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Three Jurors Chosen for Ex-Officer Derek Chauvin's Trial; FBI Releases Security Footage of Person Placing Bomb Outside RNC, DNC Headquarters; Approval for U.S. COVID Relief Expected Later Today; Sister of Missing Uyghur Businessman Urges U.S. to Act; Russia and China Plan to Build Lunar Space Station. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired March 10, 2021 - 04:30   ET



ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Worldwide protests coming up. Why finding a jury is already proving to be a daunting challenge?

And the FBI releases new images of the person they say left pipe bombs outside of Democratic and Republican Party headquarters the night before the deadly Capitol insurrection.


CHURCH: The first three jurors have been chosen for the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin who has pleaded not guilty to charges of second degree unintentional murder, and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd. The court must find nine more impartial jurors and several alternates. CNN's Sara Sidner reports on the selection process ahead of this high profile trial.


PETER CAHILL, HENNEPIN COUNTY DISTRICT COURT JUDGE: Juror number two, you will be on this jury.

SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Juror number two is a chemist, the first person chosen to serve on the jury for the trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer, Derek Chauvin, who stands accused of killing George Floyd. Finding impartial jurors is a major challenge that could take weeks.

GEORGE FLOYD: Please, please, I can't breathe.

SIDNER (voice over): The video of then Officer Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd's neck even after Floyd's body went limp was seen across the world, fueling an unprecedented number of civil rights demonstrations. In Minneapolis, some of those protests turned violent. The destruction left behind still visible today. Floyd's family argues though video evidence of Floyd's treatment is all jurors need to see.


PHILONISE FLOYD, GEORGE FLOYD'S BROTHER: The video is enough. There's nothing else to talk about, because Chauvin showed you, he was the judge, the jury and executioner all at once.

SIDNER (voice over): But that is not how the defense sees it. Chauvin has pleaded not guilty and there are hundreds of potential witnesses who may be called.

CAHILL: Roughly 400 once we get rid of duplicates.

SIDNER (voice over): Because of the publicity the case has received, no one expects to find jurors who haven't heard of the case. But the court does expect jurors to be able to base their decision on the evidence they see in court, not what they've learned elsewhere.

One of the things jurors won't be able to consider is the fact that Chauvin was fired from the police department because of his conduct with Floyd. The judge ruled that detail was prejudicial.

For the first time in Minnesota history, cameras are being allowed in criminal court to film the entire trial. Floyd sister, Bridgett Floyd, says she is in court to show Chauvin, Floyd was loved.

BRIDGETT FLOYD, GEORGE FLOYD'S SISTER: The officer took a great man, a great father, a great brother, a great uncle. He loved his family. He loved his daughter. Gianna meant the world to him and we would never get that back. I want you guys to continue to pray for our family because we need it. We need it.

SIDNER (voice over): What the Floyd's family says they do not want is to see violence erupt in the city in George Floyd's name. Monday, hundreds gathered peacefully outside the courthouse demanding justice. Many here are already worried about the outcome of the trial.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My concern is that the outcome is going to be the same as it always been, a cop being found not guilty saying he was just do his job and I'm afraid of that happening. It's going to hurt.

SIDNER: Another demonstrator told us in no uncertain terms that if the result is not guilty, there could be hell to pay here in Minneapolis. Those kinds of words and sentiment and what happened before, after George Floyd was killed, really has this court concerned about security. And you can see that playing out right outside of the court.

You have an extremely fortified situation here where you have razor wire up and down and around the courthouse. You have several layers of fencing and huge concrete barricades. Every time someone goes in and out of court, there has to be someone to open the gate. The judge making absolutely sure the jurors who are coming in and anyone who is part of this trial feels safe.

Sara Sidner, CNN, Minneapolis.


CHURCH: The FBI has released new video footage of pipe bombs being planted near the Democratic and Republican party headquarters, it happened on January 5th, the night before the insurrection at the Capitol. Evan Perez has the latest. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR U.S. JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: New surveillance video clips show the suspected bomber around the time that they placed two pipe bombs outside of the headquarters of the Republican and Democratic Party's on Capitol Hill, a crime that remains unsolved two months later. The FBI is appealing for the public's health to find the person seen in the videos from January 5th. This is the night before the pro-Trump mob attacked the U.S. Capitol nearby.

The video clips offer a clearer look at a masked person who is wearing a hooded sweatshirt moving down the sidewalks and alleys near RNC and the DNC buildings. At one point, the person stops and wipes their glasses. He also sits down on a bench near the DNC building.

The FBI is offering a $100,000 reward and issued this wanted poster for the suspect who was wearing a Nike Air Max Speed Turf shoes in yellow, black and gray, along with photos of the devices. Authorities have said that the bombs were placed between 7:30 and 8:30 p.m. on January 5th, the night before the insurrection.

You can see from the picture that the bombs are rigged with a one-hour timing device. Which undercuts a leading theory from investigators that the bombs were meant a diversionary tactic just before the mob attacked the Capitol.

Evan Perez, CNN, Washington.


CHURCH: A big vote in the coming hours in the House of Representatives. Lawmakers are expected to give a final Congressional OK to President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill. What Americans can expect they'll get from it, that's coming up.


RAYHAN ASAT, UYGHUR HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCATE: He lost tremendous weight, he looks like a bone with a human face, except the face is absolutely unrecognizable.


CHURCH: Years ago, a Uyghur businessman vanished in China after returning from the U.S. and his sister is demanding answers. Why she fears he's one of possibly millions of ethnic minorities put in Chinese internment camps.



CHURCH: In the coming hours, the U.S. House is expected to give final approval for President Joe Biden's nearly $2 trillion COVID relief plan. The Senate passed its version of the measure over the weekend with some changes, notably a narrower eligibility for stimulus payments, a smaller federal boost to unemployment. And no increase of the federal minimum wage. Republicans are united in opposition to the measure.

Well for more on this, we want to turn to our John Defterios who joins us live from Abu Dhabi. Always great to see you, John. So, this is a comprehensive stimulus plan. What are some of the key benefits to the American people? And what impact could this have on global growth?

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN BUSINESS EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: You said comprehensive, Rosemary, indeed it's touching most Americans. And even going to give a lift to the global economy. We'll have more on that in just a second.

But let's take a look at the main components here. We have a list of ten. The ones that are highlighted the most are the $1,400 checks that are going to go out and reach about 90 percent of all Americans. The jobless benefits are not as high as you're suggesting we thought. But $300 a week that will extend now from March until September is pretty big.

Food stamps or food support for the nation's poorest jump up by 15 percent. If you go to that right column there, there's renter relief and even mortgage relief for Americans unable to pay those mortgages off right now or threatened with the eviction as well.

And a bone of contention for the Republicans is the state and local spending. They were resisting this, not thinking this is the role of the federal government. And you noted that there's no support by the Republicans whatsoever, I'll underline here, Rosemary, in the Senate or the House.


This is going for a second vote in the House because the Senate changes, though we don't expect Republican support to emerge all of a sudden.

So all told, Rosemary, we're looking at $6 trillion between March 2020, the first package. And the final package put forward by the Biden administration now. That is about over a third of the U.S. GDP. Quite extraordinary, a record number indeed.

And this is the impact it will have on the U.S. economy this year and the global as I was talking about. Doubling U.S. growth here to 6.5 percent, just over that doubling figure. We've seen an uplift for the world economy, about 1.4 percent. And also for the G20, 1.5 percent.

The downside risk here, very quickly, Rosemary, and something that the OECD suggests if you don't vaccinate those in the emerging markets and it's happening very slowly, those numbers could come down because of the spread of the virus even into 2022, if you don't get them vaccinated.

CHURCH: Very good point. CNN's John Defterios, many thanks.

Well he sister of a Uyghur man who vanished after taking part in a program in the United States is calling on the U.S. to take action. She says her brother is among the two million Uyghurs and other minorities detained in internment camps in China's western Xinjian Province. CNN's Kylie Atwood has the story.


RAYHAN ASAT, UYGHUR HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCATE: He was recently seen in a video.

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Rayhan Asat hasn't seen her brother in almost five years after he returned home to China and disappeared. Now, in a rare interview with CNN, the Chinese national living in the United States says recent images of him are shocking. She has not seen them herself but says that he was described as --

ASAT: Absolutely unrecognizable. He lost tremendous weight. He looks like a bone with a human face except the face is absolutely unrecognizable.

ATWOOD (voice-over): Epkar Asat, a successful Chinese entrepreneur went missing in 2016 after arriving back in China from a State Department program in the U.S.

ASAT: Years have gone by and I'm still looking for answers.

ATWOOD (voice-over): She said that the Chinese government without evidence or trial sentenced him to 15 years in prison, on charges of incitement of ethnic hatred and ethnic discrimination. The Harvard Law School graduate says 35-year-old Epkar never criticize Chinese leadership and believes he is one of up to two million Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities detained by the Chinese government and put into internment camps.

ASAT: He spent three years in the concentration camps and only in January 2019, he transferred to prison.

ATWOOD (voice-over): The Chinese government says it's a policy of re- education. The U.S. Government has called it genocide. The Chinese dispute those claims.

WANG YI, CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): The claim that there is genocide in Xinjiang could not be more preposterous. It is just a rumor fabricated with ulterior motives and a lie through and through.

ATWOOD (voice-over): After years of staying silent, Rayhan has begun speaking out. Taking to new social media platforms and speaking with us. A great risk she says, to her and her family's lives.

ATWOOD: What do you think would happen to you if you went back to China?

ASAT: I think I would also disappear into the shadows of these internment camps.

ATWOOD: Your parents are still in China?

ASAT: They are.

ATWOOD: Do you fear are for their safety?

ASAT: I do. Every time I speak out, I do.

ATWOOD (voice-over): Now, Asat is turning her attention to the new Biden administration which is facing mounting pressure from human rights advocates to hold China accountable for these camps. Former detainees tell CNN, inmates are subject to rape and forced sterilization which the Chinese government denies.

President Biden voiced concern about these alleged human rights abuses in China's Xinjiang region during his first phone call with President Xi. Biden publicly claims China will face repercussions. His administration has yet to offer specifics.

NED PRICE, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: I think the question that we are proposing to like-minded allies and partners around the world is what collectively can we do.

ATWOOD (voice-over): For her part Rayhan is very clear. She believes the Biden administration must put this genocide above everything else when dealing with China.

ASAT: I would love to have an opportunity to make a case for President Biden and Secretary Blinken that any sort of future engagement with China has to have some form of conditions, and one of which to release my brother.

ATWOOD (voice-over): Kaylie Atwood, CNN, the State Department.



CHURCH: And we'll be right back.


CHURCH: Russia and China are teaming up to build a lunar space station open to all countries and international partners who are interested. It could be a sign Russia is ready to move on from its partnership with the U.S. and others involved with the international space station.

CNN's Will Ripley is live for us in Hong Kong. He joins us now. Good to see you, Will. So, how big of a deal is this? And what does this signal about China/Russia relations.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Rosemary, this is a big deal. If you think of the key moments in space, 60 years ago, this year, Russia launched the first human into space. Then shortly thereafter the United States put Neil Armstrong on the moon. Now Russia and China are talking about putting an actual research

station on the moon, either orbiting or on the surface or maybe even both. It is ambitious. It's still early so this is many years away. But it's a development that makes researchers around the world very excited, to talk about the possibilities in multiple aspects of science, by actually putting people in a living type situation on the moon.


Much like the international space station which has been a longtime cooperation between Russia and United States primarily, along with countries around the world.

But Russia has kind of been dialing back on that. They lost their monopoly of actually flying humans to the ISS, after SpaceX stepped in to fulfill that role. That was a blow for Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, which has seen its stature really diminish from the glory days in the 60s and the 70s. Really the post-Soviet era has been tough.

Not to mention that Russia didn't sign the Artemis Accords for lunar exploration led by NASA. So Beijing, which has new energy, lots of money, Russia which has decades of legacy and a desire to kind of get back in the game, could be joining forces at a very important time as the United States makes its own attempts to send the first woman to Mars in a couple years. They have a probe on Mars right now. And, Rosemary, eventually, the U.S. also wants to fly people to Mars.

CHURCH: Extraordinary, isn't it? Amazing stuff. Will Ripley, thank you so much for bringing us up to date on all of that, appreciate it.

One of President Biden's dogs has caused a stir in the White House after sources say it bit a member of the security team. Major and Mr. Biden's other dog Champ are currently in Delaware with the Biden family after Major showed aggressive behavior. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Tuesday didn't clarify when the dogs would be back. But offered details on the biting incident which she described as causing a minor injury.


JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: On Monday, the first family's younger dog, Major, was surprised by an unfamiliar person and reacted in a way that resulted in a minor injury to the individual which was handled by the White House medical unit with no further treatment needed.


CHURCH: And thank you so much for your company. I'm Rosemary Church. "EARLY START" is next. You're watching CNN. Have yourselves a wonderful day.