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Police Say 26 Colombians, 2 Haitian-Americans Involved in Assassination of Haiti's President; South Africa's Health System Pushed to the Breaking Point; Spectators Barred from Tokyo Events as COVID Cases Rise; U.S. to Investigate Indigenous Children's Remains, Schools; Singapore Develops Road Map for New Normal. Aired 12-12:45a ET

Aired July 9, 2021 - 00:00   ET

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


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Handed down the sentence said, quote, "Mr. Avenatti had become drunk on the power of his platform, or what he perceived his platform to be."

[00:00:09]

That's it for us. The news continues. I want to hand it over to CNN for CNN NEWSROOM. Paula Newton.

PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, and a warm welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Paula Newton.

Coming up right here on CNN NEWSROOM, new details about the suspects in the murder of Haitian President Moise. What we know about their identities and where the country goes from here.

It's one of the world's leading coronavirus vaccines, and Pfizer is worried that its formula is no longer good enough. The steps they're taking to make it variant-proof.

And a worldwide return to normal. I'll talk through Singapore's plan with the trade minister.

So, a lot of fast-moving developments to bring you out of Haiti as authorities ramp up the investigation into the president's assassination.

Now, Haiti's police chief says there are now 28 suspects, the vast majority of them Colombian, and two of them Haitian-American. Now, we're told at least 17 of the alleged attackers are in custody now. They were paraded out earlier. You see them there. But CNN hasn't spoken with the suspects or their lawyers.

Seven others are dead, some of them killed in a gun battle.

Now, video posted online claims to show the intense shoot-out between authorities and the assailants. CNN cannot confirm whether these dramatic images are authentic. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) (GUNSHOTS)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NEWTON: Two days after the killing of President Jovenel Moise, the motive is still a mystery. And Haiti remains under a form of martial law while facing, of course, a power vacuum.

CNN's Matt Rivers picks up the story from there.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Arrests on the streets of Port-au-Prince Thursday after an Army police operation against heavily-armed mercenaries.

Mercenaries authorities say are responsible for the brazen assassination of Haiti's president, Jovenel Moise, early Wednesday.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: DEA operation. Everybody stand down. DEA operation, everybody back up, stand down.

RIVERS: Police say the man who posed as U.S. DEA agents to gain entry to the private presidential residence included foreign nationals. This audio circulating on social media purported to be of the time of the assassination, with men shouting that they are drug enforcement agents in English, though the audio cannot be authenticated by CNN.

Police, seeming to acknowledge the rising tide of anger in the wake of the attack, are urging citizens not to take the law into their own hands.

LEON CHARLES, NATIONAL POLICE DIRECTOR (through translator): We have the obligation to protect the people we have caught. We cannot practice self-justice.

RIVERS: Still, many in the Haitian capital are asking just how such a bold attack could have been allowed to happen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where'd it come from? What country sent them? Who brought them over here? How did guns get transferred here? How he got all these ammos?

RIVERS: In an interview with CNN, Haiti's acting prime minister did allude to the context surrounding the assassination but stopped short of outlining a motive.

CLAUDE JOSEPH, ACTING HAITIAN PRIME MINISTER: We all know that President Moise was really committed to some, I will say, some actions against the oligarchs in Haiti. So we know that, in the last days, he spoke about the consequences that those actions can have on his own life.

RIVERS: Already, a nation rife with political instability, gang violence and humanitarian crises exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Fears from neighboring nations that the presidential assassination may push Haiti over the edge. But Haiti's interim prime minister insisting upcoming elections will still take place despite the nation's upheaval.

JOSEPH: The Constitution is clear. I have to organize elections and actually pass the power to someone else who is elected.

RIVERS: But with so much uncertainty in the wake of the coordinated hit on the president and so many questions left to be answered about just who is responsible, whether or not Haitian officials can keep the nation on track for a peaceful transfer of power remains an open question.

Matt Rivers, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[00:05:06]

NEWTON: As you heard from that, Haitian police said 26 of the suspects are from Colombia. And now Colombia's defense ministry says at least six of those alleged attackers were retired members of the Colombian Army.

Journalist Stefano Pozzebon is following all this from Bogota. And good to have you there. This just gets more and more bizarre by the hour. What are Colombian officials telling you?

STEFANO POZZEBON, JOURNALIST: Yes. Correct, Paula.

The Colombians are saying that -- that at least the six members, six retired members, people who served in the Army, were involved allegedly involved in the assassination of the president of Haiti, Jovenel Moise, according to preliminary information, they say they have received from the Interpol station in Port-au-Prince.

Two of -- of those six members were retired officers. Not just soldiers but people who served for a time in -- in the Army and re two people who were killed in an operation by the Haitian police.

We have four others who were described by the police chief, General Jorge Vargas here in Bogota, as soldiers.

But there are so many questions surrounding that, because as you said in the launch (ph), the Haitians are saying that up to 26 people, 26 Colombians were involved in the assassination of President Moise. Colombians here are saying that only they received information about six of them.

So a story that is continuing to develop by the hours, and hopefully, we can only hope that, in the next few hours and days, some more clarity will come out of this -- Paula.

NEWTON: Yes. And clearly, Colombia involved at this point with -- has some information, if they've been able to identify them as -- some of them as retired Colombian military officers.

Stefano, grateful for the update. Appreciate it.

Now, our next guest says Moise's assassination is a tragic reminder of Haiti's unraveling democracy.

Ryan C. Berg, a senior fellow in the Americas program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, writes, "The dispute over the constitutionality of Moise's term has taken a criminal turn and the question of secession could engender another constitutional crisis."

And Ryan C. Berg joins me now from Washington. This entire situation in Haiti shocked some money. And you do make it clear in your opinion piece for CNN that this was a long time coming in the sense that there was such dysfunction in Haiti for so long.

RYAN C. BERG, SENIOR FELLOW, AMERICAS PROGRAM, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC ND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: That's right, Paula. Thanks for having me.

And the overall backdrop to the situation, of course, is a weak, fragile situation and democratic institution. A Haiti that's been struggling for a long time to get on a sort of positive political trajectory.

And quite frankly, those institutions are not going to be very much use, in my opinion, and being able to pick up the pieces from this really tragic situation.

NEWTON: You know, it'll sound trite, I know, but do you think sometimes we should say to ourselves never waste a good crisis? Look, it is an embarrassment to all of us, quite frankly, that this country in the western hemisphere that is, you know, literally so close to the shores of the United States.

And we have seemed incapable of really helping them the way we should. Do you think this will allow for some kind of opening, so that there is some kind of transformative change there?

BERG: Well, I think that's what we can all hope for, Paula, in the long run.

But in the short run, I think the emphasis has to be on the security situation, on the day to day, as I note in the piece. One of the things that's been most troubling about Haiti is actually the rise of very predatory violent gangs in recent years that have taken over entire neighborhoods within Port-au-Prince, the capital of the country. They control wide swaths of territory.

So the vacuum of power here after the assassination of a sudden political leader is of grave concern, I think, to the overall direction of the country.

So the emphasis in the short term, as opposed to that transformation, what you talk about just happened in the long-term. The emphasis on the short term should really be on the day-to-day maintenance of stability and security in the country.

NEWTON: Yes. Which is an incredibly difficult task. I know we like to talk about transnational terrorism. There is terror going on in the streets in Haiti, in many cities, and has been for quite some time, as you point out.

I want to get to the nuts and bolts, though, if I can about what happened now. And a lot of murky details tends to get more bizarre by the hour.

Is there an educated guess that you could take right now as to, really, what are the roots of this assassination?

[00:10:00]

BERG: Well, I don't want to speculate too much as we continue to get trickles and dribs and drabs of information as they come out. And let's be clear about the fact that there's probably a lot of disinformation or misinformation going on here.

But as best we know, the sitting president of Haiti was assassinated in the early morning hours yesterday by armed gunman who allegedly claimed that it was a DEA operation. At least that's what they -- they were shouting on the videos that I've seen. The --

NEWTON: The fact that they now claim that there are even two Americans involved, somehow.

BERG: Right. We have a number of folks who have been arrested, allegedly involved in the -- in the plots. As far as I know, the State Department hasn't said anything yet about the participation of any American citizens. So I'm not going to necessarily comment on that until we get more information about who exactly they've detained and some theories there.

But in terms of what we could possibly put together as a hypothesis for why this happened, look, Moise was a president who managed to -- to make quite a few enemies, as I mentioned in the piece. He was ruling by decree since January of 2020. The dysfunctionality that you mentioned earlier about Haiti sort of plays into this.

You've got to understand that the political beat (ph) in the country is small. It's insular. It's occasionally rivalrous. And so there are a number of potential folks in that sort of really elite who could've wanted this type of outcome. But it's just too early to speculate on -- on any more -- on motives behind this attack.

NEWTON: And you have to think that perhaps won't ever get to a bottom of it, because that is what happens sometimes in these situations?

BERG: Well, it's certainly possible that we might never know. But I don't know that's likely. I actually do think we will get to the bottom of it. One of the things that I highlighted in the piece is that the U.S. should be ready to help Haiti with all of its capabilities and investigations of this nature.

And as far as I know, the State Department said today that it is willing to help in this investigation, responding to the Haitians' request for United States' help in this regard. And so I think we will actually get to the bottom of this. We just

have to be patient here.

NEWTON: OK. Ryan C. Berg from Washington, thanks so much. Appreciate it.

BERG: Thank you, Paula. I appreciate it.

NEWTON: One of the world's largest vaccine suppliers says it's seeing waning immunity from its COVID-19 shot.

Now, in a statement Thursday, Pfizer cited data from Israel. It showed its vaccine effectiveness dropped from more than 90 percent to 64 percent as the Delta variant spreads.

Now, the company tells CNN that it will now seek emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a booster shot as early as next month.

But just a short time ago, the FDA and CDC issued an unusual joint statement, saying Americans who have been fully vaccinated do not need a booster shot right now. CNN medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen agrees and says her largest concern at the moment is confusion that all of this may cause.

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DR. LEANA WEN, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: I'm actually concerned about the Pfizer news confusing people at this point. It's not as if they have new data. They're actually going off of what the Israeli ministry of health reported earlier this week.

And the key take home from that is that the vaccines that we have are still very effective against protecting against severe disease. So no one should be listening to this and saying, Well, I need to go out and get a booster shot right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NEWTON: Meantime, the rapid spread of the Delta variant has led to a surge in cases right around the globe. According to the World Health Organization, the variant has now been detected in 100 countries.

The Delta variant is adding to coronavirus fears. Meantime in Africa, the continent, recorded more than a quarter million new cases last week, which was according to the WHO, the worst week for Africa since the pandemic began.

With the Delta variant now in the picture, the organization says things will get worse before they get better.

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DR. MATSHIDISO MOETI, AFRICA DIRECTOR, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: For Africa, the worst is yet to come as the fast-moving third wave continues to gain speed and new ground. As this variant spreads to more and more countries geographically,

they will also take off in terms of the speed of the increase in number of cases. I think we're in for some weeks of a very difficult situation, of an increase in the number of cases.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NEWTON: And South Africa is a big driver of that surge, accounting for more than half of new cases on the continent. And as David McKenzie shows us in an exclusive report, the third wave is pushing the health system to the breaking point.

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DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They hoped it would be better. Hoped that COVID-19 has done its worst. But 16 months in, Mohammed Patel and his paramedic team are in a new, more dangerous fight.

[00:15:10]

(on camera): What has the Delta variant done to COVID-19?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It has caused a lot of chaos. We have a lot of patients who are suffering. The oxygen levels are dropping drastically.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): South African scientists tracking Delta saw it dominate new infections in just weeks.

Patel takes us into a home south of the city --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello. Good morning.

MCKENZIE: -- where Delta is tearing through families, ripping through the country's largely, unvaccinated population. Less than 1 percent of South Africans have been fully vaccinated.

This 67-year-old patient has critically low oxygen levels.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to get you help, OK?

These patients, they are suffering at home, because they aren't able to get hospital beds. There is no spaces in hospital. There's no ventilators available. The -- it's complete chaos.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The third wave has really been far more devastating and far more overwhelming.

MCKENZIE: For months now, CNN has requested access to hospitals, but we were denied. So the true impact of this brutal Delta wave has been largely hidden from view. But CNN obtained this disturbing video from the emergency room at a Johannesburg hospital.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Patients are -- are waiting. They're on stretchers in cubicles. Doctors are overwhelmed. Nurses are overwhelmed. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not enough beds, and what does that result in in

these waiting areas of the hospital?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's chaos.

MCKENZIE: The senior doctor wanted to speak out, reveal what they call war-zone-like conditions. We agreed to hide their identity, because they were afraid of reprisals from the government.

In recent days, they said, the bodies couldn't be wrapped fast enough to make space for the sick.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are patients who are dying while they are waiting to be seen, while they are waiting to get to a room. Because the resources are just being overwhelmed by the onslaught of patients.

MCKENZIE (on camera): How does that make you feel?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A sense of helplessness, but then, also, almost a blunting. A desensitization, that we're doing everything we can, but it's still not enough.

MCKENZIE: Patel's team is often diverted from hospitals with critically-ill patients. They search for hours to find a bed.

So, a charity called Gift of the Givers constructed this 20-bed field clinic, staffed with volunteer doctors and nurses in less than five days. Every single bed could give a sick patient a chance.

David McKenzie, CNN, Johannesburg.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

NEWTON: Just a follow-up on that report. Doctors we spoke to stressed that some patients arrive at hospitals, in fact, too sick to be helped, even when there are plenty of beds.

And we asked the South African Department of Health about the conditions inside the hospital that you saw there. They didn't answer our specific questions, but they sent us presentations they say show their strategy for increasing the number of hospital beds.

Now, scientists say the best protection against the Delta variant are, in fact, vaccinations. And after a slow start, South Africa is now ramping up its efforts.

Now, surging coronavirus numbers, meantime, are causing Seoul, South Korea, to raise distancing measures to its highest level. Beginning on Monday, private gatherings of more than two people will not be allowed after 6 p.m. Most public events will be banned, and weddings and funerals may only be attended by close family members.

South Korean officials say the Delta variant could become the dominant strain by August.

And then there is Sydney, Australia, also tightening measures as the Delta variant spreads there. People must now shop for essentials alone. They can't travel more than 10 kilometers from their home unless absolutely necessary.

U.S. President Joe Biden is mounting a vigorous defense of his decision to pull all U.S. forces from Afghanistan. Mr. Biden insists this is no "Mission Accomplished" moment, but he claims the U.S. has achieved its objectives of dismantling al-Qaeda and killing Osama bin Laden.

Now, the withdrawal is already more than 90 percent complete, according to U.S. officials. All American troops are expected to be out by August 31, weeks ahead of schedule.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Nearly 20 years of experience has shown us that the current security situation only confirms that just one more year of fighting in Afghanistan is not a solution, but a recipe for being there indefinitely.

I will not send another generation of Americans to war in Afghanistan with no reasonable expectation of achieving a different outcome.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NEWTON: Critics of withdrawal says it's allowing the Taliban to capture more territory. This map, right there, shows Taliban- controlled areas in black. Mr. Biden says it is time for the people of Afghanistan to defend their own country.

[00:20:07]

Now, next hour, I'll speak -- Next hour, I'll speak with "New York Times" White House national security correspondent, David Sager, about the potential pitfalls.

Now, bad news for fans hoping to attend the Olympics in Japan. Organizers are tightening restrictions even further, as COVID cases rise in the capital city. We are live from Tokyo, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NEWTON: A major setback for the Tokyo Olympics, which are now just two weeks away. Fans will not be allowed to attend events held in the Japanese capital and three nearby prefectures.

Organizers say they have no choice but to hold the games in a limited way. The decision came after Japan's prime minister declared a fourth state of emergency in Tokyo due to a spike in COVID cases.

CNN's Will Ripley is there for us in Tokyo. And our WORLD SPORT anchor Patrick Snell is standing by for us.

First to you, Will, what was the tipping point here? And what will it mean for the Olympics? WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: To put it simply, Paula,

it was the numbers. The fact that Tokyo is seeing its highest case numbers over the last three and a half weeks since May, and their vaccination rate here in Japan is only 15 percent.

It just wasn't possible in the eyes of the government not to declare Tokyo's fourth state of emergency in this pandemic, and after that was declared, the plan of the Olympic Committee to post limited numbers of spectators, up to 10,000, or 50 percent capacity, was just no longer feasible.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RIPLEY (voice-over): A steady stream of athletes arriving in Tokyo for the summer games. Among the latest, part of the British Olympic delegation. Waiting for them, a small welcoming party, but no fans.

Because of COVID-19, this is the same sort of reception you'll get when they actually compete.

TAMAYO MURUKAWA, OLYMPICS MINISTER (through translator): It was decided to have no spectators at venues in Tokyo after a new virus state of emergency was announced in the city of Tokyo.

RIPLEY: The new restrictions that will bar fans from the stands will be in place until August 22, well beyond the duration of the games, which finish on the eighth.

The move, announced by Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, follows an increase in the number of hospitalized patients in the capital.

YOSHIHIDE SUGA, JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER (through translator): In the Tokyo metropolitan area, the numbers of infected people is clearly starting to increase. One of the reasons for this, in addition to the increase in people's movements, is the influence of the new mutated strain the Delta variant, which has been said to be 1.5 times more infectious than the Alpha variant.

RIPLEY: It's an unprecedented decision, but for many on the streets of Tokyo, it does not go far enough.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): We should not hold the Olympics with increasing COVID cases.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Infections will definitely spread if the Olympics are held. And overseas visitors will bring the virus back to their home country. It will be a disaster.

RIPLEY: Others were slightly more conciliatory.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Athletes across the world have put so much effort into the Olympics for a long time. For that reason, I think we should hold the games.

[00:25:03]

RIPLEY: Both Japan and the International Olympic Committee say that they are determined to go ahead with the games.

But with mounting domestic and global pressure, a potential cancellation still looms large.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

RIPLEY: The numbers are one thing. Yes, Japan spent billions of dollars building these brand-new Olympic venues that will now be sitting empty during competition. The handful of VIPs in attendance might be able to hear their own echoes when they -- when they applaud.

But lives are more important than numbers, and there is growing concern among epidemiologists, given the Delta variant. And given the number of people coming from all over the world, that a new, more dangerous variant could possibly emerge if there's too much mixing.

And so that, Paula, is why they made this decision, as painful and difficult as it was for a country that was really counting on these games to revive its image, its economy, and now they're left with many empty seats and some broken hearts.

NEWTON: Yes. Absolutely. And we will see, in fact, because there are enough challenges ahead, just with having the athletes, and the delegations there, without fans.

Will, appreciate the update there from Tokyo.

And now, for more on this, we're joined by WORLD SPORT's Patrick Snell. No fans at the Olympic games. Such a contrast, really, to what we're seeing in Europe. I mean, you showed us those images from Wembley. Tens of thousands.

PATRICK SNELL, CNN WORLD SPORT ANCHOR: Yes, Paula, you're spot on. Actually, I just want to pick up on those images we saw in Will's report there, taking us back to the 2002 FIFA World Football Cup, when Japan was one of the cohosts back in that year with South Korea.

Such a stark contrast to that. I remember those welcoming committees when you got off the plane at the airports, a symbol of the warmth of the people over there.

But, this of course, a very, very different reality that we are seeing right now. But there's no question, Paula, this is going to be an Olympic games like no other. A summer games that, really, the likes of which we've never, ever seen before.

But yet, we knew that this was on the cards. We knew the scenario, the possibility of no fans at all was going to be in play, and sure enough, it is the reality.

You know, I was just doing a bit of research earlier. I dug out an interview I did back in May with the Swedish world record holder in pole vaulting, Mondo Duplantis. He was telling me -- you know, I put it to him, the scenario, the possibility back then, that there wouldn't be any fans. And he said, yes, you know, he's aware of that, but he did, himself,

feel more secure since he'd been vaccinated, saying that he just wanted to go out there and do it. This would be his first Olympics.

So he's said to be frustrated by the postponement of last year, but he just wants to go out there and compete.

That is the kind of mindset, inside the mind of an athlete, if you want.

I do want to get to this news, though, on how it has impacted on athletes that we're considering going to compete in Tokyo. I'm thinking here, Paula, of the Australian tennis star, Nick Kyrgios.

And I want to read you a tweet from Kyrgios from earlier, which says it is significant. Listen to this. Here it is. "Hey, guys, I just want to let you know that I have decided to withdraw from the Olympics. It's a decision I didn't make lightly. It's been my dream to represent Australia at the Olympics, and I may know I may never get that opportunity again.

"But I also know myself. The thought of playing in front of an empty stadium, just doesn't sit right with me. It never has. I also wouldn't want to take an opportunity away from a healthy Aussie athlete, ready to represent the country.

"I would also take all the time I need to get my body right. Good luck to all the Aussies competing, and I'll see you back on the court real soon."

Kyrgios coming back from injury. But that's a good answer there.

But compare and contrast, as you said, Paula, with you know, the Wembley Stadium. We've got the Euro 2020 Final this weekend in London, 60,000 plus at Wembley for the final between England and Italy. And later today, at the Wimbledon tennis championships in England, we've got two men's semifinals taking center stage at center court, which will be at capacity. Fifteen thousand fans packing inside there, the all England club.

Altogether, very different scenarios, giving you the big-picture context here.

Back to you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

NEWTON: Yes, Patrick, and quickly, what do you think it will be like for the athletes who will be in those empty stadiums?

SNELL: Like they've never experienced. You know, like something that they just can't come to terms with until you're absolutely out there, breathing and living in those conditions. And that's why I tapped into what Duplantis was saying. That you know, the feeling more secure, since he's been vaccinated, and the fact that he just wants to go out there and do it. But he said, look, it's my first Olympics. Therefore, I've got nothing

to fall back on. I've got nothing to compare it to, if you like. It's just going to be, look, take -- take somebody and get inside the mindset of an athlete. You know, they're just not used to this.

You know, the crowd out there is what inspires them, which kind of takes them to new heights, if you like. These are really unprecedented times, no question about that.

NEWTON: Yes. And some of them are having trouble, as well, coming to terms with the fact that Japan may be going through this emergency, and they will be there to compete at sport.

SNELL: I also want to tap into the mental health aspect, as well. This is really important. That is something that's got to be factored in here and not in any way, underestimated.

NEWTON: Absolutely.

SNELL: That's really, really important.

NEWTON: Absolutely. I mean, we will continue to talk about this, obviously, as the Olympics get underway soon.

Patrick Snell, thanks so much. Appreciate it.

And now, while some are bringing back restrictions because of that Delta variant, Singapore is looking to get rid of lockdowns and become a model for the rest of the world. We'll see why with Singapore's trade minister, coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NEWTON: A new reckoning over America's painful relationship with Native Americans.

For decades, many indigenous children were taken from their families and tribes and sent to boarding schools to indoctrinate them into white Christian culture. Now, a federal investigation will look into this dark chapter in American history.

CNN's Martin Savidge reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On the Rosebud-Sioux reservation in South Dakota, America's nearly two-century effort to eradicate native languages and cultures continues to traumatize.

(on camera): Was it a hard day?

MALORIE ARROW, SICANGU YOUTH COUNCIL: Yes, it was.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): In 2015, Malorie Arrow went to Washington, D.C., with her tribe's youth council. They stopped at a former Native American boarding school in Pennsylvania. ARROW: Getting there, I wasn't -- didn't feel anything. I felt like I

was supposed to feel, getting to the school. But it wasn't until we got to the grave sites.

SAVIDGE: They found graves of native children their age from their very own Sicangu Lakota tribe, taken from their very reservation more than 100 years ago.

ARROW: We all started crying. Like, we all felt the energy there.

CHRISTOPHER EAGLE BEAR, SICANGU YOUTH COUNCIL: It's like morning a relative you didn't know you had.

SAVIDGE: They left with one question.

EAGLE BEAR: Why don't we bring them home? I mean, we didn't have an answer for that, you know. Why don't we bring them home?

SAVIDGE: During the 19th and much of the 20th Century, generations of indigenous children in the U.S. were forced into boarding schools, many run by religious organizations, or the federal government. Part of a campaign to assimilate them into white Christian culture.

RODNEY BORDEAUX, PRESIDENT, ROSEBUD-SIOUX TRIBE: Take the Indian out, save the child. That was kind of the talk back then.

SAVIDGE: Many children suffered sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. Malnourishment and disease. No one's really sure how many died.

But the more than 900 unmarked grave sites found near just two Canadian schools is a grim indicator of what could be found in the U.S.

[00:35:07]

CHRISTINE CLEAVE, CEO, NATIONAL NATIVE AMERICAN BOARDING SCHOOL HEALING COALITION: If you look at the numbers here from the United States, we have twice as many schools. You can basically just estimate that our numbers will be double what they found in Canada.

SAVIDGE: Many tribal leaders believe the generational trauma from erasing people's identity directly relates to the chronic issues on reservations today. Poverty, addiction, suicide.

(on camera): So no one went untouched?

BORDEAUX: No. No one went untouched. No -- no family went untouched. We need to find out the truth.

SAVIDGE: Finding that truth is what the federal investigation is all about. But it's likely to be uncomfortable.

As for those children Malorie and her friends found in that graveyard years ago? They are coming home. In the largest repatriation of its kind, the remains of nine Lakota children from that former Pennsylvania boarding school will begin the journey back next week. ASIA "ISTA GI WIN" BLACK BULL, SICANGU YOUTH COUNCIL: We saw a change

that we needed, so we became the change.

SAVIDGE: The young Lakotas plan to escort the children home. Christopher may even sing to them in their own language, something the boarding school would have forbidden.

EAGLE BEAR: (SINGING)

SAVIDGE (on camera): Is it the end of something, or really, just the beginning?

BLACK BULL: The beginning. There's so much more boarding schools that we have yet. This is just the start.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): They know much more needs to be done. Many more children need to be found.

BLACK BULL: You look at it as why do these schools with, you know, a lot of the white children go to attend schools with playgrounds. Our children have to attend schools with graveyards? And it should be a wake-up call now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

NEWTON: Our thanks to Martin Savidge there for that report.

And we will be right back with more news in a moment.

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NEWTON: It's been almost 16 months since the WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic, and now many countries are carrying on with plans to try and return to normal.

England is supposed to lift most of its restrictions in less than two weeks. For starters, restaurants and pubs should have near normal service again, but that will have to be confirmed on July 12, depending on what the data looks like.

Now, night clubs in France, meantime, will reopen Friday night for the first time since the pandemic took hold in Europe and New York, which at one point was reporting more cases per day than some countries. It's about to shut down three mass vaccination sites.

Officials say it's because more than 68 percent of adults in New York City now have had at least one shot.

Others are being more cautious, though, because of the highly- contagious Delta variant. Singapore is in the process of drawing a road map for its new normal. Officials say COVID-19 may never go away. So they're focusing on ways to try and prevent large clusters from forming instead of aiming for zero cases.

Singapore's minister for trade and industry, Gan Kim Yong, joins me now. Appreciate you being with us. Now, the concerns about the Delta variant now in the news that we just have from Pfizer that perhaps boosters will be needed. Is that changing your approach in any way to opening the economy and really trying to find a way to live with COVID as best you can?

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GAN KIM YONG, SINGAPORE MINISTER FOR TRADE AND INDUSTRY: Thank you. Good afternoon.

From Singapore's perspective, I think vaccination will play a very important role in our opening up of the economy and restoring many of the community activities.

Vaccines, we know, may not provide 100 percent protection, and they show that the Pfizer, and the vaccine provides around 65 to 70 percent protection against infection.

But the vaccine is very effective to protect for protection against severe diseases and mortality. And that is what we are going after, because we do want to keep our people safe. Even if they are infected, it is important for us to prevent them from getting seriously ill, or in the worst case, die.

So I think if the vaccine is able to protect our people against severe disease or mortality, that will go a long way in providing a protective cover for our population.

NEWTON: OK, but what --

GAN: And we are seeing progress in our vaccination program, as well.

NEWTON: OK, but what does that mean? Does that mean you'll be mandating vaccines in the first instance? And then what does it mean for things like testing, quarantining, you know, and in terms of the kinds of vaccines that you believe you're going to sanction? Which ones can you use?

GAN: So far, we are focusing on Pfizer and Moderna. These are the two key vaccines that have been approved, and we are deploying them in the whole of Singapore.

To date, we have already provided, for the first dose, to about two -- more than two-thirds of our population. And we hope to be able to provide the second dose for the two-thirds of our population, by 9th of August, which is -- happen to be our national day.

And our aim is really to complete two-dose vaccination for up to 75 percent of our population by end of September, or early October. I think this will provide a very important protection for our population, but we will continue with our testing, and our contact tracing, and to also be very targeted in our isolation strategy to prevent an outbreak of big clusters.

As you mentioned, I think we will not be able to bring the cases to zero, because we just have to learn to live with COVID-19. But we must do what we can to prevent a major outbreak of our gigantic clusters, which will then lead to stress on our healthcare system, as well as high mortality rate and serious outcomes.

I think that's our strategy going forward in dealing with COVID-19 in Singapore.

NEWTON: This virus, though, and its progression has been so unpredictable. I don't have a lot of time left here, but you do appreciate the debate, right? The people are wondering, what does normal look like? Does that mean that you would be willing to put up with a certain amount of infection, even hospitalizations, to make sure that the economy just goes forward after so long?

GAN: Absolutely. Because we have come to a conclusion that we have to strike a very careful balance between saving lives as well as preserving livelihoods. So we want to make sure that we have sufficient protective cover for the population to minimize severe outcomes.

At the same time, to allow the economy to be restored and economic activities to proceed, and to continue to reestablish connections with the rest of the world. I think these are our strategies going forward.

NEWTON: Gan Kim Yong, Singapore's trade minister. I appreciate you giving us your perspective there on exactly how you intend to go forward with the economy. Appreciate your time.

GAN: Thank you very much.

NEWTON: And I am Paula Newton. I will be back at the top of the hour for more CNN NEWSROOM. But for now, WORLD SPORT is next.

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