tv CNN Newsroom Live CNN July 16, 2021 11:00pm-12:00am PDT
>> to learn more about how these and other cnn heroes are working to help the haitian people, go to cnnheroes.com. you are there, you can nominate someone you know to be a cnn hero. thanks for watching. our coverage continues. homes, hopes, and lives, washed away by europe's worst flooding, in decades. hundreds, still, missing. and scientists warn it could happen, again. with vaccination disinformation running rampant, coronavirus cases rise in every-single state in america. now, masks are going back on in los angeles. also, why the crisis in cuba has many on the island desperate to leave for the u.s. hello and welcome to "cnn newsroom," everyone, i'm michael holmes .
welcome, everyone. dramatic-rescue efforts underway, across western europe, as catastrophic floods sweep through parts of germany, belgium, and the netherlands. at least 125 people are dead, and hundreds of others, still, unaccounted for. bridges have been washed out. thousands, left homeless. and entire villages, washed underwater. in the coming hours, germany's president will visit the state, one of the country's hardest-hit areas. and have look at this. this house in eastern belgium collapsing, as the floodwaters rush by. you can see, people on the roof waiting to be evacuated. belgium announced it will hold a national day of mourning for flood victims, on tuesday. in the netherlands, dutch officials have just ordered 10,000 residents to evacuate the
city of venlo, about 40 kilometers north of where these pictures were taken as the river there is rising faster than expected. cnn's melissa bell is in the disaster zone with more on these historic floods. >> reporter: the floodwaters were moving northwards, by friday. leaving behind a trail of devastation. vast swaths of germany, belgium, and the netherlands, only now, beginning to realize the cost of historic storms. the question is whether any of this should really come as a surprise. not only has the heavy rain forecast but more than that. for years, experts have been warning that this part of the world, one of the effects of climate change was always going to be heavy rain and flash flooding in the summer. and yet, by the time the waters came, no one was prepared. from germany to belgium, the pictures caught by terrified locals give a sense of how fast
and furiously the waters rose on thursday. sweeping away everything in their path. by friday morning, the scale of the devastation was becoming clear. in the belgian village, people returning to what was left of their homes and their livelihoods. this family's wine shop engulfed in a thick layer of mud. its owner says that, in 70 years, her father has never seen anything like it. in the nearby town, french-military personnel and equipment have been brought in as part of what is now an international-rescue effort. as you can see, the water here really rose quite high. what the locals we have been speaking to have told us. many of them, still, trapped in their homes, but now running out of food and water. is that when the flash flood came, it was a mighty torrent that came down these streets. there was nothing gradual about it and it happened, the streets filled up with water within a
couple of hours. >> the rescuers, going house to house. in germany, the scenes are heartbreakingly similar. in one town, the residents of a disabled care home were trapped. they had been asleep and attempted to get them out failed. across the country, at least 105 people have been killed, with many-hundreds more missing. >> we are doing everything we can to save lives, repair damage, and avert further dangers under the most difficult conditions. >> reporter: but even as europe begins to count the cost of the worst floods in more than a century, its politicians are looking to their lessons for the future. >> it is the intensity and the length of these events -- um -- where science tells us this is a clear indication of climate change. um, and that this is something where we really, really -- it shows the urgency to -- to act.
>> reporter: an urgency, all the clearer from above a part of the world not used to the kind of humanitarian crisis it now faces. melissa bell, cnn. meteorologist derek van dam joins us, in a moment, with more on the role of climate change in these historic floods. but first, i want to go to journalist chris burns, who is live for us in belgium. to get a sense of what's happening on the ground. chris, good to see you. terrible story to be covering. we're getting a better sense of the breadth of the damage and loss of life. what is the latest? >> yeah, michael. the -- the waters are starting to recede. but certainly, not the -- the problem and the destruction. you can see, the violence behind me. you can see the wrecked cars, and we are going to give you a pan to show you more wrecked cars. more wreckage. and there is, finally, the -- the cleanup that is, also, starting. you can see a cat pillar way
over there, starting to dig through all this garbage and this wreckage and these -- the -- the possessions of so many thousands of people who have been evacuated. thousands of people are without power, without gas. without electricity. that's going to take time. the trains are -- are stopped, as well. the train station here is -- is shut down. there are, still, people missing. about 20 people missing. the last word was about 27 dead in this area. so that drama continues, for a lot of people. lot of people don't know where their loved ones are, right now. 120 towns affected, just here in belgium. and this is the -- the river, it was one of the tributaries, as many might know. that's a very big river that had gone over its banks. you can hear the rumble there. of them picking up more of this wreckage. so we also saw a helicopter flying overhead. the rescue is, also, continuing
with helicopters, drones, even jet skis to try to pick people not only off their roofs but try to find people along the river. michael. >> and -- and just quickly, how -- how prepared were authorities? and i know, in belgium, the government said they didn't have the equipment. the right sorts of boats, for example, to reach stranded people. >> yeah. well, that's -- that's true. they really did get -- get caught in a situation they did not expect. they do know about summer floods. we -- we've seen them in europe for many times, many years. but the violence of this, the intensity. so, the european union has a -- a disaster-relief mechanism. where they have mobilized 250 more people from across europe and 20 boats. very key. 20 boats to helping the rescue effort. so that is something that is helping. there is also a lot of help from the government. millions have been set aside to assist people in trying to
rebuild their lives. >> all right. chris burns there, in belgium for us. derek van dam, let's -- let's bring you in. um, a lot of discussion about climate change. i mean, can we make the link to this, specific rain event? >> yeah, we sure can, michael. you know, we have some of the strongest evidence available to us linking this rapidly-warming world that we live in, with climate change and extreme-rainfall events, like we're seeing. and what we have seen in germany, the netherlands, and into belgium. you can see, that strongest evidence linking climate change to heat waves, coastal flooding, and the frequency and intensity of heavy-rain events just like that. you don't need to take my word for it, though. there is so much evidence out there, you can do the research, yourself. but the bottom line is, warmer atmosphere holds more moisture and the potential leads for increased-rainfall events with more intensity. and we look back at previous events to compare that to what just happened two days ago in the western portions of europe. 2016, they had a similar event and scientists found that the
warmer climate within our planet made this likelihood 80 to 90% more likely than before manmade climate change was even in existence. so let's talk about the elements that put that in together. you can see on this latest satellite imagery that is a cut-off low-pressure system. that is a telltale sign of climate change. slowing down the movement of the easterlies across the planet. and that, of course, allows for systems to bring rainfall into the same locations, for long periods of time. and become more frequent, as well. you can see the rainfall totals starting to pile up, now, into the region. so that is our next area of concern. michael. >> all right. keeping an eye for us, derek van dam. and also, journalist chris burns in belgium. thanks to you, both. now, the u.s. centers for disease control and prevention is now warning those who have a compromised-immune system. the covid-19 vaccine may not be effective for you.
it is encouraging those people to act as if they had not been vaccinated. and in just hours, an indoor-mask mandate returns to los angeles dcount -- county. health officials in the san francisco bay area are also recommending the region's 7 million people to mask up, whether they're vaccinated, or not. cnn's erica hill, with more. >> reporter: masks, back on in los angeles county, where new cases are surging. >> everything is on the table. you know, if things continue to get worse. which is why we're want to take action, now. >> reporter: starting sunday, faces must be covered, indoors, even if you are fully vaccinated. nationwide, new infections are up 67% in the last week, rising in every state and d.c., for the first time, since january. >> the danger is, as more unvaccinated people get infected, and delta is so contagious. it's -- it's really transmitting, at a speed that i
haven't seen, since the very beginning. >> reporter: deaths, up 26%. hospitalizations, 36%. in the last seven days. the president placing the blame on facebook and other social-media platforms for not doing more to stop the spread of misinformation. >> the only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated. and that's -- and they're -- and they're killing people. >> reporter: the fda confirming, friday, it's prioritizing the review of pfizer's vaccine. noting it's among the agency's highest priorities. one official telling cnn, full approval could come in the next two months. >> for some people, the fda approval process may make a difference. but i do think that we have a fair amount of experience, right now. a tremendous amount of experience that tells us, again, the benefits of this vaccine far outweigh any risks. >> reporter: vaccinations are down 11%, in the last week. tennessee, one of the states with the lowest-vaccination rates in the country, just 38%, saw new cases increase 84%, in the last week.
florida accounts for one in five new cases in the country. some states, now, asking for help. >> this week, at the request of the nevada governor, we are deploying more than 100 people to the state to help enhance vaccine access and support vaccine-outreach efforts. >> reporter: as the administration beefs up its own outreach. >> wear your mask and get your vaccine. >> reporter: new questions about so-called breakthrough infections in fully-vaccinated americans. >> and reality is that no vaccine is 100% effective. fortunately, these breakthrough cases are, generally, asymptomatic cases or mild cases. the vaccines do a tremendous job of protecting against severe infection and death. >> reporter: a message, noel collier is also sharing after losing her unvaccinated mother. >> i want people to understand that covid is not gone. i'm fully vaccinated, and i
still got covid. but i recovered. the vaccine is worth it. >> reporter: on the heels of l.a. county bringing back indoor-mask mandates over the weekend, new york city's mayor said, on friday, there is no plans to follow suit here, in new york. the city's health commissioner telling cnn, they'll continue to follow the data in the coming weeks. but again, no plans to change course, at the moment. in new york, erica hill, cnn. dr. anish is the ceo and chief medical officer at harvard ucla medical center. he joins me now from los angeles, which is in the news. how -- how bad is the situation in los angeles? and why has it gotten this bad? >> well, we are very concerned, here, in l.a. because we are seeing a dramatic increase in the positivity rate of people who are getting tested for covid. we're seeing the case rate nearly triple, in three and a half, four weeks.
and we are seeing the expected uptick in hospitalizations. >> given those case numbers and -- and -- and not just in los angeles. elsewhere, as well. in -- in -- in retrospect, do you think mask mandates and other precautions were -- were relaxed too soon? >> you know, that's a good question. you know, what we all expected was that we would roll out this -- the vaccines. and that everyone, at least up through to herd-immunity levels which is, as you know, close to 80 to 90%, would take the vaccine. and that we would, all, take precautions that are expected of us, until we get the vaccine. but what seems to be happening is that those people in our country, who've chosen not to vaccinate may, also, be taking -- not taking the precautions of masking. and taking risks. and we cannot do that, as we've learned with the delta variant. the delta variant is highly contagious and that's what we're seeing happening. >> yeah. the president and the cdc
director, actually, said that this is a pandemic of the unvaccinated. i mean, is it fair to say that the unvaccinated are, in many ways, at even greater risk since the rolling back of restrictions? because others are more relaxed, especially, the vaccinated. and so, that puts the unvaccinated at more risk than before, in many ways. >> well, it -- it certainly does. and, you know, the other thing to bear in mind is, many people who have vaccinated may have cancer or other immunosuppressive conditions for which the vaccine doesn't work that well. so we have to worry about those individuals. of course, children under the age of 12 are not, yet, eligible for vaccination. they are at risk. and, of course, the folks, as you mentioned, who choose not to vaccinate. these are dangerous things that are happening. and avoidable things. we are going to end up seeing additional death and sickness from covid, simply because people are not taking the vaccine. >> i mean, it really is mind blowing, really. i mean, when you have got, like,
95 to 99% of deaths and severe illness are the unvaccinated. and yet, half the u.s. population isn't vaccinated, yet. vaccines are being thrown out, here, in the state of georgia, for example. that just happened for -- for lack of demand. how frustrating is it to see those facts, know those facts, and know that -- that so much of this is entirely preventable? >> it's so disheartening, as a human race and those of us in healthcare. we know that we have something that works extremely well. and yet, people are hesitant. they're hesitant for a lot of reasons. they're hesitant because they don't trust the healthcare system. but we know that conversations with trusted people, among people who are unvaccinated, do work in helping them get over that hesitancy. but the other problem we have is a whole lot of misinformation being promulgated by political leaders. being promulgated by others, over social media. that is causing a big concern. but ultimately, for me, michael, what bothers me the most is that
we can look across the world. we can look at the continent of africa. we can look at major locations in south america, in asia. countries that really need the vaccine. they will not get the vaccine because it's very hard to get. yet here, in the united states, we have incredible volumes of vaccine for everybody and, still, people are not taking it. >> you mention the politicization and that is infuriating. also, the atrocious misinformation. real quick, how, then, how to reach those people who won't take the vaccine because of the politics, they won't listen to authorities, how then to get to them? >> well, we've seen that people -- we've seen it in our hospital in our patients. that if their doctor has a discussion with a patient who is hesitant. that patient has a better chance of agreeing to take the vaccine. if a family member is, sadly, affected by covid with serious illness, that family that may have been hesitant before, then decides they better take the vaccine. so this is going to take a lot
of effort. you know, trusted leaders in the community, physicians and nurses, family members. but we, also, need the social media and we need the larger media to, actually, say what's accurate and scientific, rather than political. >> always -- always good analysis. thanks so much, doctor, thanks so much. >> thank you. now, the uk reported more than 50,000 new coronavirus cases on friday, for the first time in six months. and that's coming just days before england is set to lift all of its remaining social-distancing restrictions. only two-thirds of british adults are fully vaccinated. but prime minister boris johnson says, hospitalizations and deaths are low enough that england can re-open, as planned. israel's prime minister, urging more caution, however. naftali bennett saying vaccines, alone, are not solving the coronavirus problem.
he claims that vaccines give significantly less effective protection against the delta variant. israel, recording more than 850 new cases, on thursday. the highest number in four months. but the number of serious cases is fewer than 50, which is far better than the height of the pandemic, in january. coming up here on the program. southeast asia is becoming a new-hot spot for the delta variant. we'll hear what governments are doing to control its dangerous spread. plus, with just six days to go before the opening ceremony of the tokyo games, the olympic village sees its first coronavirus case. we'll get a live report from japan. that's still to come.
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the latest now on the search for how the coronavirus originated. cnn has learned some senior-u.s. intelligence officials are giving credibility to the theory that the virus could have, accidentally b accidentally leaked from a chinese lab. now, that is a complete turnaround from what democrats were saying a year ago but they stress it could, also, have jumped naturally from animals in the wild to humans. president biden had given intelligence community 90 days
to find some answers. but officials say we may never know the truth, since china hasn't let international investigators see early samples, which would help narrow things down, a little. now, the delta-coronavirus variant, of course, ripping through many countries. in asia, as well, especially the southeast. cases in the region have jumped 41%, this past week. and the vaccination rate is just 9%. singapore, seeing clusters of new infections linked to karaoke bars. authorities are delaying re-opening plans, and starting monday, they will tighten social-distancing restrictions, again. journalist manisha tang joins me now live from singapore. good to see you. let's start more regionally. confirmed cases up 41%. c caseloads in the region have surpassed that in latin america and india. what -- what is the state of things? >> yeah. well, let me give you an example
of indonesia, shall i? because it's the biggest economy here in southeast asia, michael. indonesia is a nation of 270 million people. but vaccination levels are running just 5.8%. the singapore national newspaper's been displaying pictures of what's happening over there. and it's people lining up to get vaccinated because they are, suddenly, realizing the urgency of this. all of it, of course, down to the delta variant. the philippines, for example, again, another very similar situation there. and what's the problem? the problem is that vaccines are not getting in. as an example, this week, we know that a shipment of 3.2 million doses of j&j, johnson & johnson's vaccine from the u.s. that he have started. that started on thursday. but it takes time to make sure that the distribution happens. there is a lot of bureaucracy. also, blocking the channels of getting these medicines, getting these vaccines to the people who really need them. here, in singapore, you mentioned karaoke bars. something that happened when, obviously, nightlife was shut down, people pivoted to getting food and beverage licenses.
it meant that, if you were a nighttime establishment, you could open as a restaurant. well, the result has been, actually, that we have seen a sudden in surge in cases, even here in singapore. but it doesn't compare to the kind of numbers that we are seeing in other, major economies here in southeast asia. i want to bring up malaysia because there we have seen 13,215 new cases in the last-24 hours. and data shows, though, that 96% of cases in malaysia earlier this week were mild to asymptomatic. i think that also indicates how important it is to make sure testing is happening everywhere. and again, that's been something that's been very difficult to roll out in some of the economies here, michael. >> all right. manisha, thank you. in singapore. we will check in with you next hour. appreciate it. now, with just six days to go until tokyo 2020 kicks off, the first-covid case has been detected in the olympic village. it comes, as the japanese capital is seeing a surge of covid cases. protestors have been calling, of course, for the games to be cancelled. but organizers are pushing
ahead. the ioc holding an executive board meeting to go over final details. cnn's blake essig joins me, now, live this hour in fukushima. blake, good to see you. cases, still, rising with very worrying speed. what's the latest on that and -- and, you know, how the japanese people are feeling about this? >> well, you know, michael, even though fukushima isn't under a state of emergency, cases here are increasing. and as a result, no fans will be allowed to attend the baseball and softball games scheduled to be played at the stadium at the end of this road, behind me, during the olympics. now, back in tokyo, covid-19 cases are, also, surging. just this past week, the daily-case count hit its highest mark in six months. because of health and safety concerns, these olympic games have been, and continue to be, deeply unpopular with the majority of the japanese people. now, the effort by olympic organizers to cement a positive legacy and create an upbeat tone for these games through pre-olympic events, like the
torch relay, simply hasn't worked. now, in fact, i spoke with people at an anti-olympic protest just last night, who told me that it's not too late to cancel the games. they say, long after the world's spotlight has come and gone, it's the people of japan that will be left to deal with the consequences. >> translator: i really think these olympics will come at the cost of human life. if the games are held, i'm worried about the covid cases spiking even more than they, already, are. the games should be cancelled. >> despite all that, ioc president, thomas bach, who is incredibly unpopular here in japan, says cancelling the olympics is not an option. and that the risk of covid-19 spreading, because of the olympics, is zero. now, he is holding a press conference, later today, after his visit to hiroshima to promote peace. now, that visit was met with anger from people who felt that bach used hiroshima's image as a tool to increase public support for the olympics. so far, 45 people involved with the games have tested positive
for covid-19 after arriving in japan, with the first case being reported, today, from inside the olympic village. positive cases have come from athletes, coaches, contractors, and delegation members from various countries, including uganda, serbia, israel, and nigeria. the member of the nigerian team has been hospitalized. while this is only the first case requiring hospitalization, one of the big concerns for medical professionals and the general public is the potential strain on the healthcare system. it's important to remember, even though an estimated 80 to 85% of the people living in the olympic village are vaccinated and likely wouldn't end up in the hospital if they became infected. still, only about 20% of japan's population has been fully vaccinated. means a lot of people here are living in a very vulnerable state if the olympics turn into a superspreader event. and with cases, already, surging, michael, there is a lot of concern. >> yeah, indeed. and just real quick, what about athletes? i mean, we are already hearing about quite a few not coming and -- and for a variety of reasons.
>> yeah. you know, michael, unfortunately, these olympic and paralympic games will be without some of the sports biggest stars for a variety of reasons, as you mentioned. there is the moral and ethical concern and one that is incredibly unpopular with the local population here in japan that's led some athletes to withdrawal. others have stepped down because of the olympic-bubble atmosphere created by strict covid-19 countermeasures put in place to limit the spread of infection. while at least one athlete, australian tennis star, withdrew because of the plans to hold 97% of the events without spectators. he said playing without spectators just doesn't feel right. again, with 97% of olympic events being played without fans in the stands, there's no question that many athletes are going to be worried about performance anxiety, as a result. >> yeah. aussie basketballer pulled out for that reason, too. blake, good to see you.
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undocumented immigrants, who were brought to the u.s. as children from deportation. friday's ruling bans new applications for daca protections. but it does not change the status of those who, already, have daca permits. at least, for now. legislation that would give daca recipients a path to citizenship has passed the democratic-controlled house. but how far it will fare in the senate is not, yet, clear. meantime, the number of migrants illegally crossing into the u.s. from mexico has reached a ten-year high. u.s. officials say they arrested or turned away almost 189,000 people, on the border, in june. that's the highest number in at least a decade. meanwhile, the funeral for haiti's assassinated leader has been set for next friday. we have also learned the fbi is in haiti, and has begun its own investigation. now, that's because some of the main suspects in the plot appear to have connections to florida.
we get more, now, from cnn's matt rivers in port-au-prince. >> we got some updates into the investigation into this assassination at a midday press conference here in port-au-prince, haiti. among those who attended, claude joseph. it was joseph who offered his opinion on what he termed a miscalculation on the part of some of the people involved in this assassination. he said, quote, the killers thought they could kill the president and force the rest of the government to flee. and he said, obviously, that hasn't happened. the investigation goes on. that's where the chief of police of haiti's national police force jumped in. he said that, at this point, more than two dozen police officers here, on the island, are being investigated, in one way or another. as a result of this assassination. among those police officers being investigated, we're told, there are some officers who were actually at the presidential residence, the night of the
assassination. also, haiti's national police chief saying that members of the fbi, that have come here from the united states to assist in this investigation, have had a chance to, at least preliminarily, question some of the key suspect ss in this case. we are, also, told that the funeral for president jovenel moise will take place not here in port-au-prince, in another part of the country. a northern part of the country. on the 23rd of this month. it is expected that the first lady of haiti, who was injured in that assassination of her husband, and who has been recovering in a hospital in miami. it is expected that she will come back to the island to attend that funeral. matt rivers, cnn, port-au-prince, haiti. now, in the country of georgia, there are growing calls for the prime minister to step down. this, after journalists were viciously attacked while covering a protest in the capital. and the death of a cameraman, several days later, has now galvanized opposition to the
prime minister. with local-tv stations calling for his resignation. here's how it played out on the streets, and on the airwaves. mourners clap in remembrance among thousands attending this week's funeral. many wearing a black t-shirt with the picture of a bruised face. this is the face of georgian journalist, brutally beaten, while covering violent protests against an lgbtq pride march last week. that march was cancelled, after demonstrators stormed officers of some lgbtq groups across the capital. one of several journalists who were attacked in the protests. he and many of his cholleagues were left injured. as he is remembered by loved ones, died days later, last weekend. officials have not, yet, announced the cause of his death. >> translator: today, we bury lexo and everyone will see the
power of the angered media which has been seized by way of a special operation by those in power. >> the violent protests came on the heels of a press conference by georgia's prime minister, who had denounced the pride march. >> translator: they are involved, and i say it with full responsibility, they are organizing this parade and these rallies. and it is their goal to instigate public disorder and chaos in the country. >> now, the cameraman's death drawing the attention of human-rights groups and the media. on wednesday, four georgian tv channels devoted 24 hours to showing black screens with the names of injured journalists and calls for the prime minister to resign. protestors, also, gathered in front of the parliament on monday. >> today, we have one representative of media who has died. we hold the government directly responsible for failing to provide security for the journalists.
and therefore, we believe that resignation of the prime minister and the government is the only response that will be satisfactory to the georgian society and circumstances. >> the chants turned into a scuffle, as protestors made their way into the parliament. pride events are, still, controversial in georgia. a country led by a conservative government and powerful orthodox church. but violence against lgbtq communities has sparked an international outcry. the eu and u.s. government, condemning these attacks. >> we encourage all georgians, including georgian officials, to publicly condemn this type of violence that has no place in a democracy. >> for her part, georgia's president has also tweeted out her condolences to the family. and said those responsible must be punished.
>> reuters news agency, meanwhile, is mourning the loss of one of its own. pulitzer-prize-winning journalist was killed while on assignment during clashes between the taliban and afghan-security forces. he was embedded with afghan special forces, when crossfire erupted. a senior-afghan officer was, also, killed. siddiqui had been a photo journalist for reuters, since 2010. and you can see here, some of the footage he shot just days before he was killed on friday. in a statement on his killing, reuters says it's urgently seeking more information and working with authorities in the region. i'm michael homes. for our international viewers, "marketplace africa" is next. for everyone else, ale be right back with more "cnn newsroom."
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welcome back. former u.s. vice president mike pence is dipping his toes into early-campaign waters. taking a trip to iowa, on friday, where he gave a glimpse into his potential-2024 message. cnn's kristen holmes reports from des moines. >> reporter: the former vice president walking a tightrope, in des moines, as he spoke. he was, both, trying to be politically relevant. trying to stay in the political arena. but also, was very aware that the republican party is, still, the party of donald trump. he did, however, mention january 6th and acknowledged what president -- former-president
donald trump never has. take a listen. >> truth is we -- we've been through a lot. in the last year. i mean, the global pandemic, civil unrest, a divisive election, a tragic day in our nation's capitol. >> now, while he did call it a tragic day, he also did not fully separate himself from the former president. he praised the administration, the work the administration had done. and said that he was proud to serve as part of that and be a part of that. but it's very clear, now, that the former-vice president is trying to form a political identity that is separate and outside of donald trump's shadow. but no matter how vague he is about january 6th or how much he tries to avoid it, it is, eventually, going to be unavoidable because we have talked to so many trump supporters who are still so angry with mike pence over the election. they think that he shouldn't have certified the election because of all of donald trump's rhetoric. so there are a lot of people waiting to hear what pence is
going to say about that, and we're waiting to hear, too, to see if he fully separates himself from president trump. or if he, in turn, embraces him. >> kristen holmes reporting there. now, officials in hong kong are lashing out at u.s. sanctions on the city's china liaison office, calling them, quote, ridiculous and unfounded fear mongering. now, they released a statement saying the u.s. measure was aimed at damaging the city's reputation, as a business hub and was, quote, doomed to fail. what's behind all of this? well, on friday, the biden administration sanctioned seven chinese officials in that office, over beijing's crackdown on democracy and protests in hong kong. now, u.s. secretary of state, antony blinken, referred to the liaison office as china's, quote, main platform for projecting its influence in hong kong. and has repeatedly undermined the high degree of autonomy promised for hong kong. well, they say desperate
times call for desperate measures. and there's a concern more cubans could take the only way out, after anti-government protests hit the island. we'll have a report, when we come back. there's a world where every one of us is connected. everyone. everywhere. where everyone is included. where everyone has access to information, education, opportunity. ♪ ♪ ♪ when everyone and everything is connected. that's really beautiful. anything is possible. good morning. cisco. the bridge to possible. you know when your dog is itching for a treat.
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activists in washington are trying to stick it to the cuban government after the island saw its largest anti-government rallies in decades. on friday, the words "cuba libre" or free cuba were painted right outside the cuban embassy there. it's unclear who was behind the artistry. now more of those trying to escape cuba's growing problems have set their sights on u.s. shores. patrick oppmann with our report. >> reporter: the massive protests across cuba and the communist-run governments heavy crackdown may be creating conditions for a new crisis on the island that could soon land on american shores. cubans once again taking to the seas to escape a worsening economic and political situation. u.s. homeland security secretary alejandro mayorkas, himself an
immigrant from cuba, issuing this week a stark warning to those thinking of crossing the florida straits. >> allow me to be clear. if you take to the sea, you will not come to the united states. >> reporter: but that's not stopping many cubans desperate to leave. according to the u.s. coast guard, this year has seen the highest number of cuban migrants since 2017. the journey often perilous is driven by despair. after 16 days at sea, these cubans had to be rescued when their overloaded boat capsized off the coast of florida. >> air one, the boat just flipped over. >> reporter: not everyone so lucky. the coast guard reporting nearly 20 cubans died in recent weeks. beatrice jimenez' daughter and two grandchildren were lost at sea in march along with two others. beatrice told me her daughter
was trying to reunite with her husband in florida. my daughter is a good mother, beatriz says. she wouldn't have done this if everything wasn't safe, if everything wasn't okay. she wouldn't have put them through this. her children are everything to her. with daily covid-19 cases more than trippling in the last thre weeks and the government struggling to get it under control, cubans find themselves with nowhere to go. most air travel to and from the island was suspended during the pandemic. for many, that now means they now have one option, the open waters. building a boat or paying smugglers to take you to florida is expensive. recently it's become common to see cubans posting ads online offering homes for sale with everything inside. it's a sign, people here tell me, of cubans trying to scrape together whatever money they can to buy their way onto a boat. cubans picked up by the u.s. coast guard are brought back to the island under an agreement
between the two countries. cnn got rare access to the port where the exchange happens. the day we filmed there, we found among the migrants returned to cuba, a woman and her 8-month-old baby. cuban officials say the u.s. has not agreed to hold migration talks in nearly three years. >> so the recipe and the conditions are there for an uncontrolled migration through the ocean, something that we want to avoid, that we believe it is possible to avoid. >> reporter: but any cooperation seems increasingly unlikely with cuba's president blaming the u.s. for this week's island-wide protests and president biden firing back with -- >> cuba is a -- unfortunately a failed state. >> reporter: failed or not, as cuba faces increased economic and political upheaval, the time to avoid a new humanitarian crisis may be running out. patrick oppmann, cnn, havana. now, the u.s. rapper biz
markie has died at the age of 57. ♪ you, you got what i need ♪ ♪ but you say, he just a friend ♪ >> that's his best known hit, "just a friend." the humorous 1989 song kicked off his four-decade career. born marcel hole in new york city, he was beloved in the music industry. he also worked as an actor and narrator. loved ones will miss his vibrant personality. thanks for spending part of your day with me. i'm michael holmes. stay with me. i will be back with more "cnn newsroom" in just a moment.
hello and welcome to our viewers here in the united states and all around the world. i'm michael hoemlmes. coming up on "cnn newsroom." catastrophic deadly floods in europe leave entire villages underwater. hundreds of people are missing. wildfires tear through the western u.s., made worse by an historic heat wave. we'll take a look at how much climate change is to blame for all of this. also -- >> this is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated. >> the u.s. reels from surging