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Biden Administration Fell Short of the 70 Percent Herd Immunity; Doctors Play a Great Role in Convincing Skeptics; WHO Warns Countries to Slow Down in Lifting Restrictions; Tropical Storm Elsa Now Heads to Southern U.S.; Hong Kong Police Arrested High School Students; Russian Regional Passenger Plane Missing; About 1,000 Afghan Troops Flee To Tajikistan; U.S. Withdrawal Stokes Fears Of Taliban Rise To Power; U.S. Seeking Safe Haven For Afghan Translators; Kidnapping In Nigeria, Gunmen Raid Schools; Four Dead In Japan Mudslide; NHL Honors Mattis Kivlenieks; Gun Violence In America; Remembering Richard Donner, Dead At 91; Pope Francis Recovering From Surgery; CDC Ad Warning Goes Viral; Man Bitten By A Snake In The Bathroom. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired July 6, 2021 - 03:00   ET

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


[03:00:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, and welcome to our viewers joining us here in the United States and all around the world. You are watching CNN Newsroom. And I'm Rosemary Church.

Just ahead. The U.S. misses a COVID vaccination target despite warnings of a fast spreading variant of the virus. We will look at the Biden administration's next move.

A tropical storm is approaching the Florida peninsula, how it could affect rescue work at the site of the condo collapse near Miami.

And Afghans are on air gen on the move as Taliban fighters may territorial gains now that U.S. forces are out of the picture.

Thank you for joining us.

Well, the threat of the Delta COVID variant looms large across the United States especially in states where vaccination rates remain low, but now there is concern that the variant could impact the effectiveness of vaccines.

The Israeli government says preliminary data shows the Pfizer vaccine is less effective than before in preventing COVID-19 infections mainly due to the spread of the Delta variant. Though the vaccine is still strong in preventing severe illness. More than 157 million Americans are now fully vaccinated, that's almost half of the U.S. population. Now health officials are pushing to get even more shots in arms as they battle vaccine hesitancy.

CNN's Phil Mattingly reports from the White House. PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, President Biden may have

fallen short of his goal of having 70 percent of American adults with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccination by July 4th. It didn't mean that he would stop the celebration, or stop in acknowledgment of the process. White House officials made clear they have made historic in their minds, and certainly when you compare it to rest of the world, unmatched. At least up to this point.

But that doesn't mean that there aren't still very real, very palpable concerns inside of the White House from the president on down about what those who haven't gotten vaccinated yet may face. Those concerns driven primarily by the Delta variant.

Clearly, a more transmittable version of the coronavirus, something that is spreading throughout the country at a larger clip, at a quicker clip than I think anybody expected over the course of the last several weeks. That's particularly problematic in the states and localities where vaccine rates remain exceedingly low, particularly in the number of states throughout southeastern part of the United States where they just simply haven't been able to push vaccine rates up.

The reality is this. Regardless of the variant, regardless of the strain, vaccinations are proving to be extremely effective, when you talk to White House officials, when you talk to public health officials. At this point in time, the deaths that have transpired because of COVID-19, right now, almost 99 percent of them are coming from those who are unvaccinated.

And yet, the administration still acknowledging a lot of work to be done. It's going to be one of the key components of a private briefing President Biden receives from his COVID response team on Tuesday, also with public remarks the president is expected to give.

The bottom line here from the White House is yes, they have the July 4th celebration, the largest public event that they've held at the White House since President Biden took office, and yes, they wanted to note historic progress they feel they've made when it comes to the pandemic, but then they also acknowledge and will continue to acknowledge over the course of the next several weeks, officials say there is much more work to be done and a very dangerous variant that is now spreading that could complicate things.

No expectation of a large public outbreak, but certainly the possibility of outbreaks in those areas with lower vaccination levels, and that right now is where White House officials are most focused.

Phil Mattingly, CNN, the White House.

CHURCH: Dr. Jonathan Reiner joins me now. He is a CNN medical analyst and a professor of medicine and surgery at George Washington University. Thank you, doctor, for all that you do, and a pleasure to have you with us.

JONATHAN REINER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: My pleasure. Thank you.

CHURCH: President Joe Biden fell just short of his goal to get 70 percent of American adults partially vaccinated by July 4th. But he certainly came pretty close at more than 67 percent. The biggest challenge now is to convince all those hesitant people to get vaccinated. What is the key to doing that as the Delta variant continues to spread across the country, and indeed, the globe?

[03:05:03]

REINER: Well, I think the key is to get people to understand that they may be done with this pandemic, but the pandemic may not be done with them. And if you are not vaccinated the Delta variant of the coronavirus can kill you.

You know, I have struggled with how to reach out to folks around the country and make them understand that this is real. And you know, recently, I've been thinking about docs. Everyone seems to trust their own doctor. A couple of few weeks ago, the American Medical Association published a poll of American physicians and they found that 96 percent of physicians in the United States had been vaccinated. And that should really resonate with patients.

If your doctor is getting vaccinated, every doctor in this country essentially has gotten vaccinated, that should tell you something. We have taken this very seriously. We know what this virus can do. And our patients should take the lead from their doctors, I would start there. I would try and get vaccine into doctor's offices, into more doctor's offices so people can get vaccinated when they come in for their yearly checkup or for any other kind of exam they can get it, to get their first shot right in the office.

CHURCH: And doctor, why is it that the FDA isn't move faster to give full approval to the COVID vaccines so that more people are compelled to get the shots?

REINER: I do think they should try and move quicker. They have a lot of the data, they use it in the EUA approvals last December. You know, typically, the FDA can take as long as 18 months to approve a vaccine, so they are moving quicker, but I think it would make a big difference.

There are a lot of people who erroneously believe this is an experimental vaccine. It's not experimental. They believe that it was rushed to market, I think that's an unfortunate consequence of calling the program to develop the vaccines, Warp Speed which stressed speed. I would have called it something else that stressed efficacy.

But I think having a full approval for a vaccine would go a long way to convincing those folks who are willing to get vaccinated but are a little worried about whether it's safe and effective. Or go a long way to convincing them to go ahead and get -- get the shot.

CHURCH: And doctor, Israel says that preliminary data shows a drop in coronavirus vaccine protection and links that to the spread of the Delta variant. How concerned should we be about this? And what needs to be done about that?

REINER: Yes, this recent data, and we basically just have the top line data from Israel suggest that the mRNA vaccines might be only about 63 percent effective against contracting illness, but still, really, terrifically effective, 93 percent effective against serious illness or hospitalization.

A study a couple of weeks ago from the United Kingdom showed different results, showing an almost 90 percent effectiveness for the Pfizer vaccine in preventing illness and 96 percent effectiveness with preventing serious illness. Those numbers are actually closer to the Israeli numbers in terms of serious illness.

We'll have to see when we look at the data, probably it's somewhere in between the two, of the two numbers. We know that the Delta variant is more transmittable, we know that the mRNA vaccines hold up, but not quite as well as some of the earlier variant. One thing I would stress, however, is that if you look at the data coming out of Israel despite, you know, these, I won't even call them concerning numbers, Israel has not had a COVID death in 10 days.

So, you know, whether more people are contracting the virus, what we are not seeing coming out of Israel is serious illness or death. And that's what these vaccines really are intended to do, prevent serious illness and death.

CHURCH: Yes, that is critical. Dr. Reiner, thank you so much for talking with us. We appreciate it.

REINER: My pleasure.

CHURCH: Rich countries with better access to vaccines are quickly lifting COVID restrictions or getting ready to do so. But the World Health Organization is warning them to slow down. The head of the emergencies program says a new wave of the virus could arrive in the coming months. This time driven by the more contagious Delta variant that's causing cases to rise in much of western Europe.

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MICHAEL RYAN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, WHO HEALTH EMERGENCIES PROGRAMME: I think overall, we've made a very premature run back to full normality. And I think we are going to pay a price for that, because we're not there with vaccination, the variants are really there, and we haven't protected enough people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH (on camera): That sharp warning came as England announced plans to lift all COVID restrictions in less than two weeks from now even though the Delta variant is causing infections there to spike.

So, let's turn to our Cyril Vanier, he joins us live from London. Good to see you, Cyril. So, the WHO saying it's a mistake to ease restrictions prematurely. What is Boris Johnson's calculation here given the questions being raised about the Delta variant driving up infections, and of course, current vaccination rates. CYRIL VANIER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. Well, Boris Johnson and

the British government disagree with what your WHO official just said. And by the way, that official said we haven't protected enough people. How much is enough? Because Boris Johnson would tell you that almost two thirds of adults in the U.K. are fully vaccinated, and that almost 90 percent have had a first dose, and that is enough to lift almost all COVID restrictions.

With that said, Rosemary, here is what Boris Johnson actually said during his press conference yesterday when he announced the government was poised to lift, to almost certainly lift almost all restrictions in two weeks.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: We are seeing cases rise fairly rapidly, there could be 50,000 cases detected per day by the 19th, and again, as we predicted we are seeing rising hospital admissions, and we must reconcile ourselves sadly to more deaths from COVID.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VANIER (on camera): So, last time we heard of almost 50,000 infections a day, we weren't on the verge of loosening restrictions, we were on the verge of shutting down this country again for two and a half months.

What has changed of course is the vaccination rate, Rosemary. And the logic is similar to what your guest was telling you moments ago about the Israeli situation. Which is, yes, cases have surged but the accurate bellwether for how these countries are doing is no longer daily infection numbers, it is daily hospitalization numbers and death numbers.

And while those have been going up a little bit, they haven't been going up nearly in the same proportion or numbers as infections, Rosemary. And that is why the government has said, we can now reopen and we will have to learn to live with this virus.

CHURCH: All right. We'll watch and see how all of this goes. Cyril Vanier joining us live from London, many thanks.

And still ahead this hour, after sweeping across Cuba on Monday, tropical storm Elsa is back over water. We are tracking the storm as it churns straight towards Florida. We'll have the latest.

[03:15:00]

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CHURCH (on camera): Tropical storm Elsa swept across Cuba on Monday slamming the island with heavy rain and strong winds. The storm is now churning over the Gulf of Mexico and headed right for northwest Florida. At least four counties near Tampa will open emergency shelters ahead of the storm. Meanwhile, Elsa could also create problems for crews working at the

Surfside condo collapse.

Tyler Mauldin has been tracking the storm and joins us now. Good to see you, Tyler. So, what is the latest on when this tropical storm will likely make landfall in Florida?

TYLER MAULDIN, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Rosemary, it's about 40 miles to the south of Key West at the moment and it has winds of 60 miles per hour, gust as high as 70. As it takes this track the conditions are going to worsen from south to north. So, starting with Key West you're already beginning to see the rainfall pick up in intensity, and then zooming into south Florida we're seeing some heavy bands continue to set up here.

We have some strong thunderstorms push through during the afternoon hours on Monday. And now that Elsa is getting ever so closer to south Florida, we are beginning to see those bands really set up. We get one band pushing over downtown Miami, just to the west of Surfside.

And speaking of Surfside, we are going to see gusty stormy squalls push through on Tuesday. But then it's back to normal south Florida rainy season weather on Wednesday and Thursday for us in Surfside. I mentioned that it's going to move to the north, Elsa is. And as it does so it's going to pass by Cuba, assuming it pass by Key West, and it's going to stay just to the west, just off shore of the West Coast of Florida.

Even though it's going to stay off the west coast, that doesn't mean we're not going to feel impacts. As you can see already, we are already feeling impacts across south Florida. And as it takes its journey what's on the right side is all the thunderstorm activity and that's going to line up right on top of the peninsula as it takes this track. So, we are looking at some really active weather over the next 24 to 48 hours.

Landfall is expected to be up there near cedar Key and the Big Ben of Florida come Wednesday morning. So, you see all the thunderstorms moving from south to north across the peninsula to Florida on Tuesday. This Tuesday evening and then you can see it finally makes when landfall come Wednesday morning around sunrise. And we continue to see that tail of thunderstorm activity all the way down the peninsula.

So, we could see extremely heavy rainfall especially along the West Coast. This is where we could have flash flooding on top of this, about six inches of rainfall in some spots, even some storm surge up to five feet near Tampa, and as these bands do come ashore, what happens is it encounters the land and there's a lot of friction there, it causes them to rotate. So, the storm prediction center, Rosemary, is highlighting much of the peninsula for the potential for isolated tornadoes.

CHURCH: Wow. Thank you, Tyler, for staying on top of all of that. A lot to explain. You did it well.

MAULDIN: Yes. Thank you. CHURCH: I appreciate it. Well, search crews now have safe access to the entire debris field in that Florida building collapse. The remaining part of the Champlain Towers south building was demolished late Sunday. Since then four more bodies have been recovered, bringing the death toll to 28. One hundred seventeen people are still missing.

[03:19:59]

CNN's Leyla Santiago has that report.

(BEGIN VIDEOCLIP)

LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The controlled demolition of the rest of the Champlain Tower South building Sunday has opened the way for search and rescue teams to broaden their efforts officials say, and continue their work safely.

MAYOR DANIELLA LEVINE CAVA (D), MIAMI-DADE COUNTY: The search-and- rescue team has been able to search all sections of the grid on the collapse following the building demolition. Now that the entire area is safe to search.

SANTIAGO: The potential threat of tropical storm Elsa also impacted the decision-making.

MAYOR CHARLES BURKETT, SURFSIDE, FLORIDA: The worst thing that could have happened was to have a storm come in and blow that building down on top of the pile.

SANTIAGO: Rescue teams halted their work temporarily but resumed just over an hour after the demolition began. Today, workers hoping to access voids in the rubble that they couldn't before the remaining tower was brought down.

BURKETT: The activity on that site which I just came from a few minutes ago, is more active and greater than I've ever seen since the beginning of this crisis.

SANTIAGO: This as new condo documents obtained by CNN show that a presentation was prepared for residents last fall and winter on quote, "why we have to do all this now." The garage lacked waterproofing and quote, "water has gotten underneath and caused additional damage to the concrete."

Over the weekend in Miami Beach, two different nearby condominiums were evacuated in an abundance of caution. One just mile north of Champlain Towers due to reported unsafe structural and electrical conditions. Then, firefighters ordered residents to evacuate a low- rise condominium complex after a building inspector flagged a floor system failure in a vacant unit and damage to an exterior wall according to a city spokesperson.

Officials say the priority right now is search and rescue of victims. But investigators continue to search for answers.

MAYOR DAN GELBER, MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA: If we find out that this was entirely avoidable which you know because of action or inaction, you know it's -- it's -- it still is obviously a tragedy but it makes it just so much more acute and so important for us to act.

SANTIAGO: For some, the demolition of the remaining tower was emotional. Yet, it allowed others to finally make their first visit to the site of the tragedy.

MERCY MACDOWELL, FRIEND IS UNACCOUNTED FOR: I wasn't able to come earlier because the side of the building still affected me greatly. And today, because the building came down, I think I managed to make it all the way up to the memorial site.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANTIAGO (on camera): And you know, we visited that memorial that you saw at the end of the story there. It's just a block away from where the building collapsed. We could still see the dust in the air and we certainly saw a lot of raw pain, people sobbing, trying to make sense of what has happened here.

I spoke to one couple from New York who said this reminded them a lot of 9/11 as they watch the rescuers, rescue crews continue to just dig and dig. And I also spoke to some people who say that when that building was demolished it took some hope along with it, while others say that that's exactly what they needed to be able to start moving forward.

Leyla Santiago, CNN, Surfside, Florida.

CHURCH: Well now to Hong Kong where police have accused six high school students of plotting an alleged terror attack. Three adults also were arrested.

So, let's get right to our Kristie Lu Stout. She joins us live from Hong Kong. Kristie, what more are you learning about this, and what evidence is there to support the claim that high school students were involved in this terrorist bomb plot?

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Rosemary, that is the key question. And this is what we know at this hour. Hong Kong police say that they thwarted a suspected terror plot after arresting nine people including six high school students, teenagers, on suspicion of terrorist offenses under the national security law.

According to Hong Kong Police they say that the nine had rented a hostel in the Kowloon area of Hong Kong where they were planning to make homemade bombs. According to Hong Kong police they said that the nine individuals were planning to target public facilities across Hong Kong, including public transit as well as courts and cross-harbor tunnels.

Now police they also said in a press conference earlier today that they found an operations manual detailing plans for an attack to take place in early July, but no bombs were made and no bombs were found. Now of the nine individuals arrested, five are men, four are women, six are high school students. They are all linked to a pro- independence Hong Kong organization called Returning Valiant, which is active on social media platforms including Facebook. Here is the senior superintendent of Hong Kong police with more on the case.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEVE LI, SENIOR SUPERINTENDENT, HONG KONG POLICE (through translator): To establish a homemade lab, to manufacture improvised explosive devices in the middle of a busy city, is a very insane. I think everyone would agree with that.

[03:25:03]

It's very irresponsible. It's very painful to see young people getting involved. It is a heinous act to lure young people into participating in this kind of activity.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LU STOUT (on camera): As for who was funding this operation Hong Kong Police would only say that they arrested the main source of financing of the operation. Back to you, rosemary.

CHURCH: And I mean, it has to be said, this is highly unusual in Hong Kong to see this sort of thing. But talk to us about just how polarized Hong Kong is at this time.

LU STOUT: Yes. This comes during a time of deepening polarization here in city. It's been starting and going on since 2019. The Hong Kong pro-democracy and anti-government protests and it's deepening even further with the lives there with the imposition of the national security law. And it was all further in discord about what's happened over the last week where a week ago on July 1st, which of course was a sensitive anniversary, it was the big centennial of the Chinese Communist Party handover anniversary, one-year anniversary of the national security law.

A 50-year-old man stabbed a Hong Kong police officer before stabbing and killing himself. It was something that Hong Kong police have called a terrorist attack, a lone wolf attack, but a number of Hongkongers came out to memorialize and to remember this man.

Carrie Lam, Hong Kong's top leader commented on those activities by people who dare to memorialize him questioning their morality. That gives you a sense of what's happening here. Back to you.

CHURCH: yes. Kristie Lu Stout, joining us live from Hong Kong, many thanks.

Well U.S. troops may be leaving but the war in Afghanistan isn't going anywhere. Taliban attacks have left some Afghan forces so shaken they have fled the country. We will have details.

Plus, a professional golfer is fatally shot on a course and a suspect is still at large. We will have the latest on the investigation.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [03:30:00]

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CHURCH (on camera): This story just into CNN, we are getting preliminary reports about a Russian passenger plane that has gone missing. Authorities say communication was lost with the aircraft as it flew over the Kamchatka peninsula in Russia's Far East, Tuesday. At least 28 people are believed to have been on board. The turboprop failed to land when it was it was due at its destination the village of Palana. Search and rescue efforts are currently are underway.

Well, new reports claimed about 1,000 Afghan troops have fled the battlefield, seeking shelter in neighboring Tajikistan. It comes as Afghan officials in the Northern Province of Takhar say Taliban forces failed to capture its capital city, being held back by government forces and armed civilians. If true, it is a much-needed victory for the government. The Taliban now controlled more than 190 districts in Afghanistan, according to the Long War journal.

CNN has not independently confirmed these details. It is a lot for the government to take on, given the recent departure of U.S. and NATO allies. But the officer in charge of Bagram air base remains confident, Afghan forces can hold back the Taliban.

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BRIG. GEN. MIR ASADULLAH KOHISTANIM, AFGHAN NATIONAL ARMY: The most important thing is our confidence in our plan. So, we will defend our country as much as possible with anything if possible. And we will continue and right now, we are going to plan to retake some district which already have been taken back.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: Meantime, the U.S. is making sure it's remaining diplomatic presence in Afghanistan is ready for potential threats. CNN's Oren Liebermann has more from the Pentagon.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORESPONDENT (voice over): U.S. Officials are in the process of updating evacuation plans for the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. And this comes as the Taliban is making tremendous gains very quickly in the countryside of Afghanistan taking over districts and pushing back the Afghan military.

Now, every U.S. embassy has an evacuation plan, especially those that are in war zones or conflict zones, such as Afghanistan and Kabul. But, with Bagram air base closing, it takes out one of the options to get U.S. troops, U.S. diplomats, and U.S. contractors out. So, those plans need to be updated.

A senior defense officials say that the plans are in-depth, the plans are extensive, because they need to be able to be implemented very quickly, should the situation arise, in which the U.S. needs to evacuate its citizens out of Afghanistan.

Now, that senior defense official stresses there is no need right now to get everyone out. That will be the remaining 650 or so troops, as the U.S. nears the withdrawal of U.S. Forces from Afghanistan, as well as the diplomatic presence, and a few hundred contractors that remained to help the Afghan military.

But, the U.S. Intelligence Community is very closely watching the advance of the Taliban. So that will be a key element here. Seeing what they do, and how they do it. The senior defense officials stresses there is no one consensus on how this will all play out, but intelligence estimates are a bit all over the place as they watch the Taliban and here the Taliban make it statements about what its intentions are.

Nevertheless, the Biden administration has made clear that it sees now, and the immediate future as the time to hand over the fight against the Taliban to the Afghan military. The White House and the Pentagon saying late last week that the withdrawal would be complete by the end of August, but for all intents and purposes, it is effectively compete now.

The vast majority of troops in the country are there for protecting the U.S. Embassy there, as well as protecting the airport, so this fight, now, largely on the Afghans. The commanding general there, who spoke with our colleague, Anna Coren, in Afghanistan said they would begin a counterattack, but so far, counterattacks by Afghan military forces have retaken some districts, but only some. The Taliban moving very quickly through the countryside. Oren Liebermann, CNN, at the Pentagon.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHURCH: As troops withdraw, the U.S. is also scrambling to protect thousands of Afghan translators who could now be targeted by the Taliban. A U.S. official, and other sources tells CNN, the Biden administration is asking a number of central Asian countries to take them in. The top Republican in the House foreign affairs committee says, there should have been a better plan.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. MICHAEL MCCAUL (R-TX): We made a promise to them they served with our special forces, these interpreters, we told them we would take care of them, and we can't turn our backs, and leave them to die. They will be slaughtered by the Taliban. They are targeted by the Taliban. We have to get them out of there. There are about 9,000 of them, and I have been really pleading with the administration to come up with a plan. They just haven't prepared for this at all.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[03:35:10]

CHURCH: Kim Staffieri is the cofounder of the Association of Wartime Allies, and she joins us now. Thanks for being with us. KIM STAFFIERI, COFOUNDER OF THE ASSOCIATION OF WARTIME ALLIES (on

camera): Hi, thank you for having me.

CHURCH: So, when U.S. troops withdrew from Afghanistan, they didn't only leave behind vehicles and technology, but also thousands of Afghan translators. Now, they face almost certain death at the hands of the Taliban, if they can't get to a place of safety, quickly, and we have heard critics of the plan, that is currently in place. What do you think needs to happen, right now?

STAFFIERI: Right now, I believe that every special immigrant visa applicant from the U.S. needs to be evacuated, immediately. I also think that they should be taken to a U.S. territory, and not to a third country. There are asylum laws and immigration laws that would protect them, should they fail to earn the most difficult visa there is to earn in the United States.

CHURCH: And what location are you talking about? Where do you think that these thousands of Afghan translators should be moved to?

STAFFIERI: Well, specifically, we have actually had many discussions, with Guam. You know, from their government leaders to their high-level business leaders, and they are very ready, and they want to welcome these people and take care of them.

CHURCH: So, why does this process take so long, given the military has worked with these translators for years, and should be able to vouch for them immediately, and bypass all of the red tape?

STAFFIERI: I don't have a good answer for that. These visas are supposed to be processed in nine months, or less, and at best, they take about three years. At worst, I've seen up to 10 years.

CHURCH: And of course, many of these people get denied initially, but then approved. And that takes even more time. Why do we see that happen?

STAFFIERI: You know, it is red tape, very small details that may be left out by one of the applicants can cause a denial. And, rather than the people on this side, trying to help the applicant to get through it, they just casually call it out as a denial, and now the poor person has to reapply and basically start all over again.

CHURCH: And we are talking around 18,000 interpreters, in this instance.

STAFFIERI: Correct. Yes.

CHURCH: And so what remains, for many of those people, they would have family members who, would also, want to eventually come to America. So, what does that process entail?

STAFFIERI: Well, for these applicants, they are allowed to bring their spouse, and their children. It is not like the Iraqi program, were extended family could come. So it is just for their spouses and their children. It's maybe on average, 3.5 per family, or per applicant, I should say. And they would just travel with them. They would come with them to Guam, and live in safety, while the visas are processed.

CHURCH: So your sense is, there is not a reluctance to bring these translators over, it is just that the process is so convoluted that it cannot move particularly quickly. So, what would be the obstacle, since Guam sounds like it is certainly eager to take these interpreters? What would be the stumbling block and doing that?

STAFFIERI: The Biden administration has different plans, and they really as far as we can tell, haven't looked into the Guam option, at least not thoroughly. And, I don't understand, to be quite honest, I'm very confused by what I'm seeing coming out of the Biden administration. Their choices are very poor.

CHURCH: Let's hope this can be moved along a little faster for these interpreters, who have worked so many years for the U.S. Military. Kim Staffieri, thank you so much for talking with us, we appreciate it.

STAFFIERI: Thank you, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Authorities are said to be in hot pursuit of gunmen who raided a private school, and kidnap schools of people in northern Nigeria. Officials say, the attackers captured about 140 students. Police say at least 26 students and a teacher, have been rescued since then. It is the latest in a string of abductions by armed men who target schools and even hospitals for ransom. School kidnappings were first carried out by jihadists groups, like Boko Haram, but now, other gunmen are doing it as well. This is the 10th mass school kidnapping in northwest Nigeria since December.

[03:40:00]

Well, rescuers in Japan are digging through the mock and debris, hoping to find survivors after Saturday's deadly mudslide. Officials say, four people are now confirmed dead, and 24 are unaccounted for. The threat of rain, and more landslides has hampered rescue efforts, and many survivors, no longer have a home. At least 130 houses were destroyed in that disaster. The local Governor says the prefecture will investigate the mudslide. One angle that will be looked at is whether it is tied to recent housing projects and deforestation.

A killing on a golf course in the southern U.S. has shattered a peaceful community. We will have the latest on the search for the suspect, after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNKNOWN: National Hockey League family mourns the tragic passing of Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Mattis Kivlenieks. We extend our deepest sympathies for his family, friends, and team mates during this difficult time.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CHURCH: NHL player Mattis Kivlenieks was honored at game four of the

Stanley cup finals, on Monday. The goaltender, died over the weekend, after a fireworks mortar accidentally struck him, causing internal injuries. The 24-year-old played for the Columbus Blue Jackets, and his native Latvia.

Well, there seems to be no place in America that is safe from gun violence. Even a tranquil golf course. Police in Georgia are searching for a suspect who drove a truck on to the course, on Sunday, and fatally shot a professional golfer. Two other people were later found dead in that truck. CNN's Gary Tuchman has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): What happen on the 10th green of the country golf course, in leafy suburb of Atlanta is tragic, frightening, and deeply mysterious. On Saturday, this pick-up truck was driven on to the green at the Pinetree Country Club in Kennesaw Georgia. About 25 miles northwest of Atlanta.

[03:45:11]

And, when the club's Director of golf Gene Siller went to see what was going on, he was shot in the head by the driver of the pick-up. This man, told our CNN affiliate, he was in the golf course clubhouse, when he heard gunshots.

UNKNOWN: When it happened, it was all in the moment. You know, Fourth of July, you think of fireworks. And it's not fireworks, and there is a guy on the ground.

TUCHMAN: Gene Siller, husband and father of two boys was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. He was well known and liked, and competed in Georgia's PGA section tournaments. The gunmen is still on the loose. This man says he played golf with Gene Siller, the day before he was killed.

UNKNOWN: It didn't hit me until later, you know that. This happened to her country club, and it's really still I can't believe it.

TUCHMAN: What happened is indeed difficult to believe. Only made more incomprehensible because the situation is so strange. When police got to the scene, they looked in the truck, and they said in a written statement, two other deceased males were discovered in the bed of the pick-up truck. Both male suffered apparent gunshot wounds. One of the males was identified as Paul Pierson, the registered owner of the Ram 3500. The other male has not yet been identified. This remains under investigation.

And, so far, authorities are not releasing additional details about the investigation. But, nearby Kennesaw State University, sent out an emergency alert this weekend, declaring the male suspect had been seen, and he has long hair, a white tan shirt, and dark colored work pants. However, a later tweet from the college said, you may resume normal activities. No credible threat to campus has indicated at this time. Today, the tire tracks from the pick-up truck are clearly (inaudible)

on the 10th green. And there is a makeshift memorial with flowers, and an American flag, right nearby. Rand Eberhard, was a friend of Gene Siller, he is also a pastor.

RAND EBERHARD, PASTOR, FRIEND OF GENE SILLER: Knowing what set out, with calculated evil, to set out and to do something wrong to Gene. Gene was a bringer of light. The goodness of God. He was a peaceful dude.

TUCHMAN: Gene Siller was 41 years old, his children are six, and seven. Gary Tuchman, CNN.

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CHURCH: Well, movie fans, and Hollywood stars, are remembering accomplished producer and Director, Richard Donner. He died, Monday, at the age of 91. Donner had a remarkable six decade career, making many beloved films, including Superman, Lethal Weapon, and the Goonies. He also directed classic episodes of the Twilight Zone, early in his career, including Nightmare at 20,000 feet, starring a young William Shatner.

Stephen Spielberg, paid respect to his former collaborator, in a statement, saying this. Being in his circle was akin to hanging out with your favorite coach, smartest professor, fiercest motivator, most endearing friend, and staunchest ally. Spielberg remembered Donner as all heart, all the time, and gifted across so many genres.

Actor, Elijah Wood, posted this message on Twitter. My childhood, and life, was so impacted by the incredible Richard Donner. Part of a giant, and spirit of a child. His impact on cinema is truly immense, deftly bouncing from genre to genre.

Well, Pope Francis will be away from the Vatican for at least a week. Coming up, the latest on his condition, as he recovers from surgery.

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[03:50:00]

CHURCH: Pope Francis will spend at least a week in the hospital, as he recovers from surgery. It is the first time he has been hospitalized, since he was elected pope in 2013. The Vatican says, the pope isn't good overall condition, after Sunday's procedure. Delia Gallagher has the details now from Rome.

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DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Good news from Pope Francis, the latest medical bulletin says he is alert and responding, and breathing on his own. The surgery, yesterday took about three hours, and it involved removing a portion of the lower left colon. The pope was suffering from diverticulitis, which is an inflammation of the colon, as well as stenosis, which is the narrowing of the colon. It is a condition common in elderly people. The pope is 84 years old,

the surgery require general anesthesia, so good news that the pope is alert, and responding on Tuesday. The prognosis for Pope Francis is, at least, seven days in the hospital, behind me. If you can see behind my shoulders, those top five windows, with the shades pulled down, those are the pope's rooms, at this hospital, which has been treating popes for decades. John Paul the Second spent a lot of time in those rooms. Francis will be there for at least the next seven days. Delia Gallagher, CNN, Rome.

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CHURCH: And we wish him a speedy recovery. Well, a graphic warning from the CDC is making a splash on social media. It is going all the way to number one by being all about number two. CNN's Jeanne Moos, explains.

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JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): It is something even a whistle twirling lifeguard can't guard against. No amount of sun block will block it. But, instead of an old-fashioned PSA, featuring a Ph.D., earnestly warning --

UNKNOWN: Stay out of the water if you have diarrhea.

MOOS: The CDC took the plunge, and came up with this. It is the gift that keeps on giving. Code brown, on the slide. One person with diarrhea can contaminate the entire pool. One gift, contaminated the entire internet. Your taxpayer dollars were spent paying someone to make a graphic of a child popping on a slide? Men ages summed it up --

UNKNOWN: If you, no.

MOOS: But others declared it best ad ever. While Huff Post dubbed it poop-tastic.

[03:55:00]

Many echoed this comment, whoever decided to do this as a social media campaign needs a raise for how many people have now seen this, and will remember the slide. And, if the slide slips your mind, there's toilet snorkeling. If you wouldn't do this, then why would you do this?

Posted one joker -- probably should wear N95s on our (BEEP). With this gift, the CDC meets caddy shack. A floating object emptied the pool. The science is bad enough.

UNKNOWN: Superbugs like crypto can survive for days in chlorinated water.

MOOS: But consider this, when asked, have you ever peed in the pool as an adult, 40 percent of Americans surveyed said, yes. So, it's not just the little kid in South Park.

UNKNOWN: What's that?

MOOS: For some, the CDC warnings may seem obvious. No (BEEP) responded one comedian, but no amount of splashing will wash away these images. Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

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CHURCH: Alright. They got the message across, didn't they? And finally, this hour, you have probably heard of snakes on the plane, but how about snakes in the drain? A man in Austria was going to the bathroom when a python bit him on the behind. Authorities think the snake, were more than a meter and a half long, somehow escape a neighbor's apartment, slithered through the drains, and into the man's toilet. The 65-year-old was treated for minor injuries, his neighbor actually owns 11 snakes, and could face charges over the incident.

Well, thank you so much for joining us, I'm Rosemary Church, I'll be back with more news in just a moment. Do stay with us.

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