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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  August 6, 2021 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT

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rifle. they are now suing to get those back. >> thank you for shining a liegts on this. great report. thank you so much. thank you all so much for joining us this evening. ac 360 starts right now. good friday evening to you. anderson is off tonight. we begin with major and positive milestone for the country. as of tonight, more than 50% of the population is vaccinated against covid. that is good but it may not be keeping up with the pace of the delta variant. >> we're returning out of time. you're absolutely running out of time. sgla >> that is a governor of a state whose population remains resistant to vaccine. west virginia amping up the urgency, the same urgency is apparent on the federal level. we have seen the administration scrambling to speed up full fda
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approval of vaccines to finalize a booster strategy and now according to the new york times and washington post, authorizing addition flaal shots in the com weeks for people with compromised immune systems. we have seen big companies doing their part with amazon, for instance, becoming the latest plan dating all warehouse workers mask up nationwide. that starts on monday. all across the country, city, county and state governments have been doing the same. today new jersey's governor ordered mask wearing for every one vaccinated or not in all schools, public and private notably from preschool through the 12th grade. not so in texas or florida where governors not only oppose these measures, they have issued orders barring cities and counties from imposing them. florida's governor framed it today as preserving parents freedom to choose what is best for their children. he did not mention the fact that florida leads the country in
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children hospitalized with severe infections from covid. those such numbers are harder to come by for texas. the ahead pediatrician at houston house, say they have seem cases climb steeply. up 50% in just the past several days. that's part of the backdrop in to today's decision to propose a mask mandate in defiance of texas governor. >> this mask mandate will be for our students, staff and visitors at all of our school, buses and facilities. >> whether or not this holds, texas schools are already at a delta disadvantage. under new state rules, they will not be required to do contact tracing even if the student gets the virus. the reasoning here, it just seems bizarre. quoting the data from 20 to 21
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showing loco vid transmission rates in a classroom setting. they are basing policies from a new variant using numbers from before it was widespread with federal health officials all of the above is symptommatic. sgla th s sgla the places that are having the problems are the space that is are taking the prevention strategies, the places that aren't masking. the places you're seeing kids in the hospital are all places that are not taking mitigation strategies to keep our children safe. >> you heard her there. they are looking at the data. the places where the numbers are jumping who are the places not taking the public health measures. joining us is the mayor of houston. thanks so much for taking the time tonight. >> thanks for having me. >> you have defied the republican governor of texas by ordering city employees in houston to wear masks.
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we're seeing the houston school superintendent doing something similar. do you support that? do you think masks should be mandated in houston schools? >> i do support that. i do support the steps that the superintendent of the houston independent school district is taking. hopefully, the board will concur. they will debate and vote on that measure next week. i do fully support it. respect to the city of houston . there are 88 police officers in addition to that and 40 firefighter who is have come down with covid-19. three of my police officers are in the hospital right now. that number has increased dramatically over the last two weeks. the numbers continue to rise.
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to sit back and do nothing and to watch the situation occur when there could be lelthealth measures put in place, at the very minimum slow it down. we continue to encourage people to get the vaccine. >> that contradicts the republican governor on this. dw do you think he will take additional steps to block the houston school district from doing this? >> i don't know. the focus i'm taking is on the health opf the people in the city. the same thing applies for the superintendent. we want to protect our children. school will be starting some time next week, week after next. i think we need to employ every available tool we have to ensure that we have in person learning and that our children, the teachers and all the support
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personnel receive the measures that they need to keep themselves safe. >> texas school districts are standing in the way of contact tracing which is a recognized method of trying to keep the virus from spreading further. you would think the best way to keep schools open, you figure out who else might have been exposed but the t.e.a. is saying schools can't do that anymore. i wonder what your reaction is to see something like that. frankly, it looks politicized. sgla . >> i would agree it's a bit bizarre. from the beginning we started dealing with this vi are you sure, contact tracing has been one of the major tools that we put in place in order to slow the progression and make sure it
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doesn't reach a greater population. it is a bit bizarre to say contact tracing will not be required. it's my hope they will reconsider that and adhere to the advice and the recommendations of the medical professionals in our state. >> we'll see. we'll be watching. we know you have a lot on your plate. we wish you and the people of houston the best of luck. thanks. appreciate it. now to medical perspective from texas and florida facing their own surging here. houston doctor is director for the center of vaccine development at texas children's hospital and in miami beach florida infectiou disease expert. thanks to both you have.
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the health advice is clear. even as the delta variant is getting worse, you see even more of a push back against the simple health measure. tell us as a medical professional what impact that's having. >> you know, i've spoke on the mayor turner off and on quite a bit in the last two years. there's few other public official who is are as committed to halting covid-19 as mayor turnerened and enormous respect for his abilities and insights. now we're starting to see large numbers of young people pile into hospitals and lots of kids going into pediatric intensive care units. that's the game changer. we have not seen kids pile into
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picus in the south like we're seeing right now. we didn't see that nearly as much last summer. we don't want to reproduce that here. we have to give our kids every chance and quite honestly, i would take it even a step further. yes mask mandates. i think we need vaccination mandates for our schools if we're going to give kids our best chance. every kid over the age of 12 needs to be vaccinated in schools. >> the state of florida has the dubious distinction of leading the country right now. it's the current epicenter of this delta outbreak. is the delta variant more dangerous to children? >> the number of cases in our children and our children's hospitals are completely overwhelmed.
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the local hospital here has 116% occupancy. that is mind boggling our pediatricians, nursing, staff are exhausted and the children are suffering. it is absolutely devastating. yes, this delta variant is far more aggressive. it also carries a special mutation that altered cells it gets into. the cells sort of melt into each other. this makes it much harder for the immune system to tackle that virus. we're dealing with a virus that is far more contagious and we're seeing fully vakccinated people able to es cue just as much viral particles as unvaccinated. thank goodness they don't end up in the hospital but they are sick and our children are very much affected. we've never seen number like
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this before. we really need to take the steps that are absolutely necessary to reduce the transmission which means not just vaccinations but using the public health measures that we all know, the nonpharmaceutical ones that work to help the transmission. >> trouble is, as you know dr. marty is that the politics has gotten in way of recognized public health measures. you have a governor who is banning these public measures. he says he's trying to protect parents rights here. given what you're seeing there in these pediatric units, what's your response to him? >> florida has, for decades, since 1984 had phenomenal excellence vaccine pmandates an florida has done things to
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protect the health and welfare of children. it is normal for the government to impose certain restrictions on parental behavior. the temperature of the faucets. protecting swimming pools, not letting your child sit in a hot car. all these things, yes they alter how women and men can raise their children but in way that protects the children. that's the same thing that has to be taken into consideration here. >> kwlchild seats. fda is looking at speeding up booster doses. there's the question of speeding up, if that's possible but approval of the vaccine for children younger than 12. i wonder what you think is the right thing to do as the delta variant takes hold here. >> yeah, i think we're not going to have the approval for kids
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under 12 soon fluff. -- enough. we'll have to get buy with maximizing vak siccinations amo adults. if you do that, it has an extraordinary impact. we're not seeing the big surges across the northern states if you can get all the adults vak si fnated like they are doing. about p35% of them are vaccine eligible. i think we need to move in that direction as well.
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>> well, we know you got a lot of hard work to do. thank you for what you're doing. thanks for joining us tonight. >> pleasure. new york governor now firing back at the sexual harassment investigation and report that it put him on the verge of impeachment. later exclusive reporting from the very dangerous ground in afghanistan where the taliban is quickly on the march. as someone who resembles someone else... i appreciate that liberty mutual knows everyone's unique. that's why they customize your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. [ nautical horn blows ] i mean just because you look like someone else doesn't mean you eat off the floor, or yell at the vacuum, or need flea medication. oh, yeah. that's the spot. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty ♪ millions of vulnerable americans struggle to get reliable transportation
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♪ ♪ ♪ hey google, turn up the heat. ♪ ♪ ♪ new york governor goes in wounded politically and more cri criminally as a ly vulnerable . >> this investigation was conducted in a manner to support a pre-determined narrative.
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>> reporter: an attorney for governor andrew cuomo slamming the findings in the attorney general report. >> governor andrew cuomo sexually ha rassed multiple wiemwomen and violated federal and state law. >> reporter: investigators behind it calling into question their independence and their methods. >> we're entitled to get the transcripts, the underlying documents that support that report. this was one sided. he was ambushed. >> reporter: the attorney general's office responding in statement. there are 11 women whose accounts have been corroborated by a mountain of evidence. any suggestion it attempts to undermine the credibility of these women or the investigation is unfortunate. this press conference coming hours after learning of the first criminal complaint by a staffer. identified as executive assistant number one. >> on november 16th, 2020 in the
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executive mansion, the governor hugged executive assistant number one and reached under her blouse to grab her breast. this was the culmination of a pattern of inappropriate sexual conduct, including numerous close and sintimate hugs. >> reporter: allegations the governor denies. >> a woman who any office said i groped her in my home office. let me be clear, that never hap happened. >> reporter: his attorney pointing to visitor logs and e-mails that day that support his claim. my client has consistently said and testified that she did not know the exact date the accusers attorney told cnn and she will respond further in due course. allegations from a former member of cuomo's security detail identified as trooper number one raising new questions. at least three county das have asked the ag for information about her claims.
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>> in an elevator while standing behind the trooper, he ran his finger from her neck down her spine and said hey, you. another time she was standing holding the door open for the governor. as he passed, hi took his open hand and ran it across her stomach. she felt completely violated. >> the dpoef will address that allegation himself. i will let him speak for himself. >> when will he do that? >> i can't give you a timeline but i know he wants to do it soon. >> there are additional questions about why specifically this trooper was hired. the report suggests she was transferred to the governor security detail after one quick meeting. did we learn more details about that? >> his attorney was asked about it. what was it the governor saw in that one brief plmeeting that encouraged him to think she should be transferred to his detail. his attorney said, that brief encountered he liked how she
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maintained eye contact and she was assertive. the governor did not change the qualifications for her hiring. she didn't have the required amount of service at that time to be on the governor's detail but was transferred any way. he said in his testimony that he needed more diversity on his security detail and she being a woman helped with that. >> okay. good to have you on the story. for more on the legal questions we're joined by university of baltimore law professor and former federal prosecutor, kimberly. good to have you back on. i want to start with the governor's lawyers argument here against the investigation itself. they argue that there was no open minded fact finding. that's their wording in this case. they didn't have access to the evidence that investigators for the ag's office had. what kind of legal grounds would they have to meet for that push
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back to stand? >> at this point there's really nothing pending specifically against mr. cuomo. if there were a criminal charge that came out of this i investigation, his lawyers would be able to push back, challenge the evidence and get additional facts. in this moment it's a report about not just mr. cuomo's behavior but what looks like a culture of harassment and intimidation that many people were complicit in. i think that's really critical element of this story that gets lost. >> okay. there are questions there particularly on the civil side. on the criminal question here, in layman's terms this criminal complaint filed by there one woman against the governor in this case with the al bbany sheriff e sheriff's office, what happens from there? >> there are reports there's a
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number of das in variety parts of new york that have asked for this information. regular people can't hear about pressing charges but regular people can't bring charges. the government had to bring charges. this complaint would give rise to potentially an investigation and without witnessing, government cannot bring charges. the fact that someone is willing to testify presumely against mr. k cuomo in criminal context suggests it might move. there's nothing criminally pending spa we're aware of. >> what would the burden of proof be? what's the threshold to accomplish criminal behavior? >> if they were ever to be charged for a grand jury or what's called information, then it could go to a jury and beyond a reasonable doubt. very high standard there. we also don't know what could be charged. groping, physical groping can be an assault. it can carry jail time. we have this other pending question of impeachment. we saw this twice with the last
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president, donald trump. strangely, under new york law, unlike under the federal insti constitution, there is no law. that's a big question and unlike with donald trump and the republican party, democrats are not coming to mr. cuomo's defense. there might be more political accountability before there's any legal accountability. >> three tracks. you have the civil track as well where may be seeking financial damages. kim, appreciate the time. thanks for breaking it down. >> thank you, jim. the break news next. new reporting on jeffrey clark. the high ranking member of the justice department under the former president and his apparent willingness to go ahead with the president's attempts to undermine the election despite receiving a classified briefing that said his information was simply wrong. that's coming up.
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breaking news tonight on jeffrey clark, the once little known justice department lawyer in the last administration who is o has now become a play jor figure in the saga of then president efforts to get the doj to interfere with the nation election results on his behalf to overturn the election.
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around flu year's 2021, clark received a classifiyied briefin from john rad cliff that showed there was no evidence that foreign interference impacted the vote tallies in the vote which went against his conspiracy theories that clark was pushing at the doj in support of the outgoing president. one of the theories clark was spreading, we're not making this up. the chinese intelligence used special kinds of thermometers to change results in voting machines. again, i'm not making that up. meanwhile tonight cnn learned another high ranking doj official, richard don hue testified today. he previously provided the congress resistant pressure from trump to interfere with the election results. democratic senator sits on the judiciary committee. i spoke with her just before. >> senator, i know you cannot
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divulge into details of the private testimony of richard do donahue but in general terms, how much closer do you believe congress is learning the full scope of trump and one loyalist, jeffrey clark, were trying to do here? >> i think we are getting closer to the full range of trump's big lie and his use of the department of justice like it was his own law firm. jumping over the attorney general, acting attorney general and trying to get them to push out the big lie. we are closer to getting to the truth. by the way, this is important because the big lie still going on with all of these voter suppression bills being considered in the legislatures. >> so many people sadly buy the big lie. >> yes. >> there's new reporting that jeffrey clark was actually given
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a high level intelligence briefing by trump's own appointee as director of national intelligence was told directly. there was no evidence of foreign interfeerrence in the election which clark had by trying to float at the doj. there was no information that would convince him otherwise. >> jeffrey clark is turning out to be trump's guy in the department of justice. he tried to replace the attorney general with this person, it would have been disasterous. thank goodness there were people in the doj who thought they were a separate department apart from trump. this went far. president went far to get perpetuate this big lie and over turn the election result. >> we saw a process under way here. repeated fronts where the president was trying to over turn the election. abc news reporting that clark
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circulated a letter internally in the doj falsely claiming that the justice department had identified quote significant concerns that may have impacted the outcome of the election. we know already that bill barr, who prior was trump's guy, said no we had not found such evidence. >> yes. therefore, trump really leaned on jeffrey clark to do his bidding. thank good we they are not asserting privilege. you all can testify and produce documents. huge difference in having an attorney general who views the ag's office as not just a law firm for the president. >> one sad consequence is we have seen the limit offense the power of a congressional subpoena. they have been challenged 234 court, delayed, defied.
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are you concerned that clark, trump, other allies that you want to hear will try to fight or ignore subpoenas. how can you enforce them? >> i'm sure they will try to do both. we'll need to resort to the courts or i would hope that maybe we can think about legt legislation that will prevent this from happening. that's why it's important to figure out what went on. there's a lot that went on. >> senator, good luck to you. thanks for your time. >> thank you. there's a lot more ahead on this busy friday as united airlines joins a growing list requiring employees fo vak cincinnatied. what about a vaccine mandate next for passengers. it's a question with no easy answers. we'll take a look. ...and other key essential nutrients...
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at the top of the program, we spoke about the issue of mask mandates if school with children returning to the classroom or will be very soon. masks have been required on airlines since the start of the pandemic but the question of vaccination now looms large. united airlines now says it will require all of its employees to be vaccinated by late october. those who do not must show a valid religious reason by then
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or be fired. when it comes to passengers, there's no such vaccine plan date writing in the cnn security analyst, favors the idea. the word mandate suggests unvaccinated people are being ordered around. she argues quote, what is actually going on is institutions are shifting burdens to unvaccinated people. denying them access to certain spaces requiring them to take regular covid-19 tests. charging them for the cost of that testing rather than imposing greater burdens on every one else. americans still have the choice to go unvaccinated but that means giving up on certain societal benefits. >> julia, this question is causing a lot of controversy and division now. explain why you think a vaccine requirement would be a good idea specifically for airlines given the risk involved there.
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what's your argument? >> it's not really about what's happening on the airplanes. it has to do with what can we do to put a burden on the unvaccinated so they beginvacci. that's the the solution here. 20% of them are in the never world. about 80% are movable. they are telling us what will move them. a lot of them want fda approval. others want to access the vaccine this their doctor's offices. 41% of them overall say that ban on the ability to fly would move them or convince them to get vaccines. this is the time when we have to continue with the care and make sure we have access for communities that don't have access. fight the disinformation, but we have to begin to use the sticks in way that gets more americans to the vaccination line. >> mk, federal government does require us to do a lot of things. for instance, to get on plane,
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you have to go through a metal detector and you're doing that to protect all of us. to keep bad guys off the planes with give ups or bombs. why can't you make a similar argument for vaccines in this case? >> i think you can make that argument. i think it's incumbent upon us to look at the downsides of these things. i think too often during this public health crisis and it is a crisis and talk to people you trust if you haven't gotten a vaccine yet and hash through that with them. i'm convinced that the persuasion part shouldn't be over and the punitive part has come on very heavy handed and i'm not sure how effective that will be. we have jumped to sort of max mall curtailing of liberties in hopes it would have really outcomes. in my area they didn't have school for 12 months and minimally at best. it turned out that had a lot of bad effects on kids.
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when it comes to flying, for instance, can i fly with my kids? there's no vaccine for them. that would cause real problems for families. it causes problems for people who need medical exemptions for vaccines. this punitive part of it, i just am not sure how effective it is because what you had for a long time when there was no vaccine was hey, why don't these selfish jerks stay inside. there's not small number of those exact people who are hes hesitant. now it's like why don't you selfish jerks do this. they were serving in a lot of capacity and you see the unions saying i'm not sure about mandate. >> i think it's a misrepresentation about my point. i want to be clear. there would be exceptions for medical issues or for children who are not. let's just be clear what the
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data is telling us rather than talk theoretically. the data is telling us booster work. >> a vaccine passport, you could still choose not to be vak si flated but it gives you be benefits. it gets you access to broadway or a cruiseline. would you be more open to here are the rewards as opposed to here are the penalties? >> i like that argument. i would call myself weary at best. i'm not assigning to you is that there are no exemptions. with individual airlines or the government monitoring this situation, it won't be done effectively so those people really end up in a lurch. in new york they have written children out of public life. they made the rule about vaccine passports. children don't have them.
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these sort of things happen in the implementation of these things. we're already talking about advocate for the vaccines. it's miracle they come up with it so quickly. we are already talking about boosters within six months. people are right to be concerned this is not the only ask. >> the issue, to both of you, when we talk about folks making choices here, the well has been poisoned by disinformation. it's not like folks are looking, well my doctor says this and here are the side effects, et cetera. you have loads of folks just lying to people. saying the vaccine doesn't work. saying hydrochloquine doesn't work. do you need a more forceful hand? >> yes. people are free not to get the vaccine. they should not be free to do
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anyis -- anymore is keep pushes the cost of the vaccinated on us and our kids. >> freedom is not just an idea. it's incredibly important part of american life and it is right to push back with concerns about losing more of it as we have gone through this. people are right to have questions about exactly when does the goal post stop moving. >> thanks so much. >> thank you. coming up next an exclusive report from the battle lines in afghanistan with taliban forces quickly gaining ground. y mutual customizes car insurance so you only pay for what you need. how much money can liberty mutual save you? one! two! three! four! five! 72,807! 72,808... dollars. yep... everything hurts.
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just a brutal day in afghanistan. weeks before the u.s. is expected to complete its withdrawal of forces from dun t country, the taliban captured a major capital on the border with iran. first to fall since the biden administration announced a full withdrawal of u.s. troops by 20th anniversary of anything else. another big target is kandahar. we got exclusive access to
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fighting there. >> reporter: on the road to kandahar's front line, there is still civilian traffic even as the taliban inches deeper into the city. afghan commandoes most of the fighting here happens at night. the taliban snipers are at work 24 hours a day. >> from snipers? >> yes. >> the men tell us the taliban are hiding in houses just 50 yards away from us. >> and they shoot from people's homes? >> yeah. you see this is our civilians' homes. we cannot use, you know, the big weapons, the heavy weapons. >> reporter: up on the roof major habibula shahin wants to show us something. >> you can actually see the taliban flag just over on the
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mountaintop there. >> you see flag. >> reporter: it's been nearly a month since the taliban penetrated afghanistan's second largest city. since then these men haven't had a break. u.s. airstrikes only come in an emergency. rest of the time it's up to them to hold the line. "we feel a little bit weak without u.s. airstrikes and ground support and equipment," he says, "but this is our soil and we have to defend it." >> using heavy weapons. >> reporter: in a villa in the eastern part of the city kandahari lawmaker ghul ahmed khamin is hunkered down. in decades of war he says he's never seen the fighting this bad. >> millions of people in this city are waiting for when they will be killed, when someone will kill them, when their home will be destroyed, and it is happening every minute. >> reporter: just spell out for me here, the taliban is
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basically surrounding the entire city of kandahar now. is that correct? >> definitely, yes. >> reporter: and so where is there to go? >> nowhere. so there is only two options -- do or die. >> reporter: do or die. >> yes. >> reporter: and what does do look like? >> that is the thing to convince different sides to cease-fire, to work on peace, to convince them not to fight, not to kill. >> reporter: but that is a tall order in a city where war has become part of everyday life. >> you can probably see there is a lot more cars on the road than there were previously, and that's because in just two minutes at 6:00 p.m. the cell phone network gets cut across the city, and that's when the fighting usually starts. [ explosions ] throughout the night the sounds
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of gunfire and artillery pierce the darkness. kandahar is the birthplace of the taliban. they are intent on taking it back. and the government knows it cannot afford to lose it. by day an eerie calm holds. the u.n. says more than 10,000 people are now displaced in this city. on the outskirts of town we find 30 families camped out in an abandoned construction site. he's saying that none of these children have fathers, all of their fathers have been killed in the fighting. 35-year-old rubina fled with her two daughters to escape fighting after her husband was shot dead. but still, it gets closer and closer. "last night i didn't sleep all night," she says. "and the fear was in my heart." in the short time we are there more families arrive.
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street vendor mahmed ismail says they fled the village of of malejad after an airstrike hit. "three dead bodies were rotting outside our home for days but it was too dangerous to get them," he says. "the talent is attacking on one side. the government is attacking the other side. in the middle we are just losing." back at the base dust coats the chairs where wedding guests would normally sit. as the siege of kandahar continues, life here is in limbo with no end in sight. >> clarissa, the taliban has marched through a large section of the country. what do we know about how much additional territory the taliban is claiming? >> reporter: well, today there was another grim milestone, jim. they took zaranj which is the provincial capital in nimraz. this is the first provincial capital that the taliban has
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kuflsly taken. but unfortunately it doesn't look like it's going to be the last. 17 of afghanistan's 34 provincial capitals are now under threat by the taliban. three of them are completely under siege. kandahar, as you saw in that piece, one of them, completely surrounded by the taliban. they're in control of a quarter of the city and making gains every day. and the broader concern across the country is that things are very quickly unraveling. and no one yet knows, jim, how can these gains from the taliban be reversed? can afghan forces successfully launch some kind of counteroffensive? so you have really profound anxiety being felt everywhere amid an increasingly grim situation, jim. >> i'm sure. and i'm sure the people are genuinely scared. clarissa ward, thanks so much. it's good to have you on the ground there. coming up next, fighting the flames desperately in northern california.
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crews in northern california are thankfully making progress in the fight against a wildfire raging just northeast of sacramento. it is now about 30% contained but has burned so far 2600 acres and forced thousands of people to evacuate with more than 3,000 more still in jeopardy. at least three people including a firefighter have been hurt but officials say their injuries thankfully are not life-threatening. the news continues. so let's hand it over to michael smerconish sitting in tonight for chris and "cuomo prime time." jim, thank you for that. i am michael smerconish in for chris cuomo. welcome to the primetime covid command center. we have finally crossed the halfway mark but still a long way to go. can't stop now. half the u.s. population now fully vaccinated. nearly seven months after the vaccine rollout began. that's 165 million completely imm immunized, 193 million with at least one shot. new vaccinations are up 11