Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Newsroom

Sudanese Troops Detain Officials, Dissolve Govt. In Coup; Zuckerberg Responds To Massive Document Leak; Whistleblower Speaks To U.K. Lawmakers About Online Safety; Offtrack in the Fight Against Climate Change; Movie Set Tragedy on "Rust." Aired 2-3a ET

Aired October 26, 2021 - 02:00   ET




ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to have you is joining us from all around the world. You are watching CNN NEWSROOM and I'm Rosemary Church. Just ahead day two of a military takeover in Sudan, which has sparked protests in the streets and global condemnation.

Facebook under fire leaked documents and whistleblower testimony, putting more pressure on the social media company. But Mark Zuckerberg remains defiant as profits soar.

Plus, a not so fairytale wedding. A now former princess who chose love over her crown.

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Center, this is CNN NEWSROOM with Rosemary Church.

CHURCH: Good to have you with us. While a military takeover in Sudan is sparking angry protests on the streets and condemnation from leaders around the world. Sudanese forces on Monday arrested civilian political leaders dissolve the power sharing government and declared a state of emergency. The head of the Armed Forces says that power sharing agreement became a conflict, claiming it was threatening peace and unity. But it's the military moves now fueling fresh outrage.

Thousands have taken to the streets opposed to the coup, three people have reportedly been killed. 80 wounded during protests with one group blaming the military for the shooting. CNN's Nima Elbagir has more.


NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL 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 is 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): The 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 storm Sudan 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. 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.


ELBAGIR: 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.

(END VIDEOTAPE) CHURCH: Joining us now is Jonas Horner. Deputy Director for the Horn

of Africa at the International Crisis Group. Thank you so much for being with us.


CHURCH: Now, you left Sudan just a few days ago, and since then, the military has taken over dissolve. The government declared a state of emergency and detained the Prime Minister and others amid these growing protests. How bad do you fear this situation will get and what more are you learning about and what's happening there on the ground?

HORNER: There is concerned that this can spiral into a much worse and potentially more violent context. I think the primary risk associated with that is a split in the already fairly divided military in Sudan. You know, even during the country's revolution, there were -- there were divisions, there has been a previous coup attempt, just about a month ago already which also showed the divisions in the military.

You know, the split between the streets, you know, that the vast majority of Sudanese, who you're you spoke about in your package, and the military is one side of things. And the reason why the street has been so effective is because they've been structurally nonviolent but, you know, we're different sections of the military to way into this, then you have multiple sides with plenty of weaponry, you know, contesting this in a new and more worrying way.

CHURCH: Right. And Sudan, of course, it has no history of free and fair elections. And we know, the civilian government inherited massive problems from the previous military government. So the military blaming the civilian government for not performing fast enough appears to be a bit rich here. What is going on, as we also learn, apparently, telecommunications are down in Sudan?

HORNER: Yes, well, you know, it's incredibly disingenuous that the military and some of its civilian supporters would seek to instrumentalize calls that the transition government is not performing well enough for it to be viable, and therefore, a state of emergency is justified because, you know, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of the sovereign council, and the head of this coup is ostensibly head of state. So, you know, his criticism of the government is extensively criticism of his self -- himself and others around him.

The military have certainly dragged their feet on an acting key reforms that would have advanced the economy and other aspects of this transition. So, you know, I do find it incredibly disingenuous that that the reasoning -- that the reason giving -- given for this coup is underperformance. And, you know, I must say just briefly, you know, there have been successful elections in Sudan in the past on a couple of occasions.

But on both those occasions, a coup has swept away that civilian-led government and in the end in the 65 years of Sudan's independence in 1956, '52 of the years have been -- have seen military rules. So the military is not used to being out of power, and then they expect to stay in power.

CHURCH: So why did they choose now?

HORNER: There are a couple of reasons for why now. One is that in fact, there were signs of success for the transitional government, to the civilian-led transitional government. You know, Sudan's economy has been in freefall, since well, before Bashir -- Omar al-Bashir was deposed. But, you know, in the last couple of months, inflation has started to drop as a result of the painful reforms that have been enacted.

You've seen the balance of trade in Sudan improve. Sudan has one debt relief for itself in world record time. And I think, you know, the military's calculation that the civilians would fail out on their own because of the litany of obstacles that face the transition. It was started to look shaky. They started to see that there was traction there. And they worried about that. The other aspects include the military is concerned that it might face justice for crimes committed during and after the Bashir era if the civilians came in.

And also worried that they would lose their hold of the economy. The military holds key sectors of the economy and owns some of the largest companies and in the country, and none of that money really makes it to the state coffers. And I guess finally, the military found itself emboldened by key regional actors who are uncomfortable with the prospect of a civilian transition in Sudan.

CHURCH: And the international community warned the military not to do this but it went ahead and did it anyway.


CHURCH: And now there are fears that protests will grow violent. Did the military underestimate the massive support for the civilian government or certainly for democracy? And where do you see this going?

HORNER: I think it is a miscalculation by the military. I think they did not learn their lesson from the original revolution of 2018, '19. You will find as you move around the streets in Khartoum of Sudan more generally, that there's real will and real commitment to this transition to seeing civilians take over to seeing the military back away from their historically prime role in the country.

And, you know, the real worry here regarding violence is just how existential. The question is this for both sides, for the military and for protesters who wants the civilians. As I said, for the military, they're very concerned about being able to maintain power that they've held for so long. And for civilians, you know, this has been the opportunity of their lifetimes to move away from autocracy and move towards a participatory civilian democracy.

CHURCH: Jonas Horner, thank you so much for joining us. Appreciate it.

HORNER: Thanks for having me. CHURCH: Well, Facebook is feeling the heat after a slew of leaked documents were acquired by the press, but CEO Mark Zuckerberg says the documents are being used to paint a false picture of the company. Meantime, whistleblower Frances Haugen testified before British lawmakers, she doubled down on her claims of the damaging effect of Facebook on children and teens. And here's what she said about online safety.


FRANCES HAUGEN, FACEBOOK WHISTLEBLOWER: I think there is a view inside the company that safety is a cost -- a cost center, it's not a growth center which I think is very short term and thinking. Because Facebook's own research has shown that when people have worse integrity experiences on the site they're less likely to retain. I think regulation could actually be good for Facebook's long term success because we force Facebook back into a place where it was more pleasant to be on Facebook.


CHURCH: CNN's Nick Paton Walsh has more now from London.

HAUGEN: Unquestionably is making hate worse.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: 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: Ten to 15 percent of 10-year-olds around the platform. This could 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 addicts narrative that kids say, this makes me unhappy. I feel like I don't have the ability to control my usage of it. And I feel 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 as 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.


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

Protesters 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 giants in society or is it steal him?

Still, it is extraordinary to hear how and 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 push to radical left. You can be center right or you push to radical right. You can be looking for healthy recipes, you'll get pushed 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.


CHURCH: Haugen's testimony also included information alleging Facebook's content safety systems were inadequate in non-English speaking countries.


CHURCH: She says Facebook knew its platform was being used to stir up ethnic violence in Ethiopia and Myanmar, but didn't do anything about it. Take a listen.


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.


CHURCH: And CNN's Larry Madowo joins me now from Nairobi. Good to see you, Larry. So, what has been the impact of Facebook's failure to police content globally, particularly in non-English speaking countries like Ethiopia?

LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ethiopia is especially an interesting one, Rosemary, because Facebook ranks Ethiopia among its top priority to have countries most at risk of ethnic conflict. And yet, these internal documents seen by CNN show that Facebook's moderation efforts were no match for just a flood of inflammatory content on the platform. So one internal document for instance, Rosemary shows that armed groups in Ethiopia were exploiting Facebook to incite violence against ethnic minorities.

And yet the platform was just not doing enough. Another document shows that for instance, Facebook failed to build automated tools, these things they called classifiers to detect hate speech or misinformation. Now, what does that mean in the real world? Ethiopia has been in conflict in the north of the country since November last year. And this is a conflict that's already claimed thousands of lives, displaced hundreds of thousands of people.

And I've been reporting on this conflict for a while. I know how strongly held these positions are. It's an incendiary situation that any widely used platform like Facebook if is misused can be really dangerous. And that's what these documents that Francis Haugen has shared with us and other media outlets show.

CHURCH: All right. Larry Madowo joining us live from Nairobi. Many thanks. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg attempted damage control on Monday after the press got hold of those internal documents over the weekend. He strike a defensive tone on the company's earnings call. Take a listen.


ZUCKERBERG: Good faith criticism helps us get better. But my view is that what we're 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.


CHURCH: Joining me now is Jeff Horwitz. A technology reporter for The Wall Street Journal. Good to have you with us.

JEFF HORWITZ, TECHNOLOGY REPORTER, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Good to have you -- good to be here. Thank you.

CHURCH: And we will certainly get to that defense in just a moment. But I do want to start with the allegations. Because there's new evidence highlighting Facebook's role in the January 6 insurrection after those leaked internal documents revealed what the company knew and what it tried to hide actions that allowed democracy to come under attack, as we saw in the U.S. and showing Facebook knew its platforms were used to spread extremism, incite violence, fuel, human trafficking and militias in parts of the world putting profit before safety.

How damning is all of this for Facebook do you think? Can it survive this?

HORWITZ: Oh, Facebook can definitely survive this. They had earnings today and they made a ton of money. They're doing great as a business. That's never been a question. And whether or not people like them as a company or a corporate entity doesn't really seem to be that much of a concern at the moment.

CHURCH: So -- well, let's look then at Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's defiant defense Monday saying this was a coordinated effort to selectively use leaked documents to paint a false picture of our company. Let's look at your reaction to that sort of defense because it's a little tone deaf, isn't it?

HORWITZ: I guess I can say that having some exposure to how these documents came together and what material Miss Haugen gathered, it does not look cherry picked. They're selective. In fact, it looks pretty comprehensive from my point of view. We've been writing about these things for a couple of months now. And there's no question that the company is very aware that its own systems do promote extremism.

And do as she notes suggest people head toward more radical alternatives to wherever they were before. So this isn't -- this isn't something that is kind of a misperception. This is the company's own researchers doing the work that they've been asked to do and finding this stuff very clearly.

CHURCH: Right. And when whistleblower Frances Haugen appeared before the British Parliament on Monday.


CHURCH: She said Facebook was making hate even worse. So what needs to happen next to regulate and control Facebook? Because Zuckerberg won't even admit there's a problem and governments can't seem to keep up or even understand what Facebook is doing here. So what is the solution?

HORWITZ: Right. So Facebook actually said they believe they should be regulated more. Now, I think that is, in some ways, that's -- that perhaps governments around the world will not figure out how to do so well which has certainly been the case today. I think one of the things that Frances and I spent a lot of time talking about was how the public debate about this company had gone off track.

And how, you know, thoughts about sort of a straight anti-trust solution, or let's repeal laws, protecting companies, platforms for litigation, for things people post, that kind of the silver bullets were perhaps a bit overdone and that what needed to happen instead of immediate solutions was people actually learning about what Facebook had researched and what it had found and understanding the mechanics of the platform.

And maybe just taking a bit of a breath, and then thinking through what type of social media we actually want to have.

CHURCH: Yes. I mean, a lot of the problem was we listened to some of the questions in Congress. And clearly, I mean, the older generation have no clue what this is about. So according to these leaked documents, Facebook ignored warnings from its own employees, putting profit above safety. Is this the company's biggest crisis? Because at this point, there are a lot of people who now know what Facebook is doing, who is saying, I'm not going to continue using it.

HORWITZ: I think the company -- the company's work and really introspection into even trying to understand some of these issues, and what its societal effects are really only stems back to 2017. And honestly, got really underway in 2018. So it's a pretty small group of people who have had experience during this work, and who understand sort of where things that fit the company might have gone off the rails.

And I think it's -- one of the things that's really exciting right now is that in addition to a lot of people talking about the work product that Frances Haugen brought out of the company, as you're actually seeing a lot of employees talking. And I think there is perhaps an opportunity for people to pursue a simpler form of social media and one that perhaps has fewer bells and whistles but doesn't have quite as many of the drawbacks.

CHURCH: Yes. Of course, Facebook, also owning Instagram and WhatsApp but it does limit people's other options, doesn't it? Jeff Horwitz, many thanks for joining us. We appreciate it. HORWITZ: Thank you.

CHURCH: Well, Wall Street is brushing off concerns about Facebook. The Dow and S&P 500 both closed at record highs on Monday. The Dow ended the day slightly up and is now within striking distance of cracking 36,000 for the first time. The Wall Street's excitement about the future of electric vehicles gave a landmark boost to Tesla. The carmaker became the sixth company in U.S. history to be valued at $1 trillion.

Shares has jumped about 13 percent Monday on news of a record order of 100,000 vehicles for the Hertz car rental fleet and Morgan Stanley analysts upgraded Tesla's price target.

An event meant to bring people together has instead divided a country. Japan's former Princess Mako and her new husband address the controversies. That's next.



CHURCH: Well, Japan's former princess and her new husband have addressed the world together for the first time as a married couple. The two tied the knot just a few hours ago in a subdued ceremony and held a press event about 90 minutes ago. They both apologize for any trouble their marriage might have caused while profusely thanking their supporters. Mako's marriage to commoner meant she had to give up her royal status.

And CNNs Blake Essig is covering this live for us from Tokyo. Good to see you. So, Blake, it was a difficult situation for the princess or former Princess we should say and very awkward press conference really. Talked to us about how all of this played out and why so many people went after the man that she wanted to marry? BLAKE ESSIG, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. Rosemary, look. Now -- the now former Princess Mako and her husband, Kei Komuro, a commoner had been waiting for this day for about four years but this was not the lavish fairy tale royal wedding that you might have expected. And a big reason for that scaled back a fair has a lot to do with the public's intense scrutiny that's taken its toll on the couple.

In fact, the now former Princess recently was 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. Originally of a couple who met in college, had planned to get married back in 2018 before the wedding was pushed back.

And while the Imperial Household says that the delay was because of a lack of preparation. Many suspect that it was because of reports that Komuro's mother failed to pay back $36,000 that she borrowed from a former fiance. Now that situation led to some -- to think that Komuro was a bit of a gold digger. Now, instead of the extravagant affair, the couple's simply registered their marriage earlier this morning around 10:00 local time of before holding a brief press event in the afternoon to publicly express their love for each other.

I thank the public for their support and address the public backlash to their marriage. Take a listen.


MAKO KOMURO, FORMER JAPANESE PRINCESS (through translator): I apologize for any burden I might have caused because of this marriage. Kei is an irreplaceable existence to me. To us marriage means to protect our hearts, it was a valuable decision for us.


ESSIG: During the press event, the former princess and her new husband didn't take any direct questions. Instead, they delivered a brief statement and then released pre-prepared responses to a handful of questions that were submitted in advance by the Imperial press corps. Now the reason that the event was held this way was to protect the former princess from any further anxiety as a result of the media scrutiny that she'd been experiencing for the past several years.

And despite the disapproval of from some, Mako has gone ahead with the wedding. And as you mentioned earlier, Rosemary, under Japanese law members of the royal household must give up their titles and leave the palace if they marry a commoner. Following the wedding, Mako will retreat from the spotlight and forego more than a million dollars as a payment which is entitled to the party royals, trading the palace for a normal life in New York City with her husband who works at a law firm. Rosemary?

CHURCH: I certainly wish them the best. Blake Essig joining us live from Tokyo. Many thanks, Time for a short break. Still to come a stark warning from the U.N. about carbon dioxide in the atmosphere days ahead of a world climate summit. Plus, an ambitious new pledge from Australia. How it plans to get to net zero emissions by 2050. We're live in Sydney after the short break. Stay with us.




CHURCH: We are just five days away from the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland. And a new U.N. report and said, we are wildly offtrack in the fight against climate change. The World Meteorological Organization's greenhouse gas bulletin finds levels of carbon dioxide in the environment of a highest in 3 million years. The last time it was this high was well before modern humans walked the earth.

Well, a number of key world leaders are skipping the COP26 summit, including Xi Jinping of China, the world's biggest carbon emitter. Activist call the Glasgow meeting the last real chance to flush out commitments made in the Paris Climate Accords. But there's concern about how much meaningful progress the summit can make.


BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: It would be very, very tough, this summit. And I'm very worried because it might go wrong. And we might not get the agreements we need and it's touch and go. It is very, very difficult, but I think it can be done.


CHURCH: Well, Australia has announced a pledge to net-zero emissions by 2050. It comes amid pressure from international allies, Australian state leaders and the business community. But Prime Minister Scott Morrison has not announced any new commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions beyond Australia's current targets.

CNN's Angus Watson joins us now live from Sydney.

Good to see you, Angus.

So, while Australia did commit to this net-zero emissions by 2050, and that is great, it stopped short of more ambitious 2030 target. What is the latest on this and why wouldn't have it pushed for that?

ANGUS WATSON, CNN PRODUCER: Well, Rosemary, as we know, Australia is on the front line of climate change. You know, we remember those horrible fires that Australia had in the southern hemisphere, summer of 2019, 2020. The Great Barrier Reef bleached by rising sea temperatures. And yet, Australia has been criticized around the world for being slow to act on climate change.

This pledged to be net-zero on emissions by 2050 actually comes after over 120 countries have already come so. It's ahead of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow. That will largely focus on a more ambitious targets for 2030 though, short-term and climate change targets which need to be met if we are going to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.


Australia says it will meet its 2030 target of 28 percent emissions reduction on 2,005 levels, but that's far lower than some other countries have pledged. The U.K. has pledged to be around double that. And one reasons why Australia has so much trouble with that is because it is one of the world's largest energy exporters. It is the 2nd largest exporter of coal. And speaking on Tuesday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that those jobs in the coal industry, in particular, keeps won't be threatened by this new pledge. Take a listen.


SCOTT MORRISON, AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: Australians want action on climate change. They are taking action on climate change. But they also want to protect their jobs and their livelihoods. They also want to keep the cost of living down. And they also want to protect the Australian way of life, especially in rural and regional areas.


WATSON: Another concern that a lot of people have watching on this statement earlier is it is not legislated. These ambitions will not be enshrined in law. And Australia has said that it will look to new technologies as opposed to taxes or limits on fossil fuel production to get us to the 2020, 2050 reductions target.

Now, some of those technologies, like carbon soil sequestration, like green hydrogen as a storage opportunity for green energy, they are not yet proven, Rosemary.

CHURCH: All right. Angus Watson bringing us up on the situation, joining us live from Sydney, many thanks.

Well, traveling new details are emerging about a filmmaker who handed Alec Baldwin the gun used in a deadly accidental shooting onset. Ahead why that crew member was fired from a previous job.


CHURCH: Well, more details are emerging about the accidental fatal shooting on a film set where actor Alec Baldwin unknowingly fired a live around, killing crew member Halyna Hutchins. CNN's Stephanie Elam reports from Santa Fe, New Mexico.


STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN (voiceover): A new red flag from the "Rust" set. The assistant director who gave Alec Baldwin the gun before that fatal shooting had been fired for a gun safety issues before. A newly- released affidavit says Baldwin was handed from the weapon from a cart by Assistant Director Dave Halls who did not know there were live rounds in the gun. CNN has now learned Halls has been the subject of safety and behavior complaints during two different 2019 productions and was fired from a previous movie after a gun incident.


DUTCH MERRICK, PROP MASTER FOR FILM AND TELEVISION: The ultimate arbiter of safety on a film set is the first A.D., the first assistant director. They know that they can inspect the gun but they can't go take the gun.

ELAM (voiceover): A prop maker on a 2019 film said Halls neglected to hold safety meetings or announced the presence of firearms on set. On the "Rust" set Alec Baldwin thought he was firing a cold gun during rehearsal. Director Joel Souza told investigators Baldwin was sitting on a wooden pew, cross drawing his weapon and pointing the revolver toward the camera lens when he heard what sounded like a whip and then a loud pop, according to the search warrant affidavit. Souza was shot in the shoulder and Hutchins was killed.

STEVE WOLF, THEATRICAL FIREARMS SAFETY EXPERT: The first thing that was wrong is that they used a gun that was capable of having live ammo put in it.

ELAM (voiceover): On the "Rust" set, there were concerns the armorer or a person responsible for prop weapons, was 24-year-old Hannah Gutierrez. On a podcast last month, Gutierrez said she had recently finished her first job as head armorer on the film titled "The Old Way" with Nicholas Cage and that her father and industry (INAUDIBLE) had been teaching her about guns since she was 16.

HANNAH GUTIERREZ, ARMORER: I was really nervous about it at first and I almost didn't want to take the job because I wasn't sure if I was ready doing it, but it went really smoothly.

ELAM (voiceover): A crew member on the set of "Rust," Serge Svetnoy, calls out the armorer's level of experience and made claims of the producer's cost-cutting in a public Facebook post writing, there is no way a 24-year-old woman can be a professional with armory. To save a dime sometimes, you hire people who are not fully qualified for the complicated and dangerous job.

And the "Los Angeles Times" reports there were accidental prop gun discharges on the "Rust" set before Thursday's shooting. On October 16th, Baldwin's stunt double fired two rounds after being told the gun was cold, witnesses said. No charges have been filed, but as the producer on the film, Baldwin may have some civil liability.

WOLF: There are two views on that. One would be that, you know, an actor's job is just to act and they rely on the people around them to make things safe. And the other point of view is that if you have a firearm in your hand, you are responsible for what happens with that firearm.


ELAM (on camera): Neither highly Halls nor Gutierrez responded to CNN's requests for comments about these allegations. However, the production company behind "Rust" says that they are wrapping production for now. They are calling a pause rather than an end. While they are also cooperating with the investigation here, they say they are conducting their own investigation into their safety protocols.

Stephanie Elam, CNN, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

CHURCH: Well, art collectors around the world have paid top dollar to own some of Andy Warhol's original works. And now, one New York-based art collector is selling a piece worth $20,000 for just 250 bucks. The piece is named Ferries, but there's a catch. The artwork is being offered at random, mixed in a stack of 999 high quality forgeries. The group says it is pulling this stunt to make valuable art accessible to regular people and also to poke fun at an industry more interested in the authenticity of an artwork or who created it than the art itself. Good point.

Thanks so much for joining us. I'm Rosemary Church. World Sport is up next. And I will be back in 15 minutes with more news from all around the world. You're watching CNN. Do stick around.