four of the eight capital cities. Meantime, in Europe, cases have fallen dramatically, but they slowly are on the rise in the U.K. And most cases are now linked to the Delta variant. Despite the rising number of the other infections, authorities in Britain expect the final COVID restrictions will be lifted in three weeks. The World Health Organization's top scientist says vaccinated or not,

everyone must practice caution, because variants still pose a major threat to the international community. COVID vaccines only provide up to 90 percent protection against them.

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SOUMYA SWAMINATHAN, CHIEF SCIENTIST, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: Everyone should recognize this pandemic's not over. The virus hasn't gone. In fact, it's looking for opportunities to spread and to change itself, mutate and develop new variants. So, I think this is the time for caution. It's not that nobody can travel or do anything, but this is really not the time for us to encourage a lot of social mixing, to encourage mass events, especially without precautions wherever you live in the world because these variants, you know, they travel around the world even before you recognize that there's a newer variant.

And so even in countries that are, you know, having higher rates of vaccination, I think this is the time still to be very cautious and we should remember that a large part of the world still doesn't have enough vaccines even to protect their most vulnerable people. And we need to be getting back vaccines out to them.

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VAUSE: After the initial outbreak in Sydney, new Coronavirus infections linked to the highly contagious Delta variant have been recorded across Australia with the lockdown ordered for Perth in the west, as well as Townsville and Magnetic Island in the north as well as Darwin. And officials worry that lockdown measures may not be effective against this new strain, while a slow vaccine rollout has also left the country especially vulnerable.

CNN producer Angus Watson is live for us outside of a vaccination hub in Sydney. So this is pretty much the only reason the only excuse anyone has for leaving their home right now and that's to get vaccinated, right?

ANGUS WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, John. It is one of the very few reasons and I can tell you that people are coming out in force to get their vaccine. People here know that this is their ticket out of lockdowns, like the one that's being imposed here in Sydney for a two-week period. We're a little bit into that now. But cases of the Delta variant provoking authority to say this is what needs to be done. And that's happening across the entire country.

As you mentioned, Queensland, Northern Territory, West Australia, lockdowns and lockdown announcements that seem like you're traveling back in time to the beginning of the pandemic. People here worried that Australia has lost the advantage that it had early on when it was keeping Coronavirus at bay through strict quarantine measures and border closures. People here, especially now, Premiers of states like Annastacia Palaszczuk, the Queensland Premier saying this today.

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ANNASTACIA PALASZCZUK, QUEENSLAND PREMIER: I am absolutely furious about this. We need to make sure that we are getting our population vaccinated right across the state. Now, this leaves us with no option.

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WATSON: So Australia's vaccination rate as you know, John, is dangerously low, under five percent of the population are fully vaccinated. The government last night deciding that that needs to change. Vaccines now mandatory for people working with vulnerable populations in aged care, and for people walking working at those border quarantine zones where the virus is getting in.

This delta Varian is emerging breaking through those walls, those barriers that Australia had set up and we're working so well for the country before this latest variant showed its head, John.

VAUSE: Which is odd when you think about the low vaccination rate considering, you know, how high vaccination levels are for pretty much everything else there in Australia. It's a bit of a mystery that one. Angus, thank you. Angus Watson live in Sydney with the very latest. We appreciate it.

For more now on the Coronavirus and the Delta variant, we're joined by Dr. Jorge Rodriguez, a Board Certified Internal Medicine Specialist, as well as a viral researcher. Dr. Jorge Rodriguez, it's good to see you.

JORGE RODRIGUEZ, BOARD CERTIFIED INTERNAL MEDICINE SPECIALIST & VIRAL RESEARCHER: Likewise, John.

VAUSE: OK. So when it comes to highly contagious and the Delta variant, there is this new research from Australia. It's based on CCTV footage. Health officials suspect it has been transmitted in scarily fleeting encounters of roughly five to ten seconds between people walking past each other in an indoor shopping area in Sydney in at least two instances. Here, it's been described as a gold medalist for transmission.

This also being 100 percent infection rates in Australian households where it's been introduced, so given all of that, are you confident that these non-pharmaceutical measures, these lockdowns, social distancing, wearing masks, can be effective now as they were a year ago?

RODRIGUEZ: No, I don't believe that they will be as effective now as they were a year ago. This data that you gave is actually incredible. I was reading about it today, it seems that there was proof that even 30 minutes after someone passed, so the same air that someone had been through that had it. They got infected. At the end of the day, John, the message that we've been talking about for a year and a half stays the same, the more infections there are, the more mutations will happen. And the mutations that will survive are the ones that are the fittest, and the most infectious and this Delta variant is the case in point. So nobody seems to say this. So let me say this. If you have access to

a vaccine, and you choose not to take a vaccine, you are part of the problem. You are what is causing spread and what is causing mutations. I can't be any clearer than that.

VAUSE: Yes, it's a very good point. It's worth saying as bluntly as that, too. It should also be noted that at the end of April, the W.H.O. seemed to quietly revise its guidance regarding transmission of the Coronavirus, saying that it is, in fact, airborne and it's the main way that it spreads. Isn't that sort of information crucial, deserves a lot more attention than a slight tweak on a website, especially given how contagious the Delta variant might just be?

RODRIGUEZ: I agree 100 percent. I think at the beginning -- and I have been guilty of that, we thought that it wasn't airborne because the information wasn't there. And even in our medical building, there was one doctor that says, you know, there's data showing that it's airborne. So we got new filters and everything. People need to realize that this is airborne, and the viruses that are going to survive are the ones that are even more infectious airborne, like what's happening in Australia, and in Russia, and in Israel again.

So we need to be aware that even if vaccinated, we still need to take precautions, including masks in large gatherings.

VAUSE: I want you to listen to the White House Press Secretary, Jen Psaki. She's talking about donations of U.S. vaccines globally. Here she is.

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JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Two million doses of the Pfizer vaccine will begin to shift to Peru from the United States and 2.5 million doses of the Moderna vaccine will ship to Pakistan. Over the weekend, we announced we are sending 1.5 million doses of Moderna to Honduras. And over this week, we'll be able to announce more places that the United States will be sending our doses.

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VAUSE: Admittedly, it is a lot more than any other country is doing right now. But is it enough? If there is a sort of a race now between vaccine and variant and the variant appears to be pulling ahead.

RODRIGUEZ: Yes, right. You know, in the best of all possible worlds, no, it is not enough. But in this world, it's going to have to do for now and I think that it is a wonderful thing that's happening. More countries need to start doing this. Listen, a million here and a million there, in a world with billions of people, doesn't seem to be a lot. But if you give those vaccines to areas that are exploding, that are going to spread it, then it is eventually going to make a difference.

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The U.S., I think, promised five hundred million doses over the next two years. I wish it was over the next year. But, you know, other countries needs to step up. Is it the big bucket to pull out the -- to put off the fire? No, but right now, it is better than nothing.

VAUSE: And very quickly, if the vaccines aren't there, and we had those non-pharmaceutical measures, which we've all agreed, you know, many have agreed that may not be as effective, but they're the only option now, right? If there's no vaccine, is these social distancing and lockdowns.

RODRIGUEZ: Correct. That's always been the case. And I wish more people realize that, that the biggest thing that we can do is not spread it and it, really, it's one of my pet peeves when people say, oh, you know, we survived it. Well, if you had it and you survived it, you probably created a mutation and you may have spread this. So yes, selfishly, you survived. But when we look at the world as a whole, you may have made matters worse, so we need to distance and we need to continue wearing masks.

VAUSE: Dr. Jorge Rodriguez, it is good to see. It's been a while. Thank you very much, sir.

RODRIGUEZ: Thanks for your time.

VAUSE: Well, the death toll in that South Florida building collapse is now at 11 with 150 people still unaccounted for. More than 400 rescuers are working around the clock in 12-hour shifts to find anyone who may still be alive beneath that rubble, but they acknowledge the hope of finding survivors is dimming. The Miami Herald has published photographs taken by a contractor servicing the pool at Champlain Towers 36 hours before the collapse. He says he saw cracks in the concrete, standing water in the basement garage under the pool deck.

The Herald reports the area shown in these pictures is not in the part of the building that fell, but experts say if other parts of the structure looks similar, that could have contributed to the collapse. CNN's Drew Griffin has more now on the investigation.

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DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As new evidence emerges of past inspections, cracks, and potential danger, this short surveillance camera video itself remains the best clue so far as to how and why the Champlain Tower South fell in what forensic engineer Joel Figueroa Vallines calls a clean collapse.

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JOEL FIGUEROA VALLINES, STRUCTURAL ENGINEER, SEP ENGINEERS: There was a pancake effect so it was almost symmetric and vertical. And what that causes is the structure to come straight down instead of collapsing sideways or collapsing in any other trajectory, which would mean that whatever caused it, which is unknown at this point, would have caused the structure to have a clean vertical collapse of those towers.

(END VIDEO CLIP) GRIFFIN: But while engineers continue to speculate from afar, in

reality, the answer lies like the victims trapped under rubble. The 40-year-old structure was due for massive repairs. An alarming 2018 inspection report warned of abundant cracking in concrete columns and several instances of deteriorating rebar, especially on the condo's pool deck and in the parking structure garage underneath the building.

According to the report, failed waterproofing was causing major structural damage to the concrete structural slabs below the pool deck and entrance drive. As dire as that may sound, several engineers CNN spoke with say the 2018 report did not foresee a catastrophic collapse and minutes from the condominium Association Board meeting the following month shows that a town official told residents it appears the building is in very good shape.

Champlain Towers South was in the process of recertification on Miami- Dade County government structural and electrical assessment of any building 40 years old. According to the condominium association attorney, the building had multiple inspections and was in the process of extensive work, which would have cost $15 million. Structural engineer Jason Borden examined Champlain tower just last year.

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JASON BORDEN, STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: I saw things that I typically see when we're looking at buildings when we're preparing to do this type of investigation or study. I saw cracks in the stucco facade, I saw deterioration of the concrete balconies, I saw cracks and deterioration of the garage and plaza level. But those are all things that we're accustomed to seeing, and that's why our job exists.

GRIFFIN: Any cause for alarm in what you saw?

BORDEN: What I saw, no.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRIFFIN: The lack of alarm is now sending chills through residents and other aging buildings along this beach and beyond. Inspections underway. Voluntary evacuations for the Champlain Towers sister building, and a rush to find the answer to why this building just fell. Forensic engineers caution that answer could yet be months away. Drew Griffin, CNN, Atlanta.

VAUSE: And the search and rescue effort (INAUDIBLE) is an international effort with an Israeli team onsite since Sunday and specialists from Mexico arriving Monday. Known as the Topos Los, they've deployed to disasters around the world, including the World Trade Center after 911 and Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.

More rescue crews work around the clock. Families of the missing are continuing with the vigil waiting for any news of their loved ones. CNN's Matt Rivers reports many are enduring that long wait from a long way away.

[00:15:09] MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, CNN has been talking to various families from Latin American countries who have their loved ones that remain unaccounted for at this point after the partial collapse and a common theme that we've heard from these people is that is the not knowing exactly what happened to their loved ones, that's the worst part at this point, or at least part of how terrible all of this is for these families.

I think many of the families that have spoken to CNN are realistic about the chances of finding their loved ones alive. They know that the more time goes by, the less of a chance they have to find their family members amidst that debris. But still, so many people are saying we just want more information. If it's not closure, at least it's some idea of the fates of their family members.

And there are some groups here in Latin America that are trying to help those people understand what happened to their family members. There's people here in Mexico known as Los Topos, which means the moles and these are experts in search and rescue, especially in building collapses like the one that we saw in Miami.

Mexico is a country that has unfortunately a lot of experience with collapses like this because of how earthquake-prone this country is. Los Topos have a lot of experience going through this debris and members of a group called Los Topos Azteca actually have members in Miami right now offering their assistance to authorities in South Florida to help see if they can find anyone alive even if that could be a miracle at this point.

The head of that group I talking to CNN earlier in the day on Monday basically saying look, if there is even a small chance that they might be able to help find someone alive, they want to be a part of that effort. Matt rivers, CNN, Mexico City.

VAUSE: Still ahead here on CNN NEWSROOM.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought it was a tornado outside my apartment. I opened the door, had told my wife, "Oh my God. Oh my God." She goes, "What do you mean?" "Paula, the building."

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VAUSE: A son's grief facing the loss of both his mother and father. We will hear from him later this hour.

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VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. Singapore appears to come to terms with the Coronavirus releasing a post-pandemic plan to "live normally with COVID-19." Manisha Tank joins us now with details on this. So Manisha, I guess it will be a post-COVID world does not necessarily mean it will be a post-pandemic world either.

MANISHA TANK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, this is true, isn't it, John? And I think no one can put COVID-19 behind them yet here in Singapore effectively. We've seen an op ed that was written by co-chairs of the multi-ministry task force for COVID-19 here in Singapore.

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Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong, the Finance Minister Lawrence Wong, and Health Minister Ong Ye Kung. And what they're basically saying is -- and I'm not going to elaborate on the words that they used in the op ed, because it's quite a long one, but effectively saying, we haven't seen the end of COVID-19. We may never see the end of COVID-19 in our country, so we have to learn to live with it.

And they've actually juxtaposed the conversation about COVID-19 next to the conversation around influenza. So pointing out, for example, that in large countries like the United States, influenza cases do lead to fatalities. And they've compared the numbers. They've even give -- given data in this op ed that helps you see COVID in -- COVID- 19 in the wider context, vis-a-vis other diseases that we live with. And this is clearly part of the plan is to say to people here in Singapore, we're going to have to live with this, and here are a few different ways we'll do it. But vaccination will be key, as will testing things like breathalyzers that they're developing, John.

VAUSE: I guess the wider question is, is there any significance here for the rest of us and how Singapore is approaching this?

TANK: Well, yes, I mean, Singapore was held up as this gold standard in terms of its reaction to -- and response to the COVID-19 pandemic last year. And though there was a glitch when it got into migrant worker communities, when we saw a big explosion in cases, very quickly, the government got on top of that. There has been a very robust track and trace system here. And since the SARS outbreak back in 2003, there has been a lot of investment in infectious diseases, a lot of investment in the science and the robustness of the healthcare system. So there are a lot of countries that have looked to Singapore for a sort of roadmap as it were.

So it's interesting that Singapore is coming up with its own domestic roadmap, and how that will change the future. And I think there will be many that will look to it for some guidance and perhaps possibilities about the kind of experience their own people have in their own countries. And so that's certainly very encouraging for the rest of us. But of course, there is still a huge battle to be fought when it comes to COVID-19. This is just the beginning of this new normal that we keep talking about, John.

VAUSE: I keep trying to find that word they used. Maybe we'll get there one day. Manisha, thank you. Manisha Tank there in Singapore.

U.S. forces came under rocket fire in eastern Syria on Monday. The U.S. defense official says the rockets were likely launched by Iranian backed militias operating in eastern Syria, near Deir Ezzor. There were no injuries among U.S. forces. The attack came just hours after U.S. airstrikes on Iranian backed militia groups in that region. This video from a pro militia social media channel allegedly shows the aftermath of the U.S. airstrikes. An Iraqi militia group says four of its fighters were killed.

CNN's Arwa Damon now takes a look at whether the risk is growing for further escalation in the region.

DAMON: The U.S. said that it carried out these strikes as a defensive measure to, in Syria, one in Iraq going after the unmanned aerial vehicle. In other words, drone capabilities of these Iranian backed Iraqi Shia militias. Now there has been a regular for years ongoing, low level tit for tat between the US and these Iranian backed Shia militias, where the militias will fire mortars or rockets towards U.S. bases. U.S. forces in the U.S. will respond with some sort of strike on a facility of theirs.

But right now, we're seeing something of an escalation and the rhetoric and quite potentially, in this situation, the militia, one of them, at least, is vowing that America will see death after these strikes. The Iranians have said that this is detrimental to security in the region. The fact that the U.S. carried out these airstrikes, Syria is calling it a blatant act of aggression, and Iraq, that is pretty much stuck in the middle of this battle between the U.S. and Iran, is calling it a blatant violation of its sovereignty.

Iraq for quite some time now has been begging both sides, the US and Iran to take their fight somewhere else, because Iraq can't handle this kind of instability. And it is stuck in something of an impossible position because on the one hand, it does have a very healthy relationship with the United States. It does want to see continuous U.S. military support, training, and other technological capabilities that the Americans have to offer.

And on the other hand, there is the reality of the fact that Iraq shares a very long border with Iran, there are deep economic ties. But then there's also this ongoing situation of these Iranian backed-Iraqi Shia militias, some of whom do not necessarily fall under the command and control of the Iraqi security forces. And so when this type of situation escalates between the U.S. and Iran within Iraqi territory, the country that ends up usually paying the biggest price, well, that ends up being Iraq itself.

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Arwa Damon, CNN, Istanbul.

VAUSE: According to a staff member, management at the now closed Apple Daily told its workers the Hong Kong government asked for sensitive information during negotiations to unfreeze the company's assets. The paper's parent company believed that request violated the staff's privacy, who's consulting legal counsel. Apple Daily's assets were frozen after a police raid on the paper's headquarters in like two weeks ago. That resulted in the closure since employees could not be paid. CNN has reached out to the Hong Kong government for a response. We are waiting.

There is renewed speculation about the health of Kim Jong-un after a North Korean state media aid an unusual interview, which raised questions about changes in the leader's appearance. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The people, including myself, were most heartbroken when we saw the respected General Secretary looking gaunt. Everyone says it brought them to tears.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: It's unclear who the man in the video is or whether other North Koreans feel the same way. But Kim has looked noticeably thinner. Recently, as you can see in the photo on the right. Now the reasons why are a mystery. Kim's health though, we should note is a closely guarded secret in North Korea and the man does control nuclear weapons.

The Ethiopian military has withdrawn from the capital of the war torn Tigray region, and the government has declared an immediate ceasefire after months of fighting. The very latest on that next hour. Also a CNN exclusive report with new details on January massacre in Tigray. We'll take a short break. What will come here this hour is families in South Florida endure the agonizing wait for answers. Others are already mourning loved ones. Up next. We'll hear from a son facing the unthinkable heartbreak after losing both of his parents in Thursday's collapse.

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VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. Well, the death toll in the Surfside building collapse in Florida has risen to 11, with 150 people still unaccounted for as of Monday. Rescuers, including international teams from Mexico and Israel, are working through the night. They're using dogs to try and pick up a scent or a sound, someone trapped under the debris. But now almost six days on, chances of finding survivors are fading and families are growing more impatient for answers.

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PABLO RODRIGUEZ, MOTHER AND GRANDMOTHER MISSING: It's very difficult, not knowing and really the only hope I have is that they find them. We can have some kind of proper burial, some kind of closure and hope that they investigate this and the people responsible are held to be responsible. They're held to be accountable so that this never happens again.

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VAUSE: And among the 11 people who died are Antonio and Gladys Lozano. They were married for 59 years. The couple had dinner with their son just hours before the building collapsed. And he spoke with CNN's Randi Kaye.

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RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Antonio and Gladys Lozano lived on the ninth floor at the Champlain Towers in Surfside, Florida. It had been Antonio's dream to live on the beach. Their son, Sergio, had dinner with them at their condo just hours before the building collapsed.

SERGIO LOZANO, PARENTS MISSING IN FLORIDA CONDO COLLAPSE: After dinner I had -- I work early in the mornings and I hugged my mom good night, kissed my dad that was it. No more.

KAYE: Never imagining that would be the last --

S. LOZANO: No.

KAYE: -- time you saw them.

S. LOZANO: No.

KAYE (voice over): Sergio returned to his condo in Champlain East, the same complex but two blocks away. Only to be awakened around 1:30 in the morning by a terrible noise.

S. LOZANO: I thought it was a tornado outside my apartment. I opened the door and I told my wife, oh my God the buildings not there. She goes, what do you mean? Look, the buildings not there. What do you mean? My parent's apartments not there.

KAYE (voice over): Through tears he said that his parent's apartment wasn't there, that the building was gone. Sergio says he used to be able to see into his parent's kitchen from his own apartment.

S. LOZANO: I could see my mom cooking from my apartment when night would fall. Their kitchen where my dad would sit and watch TV it wasn't there. It's just like -- I don't know.

KAYE: As the search continued were you -- did you have any hope that they would be found alive?

S. LOZANO: I didn't. I was just praying to God that they went quick and that they were together.

KAYE (voice over): When officials told him his parents had died in the collapse he says they told him they were found together.

S. LOZANO: I was told they were in bed together. That's the end of the romantic story, they were together.

KAYE (voice over): The Lozano's had been married 59 years, Antonio was 82, Gladys was 80. They first met in Cuba when they were 12-years- old. After Antonio came to the United States he sent for Gladys and they go married on Miami Beach. Antonio later became a successful banker. Their son says they often joked about who might die first.

S. LOZANO: My dad would say to my mom, if you die I don't even know how to fry an egg, I'm going to die. And my mom would say that if my dad would die I don't know how to pay the bill. I always told my mom don't worry, I'll go and do it. But they died together. It's not fair, being crushed, being destroyed, it's not fair. KAYE (voice over): Next month would have been Gladys and Antonio's 59th wedding anniversary. Instead of planning a celebration their son Sergio is planning a funeral. Now more than ever he's grateful for happier times like when he took his parents to Europe and how his mom cried visiting the Vatican. Sergio's son is also cherishing those final moments. He remembers one of the last things his grandfather told him was that he was proud of him.

SERGIO LOZANO, JR., GRANDPARENTS KILLED IN FLORIDA CONDO COLLAPSE: You hear that news that same day it's just -- it's unimaginable, unimaginable.

KAYE (voice over): The Lozano's leave behind two children, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. A family that's in pain but at peace knowing Antonio and Gladys are still together.

S. LOZANO: They're just two amazing people. Two totally amazing people.

KAYE (voice over): Now the couple's son Sergio has said that he has not been back to the building since this all happened. He just can't bring himself to go back to that apartment of his. Every time he opens that sliding glass door he says he would have a flashback of what happened that night and that building going down.

Also, as far as planning his parent's funeral, he says that not only did they lose their lives but, of course, they lost all of their belongs so now he doesn't have a pretty dress, as he says, or a nice suit to dress his parents in to bury them. He told me he's going to have to go shopping now to dress his dead parents for their funeral.

[00:35:12]

Back to you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Randi Kaye thank you for that report. Now we'll take a short break. When we come back the northern summer barely a week old but already new maximum temperatures are being set from Russia to North America.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And we took all our blankets and started to tape them over every window that didn't have a shade or a drape just to try and keep the interior temperature cool.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's real hot. It's a scorcher. It's all good. Still got to get the run in you know.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come out to restaurants people because we need you and 90 degrees after 111 will see practically cool.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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VAUSE: Well over the past week record high temperatures that stood for more than a century are tumbling in parts of the western United States and Canada as well as Russia, Eastern Europe. Monday brought all-time highs to major cities including Portland and Seattle.

Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri joins us now with the very latest on this. And to think summer's barely a week old.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: That's the main point, right. You think about summer just getting underway. Typically and climatologically speaking John, the middle of July and the latter portion of July that when the hottest temperatures across North America are felt.

This time of year, especially in the Pacific Northwest, the least air- conditioned area of the United States, summer temperatures this time of year are generally around 20 to 22 degrees.

They're around double and in some cases more than 25 degrees above what is average for this time of year. And, in fact, look at this, the town of Lytton in British Columbia the last couple of days we've seen the hottest temperatures ever observed in Canada.

On Monday we topped it yet again, a high temperature of 45 -- 47.5 degrees Celsius. Compare that to what is happening in Baghdad and I looked into this, this is among the most northern city there as far as its latitude is concerned of seeing temperatures this hot. Really unusual to see this sort of heat build that far away from the desert landscapes of course where that sort of heat is typically experienced.

But here we go, the records baking across this region and upwards of 300 additional records possible through Friday around the western U.S. and even on into the northeastern United States, and you'll notice these readings again, the previous records notice when they're from, either the day earlier or a year ago or so when we had temperatures this warm.

So these sorts of records are becoming very consistent in the past several years and the previous records in some cases are just being shattered one day after another. And Portland a great example of it here with multiple days of setting a new record every single day since Saturday. And in Seattle it does cool off but notice the new norm of cooling off is about 5 to 8 degrees above what is average for this time of year into early July.

[00:40:00]

And in Portland much the same, temperatures come back down to reality, but the reality is that it's going to stay about 7 to 8 degrees above what is typically felt at least in the last 30 year average for portions of the western United States. And this is how roads are responding to conditions out there across

the northwest. And it's not just the northwest, as I noted John, it's also in the northeast where we have temperatures pushing close to 105 Fahrenheit or around 40 Celsius for those major cities.

VAUSE: And we better get used to it. Pedram, thank you. Pedram Javaheri we appreciate that.

JAVAHERI: Yes.

VAUSE: Well Barcelona is hosting Europe's first major tech expo since the beginning of the pandemic. The Mobile World Congress kicked off on Monday with a mix of in-person and virtual events.

CNN's Nina dos Santos has the highlights and more on the big name headline for Tuesday.

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NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Titans of the world of mobile telecommunications and technology came together to herald the return of big conferences with the unveiling of a much reduced Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

This is an event that usually gathers crowds about 100,000 strong every single year. People come to hear about the latest trends and also to see the latest technology being unveiled amid great excitement and fanfare.

It couldn't be held at all last year amid the first wave of the pandemic and made concerns that big events like these had the potential to become super spreader events. But now with more people vaccinated against the coronavirus more testing available and mask wearing indoors and social distancing obligatory, the organizers say that they feel confident they can put on a safe event.

Despite that a number of the CEOs who will be addressing the crowd will be doing so remotely. That includes the likes of Ericsson or Sony, Qualcomm and Intel, but there are some who will still be present, including the likes of Huawei.

Among the big topics of conversation this year inclusion, the Internet of Things which has helped people in their connectivity to do things like work from home. And also the latest wearable technology. Touch- screen devices, yes, but also hands-free devices as well, that in today's COVID era might be a safer option.

Amid the big draws will be Elon Musk's address to the crowd. That will take place at the end of the day on Tuesday. Many people keen to hear what the Tesla founder will have to predict for the next year to come after the last turbulent two that we've had.

Nina dos Santos, CNN, in London.

(END VIDEO CLIP) VAUSE: And before we go a celebration a century in the making, despite those seeing famine which left millions dead, purges in crackdowns as well as widespread human rights abuses, its party time in Beijing. The 100th anniversary of the ruling Communist Party.

And this is how the Communist Party parties, President Xi -- Xi Jinping has been on hand for fireworks as well as other massive displays, all leading up to the official anniversary date on Thursday. Here he is the man himself.

Some of the country's top politicians hit the red carpet of the Great Hall of People. All the time onlookers chanted enthusiastically and waved the red flags.

Xi has been honoring select party members and they got medals for their contributions.

Thank you for watching CNN Newsroom. Please stay with us, World Sports is next. I'm John Vause. See you at the top of the hour.

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