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Previous story COVID Protests; Cubans Lack Of Food; Greed Develop Vaccine; Record COVID Infections; India Biggest country; Britney Spears in Court Next story
by John Vause, CNN NEWSROOM.
 Published on Wednesday July 14, 2021 - 5:51 AM
 
COVID Protests; Cubans Lack Of Food; Greed Develop Vaccine; Record COVID Infections; India Biggest country; Britney Spears in  Court
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COVID Protests Around The Globe; Cubans Protest Lack Of Food; U.K.'s Johnson Says "Greed" Helped Develop Vaccine; South Korea Record-Breaking COVID Infections; E.U. Looking at Mandating Vaccines; India to Become World's Most Populous Country; Britney Spears to Attend Court Hearing

OHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm John Vause. Ahead on CNN NEWSROOM. If the Coronavirus was lightning now comes the thunder of social unrest. Anger over vaccine inequality, growing economic hardship and government incompetence and corruption, fueling growing unrest around the world. The carrots haven't worked, maybe it's time for the sticks. The debate over vaccine mandates. And with forecasts of soaring summer temperatures and extremely dry conditions, many are fearing another record-breaking wildfire season in the U.S.

We begin with the list of suspects linked to the brazen assassination of Haiti's president, which is growing longer. Haitian Police are now looking for 10 new people in connection to the attack. Officials have publicly identified three of the new suspects, including a former Haitian senator.

So far, 39 people have been tied to the murder of Jovenel Moise last Wednesday, including at least three U.S. citizens. That list of Americans includes Christian Emmanuel Sanon, the man accused of orchestrating the assassination. Also several other suspects reportedly have direct ties to U.S. law enforcement. CNN's Matt Rivers has more.

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: "This site has been sealed by the Port-au-Prince magistrate," reads the note on the door of the medical NGO, the compound where authorities say Christian Emmanuel Sanon, an American citizen, helped orchestrate the assassination of Haiti's President Jovenel Moise. When police cars descended to arrest Sanon over the weekend, they found him at the house just across the street from the NGO, along with lots of ammunition, holsters and shooting targets. Authorities say he helped recruit and organize the twenty-six Colombians and two Americans they believe carried out the killing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RIVERS: We've spoken to several neighbors now who were too nervous to go on camera with us but tell us that the amount of activity at this compound over the last month or two really started to increase. And interestingly, they say they saw men going from that compound to this one, which is where Sanon was arrested. They said all of the men were foreigners that were "muscular like bodyguards," sometimes with camouflage pants.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RIVERS: There's no way to know for sure if those same men are among these suspects, suspects that Sanon is claiming to have never met. In police interviews, he is arguing he is innocent according to a source directly involved in the investigation. CNN spoke to that source over the phone and agreed to conceal his identity.

"Sanon said he doesn't know anything about the assassination," said our source. "He said he's a pastor, his wife and children live abroad but he's been in the country for about a month. He says he didn't know the ammunition was in the house. This is what he said since the first day."

Sanon appears to split his time between South Florida and Haiti and has been involved for years in medical charity work. He's also been a longtime critic of the Haitian government saying this in a YouTube video from 2011.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTIAN EMMANUEL SANON, EVANGELICAL CHRISTIAN PREACHER: Where is the leadership of Haiti? Nowhere to be found. You know why? Because they're corrupt.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RIVERS: Sanon, not the only American allegedly playing a key role in the assassination. Two more Americans scene here, James Solage and Joseph Vincent, have been detained in Haiti as suspects. And CNN is also reporting that several other suspects in the assassination have direct ties to U.S. law enforcement as informants. The DEA has confirmed at least one of them worked for them in the past as an informant.

The night of the assassination, you can even hear a suspect shout he was working for the DEA, though U.S. officials have repeatedly said that was a lie.

[00:05:07]

And the U.S. doesn't just have connections to the crime, but to its aftermath. Haitians have been showing up at the U.S. Embassy in Port- au-Prince asking for visas. Some are desperate to leave an island where poverty, violence, and corruption are chronic. The assassination, just the final straw. Matt Rivers, CNN, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

VAUSE: At least 72 people are dead after days of violent protests and looting in South Africa. Police have arrested more than 1,200 people but they've struggled to contain the chaos, some of the worst the country has seen in decades. The wave of violence erupted after former South African President Jacob Zuma was jailed for refusing to appear before an anti-corruption commission. But authorities say the chaos has devolved into opportunistic lawlessness. South Africa's police minister says it's imperative to restore order.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BHEKI CELE, SOUTH AFRICAN POLICE MINISTER: Current situation on the ground is under strong surveillance. And we will ensure that it does not deteriorate any further. We cannot allow anyone to make a mockery of our democratic state. And we have instructed to the law enforcement agencies to double their efforts to stop the violence and to increase deployment on the ground.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Officials also warning continued protests could further undermine the nation's COVID-19 response and vaccination rollout to all vaccine sites were forced to stop administering doses because of the widespread violence. Anti-government activists in Cuba say more than 100 people have been arrested or are missing after Sunday's widespread protests. Cubans took to the streets in a ratio of defiance frustrated by growing economic crisis like on food, medicine, as well as sporadic electricity. One person reportedly died Monday during clashes with police.

Cuba's President called the protesters criminals. The government has cut internet access to discourage any demonstrations. The U.S. is calling on the Cuban government to show more restraint.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NED PRICE, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: We remain deeply concerned by the Cuban government's "Call to combat." And by the images of violence that we have seen over the past few days, we call for calm and we condemn any violence against those protesting peacefully. And we equally call on the Cuban government to release anyone detained for peaceful protest.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Demonstrations in support of the Cuban people are taking place in a number of U.S. cities including Miami, the center of the Cuban Exile community. Tuesday's rally shut down part of an expressway in Miami. Many protests worldwide have one common thread, anger over government mismanagement of the pandemic. We get more now from CNN's Nic Robertson.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: From Cuba to Haiti, South Africa to Lebanon Tinder dry tensions are igniting. Crippled economies burdened by COVID-19 are partly to blame. In Cuba, angry citizens incensed by lack of food, medicine and freedom, as well as spiraling Coronavirus infections are getting beaten back by police for demanding the ouster of President Miguel Diaz-Canel. In a national broadcast, he blamed Cuba's economic woes on U.S.

sanctions imposed under former President Donald Trump.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DIAZ-CANEL, CUBAN PRESIDENT (through translator): We explained to the Cuban people very clearly that we were about to enter a very rough period of time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTSON: Reality is Cuba's weak economy and healthcare system is being brought to its knees by COVID-19 infection soaring only a little more than 16 percent of Cubans fully vaccinated. The United States is watching with concern.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: People deeply, deeply, deeply tired of the repression that has gone on for far too long, tired of the mismanagement of the Cuban economy, tired of the lack of adequate food and of course, an adequate response to the COVID pandemic.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTSON: Haiti also a concern for the U.S. The audacious assassination of President Jovenel Moise last week topped two weeks of deadly street protests and fighting, fueled by poverty and factional infighting. The impoverished Caribbean nation which has been an economic basket case for decades, saw street violence ramp up in recent weeks concurrent with the spike in COVID-19 cases in late June.

In South Africa, where COVID-19 infections have been spiking and vaccination rates are low, the economic inequalities are high. The army has been brought in to quell deadly rioting trigger by the jailing of former President, Jacob Zuma, on contempt of court charges.

[00:10:06]

And Lebanon, too, is hitting a crisis, exacerbating pre-existing tensions of poor COVID readiness. Protests and anger ever present as rocketing inflation, rolling power outages, royal passions, the nation reeling from the economic impact of decades of Syrian civil war next door, compounded by years of political infighting. And to cap it all, a port last, last summer, shredding much of central Beirut.

And Iraq this week became the latest country where Tinder dry frustrations combusted as they touched the nation's war and COVID weary repopulation. Oxygen tanks for treating COVID-19 patients at a hospital exploded, killing more than 90 people. Within hours, nearby residents took to the streets demanding better from their government. Living with COVID-19 has become not just a way of life, but a salutary warning for leaders everywhere. Nic Robertson, CNN, London.

VAUSE: To the lot now and Tom Bollyky, a senior fellow for Global Health, Economics, and Development at the Council on Foreign Relations, as well as Founder and Managing Editor of the online magazine, Think Global Health. Tom, welcome to the show. TOM BOLLYKY, DIRECTOR OF GLOBAL HEALTH COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS:

Thanks for having me. Ok. Well, the South African president has warned that the looting, the protests, the unrest will come with some very serious consequences. Here he is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CYRIL RAMAPHOSA, SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT: We will soon be facing a huge risk of food insecurity and medication insecurity in a few weeks. Our vaccination program has been severely disrupted just as it is gaining momentum.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: So that's one country after just a few days of really violent protests. It's a similar story in many other places right now, which is struggling economically. So globally, what are you expecting in terms of social unrest? So are we at the beginning? Was the Coronavirus the lightning strike, and now we're starting to hear the thunder?

BOLLYKY: We are unfortunately. Over the last month, we've seen significant protests in Haiti and Cuba, Colombia, South Africa that is, and these protests are related to the pandemic, they are starting to destabilize some governments and they've contributed to worsening outcomes, particularly with the spread of the Delta variant.

Now, this builds on a history, you know. According to an analysis done in March, there have been 86 countries already that have had COVID related protests in the past year. But the pattern we're seeing now is a little different. What we're seeing early in the pandemic were a lot of protests largely around measures taken to put a stop to the pandemic, anti-lockdown protests notably, what we're seeing now is really poor health performance and limited access to vaccines, leading to an escalation of pre-existing concerns about political corruption and poor economic conditions. And that's only going to increase as you see this variant spread worldwide.

VAUSE: You know, during the news conference on Monday, the head of the W.H.O. said the one question he is repeatedly asked is, when will the pandemic end? He blamed a lack of global leadership for prolonging the agony, and then added this. Listen to it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEDROS ADHANOM GHEBREYESUS, DIRECTOR-GENERAL, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: Sorry to say it, but if solidarity is not working, if there is one word that can explain it, I'm sorry to say this, but I think anybody can see that it's greed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: So essentially, he's looking at a situation where there's a situation of every country is out for themselves because during previous viral outbreaks, the U.S. would take a global leadership role coordinator response like Obama did during the Ebola outbreak, but Trump thought was better to take a, you know, America-first approach, I guess. Many countries were happy to do the same. And a lot of countries have been happy to exploit this crisis for their own benefit. So, you know, is it a case now, is it simple thing to say the mystery is being prolonged by greed, or is it incompetence, or is it a combination of both or something else entirely?

BOLLYKY: Yes. So I think there's no question that the world has been seized by a bout of me-first-ism, I guess, nationalism, countries being concerned about their own situation over the global situation. And we are now seven months into this pandemic and we distributed or administered more than 3.5 billion vaccine doses globally, but just ten countries represent three out of four of those doses.

[00:15:08]

That's still the case. And, you know, sure, perhaps countries with access to vaccines may want to prioritize their populations early, but we're getting pretty far along into this vaccine rollout. And we are still not seeing the shift that many of us started to -- expected to see in the second half of this year. It's still being quite slow, that needs to change.

VAUSE: Yes. And also on the issue of greed, the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, he called a meeting of his conservative party back in March. The reason we have the vaccine success is because of capitalism, because of greed, my friends, it was giant corporations that wanted to give good returns to shareholders. The problem though, is greed did not develop the vaccine in record time, it was because of a massive investment of public money, which fast-tracked the entire process.

But a few other big vaccine makers do stand to make a killing in both of profits and in lives, because they're refusing to allow the vaccine to be produced by a third-party like AstraZeneca is doing. And it's not just vaccines (INAUDIBLE) has priced -- it's priced at $3,000 a patient and you're -- what is interesting and what was shocking about this, this is typical for big pharma. And you're -- right now for the vaccine inequality, the pharmaceuticals, the treatments to therapeutics, they are out of reach for most of the world.

BOLLYKY: Yes, that is certainly true, although I have to be honest with you. I think the primary culprits here are wealthy governments. At the end of the day, a number of countries mine, the United States and others, are sitting on significant surpluses of doses that they are still not sharing. Vaccine donations along wouldn't entirely solve the problem. It's not a long-term solution. But it could make a meaningful difference. And we are still not seeing those doses go worldwide. And that's because countries are still pondering whether they would need a booster later or still pondering, you know, when you'll see a rollout extend to even younger populations.

Meanwhile, other countries haven't vaccinated their health workers and are having the kinds of situations that, you know, you brought me here to talk about, which is Cuba and Haiti collapsing economies and health systems and that's just intolerable. What is going to put us at risk in this pandemic is our, you know, in wealthy countries, is our failure to invest in vaccination abroad. That's going to put our success in vaccination at home at the greatest risk.

VAUSE: Tom, it's great to have you with us. We really appreciate that.

BOLLYKY: Mine's for sure.

VAUSE: Take care. When we come back on the run ahead of a Taliban offensive sweeping across Afghanistan, millions of people forced from their homes by years of war, an exodus which some believe could lead to a humanitarian crisis. Also heartbreak for residents of one small town in California struck by wildfires for the second time in just months. Just another reason why many fear another record-breaking fire season is on the way.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[00:20:18]

VAUSE: Fighting between the Taliban and government forces is pushing Afghanistan to the brink of humanitarian crisis. The U.N. Refugee Agency reports years of fighting have already forced more than three and a half million people from their homes as the fighting picks up so to the number of displaced. More than two million Afghans have fled to Pakistan and Iran. Civilian casualties are also up, as well as reports of extortion by armed groups. CNN's Anna Coren has more now reporting in from the Afghan capital, Kabul.

ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As the security situation continues to deteriorate across Afghanistan, the French Embassy here in Kabul is calling on all its citizens to leave the country. The French government is organizing a special flight on Saturday to take the entire French community back to France. The Embassy says anyone who is not on that flight, they will not be able to ensure the safety of their departure.

It comes as the Taliban is making sweeping gains across the country seizing more districts. There is intense fighting going on in Kandahar in the southern part of the country, as militants try to claim that city. The Ministry of Defense says the Afghan National Security Forces are launching operations across Afghanistan, and have killed more than 300 Taliban in the last 24 hours. But it is the civilians who are paying the price.

UNHCR says there is a looming humanitarian crisis on the way. More than 270,000 people have been displaced this year so far. And CNN has learned that a high level delegation from the Afghan government will be flying to Doha, Qatar to meet with the Taliban for peace talks. This will be the first time since September last year. Anna Coren, CNN, Kabul.

VAUSE: An early investigation into a deadly hospital fire in Iraq says sparks from faulty wiring triggered an oxygen tank to explode. Fire then spread to the ICU treating COVID patients, at least 92 people were killed. Here's how one witness described the scene.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) KHAZAAL GHALEEN, WITNESSED FIRE (through translator): The front door

was burning and the back doors closed so people couldn't get out. But before the fire broke out, some of them managed to get out and then afterwards people were stuck inside and the ceiling fell on them. We managed to take out some people, but they were suffering and the rest of them burnt and died. Their families are still searching for their relatives.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Some of the bodies were so badly burned they'll need DNA testing for identification. According to the Reuters news agency, one hospital medic says the facility does not have a sprinkler system fire alarm. Three days of mourning will be observed starting this Friday.

Wildfires have struck a small California town for the second time in less than a year. On Saturday, Doyle was hit by the Beckwourth fire, the state's largest place so far this year. About 700 people live in Doyle and many had to flee again. That's because just eight months ago, it was (INAUDIBLE) fire ripping through the town. This wildfire season is on track to be among the worst ever across the Western United States as well as Canada. Both countries report scores of large fires burning right now, many out of control.

Meanwhile, here's Tyler Mauldin joins us now with more on what's happening out west. You know, it just gets bad from worse. It's as bad as the last season was, which was, you know, as bad as long before that.

TYLER MAULDIN, CNN METEOROLOGIST: John, all you need in place for a fire is fuel, heat, and some oxygen. And we've got all of that in place across the West Coast of the U.S. and all the way up into Canada as well. So let me work you through what we've been seeing. Since mid- July, mid-June to mid-July, we have had hundreds of records broken, and many of them all-time records, that's in the U.S. and also in Canada, and then we've had this multiyear drought and the drought continues.

We've seen temperatures get up to well above 100 degrees in both the U.S. and Canada. No rain in sight. And that has led to us being on track here across the U.S. to having yet another record-breaking fire season. Ten-year average here, when it comes to heck two acres burned about 1.2. We're up to more than a hundred thousand in the U.S. In Canada, same story. You're nearing 700,000 Hec to acres. Your 10-year average is 1.1. so you can see why we're on track here to have that active fire season yet again. The heat's not going anywhere. The temperatures are going to be well above normal here across the west coast and Western Canada, too.

We're not going to be dealing with the all-time record heat like we were dealing with but we're certainly going to see temperatures well above where they should be this time of the year. In terms of rain, it takes about 15 millimeters to stop the spread of fire.

[00:25:03] You need 50 millimeters to completely extinguish a wildfire during a drought. We don't see much in the way of rainfall across the West Coast. Sure, we'll see some here in Arizona and parts of the four corners, but the areas that really need the rainfall, they're not going to see it over the next five days and we'll see below average precipitation chances going into the upcoming week. That is why we continue to see red flag warnings and fire weather watches be hoisted by the weather centers. And if you don't live in the West Coast near the fires, that doesn't mean you're being spared from the effects from the fires, John. This is the smoke forecast. You can see the smoke is being spread to the east leading to poor air quality.

VAUSE: It was bad out there the other week. It just gets worse as we go on pilot. Tyler, thank you. Tyler Mauldin there with the very latest.

MAULDIN: You got it.

VAUSE: Well, the debate over mandatory vaccines in Europe when we come back. Why some countries are moving forward with mandates for certain workers, others though holding off.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VAUSE: Welcome back, everyone. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause. Well, South Korea reporting its highest ever number of daily COVID infections. More than 1,600 new infections on Tuesday with new clusters around Seoul. Live to Hong Kong, we find CNN Kristie Lu Stout there standing by. And once again, it's the double variant which is behind the surge.

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. The Delta variant and also the slow pace of vaccination coupled together. Look, the South Korean president is calling this the biggest crisis to face his country since the start of the pandemic. On Wednesday, South Korea posted a new record high of daily Coronavirus cases, 1,650 new cases of the virus, its eighth consecutive day of over 1,000 cases reported in a single day and this comes just days after South Korea lifted its pandemic restrictions for the Seoul metropolitan area to level four, that's its highest level.

This came into force on Monday. It will be in place for two weeks and let's bring up the graphic for you under these pandemic restrictions. Again, these are the highest level pandemic restrictions for Seoul. People are advised to stay home. Nightclubs and bars are closed. Restaurants and cafes have limited seating. Only takeout services are available after 10:00 p.m. Also no spectators are allowed to attend sports matches. Hotels can only operate at two-thirds of full capacity and movies not allowed after 10:00 p.m.

Now South Korea has also suspended baseball season for a few days after a number of baseball players were confirmed to have COVID-19 infections and South Korea has also announced that in its gyms in the capital city, Seoul, treadmills are not allowed to go faster than six kilometers an hour.

[00:30:14]

It's also put a ban on fast workout music during group classes. It can't be any faster than 120 beats per minute. And according to health officials, they say it's because harsh breathing from intense activities "can splatter a lot of saliva," unquote.

These seem to be curious measures, but they're aimed at limiting the virus, especially in the target demographic.

Korean disease control officials say that this spike in cases that is fueled by the Delta variant is also being driven by young unvaccinated people in South Korea, especially in the Seoul metropolitan area.

We heard from the South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, who apologized for the situation, who also called it again the biggest crisis South Korea has faced since the beginning of the pandemic.

In his translated comments, Moon Jae-in, the South Korean president, said this. We'll bring it up for you. He said, "The government will do its best to advance the vaccination period by utilizing the available vaccines as efficiently as possible. Once again, I feel very sorry for asking the people to endure and to be more patient a little bit longer," unquote.

And John, out of a population of, what, 52 million people, only 11.8 percent have been fully inoculated -- John.

JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Kristie, thank you. Kristie Lu Stout, live in Hong Kong.

Well, as the highly contagious Delta variant drives up COVID cases in Europe, some countries are now mandating vaccines, mostly for healthcare workers, but leaving the door open to national mandates.

France and Greece both announced they will require healthcare and nursing home workers to get vaccinated. The Greek prime minister says those who refuse will be suspended.

Italy was the first country to mandate healthcare workers be vaccinated, or they will face a yearlong suspension without pay.

The German chancellor says the country is a long way off from making its vaccine quota, but Angela Merkel says she won't make shots compulsory. The E.U. Commission president says that half of all adults in the E.U. are now fully vaccinated.

For more on all of this, here's CNN's Melissa Bell.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Here in Europe, the race is on to get people vaccinated and to get beyond the wall of vaccine hesitancy that so many European countries are now coming up against.

This as the Delta variant continues to spread, with 90 percent of new cases in the E.U. expected to be of the Delta variant by the end of August.

Greece has announced that healthcare workers will have to be vaccinated. Italy already had something similar. The French president announced on Monday night that, in France, healthcare workers would face mandatory vaccination henceforth, also announcing a series of measures designed to get ordinary French people to go out and get vaccinated.

So for instance, access to restaurants, shows, theaters, cinemas, some trains, will only be available to those who have their health vaccination pass. That is, they're going to have to show either that they've been fully vaccinated or that they have a negative PCR test.

And here's the catch. PCR tests have been free in France thus far. The French president announced last night that from the autumn, you're going to have to pay for them. And that appears really to have helped focused the minds.

What we've seen overnight is the app here in France that allows you to book medical appointments overrun. In less than 24 hours, more than 1.3 million appointments were booked, with 17,000 being booked every minute after the French president began to speak.

And this, the French authorities hope, will help them avoid that ultimate threat that Emmanuel Macron made in his speech on Monday night that, if all else failed, France would consider mandatory vaccination for all.

Melissa Bell, CNN, Paris.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: Twitter says it had a constructive conversation with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson over efforts to tackle online abuse.

The meeting comes after three England football players suffered racist abuse following the team's lost to Italy at the Euro 2020 final. Boris Johnson is condemning the targeting of those players. He's urging the social media giants to take such action to address racist abuse on their platforms.

On current trends, India is set to be the world's most populous country in less than a decade. So now to try and control population growth, the country's most populous state is taking a page from China's playbook, proposing a bill to limit how many children couples can have.

CNN's Vedika Sud has details.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VEDIKA SUD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Crowded streets, packed by lanes, people living cheek by jowl. Familiar scenes in parts of many Indian cities. There are several reasons for these conditions, housing shortages as people migrate from villages to cities for jobs, and a rapid increase in population density, causing some residents to worry about the future.

BHUPINDER KUMAR, NEW DELHI RESIDENT (through translator): There are no jobs. There's no space to live, and if the situation persists, people will start encroaching on others' properties.

SUD: The U.N. projects India will surpass China as the world's most populous country by 2027. India is expected to add more than a quarter billion people by 2050, many of whom will be among the world's poorest.

Despite this alarming statistic, overall, India's population growth does seem to be slowing compared to previous decades. The result of rising education levels, decreasing poverty rates, and growing urbanization.

However, some populous cities are still seeing growth rates that they can't keep up with, pushing some leaders to propose policies from China's playbook as they seek to control population growth.

On Sunday, chief minister of Utter Pradesh (ph), India's most populous state, proposed a new two-child policy, discouraging couples from having more than two children.

The northeastern state of Assam announced similar plans last month. Under this legislation, couples with more than two children would not receive government benefits or subsidies, and would be barred from applying for state government jobs. The state's drop law includes incentives for two-children couples. If one of them asks for voluntary sterilization, the family can enjoy perks like lower rates on utility bills and property taxes.

JAI PRATAP SINGH, HEALTH MINISTER, UTTAR PRADESH STATE (through translator): This policy that has been made today is from 2021 to 2030, in which we sat with all people and made such a plan, through which we can create awareness and try to control our population.

SUD: Assam's chief minister has said that his state's proposal is partly to control the population growth of Bengali-speaking Muslims.

Utter Pradesh is set to hold elections next year, which will be crucial to India's Bharatiya Janata Party. The chief minister, known for being a Hindu hardliner, says that his state's policy is secular. But whether that is true may depend on how it gets implemented.

Vedika Sud, CNN, New Delhi.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: Still to come here on CNN, it's looking like the International Olympic Committee are the only ones excited by Tokyo 2021. A new global survey found that the enthusiasm from fans around the world just isn't there.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VAUSE: Britney Spears is expected to phone in for a court hearing Wednesday as she fights for illegal control of her finances. The popstar is requesting new counsel for her conservatorship case.

CNN's Chloe Melas has more now on where this legal battle stands.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHLOE MELAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's been three weeks since Britney Spears' bombshell testimony, in which she said that she was forced to perform, take lithium, and remain on birth control against her will.

Now she faces Judge Brenda Penny at the superior court once again to ask to retain an attorney of her choice.

For the last nearly 13 years, Samuel D. Ingham has been her court- appointed attorney, but he just recently put in his resignation.

[00:40:04]

A source close to the case tells CNN that former federal prosecutor Matthew Rosengart has been in talks with the singer to represent her, but when reached by CNN, Rosengart had no comment.

There are some other things on the table, including the resignation of Bessemer Trust, which has been the co-conservator of Britney Spears' estimated $60 million estate.

There have been other resignations, including her longtime manager, Larry Rudolph after over 20 years, resigning just recently.

But all we can do is sit back and wait to see what is Britney going to say next.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: Our thanks to CNN's Chloe Melas for that report.

Well, restaurants across London are back in business after months'- long closures because of the coronavirus. But while their pandemic problems are starting to ease, the industry is now facing a whole new set of challenges.

CNN's Salma Abdelaziz explains.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Food not made at home or delivered in a box but chef-developed, expertly prepared and beautifully plated, is back.

After more than a year of closures and restrictions, London's restaurants are buzzing again. From his acclaimed restaurant, NOPI, chef Yotam Ottolenghi told us it's about bringing people together.

YOTAM OTTOLENGHI, RESTAURANTEUR: As someone who serves food for a living, not doing it feels so terrible and unnatural.

ABDELAZIZ: The author of 11 cookbooks told us lockdown forced him to change and innovate.

OTTOLENGHI: This is where all the magic happens. There is an immense flexibility, and a hospitality. People who think on their feet, act on their feet. So as an industry, we move really quickly from serving people on sites to deliveries and takeout.

ABDELAZIZ: Head chef David Bravo said he used his time at home to get creative.

DAVID BRAVO, HEAD CHEF, NOPI: Having all this time, we were just kind of thinking of new dishes, new recipes. What we can do with leaks or what we can do with carrots, using them in different forms.

ABDELAZIZ: But while people are eager to finally dine out, the industry cannot find the human resources needed to serve them.

OTTOLENGHI: We're struggling to hire on all fronts. We put an ad out for kitchen porter, and we have very few candidates applying.

ABDELAZIZ: A third of venues reopened without adequate staffing, according to one survey. Post-Brexit immigration rules and the sense of instability makes recruitment and retention more difficult.

General manager Pierre Malouf told us many of his friends and colleagues have quit their jobs.

PIERRE MALOUF, GENERAL MANAGER, NOPI: It feels very sad. A couple of times on the bus to work, I did have a little cry, because I think you -- we didn't get a chance to say goodbye. It was such a mass exodus. We never got the closure. And now we have to rebuild again.

ABDELAZIZ: Pre-COVID, an estimated half of hospitality workers were E.U. citizens. But over the last year, many have returned to Europe, government data shows. But while the industry struggles to find solutions, consumer demand is soaring.

OTTOLENGHI: The one thing I'm really confident in is that people will want to eat out, because it's one of the few joys, communal joys, that we still have. And restaurants are the perfect places for that.

ABDELAZIZ: Hope that the revival of London's food scene will lead to renaissance and reunion.

Salma Abdelaziz, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: We're just a week out from the Tokyo games, and normally before any Olympics, this is the time when the excitement is building worldwide.

Well, not this year. Twenty-eight countries were recently surveyed, and only 43 percent of respondents said the game should go ahead, despite the pandemic. Fifty-seven percent said no.

Enthusiasm is highest in Turkey. Seventy-one percent support the games. That's followed by Saudi Arabia, Russia.

Different story for the host nation, Japan, right down towards the bottom, with just 22 percent support. And only South Korea is less enthusiastic.

Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause. Please stay with us. WORLD SPORT starts after the break. I'll be back at the top of the hour.