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One Officer Killed, One Wounded, Attacker Dead at U.S. Capitol; MLB Moves All-Star Game out of Atlanta; Abundance of Video at George Floyd Murder Trial; Pope Leads Scaled-Down Passion Service; Taiwan Train Crash; U.N. Special Envoy to Myanmar, "A Bloodbath Is Imminent"; CDC Says Fully Vaccinated Can Gather for Easter; Capitol Police Mourn Fallen Officer. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired April 3, 2021 - 02:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[02:00:00]

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MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello, welcome to our viewers, here in the United States and all around the world, I'm Michael Holmes, you're watching CNN NEWSROOM. Appreciate your company.

We start with the U.S. capital taking a renewed look at security after an attack leaves the officer dead and another wounded. Police say they killed the suspect after he used a car and a knife, to target them on Friday.

Flags are being flown at half-staff at both the Capitol and the White House in the fallen officer's honor. Jessica Dean with the latest on where things stand.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JESSICA DEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The United States Capitol on high alert again, as another attacked left one Capitol Police officer dead and another injured.

ACTING CHIEF YOGANANDA PITTMAN, U.S. CAPITOL POLICE: The suspect rammed his car into two of our officers.

DEAN (voice-over): A 25-year-old suspect, Noah Green, rammed this blue sedan into a barricade at the Capitol building, striking two officers before exiting that vehicle and charging at the officers with a knife.

PITTMAN: The suspect did start lunging toward U.S. Capitol Police officers, at which time Capitol Police officers fired on the suspect.

DEAN (voice-over): A law enforcement official telling CNN one officer was stabbed.

PITTMAN: It is with a very, very heavy heart that I announce one of our officers has succumbed to his injuries.

DEAN (voice-over): William "Billy" Evans, an 18-year veteran of the force, is the second Capitol Police officer to die on duty in just the last three months. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling him a, quote, "martyr for our democracy."

And President Biden ordering flags to be lowered at half-staff at the White House. This afternoon's attack bringing back memories of the January 6th insurrection, just as security measures were ramping down with fences being removed around the Capitol.

REP. ADRIANO D. ESPAILLAT CABRAL (D-NY): What it shows is that there are people out there who want to hurt us. And so we got to do more and we got to do it better.

DEAN: Authorities are still working to determine a motive in all of this, but we know in the weeks before the attack, the suspect had posted to social media about losing his job, about medical issues and also about his fear that the government had targeted him for what he called mind control -- Jessica Dean, CNN, Capitol Hill.

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HOLMES: Butch Jones is a retired officer of the Capitol Police. He told our Don Lemon he fears that Friday's deadly incident in the capital will not be the last. Have a listen.

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THEORTIS "BUTCH" JONES, FORMER CAPITOL POLICE OFFICER: The Capitol is very vulnerable. And a sad part about it is no one is being held accountable. Starting with January the 6th, because no one's held accountable, 45 was not dealt with in inciting the riot. The Capitol is very vulnerable. And I look forward to it happen again.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: You think it'll happen again?

JONES: Yes, sir. Unless we take responsibility of what's going on. And we have not taken responsibility. Members of Congress have not taken responsibility. And somebody has to do something besides Capitol Police.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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HOLMES: I want to bring in CNN law enforcement contributor Steve Moore in Los Angeles. He's a retired FBI supervisory special agent.

Thanks for being with us. First of all, what will investigators want to learn about this man from those social media posts, which pretty clearly spoke of some illness, government mind control and so on. What are they going to be doing?

STEVE MOORE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CORRESPONDENT: What they are going to be doing is trying to rule out any conspiracy with anyone else, any political motive for this. And I know it sounds like a political motive.

But what it's going to boil down, I believe, based on the evidence we have so far, is we are dealing with somebody who is severely mentally ill and acted on that basis.

HOLMES: How significant do you think it was that the target was the Capitol?

A lot of talk that the January 6th insurrection has made the seat of government more of a target than it was anyway.

MOORE: I think the problem is the Capitol building itself is going to be a lightning rod for both sides.

[02:05:00]

MOORE: And this was farthest from a right-wing attack you can get.

This person was allegedly a follower of Lewis Farrakhan, a Black separatist. So, what this proves is that the people from the far left and the far right and people with mental illness in between are all going to see this as a target, much like Al Qaeda viewed the World Trade Center as a symbol of America.

This now, the Capitol building, has become a lightning rod for people on both sides.

HOLMES: I think in some ways, when we look at it, the loss of life is horrible, but the attacker was stopped and security protocols worked despite the loss of life. The barriers went up, the police acted as they should.

Does it indicate any security holes for the Capitol?

Or is it something you can't protect against?

MOORE: I think it indicates that, yes, we have very robust security measures, at least up until this point. We don't know how big threat we have out there, and the Capitol Police are going to have to deal with potentially larger threats.

This indicates there is a need for more safety for the officers. I understand that Capitol Police -- this is coming at them in a much more vivid way than it is coming at us. But had those officers had some kind of cover without being literally physically at a place where they could be assaulted, we might have had a different outcome.

Please don't take that as criticism of Capitol Police. But as we found out after 9/11, we have to adapt to every new attack.

HOLMES: This was, in many ways, a low-tech attack, a car and a knife.

In the bigger picture, how do you balance keeping open what is a symbol of American democracy and balance that with the need to keep it safe?

Is it even possible to fortify it to the point where that would have no practical vulnerabilities?

There always will be an entrance somewhere. MOORE: Yes, and you're absolutely right. We found out with terrorism that we couldn't stop airline travel, but we could make it safe enough to where an attack became a remote possibility, not impossibility but remote.

I think it is important enough that our symbol of democracy is open and accessible to the very people of the democracy so that we actually win on that, we don't let somebody shut it down for us.

So, I think it's important and I think we are going to have to advance the state of the art so that we can keep it open and at the same time keep people safe. It cannot be done 100 percent, but it can be well up there into the 90s and close to 100.

HOLMES: Steve Moore, really appreciate your time and your expertise. Thanks so much.

MOORE: Thank you, Michael.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOLMES: A dramatic decision by Major League Baseball, adding fuel to the debate over Georgia's new election law. Lead officials, the to go on Friday, baseball's All-Star game will be played in Atlanta, this summer, as planned.

Supporters say, the measure is aimed at increasing confidence in the voting protest. Critics say, it places restrictions target minorities and was based on the lies of Donald Trump spreading of 2020 election fraud.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said this, quote, "Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box."

Now LeBron James, who is now part owner of the Boston Red Sox, he tweeted out, "Proud to call myself a part of the MLB family today."

But the Atlanta Braves said they are, quote, "deeply disappointed," saying "this was neither our decision nor our recommendation." The team said it had hoped the city could use this event as a platform to enhance the discussion.

Now the Republican governor Brian Kemp, who signed that controversial law, of course, ripped the decision, saying the league, in his words, "caved to fear, political opportunism and liberal lies."

Now the game will still honor Braves legend Hank Aaron, who died back in January but no word yet as to where the All-Star game will now be held. Hall of Fame broadcaster Bob Costas, who is a CNN contributor, says this is the latest example of sports leagues making statements about fairness, equity and politics.

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(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BOB COSTAS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Until relatively recently, baseball was not as apt as a sport to weigh in on social issues as perhaps the NBA, the WNBA, the NFL but that all changed. Last year was obviously a time of reckoning and it continues.

There's a players' alliance now in baseball, made up primarily of players of color, primarily African American players, but also widely supported by white players around Major League Baseball. So, there are still some people who will say, stick to sports, stick to sports.

There is a long history of athletes using their platform to register a point of view and to be, in many cases, effective and, in some cases, even profound.

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HOLMES: Bob Costas there.

The first week of testimony in the Derek Chauvin murder trial ending with a compelling claim made by Minneapolis' top homicide detective. Lt. Richard Zimmerman told jurors, kneeling on George Floyd's neck, after police handcuffed him was, quote, "totally unnecessary."

Yet, video of the former police officer Chauvin, doing just that, is, of course, central to the case. Lieutenant Zimmerman, rejecting the notion that Chauvin's actions were justified.

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MATTHEW FRANK, PROSECUTING ATTORNEY: Have you ever, in all the years you've been working for the Minneapolis Police Department, been trained to kneel on the neck of someone who was handcuffed behind their back in a prone position?

LT. RICHARD ZIMMERMAN, MINNEAPOLIS POLICE DEPARTMENT: No, I haven't.

FRANK: If that were done, would that be considered force?

ZIMMERMAN: Absolutely.

FRANK: What level of force might that be?

ZIMMERMAN: That would be the top tier, the deadly force.

FRANK: Why?

ZIMMERMAN: Because of the fact that, if your knee is on a person's neck, that can kill him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOLMES: That infamous video, stunning many people around the U.S. and the world, indeed. But during Chauvin's trial, the prosecution is presenting so much more video evidence. Helping to show, exactly, what happened on that fateful day in Minneapolis. Tom Foreman reports.

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THOMAS LANE, FORMER MINNEAPOLIS POLICE OFFICER: Put your (INAUDIBLE) hand up there.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This was the beginning of the end of George Floyd's life. A police body camera capturing the moment officers confront him and remove him from his vehicle.

GEORGE FLOYD, POLICE MURDER VICTIM: Please don't shoot me, Mr. Officer, please. Please don't shoot me, man.

FOREMAN (voice-over): But is it is the compendium of so many cameras in so many different angles emerging in court that is filling in the complex picture of his death.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You get out of this car?

We can talk.

FLOYD: I'm claustrophobic. I'm claustrophobic, man.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're arguing with me.

FOREMAN (voice-over): Just minutes before his encounter with police turned violent, a security camera inside a nearby food store had caught Floyd in a very different light.

CHRISTOPHER MARTIN, CASHIER: He seemed very friendly, approachable. He was talkative.

FOREMAN (voice-over): He also seemed high to clerk Christopher Martin, who says Floyd bought cigarettes with a possibly counterfeit bill, went outside, would not come back to settle up and police were called.

(CROSSTALK)

FOREMAN (voice-over): Sixty-one-year-old Charles McMillian was passing by and the cameras caught him yelling to Floyd, "You can't win."

CHARLES MCMILLIAN, WITNESS: You can't win, my man. You can't win, man.

FOREMAN (voice-over): Floyd was put on the ground, pinned down.

FLOYD: Mama! Mama! Mama! Mama!

FOREMAN (voice-over): That store clerk came out, joining about a dozen people watching, calling for police to ease up. He put his hands on his head.

MARTIN: I saw people yelling and screaming. I saw Derek with his knee on George's neck.

FOREMAN (voice-over): McMillian saw it, too.

MCMILLIAN: Oh, my God.

FOREMAN: For more than 9 minutes, as officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd's neck, cameras rolled from numerous angles, all showing the same thing: Chauvin not letting up, Floyd saying again and again:

FLOYD: I can't breathe. I can't breathe.

FOREMAN (voice-over): A 17-year-old, who did not want to be on camera, recorded the scene on her phone, too.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Seemed like he knew it was over for him (ph). He was terrified. He was suffering. This was a cry for help.

FOREMAN (voice-over): Amid those cries, another cop asked Chauvin:

LANE: Should we roll him on his side?

DEREK CHAUVIN, FORMER MINNEAPOLIS POLICE OFFICER: No, he's staying put where we got him.

LANE: I just worry about the excited delirium or whatever.

CHAUVIN: That is why we have the ambulance coming.

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FOREMAN (voice-over): But the time that help arrived, all those cameras showed George Floyd was not moving any more. And one caught Chauvin's comments right afterwards.

CHAUVIN: We got to control this guy because he's a sizeable guy. It looks like -- looks like he's probably on something.

FOREMAN: The defense is arguing that, as hard as it may be to look at any one of these videos, this is just a police officer doing his job. But the prosecution clearly believes if the jury looks at all this videos together with the testimony, they will come to the conclusion that George Floyd's death was inexcusable, criminal and there's no other way to look at it -- Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOLMES: Stay with us. When we come back on CNN NEWSROOM, the second Easter of the pandemic is almost here. We will go live to Rome and tell you how the Vatican is adjusting as Italy enters another lockdown. Stay with us. We'll be right back.

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HOLMES: Pope Francis presiding over Good Friday services at the Vatican, here the commemoration of the Passion of the Lord. It's when Catholics remember Jesus dying on the cross. [02:20:00]

HOLMES: And it traditionally starts with the priests lying on the floor. But the usual crowds were not in attendance. This is the second year in the row that the Vatican has had to adapt its Holy Week celebrations because of COVID-19.

New coronavirus restrictions are now in effect for all of France, just ahead of the Easter holiday. The French president calling it a limited lockdown. It is set to last one month at least. People are being asked to work from home and domestic travel will be limited. Schools will be closed for at least 3 weeks and all that on top of the national curfew.

Italy, too, under strict lockdown, trying to keep the virus from spreading over Easter. CNN's Delia Gallagher is joining me now from Rome.

Yes, it is a deeply religious country so tell us how the lockdowns impact the marking of Easter, including the pope himself?

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: Michael, of course, for the Vatican, Easter weekend is very busy. We saw Pope Francis out in St. Peter's Square last night for the Good Friday commemoration, with the noticeable difference that the square was virtually empty.

There were children that had written -- and we're reading the prayers -- a lovely little moment at the end of the ceremony, when a little boy goes up to the stage to hug the pope. He is followed by other little children.

And the beautiful choir of the Sistine Chapel singing in the background, it was one of those moments that the Vatican does so well, the majestic background of the Vatican and this moment of kind of beauty to hear the choir, see the little children with the pope.

It really helped take people out of the daily suffering and difficulties that everybody in Italy, at the Vatican, around the world, is living at this moment. So the pope is carrying on with his Easter celebration, so he will be doing that tonight for the Easter vigil tomorrow and on Sunday for Easter mass.

Earlier on Friday, he also paid a surprise visit to his vaccination center at the Vatican. One of the things that the pope is doing in this week leading up to Easter is vaccinating 1,200 homeless and underprivileged people.

And the Vatican says they have so far managed to vaccinate 800 of them. You know, the Vatican has their own vaccination rollout program. They use the Pfizer vaccine, so it was one of the things that the pope offered to do, to give some of these vaccines also to the homeless and underprivileged in the area -- Michael.

HOLMES: Yes, incredible images of the little kids coming up to see the pope. I know it's on your Twitter feed as well, with the sound of music behind them, singing. It's quite something. Delia, good to see you, Delia Gallagher in Rome.

Now rescue teams in Taiwan have started to remove the wreckage of the train from its crash site. At least 50 people were killed, more than 150 injured Friday morning, when the train, packed full of people, derailed inside a tunnel.

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HOLMES (voice-over): Grieving families gathered at a morgue to honor the dead. Government officials say they are still working to identify some of the victims. Here is how it all happened.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HOLMES (voice-over): A busy passenger train carrying nearly 500 people derailed in a tunnel in Taiwan in what officials say is the island's worst railway accident in decades.

Investigators say the express train was traveling southbound on the eastern coast of Taiwan to the southeastern city of Taedong and appears to have hit a construction vehicle that was not properly secured and slid down a slope onto the tracks.

Witnesses say the impact threw the people inside the carriages on top of each other, killing scores, including the driver of the train, and injuring many more. A survivor says she and others escaped the wreckage by breaking a window and climbing to the roof to get out. She describes the chaos at the moment of the crash.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): All of a sudden, I just fell from my seat to the ground. I hit my head and it was bleeding.

HOLMES (voice-over): The worst of the damage was inside the tunnel, where some of the carriages crumpled into twisted masses of metal, rescuers using saws and power tools to try to reach anyone alive inside.

Grieving families gathered at a nearby morgue to help identify the dead. Officials say they do expect the death toll to rise. The train was packed with people, many of them standing, as they traveled for the annual commemoration of Tomb Sweeping Day, where families tend to the graves of their loved ones.

[02:25:00]

HOLMES (voice-over): An act of service many aboard the train will not get the chance to fulfill.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOLMES: For the latest, let's bring in journalist Andrew Lee, who is joining me from Taiwan.

Good to see you, Andrew. Tell us what more we know about the cause and where the investigation is.

ANDREW LEE, JOURNALIST: Yes, Michael. The cause of the accident, everyone is looking for the answers for the cause of the accident. Just a small depiction of what exactly happened. This is the duct tape I know but this is the tunnel. This is the train going into the tunnel, heading to south Taiwan.

Before the train had the chance to enter the tunnel, a construction truck that was parked at the side of the slope just outside the tunnel, was unmanned, no one to attend to it.

But the driver did not pull the emergency manual hand brakes on. So the truck slipped off the slope, 30 meter slope, and headed downwards. It reached the train tracks and the driver saw it, hit the brakes; however, the brakes did not work in time.

The train was going at over 100 kilometers per hour. It collided with the truck head-on. However, the momentum of the train -- still brought the train into the tunnel to carriage 8, 7, 6 and 5. Four carriages are inside the tunnel right now, four carriages are outside. That is how it happened.

HOLMES: Andrew Lee, I appreciate it. What a terrible, terrible incident. Thank you so much, Andrew. Thank you.

Coming up on CNN NEWSROOM, journalists in Myanmar and the people who talk to them are being arrested. We are going to hear more about the military's efforts to control all information -- when we come back.

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HOLMES: Welcome back to our viewers, here in the United States and all around the, world I'm Michael, Holmes you are watching CNN NEWSROOM.

We will bring you up to date on our top story. Shock and mourning, in Washington D.C., After a man rammed his car into a police barricade outside of the Capitol. A Capitol Police officer, killed, another, wounded and then the suspect was also killed.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tweeting, quote, "America's heart has been broken by this tragic and heroic death of one of our U.S. Capitol Police heroes, Officer William Evans. He is a martyr for our democracy. May it be a comfort to his family that so many mourn with them and pray for them at this sad time."

We will continue to bring you up to the minute coverage of the story.

Meanwhile, we are seeing more bloodshed in Myanmar. An advocacy group for political prisoners saying, at least 550 civilians have been killed since the February 1st coup. They say, the true number is likely much higher.

Residents of Yangon, staging flower strikes at bus stops across the city in memory of those who have been killed. The violence touching every part of the country. Ivan Watson explains how the military is targeting ethnic groups as well.

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IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The deepening crisis in Myanmar is starting to spill across borders. Thousands of civilians crossing the river between Myanmar and Thailand to escape airstrikes carried out by Myanmar's warplanes.

They're from a region controlled by the Karen national union. It's the oldest of dozens of armed ethnic militias that have fought off and on against the military in Myanmar for generations.

This is a patchwork of just some of the militias that operate in Myanmar's border regions. Two months after the coup, the deadly crackdown on anti-coup protesters in the cities have sent people fleeing to these militia enclaves, including the one controlled by this man.

WATSON (voice-over): Yawd Serk is the leader of the Shan state army. In an interview with CNN, he denounced the coup.

SERK (through translator): If the military continues to shoot and kill people, it means the junta have simply transformed themselves into terrorists.

WATSON (voice-over): In the cities and towns of central Myanmar, the death toll amid the anti-coup protesters continues to grow.

WATSON: Do any of you have the training or background to lead a grassroots political protest?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, none of us. I work in an office. I was department head.

WATSON (voice-over): This man, who asks not to be identified for his safety, is the leader of the protest movement in a neighborhood of Yangon. In just two months, it's gone from organizing festive but passionate gatherings, with costumes and signs, to desperate efforts to defend barricades from the heavily armed security forces.

The protest leader says he's hearing growing calls for armed attacks.

WATSON: Do you support violent attacks on the military?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, not at all because, like I said, it won't accomplish our goal.

WATSON (voice-over): He said some demonstrators have made largely unsuccessful attempts to carry out what they call "car wash" operations. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A car wash operation is throwing Molotovs at a

moving or stationary vehicle or whether there's army personnel in it or whether it's an empty truck.

WATSON (voice-over): Demonstrators in Yangon tell CNN there are some efforts being made to arm anti-coup protesters and to send activists to receive combat training in enclaves run by militias, like the Shan state army.

SERK (through translator): If they don't have training, we will train them.

WATSON (voice-over): Myanmar's military doesn't want to keep fighting these well-trained rebels.

[02:35:00]

WATSON (voice-over): Instead, on Wednesday, it called a unilateral cease-fire for one month. No such mercy for civilian protesters, who soldiers and police continue to kill with impunity, driving ordinary people towards radicalization.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When ordinary civilians like us, all these workers like us, started taking arms and get maybe training for six months and start shooting people, I guess civil war would be unavoidable.

WATSON (voice-over): Ivan Watson, CNN, Hong Kong.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOLMES: Thin Lei Win is a Burmese journalist, joining me from Rome.

Thank you for doing so. I want to ask you what you are hearing about how life is for people on the ground in Myanmar.

Do people fear an escalation by the military?

THIN LEI WIN, JOURNALIST: Thanks for having me, Michael. Yes, absolutely. People fear that the military is going to be starting to ramp up, even more violent means of cracking down on any type of dissent.

They've already cut mobile internet, they are having nightly internet shutdowns for many weeks now and, just in the last couple of days, they had cut wireless broadband services.

There are two main fears for the people living in Myanmar right now and one is that the military is going to escalate and turn violence towards its own citizens.

Two is that the world is going to forget about what is happening in Myanmar when there aren't going to be the stream of images and, news coming out from the citizen journalists that are telling us what is happening there.

HOLMES: Many, just dozens of journalists have been arrested. Several have been shot in the streets while they were doing their jobs. And that means it has fallen on those citizen journalists that you mentioned. Tell us who they are.

They are just regular people who want this documented, correct?

WIN: Absolutely. They are just regular, average people, like you and me. They tend to be younger, obviously, a lot more savvier in terms of using technology, filming, video, sticking pictures. And a lot of the times they are using their mobile phones to capture that.

You have to remember. They are risking their lives when they do that. They are filling in this really important gap because, like you said, a lot of the journalists can no longer do the job. Many are in hiding, they haven't slept in their homes since the coup, they can no longer wear the kind of helmets and the kind of outfits that say press, that would, normally, identify them as such in a normal situation like this in many places.

So, these ordinary young people, are stepping up. A lot of them have been threatened when they are filming, when the armed forces see what they are doing, so they are risking their lives to do that.

HOLMES: In the broader protest movement, hundreds, literally hundreds, killed. Tell us about the determination of the protesters and the protest movement. Obviously, they've been targeted with deadly force, but they are still turning out.

What makes them do that, given the obvious risk?

Do they have a sense that this is a one-shot thing?

WIN: Absolutely, yes. You have to remember, many of the protesters who have been shot are young people and people who are coming out today are led by young people. There's quite a lot of older generation coming out as well.

But a lot of the driving force is the young people, who, for the last decade, have tasted what freedom can be and what democracy can be, no matter how flawed it is. They have seen the isolation and the fear that has blighted generations before them. They do not want to go back. That is the main determination pushing them.

HOLMES: I know you have friends in Myanmar that are close to you.

What is it like not being able to be there?

You left and couldn't go back because, initially, COVID-19 and then, because of the coup.

What is that like for you?

WIN: I don't know when I will see my loved ones again. That's the truth. That's hard to take. I'm trying to not get very emotional here because, at some point, 5 or 6 years ago, I saw something I never thought would happen in my life. It was that I voted for the first time. There were these multiparty

and fairly democratic elections. Now to see this going back, being dragged back decades.

[02:40:00]

WIN: And not knowing when I will actually see my loved one's face to face again, it's very hard. But people like me, there are many of the diaspora outside of the country. We feel a responsibility to speak out, even though it means we can't go back because, really, we need this situation to change.

We are talking about the lives of 54 million people.

HOLMES: Our thoughts are with you and with a lot of brave people on the ground there, in Myanmar. Thin Lei Win, thank you so much.

WIN: Thank you.

HOLMES: A lot of bravery.

I am Michael Holmes, if you are an international viewer, "MARKETPLACE AFRICA" is next. If you are joining us here in the U.S., I will be back with more CNN NEWSROOM, after the break.

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HOLMES: More than 100 million people in the U.S. have now received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, that number, from the CDC. And it comes 109 days after the first shot was administered in the U.S.

About a quarter of those, who got the shot, got it sometime in the last two weeks as more and more states have been expanding vaccine eligibility. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now says people can, safely, gather in -- for Easter, indoors, without masks, if they are fully vaccinated. CNN's Alexandra Field breaks down all the new guidance for us.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get set, go.

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Just in time for the Easter holiday weekend, new guidance from the CDC. Tens of millions of fully vaccinated Americans can now celebrate, indoors, without a mask and get back to traveling, at low risk to themselves.

DR. ROCHELLE WALENSKY, CDC DIRECTOR: The science, on COVID-19, is constantly evolving. FIELD (voice-over): The CDC says, people who are at least two weeks

past their final dose of the shot don't need to test before travel or quarantine after. For those traveling internationally, a negative test is required to return, back, to the U.S. A second test, three to five days after arrival is recommended.

WALENSKY: All travelers, regardless of vaccination status, should continue to wear masks.

FIELD (voice-over): Steps forward but not quite a green light.

WALENSKY: While we believe that fully vaccinated people can travel at low risk to themselves, CDC is not recommending travel, at this time, due to the rising number of cases.

FIELD (voice-over): New COVID-19 cases continue to climb. Partially, fueled by variants. 79,000 new COVID-19 cases reported, Thursday. With about half the states in the country continuing to see increases in the past week.

GOV. CHARLIE BAKER (R-MA): Like many places around the country, we've seen an uptick in new cases. And as I mentioned earlier this week, the largest growth in new cases in our state is occurring in people under the age of 40.

FIELD (voice-over): More vaccines can fix that. Today, a milestone. More than 100 million Americans, with at least one dose of a vaccine. An average of 2.9 million shots, now going into arms every day.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're vaccinating more people than any other country on Earth.

FIELD (voice-over): Today, Johnson & Johnson begins a clinical trial of its vaccine for children, ages 12 to 17. That, on the heels of a big announcement from Pfizer. Data from its small clinical trial shows its vaccine is 100 percent effective among children ages 12 to 15.

DR. VIVEK MURTHY, U.S. SURGEON GENERAL: The good news is that the vaccines that we have, today, have proven to be, both, safe and effective. Including, against the variants.

FIELD (voice-over): But with so many, still, unvaccinated, infections are still spreading. And perhaps, more quickly than we know.

DR. JEANNE MARRAZZO, UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA/BIRMINGHAM: This is happening, in the face of us, generally, testing less frequently. We have diverted a lot of our resources, from testing, to, appropriately, ramping up vaccination.

FIELD (voice-over): Testing, across the country. Falling now to an average of about 890,000 daily tests. That's less than half of the testing high point we hit over the winter.

FIELD: The virus has been spreading the fastest in Michigan. The U.S. surgeon general is now saying that vaccinating more people isn't just about protecting more people. It's, also, about preventing the virus from mutating, even further -- in New York, Alexandra Field, CNN.

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HOLMES: Now the CDC also updating guidance for cruise ship operators. They will have to bring volunteers aboard for practice cruises before taking on paying customers. They will also have to report new COVID-19 cases every day instead of weekly and plan to vaccinate their crew and port staff.

But the new guidance does not give a date, when cruises can start, again.

You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. We'll be right back.

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HOLMES: More on our top story. The Capitol Hill attack that left one police officer dead and another wounded, officials are investigating what might have led a 25-year-old man to ram a car into those officers on Friday. The suspect then killed after officials say he lunged at police with a knife.

Flags at the White House and the Capitol at half-staff in honor of the slain officer. William Evans was an 18-year veteran of the police force, the second Capitol officer lost in the line of duty in three months.

Capitol Police are having to process yet another deadly blow. CNN's Pete Muntean was in Washington ,Friday as officers began mourning the latest loss.

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PETE MUNTEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A sad, powerful procession here for Officer Billy Evans here at George Washington University Hospital. Police here really as far as the eye could see, not only from U.S. Capitol Police but also the U.S. Park Police, the Metropolitan Washington Police Department, also the Secret Service.

It was really hard to spot a dry eye here, especially as the hospital staff came out on the street from inside to pay homage to Officer Evans. I saw one female police officer at the top of 23rd Street here, standing in solemn salute as that procession pulled away.

I also saw the head of the Metropolitan Washington Police Department, Robert Contee, hugging other police officers here. And as that procession left, what became clear was this was also part crime scene. The ambulance bay was covered in crime scene tape.

[02:55:00] MUNTEAN: And beyond it, you can see a U.S. Capitol Police cruiser that was being inspected by D.C. homicide detectives. They were also taking photographs of that police cruiser. Still not totally clear how that was involved. But that will come out in this investigation as it unfolds.

What is clear is that yet another officer from the U.S. Capitol Police has been killed in the line of duty in a few short months of 2021 -- Pete Muntean, CNN, Washington.

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HOLMES: I'm Michael Holmes. Thanks for spending part of your day with me. You can follow me on Twitter and Instagram, @HolmesCNN. Kim Brunhuber picks things after this short break. I'll see you tomorrow.