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CNN 10

Political Instability Swirls in South Africa; Human Trafficking in Some Haitian Orphanages; New Technology Opens Doors for Dog-Like Robots

Aired February 14, 2018 - 04:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Happy Valentine`s Day. It`s lovely to have you watching this February 14th. I`m Carl Azuz for CNN 10.

Today`s first story takes us to South Africa. There have been some big question mark hanging over the nation`s government, primarily what will

happen to President Jacob Zuma. The 75-year-old became leader of the parliamentary republic after his political party won elections in 2009.

But that party, the African National Congress, has demanded that President Zuma resign, and on Tuesday, he refused to go.

Since he took power, Zuma`s government has been involved in a number of scandals. President Zuma himself has been accused hundreds of times of

corruption because of a weapons deal dating back to the 1990s. He denies all of the accusations and he`s remained in power despite several attempts

from opposition political parties to remove him. But in recent years, his African National Congress party has been losing support in South Africa,

and in December, it chose another politician to lead it.

A party official said yesterday that President Zuma had agreed to step down as president but he wanted to stay for several more months to oversee the

transition to a new government. The African National Congress said no.

There`s no constitutional requirement for President Zuma to give in to his party`s demand that he leave. South Africa`s parliament can force him out

of power before his term ends next year, but the African National Congress would have to team up with opposition parties in the vote. It`s reluctant

to do that.

President Zuma was expected to give a news conference on Wednesday morning that could answer what happens next.


AZUZ (voice-over): Ten-second trivia.

Which of these countries is located on the island of Hispaniola?

Aruba, Dominica, Haiti or Majorca?

The island of Hispaniola is shared by the Dominican Republic and the nation of Haiti.


AZUZ: A form of human trafficking, illegally taking advantage of people, transporting them or forcing them to work has been uncovered in some of the

orphanages of Haiti.

This is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Its average literacy rate is around 60 percent, less than 40 percent of the population

has electricity and a devastating earthquake that struck the island nation in 2010 let survivors even more vulnerable. Our next report is part of

CNN`s Freedom Project which aims to shed light on and help eradicate modern day slavery.


REPORTER: Twelve-year-old Sondi (ph) celebrates every day of his freedom. He`s a survivor of a little known form of human trafficking that is

widespread in Haiti, trafficking to orphanages.

When I was in the orphanage, the man beat us. My hands were swollen, he says. I didn`t like it there at all.

Sondi`s nightmare began in 2010 when his family lost their home in Haiti`s devastating earthquake. They were still living in a shelter four years

later when his father died. His mother says she was left struggling to provide for Sondi and his two younger brothers.

That`s when a so-called child finder offered free food, shelter, and a better life for her children in an orphanage.

I thought it was a good place, she says. He told me he would put them in school. They were lies.

Sondi and his brothers lived there for two years before it was cited as one of the worst orphanages in the country and shut down by the government

agency that oversees Haiti`s orphanages.

I thought they were living well, she says. And yet, they were living under horrible conditions.

It is common in Haiti for parents who can`t afford to care for their children to place them in institutions. There are an estimated 30,000

children in orphanages in Haiti, and most of them are not actually orphans.

GEORGETTE MULHEIR, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, LUMOS: More than 80 percent of the children in orphanages in Haiti have at least one living parent.

REPORTER: Georgette Mulheir is executive director of Lumos, a non-profit that works alongside the Haitian government to investigate abuse in the

country`s orphanages. She says many of them are trafficking in children.

MULHEIR: Entrepreneurial people have seen an opportunity. They have seen that foreign volunteers and donors love to give to orphanages and love to

volunteer in orphanages. So, they pay people called child finders who go out into the community and essentially put pressure on parents to give them

their children.

REPORTER: The government created an anti-trafficking committee in 2015 to fight human trafficking in Haiti. Committee leaders acknowledge

trafficking to orphanages is a big part of the problem and they rely on support from non-profits like Lumos.

When Sondi`s orphanage was shut down in 2016, Lumos helped reunite the children with their parents. A year later, Mulheir went back to visit the


MULHEIR: So, the first time that we walked into this place last year, it was one of the worst that I`d ever seen. There were 41 children in here

and not one adult. They were emaciated. Many of them were naked.

REPORTER: Mulheir wanted to make sure it was not back in business. She was surprised to find the owner, Jonathas Vernet (ph), still living on the


He invited CNN`s crew in and spoke candidly about the closure of his orphanage. He admitted that he hit the children with a whip. But he says

it was discipline, not abuse.

MULHEIR: This is basically the toilet.

REPORTER: He also agreed the conditions in his orphanage were bad. But he blames American donors who came to visit the children and brought small

amounts of food and water but didn`t offer sustained financial support. He even acknowledged lying to parents, but says it was all part of the game.

JONATHAS VERNET, FORMER ORPHANAGE OWNER: I`m not going to give them sweet talking, sweet talking. OK. Mr. Vernet, my kids going to school? Yes.

My kid will -- yes.

They lied to me, too. I lied too. They lied to me. No father? No. I`m not the mother. She -- it is not my kid. They lied to me, I take them.


VERNET: They lied to me too. I lie to them.

MULHEIR: If you lie to parents in order to bring a child into an orphanage, OK?


MULHEIR: And if you then get some money or help or goods from foreigners, OK, according to international law, and according to Haitian law, that is

trafficking. You have trafficked those children.

VERNET: Yes. I know it`s not something like the way you said.

REPORTER: Vernet doesn`t see it that way at all. And Haiti`s anti- trafficking officials say his response is very common.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Some people don`t even realize that they`re committing a crime. So, we have a vigorous campaign of

awareness to start to change attitudes.

REPORTER: He says the practice is so normalized, oftentimes the traffickers don`t know they`re traffickers. And the victims don`t know

they`re victims.

But Sondi knows that what happened to him was wrong.

When I`m with my mom, I have everything, he says. When I was in the orphanage, I didn`t have anything.

Today, Sondi is back in school. He dreams of a bright future as a school teacher, so he can be a mentor to younger children.



SUBTITLE: A very cordial robot.

This is Boston Dynamics` SpotMini robot.

This one`s outfitted with an extra arm.

The robot is able to find the door handle and use that arm to grab it and pull it, so its friend can join it in the other room.

And while it`s a simple job for most humans, it`s a complex series of steps for a robot but it makes for a pretty creepy doorman.


AZUZ: Every time a woman gives birth in America, there`s a one in 30 chance she`ll have twins. But mathematically speaking, at New Trier High

School in Illinois, the ratio of twins to the student body is one out of 10. There are 44 sets of twins here and one set of triplets. That`s 91

students and the kicker is, they`re all sophomores.

That`s a Guinness World Record. It`s actually two -- one for the most twins and one for the most multiples in the same class.

So, that`s like a twin record. It`s twice as amazing and we`re glad someone realized they could be counted on by twos, of course, to set a pair

of records. The twins like the records are all identical but who knows? Maybe the record will be fraternal.

I`m Carl Azuz and that`s twin out of 10.