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Tokyo 2020 Officially Underway; Portuguese Olympic Surfer Tests Positive for COVID-19; Thailand Struggles with Vaccine Shortage; U.K. Government under Fire for Lifting Restrictions; Gunshots, Protests Disrupt Moise Funeral; Australia Pushes Back on Great Barrier Reef as "In Danger". Aired 2-2:45a ET

Aired July 24, 2021 - 02:00   ET

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


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MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hello and welcome to CNN NEWSROOM, I'm Michael Holmes, appreciate your company.

Now the Olympic Games underway, under the shadow of a global pandemic. There are fireworks and athletes but little else is familiar.

Southeast Asia, grappling with soaring COVID cases, fueled by the Delta variant and compounded by low vaccination rates.

And deadly floods ravage China, with the threat of worse to come. We are tracking two tropical storms in the Pacific.

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HOLMES: The 2020 Summer Olympics, finally underway in Tokyo. But the pandemic that forced a year-long delay, still, going strong. Olympic organizers say that 17 new COVID cases were reported in the past day, including some athletes. At least 127 cases, now linked to the games.

Strict COVID protocols, closing most venues to spectators, so people in Tokyo had to watch the opening ceremony fireworks from outside the stadium. Inside, the brand-new 68,000-seat venue was mostly empty, as Japanese tennis champ, Naomi Osaka, lit the Olympic cauldron. Only a fraction of the athletes were present, along with fewer than 1,000 dignitaries. CNN's Will Ripley is, in Tokyo, with more on Friday's opening ceremony.

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WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The official opening of the Tokyo Summer Games, a ceremony that tried to look familiar but felt so different.

Hundreds of drones forming a globe over the Olympic Stadium, celebrating one world united in sport, under the shadow of a pandemic. The stadium eerily empty, as flag-bearers proudly represented their countries, cheering them on a handful of visiting dignitaries. U.S. First Lady Jill Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, among the athletes, some familiar faces and well-oiled physiques. The Tongan flag-bearer famous from Rio and South Korea. Team USA featuring basketball star and four-time gold medalist Sue Bird and baseball playing speed skating silver medalist Eddy Alvarez.

Outside the ceremony, Japanese protesters calling for the games to be canceled, fearing the Olympics will become a COVID-19 super spreader event. Fears fueled by rising cases in the host city. Daily numbers hitting almost 2,000 this week, a six-month high.

Olympic dreams dashed for more than 20 athletes so far, testing positive or being placed in the COVID-19 protocol, including five members from Team USA, most taking the COVID protocols and lack of fans in stride.

KENDRA HARRISON, TEAM USA TRACK & FIELD: When you're lined up with the best in the world like you're not worried about the stands, you're not worried about the people there. You're just worried about going out there and competing to the best of your ability.

RIPLEY (voice-over): Despite the Olympics first ever spectator band, some are making the most of it. Fans watching the opening ceremony from outside the stadium.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was so moved to my heart. So yes, that's so special for us.

RIPLEY (voice-over): Closing out the opening ceremony, the reveal of the torchbearer to light the cauldron, four-time Grand Slam women's tennis champion Naomi Osaka, in recent months, facing her own very public mental health challenges. Perhaps, the perfect representative for the 32nd Olympiad overcoming postponement and a pandemic, to showcase the triumph of the Olympic spirit -- Will Ripley, CNN, Tokyo.

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HOLMES: CNN's Blake Essig has been covering the Olympics in-depth for us, joins me now from Oyama city, outside of Tokyo.

You are at one of the only places in Japan that allows the public to gather and watch some of the Olympics. Tell us about that and what you have been seeing and hearing.

BLAKE ESSIG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Michael, it is not what anyone was hoping for, but some people want to feel the Olympic atmosphere, any way possible. For the people behind me, it means sitting on an auditorium, on a beautiful, day in the city, to watch the games on a big screen and experience that Olympic spirit, as a community.

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ESSIG: Now, this is one of the only live public viewing sites in the country, 2,000 people applying, but given social distancing requirements, only 500 received tickets to watch the action together and feel that Olympic spirit. With COVID-19 cases surging in Tokyo and rising nationwide, public

viewings like this are incredibly rare. Of course, spectators have been banned from 88 percent of Olympic venues and 97 percent of all competitions.

One of the few events that fans can watch in person, is the cycling road race, which is happening right now and will finish here, in Oyama city, near the base of Mt. Fuji. That is what the people behind me, currently are watching on the big screen.

Now it is imperfect but finally, after one year of a delay, months of uncertainty regarding whether or not that they would actually happen, it was last, night during a watershed moment for Japan when tennis star Naomi Osaka lit the cauldron, that these Olympic Games really started to feel real.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I think Naomi Osaka was the best choice to be the last torchbearer because she is one of the world's top athletes. She is also mixed race and has faced a lot of challenges. It is amazing she can represent Japan like this. It sends out a great message from here to the world.

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ESSIG: The fact that Naomi Osaka, a mixed-race person, was the one to light the Olympic flame is incredibly significant here in Japan. Japan is considered one of the most racially homogenous countries in the world.

But the country is slowly shifting views on identity. In a moment like we saw last night, it shows how the society is adapting to the changing times. Michael?

HOLMES: It's a good point. Blake, thank you, Blake Essig, in Oyama city, in Japan. The first medals have already been won.

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HOLMES: In the meantime, we will take a quick break. In fact, when we come, back Indonesia, tightening COVID-19 restrictions as case numbers soar but the death toll, still hitting new records. That and the latest, from other Asian nations. We will have a live report with Anna Coren.

Also, the U.K. government taking a major gamble, by lifting COVID restrictions across the country. Why some call it unethical and dangerous -- that's when we come back.

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HOLMES: Welcome back.

Much of Asia is struggling with the surging numbers of coronavirus cases, driven, of course, by the highly contagious Delta variant. Have a look at all of that, that orange and red on the map.

Indonesia currently the center of Asia's outbreak. On Friday, setting a new record for daily deaths for the third day in a row. Anna Coren is tracking COVID developments across Asia and elsewhere, joins me now live from Hong Kong with the latest.

A real explosion of the Delta variant across the region. As we say, the epicenter continues to be in Indonesia.

ANNA COREN, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: It is certainly bearing the brunt, Michael. As you say, we are seeing this explosion of the Delta variant right across Asia. Governments in all countries are scrambling to try and get ahead of this.

Indonesia, yes, has become the epicenter for the virus here in Asia, is the fourth most populous country in the world. It's a developing nation. It also has a high poverty rate and is the perfect breeding ground for this virus.

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COREN (voice-over): A taxi graveyard, the colorful cars that once zipped tourists around Bangkok, now sit idle in a field. There are fewer customers these days, as new cases of coronavirus in Thailand reach record highs. But for those lucky enough to pick up a fare, it's no longer a routine ride.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We had passengers getting on and off our cars every day. And we don't know if they are at risk or not. We need to protect ourselves and the passengers also need to protect themselves. Both sides are just scared.

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COREN (voice-over): Those fears keeping more people at home. Volunteers bring food to those isolated along Bangkok's canals. The government says there is a shortage of vaccines along with the surge of infections, though supply is just one of the obstacles preventing people from getting shots.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I can't go. I only stay like this because, if I go for a vaccination, I'd have to take a boat, walk and commute by car. I have no money to spend for that.

COREN (voice-over): Experts say vaccines are a critical weapon in fighting this outbreak that has spread across Asia. Some health care workers in India hiking into the remote countryside to dole out the doses.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): They moved to door to door in my village, collected swabs for testing and gave vaccines to the villagers. Our village is a tribal village, and no one visits here.

COREN (voice-over): Vietnam is also trying to accelerate its vaccination program, as cases sharply rise there, too. The outbreak in Ho Chi Minh city is so bad that soldiers in hazmat suits hose down the streets with disinfectant.

But even as countries across Southeast Asia tighten their COVID-19 restrictions, the virus still seems to be a step ahead. In one of the hardest hit nations, Indonesia, the death toll crossed 1,500 a day for the first time during the pandemic.

Singapore says even the vaccinated are impacted. Government data over the past 4 weeks shows vaccinated people made up three quarters of new infections, though they did not become seriously ill.

The empty streets of Sydney, Australia, a sign a lockdown is in effect but with cases still rising, some officials say it's not enough.

DANIEL ANDREWS, VICTORIA PREMIER: We need a ring of steel around Sydney, so that this virus is not spreading into other parts of our nation.

COREN (voice-over): But spreading is what this virus does very efficiently, so much so, the state of New South Wales asked the federal government for more vaccines, a request that was denied. Prime minister Scott Morrison saying it would disrupt the vaccination program for the rest of the country.

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COREN: Now Michael, we know that the vaccine rollout in Australia has been nothing short of woeful; just over 11 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated. New South Wales today recording a record number of daily infections, 163 new cases of COVID-19, up from 136 yesterday.

Now despite all this, their upheaval, thousands of people protesting on the streets of Sydney against the lockdown that the government has put in place. Thousands marched, saying that this was their Freedom Day march, that they shouldn't have to adhere to the measures of a lockdown.

There've been clashes with police; dozens of people have been arrested. They've also been protesting in Melbourne, Michael. People also being arrested by police in the state of Victoria.

It really beggar's belief when we are seeing this explosion of cases in Australia of the Delta variant and, still, people are out there protesting, no masks, no social distancing, saying that it is their right.

HOLMES: Just incredible lack of awareness. Anna, thank you, Anna Coren in Hong Kong, appreciate it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HOLMES (voice-over): Hundreds of protesters blocking Slovakia's parliament on Friday as deputies debated a new bill on COVID vaccinations. The protesters chanting the word "Gestapo," and holding a banner that said, "Stop corona fascism."

Police later deployed tear gas. The proposed bill would give vaccinated people easier access to public events and spaces.

The U.K. government once again coming under fire for its handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Some scientists calling the decision to lift COVID restrictions, despite high infection rates, dangerous and unethical. Well, now prime minister Boris Johnson is pleading with citizens to stay safe. CNN's Scott McLean with the latest from London.

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SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson showed up in parliament remotely. He's self-isolating after meeting with his health secretary who tested positive for COVID-19.

Opposition leader Keir Starmer was forced to quarantine too after a separate possible exposure not long after he stood in parliament to say this.

KEIR STARMER, U.K. OPPOSITION LEADER: I can't believe that the prime minister doesn't see the irony of him spending Freedom Day locked in isolation. Mr. Speaker, when it comes to creating confusion, the prime minister is a super-spreader.

MCLEAN: The prime minister also managed to spread anger and outrage. Thousands of doctors and scientists from the UK and abroad signed a letter.

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MCLEAN (voice-over): Calling his plans to lift almost all restrictions in England a dangerous and unethical experiment. That experiment involved ditching masks, limits on social gatherings and even letting festivals restart.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A lot of us have had at least our first dose of the vaccine. So, we're ready to get back to life.

MCLEAN: Yet hours after it began, Johnson was pleading with people to be careful.

BORIS JOHNSON, U.K. PRIME MINISTER: Please, please, please, be cautious.

MCLEAN: And for good reason. The U.K. has the most new confirmed daily infections on earth, despite two-thirds of the adult population being fully vaccinated and almost 90 percent having at least one shot.

Hundreds of thousands of people are being forced to self-isolate and some British industries are warning that staff shortages could lead to food and fuel shortages. Shoppers are already finding empty store shelves in several parts of the country. The U.S. State Department is even warning Americans to stay away.

GABRIEL SCALLY, VISITING PROFESSOR, PUBLIC HEALTH AT UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL: The U.S. was entirely right. More countries should be more cautious about their citizens coming to the U.K.

MCLEAN: Virtually all new cases in the U.K. are the faster spreading delta variant which was first spotted in India. Back in early April, mandatory hotel quarantine was imposed on travelers coming in from neighboring Bangladesh and Pakistan. But those coming in from India didn't face the same restrictions until two weeks later. Critics say it was too little too late.

SCALLY: A very major mistake. And one they should've avoided because they had been warned about it repeatedly. Britain has an island advantage, but it didn't choose to take advantage of that.

MCLEAN: For weeks Johnson's government has defended its plan to lift remaining restrictions by asking --

JOHNSON: If not now, when?

MCLEAN: While cases are high, the vaccine has helped keep deaths and hospitalizations relatively low compared to the January peak. According to government data, most people ending up in hospital are under 50. A staggering 93 percent of them are not fully vaccinated or not vaccinated at all.

For some, it wasn't by choice. While the U.K.'s vaccine rollout was once the envy of the world, it's been very slow to vaccinate young people currently fueling the surge in cases. The government is still imposing a 12-week gap between doses.

Some clinics offering people the second dose earlier were told by national health authorities to turn people away instead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was just refused to get my second shot -- primarily because I'm three days short of reaching the eight weeks.

MCLEAN: This just as a recent study in the journal "Nature" found a single dose gives precious little protection against the delta variant, leaving millions of young people exposed. While the U.S., Canada and Europe have allowed vaccinations of kids over 12 regardless of their circumstances. The U.K. so far does not plan to following suit.

Since the pandemic began, Johnson's decision-making has been marked by a dizzying series of U-turns on lockdowns, masks and mandatory quarantine for incoming travelers.

Just last week the government promised fully vaccinated Brits could return from all countries on its amber list without quarantine before announcing different rules just for France.

SCALLY: The most serious problem I have with this government is their complete absence of a plan, of a strategy and an inability to explain what they are trying to do and where they're trying to get to. They are making it up as they go along.

MCLEAN: Perhaps worst of all government scientists have also warned that the combination of high prevalence and high levels of vaccination creates the conditions in which the immune-escaped variant is most likely to emerge. How likely is that? Scientists don't know.

Brits who are just starting to get back to normal life are hoping they never have to find out -- Scott McLean, CNN, London.

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HOLMES: Turmoil in Haiti spills over into the funeral for its murdered president. Ahead, a look at the somber ceremony and the serious troubles facing the country. That's when we come back.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).

HOLMES (voice-over): Gunshots, protests and fires marring the funeral of Haiti's president, who was assassinated earlier this month. What you saw there was a media crew, driving through the area and capturing some of the unrest while ducking for cover and trying to get out of there, as you can see.

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HOLMES: The unrest symbolizes the deep divide in Haiti over the murder of Jovenel Moise. He was a controversial president, and his supporters are furious that the security team in charge of protecting him failed to do so. Stefano Pozzebon has our report.

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STEFANO POZZEBON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Haiti's late president Jovenel Moise was laid to rest this Friday 16 days after being assassinated in his private residence.

He was buried in an emotional ceremony in the northern city of Cap- Haitien, attended by his wife, Martine, who was by his side when the late president was killed in his private bedroom.

But as Haiti slowly goes back to normal after the assassination of its leader, many challenges lay ahead. The current prime minister, Ariel Henry, who is leading the government, is yet to announce a new election date to choose who will succeed the late leader in the presidency.

Meanwhile, crime is rampant across Haiti; about 400 families in Port- au-Prince alone have fled their homes in the capital due to gang violence, according to aid organizations. And the risk of unrest was widely seen around the funeral ceremony, where gunshots were reportedly fired.

A trial for the 19 Colombians who were accused of killing Moise is yet to commence. Here in Bogota, the Colombian foreign ministry announced that a consular mission will travel to Haiti on Sunday to provide consular assistance to the detainees.

And their families announced that they haven't been able to speak or see their loved ones since they were detained more than two weeks ago -- for CNN, this is Stefano Pozzebon, Bogota.

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HOLMES: Still to come on the program, COVID-19 has been robbing Olympic athletes of the spotlight but now might be their chance to take it back. We will talk about whether there is room for optimism at this year's games.

Also, Hungary says it will ask its citizens to weigh in on a very controversial new law. We talk to people who fear it may lead to homophobic attacks that may force them to leave their homeland.

You are watching CNN NEWSROOM. we will be right back.

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HOLMES: Welcome back to our viewers, joining us all around the world, I am Michael Holmes, you are watching CNN NEWSROOM.

Well, the cauldron has been lit at the opening ceremony and the games of the Tokyo Olympics, are now, being played but in the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic, of course. Organizers, announcing 17 new COVID cases on Saturday. That adds up to a total of 127 games-related cases already.

Now despite the doubts and the protests in Japan, Olympic officials are trying to project optimism. The International Olympic Committee president saying, in the face of the challenges, the world has been facing, Friday's opening ceremony was a moment of hope.

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CNN sports analyst Christine Brennan, joining me from Tokyo. She is the sports columnist for "USA Today."

I was reading your column today, Christine, great to see you.

First of all, what was it like at the opening ceremony?

Was there any sense of real occasion and atmosphere?

CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS ANALYST: They tried, Michael. I am unsure if they succeeded. I covered a lot of these, covered openings ceremonies since '84 in L.A. and certainly, it was the most different. Obviously, no one in the stands, 1,000 or so dignitaries and media.

But if there was applause from those dignitaries, it sounded like theater applause. Once the music was blaring, you couldn't even hear that. I think it was solemn. It was fitting of where we are, in the middle of a pandemic.

The athletes, I'll give them credit, certainly, some of them come in holding their flags, dancing around, exuberance, giving it a good college try. But I watched many of them, as soon as they made their path and circled around the stadium floor, many of those teams just exited out, got out of there.

You didn't see that on TV. But we could see it. I got out of there to get away from everyone else and away from the logjam in the middle of the field.

HOLMES: I wanted to ask you and I'm interested in the day to day in, terms of the COVID precautions and procedures.

What is it like getting around?

Both for you as a journalist and for the athletes.

What is the sort of protocol?

BRENNAN: We had 3 days here, a saliva test. We had to produce the tests, the saliva and then put it in a plastic vial and deliver it. There is an app that we have on our phones, that every, day we need to sign, in and give our temperature, how we are feeling and make sure no one around us is sick.

Then, if you don't fill that out by a certain time in the afternoon, you get the text message, you need to fill that out. Then, otherwise, hand sanitizer, everywhere. Also, when you do that, going into a venue, they take your temperature remotely, just within the close proximity.

And then, masks everywhere. We are all wearing masks the way we did in the United States 6-8 months ago. Very much, we feel like we are plunged back into 2020. It's fine, because we understand the protocols are necessary as journalists. And the athletes are also dealing with the same, lots and lots of testing.

HOLMES: Speaking of the athletes, more and more have tested positive since arriving. I think a Dutch rower just in the last few hours. You cover sports, you know these athletes, how devastating will it be

to an athlete after all that goes into making the teams?

Years of preparations, leading to a moment and it's gone like that.

BRENNAN: Heartbreaking. Absolutely, heartbreaking, Michael. It's the only way to describe it. In the United States and around the world, we will certainly see teams and individuals that have to deal with COVID tests.

But mostly, those are games that you might have a game the next week. Or, you can go back and compete next year at something. This isn't that. The Olympics, of course, once every 4 years.

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BRENNAN: It has been 5 years since Rio, it'll only be 3 years to Paris in 2024. This is the opportunity of a lifetime and if it is, gone it is really gone. So I think it's a shock to the system, it's a very, very sad moment but there is a finality to it. It is over. Your Olympic dream is over.

Only 3 years to Paris. I guess that's the positive. It is not 4 years but it's devastating for those athletes, no doubt about it.

HOLMES: Heartbreaking and yet, they made the team; again, they've got to be at that premier level for the next three years, that's tough.

COVID aside, if that is possible, what are you looking forward to in these games?

BRENNAN: Actually, I am really looking forward to the sports. I think that sports can save these games, in the sense that once events start to really happen, people get into it around the world. That is a positive.

I'm not saying it overshadows COVID, no, these are the COVID Olympics, they will be known as the COVID Olympics. But swimming, in a few hours. I will go to the swimming venue and watch the preliminaries of the swimming. And we will see athletes from around the world, the best in the world, world record holders competing.

And that will go on for a good 7 or 8 days. And in gymnastics, with the great Simone Biles, we'll see how she does and if she can, indeed, win more gold medals as the greatest of all time.

So there are a lot of storylines and it is possible to be the optimist for a moment, Michael. It is possible that these stories will catch hold and people around the world will be entranced by these athletes and maybe, for a little while, can forget or at least just push aside, the true, real, awful concerns about COVID and focus for a few minutes on sports.

HOLMES: You will be telling the stories we know and I will be following you on Twitter, seeing how much you are enjoying it. We'll talk again, Christine, always good to see you. BRENNAN: Michael, thank you very much, take care.

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HOLMES: At least 112 people are dead, in western India, after devastating monsoon rains. Many of the victims were killed in landslides. Others, swept away in floods. The downpour, washing out roads and cutting off hundreds of villages.

Officials fear that dozens may be trapped. Some areas receiving nearly 600 millimeters of rain. That is more than half a meter in just a 24- hour period. Rescue operations, continuing but hundreds of villages and towns are still without electricity or drinking water.

India not the only Asian country coping with heavy flooding. China's Henan province is cleaning up after historic rainfall, devastating the region in recent days. Emergency management officials say that at least 56 people have been killed. This comes as two storms are churning in the Western Pacific.

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HOLMES: Now the U.N. organized World Heritage Committee isn't putting the Great Barrier Reef on the endangered list after all. You may remember, we discussed this on the program yesterday.

Instead, it wants Australia to report, by February 2022 on its efforts to conserve the wondrous marine area, which has been damaged by coral bleaching and other things as well.

[02:40:00]

HOLMES: Australia had lobbied against the danger listing; it calls the reef the best managed in the world. Environmentalists, however, criticized the UNESCO organized group for not adding the reef to the list now.

Hungary planning to hold a referendum on a new law that would keep schools from discussing homosexuality and transgender issues with children. CNN's Melissa Bell, traveling to Hungary, ahead of the country's annual pride parade.

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MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is a picture of family life built on love and surrounded by love. Monica and Reka say they have never faced anything but acceptance raising their two daughters in southern Hungary. Now they fear they may have to leave the country altogether.

REKA SPOHN, GAY PARENT: They act like we are a hazard for children so that we are dangerous for children. And I think if they say it enough times, some people will start to believe it.

BELL (voice-over): On June 14th, they joined thousands outside of the Hungarian parliament to protest a controversial new bill that would all but ensure that many of the country's youth would never see pictures of families like theirs, the culmination of a gradual campaign of demonization.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There have always been people that were homophobic and transphobic. But now with this law they feel encouraged. They feel they are entitled to attack us.

BELL (voice-over): Krisztian and Lauren (ph) say they were victims of homophobic attacks when they were younger. Now, they fear there may be worse to come.

KRISZTIAN BARRA, VICTIM OF HOMOPHOBIC ATTACKS: I'm like, what's next?

So maybe next week, they will just put me in jail because I am gay. Or maybe in one year, they will just kill us on the street.

URSULA VAN DER LEYEN, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN COMMISSION: The Hungarian bill is a shame.

BELL (voice-over): Brussels announced proceedings against Viktor Orban's government over the new law. This week, he responded by announcing a referendum.

VIKTOR ORBAN, HUNGARIAN PRIME MINISTER (through translator): Hungarian law does not allow sexual propaganda in kindergartens, schools, TV shows and advertisements.

BELL: What Hungarian law does allow, apparently, is government funded propaganda and on a massive scale. All over the country right now, billboards like these, asking whether people are angry at Brussels and whether they are worried that their child may face sexual propaganda.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People love to hate something and while the population of Hungary is hating a group, they don't really care what the government is really doing.

BELL (voice-over): But this prominent entrepreneur believes that Viktor Orban may this time have picked the wrong target.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gays are everywhere, sitting, all the companies, all in the government. Ministers are gay and everybody is just silent. It is going to come out because the truth will win in the end.

Who will be the next?

The gypsies or the Jews again?

BELL (voice-over): Hubert (ph) is part of the Family Is Family Campaign. Launched in November by Balazs Redli, a stay at home dad and journalist, who is worried about the future his son will face.

BALAZS REDLI, CO-FOUNDER, FAMILY IS FAMILY: The very existence of rainbow families isn't propaganda. It's the reality. We just want to live in this country like everyone else does.

BELL (voice-over): Melissa Bell, CNN, Budapest. (END VIDEOTAPE)

HOLMES: Thank you for spending part of our day with me, I am Michael Holmes, "MARKETPLACE AFRICA," starting after a short break. I will see you in 20 minutes.