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CNN NEWSROOM

Expert: We've Underestimated this Virus from the Beginning; Haitian First Lady Recounts Night of Husband's Assassination; Heat Wave Driving Up Temperatures in Southern Europe; Olympic Authorities To Investigate Belarusian Sprinter Case; U.S. Gymnast Simone Biles Returns In Balance Beam Final; China Scrambling To Contain Spread Of Delta Variant; U.K. Prepares To Offer Booster Vaccines From September; Concerns Grow Over Breakthrough COVID-19 Infections. Aired 12-12:45a EST

Aired August 3, 2021 - 00:00   ET

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


[00:01:14]

JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Hello everyone I'm John Vause.

Ahead on CNN NEWSROOM, an Olympic dash to freedom. Fearing persecution at home, Belarusian sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya will soon be on a direct flight from Tokyo to Warsaw after Poland granted her a humanitarian visa.

Rich world problem, with coronavirus infection surging, countries with ample vaccine suppliers struggling over if and when to authorize booster shots.

And a witness to a presidential assassination talks to CNN. Haiti's first lady is the only survivor from a massive security failure that left her badly wounded and her husband dead.

We begin with the latest from Tokyo where the International Olympic Committee has just announced a formal investigation into what led to a Belarusian athlete fleeing her team managers and seeking refuge in the Polish embassy.

Krystsina Tsimanouskaya looks set to continue an unofficial Olympic tradition. Athletes claiming political persecution at home and then trying to defect. Tsimanouskaya has been granted a humanitarian visa by Poland.

And if all goes to plan, when she touches down in Warsaw in the coming days, she will formally claim asylum. Her husband has reportedly fled to -- fled Belarus to neighboring Ukraine.

As word on Tsimanouskaya's fears spread on social media, at least three other countries as well as Poland offered safe harbor. Officials with the IOC say they have spoken with her and she is safe and secure.

CNN's Nick Paton Walsh picks up the story.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was a simple complaint, but no criticism is safe if you come from Belarus. Sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya unleashed criticism of her Olympic team managers for entering her in the 4x400 relay race without her consent, something she'd never competed in before because Belarus didn't have enough runners. It was a rant that would not only end her Olympic bid, but also her life in Belarus.

48 hours after posting the video, she said she was escorted by Belarus team reps to the airport, her bags packed and ticket home booked for her. She was terrified.

KRYSTSINA TSIMANOUSKAYA, BELARUSIAN OLYMPIC SPRINTER (through translator): I asked the International Olympic Committee for help. I was put under pressure and they are trying to forcibly take me out of the country without my consent. I asked the International Olympic Committee to intervene.

WALSH: She said the instant recall had "come from above", a one-way ticket home to likely repression.

She was terrified of returning to Belarus for good reason. This man, President Alexander Lukashenko dubbed the last dictator in Europe, friend of Vladimir Putin has unleashed a brutal crackdown against dissent.

Allegations of brutality have been constant. CNN reporting on male rape in police custody, extreme brutality against peaceful protesters. Activists have mysteriously died in police custody.

And last week, a court banned an independent news station as extremist amid a wider assault on the media. The government denies accusations of brutality.

So, at the airport, Tsimanouskaya reached out to Japanese police who held her in safety as news of what she called her forced return spread. The Belarusian Olympic Committee said she had "psychological and emotional issues" and was taken off the team, which she denies.

YURI MOISEYEVICH, BELARUSIAN TEAM COACH (through translator): She stood out with her behavior. We know her and we've known her a long time. There was something strange. Sometimes she would isolate. Sometimes she would not want to socialize.

WALSH: She said it was because she criticized the Olympic managers and annoyed this man.

[00:05:04]

WALSH: Quickly, democratic Europe came to her aid, Poland offering her a humanitarian visa and perhaps asylum.

MARCIN PRZYDACZ, POLISH DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER: Of course, she can continue. She's free to pursue her sporting career in Poland, but that would be her decision. WALSH: She entered the Polish embassy in Tokyo at roughly the same

time her husband fled Belarus into Ukraine. Hers, a very public and clumsy sign of how Belarus has treated even the most slightly outspoken critic, so many of whom suffer silently behind bars.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, London.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Jill Dougherty is with us from Washington. Jill is a former CNN Moscow bureau chief, she's also a White House correspondent, also my boss in Asia when she was a Hong Kong bureau chief. She's now an adjunct professor at Georgetown University. Good to see you.

JILL DOUGHERTY, ADJUNCT PROFESSOR, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: Hi, John.

VAUSE: OK, here's a little more from Tsimanouskaya as reported by the news site Tribuna, "I'm afraid that I might be jailed in Belarus. I'm not afraid of being fired or kicked out of the national team. I'm concerned about my safety. I think that at the moment, it's not safe for me in Belarus."

The Russian news agency TASS though reports that the Belarusian Olympic Committee decided to send her home over her emotional and mental state. There's a big long explanation that basically say that she says she got put into the 4x400 meter relay after two other runners from the team were disqualified because they did not participate in supplying enough doping samples.

It goes on to accuse Tsimanouskaya of taking to social media and criticizing that decision. And that's why she was forced home.

What precisely happened here? Where does the truth lie?

DOUGHERTY: OK. It is a little complicated, John. But I was following this on social media. So, it was a fast-moving story, not clear exactly where she was. But eventually she ends up and she is now we understand, going to get a humanitarian visa from Poland. And she is expected to leave on Wednesday for Poland.

Now, this is -- it's significant, I think, because if you look at that video, there was nothing overtly political in what she said.

But the whole situation, John, and we can talk about this, about the Olympics and about Lukashenko -- Alexander Lukashenko, the existing president right now, the whole thing is very personal and very political.

One factor, Viktor Lukashenko who is the elder son of Alexander, the President, happens to be the head of the Belarus Olympic Committee. So, I think you can see where we're going with this.

VAUSE: Yes, because athletes of Belarus along with a lot of other people who've spoken out against the Lukashenko regime have been jailed in the past year. I want to listen to a former Belarusian decathlete, listen to this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDREI KRAUCHANKA, FORMER BELARUSIAN DECATHLETE (through translator): We made the decision to leave Belarus because of the concerns for our safety. We might ask for support here for my spouse to be able to continue her career, and maybe I will find something for myself here. We don't plan on returning in the near future.

I look at the athletes, it frightens me. Yes, everyone has their own opinion. But the sports world is completely different. And there needs to be solidarity, it doesn't matter if someone likes or doesn't like Krystsina, but in this situation she is right.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: And so, the fears are not unfounded.

DOUGHERTY: You know, it's -- I think it's a sad situation. Because, remember in May, you had the plane that was carrying a blogger Pratasevich, Raman Pratasevich that was forced down by the Belarusian government. And he was arrested. I think he is now in under house detention.

But you know, these are -- these are very serious things. And I think most people looking at the situation really would believe that Krystsina Tsimanouskaya could end up being arrested.

So, there -- now she will be going to, as we said to Poland, her husband and her child, we understand have already gone to Ukraine. So, this whole there's -- and she was offered a number of other places to go primarily in the Baltic and Eastern Europe. So, they move very quickly to come out on the side of this athlete and against the Belarusian current -- Belarusian president who is Alexander Lukashenko.

VAUSE: You mentioned the fact that he was the president of the Russian Olympic Committee. His son has now taken over since February. To what extent is Olympic sport and the sporting -- Olympic sporting system in Belarus being used as another means to control and intimidate athletes because sport is very important in propping up the regime in many ways.

DOUGHERTY: I think it's a symbol as it is in a number of countries. Obviously, there's that personal political situation, but I did watch a piece of video by Alexander Lukashenko who said, that if there are no results, which of course would mean a win in Tokyo, that the entire operation, the entire Belorussian Olympic group that was going to go should think twice about going because if they don't win, essentially, they better not think about coming back. And then he said, I'm saying this as the president of Belarus.

[00:10:34]

DOUGHERTY: So, this is a very -- it was said very strongly and really truly is a fright, you perform or else. VAUSE: Yes, there's only really one way you can take that at the end of the day. Jill, we appreciate you being with us. Jill Dougherty there in Washington, take care.

Swimming is now over at the Tokyo Olympics making way for track and field but day 11 will go down as today American gymnast Simone Biles was back in action. Less than five hours from now competing in the finals of the Balance Beam, her last chance to win a medal after withdrawing from five earlier events.

The 24-year-old was a favorite to take home a hold of gold but last week suddenly pulled out of competition over mental health concerns. So far, she has won silver as part of the U.S. women's team final.

Let's go live now to take a CNN Blake Essig standing by. Five years ago in Rio, she took the brunt of this event clearly a lot of expectation that she may in fact walk away with a gold and a lot of anticipation.

BLAKE ESSIG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely, John. Just a few hours, Simone Biles, arguably the greatest gymnast of all time, set to make a dramatic return to the Olympics here in competition at Ariake Gymnastics Centre right behind me and she'll do it on the Balance Beam. Now, the events start just several hours from now.

And while I personally tried to get a ticket to witness this historic comeback, this is as close as I'm going to be -- get, John. But I will tell you, I'm still excited about it. Just being in this area is really exciting. There are some people that are kind of sitting around, you know, just to try to kind of again experience this Olympic atmosphere for what it is.

Now, before these games started. Biles had a chance to win six gold medals and was a heavy favorite to win at least four of them. But so far as you mentioned, she's only taken home a silver and that's OK. She doesn't have anything to prove.

But by withdrawing from competition to focus on her mental health, you know, it really means so much more to her legacy and the sports world as a whole. As far as what this competition means and more than more so than any golds could have meant.

As we look forward now, Biles last competed a little more than a week ago and during the women's -- she competed during the women's team final and of course, withdrew herself from after stumbling on the vault, citing mental health concerns that Biles has said in the -- in the days that have followed that she's been struggling with what's called the twisties, a mental block in which gymnast sometimes have to deal with where competitors will lose track of their positioning.

Midair the twisties might sound innocent enough, but as far as gymnasts are concerned, it can be incredibly disorienting and incredibly dangerous as they might end up landing on their head, their back, you know, their feet anywhere but their feet onto the mat. So again, incredibly dangerous. As a result, Biles did withdraw from an additional four competitions at these Olympic games but with just a few hours to go John before Biles makes her big return, the world will absolutely be watching where she goes for gold here in Tokyo.

VAUSE: Absolutely, just a few hours away from that. Blake, thank you. Blake Essig there live for us in Tokyo.

Let's stay with the Olympics a little longer. CNN WORLD SPORT Patrick Snell is here with all the details. So yes, this is a huge -- even I have expectations and some excitement about this for Simone Biles. It's clearly a big day.

PATRICK SNELL, CNN WORLD SPORT: Yes, John, this is huge. You know, let's give context here to our viewers worldwide. Biles is an icon, an undisputed icon. She's widely regarded as Blake was saying just then is the greatest gymnast of all time. And it will be fascinating, wouldn't it to actually know what she's feeling right now? Just what she's experiencing just hours away from competing in today's Balance Beam final.

I feel this is a courageous act from her, John, I really do. You know, this has been Biles taking a powerful stance ever since she opened up about a battle with mental health at these games using her global platform to very powerful effect. We saw it earlier this year as well with Japanese tennis superstar Naomi Osaka.

But remember, Biles, she's a four-time Rio 2016 gold medalist from five years ago there during those Summer Games in South America. And with that in itself, we can't even relate to this, John. This brings with it huge scrutiny.

On Monday, we saw Biles -- that's the video that we saw Biles heading into the gymnastics hall in the Japanese capital. She's now back competing. The eyes of the world -- really, I do feel this strongly -- the eyes are going to be on her like never before, John. It's huge.

This is a tweet actually that really did bring so much hope to our fans all around the world. When this tweet went out, I can't imagine the reaction from USA Gymnastics. We are so excited to confirm that you will see two U.S. athletes in the Balance Beam final Suni Lee and Simone Biles, can't wait to watch you both.

[00:15:16]

SNELL: And just a bit more context as well, John. Over the weekend, we had Biles -- remember, as Blake was saying, she withdrew from those four individual finals at these games. She spoke about the twisties that mental block and that should never be downplayed, of course and it's kind of again relate to what she's been going through there.

But this will be her last opportunity to secure a medal at these games and something else I picked up on as well. This is really interesting. I think it only reflects well on Simone Biles, the way in which throughout all of this, she's been there for her teammates, thinking of them despite all she's been going through. Take the case of the U.S.'s Jade Carey who took the gold medal in the women's floor exercise. Biles was there showing her support.

Remember, Carey had finished eighth in Sunday's vote final. According to Carey, Biles proving especially helpful in allowing her to just let it go and move on. I think that reflects very well on Biles, John.

VAUSE: Absolutely. So, a big day with the gymnastics but also a very big day -- excuse me, on the track.

SNELL: We've already had plenty of drama and amazing groundbreaking exploits. I tell you what, this Tuesday, just a few minutes ago in fact. Karsten Warholm of Norway winning gold in the 400-meter hurdles shattering and I mean shattering the world record in the process.

The 25-year-old not just holding off ride, Bejamin of the United States to where we were calling it just back there in the office, John, a race for the ages.

Now, ahead of today's final, the World Record -- get this, the World Record stood at 46.70 seconds which Warholm set himself on July the first. We'll wait for it because after today's final, both Warholm and Bejamin beating the mark by a wide margin. Warholm becoming the first to run the event in less than 46 seconds finishing at a time of 45.94. Bejamin's time pretty amazing too, 46.17, the bronze medal as well going to Alison Dos Santos of Brazil with a time of 46.7 to his time, the fourth fastest in history in this event. Amazing scenes.

And check on the overall medal situation before I sign off, John. China is still leading the medals table right now with 29 gold, 63 in total. The United States of America with the most total medals at 66, 22 of medal golds and the host nation Japan having an historic Olympics aren't they with 17 gold medals, their most ever in a single games. And I should really tease our WORLD SPORT show John as well coming up in around 30 minutes from right now if you'll let me.

VAUSE: Absolutely, you just did. Australia number four, that's as far as they will go because the swimming is over. Patrick, thank you, Patrick Snell there live for us for the very latest. See you in a bit.

Well, we're taking a short break. When we come back, a heatwave fueling fires across Turkey only set to get worse with near record temperatures in the coming days.

Also, as coronavirus infection surge, a growing number of countries are looking to roll out a booster shot of the vaccine but just how effective will it be against the new more contagious variants? Details in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[00:20:24]

VAUSE: In China, at least 16 provinces and 26 cities are reporting locally transmitted COVID infections. Officials say most are link to the highly contagious Delta variant. CNN's Kristie Lu Stout live for us in Hong Kong with more on this. And again, it's concerning just how much spread has happened in just the last couple of weeks. KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it just keeps on growing. China is certainly being tested right now by the rapid spread of the highly contagious Delta variant.

Today on Tuesday, China reported 61 new locally transmitted cases of the virus is higher than the day before and yes, that case count is lower than what we've seen in other countries like the U.K. or the U.S.

But the fact that it is spreading now to 26 cities and 16 provinces, as you see on the map there, that is sparking a lot of concern right now. Across the country, very strict pandemic measures are in place in Wuhan. The Delta variant has been detected there of course, Wuhan is the city where the coronavirus was first detected, it's a city of 11 million people, the entire population will now be subjected to COVID- 19 testing.

Meanwhile, we are also watching the situation in Nanjing population of just over nine million people. They have gone through three rounds of COVID-19 testing in the last two weeks. Indoor venues like gyms bars are closed there.

Beijing, the Chinese capital have banned anyone coming from medium risk or high-risk areas from entering the city. We've got a statement from a Beijing municipal official who says that the city will do whatever it takes to block transmission of the virus. Let's bring up the statement for you.

In it, he says this, "The whole city should be further alerted to use the fastest speed, the strictest measures, the most decisive actions to block the transmission at any cost to prevent the outbreak in Beijing to ensure people's safety and health, to ensure the safety of the Capitol."

But some experts especially outside China say that that containment strategy is not enough especially with Delta. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

YANZHONG HUANG, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: I think it is time for the government to seriously consider shifting to a mitigation-based strategy that focus on taking care of, you know, those severe cases and reducing the mortality. That could be done by developing, importing and distributing more effective vaccines.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STOUT: The Delta outbreak in China is a test of China's zero tolerance policy or approach to infection with its mass testing, contact tracing and lockdown campaigns. It is also a test of its massive vaccine rollout program as of August 1. So far, on about 1.65 million doses have been administered, John.

VAUSE: Kristie, thank you. Kristie Lu Stout there with the very latest on China's response to the growing have spread of COVID-19. Well, next month, Germany will make a COVID vaccine booster shot available to those of high risk. It'll be one of the two mRNA vaccines currently in use, and vaccinations will be expanded to include all children aged 12 to 17. Just over half of Germany's population are fully vaccinated, just over 60 percent have received at least one shot.

The U.K. is also preparing for a vaccine booster program to prolong protection against COVID-19. CNN's Salma Abdelaziz has details now reporting from London.

SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN REPORTER: The British government is preparing to offer booster shots from September that's when potentially millions of the most vulnerable in the country will be eligible for yet another shot and it's supposed to offer a layer of protection over the country during the winter months when it's expected that there could be yet another spike in coronavirus cases and it comes on the back of two bits of science.

First, studies now show that vaccine efficacy does wane over time. That's why booster shots could help that efficacy get back up.

And secondly, a group of scientific advisors, British scientific advisors have said it is very likely that the virus will be able to evade the vaccine in the long term. This was put into a paper that is not yet peer reviewed, not yet published, it is theoretical, but it begins to show what scientists are concerned about, which is future variants.

Also, on Monday, travel restrictions were seriously eased for the first time in months. Passengers coming from the United States or the E.U. who are fully vaccinated no longer have to quarantine in the U.K. But there's a few caveats. Of course, you still have to show a negative PCR test before departure, you have to take yet another COVID-19 test after arrival -- two days after arrival.

And there is one big exception to this that is France. Any travelers coming from there will still have to follow isolation rules but it does begin to open up the country a little bit, welcome back tourists and of course bring families together.

Salma Abdelaziz, CNN London.

[00:25:10]

VAUSE: Professor William Haseltine has dedicated his life to global health research. He developed the first treatment for HIV AIDS and his chair of the think tank ACCESS Health International is now focusing on COVID 19. His latest book COVID Related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, what it is and what to do about it, was released on Monday. And it is good to see you again, welcome back.

WILLIAM HASELTINE, PRESIDENT, ACCESS HEALTH INTERNATIONAL: Thank you very much.

VAUSE: OK, they say there's increasing concern now over breakthrough infections, those who've been vaccinated, later testing positive for an infection of COVID-19. The Pfizer vaccine has an initial efficacy of 96 percent, after six months, that is in the low 80s, which is obviously some concern. Even so the White House Chief Medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, he says vaccines remain effective in terms of preventing illness and death but he added this on breakthrough infections, here he is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: The absolute number of breakthrough infections might appear high. That's not the critical number. The critical number is what is the proportion of the vaccinated people who in fact are getting breakthrough infections, and that's the critical one.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: So right now, is the proportion essentially staying the same? And if the number of breakthrough infections began to increase relative to vaccinations, at what point do you become concerned?

HASELTINE: Well, I'm concerned now. I'm concerned because it's not only a matter of being vaccinated, it turns out it's how long ago you were vaccinated. And what we're learning is even the very best vaccines, the Moderna and the Pfizer vaccines decrease substantially in their protection over time. And as more time goes by from your last shot, the less protection you have from infection.

VAUSE: So, this add raises the question of a booster shot, a growing number of countries are making preparations and making a booster shot available for those who are at a higher risk from COVID, the elderly, those with autoimmune deficiencies.

Israel, France, Germany, the U.K., are in that position, notably not the U.S. for now. Researchers though at Rockefeller University found that antibodies induced by mRNA vaccines did evolve between the first and second shots.

Five months later, vaccine-induced antibodies were equivalent to those seen after the second dose with little measurable improvement in the ability to neutralize a broad variety of new variants.

They concluded giving a third dose of the same vaccine would likely result in the higher levels of antibodies that remain less effective against variants.

Putting it another way, it's quantity it seems over quality, you have more, but they wouldn't be as good. So, what does that now mean regard -- with regards to booster shots?

HASELTINE: You know, I'm not sure that's correct. I think that so far as we can tell, the total amount of antibodies is what's most important.

It's also difficult once you've been infected or been vaccinated to induce new antibodies to yet another strain. So, it's not clear whether it's better to get the same booster shot from the same vaccine you've got before or to get a booster shot with a slight variant because your body actually remembers what you saw before. And almost your entire reaction is to what you saw before.

I think what we really need is a lot more research on vaccines to create vaccines, which gives you a higher level of protection, and very broad protection from the very beginning.

So, we need a lot more research. But the simple answer that I would say to people over 60 is the answer that Israel is given, which is if you have had that -- if you're over 60, and your vaccine is more than six months old, it's time to get a booster.

VAUSE: Just take the bigger picture here, the view from 30,000 feet in terms of how we're dealing with this pandemic. It seems that we have been taking a sort of a tactical approach, a short-term approach and how we deal with it that hopefully it will be over in a matter of months.

I think from everything I've read that you've been saying is that we need to adapt that. We need to look at it long -- in a long-term strategy here because this virus or these viruses are going to be around for a very long time and we haven't really adapted to that point yet.

HASELTINE: I think that's right. You know, we've underestimated this virus from the beginning.

First, it was in another country, not ours and our borders would protect us, then public health majors and lockdowns would protect us. Now, the vaccines will protect us from infection. And that's not from infection from disease.

I think all of those things are not entirely correct. Even the last, it may be a matter of time before our vaccines run out of gas protecting us from disease and from more serious consequences. So, we've got to take a multi-layered -- I call it a multimodal approach. Vaccines, prophylactic drugs, and very good and rigorous identification of who's been exposed, and hopefully treating them with drugs. We can do a lot better.

[00:30:17]

And we have to prepare for a long battle. This is not going to be a once and done as we always hoped it was going to be. It just isn't turning it to be that.

JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Yes. It's certainly being a lot more more persistent and adapting a lot faster, I guess, to measures of trying to contain it.

Professor William Haseltine, thank you so much for everything. Appreciate you being here.

HASELTINE: You're welcome. Thank you. VAUSE: Still ahead, a television interview you will see only here, on

CNN. Haiti's first lady relives the night gunmen stopped her home, killed her husband, and left her critically injured.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you feel like your life right now is at risk?

MARTINE MOISE, HAITI FIRST LADY: Yes. It is. Because I wasn't supposed to be alive.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VAUSE: Welcome back, everyone. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause.

Haiti's first lady has relived in very graphic detail that night, nearly one month ago, when gunmen breached the presidential palace, overwhelmed security forces, and eventually, shot her husband dead in their bedroom.

Martine Moise is sole survivor and the only witness to the assassination, and he spoke exclusively to CNN's Matt Rivers.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When gunmen stormed Haiti's presidential residence and assassinated President Jovenel Moise, just one witness was there when he died.

(on camera): Madam first lady, how are you? Thank you so much.

(voice-over): His wife, Haiti's first lady, Martine Moise. Flanked by private security, she agreed to go on camera for the first time with her side of a story that's left her shaken.

(on camera): You have armed security here at this interview. We've been asked, and agreed, not to disclose the location of where we're talking right now. You are, obviously, at least, thinking about threats to your life. Do you feel like your life right now is at risk?

MOISE: Yes. It is. Because I wasn't supposed to be alive.

RIVERS (voice-over): In a long conversation that switched between Haitian creole and English, Moise described, in vivid detail, what happened the night her husband was killed.

"It was around 1 a.m.," she says, "when the shooting started. It wasn't something small. It was the sounds of automatic weapons."

Bullet holes still pockmark the compound. At the time, she and her husband, hid in their bedroom. But just minutes later, she says the door burst open. Gunfire ripped through the air, and at first, only she was hit. Face down and bleeding, she thinks about a dozen men ransacked the

room, looking for something specific.

"They came to find something, because I heard them saying, 'That's not it, that's not it. There it is,' which means they found what they were looking for."

She doesn't know what they found, but after they did, an attacker approached her husband, at this point, still alive and unhurt, and got on the phone.

She says, "That person called someone and described what my husband looked like, saying he was tall, skinny, and black. Maybe the person on the phone confirmed to the shooter that was him, and they shot him on the floor."

The president was dead, and the attackers left soon after. Moise believes they thought she was dead, too. Critically wounded, she lifted herself up.

(on camera): When you stood up, and you saw that he was dead, did you say anything to him?

MOISE (through translator): In my heart, I said something I used to tell him when he was alive. We are married, for better or worse, and even beyond the grave.

RIVERS (voice-over): Her left side bleeding and her right arm shredded by gunfire, she's eventually let out of the house by police and comes to a quick conclusion. The dozens of security guards normally on hand to protect the president either let the attackers in, or they abandoned their posts.

"There's no other explanation," she says. "You're there to protect the president, and the president is dead, and you are nowhere to be found," adding she was amazed apparently not a single guard was injured. Moise believes it's part of a much larger conspiracy.

(on camera): At your husband's funeral, you said, quote, "The raptors are still out there, watching and laughing at us." What did you mean by that?

MOISE: Yes, they are. Because no one is being arrested yet. The people that they arrest, these are the people that pulled the trigger. They won't pull the trigger with no others. So what we do need is the people that paid for that, and the people that gave the order.

RIVERS: And you think that that person, or persons, has not yet been arrested?

MOISE: No. No.

RIVERS: The official investigation has led to the arrest of more than 40 suspects but has still not provided a motive for the president's killing or identified a mastermind behind it all. That has left a vacuum Haiti flooded with theories about who killed the president who, at the time of his death, was an embattled, largely unpopular leader. Even still, for his widow, this was an unimaginable ending.

MOISE: I never thought that the level of hate ever existed in the country.

RIVERS (on camera): You never thought this could happen?

MOISE: No.

RIVERS: Because your husband did have a lot of enemies.

MOISE: He did. But I didn't know that they hated that much, to kill him.

RIVERS: You know, we asked Martine Moise, are you confident in the investigation that is ongoing on the island right now? And she basically said, no. And she specifically said that she wants U.S. investigators, already involved in this investigation, to continue, even ramp up their participation.

She also is specifically calling for the U.N. to create a special investigative tribunal to investigate the assassination of her husband, much like they did back in the mid-2000s, after the assassination of Lebanon's prime minister.

Basically, what she's saying there is that she does not trust this investigation, unless foreign investigators are involved. Because, if they're not, she doesn't feel the truth will ever truly be found out.

Matt Rivers, CNN, Miami.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: Still to come, fighting a massive wildfire, one bucket of water at a time. The most futile efforts to save homes in southern Turkey, with many saying they've been left abandoned by the government.

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VAUSE: Lebanese authorities have been accused of obstructing justice with victims of last year's deadly port blast in Beirut. Amnesty International says officials are being shielded from scrutiny. What is now the 2nd attempt to investigate how hundreds of tons of ammonium nitrate were left in the port, unattended, for six years.

Those chemicals finally exploded. More than 200 were killed, thousands hurt, large areas of the Lebanese capital destroyed.

The incoming prime minister has chosen not to form a new government, until after the anniversary of the blast, which is this Wednesday.

The Turkish government is under scrutiny, as firefighters worked to contain a firefighters, on the country's southern coast. At least seven fires are still burning out of more than 100, which began last week. Villagers in one resort town have been carrying buckets of water up

the hill to fight the fires themselves, saying the government has not sent enough resources.

The government's spokesman rejected that, saying the people will be compensated for their losses. Making matters worse is the heat wave in the south of Europe, pushing temperatures to near record levels.

CNN meteorologist Pedram Javaheri joins us now for more on that. And if you thought it was hot now, it's going to get a lot hotter soon.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: This high pressure, John. We're going on six consecutive days where the heat has been near historic values, as you noted. And it's really not going anywhere anytime soon. Potentially over the next week, we'll see these temperatures surge upwards, again. So maybe you see a brief cooldown, and yet another warm-up in advance of this, and temperatures running some 10 degrees above average across portions of eastern Europe, including parts of southwestern Turkey, where we have welfare activity in place.

Now, massive ocean -- Michael, if we can advance the graphics here, we will show you exactly what you're dealing with, because we know the scenes coming out of areas around Blunt (ph), which is in southwestern Turkey, all the way along the coast there towards places such as Antalya, an area there very popular for tourists destinations. Seeing, really, the brunt of what is happening here.

It has been very much hot. But also, the winds have been gusty. So wildfire activity has flourished, and as I always say, fires, always, always, Mother Nature will get the upper hand. If it's windy, and if it's dry. And unfortunately, this is the dry season. Very little to no rainfall expected, climatologically, when you go into latter July, into early August.

And if you look at the thermal signature of some of the fire activity across portions of Turkey in particular, upwards of 112 fires, just going back to the 28th, which was a couple of days ago.

So again, an incredible area of coverage here for wildfire activity, and guess what? This area of Turkey and into much of really eastern Turkey, especially, among the driest in all of Europe. So this is going to be a very dangerous go (ph) for the next several days here if dry wind persists -- John.

VAUSE: Thanks Pedram. Pedram Javaheri there from the CNN weather center. Thank you.

And thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause. Please stay with us. WORLD SPORT starts after a very short break, and I'll be back at the top of the hour. CNN.

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