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CNN Captures Video Of Dramatic Chinese Confrontation With U.S. Ally; CNN Rides With Haitian Police Fighting To Dethrone Gang Leaders

Aired March 07, 2024 - 04:00   ET


COY WIRE, CNN 10 ANCHOR: What`s up, sunshine? Welcome to CNN 10, the best 10 minutes in news.

Happy Friday Eve. It`s Thursday, March 7th.

Let`s make it a random thought Thursday, shall we? Did you know that the name for a group of squids is shoal, but shouldn`t the collective now for

squid be squad? Much better.

I love my squad, my CNN 10 family. Hope you`re having a wonderful day.

We start by heading to one of the most contested regions in the world, the South China Sea. This area of the Pacific Ocean is home to Asia`s main

shipping lane with more than $3 trillion in trade passing through every year. That`s according to the Center for Strategic and International


For decades. China has expressed a claim of authority over a bulk of the sea, but neighboring countries have continually disputed this claim. The

Philippines even brought its case to an international tribunal, which in 2016 ruled that China had no legal basis to its claim. China refuses to

accept this ruling.

So why is this important to the rest of the world?

Well, Philippines is a mutual defense ally of the United States, for example. So ongoing tensions in the South China Sea raised concerns about a

potential global conflict arising from these disputed waters.

CNN recently embedded with the Philippine Coast Guard and witnessed a confrontation with Chinese ships here.

CNN`s Ivan Watson with more.


IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is just after sunrise. And as you may see, and as you may see there is a large

Chinese coast guard ship directly in front of this Philippines coast guard vessel. And we`ve been watching this over the course of the last hour.

These are supposed to be international waterways with free passage.

I`m aboard this Philippines coast guard ship that was part of a convoy of four vessels that were headed towards a place called the Second Thomas

Shoal and before dawn all of a sudden, these Philippine ships were swarmed by much larger and many more Chinese ships they`re more off to our port

bow. These are not marked like the Chinese coast guard ships, but they`re clearly operating with them and operating in very close proximity to this

Philippines coast guard ship. In fact, I`ve seen them in the past cutting this off.

And what they`ve succeeded in doing, not only pretty much stopping our ship in its tracks, but it has separated this ship from the other boats in the

Philippines convoy, which included two small resupply vessels that were trying to get to the Second Thomas Shoal.

Now part of what is at play here is a territorial dispute. That shoal the Philippines claims is part of its economic exclusion zone. China, though,

it is much further geographically from this area claims, it for itself and clearly tries to stop Philippine ships from getting to it.

We`re completely encircled by a fleet of Chinese ships, at least 14 that I`ve counted. And moments ago, the Chinese coast guard ships were blasting

a Philippines resupply vessel with water cannons. It is clearly by swarming this ship, a show of force, a show of intimidation, and it is physically

stopping vessels from another country from being able to move forward through this international waterway.


WIRE: Pop quiz hot shot. Which country became the second independent nation in the Americas after the United States?

Mexico, Haiti, Canada, or Puerto Rico?

If you said Haiti, you are correct. Between 1791 and 1804, freed and enslaved Africans waged the Haitian Revolution, resulting in an independent

country free from French rule.

Our next story takes us to Haiti. The United Nations has tracked waves of crime and unrest across the country ever since the assassination of its

former President Jovenel Moise back in 2021. Ever since, societal conditions in the Caribbean country have deteriorated, with anti-government

protests increasing and many Haitians calling for a general election to install new leadership.

But Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who came to power after a power-sharing agreement was brokered in 2022 says he can`t step down until the country is

secure enough to hold an election. Meanwhile, gangs control nearly 80 percent of Port-au-Prince, Haiti`s capital, and are fighting for more

control according to the U.N.

A recent surge of coordinated attacks featured armed groups burning down police stations and freeing prisoners while the prime minister traveled out

of the country. These latest attacks prompted Haiti`s government to declare a state of emergency as 15,000 people were forced to flee their homes,

adding to the more than 300,000 people already displaced by gang violence. This is just a brief high level view of what`s going on in Haiti.

So let`s go to our David Culver who has witnessed this situation firsthand.




CULVER: It`s as close as we can get driving, so we layer up and walk.

Oh, yeah. You can already smell it. Look at people still making their commute as tires are burning right in the middle of this street here.

(voice-over): No police barricade, no firefighters, most seemingly unfazed. These flames have been burning for several hours. Haiti has been

engulfed in turmoil for years.

We don`t have a home to live them. We don`t have food to eat. That`s what they`re shouting.

Many here now fear their country is on the brink of exploding.

Does it feel safe right now?


CULVER: No, no, no.

SAMEDI: No, it does. It doesn`t seem. My country is broken right now.

CULVER: These folks blame the current government and Prime Minister Ariel Henry, appointed following the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in

2021. They want Henry to go, but he says he`s not yet ready to step down.

This as panicked street shootouts like this one have become a near daily occurrence. It`s often a clash between police and the gangs, which have

essentially taken Haiti hostage.

They flaunt their weapons and wealth on TikTok, threatening police and basking in lawlessness. Many residents now living behind barricades.

This is not the gangs doing this the folks that live in these neighborhoods who are putting these up to prevent gangs from coming in and kidnapping.

Using whatever might stop or slow the kidnappers, efforts to protect families and preserve innocence.

In recent months, gangs have seized more and more control over this country, including the roads leading to Port-au-Prince. Officials estimate

that gangs now control as much as 80 percent of the capital, even the U.S. embassy and international airport are mostly surrounded by rival gang


It`s led the Haitian national police to create an undercover unit. We go with them to the front lines.

CAITLIN HU, CNN SENIOR EDITOR: This unit actually goes into gang areas, looks for gang members and fights them.

And you can see they`re getting ready?

CULVER: Yes. Our drivers on geared up now ready for potential gunfire to come our way.

Stay away from the windows as we come in here. They described this as the last defensive point. And beyond here is what they consider to be their

front lines.

From here, you can see the battlefield, no signs of any suspected gang members for now.

Police are not the only ones trying to gain the upper hand here. In a fractured state, alternatives to the gangs and government surface.

We`re headed to meet a commander of BSAP, Haiti`s armed environmental protection agency that has splintered from the Henry government,

challenging its legitimacy.

We pulled up to a gated compound. The man in the purple shirt leads us in. He then changes into his BSAP uniform. It`s the commander. He`s in hiding

from police.

His message echoes the anti-government protester. He flexes BSAP`s strength and numbers and its potential to help bring stability. But when it comes to

his own family --

You mentioned you have four kids. What do you think their future is in this country?

He fears their future is best served leaving Haiti.

The question that no doubt people in the U.S. will ask is, well, why should we help?

JEAN-MARTIN BAUER, WFP HAITI DIRECTOR: Well, there are two reasons why you need to help. First of all, there -- on humanitarian grounds. But then

there`s also your own self-interest in the U.S. So the longer you wait to act on Haiti, the more migrants there will be on your southern border. It`s

that simple.


WIRE: For today`s story getting a 10 out of 10, they see me roll, and tumbleweeds taking over the city of Eagle Mountain in Utah. Look at this.

It looks like a scene you might see in Fortnite.

Blizzards and high winds in the western U.S. have prompted tumbleweeds to swarm roads, houses, vehicles, local authorities are calling this windstorm

a tumble-mageddon.

Thanks for rolling with me today. Let`s take some great energy into the day and finish up strong tomorrow.

I want to show some love today. Redwood Valley Middle School in Redwood Falls, Minnesota, keep soaring to great heights, Cardinals.

And this shout-out goes to the Chargers at Pearl City High school on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. Aloha.

Have an awesome day, y`all. I`m Coy Wire and I`ll see you tomorrow.