tv CNN Newsroom Live CNN May 22, 2021 12:00am-1:00am PDT
hello and welcome to our viewers here in the united states and all around the world. appreciate your company. i'm michael holmes. you're watching "cnn newsroom." coming up here on the program, the cease-fire between israel and hamas is on day two and is holding right now. what u.s. president joe biden says was the key strategy. hope amongst the violence. meet the arab woman whose life was saved by an israeli man's kidney. and who's in, who's out, and why one player could make international history. all the latest on the pga tour.
♪ it is now 10:00 a.m. in israel and gaza. the cease-fire that began early friday entering its second day, but all is not quiet. friday prayers at the mosque in jerusalem ended with israeli police sweeping through the plaza in an aggressive show of force. we'll have more on that in just a moment. meanwhile, a key border crossing with gaza was opened on friday to allow humanitarian aid in. among the shipments, a mobile hospital. the u.n. announced it is sending more than $22 million worth of aid, including food, medical supplies, and covid vaccines.
for more on friday's unrest in jerusalem, cnn's nic robertson. >> reporter: islam's third holiest site, a flashpoint again between palestinians and israeli police. the violence testing a fragile cease-fire between hamas and the israeli government. conflicting accounts. police say protesters threw rocks and molotov cocktails first. palestinians say police attacked them with rubber-coated bullets and stun grenades. as they celebrated the gains of hamas' 11-day conflict with israel. on israel's beaches, hit by hamas rockets just days ago, calm but no fanfare for their leaders and disappointment over the cease-fire agreement. >> they thinks they have to go inside with the tanks, with everything, to finish one time and finish with hamas.
take it out from gaza. >> what do you think about the cease-fire? >> shame. >> why? >> because i think it's never going to end. it's never going to end. we have once in a while to tell them we're here. they can't do whatever they want. they can't just -- all the bombing and everything, we don't leave. we don't leave. >> reporter: so now the cease-fire holding. and prime minister netanyahu defending his decision with his own political future in question. >> translator: just as i promised, we harmed most of hamas' capabilities, far beyond what their commanders imagined. a huge crush that changed the rules of the game. >> reporter: israeli troops, guns covered, artillery shells packed, already lining up to leave the fields around gaza. and inside gaza, where cease-fire celebrations went late into the night, frustrations too.
>> translator: this truce is for everyone but us. this truce is for people who are comfortable, who are sitting in their homes, who did not have martyrs, who do not have destruction. >> reporter: more than 240 palestinians dead according to hamas health officials. tens of thousands without homes according to the u.n. still, a victory according to hamas leaders. >> translator: today we consider this battle is a quantum leap in the history of the conflict with the enemy. >> reporter: likely these troops will be out of here pretty soon, and likely this year, next year, and a few years' time, they'll be back. this cease-fire is little more than that, and confidence here seems low that politicians on either side of the divide have what it takes to tackle the region's real issue -- land rights. nic robertson, cnn, close to the gaza border, israel. >> now, many, many u.s.
presidents have been confronted by the difficult situation in the middle east. joe biden no exception. cnn's phil mattingly has more on how he navigated a path to a cease-fire. >> reporter: well, for president biden, it was a week that served as a split screen of sorts. what the administration actually wants to focus on in its foreign policy and what it inevitably was going to have to focus on, at least at some point in his foreign policy. as for the latter, that was obviously the conflict in the middle east. an explosion over the course of an 11-day period that led to the deaths of hundreds in fighting between israel and hamas. and where that ended up with the president, well, it was days of what the white house said repeatedly was quiet but intensive diplomacy, diplomacy the president in a press conference on friday made clear he believes was effective in reaching an outcome. an outcome in a much shorter time period than the last time tensions flared up in the region back in 2014. he also gave some insight into
his relationship with israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu. now, keep in mind these two have known one another for more than 40 years. obviously an extensive relationship, one that several people involved with the relationship said has a level of trust and even a level of friendship. and biden over the course of the conflict called netanyahu six different times, and the tone particularly towards the end shifted with the president taking a harder line with the prime minister. however, the end result was what biden wanted, and this is how biden framed things. >> bwhat i can assure you, though, is last time it took 56 days and six months to get a cease-fire. i'm praying this cease-fire will hold. i take bibi netanyahu, when he gives me his word, i take him at his word. >> reporter: biden made clear that he expects significant support and the u.s. will play a role in providing aid to the gaza area, trying to ensure what was damaged or destroyed over the course of the 11-day period is rebuilt or at least has the
funds to do so while also ensuring that hamas gets no access to those funds. that is what the president laid out. it's also important to note the president was meeting with the south korean president, moon jae-in, and that has been a focus that the administration wants to keep its eye on. obviously the second leader visit to the white house, the first by the japanese prime minister. the indo-pacific is the area biden administration officials have made clear is where they want to shift the foreign policy focus, which for so many administrations has been focused on the middle east, they want to focus on a rising china. t that was the genesis for having the south korean leader to the white house so early on. and with that visit, the president laying out some details in his perspective on dealing with the most important issue for south korea and the korean peninsula -- the nuclearization of the north koreans.
the president making clear he's taking a very different pathway than his immediate predecessor, who met with kim jong-un in singapore and tried to reach a grand bargain to denuclearize the peninsula. he's also made clear he wants to take a different approach than other predecessors as well, saying he wants his approach to be carefully calibrated, to be flexible, to see how things go. and when asked if he was still willing to meet with kim jong-un, with preconditions, the president said -- didn't take it off the table. he made clear, however, that he was going to be in a very different place than former president trump, saying that his teams would have to have a sense of where kim jong-un stood on the issue of his nuclear arsenal and where north korea planned to go in terms of changing the direction of things. but, again, he didn't take it off the table. some sense of where the president stands on obviously a crucial issue in the region, an issue the president himself named as probably the gravest security threat that he was facing as president. he also named a special envoy to south korea, something the south korean president commended the president for doing, said they
were aligned on several different issues. but clearly for a president that wanted to shift the focus to the indo-pacific, this week a reminder that while that is definitely still occurring and that is definitely still the administration's focus, old areas of conflict, old areas that have bedevilled previous administrations, well, they obviously aren't going away anytime soon. phil mattingly, cnn, the white house. >> now, i spoke earlier with a senior fellow at the brookings institution, and now that a cease-fire between israel and hamas is in effect, i asked him what the new administration can do that previous ones could not going forward. here's his reply. >> it's a question of what you have as your political aim. if you're aiming for end of conflict and a two-state solution as biden said he would, i don't think that is likely to happen. most analysts don't think it's possible. i've done a poll on this which shows a majority of middle east
don't think that's possible in any foreseeable future. and certainly biden doesn't have the bandwidth with all the things on his plate to deal with it at that level. there are important things he can do. number one, of course, the humanitarian. he's also spoken about that, about reconstructing gaza. that's a good thing because they're going to need a tremendous amount of humanitarian help. here we are as taxpayers paying for the weapons that created the destruction. then we're paying for rebuilding what was destroyed by those weapons. it's an absurd reality, but nonetheless one that we face. but more importantly, it is what a lot of people have come to conclude. the focus should be on the rights of both israelis and palestinians on the equal rights, on the human rights, on the civil rights in the immediate future. and interestingly, biden for the first time in his language called for equal rights for
israelis and palestinians. now, that is really -- you might think that what is new here. this is equal rights. of course we stand for equal rights. but on israel/palestine, that has not been policy. this is something new. >> let's bring in cnn's had as gold in jerusalem, who is going to tell us there is some hope. had das, it's a powerful story given the tensions. tell us about it. >> reporter: right. i mean beyond even the conflict with -- between israel and hamas in gaza, there have been disturbing incidences of violence within israel between arabs and jews in many of these mixed cities that has been very worrying for many israelis. but we discovered that despite such headlines, there is still good will and still humanity amongst people. rhonda waited nine years for the organ donation that would save
her life. an arab christian born in the old city of jerusalem, relying on dialysis as her kidneys failed. then the call came in the midst of conflict. her life would change forever and become a symbol of hope and coexistence during turbulent times. >> translator: when i went into the operation, i didn't know who gave me the kidney. after the operation, they told me i had the kidney of --. i said what? how can that be? they told me i got a present. i said, good. i was moved. in a war, a jew gave a kidney to an arab. >> reporter: after being badly beaten by a group of young arab israeli men, caught up in the wave of violence pitting jews and arabs against each other as
israel and hamas traded fire. his brother eulogizing that with his death, he had given life. >> translator: he believed in coexistence. he said to me it would not happen. he believed if you put your head out, everything will be fine. and the worst thing happened. >> reporter: his body embarking on his final journey, but his legacy living on in others. rhonda's surgeon, a palestinian born in jerusalem, says he and his colleagues simply treat everyone as human beings. >> translator: we are experiencing a difficult time in every place in this country. the period is reflected in everything which is happening around us. >> reporter: in his line of work, the sorrow of death leads to new life, where he hopes peace will prevail.
>> translator: we deal with everyone equally. there is no black and no white. everyone is equal with the medical attention they receive. >> reporter: for rhonda, a new lease on life and plans to visit the family to thank them again in person and to carry on a message. >> translator: we should live together. we should have peace. we should be happy. >> reporter: and, michael, what i really took away from all this, especially from the very impressive surgeon, is not only the importance of becoming an organ donor and how much that can change so many people's life, but at the end of the day, no matter the headlines, everyone is simply just a human being. michael. >> absolutely. should be a lot more than that. more trouble, by the way, at the mosque. the israeli/gaza cease-fire hold sog far. what do you see as the level of optimism there? >> reporter: well, the cease-fire is holding. i think that should be the biggest headline out of all of this. there were some clashes
yesterday at the al oxa compound shortly around the noon prayers. there were hundreds of palestinians who had gathered there. they were chanting. they were waving the palestinian flags but also ha maamas flags. there was a confrontation with israeli police who entered the compound. they were trying to forcibly clear people from the compound, including journalists from the compound. the israeli police said they were responding to rye rioting, people throwing stones as well as a molotov cocktail at them. the red cross said there were 20 people injured. despite that confrontation, it was calm the rest of the day. but i think it goes to show you that although the cease-fire is holding, and i think that is the biggest headline, a lot of tensions, a lot of the issues that were part of the triggers that caused this latest
confcon conflict, they are still very much a tinderbox that could be set aflame at any moment. michael. >> the question, when are they be addressed? hadas gold in jerusalem, thank you. we're going to take a quick break here. when we come back, taiwan scrambling to find more covid vaccines as local cases surge. coming up, why the self-governed island is not relying on one of its closest neighbors for their supply. we'll be speaking with will ripley when we come back. why do nearly one million businesses choose stamps.com to mail and ship?
vaccines are paving the way for the u.s. to further relax covid restrictions and reopen mass-attended events. california says it will drop all capacity limits for businesses and social distancing requirements starting june 15. cases have been plummeting with nearly half of the state's eligible population now vaccinated. and in new york, most capacity guidelines have already been lifted. madison square garden will host 15,000 basketball fans indoors on sunday to watch the new york knicks take on the atlanta hawks. go hawks. let's take a closer look at u.s.
vaccination progress. nearly 128 million americans have been fully vaccinated. that's just over 38% of the total population, and while there's still many, many more left to be vaccinated, some people are already starting to think about when they might need to get a booster shot. that's something dr. fauci says could be on the horizon. >> we are planning for the eventuality that we might need to boost people. we don't know whether we will have to do it and when we will have to do it. there's estimates, well, it may be a year. it may be a little bit longer. there's no set rule now that says in six months or in a year, we're going to require a boost. >> now, while some countries like the u.s. have an abundance of vaccines, taiwan is quickly running out. less than 1% of its population has been inoculated. the self-rule island now asking the u.s. for help. this comes as taiwan is facing
its worst outbreak of cases since the pandemic began. more than 320 new infections reported saturday. cnn's will ripley live for us from taipei, and those numbers comparatively not huge. but for taiwan, it's hugely worrying, right? >> reporter: it is becausee're seeing exponential increase, michael, in the number of particularly local cases compared with just over a week ago. the new numbers out just within the last hour, let's bring them up so we can show people how much things have changed just over the last eight days here in taiwan. last friday the total cases were 1,290. local cases just 164. today total cases nearly 3,900. the local total, more than 2,700. that is a 16-fold increase. also two new deaths confirmed here. deaths were about a dozen when i arrived here on the island about a week ago. now 17 people confirmed killed, and we've reported, michael, you and i, from countries where the
numbers have started off at this level, and things can get out of control very quickly. that is certainly what they're trying to prevent here in taiwan, but they're running into some obstacles and the vaccine issue is probably the biggest that they face right now. >> and on that very subject, taiwan asking the u.s. for help, but you've also got vaccine politics in play because of the china/taiwan tensions. explain that one for us. >> reporter: so you have the mainland accusing taiwanese lawmakers of using the covid-19 vaccine situation as a political tool, a tool of manipulation, because, yes, the united states is planning to donate tens of millions of doses and taiwan is raising its hand for a share of those. mainland china, though, has been offering for quite some time to donate some of their china-made vaccines. lawmakers are pointing to a law that china-made vaccines cannot be used for human consumption.
but here in taiwan, they are vehemently against the idea of china-made vaccines coming here and going into arms, especially considering the chinese -- what they view as chinese interference in getting foreign-made vaccines into the country. you have a situation where taiwan has ordered tens of millions of doses, yet fewer than 1 million have arrived, just 700,000 in country. those supplies are expected to run out fairly quickly. there are orders for more foreign-made vaccines that could be coming in the subsequent months, and there is also a push to develop locally manufactured vaccines. in fact, two vaccine manufacturers here in taiwan are in stage two trials and could be available to consumers in late july if they get emergency use authorization. but from the beijing point of view, they say it's unnecessary to try to get these foreign-made vaccines when china-made vaccines could be coming in. but from the taiwanese perspective, of course this is a self-governing island of 23 million that does not consider itself a part of the mainland
even though the mainland feels differently. they look at chinese flyovers in the south china sea and other forms of political and diplomatic isolation from the mainland, michael, and they say they're not interested in china vaccines. they want china to stand out of their way. >> vaccine politics. good to have you there, will ripley, in taipei. appreciate it. now, a strict new lockdown now in effect in argentina as that country tries to combat a surge in covid cases. cnn's matt rivers with the details on the restrictions. >> reporter: well, there are now new restrictive lockdown measures in place in argentina as a result of what that country's president is calling the worst moment of this pandemic for that country so far. in the last week, we have seen multiple single-day records for new infections set, and these new restrictions are being put in place because of that. these restrictions include the closures of all nonessential businesses. schools are closed and only essential workers will be allowed out each day from 6:00
a.m. to 6:00 p.m. when the president announced these measures earlier this week, here's a little bit of what he said. >> translator: today more than ever, we need to take care of each other. >> reporter: the president says he is aware of the fact that this country's economy is already struggling. he knows that these restrictive measures will not help with that situation. but he says he really has no choice. he can't let case numbers like this, death numbers like this become normalized. and if you look, you know, the situation in argentina really is quite bad. take a look at this graph here, and you can see that the average infections recorded each day in both the united states and argentina, they're at roughly similar levels despite the fact that the united states has a population roughly seven times greater than argentina's. matt rivers, cnn, mexico city. thanks for watching "cnn newsroom." for our international viewers, african voices: change makers is
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welcome back to "cnn newsroom," everyone. i'm michael holmes. cnn has obtained new video of a deadly encounter between a black man and police officers in the u.s. state of louisiana. ronald greene's family say they were told he died in a car crash during a police chase two years ago. but the footage obtained by cnn shows a completely different and horrifying story. we warn you the video is disturbing to watch. the case now under a federal civil rights investigation involving the fbi, the
department of justice, and the attorney general's office. randi kaye with the details. >> reporter: the new video obtained by cnn is 30 minutes long and offers a different view from a louisiana state trooper's body camera than the video obtained earlier by the a.p. it shows ronald greene following a high-speed chase near monroe, louisiana, on the ground face down and struggling to turn over. >> don't you turn over. don't you turn over. lay on your belly. lay on your belly. >> yes, sir. okay. okay, sir. >> don't you turn over. you understand? >> yes, sir. >> reporter: greene apologizes and politely calls the officer sir even as they continue to berate him. the video shows greene's legs shackled and his hands cuffed behind his back. when he cries out in pain, even calling on the lord jesus, the officers continue to restrain him.
>> okay. oh, lord jesus. oh, lord. >> reporter: louisiana state police kept this video under wraps for two years. greene's arrest and subsequent death occurred back in may 2019. this is what the family says louisiana state police initially told them happened. >> that he was in a car accident and that he -- he hit his head on the steering wheel, and that's how he died. >> reporter: the family says police initially made no mention to them of the arrest or use of force, now revealed on the body camera videos. another police report said greene was taken into custody after resisting arrest and a struggle with troopers and that he died on the way to the hospital. his family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit. >> this has been a cover-up from day one. they were out to kill him.
he had no chance of living. >> reporter: in the video, it's not clear if greene is offered medical attention as he lay on the ground, moaning and gurgling. >> i didn't want him spitting blood all over us. >> reporter: at one point on the new video, a medical technician arrives and is clearly concerned. >> he's not getting enough air. >> reporter: and whether it was over, in previously released video obtained by the a.m., one trooper can be heard on his body camera audio boasting about beating greene. >> i beat the ever living [ bleep ] out of him, choked him and everything else trying to get him under control. spitting blood everywhere, and all of a sudden, he just went limp. i thought he was dead. >> reporter: cnn has also obtained the autopsy report. it lists greene's cause of death as cocaine-induced agitated delirium complicated by motorcycle vehicle collision, physical struggle, inflicted head injury, and restraint. according to the autopsy,
injuries included a fracture of the sternum or breastbone and a torn aorta. the autopsy notes that greene had alcohol and a significant level of cocaine in his system. these postmortem photos of greene released on the naacp baton rouge facebook page show the extent of his injuries, and the autopsy notes lacerations of the head inconsistent with motor vehicle collision injury. instead finding these injuries are most consistent with multiple impact sites from a blunt object. randi kaye, cnn, palm beach county, florida. >> on friday evening, louisiana state police released all the body cam videos of the incident. greene's mother responded in an emotional interview with cnn's anderson cooper. she said she believes police never meant to take her son to jail alive.
>> i'm still reliving what i saw last year, the little bit they gave me. but i clearly saw last year that they were planning to kill ronnie way before the car was stopped. that was -- that was their goal, and they succeeded. they made sure he didn't live to tell anything. everything we have shows that. what they say, their narrative was a narrative that they use on a lot of the killings that go on. and all i can say is what we have, what we see, the videos that are shown, and they took pleasure in torturing my son. they took pleasure in hurting him, beating and killing him, and letting him stay on the ground, pulling him in shackles. what kind of a human -- these are state troopers. this is the behavior that the
state of louisiana, they endorse because these troopers for two years have not been dealt with. >> what were you told, or what were other family members told had happened to your son? >> that he was -- there was a high-speed chase. he hit a tree, and he died from the head injuries from that car going into the tree. and of course we saw -- we were there nine days, and in our time there, we were able to see the car that ronnie drove. and there was no damage to it. we were on the road where they said he hit a tree. we have footage on that to where there's -- there's no damage. there's no damage. there was no tore down tree
bark. chain-link fence were still up. nothing was damaged as they described. >> i think we have a picture of the vehicle. they say that's the car that they say hit the tree, and that's the impact is what they say killed your son. >> yeah. there's no impact. the engine, the hood, everything was -- was not dented. there was nothing, no damage to -- there was that little side scraping where the officers do what they do to block cars in because on the video, you show ronnie where he's behind the wheel. he's tortured before he's even allowed to get out. they're threatening him to come out while they're torturing him. >> it's hard to listen to, isn't it? hardin also said she only watched some of the footage but could not bear to see more. we'll be right back.
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a republican congressman has a warning for his own party. anthony gonzalez of ohio is one of 35 house republicans who voted in favor of creating an independent commission to investigate the capitol hill riot back in january. he's urging his party to step away from donald trump's false claim that the election was stolen from him in order to win. >> i think as a party, frankly we need to be on the side of truth. we need to be on the side of substance, and that's how we're going to win back majorities both in the house and the senate and hopefully the white house in 2024. and continuing to perpetuate falsehoods, especially ones that are dangerous, that led to the violence on january 6th, is a recipe for disaster for the party, but it's also horribly irresponsible. >> gonzalez is also one of ten house republicans who voted to impeach donald trump for his
role in the insurrection. a new development in a sex trafficking investigation could spell trouble for gop congressman matt gaetz. sources say his former girlfriend has agreed to cooperate in the probe. cnn's paula reid with the details. >> reporter: cnn has learned that a former girlfriend of congressman matt gaetz has agreed to cooperate with investigators. this woman, a former capitol hill staffer who did not work for the congressman, she worked for another lawmaker -- she is really critical to this investigation because she was linked to the congressman in the summer of 2017. that time period is really essential to determining whether he had sex with an underage girl. now, the fact that she has signaled she's willing to cooperate is also notable because we know investigators have hundreds and hundreds of records of transactions that they're sifting through, and they hope that this woman may be able to help them make sense of some of these transactions,
including some that allegedly show payments for sex. now, the congressman has not been charged, and he has repeatedly denied paying for sex or ever having sex with a minor as an adult. now, it's not clear if this woman has a formal cooperation agreement, but she has signaled to investigators she is willing to talk to them. an attorney for the ex-girlfriend and the justice department declined to comment. but there's more. we are also learning that the congressman's former close friend, joel greenberg, has also told investigators that the congressman had sexual contact with a 17-year-old girl. now, earlier this week, greenberg pleaded guilty to six federal counts, including sex trafficking of a minor. now, he's cooperating as part of a plea agreement and in exchange dozens of other counts against him have been dropped. now, in this plea agreement, greenberg admits that he had sex with the minor at least seven times, and that he then introduced her to other adult
men who engaged in commercial sex acts with her. but the plea agreement, it doesn't name who those other men are. now, gaetz and his representatives have attacked greenberg's credibility. in the past few days, they have correctly pointed out the fact that in this same plea agreement, greenberg admits to falsely accusing a political rival of having sex with a minor. now, greenberg is required to cooperate with investigators as part of this plea deal and any ongoing federal investigations, including of course this ongoing investigation into his former close friend. no decision about whether to charge the congressman, that likely won't come for some time. it will fall to prosecutors in a public integrity section of the justice department. they are still gathering evidence, and they will have to assess whether they believe they have enough to proceed with an indictment. paula reid, cnn, washington. coming up here on "cnn newsroom," travelers from britain are facing new restrictions if they're heading
now, of course while much of the world is still in the throes of the pandemic, many of us are looking for some return to normalcy. but there's nothing normal about europe's campiest and definitely weirdest musical event. ♪ ♪ dance along, dance along ♪ >> that's right. eurovision is back after its cancellation last year. the song contest won in the past features contestants from 26 countries. tens of millions of fans are expected to watch the broadcast. this is huge in europe. 3,500 covid tested fans will be at the arena, which is in rotterdam. in case you're wondering,
italian rockers manascan have emerged as the favorite to win the grand final set for later today. now, summer travel season is getting under way and after the pandemic decimated many tourist economies last year, countries across europe are eager to welcome travelers back. but two countries in particular are taking decidedly different approaches, especially when it comes to travelers from britain. for more on that, let's bring in cnn's cyril vanier in london. yeah, more european nations opening up, but what does that look like? what does it mean for international tourism? >> michael, i'll get to all of that in just a second. first i need to offer my condolences. i understand that australia did not qualify for the final round in the eurovision song contest, which is happening tonight, so -- so i'm sorry about that, michael. i know you were looking forward to that. >> thank you. >> on to the serious stuff and
the travel news out of europe. two very, very different approaches as you mentioned from germany and spain with respect to uk travelers, which let's remind our viewers the uk is no longer in the european union. so it doesn't get any special treatment from its neighbors anymore. spain has decided to reopen its borders to uk travelers. they've been closed since the beginning of the pandemic for all nonessential travel coming from the uk. but they are reopening on monday, and it's as if the pandemic never happened. uk travelers will be able to go to spain without providing a pcr test, negative or positive, and without having to show proof of vaccination. they are just able to get on a flight and go to spain starting monday, and of course no quarantine. there are just no health restrictions at all. and spain acknowledged that it's doing this for economic reasons. their tourism economy was wiped out last summer, and they're hoping not to go through the same thing. and they have -- you know, they
have tough competition from their neighbors, greece and portugal, which already are welcoming uk travelers. and we know that british travelers like to go to the mediterranean and the southern coast of europe during their summer holiday. so that's what spain is doing, and germany is doing the exact opposite. because a variant of concern first detected in india has been identified here in the uk and because it is increasing exponentially, plus 160% in terms of number of cases over the past week, germany has designated the uk an area of variant of concern. what that means is that travelers from the uk would need to quarantine for no less than two weeks if they go to germany. michael. >> you and i talked -- i think it was a few weeks ago, and there was this huge party that was held in part to see the risks of spread in such an environment. >> yeah. >> what were the results of that? >> reporter: that's really
interesting because now, of course, we have hindsight, right? we're able to look back and figure out what the results were. that was part of nine events of bringing large crowds back that were government-controlled and that were monitored by the government scientists. the result, the headline of that, michael, is that there was no -- well, very little to no spread of covid during those events. of the 60,000 people on a aggregate that attended those nine events, some of them were indoors, outdoors. you had concerts, a club, a sporting event, all manner of events with varying crowd sizes. of the 60,000 people who attended those, 15 ended up being infected with covid. and that doesn't mean they were infected during those events by the way. they may have been infected, probably were in fact after the events. we don't know that for sure. the lesson from that, michael, is that if you bring covid-free people together, well, you get
covid-free people at the end, and there is no transmission of covid. >> that was a fascinating study. cyril vanier in london, appreciate it. good to see you, my friend. in japan, organizers are making it clear that they will be going ahead with the tokyo olympics despite concerns over covid. they've been facing calls to cancel the games because of the pandemic. but on friday john coates, the vice president of the international olympic committee, struck an optimistic tone about handling covid. >> i can say it's now clearer than ever that these games will be safe for everyone participating and, importantly, safe for the people of japan. >> organizers also say they will try to bring medical staff from abroad to help keep the virus in check. now, phil mickelson is about to become golf's oldest major champion. well, he's got to win first.
at age 50, he is at the moment tied for the lead at the pga championship halfway through after 36 holes. don riddell reports. >> reporter: at the halfway stage of the pga championship here at kiawah island, the leaderboard is loaded with major champions. a month after winning the master's at augusta, hideki matsuyama is in contention again, as is the 50-year-old phil mickelson, who is tied for the lead some 17 years after winning the first of his five major titles. >> i'm having a lot of fun, and to play well, to know i'm playing well heading into the weekend, to be in contention, have a good opportunity, i'm having a blast. i'm excited for the weekend. so this has been a lot of fun. >> reporter: if mickelson goes on to win on sunday, he'd become the oldest ever major champion. it's an international leaderboard. six different countries represented in the top 11. but south african golfers have made the biggest impact.
the 2010 open champion, lewis oosthuizen is co-leading the tournament with mickelson. brandon grace, whose father died of covid earlier this year, is two back on 3 under. looking amongst them is brooks koepka. the american always loves competing in the majors and he seeps to have recovered from a series of injuries. >> it's a major, man. it's going to be tough, you know, especially with the wind blowing. it doesn't matter. just go out and go play. >> reporter: so those are the characters, but at this wind swept golf course on the atlantic coastline, the venue itself has the potential to become one of the characters in the story. we're all set for what is shaping up to be a compelling weekend of golf. back to you. >> go brooks koepka. that's where my money is. thanks for spending part of your day with me. i'm michael holmes. do follow me on instagram and
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hi, welcome to all viewers here in the united states and around the world. thank you so much for joining me. just ahead on cnn -- >> i'm praying this cease-fire will hold. i take benjamin netanyahu when he gives me his word, i take him at his word. he's never broken his word to me. >> it's been a big week of tests for president biden's foreign policy amid a fragile cease-fire between israel and hamas. but can it prevail? and then daily covid vaccinations have plummeted in the u.s.