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Coast Guard Rescues Man Who Went Overboard On Carnival Ship; China Reports Record Number Of New COVID Cases; Elon Musk Vows To Restore Banned Accounts On Twitter. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired November 25, 2022 - 11:30   ET



SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Still struggling with no power and therefore no water being pumped around the system and now being struck by artillery and rocket fire from across the Dnipro River, seven people at least killed there in the last 24 hours. The government saying that they're evacuating the hospital, the main -- one of the main hospitals there because of the danger of it being hit in these ongoing missile strikes.

So, there's a ground war and a parallel air war. The air war being focused by Russia on trying to break the capacity of Ukraine to sustain its civilian population through the winter, and then the ground war, the continuing grinding activities, which so far at the moment over the last few months, the Russians have been effective on the back foot but that does not mean that that is not a bloody and bitter exchange. The Ukrainians meanwhile, asking -- getting to the point of demanding more international aid to give them the capacity to defend themselves in the skies against those cruise missiles that are so damaging as winter approaches, Erica.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Demanding that aid to help them in the skies. We'll if see there has been some movement on that. Certainly, just today in the comments, we're going to talk about those now. Sam Kiley, appreciate it.

Joining me now is CNN military analyst retired Colonel Cedric Leighton, also CNN Global Affairs analyst Susan Glasser, she's a writer for The New Yorker. So, picking up where Sam left off there, there's been a lot of talks than just the last couple of days about these air defense systems that Germany had offered Poland. Poland is saying, hey, we think Ukraine should have them. NATO Secretary General was asked about that this morning, Poland or Ukraine, here's his answer.


JENS STOLTENBERG, NATO SECRETARY GENERAL: We need both increased air defense for our NATO allies in the East, in the Baltic countries, Poland, Romania but also we need -- we need more air defense in Ukraine. That's obvious. We see the horrendous horrific attacks every day against civilian infrastructure. We should further step up and that's my call to NATO allies.


HILL: Susan, that's his call to NATO allies to further step up, what are the chances this happens? What will be taken into account at this point?

SUSAN GLASSER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Yes. Look, I think the recent, you know, sort of alarm over what turned out to be apparently an errant Ukrainian air defense missile hitting and killing a couple of Polish civilians is a reminder that as long as the war is so close to NATO's borders, the risk factor has gone way up. I do think that increases the appetite even in countries that are members of NATO but are more wary of doing anything that might be perceived as escalation on the part of Russia. I do think that you know you're going to see more air defense aid both to Ukraine, and beefing up of those NATO allies like Poland, in particular.

HILL: Colonel, there's also the discussion of if these air defense systems do, in fact, go into Ukraine, the potential learning curve there in terms of operating them, and whether this is where U.S. contractors could step in. How do you see that playing out?

CEDRIC LEIGHTON, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Yes, Erica, that could be a very interesting dilemma. Of course, contractors would not be protected as uniformed military personnel. It wouldn't be under the laws of the Geneva Convention. It also would be a factor where they would have to work very closely with their Ukrainian counterparts.

It can be done. I -- and it would require ramping up by the defense industry to get these weapons systems, especially the Patriot system over to Ukraine. It shouldn't be done. The question is will we have the capacity and the will to do that?

HILL: Yes. And perhaps there's even more focus on the will at this point. Russian President Vladimir Putin actually met with the mothers of soldiers fighting in Ukraine today. This is a rare moment where Putin is acknowledging the many lost Russian lives in this war. Susan, what do you make of this decision on the part of Putin to have this meeting?

GLASSER: Well, it does reflect increasing pressure inside Russian society ever since Putin authorized and required a partial mobilization of Russian men calling up hundreds of thousands of them earlier this fall in response to Ukraine's successes on the battlefield. That has increased the pushback inside Russian society with hundreds of thousands of people leaving, but those remaining in their families are extremely alarmed that the prospect of their children being used as cannon fodder.

I remember when we lived there during the Second Chechen War it was the mothers -- the mothers of the soldiers who provided the real emotional power and what existed of resistance inside Russia to that conflict. I think you're going to see the same dynamic playing out here. There's a level of casualties that the Russian government simply can't hide from its own people. So, I think it's an unusual step by Putin that reflects the enormous concerns that are growing inside Russia today when Children are being used as cannon fodder. [11:35:02]

HILL: Susan Glasser, Colonel Cedric Leighton, always appreciate your insight and your expertise thank you both.

LEIGHTON: You bet.

HILL: Another sunny upset at the World Cup, plus one of the most anticipated showdowns of that tournament coming your way this afternoon. We've got a live report for you from Qatar, next.



HILL: New this morning, the U.S. Coast Guard rescues a cruise ship passenger who went overboard. This happened on a Carnival Ship in the Gulf of Mexico. The passenger spent nearly a full day at sea until he was located. CNN's Nick Valencia is joining us now with the details of the rescue. I am fascinated by this story, Nick, because, A., it has a good ending. I mean, normally we hear about these stories and if someone falls off one of those giant ships, the chances of recovery are pretty slim.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Erica, I can't remember the last time I heard of somebody being lost at sea or going overboard and being found alive. I mean, this guy is going to have a crazy story for the rest of his life. And I'm looking down at my phone because we just got new information. We found out that this guy is a 28-year-old man and he was located -- he went overboard at 11:00 p.m. on Thursday, he was at the bar with his sister.

She tells authorities that he said he was going to the bathroom but he never came back. She reports a missing noon the next day. There's a search and rescue that gets underway at about 2:30. And according to details just released here by the U.S. Coast Guard, he was found at 8:25 the next day. So, by my math, that's almost about 20 hours in the Gulf of Mexico.

The U.S. Coast Guard said that he was a passenger on the Carnival cruise ship, the Carnival Valor. They were set for a five-day cruise to Cozumel, leaving the Porta in New Orleans and making their way to Mexico when this incident happened. He was spotted actually by a crew of a vessel that was alerted by the Coast Guard that an individual was missing in the Gulf of Mexico. Just listen to the Coast Guard Lieutenant that we had on earlier this morning on "CNN THIS MORNING" describe this holiday miracle.


LT. SETH GROSS, SEARCH & RESCUE COORDINATOR, U.S. COAST GUARD: I'll be honest with you. You know, a 17-year career, this case is unlike anything I've been a part of. So, you know, I think it kind of blows the norm -- the normalcy out of the water here. And really just shows the world to live is something that you need to account for in every search and rescue case. (END VIDEO CLIP)

VALENCIA: Remarkable story. A Carnival Cruise released a statement to us just a short time ago and here's what they had to say. We greatly appreciate the efforts of all, most especially the U.S. Coast Guard and the mariner who spotted the guest in the water. We'll defer to the coast guard officials on any other information to be released.

And really quickly here, Erica, I think a very interesting note. The man is in stable condition. His family went on the cruise to Cozumel. They kept going. They left him behind in New Orleans to recover. So, we're reading between the lines there. His family didn't stay with him to recover. So, you know, he was at the bar before -- the last time he was seen before we went overboard.

HILL: Yes.

VALENCIA: It's hard to think that alcohol didn't play a factor in all of this, Erica.

HILL: Yes. What a story, Nick, appreciate it. Thank you.

VALENCIA: It happened.

HILL: China is reporting a record number of COVID cases since the start of the pandemic. Authorities say more than 32,000 new cases. That surpasses the previous record, which it didn't set just the day before. And it comes as the descent is really growing over the country's continued tough restrictions. CNN's Selina Wang is live in Beijing. So, Selina, how is the government trying to contain this outbreak?

SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erica, China is just going back to this playbook of harsh lockdowns, mass testing, and sending all COVID cases and close contacts to these mass quarantine facilities and people across China are facing varying levels of restrictions. Here in Beijing right now, we're basically in a de facto lockdown. And increasingly, it is the restrictions themselves, not COVID itself that are being blamed for the heartbreaking deaths that are fueling nationwide outrage.

Adding to that anger is a fire that broke out in the capital of China's far-west Xinjiang region on Thursday night. 10 people were killed and nine injured in a fire at an apartment building. Widely circulated videos, which have now been censored in China show that COVID lockdown measures very likely delayed firefighters from getting to the scene.

Now, most parts of Xinjiang had been under lockdown for more than 100 days. State media is now claiming that people in the compound were not blocked from leaving, but the video you see shows fire trucks unable to get close to the scene because the compound entrance is partially blocked with metal barriers that are normally used as part of COVID measures, Erica.

HILL: And that is heartbreaking. Selina, appreciate the update. Thank you.

Talk about a big day at the World Cup. We'll have your news for you now. In just hours, Team USA set to face off against England. You may have big plans to watch this. Plus Iran just defeated Wales in another major upset. That win though, of course, comes under the shadow of this vicious crackdown in Iran. Here, you see a number of soccer fans showing solidarity with those anti-government protesters back home. CNN's Don Liddell is live in Qatar.

So, Don, first -- I mean, this has been quite the World Cup of upsets. You've got Saudi Arabia beating Argentina, Japan defeats Germany, Iran wins over Wales, I mean, just put this in perspective. Have we ever seen a World Cup start things off like this?


DON RIDDELL, CNN HOST: I mean, it's been amazing, that's for sure. I wouldn't say it's the most amount of upsets have ever seen at a World Cup. Big teams always crash and burn. There are always surprises.

But I think what's marked this one is different, Erica, is there are so many other subplots and narratives. We've got the human rights issue, we've got the situation that the Iranian team are having to deal with, and that's put so much pressure on those players. And I think that was -- what was so impressive about their win over Wales today.

I would say that Iran beating Wales wasn't that big a surprise. Iran usually plays in the World Cup, Wales haven't even been in this tournament since 1958. And they certainly deserved their win the way they went about it in the second half. They really, really threw everything at Wales.

And although their games get (AUDIO GAP) were very well deserved. And you kind of put all that against the backdrop of what these players have been dealing with, the fact that they didn't sing the anthem in their opening game against England, which was perceived as showing solidarity with the supporters today. Some of them sang the anthem, but they seem to be kind of not really fully invested in belting out the words. There's so much going on with these players. And for them to put in a performance like that was absolutely extraordinary. It really, really was incredible.

And of course, we've got this huge game coming up here tonight, USA- England in just a couple of hours' time, very, very excited about that. This is arguably the game of the group stage, of course, the USA, really hoping to get a win over England. And if they can do what they did back in 1950, a huge upset against the English team, they will be absolutely thrilled. Let's see what happens in a bit.

HILL: Yes. I think a lot of folks here in the U.S. are happy that many of them have the day off for the Thanksgiving holiday so they can really enjoy the match if you know what I'm saying. Don, appreciate it. We'll check in with you in just a little bit again.

Coming up here. Twitter is a very different space and company since Elon Musk took it over. The CEO's new move -- the latest move, I should say, raising eyebrows again.



HILL: Elon Musk has the keys to Twitter and he's promising to use them to unlock the jail cells of banned accounts. Twitter's new CEO vowing to give amnesty to nearly all previously red flag users. That includes those who were locked out of the platform for harassing others or spreading misinformation. Joining me now is John Herman. He's a writer for New York Magazine.

So, I do remember, I don't know maybe it was just a few weeks ago, I've lost all sense of time, with the latest Twitter, but Elon Musk promised to not let Twitter become a free for all hellscape. Hellscape, I guess is open to interpretation. It feels like some moves like this maybe that idea went by the wayside. How much is this move about Elon Musk talking about free speech, bringing people back on, how much of this is an ego play of a reminder of I can do whatever I want, it's my company, I'm in charge?

JOHN HERMAN, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, NEW YORK MAGAZINE: (INAUDIBLE). And when he first took over, there was this very brief window where he was trying to assure everyone, I'm not going to ruin this place. Advertisers, I'm not going to make this unsafe. People who don't seem -- who don't agree with me politically, don't worry about it. That lasted a couple of days if that -- now he is asserting control in every way possible.

Internally, by firing lots of people sort of demanding loyalty, long working hours, individual check-ins with engineers, and then on the platform itself by posting Twitter polls to ask if Donald Trump should come back. Something that he said he was going to do before he bought the platform. He's kind of making a little bit of a joke out of this, you know, semi-public space.

HILL: Yes. I mean, he definitely seems to be enjoying his new role, his power with the company, you have a great new piece out about this, and you point out in there, Twitter is still a company, you're right, but he's also just a guy. And what I found really interesting is you make the excellent point that this is not Tesla, this is not SpaceX, this is not Elon Musk building a company from the ground up. Part of the friction, I guess, that you're seeing we're publicly is that he took over this existing company and culture that's a much different way to begin.

HERMAN: It's one thing to build a company around a vision, like going to (INAUDIBLE) Musk. It's another thing to come into a mature company with thousands of employees to sort of demand they get in line. And then also to demand that this services, tens of millions -- hundreds of millions of users get in mind as well. He's kind of taking a take it or leave it approach or rather my way or the highway approach to a place that's populated by hundreds of millions of people all around the world with all different sorts of reasons for being there and political orientations. And (AUDIO GAP) HILL: Unfortunately, I think we're having a little trouble with the shot. It keeps going in and out. We're going to have to leave it there because we're having those tech issues. But I do encourage everybody to read that piece. New York Magazine John Herman, thank you.

Coming up here. Customers returning to in-person shopping as retailers do their very best to tempt you with those holiday deals, but are they really deals? We got a snapshot of how Black Friday is going, after the break.



HILL: Thanks so much for joining us on this Friday. I'm Erica Hill in for Kate Bolduan. Holiday shoppers out there hitting the stores this Black Friday, inflation is with them. What's the impact? We're going to take a closer look. The National Retail Federation expects 166 million Americans to shop this week. And that's up -- as you can see up nearly 8 million over 2021 numbers. And that would be welcome news for retailers who are hoping to combat higher prices with bigger deals. Many stores are rolling out those discounts though much earlier this year to try to draw you in. CNN's Alison Kosik is live at Macy's in New York City. Looks like a fair amount of foot traffic behind you, Alison, are they buying?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It looks like they are, Erica. There is a lot of foot traffic and I see a lot of people holding multiple bags. So, yes, it looks like at least here is the Macy's in Herald Square in New York City, they are buying.