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Haiti Under State of Siege; Japan to Enter Another State of Emergency; House Waits for Kevin McCarthy's Choice; Former POTUS Going Against Big Tech Companies; Former South Africa's President Now Behind Bars; The World is Far from Seeing the End of the Tunnel; Coronavirus In The United States, New Cases In Past Week Versus Previous Week; Coronavirus Pandemic In The Age Of Telemedicine; Taliban Push For Control In War In Afghanistan; 18,000 Translators Need Relocation After U.S. Withdrawal; Suspected Homophobic Attack Sparks Protests; Explosion And Fire Rattle Port Of Dubai; Contingency Plan Of The Gates Foundation; Conquering Frontiers, First Female Astronaut, Nora Al Matrooshi; Tight-rope Walkers Set World Record In Sweden. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired July 8, 2021 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR (on camera): Hello, and welcome to our viewers joining us here in the United States and all around the world. You are watching CNN Newsroom. And I'm Rosemary Church.
Just ahead, Haiti goes after the assassins of the killing of the president that threatens to push the impoverished country into even more turmoil.
In Florida, the tough but inevitable decision to give up hoping for survivors two weeks after the condo tower collapsed.
And targeted by the Taliban for Americans, Afghan translators fear the U.S. withdrawal puts their lives at risk and that they are being left behind.
Thanks for being with us.
Well, new details are emerging from the shocking assassination of Haiti's president. The country's ambassador to the U.S. says police have killed several suspected attackers and arrested two others. We're told they are foreigners, but the motive for this assassination and who's behind it remains a mystery.
Images posted online appeared to show the security operations of the president's home in Port-au-Prince after he was gunned down. We also have audio purportedly from the moments the killing unfolded. CNN cannot independently confirm its authenticity, the frames you are about to see are black but the voice you will hear is raising questions.
The American sounding accent is from someone who reportedly claimed to be from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNKNOWN: BEL (Inaudible), stand down. BEL operation, everybody back up and stand down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH (on camera): The U.S. has denied any involvement in the assassination of President Jovenel Moise.
And CNN's Melissa Bell is following all of this from Paris. She joins us now live. Good to see you, Melissa.
So, this is all very, moving very quickly, isn't it? What more are you learning about this assassination and then these fast developments?
MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Those extraordinary images you've just seen the subject of so much interest over the course of yesterday as people try to piece together what could've happen inside the residence of Jovenel Moise on at that faithful night, one a.m. Wednesday morning when he was killed and his wife was critically wounded.
You mentioned a moment ago that the United States has denied as preposterous. And he claims that its agents might have been involved. And that is something that's been backed up by the Haitian ambassador to the United States saying that what they are working on, the theory they are working on is that those two arrests and four killed were foreign nationals, but they haven't determined on what nationality they were.
What is clear is that the country this morning when he wakes later today will still be in this state of siege that was declared by the acting prime minister yesterday, a state of siege he explained was necessary in order to prevent the country from slipping into chaos.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BELL (voice over): The assassination brings to an end the turbulent rule of Haiti's President Jovenel Moise. Believes the impoverished Caribbean nation in turmoil. For months, there have been protests around the country demanding Moise step down. The president held on to power while the opposition claimed his continued rule was unconstitutional.
His critics argued that according to Haiti's Constitution, his five- year as president started the day he was elected, rather than the day he took office. But Moise argued it was a year later that mark the true beginning, both the U.S. and the U.N. supported his claim to remain in power.
But there had been widespread concern when Moise failed to hold legislative election in 2019, leaving the country without a functioning government. And the constitutional referendum postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic still hasn't taken place. Moise's presidency was plagued with a number of other problems. U.N.
officials say the country has been rocked by an uptick in kidnappings for ransom, and a wave of criminal violence in recent months fueled by armed gangs. Thousands were forced to flee their homes as shootings and arsons spread across Port-au-Prince in June. The continued political instability has left Haiti's economy in shambles.
The COVID pandemic contributed to a contraction of nearly 4 percent of the nation's GDP last year, and a spike in COVID cases has prompted a new state of emergency. All of this leading to a humanitarian crisis.
According to the World Bank, nearly 60 percent of Haitians live below the poverty line.
To make matters worse, Haiti is prone to natural disasters. The country never fully recovered from the catastrophic 2010 earthquake that killed over 200,000 people. And in 2016, hurricane Matthew left hundreds dead and nearly 200,000 displaced.
As the poorest nation in the western hemisphere, Haiti has a long history of dictatorships and coups. Now the assassination of its president leaves the country's future in doubt.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BELL (on camera): Rosemary, this was not a country that needed further instability still, and yet that is what it is facing. On that question of who might be responsible, and of course this will be central as the country wakes up in a few hours' time, the idea that although they believe according to the Haitian ambassador to the United States that they're working on the theory that these, the people involved in this killing both arrested were foreign nationals, they do believe that Haitian nationals might have been involved as well given the cars that were involved in the convoy that drove to the president's house on the night of the fateful assassination. Rosemary?
CHURCH: All right. Many thanks to our Melissa Bell, bringing us the latest on that shocking assassination. I appreciate it.
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MAYOR DANIELLA LEVINE CAVA (D), MIAMI-DADE COUNTY: It is with deep profound sadness that this afternoon I'm able to share that we made the extremely difficult decision to transition from operation search and rescue to recovery.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH (on camera): Heartbreaking news for the loved ones of those still missing in that south Florida condo collapse. Fifty-four bodies have been recovered so far. Eighty-six people are potentially unaccounted for. Search crews paused for a moment of silence on Wednesday. Officials say it was devastating to have to tell families and friends the mission was shifting to a recovery operation. But they say work at the site will proceed at the same speed and intensity.
CNN's Rosa Flores is coffering the condo collapse in Surfside, Florida. She has more now on what prompted the shift in strategy.
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Officials here said that they looked at the facts. The sound equipment that they were using no longer brought back any sounds. The K-9s were not detecting any sounds. We also looked at the physical limits of the human being, the amount of time that someone can survive without water, air, food, that sort of thing.
And then they looked at the type of collapse. This is a pancake collapse. And it really looks like exactly what that sounds like, layers of concrete on top of each other. One of the fire chiefs explained it, saying that four floors were down to just several feet. They of course shared all this information with the families before making the decision to transition to a recovery phase.
CHURCH: Surfside, Florida may have been spared the worst of Elsa, but new tropical storm warnings are in effect for North Carolina and the mid-Atlantic states as the system moves across the southeastern U.S. High winds caused a tree to fall on two cars in Jacksonville, Florida, killing one person. Heavy rain brought flooding across the state and thousands of customers lost power.
Meanwhile, a suspected tornado has injured several people at the naval submarine base in Kings Bay, Georgia, but no damage to any sensitive military equipment or submarines.
Well to London now, where if you ask any England fan, they will tell you football is coming home. Raucous crowds brought traffic to a halt in Piccadilly Circus after England beat Denmark two-one in the Euro 2020 semifinal match. They are now just one win away from their first major international championship since 1966.
More than 60,000 spectators were on hand at Wembley Stadium as Harry Kane scored the winning goal on a penalty kick rebound in extra time.
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HARRY KANE, ENGLAND CAPTAIN: We've gotten the job done. So, of course what an opportunity being at Wembley for the final of our first European championship as a nation. So, I mean, we'll enjoy this one. But of course, the focus on to Sunday, we recover well and try and prepare for that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: On Sunday, as Kane mentioned, England will take on the tenacious Italian team for the championship. Italy last won the tournament back in 1968.
Well the Tokyo Olympics kick off in just 15 days. And with COVID cases on the rise, Japan is considering extending its state of emergency for the capital city. The move could have a major impact on whether spectators will be allowed to attend events.
CNN's Will Ripley joins me now live from Tokyo. So, Will, what is likely to happen here?
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In the coming hours, Rosemary, we're expecting an announcement from Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. This is already being widely reported in Japanese media that he will announce Tokyo's fourth state of emergency since the pandemic began, and that state of emergency in effect for other prefectures as well as they have seen a consistent surge in COVID cases over the last two and a half weeks. Some of the highest numbers they've seen in quite some time.
Just as thousands of athletes and trainers and dignitaries are expected to converge on Tokyo for the opening ceremonies in the coming weeks on July 23rd. This is a huge blow for Olympics organizers, who had been hoping to have some local spectators in the stands.
The initial thought was that maybe they could fit 50 percent capacity, up to 10,000 people per venue. Japan, after all, has spent billions of dollars building a new stadium and renovating and refreshing other venues to host these games. And now it seems like the reality is going to be that even members of the public, general public won't be able to attend. It's only going to be people defined as special guests like sponsors and dignitaries and Olympic officials.
So, for the athletes who are coming here, hoping to not only play on the global stage, but feed off the energy of the crowds, including their families, their supporters, it's going to be a very different and for some a very disappointing experience.
But as you have mentioned, Tokyo is going to great lengths to make sure that these games are safe, including very rigorous COVID testing for everyone who arrives, they have to take a COVID test every day for the next week. And I took two tests before I even got on the flight here, Rosemary.
CHURCH: Incredible, isn't it. We'll watch to see what happens in the coming hours and days. Will Ripley joining us live from Tokyo. Many thanks.
Well, for some U.S. extremists, the January 6 riot of the U.S. Capitol is just the beginning. Coming up, disturbing new information about another alleged plot.
Plus, a live report from Johannesburg. Now that South Africa's former President Jacob Zuma is behind bars after months of legal drama.
CHURCH (on camera): Welcome back, everyone. The U.S. House minority leader is shifting gears over the Democratic-led investigation into the capitol insurrection. Kevin McCarthy is now finalizing a list of House Republicans to serve on the January 6 special committee, but just last week, McCarthy was threatening any GOP member who agreed to serve on the high-profile panel. So, what's his strategy when it comes to tapping the right people for the job?
CNN's Ryan Nobles has that.
RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We're told that Kevin McCarthy is strategizing as to who the five people he will select to be on this committee will be, and he is trying to find a balance here. And it is a careful line that he has to walk here. He wants people that will be considered serious, legislators that care about the process. But at the same time will be loyal to the Republican Party, loyal to him specifically, and then you have to assume by extension the former President Donald Trump.
CHURCH: The remaining fencing that was constructed around the U.S. Capitol after the January 6 riots will begin coming down as early as Friday. In an e-mail obtained by CNN, the board overseeing the U.S. Capitol police say it supports the move based on the current threat situation and enhanced coordination with local, state, and federal authorities.
But the e-mail also noted that fencing could be reinstalled if conditions warrant.
Well, the U.S. Capitol remains a target for extremists who took part in the January 6th insurrection. Court documents show they continue to meet to discuss combat training and they are armed. For them, overthrowing the government is still the goal.
Brian Todd has our report.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): New information on a chilling alleged plot to attack the capitol after January 6. Among the rioters at the capitol that day, prosecutors say there was an obscure man who videotaped himself inside the capitol and was caught on surveillance cameras wearing a white mask shaped like a wide grin.
Court documents say the man identified as Fi Duong, was trying to disguise himself as someone from antifa and spoke to an undercover Washington, D.C. police officer on January 6th. By mid-January, the documents say, an FBI undercover agent made contact with Duong who introduced the agent to a loose unnamed group of like-minded people.
The agent went with Duong to a bible study meeting in Alexandria, Virginia in February, where in addition to discussing biblical verses they talked about seceding from the U.S. and weapons and combat training. It was around that time prosecutors say that Duong and his group started surveilling the capitol, and the undercover agent learned that Duong and his friends had a cache of weapons like AK-47s and materials for Molotov cocktails.
JOANNA MENDELSON, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, ADL CENTER ON EXTREMISM: This arrest signifies that for some January 6 is just the beginning. If you believe that the election was stolen, if you believe that the current presidency is illegitimate, if you believe that our Democratic process is broken that this could inspire feature action.
TODD: Fi Duong, was charged last week charged with four counts related to the capitol riot. He has not yet entered a plea. His attorney declined to comment to CNN.
Court records reveal Duong spoke of writing a manifesto and investigators noted him saying, quote, "if I get into a gunfight with the feds and I don't make it, I want to be able to transfer as much wisdom to my son as possible."
JOHN SCOTT-RAILTON, SENIOR RESEARCHER, THE CITIZEN LAB: What he says about the manifesto is that he is writing the manifesto in a series of letters to his son.
At one point, he described it as similar to the documents that serial killers write. That way if he gets into a conflict with the government there will be something for his son to read that he has written.
TODD: This comes as CNN learns of recent court documents filed in another capitol riot case detailing a bizarre discovery. The paper says that when law enforcement searched the home of defendant Robert Morse, who faces police assault charges and other accounts connected to January 6, they found a fully constructed U.S. Capitol Lego set, though prosecutors don't say if the Lego had any particular meaning.
SCOTT-RAILTON: The Lego model speaks to something broader, which is anti-government folks, MAGA hat team, and other extremists now have a clear obsession with the capitol. And many of them seem to have taken a lesson from January 6 that the capitol should be a focus of their attention going forward. That's obviously extremely troubling.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TODD (on camera): When Robert Morse was arrested in June, law enforcement obtained the gear he apparently wore on January 6, along with three guns and a notebook where prosecutors say he wrote about battle, about weaponry and about creating a hometown militia in addition to their discovery of that Lego set. Robert Morse has pleaded not guilty. Next week a judge will consider whether he should remain in jail pending his trial.
Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.
CHURCH: Former U.S. President Donald Trump has taken his fight with big tech to the courts as he filed a class action lawsuit targeting Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
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DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I'm filing as the lead class representative, a major class action lawsuit against the big tech giants, including Facebook, Google, and Twitter, as well as their CEOs Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai, and Jack Dorsey. Three real nice guys. (APPLAUSE)
TRUMP: Our case will prove this censorship is unlawful, it's unconstitutional and it's completely un-American.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH (on camera): This announcement comes after the companies removed Trump's access to their platforms in the wake of the January 6 capitol riot. Tech companies are legally permitted to run their platforms as they see fit. And in the past, courts have dismissed similar lawsuits. The companies have declined to comment.
A high profile former personal attorney for Mr. Trump is running out of places to practice law. Rudy Giuliani temporarily lost his law license in Washington Wednesday, pending a similar case in New York. That's where judges suspended his license last month, saying he lied to promote Trump's conspiracies about a stolen election. The rulings are a major blow for a former U.S. attorney and New York mayor.
Well, former South African President Jacob Zuma is now in police custody. police say he handed himself over late Wednesday just before a midnight deadline when authorities would have arrested him. Zuma was sentenced last week to 15 months in prison for contempt of court.
CNN's David McKenzie joins us live from Johannesburg with more on this. Good to see you, David. So why is this such a significant moment?
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, South Africa's Constitution was put under a very severe stress test, Rosemary, in the last few days. Jacob Zuma for years has avoided facing allegations of corruption and graft and many other scandals.
But in the end, it was the contempt of court ruling by the constitutional court. He was required by the end of Sunday to turn himself in for a 15-month sentence. In the end, just minutes before the deadline on Wednesday, where the police were supposed to bring him in, he voluntarily went to the police station, handed himself in and spent the night in prison.
A hugely significant moment that a former liberation hero of South Africa who spent jailtime with Nelson Mandela is in prison, and at least for now, the Constitution held despite the massive pressure from many sides. Rosemary?
CHURCH: And of course, Zuma's stay in jail could be short, couldn't it?
MCKENZIE: That's right. On Friday, there will be a court hearing to see whether he can stay out of prison or be released from prison pending a Monday hearing at the constitutional court on mitigating circumstances. Again, these sometimes-obscure legal maneuvers that Zuma's team has put the courts through for many, many years on a variety of allegations have really meant that he never faced up to the allegations of corruption, corruption he denies. But this could be a pivotal moment in South Africa and maybe the first
step of putting actually someone in prison when there are many other members, or several other members of the ANC who face similar allegations of corruption who I think are very nervous right now. Rosemary?
CHURCH: Sure. David McKenzie bringing us the latest there. Many thanks.
A former Afghan translator lives in fear the Taliban will kill his family.
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UNKNOWN: If they catch me, they're going to kill me. They're going to kill my kids, and they're going to kill my wife, too.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH (on camera): And he is not the only one. Coming up, we will have the stories of the Afghans the U.S. has left behind.
CHURCH (on camera): Thousands of health care and essential workers honored in the streets of New York on Wednesday. The city held a ticker tape parade to celebrate the hometown heroes who worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic. While New York City was one of the first COVID epicenters in the U.S., it now reports its lowest rate of infection since tracking began.
Well, despite the progress, the head of the World Health Organization says the world is at a perilous point in the pandemic. As countries deal with the dangerous Delta variant, and for some a lack of vaccines. This warning comes as the world surpasses four million deaths from COVID-19.
The U.S., Brazil, and India make up more than a third of that total. And now, a number of countries are seeing cases spike, largely because of the Delta variant, and that includes the U.S. where 24 states have seen infections climb in the past week compared to the week prior, especially in areas with low vaccination rates. That's prompting officials to ramp up their warnings to those who are still unvaccinated.
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GOV. LARRY HOGAN (R-MD): Ninety-five percent of all new COVID cases reported last month were people who have not been vaccinated. 93 percent of all new COVID hospitalizations were unvaccinated Marylanders. And 100 percent of all the COVID deaths in the month of June were Marylanders who were unvaccinated. If you have not gotten your vaccine, the virus and its variants are a dangerous threat to you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH (on camera): The pandemic has made telemedicine a necessity, with many doctors providing care for patients virtually. One of those doctors is my next guest. Dr. Steven Brown is a critical care pulmonologist and joins me now from Chesterfield in Missouri. Thank you, doctor, for all that you do and for talking with us.
STEVEN BROWN, CRITICAL CARE PULMONOLOGIST, MERCY VIRTUAL (on camera): Thank you. Glad to be here.
CHURCH: So throughout this pandemic, you have worked remotely from home, logging into dozens of rural intensive care units across the country, looking after about 100 patients a night who were mostly on ventilators in an effort to save their lives. How difficult has this been? And how does this remote approach work exactly?
BROWN: The numbers have been on the low side around 100 lately. It's been closer to 200 a night. It's been quite busy. With telemedicine, I'm able to remotely monitor the entire electronic medical record, real-time cardiac monitoring, and have the capability of using video cameras to go into each intensive care unit room that is connected to our system.
CHURCH: It's certainly smart medicine, isn't it? But I want to talk Doctor, too about your own state, Missouri. It's struggling right now. One hospital over the weekend ran out of ventilators. How bad do you worry this could get in Missouri and other states where the delta variant now makes up more than 80 percent of new infections?
BROWN: Well, we're certainly in a crisis in Missouri. And the neighboring states who I also monitor including Oklahoma and Arkansas are in a state of crisis, or impending crisis. It will be interesting to see what happens after -- a week after the Fourth of July celebrations. The rural communities which have low vaccination rates are susceptible for spikes like this.
The hospitals are prepared when they do run out of ventilators to get ventilators from other facilities to move people around, just like we experienced in New York City when they were also running out of ventilators, and they had to share resources between the different hospitals, the hospital systems. So it can get done, but it's certainly a big challenge.
And it's a -- while we can get equipment, getting personnel is also a challenge. And we have nurses and respiratory therapists and doctors who are at a point of exhaustion. And we supplement that with nurses who travel to the hospital from outside. But they're not entirely familiar with the system.
And it's not as good as having your sown staff in many circumstances. But we do the best we can with people who visit from other hospitals to help out. So the staffing issue is certainly another challenge that we're faced.
CHURCH: And Doctor, with so many Americans refusing or reluctant to take the vaccine, what would your message be to them?
BROWN: It's very clear that vaccination is the number one way of preventing serious illness from COVID-19, preventing death from COVID- 19. Tonight at one hospital alone, I'll be managing several dozen patients who are on ventilators with COVID-19. And not a single one of those patients has been vaccinated.
If you get vaccinated, it is extremely unlikely that you would wind up on a ventilator. It's important for people to trust and to access reliable sources, if they have any concern about vaccine, call your doctor, call your health care practitioner. Contact your local health department. Go to reliable sources on the internet to do your research. And there are practically no reasons why persons should not be vaccinated.
CHURCH: Right. That is such an important message. Dr. Steven Brown, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it.
BROWN: You're welcome.
CHURCH: Well, fighting in Afghanistan continues to intensify as the Taliban push for territorial gains in the north. On Wednesday, Taliban forces invaded the capital of the northwestern province of Badghis. But the Governor posted a video online claiming the city was safe, despite heavy gunfire heard in the background.
There are also reports of a prison break in that provincial capital. New video appears to show men leaving the prison while someone off camera shouts the door is open and friends are free to go. If the capital of Badghis falls, it would be the first capital city lost by the government.
And earlier I spoke with CNN military analysts, retired U.S. Major General Spider Marks about the threat the Taliban pose if they overtake Afghanistan's central government.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAJ. GEN. SPIDER MARKS (RET), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, it's clear that the Taliban will resume control of the central government at some point. It seems pretty obvious. Let's bear in mind if you go back in history, the Taliban ruled from 1996 until the U.S. and international invasion of 2001 following what took place on 9/11.
And at that time, when the Taliban was in control, they controlled no more than about 30 percent of the countryside. So about 10 to 12 of the 34 provinces that exist in Afghanistan. We see that today. They're at about the same size in terms of the control. So it's clear the Taliban have begun to reclaim and reassert themselves with a pretty fast clip based on the departure of the U.S. Forces and the international forces from Afghanistan.
But bear in mind, you know, when you look back at our very long history over the course of the last two decades in Afghanistan, we tried to try to find some accommodations with the Taliban to go against and to resist Al Qaeda. Because of this great ungoverned space in Afghanistan, I mean, Al Qaeda as well as ISIS can exist in Afghanistan as well as the Taliban.
So I think the Taliban will most certainly take charge in Afghanistan. That's not good news, but clearly, we have to look at the very large picture as a result of two decades in Afghanistan. We tried to overreach. We tried to establish a new nation Afghanistan. The Afghan people and the government just simply weren't ready for that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH (on camera): And Afghan translators who worked side by side with U.S. Forces during the past 20 years now live under constant threat from the Taliban. While some are pleading with President Biden to take action now to relocate them, not all have been able to escape the Taliban's deadly grasp.
CNN's Anna Coren has their stories.
ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Standing in the (inaudible) valley, in the (inaudible) province, Abdul Rashid Shirzad had just completed another mission with seal team 10. The Afghan linguist working alongside America's military elite, translating for U.S. Special Forces. But according to Abdul, his five years of service has now amounted to a death sentence. After the U.S. government rejected his special immigrant visa, making him a target for the Taliban.
ABDUL RASHID SHIRZAD, FORMER U.S. MILITARY INTERPRETER: If they catch me, they're going to kill me. They're going kill my kids, and they're going to kill my wife too. That's payback time for them, you know.
COREN: The father of three says his contract with the U.S. military was terminated in 2014 after he failed a polygraph test. But his letters of recommendation from seal commanders reflect a translator who went above and beyond duty. Describing him as a valuable and necessary asset who braved enemy fire and undoubtedly saved the lives of American and Afghans alike.
SHIRZAD: This is Eli. He was one of our team member.
COREN: These guys were your American brothers?
SHIRZAD: American brother, yeah.
COREN: Abdul says he has no idea what he did wrong, and never received an explanation. His visa rejection letter from the U.S. Embassy stated lack of faithful and valuable service.
SHIRZAD: If we had peace in Afghanistan, if I had not served the U.S. military, if the Taliban were not after me, I would never leave my country. COREN: Around 18,000 Afghans who worked for the U.S. military have
applied for special immigration visas. But CNN has learned only half are expected to be granted. The Biden administration is in talks with a number of countries to act as a safe haven while the visas are processed. A clear sign the government is well aware of the looming threat posed by the Taliban.
But for Afghans who have been rejected, the danger is just as real. Suhail Parda (ph) seen here dancing worked for 16 months as a translator for the U.S. Army before he too failed a polygraph test and was terminated in 2012.
ABDULHAQ AYOUBI, FORMER U.S. MILITARY INTERPRETER: They were telling him that you were a spy for the Americans, you are the eyes of the Americans. And you are infidel. And we will kill you and your family.
COREN: 32-year-old Suhail confided in his best friend and fellow translator Abdulhaq. Both had joined the Afghans left behind association, hoping to raise awareness for their cases. But on the morning of May 12th this year, Suhail left Abdulhaq a voice message saying he was driving from Kabul to Khost province to pick up his sister for Eid Celebrations. On the way the Taliban had set up a checkpoint. Suhail sped through. The villagers told the Red Crescent. The Taliban shot his car before it swerved and stopped.
The militants then dragged Suhail out of the car and beheaded him. Suhail's brother takes us to his grave on the side of a barren hill. Earth and stones a reminder of a life violently taken in a country that has been left to fight this war on its own.
There are hundreds of other Afghan translators who were terminated from their contracts for what they say was unjust cause. And while the U.S. government says it won't be reviewing those cases, they fear that if they stay in Afghanistan, their fate will be the same as Suhail's.
AYOUBI: We kindly request the President Biden to save us. We help you and you have to help us.
COREN: A desperate plea from a group of Afghans who once believed America would never desert them.
Anna Coren, CNN, Kabul.
CHURCH (on camera): A brutal killing in Spain has sparked widespread protests in support of the LGBTQ community. The latest on the investigation into the suspected homophobic attack that has shaken the country. That's next.
[03:45:00] CHURCH (on camera): Widespread protests have erupted across Spain.
Thousands are demanding justice after a gay man was beaten to death last weekend in a suspected homophobic attack.
CNN's Isa Soares is following the investigation.
ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The calls for justice keep getting louder. From Madrid to Barcelona and beyond, Spaniards are enraged.
REDAN EVADO, PROTESTER (through translator): This country still does not really accept that there are many ways to love and different ways to love.
SOARES: The death of Samuel Luiz Muniz has gripped the country. The 24 year-old nursing assistant was killed in the city of A Coruna in Northern Spain. He was brutally beaten outside a night club in the early hours of Saturday morning and later died in the hospital. A witness who claimed to be his friend was asked by Spanish media if this was a homophobic crime.
UNKNOWN (through translator): Yes, absolutely. Absolutely.
SOARES: His family are devastated.
MAXSOUD LUIZ, FATHER OF SAMUEL LUIZ (through translator): My son was a caring and loving man, a friend to his friends, a friend to his parents.
SOARES: Two men and a woman are under arrest in connection with the attack, according to a government representative, and police have, quote, not ruled out further arrests. While the investigation continues, Spaniards who have taken to the streets in the thousands seem to have made up their minds.
SERGIO CUEVAS, PROTESTER (through translator): I think this crime happened because homophobia kills.
SOARES: But Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez called the killing a savage and ruthless act, tweeting we won't take even one step back in rights and liberties. Spain will not tolerate this. The attack has sparked fear in Spain's LGBTQI community, just days after annual pride celebrations in the capital. But one activist tells CNN he is inspired by the national reaction.
RAUL GONZALEZ, V.P. FOUNDATION TRIANGULO: We're so worried, but this provoke very high reaction in people of Spain, not only the (inaudible), but also the general population. And when this happens, it lets us fight against impunity, but also to prevent future violence.
SOARES: Last week, the Spanish government approved a draft bill to protect the rights of LGBTI people. But for many, Muniz's killing has shaken their sense of safety on Spanish streets. Isa Soares, CNN. (END VIDEOTAPE)
CHURCH: A strong explosion rattles the port of Dubai followed by a fire on board a cargo ship anchored there. Our reporter is standing by near the scene, and she will join us live.
CHURCH (on camera): Emergency crews are getting the upper hand over a fire at the port of Dubai. The blaze started after a massive explosion that reportedly jolted buildings as far as 15 kilometers, or nine miles away. And social media video showed a large fireball lighting up the sky above the port. Eleni Giokos is standing by in Dubai, near the world's ninth largest port. She joins us now live. Good to see you, Eleni. So what more are you learning about this blast and the fire?
ELENI GIOKOS, CNN MONEY AFRICA CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Well, this is what we know this morning, that operations were not halted last night, and operations are under way at Terminal 1. This is where the explosion and the fire took place. That's from a source that's close to the situation, and that's what we're hearing right now.
Now what we also know from our source is that the containers were labeled to have flammable goods on board. It's been interesting to see the communication and just what we've been hearing from official channels, and also some of the things that we've been hearing from eyewitnesses.
So taking a step back here, at 11:45 p.m., a large intense blast was felt where I was, 15 kilometers away from Jebel Ali port which is about eight minutes away from this location right now. I also felt my building tremor and felt the reverberation. And people who lived closer to this area felt it a lot more intensely. And some even say it felt like something was going to come through the window.
So, as you say, the social media video is showing a plume of smoke. And the fireball in this, goes to show this was an intense blast. Initially, the official response from government was that it was a fire, and then it was officially called an explosion.
What we know about the ship itself is that it's a business-owned ship from the Comoro islands. But we don't know the origin of the ship, and we still don't have exact clarity. A lot of people are asking about where it did in fact halt the cleaning materials. That's the official word from the Dubai government as well.
In terms of the fire, we're hearing that was contained. Within 40 minutes, there were no injuries or fatalities and operations are still very much under way. I mean, on Arabic television, on local media, the response was that this could have happened anywhere. It could have been caused by friction, or the intense heat that is currently under way in Dubai. But for the residents of Dubai, Rosemary, this was a rarity. This was a shocking experience. And as with get more information, of course, we'll get back to you.
CHURCH (on camera): Yeah. We know you shall. Eleni Giokos, bringing us the very latest. Many thanks.
Well, just two months after Bill Gates and his wife announce their divorce, the charitable foundation that bears the billionaire's name is now laying out a contingency plan if the two can't continue to work together. They are giving themselves a two-year trial period. But if they can't continue as co-chairs of the Gates foundation, Bill Gates would remain in control while Melinda French Gates would resign her position as co-chair and trustee. She would receive personal resources from Gates for her own philanthropic work.
Well, do what makes you happy. That is the motto of the Arab world's first woman astronaut. Nora al-Matrooshi officially met the public for the first time Wednesday since making history in April when she joined the UAE space team. She was chosen from more than 4,000 people, including 1,400 women. And that is fantastic for her. There she is. Preparing.
Well, fear of heights is pretty common, but not to some athletes in Sweden with nerves of steel.
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CHURCH (voice over): Very noisy, but this is one of four men who crossed 2.1 kilometers on a tightrope at a height of 600 meters. Quirin Herterich, was the first to get across on Saturday.
QUIRIN HERTERICH, TIGHT-ROPE WALKER: When I got closer to the anchor of this line, I screamed loudly. I don't know really know why. Maybe it's a mix of emotions.
The four German high walkers are a team in the extreme sport called high lining. And they set a new world record. It took them two days just to rig the line. The valley they traverse in Swedish Lapland is also a popular hiking spot.
CHURCH (on camera): I'm Rosemary Church. Thanks so much for spending part of your day with me. Kim Brunhuber will be here in just a moment with more CNN Newsroom. Have yourself a great day.