Return to Transcripts main page


Protesters Take To Streets Across U.S. After Police Killings Of People Of Color In Minnesota And Chicago; Derek Chauvin Will Not Testify In His Murder Trial; Public Funeral Service For Prince Philip; Coronavirus Cases Continue Rising In Michigan; Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Distribution Paused; White House Reverses Course And Announces Planned Increase In Refugee Cap; President Biden Announces Withdrawal of All U.S. Troops From Afghanistan by September 11th, 2021. Aired 2- 3p ET

Aired April 17, 2021 - 14:00   ET




FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: Hello, again, everyone. Thank you so much for joining me. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

For a sixth straight night unrest in America as protesters take to the streets following a string of high-profile police killings involving people of color. At least 100 people were arrested in a Minneapolis suburb as a peaceful protest over the killing of 20-year-old Daunte Wright turned confrontational with police. Protests over deadly police encounters also erupting in Portland, Oregon, and Oakland, California. In Chicago, the killing of 13-year-old Adam Toledo by a Chicago police officer again brought out a huge crowd of protestors calling for justice there.

We have a team of correspondents covering all of these developments. Let's begin with the latest on a mass shooting in Indianapolis. We are now learning the names of the eight people fatally shot by a lone gunman. They range in age from 19 to 74. Several of them were members of the Sikh community. CNN's Jason Carroll is in Indianapolis for us. So Jason, what more are we learning about these victims and the suspect an a possible motive?

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the names, the ages of these victims, and some of their personal stories. For example, the oldest victim, Steve Weisert, he was just about to have his 50th wedding anniversary. He was 74 years old. As you mentioned, four members of the Sikh community as well, that community grieving very, very deeply today.

Also, two of the youngest victims, two 19-year-olds were also among those killed out here at the FedEx facility. I spoke a chaplain, Fredricka, just within the past hour. This is a chaplain who was out here yesterday, out here again today. She talked about how she has able to provide comfort and try to provide some answers for such a senseless act.


CAROLIN PEREZ, CHAPLAIN, BILLY GRAHAM'S EVANGELICAL RAPID RESPONSE TEAM: Sometimes, it's just a matter of being a listening ear because people need to talk. They need to share their experience, and through that experience then they are able to begin the healing process. So oftentimes it is not about the things that you say, but it's about just being a listening ear and available to people.


CARROLL: Being a listening ear, being available to people. I had also asked how many times she has had to do something like this. Fredricka, if you can believe it, she said at least 12 times she's had to respond to a mass shooting and provide her services to grieving families.

As for the investigation moving forward, let's talk a little bit about that very quickly. The suspect here, Brandon Scott Hole, 19 years old. Apparently, he was last employed by FedEx back in 2020. 2020 last year was also the year that his mother called police.

He ended up being interviewed by the FBI because his mother thought he might try to commit suicide by police. In 2020, that was the year also that police seized a gun from the shooter. At this point, they've also inspected his home. They've inspected his vehicle. But at this point, still no motive. Fredricka?

WHITFIELD: Jason Carroll, thank you so much. Check back with us when you learn more.

Returning now to Minneapolis, six nights of protests over the shooting of Daunte Wright, along with the murder trial of Derek Chauvin just miles away, all of that putting the entire area on edge. CNN security correspondent Josh Campbell is live for us now in Minneapolis. So Josh, first, what can you tell us about the protesters arrested in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center last night?

JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Fred. There was another night of clashes between demonstrators and police there in Brooklyn Center. Authorities say they made upwards to 100 arrests. The way the evening started out, it was peaceful. There were community organizers.

There were members of the community that came out to demonstrate against police brutality, some 250 people amassing. Around 9:00 p.m. it started taking a negative turn. Police say that some of the demonstrators approached this police station, at one point breached one of the barriers that was set up there, that leading officer to try to disperse the crowd, again, making about 100 arrests.

And of course, as you mentioned, this city remains on edge, this entire area of Minneapolis. We know that the officer that was involved in the shooting there of Daunte Wright has been charged with manslaughter, but of course members of the public here asking for much more than that, and we have seen those clashes continue here in this area, Fred.

WHITFIELD: And then, Josh, all this taking place while the Derek Chauvin trial will be coming to a close soon. The jurors will still very soon have that case. What should be expected this week in the Minneapolis area?

CAMPBELL: That's right. On Monday, we expect to hear closing arguments from both the prosecution and the defense, and then it will be up to jurors to begin their deliberation.


One thing that we know is that we will not hear Derek Chauvin testify. There was this exchange we saw in court this past week between Chauvin and his attorney. Take a listen.


ERIC NELSON, DEREK CHAUVIN'S ATTORNEY: I have advised you, and we have gone back and forth on the matter is kind of an understatement, right?

DEREK CHAUVIN: Yes, it is.

NELSON: And have you made a decision today whether you intend to testify or whether you intend to invoke your Fifth Amendment privilege?

CHAUVIN: I will invoke my Fifth Amendment privilege today.


CAMPBELL: Of course, we do not know how long those deliberations will take. The judge telling the jurors to pack a suitcase. They will be sequestered for the duration of their deliberation.

Now, what the city is doing in the meantime, I want to show you some of the video here in downtown. They started erecting this fencing, including razor wire at all five of the city's police precincts. I talked to a police spokesman who said that that was being done out of an abundance of caution ahead of this verdict.

Of course, this city as we've mentioned, both because of these two cases, the shooting of Daunte Wright and the trial here of Derek Chauvin, certainly on edge, Fred.

WHITFIELD: On edge, indeed. Josh Campbell in Minneapolis, thank you so much. We'll check back with you.

On the west coast now, more unrest during protests over police brutality in Oakland, California, and Portland, Oregon. CNN's Paul Vercammen joining us now from Los Angeles. So, Paul, what can you tell us about what you're learning from your law enforcement sources?

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Here on the west coast and in Los Angeles it was quite overnight. It wasn't in Portland, Oregon, and in Oakland. The LAPD coming out, issuing a statement saying that they don't want a small group of people with malicious intent to hijack peaceful demonstrations. That's part of the problem, some said, that happened last night in Portland, Oregon. Looking at the video, you can see that police declared a riot, fires were set in the city, including at the Oregon Historical Society, windows broken, police say some protesters surrounded them. There were four arrests. The protestors gathered after police say they were responding to a report of a white man pointing a gun in a park, and they would shoot and kill him.

In Oakland, an unlawful assembly was declared. Police say 250 to 300 people gathered. Some broke out windows, set fire at a car dealership. Police say demonstrators threw object, an officer was injured when he was hit in the head with a bottle.

Now, at 11:00 p.m., police say the crowd was disbursed peacefully, so there were no arrests or citations, but police up and down the west coast saying that they are bracing for the potential of violence, and they will have a lot of officers standing by and ready.

And the LAPD is saying that they have intensified community outreach. They're talking to people. They say they understand they're hurt, but they don't want any of this to go sideways. They're asking for temperance and emotional restraint here in Los Angeles.

Reporting from Los Angeles, I'm Paul Vercammen. Now back to you, Fred.

WHITFIELD: A lot of volatility, thank you so much, across the country. Paul Vercammen, appreciate that, out of Los Angeles.

So these protests are erupting across the country are once again putting the spotlight on race and police brutality. Rashawn Ray is professor of sociology at the University of Maryland and a Rubenstein Fellow on Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. Rashawn, always good to see you.

So what do these police-involved shootings, particularly that of Daunte Wright and Adam Toledo, say to you and say to all of us about the state of policing in America, especially as jurors in the Derek Chauvin case are soon to deliberate after the killing of George Floyd?

RASHAWN RAY, PROFESSOR OF SOCIOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND AT COLLEGE PARK: Well, Fred, it is always great to be on with you. Research documents overwhelmingly that there are racial disparities in policing. And I think what is happening, what's spilling over into our streets is that people are sick and tired of being sick and tired.

They are tired of turning on the news or pulling up something on social media showing the ways that black and brown people are being overpoliced and brutalized. And I think it speaks to fractures within American policing.

And people just need to admit unfortunately that race and racism play a roll. And the quicker we can admit that, the quicker we can start to move to a place where we can find solutions across the board.

WHITFIELD: I spoke with a former police officer earlier today, and he was saying there are a lot of changes that are needed from technology, the way in which people are trained, but then also being able to weed out and teach sensitivity among the forces, and sometimes the disconnect between those who are policing, and the communities they serve, there is just too much of the gap. What do you say to how to change that or address those issues?

RAY: Well, I think it's hard to train out racism, and it's unclear if culture is reformable. So what we have to do is to pass legislation that actually holds people accountable for their treatment of other people. Part of what I have been suggesting is that we need to have police department insurance policies and police officer liability insurance.

That's important, because qualified immunity and then coupled with the law enforcement bill of rights oftentimes allows for bad officers to get away with the sort of things that we have been seeing. What we have been seeing changes. From New York to Colorado to New Mexico, they have repealing qualified immunity. In Maryland they have repealed the law enforcement bill of rights. So it starts with the funding.

We know that over the past just five years, if we are looking at the major, at the top 20 metro areas, they have spent over $2 billion, with a "b" in civilian payouts for policeman's conduct. That comes from tax money, not the police department budget.

WHITFIELD: Yes, I heard Philando Castile's mother saying last night that, thank you of those officers who were guilty of unjustifiable force, there is no price that's being paid, because the cities or the jurisdictions are paying those penalties, but there is no pain that those officers who are responsible for these actions, they don't feel the pain. That her solution as well.

So there a lot of anguish in the black community, particularly now, frustration from voting rights to racial injustices, officer-involved shootings. And all of this is coming, with a sort of the heightened distrust in police, city government, federal leadership even. So where in your view does hope lie?

RAY: Well, look, I think hope lies in people. And I think oftentimes when we look at people, what they want to see are changes. And not just police reform, but transformation. And as much as we talk about these bad apples, we have to admit these bad apples come from somewhere, and they oftentimes come from rotten trees in policing. That's what I have been writing about, that's what research documents.

And so what we need are changes, not just in thinking about training, yes, that's important, but we also have to make changes that can hold these bad apples accountable. We need national databases, state databases, that that bad apples cannot simply move from one department to the next. And we need to ensure that when a person is riding down the street, that they are not stopped or searched because of the color of their skin.

WHITFIELD: You are the father of two African American boys. What are you telling them, or what are bracing for in your discussions with them about what to expect as young black men in America, what to expect on any potential encounters with police? RAY: That is always the difficult question. What I do is I am very

honest with them. I tell them that they cannot outclass racism. That being young and gifted and yet black oftentimes will lead them to having deleterious outcomes with law enforcement in corporate America or in school. And part of what I help them to understand is that then we must advocate for the type of changes that we want to see.

So, of course, I tell them the normal things that parents would tell kids when they're stopped by police, but I'm also very clear with them that those sort of things might not always protect them. And what I want them to do is to do whatever they have to do to get home safely, and then we can address the mistreatment and misjustice after that.

WHITFIELD: Rashawn Ray, thank you so much, always good to see you. Appreciate it and appreciate your wisdom.

RAY: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: When we come back, the U.K. bids their final farewell to Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. We'll have some of most poignant moments from the funeral, next.

Also ahead, coronavirus cases putting pressure on Michigan hospitals, threatening the progress made by vaccinations.



WHITFIELD: The royal family saying farewell today to its patriarch Prince Philip, who died last week at the age of 99. Prince Philip himself helped plan the ceremony, reflecting his faith and his lifelong affiliation with the British military. With the world watching he was laid to rest in St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. Inside the chapel, only 30 people because of the COVID restrictions. Members of the royal family joining Queen Elizabeth, his wife of 73 years.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are here today to commit into the hands of God the soul of his servant Prince Philip Duke Edinburgh. We have been inspired by his unwavering loyalty to our Queen. Our lives have been enriched through the challenges that he has set us, the encouragement that he has given us, his kindness, humor, and humanity.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We remember before thee this day, Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, rending thanks unto thee for his resolute faith and loyalty, for his high sense of duty and integrity, for his life of service to the nation and commonwealth, and for the courage and inspiration of his leadership. To him with all the faithful departed grant thy peace.

[14:20:00] (SINGING)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thus is hath pleased Almighty God to take out of this transitory life unto his divine mercy the late most high, mighty, and illustrious prince, Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, Baron Greenwich, husband of her Most Excellent Majesty Elizabeth II.




WHITFIELD: New coronavirus cases are now on the rise in more than 20 states across the country. The influx of new infections pushing hospitals in Michigan to the brink, underscoring that the fight against the pandemic is far from over. CNN's Polo Sandoval joining me now from Detroit, Michigan. So Polo, what are official there doing to get through what's now being called a third surge?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And, Fred, it's a situation that doesn't appear to be getting any better. In fact, for several weeks now it continues to get worse. Michigan's top health authority described what's happening here in Michigan regarding the COVID situation and the numbers there as, quote, dire.

When you consider an infection rate that is about five times higher than what we saw in February here. And also hospitalizations, they do continue to increase. And that's really where a big part of the story picks up here, and that is according to the officials at one health system here, Beaumont Health, one of the more recognized and largest health systems in Detroit, there is an increase in hospitalizations there.

And it appears that patients are largely getting younger, and as you can probably hear, part of that is certainly because there are larger gatherings that are taking place, not just indoors but outdoors as well. So I want you to hear directly from authorities as they describe especially from one doctor who is in the front lines who says really what is different this surge compared to last.


DR. JOEL FISHBAIN, INFECTIOUS DISEASE EXPERT: We don't have as many patients in the ICU and we certainly don't have as many on the ventilators, which is good, but you still have young, relatively healthy adults who have never been sick in their life now are coming and needing oxygen. So it's a little scary for them, scary for us.


SANDOVAL: Dr. Joel Fishbain also saying that ultimately, especially because of what is happening right now and the restrictions, or at least the recommendations that are in place, is that people do continue to take those steps and continue wearing these masks. He understands that people are still tired of it, but he, himself, has not seen his kids in over a year.

So because of the current situation here in Michigan, and at this point, many of those recommendations are not actual requirements, including indoor dining, for example, the governor still simply recommending against that, but not imposing those same restrictions that we saw a year ago that ultimately it all falls down to what people are actually doing, and in some cases, especially based on what you may find here down to Detroit, what people are not doing, which is not socially distancing.

WHITFIELD: Folks still need to take a lot of precautions. Polo Sandoval, thank you so much.

Joining me right now to discuss, Dr. Leana Wen, CNN medical analyst and an emergency physician. She is also a former Baltimore City Health Commissioner. Dr. Wen, always good to see you. So how concerned are you about what is taking place in Michigan?

DR. LEANA WEN, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: I am very concerned, because we have seen this playbook before. We've seen what happens in Michigan and in other places where infections are on the rise, then you see hospitals becoming overwhelmed, and then we know what happens after that, which is that death rates climb.

I do think that on the bright side, we do have vaccinations really speeding up, and that is going to blunt some of those effects. And so I don't think we're going to get hospitals nearly as filled as before. But what's happening in Michigan now could very well happen in other states, especially because we have this more contagious B-117 variant that is now dominant in the U.S. and present in all 50 states.

WHITFIELD: So the CDC's independent panel of vaccine advisers is set to meet again this coming Friday to reevaluate the pause of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. And members of the panel say they need more data to understand the potential health risks of the vaccine and whether indeed it causes blood clots.

You received the Johnson & Johnson, and you were also part of the clinical pauses, and I've only heard you speak of it in a positive way. So how concerned are you about this pause and whether it will encourage some people to be hesitant overall about the vaccines, and doubt them, even?

WEN: Yes, Fred, I am glad that the pause is happening, because it really illustrates that our system is working, that our federal health officials are prioritizing, more than anything else, safety. And in fact, think about it this way, that this is a possible side effect of this rare blood clotting disorder that is present in less than one in a million cases, so if they're willing to hit pause on something that's less than one in a million, we should be really reassured about their commitment to safety.


And so I think anybody watching whom is still thinking about whether to get a vaccine should know that over 100 million people have received the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and there is no concerning red flag signal in those individuals. I do think that they next several weeks are going to be key for continuing that messaging about the safety of the vaccines, and also why we are doing this.

We are doing this because we have a pandemic that has claimed more than 500,000 lives here in the U.S.

WHITFIELD: And while you don't seem worried at all, the fact that you had the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, I imagine there are people out there who did get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, who are hearing about the pause, who are now starting to wonder whether they are in any way at risk, whether they are concerned about having gotten that vaccine. What do you say to them? What should they be looking out for, if anything?

WEN: Well, I myself received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine about two weeks ago, and what I would say to other people is, first of all, the chance of having an adverse effect like these blood clots is extremely low. It's about the risk of you being hit by lightning, which we don't worry about every day.

That said, you should be watching out for symptoms, specifically something that is new and different. So if you have an unrelenting severe headache, difficulty breathing, abdominal pain, swelling in one leg or one arm, difficulty moving an arm or a leg or numbness anywhere, certainly call your doctor immediately. The timeframe that we should be watching out for is generally in the three week period after getting the vaccine.

WHITFIELD: Dr. Leana Wen, thank you so much, always good to see you.

WEN: Thank you, Fred.

WHITFIELD: Still ahead, as U.S. troops prepare to pull out of Afghanistan, it is leading some to ask what will happen to women of that country under Taliban rule? We'll talk about that next.



WHITFIELD: Refugee advocates and Democrats experience some White House whiplash on Biden's refugee admission policy. After initially announcing the refugee cap would stay at 15,000, White House officials reverse course.

Joining me now from the White House, CNN's Arlette Saenz. So Arlette, explain what this change is.

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fred, the White House has said that by May 15th, President Biden will be revealing his new number on the limit of refugees that can come to this country. But this is something that faced some immediate backlash yesterday when the White House first announced that the president planned to keep the refugee cap at 15,000. That's an incredibly low number that was set during the Trump

administration, and something that flew counter to what President Biden had promised during the campaign and even in February, when he had said his administration would be raising that refugee limit to just over 62,000 people.

But immediately the White House faced this backlash, hearing from refugee advocates, as well as Democrats across the political spectrum who were upset with this decision to maintain those levels at Trump era numbers. So the White House very quickly yesterday released a statement saying that they believed there was some confusion, and that the president would be raising that number by May 15th.

The White House press secretary said that they may not exactly be able to get to that 62,500 number that he had originally proposed earlier, and last night in a call with refugee resettlement advocates, the White House said that this announcement would likely come much sooner than May 15th.

And one thing that you've heard from administration officials is that they believe that this refugee system had been decimated by the Trump administration. Take a listen to what White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki had to say yesterday.


JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It took us some time to see and evaluate how ineffective or how trashed, in some ways, the refugee processing had become. And so we had to rebuild some of those muscles and put it back in place.


SAENZ: This all comes as the administration is trying to get a handle of the immigration situation in this country. For the past few months, they have been dealing with this surge of migrants going to the U.S.- Mexico border. And while this refugee is separate from that, it just does show some of the trouble that the White House has been having regarding to immigration.

But clearly, what you saw from the White House yesterday with this immediate reversal is the political pressure that they face when the president has said he would be keeping those refugee levels at Trump era levels, later reversing course, Fred.

WHITFIELD: Arlette Saenz, at the White House, thanks so much for that.

Coming up, a historic power shift in Cuba. For the first time in six decades a Castro will no longer be charge.



WHITFIELD: Today for the first time in six decades there is no Castro as leader of Cuba. Raul Castro, the brother of the late Fidel Castro, stepped down yesterday as promised three years ago as head of Cuba's Communist Party. It marks a historic change in the island's politics, but as Patrick Oppmann explains, it doesn't necessarily mean a change in that country's complex relationship with the United States.


PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: For over 60 years, there has always been a Castro at the helm in Cuba. In 1959, Fidel Castro's upstart revolution suddenly took power, forcing U.S. backed dictator Fulgencio Batista to flee the island. The Castro side was his most trusted deputy and younger brother Raul who was charged with turning the ragtag army into a disciplined military.

Alarmed by the Castro's sympathies, in April, 1961, the U.S. sent a CIA trained army of exiled Cubans to take back the island. On the eve of the invasion, Fidel Castro declared Cuba to be a socialist state. The Castro forces met the exile army as they landed in Cuba at the Bay of Pigs, a name that would become synonymous with failure as Cuba's fledgling revolution improbably defeated the U.S. backed troops.


Cuba became an ally of the Soviet Union and Fidel Castro a permanent thorn in the side of nine U.S. presidential administrations. Castro would be both president and head of the Communist Party in Cuba, the Maximum Leader, Cubans called him, a dictator, according to the U.S.

Then in 2006, with Cuba's economy still struggling in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union, Fidel Castro fell mysteriously ill and nearly died. There was no clear transition plan, Cuban officials admit, but his brother and longtime enforcer, Raul Castro, was the obvious choice.

Two years later as it became evident Fidel Castro would never be able to return to power, Raul Castro took over permanently as president and for secretary of the Cuban Communist Party. Castro said he would begin a transition to a new generation of leadership in Cuba and step down after 10 years in office.

In 2018 he turned over running the day-to-day operations of the Cuban government to his handpicked successor, Miguel Diaz-Canel. And now 60 years to the month after the Castros defeated the U.S. backed forces at the Bay of Pigs and cemented their hold over Cuba, Raul Castro, 89, is stepping down as head of the party, the rare revolutionary who lived long enough to retire.

"And after that, if my health permits it," Castro said in 2018, "I will be just one more soldier with the people, defending this revolution." Cuba without the Castros in power looks pretty much the same, a destroyed economy, a one-party state, a still contentious relationship with the United States. But for Cubans, the end of an era has arrived.

Patrick Oppmann, CNN, Havana.

(END VIDEO TAPE) WHITFIELD: President Biden announcing this week that all remaining U.S. troops will be out of Afghanistan by September 11th, the 20th anniversary of the terror attacks, and that will leave the Afghan government to share power with the militant group the Taliban.

Joining us right now, Gayle Tzemach Lemmon. She has written extensively on the role of women in Afghanistan, and in particular including her latest book, "The Daughters of Kobani, A Story of Rebellion, Courage, and Justice." She is also an adjunct senior fellow of the Council of Foreign Relations. Good to see you, Gayle.


WHITFIELD: So initially, what is your reaction to President Biden's announcement this week?

LEMMON: I think the reaction is, what comes next? I started writing pieces about U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2011. Many people knew this moment would come. And now the question is, what comes next? Because I've met young women who have risked their lives to save lives as midwives, young women who are serving as prosecutors, as judges, as teachers, as entrepreneurs.

And so many women have contributed to their communities and their societies, and I think the question now is what is it that comes after U.S. military withdrawal? Will dollars follow? Will diplomacy follow? I think all of these are questions that a lot of people are asking.

WHITFIELD: I remember reporting there nearly 20 years ago, and it was still new that some young girls were able to get an education. And so I wonder now if there is great worry that U.S. troops pulling out, is this going to be a big setback, particularly for the lengths at which women have gone? You just spelled out a number of women who have professional aspirations and have done so much. Is there a fear that it means potentially going back?

LEMMON: Yes, there very much is a fear. I talked to a young woman yesterday whose sister is at university. And you to remember Kabul University was attacked and students went right back. The hunger learning, the desire to learn, the desire to contribute is so enormous, and she said that her sisters was in tears trying to figure out what it means for her future. And I think that is where we are right now.

WHITFIELD: And what about the sharing of power? How do you see that, the road ahead?

LEMMON: I do think that the big question is will the U.S. decide to continue supporting the Afghan National Security Forces. These are folks, several hundred thousand of them, who have signed up to serve in their country's military and protect their terrain.

And it's important to remember how much Afghans have sacrificed. In 2015 alone, 5,000 Afghan National Security Forces lost their lives. That is just one year. So the question now is will the U.S. continue to support, and is there any way to condition aid on the women's participation in politics.


Because I remember doing research for my first book, and the first thing the Taliban asked for in 1996 was a seat at the U.N. If it is international recognition that any government, including the Taliban seeks, then the world has an opportunity to say women must be able to go to work, women must be able to go to work. And the heartbreak, I think, of all of this is, Fred, that we still haven't moved from seeing women as a pet project to partners in stability and peace.

WHITFIELD: So the flipside to that is 20 years after 9/11, 9/11 is the reason why U.S. troops went to Afghanistan in the search for Usama bin Laden. So what's the answer as to how long, what was the expectation of how long the U.S. should be there in terms of military presence?

LEMMON: It's such an excellent an important question, because it was never a question of whether the U.S. leaves. It is a question of how and in what way. And that's why what comes next is so important, right? There was an initial political earthquake.

I talked yesterday to an entrepreneur who was trying to get investment in her business right as the announcement emerged. And you can imagine what investor reaction was, right. You're building a future on political earthquakes.

So I think the question is if the U.S. continues to stay involved in Afghanistan as U.S. officials were very clear that they intend to, how does that look? Because women never said we want U.S. troops here forever. What they said is we want to contribute to the peace process, to our political future, and to have a seat at the table as our country's future is decided. And I think to me, when you look at how you get enduring peace, it always comes with women included.

WHITFIELD: All right, Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, thank you so much. Congratulations on the new book as well.

LEMMON: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: Talk about a surprise. We'll explain how a woman conceived a second child while carrying her first. This medical miracle next.



WHITFIELD: A British woman gave birth to twins she conceived three weeks apart. Nothing short of a medical miracle. CNN's Elizabeth Cohen has the full story.


ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Baby Noah spent his earliest weeks all alone.

REBECCA ROBERTS, GOT PREGNANT WHILE ALREADY PREGNANT: I had an early scan at seven weeks, and another one at 10 weeks. Both times they saw this tiny little baby on there, and it was only ever one baby.

COHEN: Until one day a little sister joined him in the womb. Baby Rosalie first popping up on an ultrasound at week 12. Mom Rebecca and dad Rhys, who live in England, taken totally by surprise.

ROBERTS: What had happened was I got pregnant whilst I was already pregnant, which was absolutely crazy when they told us because that's not supposed to happen.

COHEN: When you heard that, you must have been shocked.

ROBERTS: I couldn't believe it happened to me. But it did, and it's lovely.

COHEN: Rosalie was conceived about three weeks after Noah. With fraternal twins like Noah and Rosalie, usually two eggs are released at the same time, fertilized, and the embryos implant in the uterus at the same time. In Rebecca's case, two eggs were released three weeks apart, each embryo implanting in the womb separately.

DR. LILLIAN SCHAPIRO, GYNECOLOGIST: It's unusual in this case that the woman appears to have off ovulated once for the larger baby, and later for the smaller baby.

COHEN: Called superfetation, A 2008 study found fewer than 10 recorded cases in the world. For Rebecca, it was possibly helped along by the fact that she was taking fertility drugs. Based on Noah's due date, the twins were born about six weeks early, Noah at four pounds, 10 ounces, Rosalie, two pounds, seven ounces.

Rebecca's Instagram documenting their development. After stays in neonatal intensive care unit, both are in good health. Rosalie, a fan of mobiles and Mickey Mouse. Noah, maybe not so much today, they're certainly fans of each other.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Definitely reach out to each other a lot.

COHEN: So Rebecca, do you think of Noah and Rosalie as twins or older brother and younger sister?

ROBERTS: I definitely think of them as twins. They were born at the same time. They might not have been conceived at the same time, but I still carried them at the same time. They were born at the same time, so yes, they're twins.

COHEN: Elizabeth Cohen, CNN, reporting.


WHITFIELD: So cute and so miraculous.

Thank you so much for joining me today. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. CNN NEWSROOM continues right now with Jim Acosta.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN ANCHOR: And you are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Jim Acosta.