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Interview with International Rescue Committee President and CEO David Miliband; Interview with The New York Times Pulitzer-Prize Winning Reporter Matt Richtel; Interview with Cher. Aired 1:00-2p ET

Aired December 16, 2022 - 13:00:00   ET




PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hello and a warm welcome to everyone. This is "Amanpour." Here's what's coming up.

Ukrainians are taking cover amid fresh missile strikes. I discuss the latest with the head of the International Rescue Committee, David Miliband.

Then, Twitter risks E.U. sanctions after abruptly blocking journalists. I speak to one of those reporters, CNN's Donie O'Sullivan.

Also, ahead.


MATT RICHTEL, PULITZER-PRIZE WINNING REPORTER, THE NEW YORK TIMES: The world has become much louder, and a time the young brain is very sensitive

at an earlier age.

NEWTON: America's inner pandemic. New York Times journalist, Matt Richtel, talks to Michel Martin about the mental health crisis among U.S. teens.

And finally --




NEWTON: -- a flamboyant breath of fresh air. We look back at Christiane's wonderful interview with Cher.

I want to welcome everyone to the program, I'm Paula Newton in New York sitting in for Christiane Amanpour.

Ukraine woke to another round of strikes this morning, the country's armed forces saying in Russia launched at least 76 missiles Friday, and Tu-95

strategic bombers known for their range and speed have been used for the very first time.

Now, as you can imagine, power and water supplies continue to be disrupted right across the country, and to pressure from these kinds of attacks and

it couldn't be coming at a worse time, as winter plunges the country into sub-zero temperatures.

Unsurprisingly, this crisis has put Ukraine at the top of the world's priorities when it comes to humanitarian aid. Now, the International Rescue

Committee is putting and now on its new watchlist for 2023. Somalia, Ethiopia and Afghanistan top the list this year. Its goal is to help the

charity determine how they allocate their support and resources. And, of course, it also gives the world a heads up about where the most vulnerable

people live.

And earlier, I spoke about all of this with the head of the International Rescue Committee and former British foreign minister, David Miliband.


NEWTON: Mr. Miliband, thank you so much for joining us. Of course, we will get to that IRC lists. But we need to really speak about Ukraine. Ukraine

is, of course, on your list. And yet, what we've seen go on there in the last few weeks, certainly really looks to catastrophic consequences, and

not just for Ukraine. Obviously, all of Europe at risk. I mean, how can Ukraine possibly cope with what is going on now?

DAVID MILIBAND, PRESIDENT AND CEO, INTERNATIONAL RESCUE COMMITTEE: Well, I think there are a couple of things that are very significant about the

recent developments in Ukraine that you've been covering. First of all, the pummeling of the civilian infrastructure speaks to a wider trend in global

affairs. Conflict is increasingly focused on hitting civilians rather than hitting soldiers. And the majority of victims and war are now civilians.

That speaks to the increasingly urban nature of warfare, but also to the tactics that are being used by various parties to conflicts.

In this case, the Russian military strategy does seem to be to hit the civilian population and try to exert pain that way, having been pushed back

on the battlefield. I think it is worth pointing out that the last figures I saw are that 80, 90 percent of the rockets and missiles that are coming

into Ukraine are being intercepted. But that still leaves the civilian population extremely vulnerable, both to the direct hit, and then,

secondly, obviously, to the consequences and the situation where there is minus, five minus 10 degrees centigrade. They hit the power sector is very


That leads to the second point, which, is that as you hinted, this is a regional crisis, a global crisis, not just Ukraine crisis. 7 million

refugees already crossed the borders into Europe. Europe handling that with a real determination, but obviously, there's a fear that if the Russian

bombardment is successful, there will be many more refugees creating more pressure inside of Europe.

NEWTON: And when we talk about that pressure, how worried are you that that might actually destabilize European unity, as you know, already a

controversial issue?


MILIBAND: Well, I'm actually struck that 2022 was the year when Europe found its unity on core values, core principles and core actions. The

weekend after the 24th of February invasion, it was a Thursday, the weekend after, the European Union came together and made startling pledges, really,

three years commitment to every refugee being housed, having access to work, kids going to school. And also, there's obviously, on the military

side, a very strong European response.

I think the threat is so clear and so singular that actually around the Ukraine issue, there's a lot of unity. I think the danger for Europe is

that this unity finds its place in other areas. But I think 2022 was a year of stronger European unity rather than disunity.

NEWTON: And, you know, the world's attention and eyes are on Ukraine right. And before we move on to what is, you know, unfortunately a fairly

grim list that IRC is put out. If you are at the table right now, what would you be telling leaders about how to get Russia and Ukraine to more of

a point to negotiation? Because right now, we seem so far from that.

MILIBAND: Well, I think that the first point is that these are not parties that are equivalent. I mean, one party has invaded another country and

complete comprehension of international law. And so, I obviously lead a humanitarian organization. I'm afraid that the core front is on the

military side, and there is a lot to play for still. There's a lot to play through.

I think that 10 months into the war, it's very hard to see the Russians winning, but that's not the same as saying that there is a quick route to a

defeat and to therefore, some kind of settlement. I think the Ukraine have held up in an extraordinary fashion, but that doesn't mean that there is a

quick end because the decision-making structure in Moscow doesn't give vent to public opinion. It doesn't allow the mothers of the Russian soldiers who

have been killed on the battlefield to be -- to have their voices heard.

And so, you've got the singularity of decision-making inside the Kremlin really as the only decision-maker in this when it comes to the terms on

which Russia is willing to come to terms with the failure of its invasion.

NEWTON: Likely, unfortunately, a grim but realistic assessment you've given there. I do want to move to the IRC list and it makes for grim

reading. And I know that's not what you want out of this. You want action. You want people to be hopeful. And yet, how much do you have to guard

against donor fatigue here?

I will not, a lot of the countries that we see on the list this year were on the list in prior years, and quite frankly, for decades.

MILIBAND: Well, let's explain to your viewers, this unique watchlist is emergency watchlists, it's drawn from 67 different data sources. So,

there's a real evidence basis for the prediction about which country is going to suffer greatest humanitarian need in 2023. 20 countries only on

the watchlist.

Those 20 countries account for 90 percent of the global humanitarian need. In total, the U.N. says 340 million people in humanitarian need, 90 percent

of them live in just these 20 countries. The core drivers of humanitarian need are conflict, Ukraine being a prime example, they are the climate

crisis, and they are the economic shockwaves, including from Ukraine, but also post COVID.

Now, you rightly refer to the danger of donor fatigue. And there are two stories here that are important. There are donors, notably in Europe, who

are not stepping up to the global needs. They're focused on Ukraine. The Gulf has done very well out of the rise and energy prices. They're not

stepping up. But I do have to call out the U.S. government, that's the other side of the story.

U.S. government has made really significant progress in 2022 in recognizing the global consequences of the Ukraine war. And it's for that reason that

they have boosted their international aid, especially to East Africa, where food prices have grown so significantly as a result of Ukraine war and the

blockage on grain exports. A country like Somalia, which is top of our list, 90 percent of its wheat comes from Ukraine. So, you can see the


And across the 20 countries of the watchlist, there's a 40 percent rise in food price inflation, in large part because of the Ukraine conflict. So,

those global consequences are being recognized by the U.S. They're not being recognized by other donors. And the purpose of our watchlist is not

just to sound a warning, it is indeed to be the call to action that you refer to. And we think there are things that can be done. And we are

calling on global community to follow where the U.S. has led.

NEWTON: Right. But Somalia is a good case in point. And no matter the American involvement, and I take it that America perhaps has reengage

there, they have been engaged on and off for three decades. The situation in Somalia continues to be really an existential threat to the people there

and to the stability of the whole region. What's changed and can change in 2023 even if donor step up?


MILIBAND: That's a very powerful point. So, you -- I quite understand why you're asking it. Just for background, 15 of the 20 countries on the

International Rescue Committee's emergency watchlist have been there for at least five years. So, you're making an important point about protracted


Now, in the case of Somalia, it's got a new factor on the scene, which is the climate crisis. We haven't seen the kind of drought effect that is

hitting Somalia now, we weren't seeing that 30 years ago. I was in Eastern Ethiopia towards the border with Somalia just last month and you can see

the consequences across the East African region of successive missed rainfalls. That's a new factor in the equation and it calls for

strengthening of the guardrails against disaster.

Now, those guardrails are the form of climate resilient agriculture, they're the form of international aid that can help people who are on the

brink of famine. But then there are the more -- the deeper, more fundamental questions of governance, which I think you might be referring

to, governance in conflict. And that, indeed, is a very long-term problem.

What we're seeing in the places that the IRC works is that the tools of diplomacy to regulate relations between nations are not adequate for

conflict within nations, and that's where our greatest concern is. 80 percent of the humanitarian needs on our watchlist are affected by civil

war. And that's where we need new tools of diplomacy to get upstream and solve some of these problems.

NEWTON: And yet, as you provocatively point out, we are having trouble governing our own nations in very strong and long-standing democracies. You

know, as I said, provocatively, you have pointed out that a framing of democracy versus the autocracy does not speak to international affairs in a

way that is optimal.

Please explain that in terms of what that means. You say, nor does it spoke for the concerns outside of the West and the mistakes of democratic

countries. The issue here though is everything that you've signposted from IRC, how do you get from, you know, the data that you've provided to

action, when even, as you rightly point, out we are in crisis here, of governance not just nationally, but internationally?

MILIBAND: Yes, there is a fight for the renewal and sustenance of democracy. Less than 20 percent of the global population live in what

Freedom House, the most respective thinktank (ph) on this issue calls a fully free and democratic system. So, there is democratic recession.

The trouble is that the framing of democracy versus autocracy is really for within nations states, it's not global framing. What I argue is that the

global issue is one of impunity versus accountability. Impunity is the exercise of power without accountability. And as you know, power corrupts,

and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

So, on the one hand, you have the rise of impunity, on the other hand, you have accountability checks on the abuse of power. That starts with

transparency, it involved legal systems, it involves countervailing power against impunity.

And I think as we think about international affairs in the 2020s, we shouldn't be thinking about it as democracy versus autocracy in the

international realm, we should think about it as impunity versus the rule of law. That is why the Ukraine crisis is so significant. That's why the

denial of aid in parts of Ethiopia or Somalia is so significant contrary to the rule of law, is the rule of law that we have to defend at the

international level.

We don't want new laws. They were written in the U.N. charter and associated documents 75 years ago. They need to be defended. And that's

what I think -- that's the basic framing that I think can help at the international level.

NEWTON: Yes. What you -- as you know, what does that issue is how that rule of law is framed and interpreted. A lot to think about here going into

a new year with many challenges. Mr. Miliband, we thank you.

MILIBAND: Thanks very much.

NEWTON: Well, holding power to account is also, in fact, at the heart of the latest drama involving Twitter. The European Union is threatening the

platform with sanctions after a blocked accounts of journalist from "The New York Times," "CNN," and the "Washington Post," among others. Now,

Twitter CEO, Elon Musk alleges they were blocked for so-called doxing him. Now, that's releasing his live location he claims a security. He's added

that journalist will not be getting special treatment, in his, words on Twitter. Take a listen.


ELON MUSK, CEO, TWITTER: There is not going to be any distinction in the future between journalists, several journalists and regular people.

Everyone is going to be treated the same. They're not special because of a journalist.


NEWTON: Noted. Well, those accusations are being challenged, of course. CNN replying to the blocking of its Donie O'Sullivan who did not leak

Musk's live location, saying, Twitter is increasing instability and volatility should be of incredible concern for everyone who uses Twitter.

We have asked Twitter for an explanation, and we will reevaluate our relationship based on that response.


And CNN Correspondent Donie O'Sullivan joins me now. Donie, you know, you follow this like no one else. Why do you think Musk is showing such little

tolerance for everything that people give him credit for, which, is you know, the keeper of free speech?

DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I mean, speaking to someone who has been covering Musk for a very, very long time, has covered him at

SpaceX and Tesla, they made the point that, you know, they are automotive and space industries, whereas Twitter is a much kind of bigger stage. It's

watched a lot more by more people, and many more people use it directly.

So, I don't think he is used to this level of scrutiny. But, I mean, of course, it is entirely hypocritical of him to claim to be this kind of

First Amendment, free speech warrior and then turn around and take down content he doesn't like and shut down the accounts of journalists who cover


NEWTON: Yes. I mean, the point is -- Donie, it's you today. Is it the president tomorrow? Is Biden going to say something? Is Macron going to say

something to criticize him? I mean, there is a lot at stake here.

O'SULLIVAN: Yes. Well, look. I mean, Twitter under its old management already kicked off a president of the United States, although in very, very

-- a different circumstances after, of course, the attack on the U.S. capitol.

Twitter is a private company. It can do whatever it wants. Elon Musk can do whatever he wants. Again, there is a hypocrisy there when he claims that he

wants his platform to be all about free speech.

Look, I mean, I think for somebody, you know, a lot of reporters that got suspended last night are from major U.S. media outlets like "CNN," "The New

York Times," and the "Washington Post." I would be less concerned about the likes of myself, I mean, I have a platform. I'm here talking to. I can use

other social media platforms. I would be very concern though about the precedent this might set and the chilling effect that this might have,

especially on independent and freelance journalists, especially outside of the U.S., who do have to rely on Twitter to get their work out there, and

to get work.

And also, the chilling effect that this might have on journalists who are holding Musk to account at his other companies, including Tesla and SpaceX.

NEWTON: Donie, I'm going to put you on the spot. I only have 30 seconds left. But, I mean, do you think we're looking at a Twitter 2.0? Do you

think it could actually emerge something else out of this or could disintegrate altogether?

O'SULLIVAN: You know, never make predictions with Elon Musk, I think is the wisest thing. But I do think this has given us all pause. You saw the

"CNN" statement there. I think it's given newsrooms pause for us to all ask ourselves, you know, do we really want to be on this platform? Are there

other ways to, you know, get our news out there through social media? So, I do think this is a big moment when it comes to journalism and this critical


NEWTON: Yes, absolutely more to come in all of that. And, Donie, we really appreciate you following it. And we'll wait to see if you are reinstated on

Twitter and if you decide to use it when you are. Donie O'Sullivan for us.

O'SULLIVAN: Thanks a lot.

NEWTON: Thanks so much. Now, social media is one factor on a long list that could, in fact, contributing to a mental health crisis among teens.

"The New York Times" Pulitzer prize-winning reporter Matt Richtel has spent more than a year interviewing American adolescents and their families as

rates of anxiety and depression skyrocket.

And he'll talk to Michel Martin about his series called "The Inner Pandemic," and the latest installment just out this week, which focuses on

how the crisis is impacting teens of color.


MICHEL MARTIN, CONTRIBUTOR: Thanks, Paula. Matt Richtel, thanks so much for talking to us.


MARTIN: You've written a powerful series of articles about adolescent mental health and some of them are very scary, especially to parents and

some of them are hopeful too. I just want to -- I do want to say that. But what is it that got you started on this work?

RICHTEL: Michel, it actually sprung out of something a bit unexpected. When I started looking at this two years ago, I was intuitively aware, as

many are, that saying anxiety and depression, suicide, suicidal ideation, have been going up among young people. And that wasn't enough to get my

interest to spend this much time on a series.

What hooked me, Michel, was the second set of facts. And that is that since my generation was in its adolescents over the last, say, 20 to 30 years,

there has been a decline in a bunch of other risks. Drunk driving injury and death, teen pregnancy, cigarette smoking, drug use. In other words,

what hooked up my interest and our interest was a transformation in risk facing adolescents from those externalized risks to this mental health

internalize risks.


MARTIN: I think that over the course of dealing with COVID, the COVID crisis, you know, all around the world, a lot of people, parents, people

who are living with teenagers, became aware that something just wasn't right.


MARTIN: And a lot of people attributed it to COVID or like having to deal with COVID.


MARTIN: But what I learned from your series is that's just not true. That this predates that.

RICHTEL: COVID amplified a number of things and brought them home as family spent time with their kids. They brought this to the doorstep of

emergency rooms, even though it was already happening. The reason that contacts that I alluded to earlier was so significant is we -- I also began

this by thinking, maybe this is a very recent phenomenon, when, in fact, the context is, this really has been going on since the turn of the century

and roughly, let's say around 2007, 2008, we begin to see these spikes and we begin to see these declines in other risks.

MARTIN: So, talk more about that. Like how did this start? And why did the start? A lot of people seem to think it's like, oh, this generation is soft

or this generation can't handle anything. Tell me, you know, what is your research indicating? Like how did this start and why did this start?

RICHTEL: The way I describe what's been happening the last, say, 20 years is that there has developed a kind of neurological mismatch. Now, that is a

big phrase, all in packet. In the year 1900, puberty hit girls at the age of 14, boys a little bit later. But now, the average age of menstruation is

about 12. It has been falling for a bunch of reasons, I don't want to get hooked on it.

This is the important point, when puberty hits, it awakens the adolescent brain to all kinds of social information. Young people crave that

information because they are beginning to make the transition from being cared for by their families to adapting to a social world. What hasn't

changed though, Michel, is that the rest of the brain hasn't developed any more quickly. The parts of the brain that help make sense of all that


Here is your neurological mismatch. You have a very hyperaware brain, an early pubescent brain, combined with the thing a lot of viewers may be

thinking about, an onslaught of information. And when that information hits the vulnerable brain, it can cause real mental distress.

MARTIN: Really? Like what? Like give me an example of how that works or how that plays out.

RICHTEL: So, everyone has seen beyond the borders of their community. What does it mean to be rich? What does it mean to be poor? What is going on in

the protests? What's going on in the war? The world has become much louder, and at times, the young brain is very sensitive at an earlier age.

Now, why does that manifest as trouble for mental well-being? Well, if you're trying to cope with all of this information, some brains susceptible

to being overloaded begin to adapt through coping mechanisms. What do I mean by that? Anxiety, depression, weirdly enough, self-harm, sometimes

they can cause or paralyze a brain to find a focal point when otherwise overwhelmed.

MARTIN: OK. Social media. It just seems that a lot of the things that you have talked about as being kind of root causes, some of those do seem to

loop back to social media. I mean, you talk about sort of being very invested in technology. You talk about sleep deprivation. You talk about

the lack of physical activity. So, why isn't this a social media problem?

RICHTEL: It's not a social media problem despite the assumptions that many of us made, including me when I started this, because the actual research

is quite conflictual. It shows that some young people using social media per se are -- feel worse for having done so, and some feel better.

And so, you can't pin this on social media, it depends somewhat on the susceptibility of the individual person. But we're really talking about a

much larger technological impact and influence on lives. And if I may put a fine point on that, here's what I mean. You've got your kids on social

media, but they're not necessarily the ones who are mainlining the news or bad news as parents are and then, delivering that to kids at the dinner



The influence of the larger technologically driven sense of competition, of a global economy, of the competitive nature of school, of athletics, of

the, world that's coming from all kinds of places. I can't put that at the feet of social media even though social media is the dominant way that

young people are bringing in their own information.

MARTIN: You talk both about the things that are increasing and also the things that are decreasing.


MARTIN: And the reason I think that this is so interesting is that I think when you -- if you think about puberty happening earlier, I think you might

think that what would go along with that is more sexual experimentation, right?


MARTIN: I mean, it's just -- it's so sort of seems logical. But that doesn't seem to be the case.

RICHTEL: But here's what else has gone down. Sleep, physical activity, in- person interaction, those things, particularly sleep and activity, are known to help that brain develop. So, if you've got a sensitive brain and

it's consuming a lot of information or feeling highly sensitized and not getting that more pastoral time or the sleep, it is really struggling to

metabolize that information.

Here I borrow from Nora Volkow, who is the head of the National Institutes for Drug Abuse, one of our leading authorities in the country, and she said

something that really blew my mind. She said, you know, a lot of these drugs are drugs of social interaction. Here's a revelation from your "New

York Times" reporter, sex requires in-person interaction.

So, if you are not, you know, hanging out with other people, if you are online, isolated, you might not participate the same way. You can say

there's pros and cons to that. But factually speaking, the shift in lifestyle driven by technology has, in fact, shifted very much how young

people spend their time. And in turn, the kinds of risks they're experiencing.

MARTIN: And so, talk a little bit about how the shift is manifesting itself. I mean, you've already told us like drunk driving, teen pregnancy,

a lot of those issues are declining. What is increasing?

RICHTEL: So, what's increasing, we're seeing increases in these, let's call them mental health issues. When we see an increase like this, Michel,

we would hope that just as our systems once dealt with broken bones and, you know, car crashes and other facets that pediatricians and emergency

rooms were trained to do, we would hope that our current systems would keep up with a shifting risk.

One of the issues that's cropping up is, we have not kept up. There is a systemic mismatch now. So, that mismatch is between the problems young

people are grappling with and the systems that we have in place to take care of it.

We discovered in the course of the series that between 1,000 and 5,000 young people and adolescents are spending the night in emergency rooms

because they are either suicidal, self-harming, or a risk for others, less so that, and there is no place for these young people to go. There are no

good community impatient systems, there are fewer outpatient systems than we need. And so, you're winding up with young people in a setting there

that is deciding not set up for this kind of case.

Separately, you see pediatricians grappling with stuff like complex mental health issues, that's what they've trained to do. That's what I mean by

systemic mismatch.

MARTIN: So, tell me about the sleep deprivation, like what's that about?

RICHTEL: My parents wouldn't let us have a TV in the room, but now, every other device is baked into that iPad or the phone, that is keeping kids up

and it's interrupting their sleep. And if we, as adults, struggle to be in a good mood, struggle to have good relationships, struggle at work, when

we're not getting enough sleep, imagine what it's like on a still developing brain. And that is still developing brain needs that sleep to

develop. If I was to put a fine point on one word in this entire conversation, it would be sleep.

MARTIN: You know what's interesting, I feel like this is a crisis that is almost hiding in plain sight.


MARTIN: And I'm wondering why -- one of the things you've said several times is that this crisis is going on, but all the mechanisms to deal with

these things aren't dealing with it. And I'm wondering why you think that is.

RICHTEL: I think it's an economic phenomenon. We have a system that's built to care for things a certain way and insurance reimburses a certain

way. Let's take therapy or talk therapy, which is going to lead us to the positive side of this conversation, there are things we can do, they are



They are expensive to put in schools, they take a human power, meaning manpower, woman power, people power, to help get the coping skills to young

people. It is easier in many ways to prescribe a pill. It's easier for the family maybe than going to the counseling. It's harder to find counseling.

Councilors are not well reimbursed. We have not train enough of them.

The story that is recently run is about Morehouse Medical School where you see this in the most extreme borne out of a historically black institution.

Morehouse Medical School, staffed by black psychiatrists is treating poor teens of color in Atlanta, and this is a group where you see, in the most

extreme, the lack of medical specialists, that this is a clinic in Morehouse is the exception that proves the rule.

But we're talking about whole swaths of the country that don't have access to the high-level specialists or even counseling that they need to address

these issues.

MARTIN: Give me an example of somebody -- of one of the people that you reported on in the series that just kind of encapsulates this dilemma. One

of the things that struck out to me was a kid who had prescribed all of these different medications in a way that just absolutely kind of didn't

make sense.

RICHTEL: This is Renee Smith. She lives in Long Island. And over the course of her high school years, after she became painfully depressed and

anxious was prescribed 10 different medications, not all at the same time, but staggered. Many of those medications, Michel, are not expressly

approved for use in young people. They're not expressly approved for use in the combinations that she was getting them. She was not getting better.

To be clear, doctors often have the -- or do have the wherewithal and the latitude to prescribe these drugs, but she wasn't also able to find a

counselor during that same period. And so, she wound up in this maelstrom of being medicated, of getting worse, of having trouble keeping up in

school, of feeling intense pressures. It's really -- I would recommend for readers to go check out the story. But it really shows how a system was out

of step with a young person's internal exploration and suffering.

MARTIN: One of the things that your series does though is it points out that these issues cut different people differently, right?


MARTIN: I mean, that if you're a middle-class person, if you have educated parents, if you have access to -- or, let's say, educated in the way that

gives you access to certain kinds of benefits, then you could wind up being over treated.


MARTIN: And then -- but then you also point out in a piece that has just recently run, is that if you are kid who is of means or maybe you're of the

dominant ethnic group, you know, then you wind up being labeled in a whole different way, right?

RICHTEL: What's happening at the lower end of the economic spectrum were the very same phenomenon, Michel, are happening combined with some young --

some early trauma, this is known as an adverse childhood experience and it's known to create a lot of challenges, psychologically, for young people

in a community where there is even less access to specialists. There is such an absence of specialty care that you have school counselors strapped

and primary care physician strapped.

And here is the punchline. At least in this story that I did, drawing on research going back a decade, you wind up seeing young kids of color who do

not have access to care being misdiagnosed often with diagnoses of hostility and aggression when, in fact, they are suffering trauma,

depression, anxiety, the same things those upper class or higher class socioeconomic class kids are suffering from.

Why is that? Because of the implicit bias and even outright racism that would suggest a person of color is more hostile. That is something that,

unfortunately, goes back in our country to its origins. But it's playing out mental health of young people today in this country.

MARTIN: Well, one of the other things that you point out in your piece and that, frankly, others have noted is that the rate of suicide and self-harm

among black kids is rising rapidly.


MARTIN: So, it's --

RICHTEL: Fasted than any other group. And I'm not sure we exclusively know why, to be frank. But we know that we've got to do something about it. It

just puts a fine point on what we're seeing across society.

MARTIN: In the course of reporting, this, I mean, you met a lot of kids and a lot of families. Is there somebody in particular who you just really

were inspired by that you hope people will think about when they think of this series?


RICHTEL: Oh, I can't even put it down to one. I mean, the bigger picture, Michel, that I've picked up here is that -- and it's a subject of a longer

conversation, and a book I'm writing about "The Purpose of Adolescents." But what we're seeing is that these kids are breaking away from their

families, since they have always done, and they are, perhaps, suffering, perhaps experiencing some individuality. But then they are returning home


And I have met multiple young people who are going to be the future of our society who have made it through this, ultimately, with more wisdom, much

more wisdom than they went into it with and maybe than our society went into this generation understanding. And they're also equipping us, as

parents, with a broader sensibility about what mental health means. And it's going to be really good for all of us if we get through this moment of


MARTIN: Matt Richtel, thanks so much for talking to us today.

RICHTEL: Thank, you Michel.


NEWTON: All right. Some important notes to this conversation, if you or anyone you know is in need of help in the United States or Canada, you can

call or text 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. Now, it provides confidential support, which is important.

And for anyone outside of the United States, a worldwide directory of resources and international hotline is provided by the International

Association for Suicide Prevention. You can also turn to the global organization, Befrienders. And, of course, always to your friends and

family wherever they may be. The Important thing is to reach out.

And finally, for us, we want to look back on one of our favorite conversations on the show. And, you know, what better way to brighten up

your day, and quite frankly, mine, than with a trailblazing woman. One word, icon. That is Cher. She is the only artist to have a Billboard chart

number one hit in six consecutive decades and acting credits in romantic comedies, dramas and musicals, that includes "Silkwood," "Mamma Mia," and

of course, not to mention the classic, "Moonstruck," which won her an Academy Award for best actress in 1980.

Now, Christiane sat down with Cher, Yes, icon to icon in London to discuss her career, her struggles, and her philanthropic endeavors. Listen.



CHER: Thank you. I'm happy to be here.

AMANPOUR: It's great to have you here. And I want to ask you first about something that maybe not so many people know about you, and that is your

conservation work. Free the Wild, you're a co-founder.

CHER: Right. Right.

AMANPOUR: And, yes, the pictures went viral. You rescued and re-homed an elephant.

CHER: Yes.

AMANPOUR: Why? Where? What made you do that?

CHER: Well, I didn't plan to at all. The kids on my Twitter feed started sending this thing, and it was -- it was, free Kaavan. And I thought, well,

OK, if I don't answer, they'll just stop. But they didn't. And it was in Pakistan. And I thought, I'm just an entertainer. How am I going to go to

Pakistan and free an elephant? We had to work through two administrations. And when Imran came in, everything got much easier.

AMANPOUR: That's the current prime minister, Imran Khan.

CHER: Right.

AMANPOUR: So, how long have you been working on this?

CHER: Three years.

AMANPOUR: Wow. That is dedication.

CHER: Yes, it just -- as we started doing it, I wasn't going to give up. So, we went to Pakistan. And we saw him. He's beautiful. And we started

meeting the Pakistani people. And the people were so nice to me, and then - -

AMANPOUR: Did they know you as Cher the entertainer?

CHER: I don't know. I don't think they did. It was a teeny little place. I mean little like that.

AMANPOUR: Yes. And then the elephant was airlifted to a refuge.

CHER: So, then he landed and we were all on the tarmac and we were excited. And then there was a five-hour drive to the sanctuary. And so, I

could see him. And, in Islamabad, he just did this. That's all he did. That's what elephants do when they're traumatized. They move their head and

they move their body. And once he got into it, he didn't do it. And he looked around and he was walking around. And he was looking at everything

and giving himself a dirt bath and talking to the girls, because --

AMANPOUR: That's amazing.

CHER: Yes.

AMANPOUR: You know, you've had a massive career, singer, actress, now conservationist and philanthropist. Did you know that "The New York Times"

has named Cher as one of the top performers of 2020 for your performance in the 1987 film "Moonstruck?"

CHER: OK. Well, that's great. I'm happy.

NICOLAS CAGE, ACTOR: I'm in love with you.

CHER: Snap out of it.


AMANPOUR: I mean, do you relate to how they have obviously found something that they respond to in "Moonstruck"?

CHER: Well, you know, it's a wonderful movie. And MGM hated it. They didn't want to put it out. They said, there's no audience for this movie.

And we were all proud of it. And we thought, we don't care if anybody sees it. We believe that we've done something good.

And then, one of the films that they had out fell apart. And so, "Moonstruck" was the only thing they had, so they put it out. And all of a

sudden, there was this groundswell.

AMANPOUR: Yes, it was one of your first major -- I mean, you know, you had already been nominated for best supporting in --

CHER: Right, in "Silkwood," right.

AMANPOUR: -- in "Silkwood," which was really a dramatic film. I mean, that was amazing.

CHER: Right. And I didn't have any part when we started that. He just kept saying, Cher, I want you to say that go in there, and then I want you to be

there. And, I mean, the part just started expanding like crazy.

AMANPOUR: I mean, did the acting world take you seriously as an actress?

CHER: No. My first job was with Robert in "Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean."


CHER: Altman. And they told Robert that this is his first time on Broadway and do not hire her. It is a huge mistake. Do not hire her. And if you know

Bob, it was like the first thing he did.

AMANPOUR: Which is great.

CHER: Yes.

AMANPOUR: I love also, you know, because it really speaks to who you are, when your mother once told you -- you're quoted as saying: "Mom said to me

one day, you should settle down and marry a rich man." "And I said, 'Mom, I am a rich man."

CHER: "I am a rich man." Yes. And I don't know where it came from, but it -- it's -- obviously, it's somehow real, because I didn't expect to say it

at all, but it just came out. And that's the way I feel.

AMANPOUR: I just saw you mouthing it as I was saying it. I mean it's obviously almost like a mantra.

CHER: Right. And also, the kids are always saying it. And, like, I have a T-shirt that shows me and it says, "Mom, I am a rich man."

AMANPOUR: It resonates.

CHER: I think it's a good thing for young women, but I don't know exactly what it means.


CHER: I don't know exactly -- like, I said it, and -- but I don't know why I said. I mean I know I feel it, but I'm not sure the reality of it. I

don't know where it came from.

AMANPOUR: OK, so you don't know where it came from. But, now looking, back because this was obviously was years ago --

CHER: Yes.

AMANPOUR: -- do you have an idea of what you were trying to say?

CHER: Yes.

AMANPOUR: But you also talk about how difficult it was for you as a woman.

CHER: Yes.

AMANPOUR: So, maybe subconsciously --

CHER: Can't we all talk about that?

AMANPOUR: Come on then, I want to hear you talk about it.

CHER: All right. Well, yes, it was hard. I mean, I had Sonny though. So, in 1965 -- and also, we were drowning in America. It wasn't until we came

here, you know?

AMANPOUR: Here to the U.K.?

CHER: Yes, because the people in America hated us. They were so afraid of the way we looked. And we were so strange to them. They were like, uh-uh,

uh-uh. We came here, and it was like, we love you. It was heaven. It was heaven, because everybody liked us and our songs, we're on the charts. And

when we went back, people thought we were English.


AMANPOUR: "I Got You Babe," of course, was --

CHER: Yes.

AMANPOUR: -- the iconic one. There's so many, but that one --

CHER: But if it wasn't for the U.K., we couldn't get arrested.

AMANPOUR: I never knew that. I mean, to be fair, when you did the Sonny & Cher show, it was broadcast around the world on American stations in places

as far afield as Iran. I mean, I watched it growing up. Tell me how difficult it was for you, as a woman, because you've spoken about it,

certainly on stage, reinventing yourself. I think there were bankruptcies. There were people who didn't take you seriously --

CHER: Yes.

AMANPOUR: -- despite all your massive success.

CHER: Yes. There was this one reporter who kept saying, she's got 10 minutes left, she's not going to be here in a year. And, finally, I said,

you know what, dude? I'm going to be here when you're not longer -- when you're no longer working. And I kept thinking of myself as a bumper car.

And I thought if I hit the wall, I'll come back and I'll go another direction.

And, I mean, I went bankrupt. I -- it was terrible. Nobody wants to do that. And, also, no one wants to think of themselves as, like, a loser and

that no one likes you again. So, I just had to keep doing this.

AMANPOUR: But it clearly was -- I mean, in retrospect, I mean, really valuable. And you proved everybody wrong and it was a source of great

strength --

CHER: Right.

AMANPOUR: -- and success for you.

CHER: But you don't -- you don't know it. Like, you're hoping, and you're not giving up, but you don't know what's going to happen.

AMANPOUR: Yes. So -- well, you know, you just said, dude, I'm going to be here for forever. There have been people recently --

CHER: Well, it was just a front. I didn't know what I was going to be.

AMANPOUR: Well, but the thing is, you have been.

CHER: Yes.

AMANPOUR: You have outlived so many of the naysayers. And you are 75 years old.


CHER: Seventy-four. Seventy-four.

AMANPOUR: Seventy-four years old.

CHER: Give me -- give me every minute I can have.

AMANPOUR: Sorry. I fully agree with you, 74 years old. And critics have said that your voice is as strong as ever.

CHER: And it is. And I had my doctor -- I mean, it's not like for me to give a compliment. My doctor said -- he was looking, you now, at my cords.

And then, he said, I want to show you something. So, he pulled up some cords. And he said OK, these are your cords and these are 25- and 27-year-

old girl cords. And I'm just recording an album now. And I don't know -- I mean, it's very unnatural. So, this might be my last album. I feel like

Tony Bennett and Betty White, you know? But it could be my last album.


CHER: Yes.

AMANPOUR: There's a very unpleasant story about "Witches of Eastwick." I think, on your 40th birthday, the director called you up and said the star,

Jack Nicholson, didn't think you were young --

CHER: Sexy.

AMANPOUR: -- or sexy enough to play the part.

CHER: Right.

AMANPOUR: I mean, what did you think?

CHER: Well, I was so -- I just -- I kept hearing from the director and my agent and the studio. And they would say, he loves you, he wants to come

over, he wants to talk to you. And then he would come over and he would say, I want to change your voice. You have to change the way you look. I

don't like your walk. I don't like anything about you, really. And I called him. I went, guys, this is not what's happening when he comes over. And he

just didn't like me. And then we started working, and we never had a bad moment after that.

AMANPOUR: He being Jack Nicholson?


AMANPOUR: Who was --

CHER: -- Jack. George.

AMANPOUR: OK. Yes. But it was Jack who apparently -- he was trying to say that --

CHER: I don't believe Jack said that.


CHER: I mean, I've known Jack forever. And he could have said that. But then Michelle was the only young one. Susan and I were old. But, so --

AMANPOUR: That's Susan Sarandon and Michelle Pfeiffer, yes?

CHER: Yes, right.

AMANPOUR: I mean, you weren't old. You were 40 years old.

CHER: Yes, well, I -- yes. Now, in retrospect. But, no, I was pretty hot at 40. But it's --

AMANPOUR: Some people would say you're still hot. And many people would say you're still -- you're an icon, actually, and not only for everybody,

but especially in the LGBTQ community.

CHER: Yes.

AMANPOUR: And that's pretty something. And you have a son --

CHER: Right.

AMANPOUR: -- who's a transgender son, Chaz. And do you think that is what has made you sympathetic to the LGBT community, or did you have that going

in? Did the fact that--

CHER: At nine years old I knew. Like, one day, I came home and there were these two men in my living room with my mom and my aunt. And they were

doing their hair. And they were talking. And I was thinking, why haven't we ever had these kinds of guys around, because these guys are like the

coolest? And that was my beginning into the gay world. And we were always just like this, because gay people don't feel like they fit in, and I never

felt like I fit in.

AMANPOUR: How much did being -- I mean, your father was Armenian heritage. Your mother, I believe, was Cherokee, American Indian.

CHER: And many other things.

AMANPOUR: And many others.

CHER: Right.

AMANPOUR: How much did --

CHER: I never met my father until I was 11.

AMANPOUR: No. No. But you knew that you had all this identity.

CHER: I didn't know anything.

AMANPOUR: You didn't know.

CHER: My mother --

AMANPOUR: Did you not know that you were American Indian?

CHER: My mother didn't tell me anything --


CHER: -- until the day he walked in the door.

AMANPOUR: And what about her own background, Native American background?

CHER: Well, they would tell me stories about my great grandmother and how she was tough. From what I understand she was very, very tough. And so --

but my mother really -- I don't know why she didn't want to tell me and then he walked in and I knew lots of reasons why she would look at me with

a strange look sometimes because he and I have the same expressions and, you know, we eat slowly.


CHER: And don't -- neither one of us have a temper.

AMANPOUR: And he sort of abandoned you. I mean, your mother was a single mother basically.

CHER: Yes.


CHER: He took my mother to Pennsylvania and left her.

AMANPOUR: I want to ask you again about Chaz because you see now that there's a massive public debate about how to speak about, think about the

transgender issue and it's quite pointed, there's a lot of cancel culture, there's a lot of -- for a lot of people a lot of difficulty around just

even discussing the issue. What do you think of that? I mean, you obviously -- I mean, you came to it really naturally and you obviously had no


CHER: No, that's not exactly true.


CHER: I did. It was very unlike me to in the beginning have a problem with Chaz being gay and it disappeared like that. And then we talked about

transgender for many years. And then -- and she would say, no, I don't want to do it. And then he went and said, OK, I want to do this.


So -- but it wasn't easy, like I remember calling and the old message, the old Chaz message was on the phone and that was very difficult. But then you

have one child but you don't really lose them.


CHER: They just are in a different shape. You know, and Chaz is so happy, so unbelievably happy and I don't know what the peoples' problems are.

They're fearful and they just don't understand how to react to it. Some of it's religious. I am not sure, you know. I'm just not sure why it's such a

big thing. And I try to -- I talk to people, you know, on Twitter or people come up to me and I just say just relax and you guys will get through it.

You'll get through it together.

AMANPOUR: And what do you think because you've also been in the middle of this? Do you think the debate is open enough? Do you think it's too often


CHER: No, I don't think it's open at all, you know. It's really open with some people, a few people and just closed to the rest of the majority. They

don't want to do it.

AMANPOUR: You've very political, you're very involved. You did a lot of campaigning for --

CHER: Joe.

AMANPOUR: -- Joe Biden, Joe and Kamala.

CHER: I've known Joe since 2006.


CHER: Right. And I adore him, I love him. And I am sorry that they are trying to hog tie him so that he can't do anything because he's such a

great man, great heart. I know everybody knows that, tough, you know, little temper and has so many ideas. He wants to do so many things, you

know, and they're all good. You know, he wants to do things for the people.

AMANPOUR: And what does it say to you that it's taken this long but at least there is a vice president who is a woman --

CHER: Yes.

AMANPOUR: -- now vice president-elect and also a woman of color?

CHER: Very proud, very proud. But, you know, why should we be surprised? It's too long that it's to say, OK, we're surprised. What the hell

happened? You know, should've been a long time ago. Women are great. Women are tough. Don't screw with them.

AMANPOUR: I will back you there. What is next for you? What happens when lockdown ends?

CHER: I don't really know. Oh, I'm going to direct a film.


CHER: And I'm really excited. It's a great film. I kept telling them get someone better, you know, get someone -- I've only directed one thing,

please get someone better. But they keep telling me that I'm the right person and it's a great film. I can't tell you what it is but --

AMANPOUR: Yes. Can you tell us who's in it?

CHER: -- it's a great film. You're going to love it. I promise you you'll love it.

AMANPOUR: Can you tell us who's in it?



CHER: Because mostly it's not -- it's young people with a great storyline, a great storyline and I can tell you this, it has something to do with "The

Rocky Horror Show" but really nothing.

AMANPOUR: OK. Everybody's going to be now desperately digging to figure out what it is. Do you have a favorite film of your own?

CHER: Well, I guess it's "Moonstruck." I really loved it. But I also love "Silkwood." I mean, I had no cares, I had no responsibility, you know, I

did funny things, you know, I did sad things but I had no feeling. You know, I had no -- I was like a child when they just do stuff, you know. I

just had no feeling.

AMANPOUR: No expectations, no --

CHER: No, no.


CHER: And Meryl was so great. The first time I saw her, she came up, put her arms around me and said, I'm so glad you're here.

AMANPOUR: That's really great. Inclusive.

CHER: Yes. And I was -- I kept unpacking my suitcase. My sister kept packing it and I kept unpacking it and I went, how can I go make a movie

with Meryl Streep, are you kidding me? And my sister said you can, you can.

AMANPOUR: And do you have a favorite song of yours?

CHER: Oh, maybe "Song for the Lonely" and "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me."

AMANPOUR: And if I was to ask you to sing a little bit now, would you?


AMANPOUR: No, fine. I always try it but --


AMANPOUR: -- I realize --

CHER: But I'm making a new album that's going to be really cool. I can't tell you about it either but no one's ever done this and I've been thinking

about it for like 10 years.

AMANPOUR: Nobody's ever done the album that you are going to do?

CHER: Yes. I don't know if they just didn't think about it. But I thought about it a long time ago and went I'm going to do this. This is going to be


AMANPOUR: On that note, Cher, you won't tell me about your new film, you won't tell me about your new album. I'm just going to have to say thank



AMANPOUR: Thanks for being with us.

CHER: I'm so happy to be with you.


NEWTON: So, no matter what, Christiane couldn't get. But it was a very candid interview. What a treat that was.


Thanks so much for joining us and goodbye from me, Paul Newton, in New York.