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Sudanese Troops Detain Officials, Dissolve Government In Coup; Whistleblower Speaks To U.K. Lawmakers About Online Safety; Australia Pledges Net-Zero Emissions By 2050; Brazil Senators to Vote on Recommending Charges for Bolsonaro; Fuel Shortage Wreaks Havoc in Beleaguered Port-au-Prince; Japan's Former Princess Mako Weds Fiance Amid Controversy. Aired 12-12:45a ET

Aired October 26, 2021 - 00:00   ET



JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone, I'm John Vause. Ahead on CNN NEWSROOM, Sudan's military responds with deadly force after thousands take to the streets protesting the overthrow of the civilian led interim government.

The best of the bad. While Facebook comes under fire in the U.S. in most other countries, new details have revealed it's like the wild west with measures to control harmful content almost nonexistent.

And Australia already ranked last on climate action by the U.N. announces net zero carbon emissions by 2050. But true to form, it's a day late and a dollar short.

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Center, this is CNN NEWSROOM with John Vause.

VAUSE: Sudan's military has declared a state of emergency after seizing power detaining civilian leaders and in the process, dashing hopes of a peaceful transition to democratic rule.

In the Capitol and beyond, thousands have taken to the streets opposed to the coup. At least three people have reportedly been shot dead, at least 80 others wounded with allegations soldiers opened fire on protesters.

Under a power sharing arrangement agree to after the ousting of the longtime dictator Omar al-Bashir two years ago, the military was just weeks away from handing control of the country's transitional authority to civilian leaders.

At this hour, the location and the health of the interim Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok remains unknown. Notably, the information ministry says he remains the legitimate transitional authority in the country.

We get details now from CNN's Nima Elbagir.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Sudan once again forced to a crossroads. One month after a failed coup attempt, the military arrested Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok on Monday, along with other civilian members of the transitional government, bearing all the hallmarks of military takeover, a coup.

Since the toppling of long serving ruler Omar al-Bashir in 2019, military and civilian groups have been sharing power in the North East African nation, intending to lead eventually to democratic elections in 2023.

The transition has seen Sudan emerge from international isolation under Bashir's nearly three-decade rule. That democratic experiment now hangs in the balance.

Via a televised address, the head of Sudan's armed forces, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who was also the head of the transitional Sovereign Council announced that the military has dissolved the government and declared a state of emergency.

GEN. ABDEL FATTAH AL-BURHAN, SUDANESE MILITARY LEADER (through translator): We stress here that the Armed Forces intend to complete the democratic transition until the country's leadership is handed over to an elected civilian government.

ELBAGIR: Prime Minister Hamdok's home appeared to be surrounded by armed forces on Monday.

According to the information ministry, apparently still loyal to the country's erstwhile civilian rulers. Hamdok was told to release a statement in support of the takeover, but instead called on the people to take to the streets in protest.

Tens of thousands demonstrated in Khartoum, burning tires and barricading roads. One eyewitness told CNN three key bridges had been blocked by protesters in the Capitol and the crowd could be heard chanting, the people are stronger and going back is impossible.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): What the military is doing now is a big betrayal to all the citizens on all levels. Now it is important that every individual Sudanese citizen acts and takes to the streets to not let any armed vehicle move.

ELBAGIR: Military Forces stormed Sudan's state broadcaster in the city of Omdurman and detained staff according to the information ministry, which also said live bullets were fired at protesters outside Sudan's army general command.

The Sudanese Professionals Association in part responsible for the 2019 uprising issued a call to action, saying "We urge the masses to go out on the streets and occupy them, close all roads with barricades, stage a general labor strike and not to cooperate with the putschists and use civil disobedience to confront them."

[00:05:12] ELBAGIR: Flights from Khartoum International Airport have been

suspended, and the Internet and the mobile phone network have been severely disrupted.

Sudan has been in the midst of a deep economic crisis marked by record high inflation and shortages of basic goods.

The United States Embassy in Khartoum issued a statement saying it was gravely concerned, saying "We call on all actors who are disrupting Sudan's transition to stand down and allow the civilian led transitional government to continue its important work to achieve the goals of the revolution."

Nima Elbagir, CNN, London


VAUSE: -- Sudan, is now a nonresident Senior Fellow with the Atlantic Council's Africa Center. Welcome to the show, good to have you with us.


VAUSE: OK, so in the hours after the coup, de U.N. special representative in Khartoum despite the situation in the capital like this. Here he is.


VOLKER PERTHES, U.N. SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR SUDAN: If I look out of the window, and indeed it is getting dark, we still have barricades burning and we have -- we can hear occasional gun shots. So, of course there is a risk that there would be more violence or more clashes when night falls. And there would be very, very little means for us to have any influence on that.


VAUSE: In the hours since, you know, the unrest and the protests have only grown in number as well as location. So, did the military miscalculate here the level of support for the civilian government? Or do they not care what it is? I mean, how do you see the level of support which currently exists for the civilian led government and what the military may do if these protests continue? How violent could this get?

HUDSON: Well, I think with respect to the military's calculations, they walked into the situation with eyes wide open, there was a million-person march, just three days ago, demanding civilian rule in the country. Following on the heels of that, the U.S. Special Envoy to the Horn of Africa came into Khartoum, spent three days of intensive meetings with the military leadership and civilian leadership, basically warning them of all the assistance that would be cut off from the United States and the international community if they couldn't resolve the tensions that existed. And if the military chose the path that has taken.

So, it went in knowing full well what the consequences would be if they chose this path of confrontation and military coup, they did it anyway. I think presumably calculating that they could withstand the external pressure, and frankly, even the internal pressure.

But I think that's the real crux of the problem right now, we have seen what were once peaceful protests take to the streets with a growing level of anger and frustration, calling for civil disobedience, we haven't seen that before.

In Sudan, we've seen peaceful protests, but not a kind of civil disobedience, setting up of roadblocks and really confronting the military.

And so now, as the U.N. special representative have said, as night falls in Sudan, I think there's a heightened fear that these protests could turn violent as the military begins to fan out across the city and secure very strategic targets around the Capitol Khartoum.

VAUSE: Well, I want you to listen to the man who staged the coup who is now calling for unity and calm, here he is.


AL-BURHAN (through translator): Let's all work starting today up until the general elections in July 2023 to improve people's lives and ensure their safety and security, as well as creating the suitable environment for political parties in order to reach the specified date for elections while they will be more prepared.


VAUSE: So, would you expect the military to remain in control? And what are the chances those elections scheduled for two years from now will actually take place?

HUDSON: Well, certainly the military's plan is to maintain control until those elections. The General announced elections a year before they're supposed to be held right now.

But let's remember, Sudan has absolutely no history of free and fair elections or any kind of democratic transition. They were under military dictatorship for the last 30 years.

So, the idea that the military is now going to usher in free and fair elections is really farcical. I think what the military is trying to do right now is position itself as the defenders of the revolution, as the defenders of the ideals of the revolution in Sudan and trying to blame civilian politicians for the lack of progress in this -- in this transition and the growing frustration among the Sudanese people.

But I think the reality is that the military has been playing a very coy (PH) game of kind of death by a thousand cuts, blocking and slow rolling elements of forward momentum in this transition to create a crisis of its own making. [00:10:04]

VAUSE: In the last few years, the civilian led government has struggled with political instability, the economy has been in trouble as rising unemployment, rising prices for basic goods. But how much of these problems if you like, have been created by the military as a pretext to, you know, take control or to seize power?

HUDSON: Well, no, I mean, I think the civilian government has inherited these problems from the previous military government. I think this current military government that has just seized power has been stymying efforts by the Civilian cabinet to try to reform the economy.

Let's remember that 80 percent of this economy is still controlled by the military. And so, when we -- when we blame civilian authorities for not moving quickly enough, or effectively enough to transform Sudan's economy, we have to really question who controls the levers of power behind the scenes of Sudan's economy?

It's certainly not the civilians, yes, they can -- they can adhere to World Bank and IMF requirements and take modest economic reforms. But when such a large portion of the -- of the economy of the country is still going to military ends, it's really hard to place blame on civilians for their inability to reform an economy that they don't fundamentally control.

VAUSE: Yes, that's a good point to finish on. Cameron, thank you so much. Cameron Hudson there, former chief of staff for the U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan. We appreciate you being with us, Sir. Thank you.

HUDSON: Thanks.

VAUSE: Facebook has come under relentless criticism in the U.S. in recent weeks, fueled by thousands of leaked internal documents, and damning revelations from whistleblower Frances Haugen. The social media giant knew the harmful impact it has on teenage girls, body image and suicide, and knew that spreading hate and anger was undermining the fabric of democracy.

And lawmakers in Britain heard directly from Frances Haugen, as bad as Facebook seems in the U.S., almost everywhere else, it's even worse where there's less effort, less investment to control harmful content.

Here's CNN Nick Paton Walsh.


FRANCES HAUGEN, FORMER PRODUCT MANAGER, FACEBOOK: Unquestionably it's making hate worse.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Familiar words looking for a new, angrier audience. Frances Haugen Facebook whistleblower hoping she can influence or speed new laws aimed by the U.K. Parliament here to above all protect children online. HAUGEN: 10 to 15 percent of 10-year-olds are on the platform. Facebook can make a huge dent on this if they wanted to. And they don't because they know that young users are the future of the platform. And the earlier they get them, the more likely they'll get them hooked.

WALSH: Demands for action in Britain when many blame social media for more divisive politics, perturbed by the damage Instagram has reportedly done to teenagers.

HAUGEN: When kids describe their usage of Instagram, they have -- Facebook's own research describes it as an addict's narrative. The kids say, this makes me unhappy, I feel like I don't have the ability to control my usage of it. And I feel that if I left I'd be ostracized.

I am deeply worried that it may not be possible to make Instagram safe for a 14-year-old and I sincerely doubt it's possible to make it safe for a 10-year-old.

I am incredibly excited and proud of the U.K. for taking such a world leading stance with regard to thinking about regulating social platforms. I can't imagine Mark isn't paying attention to what you're doing.

WALSH: CEO Mark Zuckerberg, his wife on his Instagram here perhaps hopes to sail on to calmer waters with his new reported metaverse project and rumored rebrand.

Facebook told CNN, yes, we're a business and we make profits. But the idea that we do so at the expense of people's safety or wellbeing, misunderstands where our own commercial interests lie.

Protesters promised a 13-foot Mark Zuckerberg outside U.K. Parliament today, but instead we've got this. He's barely even the size of me, which raises really the question after months of a persistent opposition drumbeat against Facebook, are they becoming the giant in society? Or is it still him?

Still, it is extraordinary to hear how spell out what she says the platform does routinely.

HAUGEN: The algorithms take people who have very mainstream interests and they push them towards extreme interests. You can be someone center left and you'll be pushed to radical left. You can be center right, you're you'll be pushed to radical right. You're going to be looking for healthy recipes, you'll get pushed to anorexia content.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You might be interested to know that you're trending on Twitter. So, people are listening.

WALSH: Whether that changes anything will depend on the tide here changing itself.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, London.

(END VIDEO CLIP) VAUSE: Joining us now from Washington is Adrienne LaFrance, the executive editor at The Atlantic. Her latest piece on Facebook is titled History Will Not Judge Us Kindly. Welcome to the show, good to have you with us.



VAUSE: OK, so when it comes to moderating hate and harmful content, Facebook in the U.S. seems to be the priority compared to everywhere else around the world. I want you to listen to Frances Haugen appearing before lawmakers in Britain, here she is.


HAUGEN: I'm deeply concerned about their underinvestment in non- English languages, and how they mislead the public that they are supporting them.

So, Facebook says things like we support 50 languages, when in reality, most of those languages get a tiny fraction of the safety systems that English gets.


VAUSE: Haugen went on to say that safety at Facebook is seen purely as a cost issue. But beyond that, can the decision to allow harmful content to essentially run free on platforms outside the U.S. be tied to Facebook strategy to expand the business by seeking growth in the number of users internationally?

LAFRANCE: Well, and you know, what I've learned through these documents, and certainly through conversations with people at Facebook now and former Facebook employees is that there's this real pressure on everyone there to sort of have growth be the primary decision- making function above all. So, growth matters most, and sort of any harm mitigation comes second.

And so, there's this sort of direct tension between doing what could help keep people safer and doing what could help Facebook grow.

VAUSE: Well, part of CNN's reporting found that of the 1.8 billion daily active Facebook users, more than 70 percent are outside North America and Europe. And internal documents from Facebook also indicate the company has in many cases, failed to adequately scale up staff will add local language resources to protect people in these places. And that will be places like Ethiopia.

Again, I want you to listen to the whistleblower Frances Haugen. Here she is.


HAUGEN: The core part of why I came forward was I looked at the consequences of choices Facebook was making. And I looked at things like the global south. And I believe situations like Ethiopia are just part of the opening chapters of a novel that is going to be horrific to read.


VAUSE: And again, from CNN's reporting that includes armed groups in Ethiopia using the platform to incite violence against ethnic minorities in the context of civil war.

If that's just the opening chapter, how much worse does this get?

LAFRANCE: Well, I mean, I think we have good evidence that Facebook is a force working against democratic society, it sounds dramatic, because it is.

And in terms of sort of how the United States in particular compares with the rest of the world. There's this really strong sense that comes through these documents that shows that America really has the best version of Facebook. And if you're in America, and you know what that's like, you know that that's not a good thing.

VAUSE: And we look at what's happening in the United States too with the insurrection. Back in January, there was a direct connection between everything that was happening in Facebook and everything that was happening on Capitol Hill.

LAFRANCE: Absolutely. I mean, you saw the President of the United States use Facebook and other social platforms, but certainly primarily Facebook to incite violence and it worked. And you saw that the people who are charged with committing crimes that day were also using Facebook to organize their activities.

And so, you know, I read through the indictments that have come out since January 6th, and you can just see over and over again, Facebook is just woven throughout the stories of that day. It's really intertwined in a striking way.

VAUSE: And Mark Zuckerberg, at least when it comes to internationally and you know, spreading hate and promoting hate I guess and anger online can't really plead ignorance because he apologized back in 2018. He said Facebook had been used to stoke hate during a genocide of the minority Rohingya Muslim population. He admitted it. He said they need to do better, he apologized to the activists.

So, when he comes on to say stuff like this, like he said on Monday, listen to this.


MARK ZUCKERBERG, CEO, FACEBOOK: Good faith criticism helps us get better. But my view is that what we are seeing is a coordinated effort to selectively use leaked documents to paint a false picture of our company.

The reality is that we have an open culture where we encourage discussion and research about our work so we can make progress on many complex issues that are not specific to just us.


VAUSE: How can that statement be taken seriously?

LAFRANCE: Well, I mean, it'd be easy to point out the contradictions, right? Like, touting an open culture while criticizing the open and free press.

But, you know, obviously, Facebook is feeling a lot of pressure these days because the public is finally getting a look at what this company is really like and so, in some, I think it's probably a net good for society that the public can see the workings of this company but there's still so much for us to understand and, you know, any sort of entity or institution or powerful figure who attacks the free press, you always have to ask questions about why.

VAUSE: Absolutely. Adrienne, thank you so much for being with us. Adrienne LaFrance, executive editor at The Atlantic.

LAFRANCE: Thank you.

VAUSE: Well, still ahead, Australia's conservative government finally signs on to net zero emissions by 2050. But won't budge on more ambitious short-term reductions, details in a moment.


VAUSE: Also ahead, as lawmakers consider criminal charges for Brazil's president, the sum of the relatives of the hundreds of thousands who have died during the pandemic, that will be too little too late.


VAUSE: Five days now to the COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow, Scotland, and a new U.N. report finds mitigation efforts are falling dramatically short to avoid disaster.

The World Meteorological Organization's Greenhouse Gas Bulletin finds carbon dioxide levels are in the highest they've been in three million years. The pandemic caused a temporary decline in new emissions but had no impact on the concentration of carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere.


PETTERI TAALAS, SECRETARY-GENERAL, WORLD METEOROLOGICAL ORGANIZATION: And last time, when we saw such high concentrations of carbon dioxide, it was around three to five million years from now. And then they there was an estimate that the temperatures were two to four degrees higher than today. And the sea level was 20 -- 10 to 20 meters higher than today.

So, this is demonstrating that already this current level of carbon carbon dioxide is too high.


VAUSE: A number of key world leaders will be no shows at the COP26 summit that includes Xi Jinping of China, the world's biggest carbon emitter.

(INAUDIBLE) called the Glasgow meeting the last real chance to make meaningful commitments to those promises made at the Paris Climate Accord. But there's concern about how much meaningful progress this summit can make without the so many world leaders not turning up.


BORIS JOHNSON, U.K. PRIME MINISTER: It's going to be very, very tough, this summit, and I'm very worried because it might go -- it might go wrong. And we might not get the agreements that we need. And its touch and go. It's very, very difficult, but I think it can be done.


VAUSE: Australia has finally signed on to net zero emissions by 2050 but Prime Minister Scott Morrison says Australia won't be lectured by others who don't understand the country, whatever that means.

CNN's Angus Watson live this hour for us in Sydney.

OK, it's a good thing, you know, limiting net zero emissions by 2050, good thing. But it's about 15 years too short. And there's no word on budging from those (INAUDIBLE) in 2015 at the Paris Accord for those short-term reductions in climate emissions -- carbon emissions, I should say, which are crucial right now.

ANGUS WATSON, CNN PRODUCER (on camera): That's right, John. Australia has been criticized around the world as somewhat of a climate laggard. Australia is on the front lines of climate change. As we know, we had those devastating fires in summer of 2019 2020, the coral reef has been bleached by rising sea temperatures.

And yet, Australia remains one of the largest exporters of fossil fuels, tens of billions of dollars go into subsidizing this industry and go into exporting it around the world.


WATSON: Of course, those Paris targets don't include scope three emissions, they're the emissions that are made by the export of your product further down the production line.

But Australia has now come to the party after over 120 countries already have pledged net zero emissions by 2050, the Prime Minister announcing that today here's some of what he had to say.


SCOTT MORRISON, AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: We know we can't let the changes that are happening around the world just happen to Australia. We know we can't pretend it's not happening. Our plan is a fair plan. It's a practical plan. It's a responsible plan. Our plan for net zero by 2050 is the plan that I believe Australians want because it gets it right.


WATSON: So, as you mentioned there, John, what this plan doesn't include is an increase on what Australia has promised that will do by 2030. Australia has pledged that will reduce emissions by 26 to 28 percent on 2005 levels, the government says that it's confident that it can get to 35 percent reduction on those levels by 2030.

But it hasn't set up how it's going to do so in terms of cutting actual emissions from the actual burning of fossil fuels here in Australia, the actual digging up and researching of new mine sites to exploit.

So, the government here really has been criticized for coming up with too little too late. We know at COP26, one of the status ambition -- stated ambitions is ending the use of coal.

Well, John, as Australia has moved towards this pledge of 2050 -- net zero emissions by 2050, sorry, it's just opened up a plan to open up three new coal mines, John.

VAUSE: What we have learned in the last 24 hours is that the commitments made at the Paris Climate Accord in 2015 are not enough to prevent the planet from warming more than 1.5 degrees.

If we can -- we stick to those commitments made in Paris, we're heading towards three degrees, which is a disaster. Is there any acknowledgement there in Australia that essentially the goalposts have changed, promises made six years ago are not good enough today, that what they finally agreed to, after all this time, is just simply not enough?

WATSON: There's certainly been a political shift, as you mentioned, the Conservative Party, the liberal national coalition government in power now is the ones who have pushed this forward.

Just not so long ago, John, now is saying that 2050 -- net zero emissions by 2050 was not a good plan, that it would ruin traditional industries like agriculture and coal mining, that has really shifted after much criticism of the government here at home.

We will see whether that's enough to assuage some of that criticism, it may not be enough John, to tackle the climate change emergency that we're faced with right now.

VAUSE: Thank you. Angus Watson for us live in Sydney, appreciate that.

We'll take a short break with more on the ongoing situation in Haiti hospitals running out of fuel putting patients' lives at risk. Healthcare workers now fear of being kidnapped on their way to work.


VAUSE: I'm John Vause.


Well, a second COVID booster shot is getting the greenlight in Europe. The E.U.'s drug regulator said Monday that a third dose of Moderna's vaccine can be given to anyone 18 or older, at least six months after the second dose.

The agency already approved Pfizer's booster shot earlier this month.

The news guidance comes amid rising COVID cases in parts of Europe, and as colder weather sends more people indoors.

Brazilian lawmakers will vote Tuesday on criminal charges against President Jair Bolsonaro for his failed response to the COVID pandemic. A Senate investigation found his mismanagement of the crisis led to hundreds of thousands of deaths from COVID, but for those who lost loved ones to the virus, any justice that comes may be too little, too late.

Here's CNN Isa Soares.


ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Time, they say, heals all wounds. Almost two years since Marseil (ph) lost his 25-year-old son Hugo (ph) to COVID-19, this is immeasurable pain of grief and loss continues to bring him to his knees.

His son, one soul in a sea of more than 600,000 lives lost in Brazil.


GRAPHIC: When I tell my son's story, when I share my pain which is so tough, I do it to save lives.

SOARES: Marseil's (ph) indignation has pushed him to seek accountability and justice.


GRAPHIC: I think we deserve an apology. We deserve an apology from the highest authority in the state.

SOARES: His testimony to Brazil's parliamentary commission inquiry into the Brazilian government's COVID-19 response, one of many harrowing and emotional witness statements from the families of COVID victims.


GRAPHIC: I did something that today I know I shouldn't have done, but a desperate father doesn't measure the consequences.

SOARES: With Marseil (ph) recounting the last time he saw his son, a dance teacher, alive. MARSEIL (ph): (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

GRAPHIC: I went to the ICU. I opened the door and I kept signaling to him, "Hugo, Hugo, your dad is here. Don't worry, your dad is here."

SOARES: But Hugo, who Marseil (ph) says had no underlying health conditions, lost his battle to the virus after being in the ICU for weeks.


GRAPHIC: When the president decides not to wear a mask, when he says he won't be vaccinated, he's causing Brazilians deaths. This denialism has killed many Brazilians.

SOARES: A parliamentary commission has blamed President Jair Bolsonaro directly, recommending he be charged with crimes against humanity, as well as other charges for reckless leadership.

The explosive report says Bolsonaro was guided by an unfounded belief in the theory of herd immunity by natural infection. Bolsonaro has dismissed the parliamentary report as politically motivated and having, quote, "no credibility."


GRAPHIC: We know that we are guilty of absolutely nothing. We know that we did the right thing from the first moment.

SOARES: Tell that to 20-year-old Jovana (ph) --


GRAPHIC: It was a 14-day difference between my Dad and my Mom.

SOARES: -- who lost both her parents to COVID-19.


GRAPHIC: When my parents died, we didn't just lose our parents, we lost a life, a life full of happiness.

SOARES: Now an orphan, she's become a mother to an 11-year-old sister. A tragedy she blames on the Bolsonaro government.


GRAPHIC: In some ways there was bad management, so yes, I also blame the government.

SOARES: Still, the president says he's not to blame and continues to refused to be vaccinated.

To the victims' families, it feels like rubbing salt in their already deep wounds. An unimaginable grief that even time can't heal.

Isa Soares, CNN.


VAUSE: Doctors Without Borders has warned a fuel shortage in Haiti is seriously affecting the healthcare system. After that, the risk of kidnapping causing a shortage of medical staff.

CNN's Matt Rivers reports now from Port-au-Prince.



MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Spot protests across Port-au-Prince, burning tires below sending black smoke into the sky. The country is in crisis once again, in part fueled by a lack of fuel.

A crushing shortage of gasoline has crippled the capital city. Here, taxi drivers are protesting, arguing with police outside of a gas station with no gas.

"We don't have a government," this man says. "If we don't demand change, who will."

Tires set on fire and debris thrown into the street are desperate attempts to cause enough chaos that the governor tries to fix the problem. But it won't be easy. Not only is the government so broke it often can't buy enough fuel, but when some arrives, it can't get delivered.

The vast majority of fuel is imported at these two locations, but gangs in Port-au-Prince are so powerful they have near complete control over this crucial stretch of highway, which means they control the flow of fuel into the capital.

A gas retailer, identity hidden due to security concerns, told us what happens if you try and drive a tanker truck in to pick up fuel.

(on camera): So, I might get kidnapped.


RIVERS: I might get shot.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. If you don't stop.

RIVERS: I might get killed.


RIVERS: Or at the very least, I'm going to have to pay an exorbitant bribe to get past.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, of course.

RIVERS (voice-over): Haiti's government and law enforcement are either unwilling or unable to secure a flow of fuel from the ports.

(on camera): But not having enough fuel doesn't just mean you can't use your motorbike. Consider this: here in Port-au-Prince, the electricity grid is not reliable.

So let's say you own a small store, and you sell cold drinks. In order to keep that refrigerator running, you need to use a generator. And of the fuel going into that generator is way more expensive than it was before, that means you need to charge your customers more for those cold drinks.

Not having enough fuel makes all kinds of things more expensive, and that's brutal in a country already dealing with so much poverty.

Because you don't have gasoline, do you think that that is risking the lives of some of your patients, because they can't get the treatment that they need?


RIVERS (voice-over): Kedner Pierre runs Haiti's largest cancer treatment center at Innovating Health International. He showed us this x-ray machine, like other equipment here, sitting idle, because there's not enough gas to run the facility's generator full-time.

In another darkened room nearby, we use our phone's flashlight to see a bank of refrigerators, with medicine for chemotherapy, all turned off.

(on camera): So you put ice in there to keep this cold, because you can't -- You don't have enough gas --

PIERRE: No. I don't have enough gas.

RIVERS: -- to run a generator to keep these refrigerators on.

(voice-over): This clinic is still treating patients, something that is barely happening inside the empty hallways of Hospital de la Paix. Normally packed with patients, just a few are inside now. Most days, only a handful of doctors make it to work, either because there's no gas, or because they fear being kidnapped by gangs.

Ketia Asteil's (ph) son almost died during an asthma attack overnight. She says, "The doctor was using his flashlight on his phone to put my son on oxygen, because there is no electricity. It's so bad, I almost lost him."

(on camera): Normally, all of those cribs would be filled with sick kids, but the hospital is turning away nearly every single patient that comes here, because right now, there's simply not enough doctors, nurses or electricity to take care of them. That means that one of Haiti's largest hospitals is essentially not functioning.

(voice-over): "The doctors are trying," she says, "but they cannot do anything. They have no help. Only God can help at this point." Perhaps God and gasoline.

Matt Rivers, CNN, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.


VAUSE: When we come back here on CNN, how one wedding has divided a nation. We're live in Japan. And the controversy surrounding the wedding of former Princess Mako.



VAUSE: It sounds like an old-fashioned romance novel. She was royalty, a princess who gave it all up to marry the love of her life who was a commoner.

In Japan, former Princess Mako has married her college sweetheart, and so doing, has given up the royal life and her title, as well as a one- time million-dollar payment.

The ceremony, by most reports, was a very muted affair.

CNN's Blake Essig is covering this live from Tokyo. OK, not quite the Disney moment that you would expect this to be, especially when the public in Japan are concerned. There's sort of a lot of division over how the public feels about this marriage.

BLAKE ESSIG, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you know, John. Very much. So the now former Princess Mako and her new husband, Kei Komuro, a commoner, have been waiting for this day for about four years.

But as you said, this was not the lavish fairytale wedding that you might have expected. Instead, the couple registered their marriage earlier this morning around 10 a.m., and that's it.

A big reason for the scaled-back affair has a lot to do with the intense public scrutiny that's taken its toll on the couple. In fact, the now former princess recently disclosed that she suffers from complex post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of her marriage being picked apart for years.

Now, since the engagement was announced in 2017, their relationship has been met with scandal, public disapproval, and media scrutiny. The most recent scandal took place at the end of last month, when Komuro arrived in Japan with a ponytail. The tabloids ran photos of his hair, while people took to social media and told us on the streets of Tokyo that he wasn't suitable to be the spouse of an imperial daughter. Take a listen.


KEI KOBUTA, WEDDING PROTESTOR (through translator): The royal family is a symbol of Japan. There are an integral part of Japan's history. They are revered, and that's why I don't want them to bring in someone from the outside that would sully or tarnish their image. This marriage has clearly divided the public.


ESSIG: Originally, the couple, who met in college, had planned to get married in 2018, before the wedding was pushed back. While the imperial household said that the delay was because of a lack of preparation, many suspect it was because of reports that Komuro's mother had failed to pay back $36,000 she borrowed from a former fiance, a situation that led some to believe that Komuro was a gold digger.

Now, despite the disapproval, Mako has gone ahead with the wedding, becoming the ninth woman from the Japanese royal family to marry a commoner since Japanese law was changed at the end of World War II.

And John, under Japanese law, members of the royal household must give up their titles and leave the palace if they marry a commoner. And that's what's happened here.

They plan to head to New York following the wedding.

VAUSE: OK, Blake. I guess you're there live for us in Tokyo. Thanks for the update. More on this, of course, in the next hour. Appreciate it.

Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause. Please stay with us. WORLD SPORT is up after a very short break, and then I hope to see you again at the top of the hour. You're watching CNN.