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rely on the experts at 1800petmeds for the same medications as the vet, but for less with fast free shipping. visit petmeds.com today. hello and welcome to all of you watching us here in the united states, canada and around the world. i'm kim brunhuber and this is "cnn newsroom." just ahead -- >> the senate being equally divided, the vice president votes in the affirmative. >> with that tie breaking vote, americans came one step closer to another round of pandemic stimulus, but the covid relief bill's difficult journey really begins later today. then, mask mandates dropped while infections are still rampant. why some states say it's time to
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end covid restrictions. and a new development in the capitol riot investigation as authorities take a close look at communications between members of congress and the pro trump mob. u.s. president joe biden's $1.9 trillion covid relief bill has been taken up by the senate and debate will begin in the coming hours. the massive measure would provide direct aid and tax credit to struggling americans and businesses, extend soon to expire unemployment benefits and allocate money for reopening schools and vaccination efforts. thursday afternoon vice president kamala harris broke a 50-50 tie. then they began reading the entire 628 bill allowed, a republican delay tactic we'll
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explain in a moment. senate democrats hope to get the bill passed this weekend. for more on that, here's jeff zeleny. >> reporter: in the oval office president biden looking ahead to the next big item on his agenda, rebuilding the nation's ailing infrastructure. >> it not only creates jobs but it makes us a hell of a lot more competitive around the world. >> reporter: but first the white house is making one final push to pass the covid relief bill through the senate over the objections of the senate. kamala harris cast a tie-breaking vote to begin the debate. >> the senate being equally divided the vice president votes in the affirmative. >> reporter: it has more limits on stimulus checks meaning some who received payments under president trump will not through the biden administration. the bill spans 628 legislative pages and is now being read aloud in full. >> american rescue act of 2021 section 2 table of contents.
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a stall tactic demanded by wisconsin senator ron johnson. >> i'm trying to make this a deliberative process and shine the light on the abuse and obscene amount of money. >> reporter: senate majority leader chuck schumer called it obstruction that could take ten hours followed by what is expected to be a long debate. >> we all know this will merely delay the inevitable. it will accomplish something little more than a few sore throats. >> reporter: they're trying to win bipartisan support but the president said he has no doubt it has strong backing of the country. >> each piece isn't just defensible, it is urge goent and overwhelmingly supported by the people. it's good policy and it's good politics. >> reporter: the outcome of the senate debate and what happens when it goes back to the house for a final vote is the biggest test yet for democratic unity in the biden era.
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>> it is that test of party unity on the covid-19 bill that the white house believes will pave the way to other agenda items like infrastructure. for now the votes are expected to go into the weekend. republicans forcing amendments, the white house trying to keep democrats together. jeff zeleny, cnn, the white house. >> as jeff zeleny mentioned, republicans haven't made it easy for the senate to vote on the relief bill. they forced clerks to read the entire document aloud. they say the bill is too big and to expensive to rush through. >> i feel bad for the clerks who have to read it, but it's just important. so often we rush these massive bills that are hundreds if not thousands of pages long. you don't have time. nobody has time to read them. so start considering something we haven't even read. at a minimum somebody ought to
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read it and this would give everybody time quite honestly, the clerks read it, our staffs will have time to consider what the provisions are, to start crafting memos. >> i think what senator johnson is doing, i should let him speak for himself, but what i see he's doing is making sure we communicate very clearly that the $1.9 trillion plan has good objectives but it's massively misdirected. a lot of the spending is not going where it's needed, that it's wasteful, that it's adding debt to our next generations and senator johnson wants to make sure people understand that on both sides of the aisle. >> but democrats are slamming the republican tactics as a political stunt. they say the need for the huge relief measures couldn't be more urgent. >> we have unemployment benefits ending in just a few days. people have that certainty. they're worried about putting food on the table, keeping a roof over their head. they want the certainty of knowing that legislation is
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passed and will extend that through the end of august. we have small businesses that are looking for funds so they can stay open. we've got fema trying to provide additional resources so we can expand distribution of vaccines and get it in as many arms as much as possible. we're in the middle of an economic crisis. we're seeing a stunt that is delaying the inevitable. >> health officials are sounding the alarm as some american states are lifting mask mandates. dr. anthony fauci warns against moving too quickly. cnn's nick watt has the story. >> i'm convinced that a mask mandate has been the right thing to do, i also respect those who object and believe that this was a step too far in government overreach. >> alabama's governor says their mask mandate will end april 9th even though her top medical
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adviser says this. >> we believe that the evidence says it will prevent disease and death. >> reporter: right now no mask mandate in 15 states. >> i truly see it as sabotage. >> this is note the time to do it. now with the u.k. variant being so much more transmissible. >> reporter: joining the club next week, texas. >> this is a political decision, not public health decision. >> reporter: where cases are already back on the rise. >> when would be the right time? would it be when everybody gets a vaccine? will it be when covid is completely over and the answer to those of course is, no. >> reporter: meantime, doctors in cypress, texas, say there's nothing more they can do for a young mom of 5. >> i sit here and wait for my wife to die. i don't know what to do. >> reporter: vaccines are what to do for the country.
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on average, more than 2 million doses now going into american arms every day. >> tell everybody, not to be afraid. >> reporter: some states want to see more of this, thinking about less of this. >> and as we continue to vaccinate more and more and more, we'll get rid of the mask, but i don't know really what the big rush to get rid of the mask is because these masks have saved a lot of, a lot of lives. if we don't watch out, we can make mistakes. >> reporter: it's not how many but who you vaccinate. here in california 40% of doses are eastern marked for under served hardest hit communities. nick watt, cnn, los angeles. the u.s. capitol police want national guard troops to stay nearby at the ready for two extra months. the traps weretroops were brougn
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during the insurrection. it's still surrounded which fencing and razor wire because the security threat is high. they're looking at records of communication between members of congress and the pro trump mob that attacked the capitol. evan perez has the details. >> reporter: federal investigators are examining records of communication between members of congress and the pro trump mob that attacked the u.s. capitol. one of the big questions that the fbi and prosecutors are looking to answer is whether lawmakers whitingly or unwhitingly helped the insurrectionists. the data gathered so far includes indications of contacts with lawmakers in the days around january 6th as well as communications between the alleged rioters. the existence of these communications doesn't necessarily indicate wrongdoing and so far there's no indication
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that investigators are targeting members of congress in this investigation. in some cases accused rioters have claimed that they provided security to lawmakers who attended events around january 6th. some democrats claimed that republican members claimed tours by those who ended up participating in the riot. this is in line with what the acting u.s. attorney michael sherwin told us to expect. they move beyond the rioters to people who may have provided money or other help to those who carried out the attack. prosecutors have charged 300 people in the january 6th riot. evan perez, cnn, washington. many lawmakers are welcoming those investigations of possible communications with the mob that attacked the capitol, but at least one republican congressman is urging people to let the investigations play out.
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>> absolutely we need to make sure that we're not jumping to conclusions first and foremost but following every lead to have as full of a picture as possible in the days leading up to january 6th, what happened on january 6th is essential. this is also the first time hearing about it. obviously it would not surprise me that there were some communication. i had a constituent who was joining the rally give me a call. innocent call. told that constituent to stay safe. there's plenty of very logical, rational reasons. i would caution jumping to conclusions but we need to investigate every angle. the house intelligence community leader adam schiff said he's concerned some of his colleagues may have aided the capitol rioters. >> if there was any kind of communication was it whiting or
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unwhiting. it would be deeply disturbing if some of the people i serve with were giving aid and comfort to people who were planning to attack the capitol or assisting them in some way or as some have alleged were given tours to potential insurrectionists. it may be some of these communications in terms of the members were unwhiting but we need to get answers, you know, to protect the existing members and to hold anyone accountable who may have played an affirmative role in that attack. the man seen wearing face paint and horns made a new legal argument. he wasn't acting violently he was, quote, bringing positivity. jacob chansley is portraying the siege as a joyful celebration in which chansley delivered prayer. that's despite prosecutors saying he left a threatening
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note to mike pence saying justice is coming. five people died in the siege. chansley insists he wasn't attacking the u.s. >> my actions were not an attack on this country. that is incorrect. my actions on january 6th, how i describe them, i sang a song, that's part of shamanism. it's about creating positive vibrations. i regret entering that building. i regret entering that building with every fiber of my being. >> but you don't regret the loyalty to donald trump? >> no. >> chansley is enjoying an all organic diet saying he can't eat typical jail food because of spiritual beliefs. >> coronavirus numbers are heading the wrong way across much of europe. we'll explain where the spike is worst and why italy is holding on to 1/4 million vaccines.
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>> plus -- >> translator: their intention was evil. it was to kill, he says. they considered everyone in the church an infidel deserving death. >> christians in iraq remember their violent persecution at the head of the islamic faith as pope francis makes his way to heal their church. next from baghdad. stay with us. cleans without pre-rinsing. switch to finish and skip the rinse to save water.
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well, despite a year of lockdowns and coronavirus restrictions across europe, the case numbers once again are heading in the wrong direction. so in this map here in all of those countries in orange, new infections are up at least 10% compared to last week. in the red countries new cases are up at least 50%. on thursday the world health organization warned of a covid resurgence in central and eastern europe. meanwhile, italy is sticking by the move to block 1/4 of a mill doses to australia. no call from astrazeneca, but
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australia says it has enough of the vaccination. let's go to paris and cnn's melissa bell. melissa, italy blocked vaccine shipments. france says it might do the same in the future. what's going on here? why is this happening? >> reporter: that's right. this is the first time, of course, kim, that a european country has used the export ban. 174 applications had been approved. this was the first time one was not. 250,000 vaccines that will not be leaving. the french saying, as you say, they could follow suit. it is a measure of how badly they need vaccine. denmark is changing the delivery of vaccines to people over the age of 65 following in the wake of germany, france, italy all changing their advice. what we've seen is the supply shortages really down to the fact that not only were there delays in the moderna and pfizer
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vaccine, but because that astrazeneca vaccine could not be delivered to the people most at risk, those vaccination campaigns have essentially slowed or in some parts ground to a halt. so a lot of need for the astrazeneca vaccines to be able to be kept in europe. a whole bunch were bought and now that they can be delivered to younger people, it's crucial that they are. one other point, kim, the reason there is such pressure is that the e.u. is essentially splittening over this. denmark and austria is working with israel. hungary, the czech republic, slovakia all looking at the chinese and russians for vaccine. they are sure what vaccines it has managed to get and approve and that includes the astrazeneca vaccines are kept within european countries. >> the need there because some countries cases going down more
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slowly than before or going up. hue worried should we be about this? >> reporter: we heard from the world health organization that after seeing drops for the last six weeks, that has now changed. what's really changed the game here, kim, are the appearance of the new variants. so the u.k. variant that now represents 40% of all new cases in germany. similarly in france. the south african variant, the brazilian variant represent 6% of new cases in france. the variants have made their fast progress throughout the european union, some parts have seen hospitalizations and icus become over burdened. austria is announcing a fresh lockdown there. france is extending weekend lockdowns. that's down to the new variants.
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worrying trends in europe even as the e.u. struggles to get the vaccination campaign up and going and moving along as quickly as it needs to. >> a warning for us here in the u.s. as so many states re-opening now and getting rid of their covid restrictions. thanks so much for us in paris. appreciate it. pope francis is flying to iraq at this hour for the first ever papal visit to the country. the four-day trip will take in the capitol, baghdad, as well as mosul. iraq's foreign ministry calls the visit a historic event which shows support for all iraqis. ben wedeman is in iraq for more on the historic day. ben, the pope is meant to land in the next couple of hours there. with so many challenges ahead, how are the preparations coming? >> reporter: the preparations, kim, have been quite intense over the last few weeks. we've seen roads being paved, lights being repaired, flags and
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posters going up to welcome the pope. now he is due to arrive by my estimation in about an hour and 20 minutes. once he is finished with official meeting and greeting with the president and the prime minister, he will go to a church here in baghdad where the memories of nightmares past are still vivid. >> the image of pope francis graces the blast walls protecting baghdad's our lady of salvation church. the messages of brotherhood, a facade perhaps, to the bitter memory of the worst ever massacre of christians in baghdad. each one of these red squares represents a spot where somebody died. in october 2010, a total of 58 people were killed in the attack. terrorists from the islamic
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state in iraq, the precursor to isis, burst into the church during evening mass. deacon clemis was inside and recalls the attackers made their purpose clear. their intention was evil. it was to kill, he says. theychurch an infidel deserving death. cnn's arwa damon reported from the church in the immediate aftermath. >> reporter: when the attackers stormed in, half of the congregation came back here in this room trying to keep themselves safe. they had barricaded the door, but the attackers were throwing grenades in. there's blood on the walls here. people have been leaving candles throughout the evening. here we were told the residue of when one of the grenades exploded and all over the ceiling and the walls, splatter,
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splattered with blood. >> reporter: the deacon shows us exactly where he was cowering on the floor with his son and dozens of others taking cover during the attack. shrapnel fliepd his head. >> translator: we stayed here for four hours in terror and fear, he recalls. we had surrendered to fate and put our lives in the hands of the virgin mary. grainy amateur video shows the panic and trauma moments after iraqi terrorism troops stormed the church. the massacre was the final straw for many of baghdad's christians. since the attack, almost no one is left said the survivor. before mass was held four times in the morning and twice in the evening. now there's just one mass a day.
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the spec tore of terror has receded. political chaos and perceived discrimination have left the christian community desperate for help. we need someone to stand with us cease deacon clemus because we live in a jungle, a jungle controlled by political monsters, a jungle in need of saints. to put this visit in perspective, keep in mind back in 2014 isis was on the very outskirts of baghdad and tied to the terror grist group kbroeld 1/3 of the country. today in just a little while pope francis will be landing here. kim. >> wow. a harrowing story you told there. thanks so much. cnn's ben wedeman in baghdad. still ahead, small piece of fabric at the center of so much
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political debate. head to texas where a decision about the masks is causing ongoing controversy. plus, brittain's prince philip is still in the hospital after a heart procedure. we'll have a live report from london just ahead. stay with us.
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welcome back to all of you watching here in the united states, canada and around the world. i'm kim brunhuber and you're watching "cnn newsroom." the governor of texas is defending his decision to lift covid restrictions including the state's mask mandate from next
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week. the governor encourages masks but he says people should decide for themselves whether to wear them or not, this despite a warning from dr. anthony fauci about getting back to normal too quickly. >> you don't want to go from very stringent public health restrictions to just turning it off and say, that's it. let's let everybody do what they want. you particularly don't want to do that when you have a high level of community spread, which is what we have now. 60 to 70,000 new infections a day. those numbers don't lie. so i want us all to start getting back to some degree of normal but we want to do that gradually, not abruptly. >> some are welcoming the move. ed laf vandera from san antonio
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texas. >> reporter: as mike whips up lunch, he can't stop thinking about what happens next week? >> he's cut in on the business. >> reporter: he said he's asking them to become mask wearing police and face the frustration of defiant customers. >> instead of being a real leader and uniting us, he's creating division. >> reporter: the last year has already been brutal from wynn. he said while the pandemic ravaged his business, he would undergo months of cancer treatment. >> we have covid fatigue. i have it. we're on edge. >> this must end. >> reporter: without consulting most of his medical advisers, republican governor greg abbott
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said because of lower positivity rates and the vaccine rollout, it's time to fully reopen the texas economy and lift the mask mandate. while the number are dropping, the state still has one of the highest hospitalization rates in the country. >> texans have mastered the daily habits to avoid getting covid. >> reporter: missy herring said in her south texas embroidery and print shop the mask mandate was always ignored. she's celebrating the governor's order. >> i was tickled to death. >> reporter: do you think mask wearing has kept the pandemic from getting worse? >> no. everybody i know who's been sick, they wore their mask faithfully. faithfully. i've never worn the mask. i don't have people coming in my store wearing masks. i'm not sick. >> reporter: the governor's controversial decision has sparked a title wave. they're sending out pleas for
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texans to wear masks. scenes like this is what many officials and business owners fear. there's one other fear, the recent unprovoked attacks on asian-americans. >> go back to china. the kung flu. i'm nervous. my anxiety is at an all-time high. i'm trying to hope for the best. >> reporter: despite the intense criticism, there is a great deal of support to reopen the economy and end the mask mandate. however, some of the biggest chain businesses here in the united states say they will continue to insist on mask wearing by customers inside the stores. however, there are still another number of large stores saying just the opposite. it is that inconsistency has many worried about how all of this is going to unfold starting next wednesday. ed lavandera, cnn, san antonio,
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texas. looks like wall street may be heading for another down day. here's where the u.s. market futures standpointing negative after the late selloff. investors fear that that will force up interest rates. asia markets are also tumbling over that news. this is where they stand right now. you can see they're in the red across the board. oil prices are continuing their strong gains this hour. prices have surged following an agreement between opec and other major producers to extend production cuts. to better understand this latest move, who better to turn to than cnn's john deftarios in abu dhabi. explain this. people thought there might be more oil coming from the major
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producers. that doesn't seem to be happening. what's happening here? >> reporter: it's interesting, kim. the expectations of the investors are here and the strategy by saudi arabia and the coalition of opec are there. we're expecting more oil. 1.5 million barrels on the top side, at least half a million barrels. they only added 150 barrels. we have a new 13-month high of up over $68 a barrel. looks like we're on a march of $70 a barrel which is quite extraordinary in itself. let's bring people up to date. they've been cutting ferociously for the last 11 months, this will be 12 months if it carries through april. 6.5 million barrels a day as a group. they're carrying it to april another million barrels a day. that's historic. 10 times the average. it gives you a sense of the
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pandemic. the saudi oil minister said we're not convinced about the recovery. we see the variants around the world, switzerland having challenges. germany having challenges with covid and vaccines, italy locking down again. even suggested the u.s. recovery, is it for real? we'll get a clear indication in four hours time, kim, on the u.s. jobs market. better than the month before almost certainly, but the expectations are for job creation of 182,000 for the month of february. much better than january of 49,000. look at the bottom number, kim. 9.7 million americans still without a job since the start of the pandemic in february 2020. then jay powell talking about prices for consumers going up. he said the road to recovery for jobs is long and arduous. this is why we see stock market investors getting panicked. kim? >> not a lot of good news in
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everything you said there, john. we thank you anyway. cnn's john deftarios in abu dhabi. appreciate it. brittain's prince philip remains in hospital following what's described as a successful procedure for a heart condition. joining us from outside the hospital in london is cnn's anna stewart. what's the latest word on how he's doing? >> reporter: yes, kim. good news from the palace. he underwent a procedure on wednesday. it was deemed a success. this was to treat a pre-existing heart condition. we don't know much more detail than that. we do know that prince philip was treated for abrupt coronary 2011. he had a stent fitted. it's possible it's something similar but at this stage we don't know. good news that does follow on from some comments we have from prince philip's daughter-in-law. camila said earlier in the week
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that his condition was improving although the treatment at times hard. this is really good news here. prince philip is expected to stay in the hospital for several more days for treatment, rest, recuperation. it's by far and away the longest stint in the hospital, 17 nights and counting expected to get longer. the docs are being extra cautious not just because he is husband to the queen but because he is 99 years old. while he recoup perfect rates, we are all wishing him the best, we're hoping he's not reading a newspaper at the moment. it's a barrage especially from team sussex in california and plenty more to come, i suspect. we have the full 2-hour sitdown interview with oprah winfrey on sunday night on cbs. >> appreciate you staying on the story. anna stewart from london. coming up on "cnn newsroom,"
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pro democracy protesters in myanmar are still marching even as they face police gunfire. we'll bring you the latest developments. please do stay with us.
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another deadly day of protests in myanmar. reuters says they killed one person in a crowd of protesters. it's the latest in an extremely bloody week of crackdowns. u.n. police chief says 54 people have been killed by police and military officers since last month's coup. despite that, protesters appear to stay peaceful. paula hancocks is monitoring the latest sfremts seoul. while there's more evidence that they're shooting to kill, the government's playbook is to portray the protesters as the ones using violence. >> reporter: they have been, yes. certainly when it's outside of the military circles within
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myanmar there are very few people who are believing that. what we've heard from amnesty is that they believe that there is a shoot to kill policy now and it's something we have been hearing consistently on the ground in myanmar. they also say that the fact that the government has -- excuse me, the military dictatorship has been silent about the deaths and the shooting of protesters does suggest they have authorized this. as you say, kim, there are still people willing to go out onto the streets pushing for democracy despite knowing the risks. protesters bang pots and pans in central myanmar. they duck and run for cover as security forces begin firing. 22-year-old is shot in the head. his brother carries him to a waiting ambulance but it's too
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late. reliving that moment he tells me, my brother was shot and fell down. blood was coming from his mouth and his head. i dragged him away from there and he died in the ambulance. he was the bread winner of the family working at the local market. they were separated when the shooting began. she says we are risking our lives to claim victory. we don't have any weapons but they are fully armed. they're shooting us with live bullets. please help us. make shift hospitals were set up for the injured treating a steady flow of protesters with gunshot wounds. >> now we're seeing orders that police and military soldiers shoot people down in cold blood. >> reporter: security forces were caught on camera taking three charity workers from ambulance and beating them.
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the three in the hospital with life threatening injuries. is anyone safe? >> no, no one is safe. here the ambulance workers, people who are there purely to save lives, to help anyone who needs emergency medical care. they're not there to hurt anyone, they're there to help everyone. >> the level of force being used by security forces has increased since sunday. dozens killed and activists fear the actual death toll is far higher than they can confirm. make shift shrines are emerging on the streets. funerals are becoming a daily occurrence. as the family prepares for his funeral, they say they hope his death has not been in vain. just to show that many of these
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young protestors know the risk they are taking. one 19-year-old woman named angel had posted beforehand her blood type in case she was injured and her parents details and contact numbers in case they needed to be contacted. they know the risks and they're still willing to come out onto the streets. >> so much courage there. cnn's paula hancocks from the south korean capitol. thank you. appreciate it. china's rubber stamp congress is now open. they are setting goals for spending. the main area of focus is to hong kong. they'll make big changes to the electoral system. kristie lu stout is in hong kong. what are we learning so far? >> reporter: the political fate has been altered in beijing at
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the national people's congress that was kicked off earlier today. it was announced the pro beijing committee, the top leader here, will nominate and select members of the legislative council. that is the parliament of hong kong. this effectively reinforces china's admission for hong kong for hong kong to be run by patriots, for people who love china, the chinese party but why make this such a priority especially given everything else they must deal with. they have threats posed by global warming, et cetera. it has to do with the 2019 hong kong protests and the chaos. listen to this. >> translator: the chaos in hong kong society shows that there are obvious loopholes in deficits and the current electoral system and mechanism of the hong kong sar which
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provides an opportunity for the antichina forces in hong kong to seize control of the hong kong s.a.r. >> reporter: you just heard from the vice chairman of the npc standing committee. he is on the u.s. sanctions list for his role in national security for hong kong. we heard from the chinese premiere who delivered the work report for 2021. he announced the gdp growth target above 6% for the year. he said military spending will increase 6.8%. he announced the five-year plan. they're boosting domestic spending and consumption and decreasing china's reliance and r&d will increase 7 pai.5%.
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>> we will be right back. stay with us.
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>> how are you feeling? >> reporter: meet 118-year-old connie tanaka. >> 118 years old you have to take your naps where you can get them. sure, she might have been a bit tired while talking with me, but that's probably because she's conserving energy. after all, in just a couple months this super centenarian will be the oldest person ever to carry a torch flame as a torch bearer. >> translator: we thought it was great. >> reporter: she is almost as old as the modern olympics held in 1896, 7 years before she was born. she was 61 years old when tokyo held the first olympics in 1964 and has already lived through 49
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summer and winter games but this is the first where she'll participate. >> translator: we think she'll be in a wheelchair for the designated distance, whether that's 100 meters or so. >> reporter: born in 1903, she has lived her entire life in fukuoka. married and she had five kids, she ran a rice cake shop until she was 103 years old. she is the oldest living person on the planet and she has her own twitter account. families say she has the heart and mind of a woman at least half her age. the after individual board game afficionado studies path and focuses on kangi. for more than a year as a result of the pandemic this is as close
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as sp tanaka's family can get towards her. they won't stop her. her family says her involvement depends on how she's feeling on the day of the relay. if all goes to plan, she might even have a little something special planned. >> if she can walk for the last few meters because she can still walk, that would be great. she could walk and hand off the torch and we could be by her side hr historic opportunity in an already historic life one with monumental memories that proves memories can be made at any age. >> what a great story. thanks for watching "cnn newsroom." i'm kim brunhuber. "early start" is up next.
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stimulus checks, rental assistance, unemployment health, food benefits and paid family leave. all in the american rescue plan all being held up by senate republicans. did lawmakers help the mob that stormed the capitol. contacts before and after now under investigation by the feds. more states are expanding who can get a vaccine but dropping masks threatens america's return to normal. welcome to our viewers in the united states and all around the world. this is "early start." i'

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