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CNN 10

Haitian and U.S. Officials Push for Release of 17 Kidnapped Americans; Rare Sight Appears Near Australia; New Railway Connects China and Laos. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired October 21, 2021 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Thanks for taking 10 for CNN 10. I`m your host Carl Azuz. It`s good to see you this Thursday. Somewhere just east of the

capital of Haiti, 17 American missionaries are being held hostage. The Christian aid workers were kidnapped six days ago by a Haitian gang, and

it`s demanded $1 million in ransom for each of them, a total of $17 million for their release.

The Americans range in age from eight months to 48 years old. They were working with a charity organization called Christian Aid Ministries. It

says their efforts included helping school children, distributing Bibles, providing medicine to clinics, giving food to the hungry and teaching

Haitian pastors.

The missionaries were also helping in a rebuilding project for people who lost their homes in an earthquake that struck Haiti in August. Conditions

there were deteriorating before that. The nation`s president was assassinated in July. Throughout the summer, gang violence and crime spread

across the capital of Port-au-Prince. Prices of goods have increased tremendously.

The electricity often goes out. There are shortages of food and gasoline, and corruption is widespread throughout Haiti, the poorest country in the

Western Hemisphere. Kidnappings have been on the rise. Hundreds of abductions have been reported since the beginning of this year, including

that of five priests and two nuns who were taken in the same area six months ago.

They were later freed on ransom. Experts say strengthening gangs, an understaffed and overwhelmed security force and corruption involving police

and politicians are all factors in Haiti`s rise in crime. Christian Aid Ministries is asking people to pray for the missionaries` safety and

release, as well as for the Haitian and American authorities helping in the process. Paying ransoms has brought a number of abducted people home, but

some officials say it also has negative consequences for Haiti.


JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As the State Department and the FBI work behind the scenes to free the American missionaries and five children who

were snatched in Haiti, a new warning about paying the $17 million ransom the gang behind the kidnapping is demanding .

LAURENT LAMOTHE, FORMER HAITIAN MINISTER: It would be very unfortunate for the $17 million to be paid, because that would only reinforce the gang and

that would only finance further kidnappings. And so, the solution is to, short-term, send, you know, experts, security experts to -- to help the

police in this particular situation.

JOHNS: The missionaries were believed to be staying at compound in the village of Titanyen outside Port-au-Prince. On Saturday, they were

kidnapped by a group of armed men while driving back from visiting a nearby orphanage in Croix des Bouquets. Haitian officials say the gang 400 Mawozo

is responsible. We took a ride in a helicopter today to get a better view of the area. I`ve been on many of these roads outside of Port-au-Prince

ten years ago, but it`s very different now simply because of the kidnappings. It`s not safe for a foreigner to drive on the roads. That`s

why we`re in the helicopter.

400 Mawozo is Creole for "Out in the Country", "Outside the City" and that`s where this group comes from. An armed gang that has grown larger

and larger and more powerful particularly over the last several months. Since the assassination of the president of Haiti, they control the roads

in many ways. The police need help.

There`s a real reluctance from government authorities as well as many people who are part of the electorate to have another peace keeping force

on the ground to restore order. But if they don`t want that to happen, the question is how can Haiti succeed without getting control of the situation

on the ground?


AZUZ: 10 Second Trivia. The term pod can be used to describe all of these animal groups except, Sharks, Walruses, Pelicans or Whales. A group of

sharks maybe called a school, frenzy or shiver but not typically a pod.


SIMON MILLAR, OWNER OF SAPPHIRE COASTAL ADVENTURES: On Thursday we had a mass or a mega pod in like 100 plus miles in the vicinity (inaudible)

facility that was feeding on bay fish and (inaudible) smell fish everywhere, whales busting up through it. It`s just something that was

first witnessed (inaudible) south coast (inaudible) since I`ve been doing 19 years but we -- we`ve never witnessed them feeding in such huge

(inaudible) before.


AZUZ: One of the 14 nations that share a border with China is Laos. It`s home to about 7.5 million people. Like China, Laos is a communist country

but unlike China, Laos has a youthful population. More than half the people who live there are under age 25. There`s a new railway that

connects the two nations. It runs from Pun Ming (ph), a large city in southern China to the Laotian capital of Vientiane. The track currently

stretches just over 620 miles, but this is part of China`s first International Railway Network.

And that nation plans to eventually connect several Asian and African countries through the railway. When the China-Laos train is fully

operational, and that`s expected to happen by the end of this year. Its top speed will be just under 100 miles per hour, and it could bring more

Chinese tourists into Laos. China is the world`s most populous country and before COVID hit in 2019, a Laotian official says 760,000 Chinese tourists

visited his nation. And that was an increase of 26 percent from the year before.

You took the part that once was my heart. You took the best, so why not take the rest. Those are some of the lyrics to a classic American jazz

song named "All of Me" popularly performed by Billie Holiday. It`s not to be confused with the song that John Legend released in 2013. Imagine

singing that one live, on the street when the "legend" himself showed up.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A street performer in Boston was crooning "All of Me" when suddenly she got all of him. John Legend, the man whose

song she was singing was standing right before her eyes, though at first --

RAHDA: I saw a man with a trench coat and a mask step forward. I thought to myself that looks quite like John Legend but that couldn`t be him.

MOOS: But then he took his mask off.

RAHDA: I was absolutely stunned.

MOOS: In town for a concert, Legend was outside Fanual Hall with his wife Chrissy and his kids watching. Part time singer Rahda performed Legend`s

song, never dreaming he`d be there.

RAHDA: It`s definitely a fan favorite and it`s a song that I feel so emotional about.

MOOS: She said her mind went blank. She was nervous but she kept singing as he nodded encouragement. Anyone who watches "The Voice" might expect

him to wheel around any moment, but when Radha finished.

RAHDA: Give it up for Mr. Legend. John Legend. That`s a surprise.

MOOS: Legend reached in his pocket for his wallet, walked over to Rahda and gave her tip and a hug, telling her the song was beautiful. But how

much of his all did he give? Could you tell us how big a tip?

RAHDA: I would love to but actually don`t know.

MOOS: She just put it in her tip box and continued her set, but the one thing she does know --

RAHDA: I did give it my all.

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


AZUZ: Easy to see how that could leave her "head spinning". I mean who knows what was going on in that "beautiful mind". If she felt like the

"world was beating her down", John Legend really was "around". The two of them in "rhythm and blues" just can`t stop singing. I`m Carl Azuz, and I`d

like to thank all of you for watching. Shout out to our viewers at Foxboro High School in Foxboro, Massachusetts for subscribing and commenting on our

You Tube channel. We`ll see you all tomorrow.