tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN October 17, 2021 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
hello again. thank you so much for joining me this sunday. i'm fredricka witfield. the mass kidnapping in haiti, an ohio based christian aid group has confirmed 16 americans and one canadian have been taken hostage, made up of 12 adults and five children. the group was taken hostage traveling to a small village visiting an orphanage north of haiti's capital city. "the washington post" reported one of the victims posted a call for help on whatsapp, as the group was being taken by armed gang members. cnn cannot independently verify the authenticity of this message or the report at this time. kidnappings have surged throughout this year in haiti and the numbers have spiked nearly 300% since july. at least 628 kidnappings have
taken place since january according to a human rights group based in port-au-prince. a haitian transportation union has now called for an indefinite strike tomorrow in protest of the spike in kidnappings in haiti. cnn's kylie at wood joining me now from the state department. what steps are u.s. officials able to take? >> the state department says they are aware of these reports, but that's all that the spokesperson here at the department is saying right now. we haven't heard anything from the white house with regard to these reports, but, of course, significant that now this christian aid organization based in ohio is confirming the details, saying that there were 16 americans, one canadian, who were kidnapped in haiti while they were going to an orphanage. they were there, of course, for mercenary work. some of these folks that were kidnapped were children. five of them according to what this christian aid organization is putting out.
all eyes on the state department, on the biden administration, for what they are going to say next. we should note, fred, that the travel advisory for americans with regard to haiti when you look up if you should travel to a country or not, has said do not travel for more than a year now. and they specifically have cited kidnappings happening in the country. we have seen those kidnappings on the rise as you noted, particularly in the last few months, but this has been a problem in the country for more than a year now. >> yeah. it's extraordinary. kylie atwood, thank you so much for that. let's talk about this and the circumstances in port-au-prince or in haiti as a whole. father enzo dellbrocko who spent six years working as a missionary in haiti is joining us right now. so good to see you. >> hello, how are you? >> i'm doing okay. how do you see this latest kidnapping? >> well, let me put it this way, as it was just said, this has been going on now for a while
it's been going on, and obviously it gives a lot of concern, but if the president is assassinated and like just a few days ago also the former archbishop was assaulted, i mean, who is not vulnerable at this point in the country. it gives a lot of concern because those who paid the consequences are the poor and honest people and that really is a big concern. it was mentioned, for example, that strike is going to happen and you can imagine the impact, for example, that this will have on hospitals and clinics, especially with the pandemic going on. >> last hour i spoke with a human rights advocate in haiti, and he painted just a horribly dire situation that police, you can't call police, because the gangs are the ones who have the
upper hand in these kidnapping situations and family members are left to negotiate directly with the gang members and not even engage police or count on the haitian government. i mean, how can this possibly be resolved when the picture has been painted as such? i mean, what's the way out here? >> well, i think that the only way out is through international collaboration that i think is really necessary because haiti, obviously, cannot do it on its own. sometimes it says, you know, that a country has to step up to its own problems, but we have to go a little bit to go back into history and if haiti is in this situation, it's not just their fault. these are consequences that they're still paying of decisions that have been made in history.
with the lack of security again, there has to be some kind of international collaboration to help them out of the situation because at the end of the day, like i said before, those who pay the consequences are the poor people. the kidnappings are not just affecting americans or anyone of any kind of the richest. people of ordinary life and day, they are kidnapped. i mean, we're talking about now this last group, but just last week, you know, women and men who just travel on public transportation, are being kidnapped and so many times raped and the police, unfortunately, are not able to face this whole situation because the gangs are more powerful. it is a matter of fact. they control a lot of situations and places in the country. you pass in front of certain police stations they look like swiss cheese for how many bullets have been shot against these places.
so the people are left on their own. with such a situation, can you imagine even how they're able to live an ordinary and normal life. >> right. >> even if you, for example, have fields and crops and want to go to the market to sell them you don't feel safe to go. how do you feel safe to send your children to school, when you have to bring someone to the hospital or even if the hospital has to go to, you know, to get someone, i mean, the ambulances are attacked. >> oh, my goodness. where are the rays of hope? i'm not hearing any potential rays of hope in what you're describing either. >> well, the rays of hope, i think, comes from the people. i've been for six years in haiti and i can say that is passed the most beautiful years of my life there. what i learned by the ordinary people. i think that we have to make a distinction between the gangs, those who probably can give solutions and in this cases the leadership and the ordinary
people, and this is where i think the international community has to step in to help. >> how do you see them being able to do that? yes, the haitian people are beautiful people and they are in great need especially when you have just hardships from earthquakes, you know, to the destruction of land and vegetation and the infrastructure lacking and the infrastructure of government and then now you have gang activity, but then how can the international community intervene and assist all these beautiful haitian people who want to have some quality of life in their country? >> well, i think that there are ways that the international community i think if they want, they can step in and help, and it's not about taking over a country. that's not about it. that's not the solution. and sometimes probably like
dialog and sitting at the same table and accompanying and not just, for example, sending aid, the earthquake and the hurricane, a lot of help has been sent down but infrastructure, so probably one of the ways to help this country is through infrastructure and giving security. because without security, who will start any kind of business? without security, how can you have school going on? without security, how can you just survive? so the country needs help in building up its own security system but a president has been assassinated. we still don't know who was behind it. we still don't know. can't the international community intervene and help out and find a solution? how and why a president was
assassinated? >> yeah. it's a dire situation. father enzo dell brocko, we will remain hopeful as you remain hopeful. thank you so much. appreciate it. >> thank you so much, fredricka. thank you. former president bill clinton now headed home after being released from a hospital in california today. he has spent five nights there being treated for a urinary tract infection that spread to his blood stream. cnn's natasha chen joining me from orange, california. what more are you learning ability his departure and his journey back east? >> reporter: well, fred, he is on his way home to new york, and this morning, just after about 8:00 local time, we saw him walk through the sliding doors behind us. this is the uc irvine medical center where he stayed for five nights and that's because of that urinary tract infection that you mentioned. it required iv antibiotics. that's why he stayed here so
long. he was arm and arm with his wife, secretary hillary clinton. she first gave us a wave across the street and we saw them pose with medical staff thanking the doctors and when a reporter on this side shouted "how do you feel?" he gave a thumb's up, walked slowly to his vehicle, but he did walk out of that hospital. the chair of the medicine department and executive director released a statement which clinton's spokesperson shared on twitter that says his fever and white blood cell count are normalized and he will return home to finish his course of antibiotics. on behalf of everyone at uc irvine, we were honored to have treated him and keep in mind his progress. this is the designated hospital that is able to provide the level and type of service that secret service would require of the person they're protecting for this region. it's a level one trauma center here so that is why he came here when he started to feel unwell
last tuesday as he and secretary clinton were here for a private event for their foundation. fred? >> all right. double thumb's up. natasha chen, thank you so much. all right. on the covid front the number of americans getting their covid-19 vaccines continues to steadily increase. the food and drug administration has authorized a second dose of the johnson & johnson covid vaccine, but the director of the national institutes of health says don't rush out the door for your booster just yet. >> you know, if the mrna vaccines from pfizer and moderna had not been so utterly amazingly effective, 95%, then johnson & johnson would look like a hero with their one dose, but i guess our standards are being set awfully high here by the other vaccines. there was data that suggested if you are going to get a booster for j&j, maybe getting a moderna or a pfizer booster would actually have some advantages in
terms of giving you an even stronger immune response. so don't run out anybody who got j&j. i'm -- i would wait another week right now and see what cdc's advisory committee does with this next week. by maybe a week from today i'll tell my grandkids what i think they ought today. >> we'll be waiting. they are still making a full-court press trying to convince those who are hesitant to get vaccinated. nadya romero has more. >> unanimous vote. >> reporter: vaccine advisors of the fda recommending a booster dose of the vaccine. >> it's a big issue, not the boosters for people already vaccinated, in terms of controlling the entire pandemic, it's really the unvaccinated people, the 70 million americans who don't -- haven't gotten vaccinated need to get vaccinated. >> reporter: in chicago, friday marked the deadline for all city workers to get vaccinated or be
put on unpaid leave. the police union says the city is overstepping and likely up to half of the police force is unvaccinated. >> they have an obligation to worry about public safety not someone's health status. >> reporter: combatting fears of a police shortage mayor lori lightfoot says all officers were to report to work this weekend. >> lots of time when you place deadlines, sworn or civilian, people do it at the last minute and we're seeing increases. we'll release the information as soon as we have it. likely some time on monday. >> reporter: colleen and her family live in decatur georgia, part of the atlanta area home to numerous health care professionals who work at nearby emory university and centers for disease control. it is the own school district in the state of georgia to mandate vaccines for all district employees. >> i think we're lucky. we have a lot of scientists and a lot of people who believe in science and vaccines and understand that this is how we protect our community here in
decatur and so we're fortunate to be here because if i was elsewhere in the state i would be very, very worried about my kids being back in school. >> reporter: dr. kelly is an epidemiologist at emory who worked on the covid-19 vaccine and pushing back against anyone who challenges the vaccine's efficacy. >> i think it's absolutely the right move. we have known historically that vaccine mandates worked to increase uptick of vaccination. many are mandated to enter schools. there's no reason why this one should be any different we know more about this vaccine, its safety profile, its efficacy profile than we have known about any other vaccine in history. >> reporter: nadya romero, cnn, atlanta. still to come, you may recall the case of 25-year-old ahmed ar bri, the young black man was killed while jogging in a small south georgia town last year. tomorrow the three men charged in his death will go on trial. an update next. enjoy it even if you're sensitive to dairy.
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jury selection is set to begin in the trial of the three men accused of killing ahmad arbery. a young black man unarmed and jogging was chased down and killed in february of last year. it happened in brunswick, georgia, when two white men in a pick-up truck chased him down and shot him. gregory mcmichael and his son travis face nine counts each, including felony murder charges and aggravated assault, a third man who recorded the incident on video is also charged with murder. they have all pleaded not guilty. now turning to alabama where authorities have confirmed the identity of a body found inside a police van. cnn affiliate waff reporting 29-year-old christina nance was seen on surveillance video getting into the unlocked van parked in a huntsville, alabama,
police department lot on september 25th. it was a prisoner transport van that does not allow a person to get out once they are in. well she wasn't found until 12 days later when an officer noticed her shoes outside the van. a benefit concert for the gabby petito foundation is being held today not far from her family's long island, new york, home. she was killed while on a cross-country trip with her boyfriend brian laundrie. the coroner ruled her cause of death to be strangulation. laundrie himself has been missing after returning home last month. cnn's jean casarez is following the latest for us right now, so jean, what was this concert all about? >> it's going on right now and this is actually the first benefit for the gabby petito foundation. this gabby petito's community, long island new york, where
she's from. there are many people in there and they are supporting her, they're supporting justice. they want to see justice in this case. there are many people that knew gabby and i spoke with someone that said let me tell you about gabby, she is warm, real, kind to everyone and she always wants to look for the best in people. now i've spoken to a lot of people that are here today also that did not know gabby, but they can relate to her. take a listen. why did you want to be here today? >> i wanted to come obviously support gabby's family, the long island community. i personally was in an abusive relationship so it hit home for me. i didn't know gabby personally, but she was a young, beautiful girl, her whole life ahead of her and i just wanted to come and support her family and the foundation and, you know, hope that something positive can come from this.
>> reporter: now gabby's parents have actually been in wyoming all week and her father tweeted something while they have been there, we want to show everyone. he writes, i now know why you came here. #gabbypetito. has a beautiful view from now on. love you and miss you. that is jenny lake in wyoming. now when we look at this, the investigation is continuing. they have been focused on that nature reserve in florida and ironically, today, the first day of a benefit for the gabby petito foundation, is also one month exactly one month that brian laundrie's family went to the authorities saying we can't find our son. fred? >> all right. jean casarez, thank you so much. all right. tomorrow is a big day for the former president donald trump. he is scheduled to have a videotaped deposition na lawsuit
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now to the subpoena showdown on capitol hill. the committee investigating the january 6 insurrection you is planning on voting on charges against steve bannon refusing to supply with a subpoena from the committee. he claims he can't testify or provide documents because former president trump is covered by executive privilege, but legal experts experts dispute that claim. some committee members are not ruling out rather the possibility of also subpoenaing
trump to testify. >> if we subpoena all of a sudden the former president, we know that's going to become kind of a circus so that's not something we necessarily want to do up front. if he has pieces of information we need we will. >> one thing we are uniform on democrats and republicans on the select committee, no one is off the table. we will go where we need to go to get the evidence with we need to present to the american people and write a definitive report of the terror of that day and what we need to do to protects the country going forward and one of the biggest black boxes in terms of the unknowns is donald trump's role. >> and that is not the only possible testimony trump is facing. the former president is scheduled to give a video deposition tomorrow in new york. it centers on a case involving an alleged assault during a 2015 demonstration outside of trump tower. the lawsuit alleges trump's then head of security keith schiller hit one of the protesters who
was demonstrating against trump's immigration rhetoric. let's bring in cara accidental. what can you tell us? >> this is the first time the former president is going to be forced to answer questions under oath since he's left office. this all relates to a lawsuit from 2015 when a group of men were demonstrating outside of trump tower against some of the then candidate rhetoric. accusers say trump's head of security assaulted them because they were carrying these signs that he was pushing away from the trump tower building. tomorrow morning around 10:00 a.m., the former president will sit for this deposition, and he will be -- it will be fair game to ask him questions about what kind of role and responsibility he had in his security official's response that day. the former president has previously denied any knowledge of the incident and said that he had deferred and delegated all security responsibility to his
chief operating officer matthew calamari. this means that the plaintiff's lawyer in this case might be able to ask the former president questions about calamari and even some of his compensation and that is also the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation. it's also possible because the plaintiff's lawyers are suing for punitive damages, that they can question former president trump about his net worth and his finances. all questions that the public has really wanted to know and wanted some information on since trump ran for office and was the president. you know, as i said he has previously denied wrongdoing and will face these questions tomorrow in a video deposition. fred? >> cara, thanks so much. the man behind the controversial trump russia dossier is speaking out for the first time since the document was released in 2017. former british intelligence officer christopher steele breaking his silence about the dossier in a new abc news documentary. the infamous document included 35 pages of intelligence memos
that painted a picture of do collusion between the trump campaign and the russian government. the ex-spy is standing by one of the claims in the unverifieded dossier that russia has a compromising video of trump in a hotel room with prostituted which was reported by buzzfeed news. >> today, do you still believe that tape exists? >> i think it probably does but i wouldn't put 100% certainty on it. >> how do you explain if that tape does, indeed, exist, it hasn't been released? >> it hasn't needed to be released. >> why not? >> because i think the russians felt they got pretty good value out of donald trump when he was president of the u.s. >> in january 2017 cnn reported top intelligence officials then presented president trump with claims from the dossier. there is no evidences the tape exists and trump has denied the alleged incident. we'll go to london next where british police continue to question a 25-year-old man they
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the fatal attack, the second in five years against a member of parlment, has heightened security concerns for all lawmakers. cnn's nadya bashir is covering these developments for us. what do we know about the suspect and the motivation here? >> fredricka, the investigation into this incident is still ongoing, but police as you mentioned have confirmed this is being treated as a terrorist incident. a 25-year-old british national believed to be of somali heritage, identified by a source as ali harbi ali has been arrested on suspicion of murder. according to the police early evidence as part of this investigation suggests that the motivation for this attack may have been linked to extremist islamist ideology. we know that individual has been arrested and police say that there is -- they don't think that another individual is connected to this incident, but there have been some real concerns as to how something like this could have happened. now sir david amess was killed,
stabbed multiple times, while carrying out a constituency surgery, a sort of open forum or open office hours if you like with his local constituents. he was stabbed multiple times at this very public setting. there are some serious concerns here. we were at leigh-on-sea just outside the church where he was attacked and we spoke to local residents yesterday, and they told us that they were seriously shocked by the incident, that sir david amess was a cornerstone of the community and many were coming to leave flowers and messages of condolences at the police cordon line. in the last few hours, we have now heard from sir david's family. i can read you a little bit of their emotional statement released today. this is not the end of sir david amess, mp. it is the next chapter. as a family we ask everyone to support the many charities he worked with. strong and courageous as an appropriate way to describe david. he was a patriot and a man of
peace. we ask people to set aside their differences and show kindness and love to all. this is the only way forward. set aside hatred and work towards togetherness. that's the statement from sir david's family released just a few short hours ago. but as we mentioned, there are real concerns over the safety of lawmakers. we saw prime minister boris johnson and homeland security secretary priti patel go to the scene leaving a wreath of flowers at the scene, and they have expressed the fact that a review needs to be done into the security of lawmakers. this incident comes just five years after the murder of jo cox, a labor member of parliament, who was stabbed just as she was about to prepare to host that open office hours for her constituents. she was killed by a far right extremist. so there are real concerns here and real questions for the government as to what is being done to ensures the safety and protection of british lawmakers. fredricka.
>> nadya bashir, thank you so much. all right. now to spain where a lava tsunami is captured on camera. breathtaking video showing lava pouring from the volcano on la palma island. the erumgss started last month with molten love va flowing ever since more than 6,000 people have been evacuated and the fiery lava has covered thousands of acres of agricultural land and spain's prime minister says the volcano eruption is showing no signs of slowing down. it's extraordinary. funny man jon stewart sat down with jake tapper for an eye-opening conversation today. nos surprise the two talked the state of american politics. still to come, hear why stewart insists focusing too much on trump is a mistake. this programming note, an all new "this is life with lisa ling" premiers tonight taking a
closer look at conspiracy theories and the impact of social media. here's a preview. >> whether we're old on young, we can probably remember a time in our lives when something we thought was true was exposed as a lie. >> peace will be necessary for final success. we will do this because our own security is at stake. >> let me just say this, i have never obstructed justice. >> we did not, repeat, did not trade weapons or anything else for hostages. >> the erosion of trust took its toll. by the end of the 20th century studies showed over 50% of americans believed in at least one conspiracy theory. >> catch the new episode tonight at 10:00 p.m. right here on cnn.
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all right. late night icon and former host of "the daily show" jon stewart is back with a show on apple tv plus called the problem with jon stewart. the comedian stepped out of the spotlight in 2015 after a 17-year run hosting on comedy central. stewart appeared on cnn's "state of the union" and discussed his concerns over the future of american democracy. listen. >> i think we make a mistake focusing this all on donald trump as though he's, i don't know, mag nieto and some incredible super villain that has changed the very nature and
temperature of the united states, like he's just been an effective vessel, but again, like, he's not singing new songs. this is something -- he maybe is singing them a little better than goldwater, but i think it's a mistake to focus it all on this one individual and innot t focus it more on the idea that power is its own reward, whether it be in the financial industry or in government, like power doesn't crede itself. unless we can figure out a better way to balance that power for, you know, for workers and voters and different groups, we'll be vulnerable. you know, i don't know that autocracy is purely the domain
of donald trump. i think that we all have a bit of a tendency to be like, to grant amnesty to people that are doing things that we would prefer, even if that means that they're slightly undemocratic. there's many times i think to myself, just do an executive order, for god's sakes! just get it done! i think our focus on this one individuals comes at the price of systems and dynamics that have been in place long before this cat ever learned how to surf those waves. >> i think that what's going on is it turns out and we've learned a lot of this in recent decades, but especially maybe the last four or five years because donald trump was so disruptive and so willing to challenge norms, we've learned that a lot of the american system is built on the honor system, and that only works, of course, if you care about or
even have a sense of honor. i know that the -- that you're not so much concerned about an autocracy taking root as you are in the minority party figuring out how to rule, despite the fact that they do not enjoy majority support. >> well, i think there's always been the danger that a minority of voices would have a majority of power. in a lot of ways, that's baked into the way that system was created and enacted. and i don't -- i just think in general, coming up with remedies to that have proven to be really difficult because the larger issues, you know, is we've elevated money and corporate power to this one level, we've diminished sort of pure democratic power to another level, and we're wildly out of
balance. that's an awfully oprah-esque way of putting the threat to the republic, but i just -- jake, we're irregular. i think we're irregular right now. we need democratic of course. >> i'm a human being. i try to maintain a certain level of optimism, which i do, i think. but, yeah, when you can see a train coming at you this far away, yeah, you keep thinking is anybody going to -- are we going to -- are we putting the thing up or with we just going to let it hit, that's going to be the end of it? but, boy, power doesn't ever cede itself. and it's a difficult thing to
balance. >> all right, that was jon stewart with our jake tapper. all right in, this week's "mission ahead," it's an electric aircraft that takes off like a helicopter but flies like a plane. here's a look behind how the company envisions air transportation. >> so i think what travel is going to look like in the future is one that's increasingly multimodal. it's really about putting people in the right vehicle for the trip that they want to take. ♪ >> it may not look like your typical helicopter or plane, but out here in the middle of the desert, this california-based company says it's on the brink of making electric aircraft reality. electric vertical takeoff and landing, meaning the aircraft can take off and land like a helicopter but also fly like a plane. >> this aircraft does everything that a helicopter does with none
of the downsides. so it's significantly safer, significantly faster, and significantly quieter than the helicopters that are out there today, something that can be a brand-new mode of transportation that's used by folks every day. >> they say it can travel up to 150 miles on a single charge at a max speed of 200 miles per hour, while other electric vehicles today aim to be autonomous, they will allow space for four passengers and one pilot. >> new york's famous skyline -- >> flying to get places faster and skip the traffic isn't a new concept. but they think their vehicles will improve upon traditional helicopter. there is less maintenance and an electric battery reduces energy costs and noise pollution. >> really bring that to three
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la niña is back for the second winter in a row, and it's very concerning for many western states. cnn meteorologist jean norman joining us now. jean, good to see you. what does this mean for weather here in the u.s.? >> good to join you as well. it's not good for the folks out in the west. a quick reminder that we've been tracking the temperatures in the equator and the pacific for decades. sometimes they get warmer than normal, that's el niño, and they get cooler than normal, that's la niña. while we've been able to observe it recently scientists let us know when it's going to kick in. and the la niña that is beginning will likely through the winter, and that meant bad dry conditions in the western united states. one of the things that happens even though the temperatures are
warming the pacific is there's a shift in our jet stream. we see a dip in the eastern part of the united states and a rise out west. and that's where we see perhaps rain in the pacific northwest, rain in the great lakes. but notice a lot of the country the southwest remains dry and warm, and that's the last thing that the drought-stricken states that you see highlighted in red here need to hear. 92% of the west is under a drought. 58% of that exceptional or extreme drought conditions. and reservoirs in california, let's say, are only about 10 to 20% capacity. so they definitely need some rain. in the short term from, let's say october through december we're expecting warm conditions to continue for a good part of the country. and as far as that rainfall again, fred, confined mainly to the pacific northwest and areas like the great lakes. >> bring some of that rain and spread it around. all right, jean norman, thank you so much. and thank you for joining me this sunday. i'm fredricka whitfield.
the "cnn newsroom" continues with jim acosta right now. you are live in the "cnn newsroom." i'm jim acosta in washington. and we're following several top stories, including congress ready to hold steve bannon in contempt. the former trump adviser defied his subpoena from the committee investigating january 6th. will that decision send him to jail? there is a key vote this week. plus, former president bill clinton on the mend and out of the hospital. details of his very nearly week-long battle against an infection, and an urgent situation in haiti. 16 americans and one canadian kidnapped by gang members during a missionary trip. we'll go live to the state department. i want to begin with the subpoena showdown for testimony and documents to the january 6th committee. it's a pivotal week in the investigation as the committee will meet tuesday to move forward in holding steve bannon