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Julian Assange Staves Off Extradition to U.S. for Now, U.K. Court Rules; Both Local and Foreign Citizens Try to Leave Haiti Due to Gang Violence; Historic Renovation of Notre Dame Cathedral. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired March 28, 2024 - 04:00   ET


COY WIRE, CNN 10 ANCHOR: What`s up, sunshine? It`s time to shine. Welcome to Thursday. Happy Friday Eve. I`m Coy. This is CNN 10.

And today we are going to start about news about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The Australian citizen rocketed into public notoriety as a

political refugee fighting to escape extradition back to America.

Assange faces charges of espionage after publishing classified U.S. military materials starting in 2010. The WikiLeaks founder previously

described his findings to CNN as, quote, "compelling evidence of war crimes," unquote, committed by a U.S.-led coalition in Iraqi government


But U.S. officials say Assange put lives at risk by publishing those secret military documents. Free speech advocates, though, argue extraditing

Assange could cause a chilling effect in the press.

The controversial figure has remained in London`s Belmarsh prison for five years and was confined as a political refugee in the Ecuadorian embassy in

the British capital for seven years before that. U.K. courts say they could agree to turn Assange over to the U.S. if certain protections and

assurances are put into place. CNN`s Nada Bashir breaks down the latest updates on Assange`s case. But we want you to think about this story. And

as you hear it, what do you think? Is Julian Assange a journalist, a criminal, a refugee, or a hero, as some feel?

It`s a controversial question that has created sharp divisions around the world. So as you listen and discuss amongst each other, remember to be

respectful and focus on the facts.


NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: Now the high court in London on Tuesday ruled that the WikiLeaks founder cannot be immediately extradited to the United

States. Instead, American authorities must first offer assurances about his treatment including over his First Amendment rights and protection from the

death penalty.

Now, they`ve been given three weeks to do so. If the U.S. fails to give these assurances, Assange would be allowed to appeal his extradition at a

further hearing in May.

If however, the U.S. does provide the requested assurances, there will be a further hearing to decide if those assurances are satisfactory and to make

a final decision on leave to appeal.

Now, in the event that the appeal is denied, Assange`s legal team has also vowed to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights which could also halt

his removal to the U.S.

This is a battle which Assange has fought for the last five years from London`s Belmarsh prison. And of course, for seven years before that, while

being holed up as a political refugee at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

He is of course, being pursued by the U.S. authorities for what they say is the endangerment of lives by publishing confidential military records

supplied by former army intelligence analyst, Chelsea Manning in 2010 and 2011.

Speaking outside the high court, Assange`s wife, Stella described her husband as a political prisoner and also called on the Biden administration

to drop the case entirely.


WIRE: Next, let`s turn to Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, where city streets remain a battleground between gangs and national police. Conditions

in Haiti continue to deteriorate, with civilians fleeing the ongoing gang violence and political instability. A series of chartered flights have

returned some American citizens back to the states, but not everyone who`s in danger can just get up and leave.

CNN`s David Culver reveals what U.S. and other international citizens face as they try to make their way out of the country.


DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The challenge for U.S. citizens trying to leave Port-au-Prince begins as soon as they start driving to the U.S.

embassy. Getting there involves driving through either gang-controlled or gang-contested territories. It`s dangerous and it`s unpredictable.

In armored vehicles, we saw that firsthand, and yet this is the only way out for some. The airport is shut down and many feel trapped.

In recent days, the U.S. embassy began evacuating citizens who could make it to the embassy. Managing the safety of those evacuations is regional

security officer, Steve Strickland.

How does Haiti, how does Port-au-Prince today compare to your past 19 years?

STEVE STRICKLAND, U.S. DIPLOMATIC SECURITY SERVICE, SUPERVISORY SPECIAL AGENT: There is nothing like Port-au-Prince. The security situations here

are nothing like anything I have experienced before. I`ve spent time in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, in Africa, and the unique circumstances here,

I`ve not seen a parallel to those in any other security environment that I`ve served.

CULVER: Amid these challenges, there are some who fear Americans are being abandoned in this gang field war zone.

STRICKLAND: The truth of the matter is, literally on a daily basis, there are phone calls that we are engaged with at the highest levels of U.S.

government, where the number one topic is safety and security. How do we help get our U.S. citizens out of the country to a safe place?

CULVER: Launching these evacuation flights from the capital is a critical first step.

Jenny Gilliam (ph) and her five-year-old son, Conrad registered a few days ago. She has had to leave behind her mom and other loved ones so as to get

back to their home in New York.

Getting to the embassy is terrifying. It is a potentially deadly commute. Some who had confirmed their spots canceled last-minute either emotionally

unable to leave behind loved ones or just unable to get to the embassy safely.

So is there an option to go from here and go pick them up? Is that even in reality?

STRICKLAND: It just really isn`t unfortunately. The security resources that we have are stretched so thin, the ability to do that is really a non-

starter. We just don`t have that capacity to do it. We`d love to do it. It is just simply an impossibility, unfortunately.

CULVER: With some seats unclaimed at the last minute, our team as U.S. citizens is able to travel out with them and chronicle their journey.

We board in gang-controlled territory on a patch of land that`s secured and surrounded by a robust and reassuring American military presence. We take

off for the Dominican Republic.

There are a lot of mixed emotions for those who get out: Gratitude and relief for getting here safely, as well as guilt and fear for those still

in Port-au-Prince, knowing that what is happening on the other side of this border is getting worse with each passing hour.


WIRE: Pop quiz, hot shot. How long did it originally take to build the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris?

Around 10 years, around 50 years, nearly 100, nearly 200 years.

If you said nearly 200 years, you are correct. Construction on the famous Parisian landmark began during the reign of King Louis VII in the year 1163

and was mostly completed by 1345.

Back in 2019, a raging fire torched the historic Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. Many were in shock to see the Parisian landmark engulfed in flames

and feared that it would take decades to restore. Especially since this effort would be both intricate and expensive with estimates to rebuild the

cathedral costing more than $760 million.

But with generous donations from around the world and nearly 500 craftspeople working rigorously the past five years, the renovation is said

to be 90% complete.

Our Richard Quest gives us a peek inside as it`s expected to reopen to the public this December.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A fire breaking out at the historic cathedral of Notre-Dame.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR, QUEST MEAN BUSINESS: More people come to Notre- Dame than the Eiffel Tower. You and I in our lifetime have seen projects like this taking 20 years. What percentage of completion do you think you

are at now?



JOST: We have finished the roofs, the spire. We have cleaned all the inside, all these woods. We have cleaned the paintings. It`s important that

we cannot identify what has been rebuilt because it`s the same stones and the same type of work, which is the respect we owe to the monument.

President Macron said we will do it in five years for 2024. And we are doing it. And we do it perfectly.


WIRE: Today`s story getting a 10 out of 10, strong. Something you have to see. The Louisiana High School Power Lifting State Championships, Senior

Dwayne Coleman representing Solomon, shattering the state high school record for squat. Moving 900 pounds. That`s about the weight of a full-

grown cow. Look at the bar bending and watch this.

Coleman smooth with it. Then racking the weight and walking away like it was no big deal. That was a really big deal. Incredible stuff and

congratulations to Dwayne. That took a lot of determination and dedication.

All right. To all you powerful people, I hope this show lifted you up today. Let`s get a shout out to Plant City High School in Plant City,

Florida. Raiders, rise up.

And let`s head all the way to Amman, Jordan to shout out Mrs. Gilbert`s class at the American Community School. We are so grateful, so happy that

you join us from so far away. Have an awesome day, everyone.

Let`s do it again tomorrow. Same time, same place, shall we? We`ll finish this week strong.

I`m Coy and we are CNN 10.