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The Global Brief with Bianca Nobilo

U.S. Canada Say Iran Shot Down Plane; Iran State Media: U.S. Invited To Be Present For Investigation; Iran Strike Sent Message To U.S. Without Casualties; Prince Harry And Meghan Apply To Trademark "Sussex Royal"; Duke & Duchess of Sussex To "Step Back" From Monarchy; Prince Harry Defied Queen Over Statement On Royal Role. Aired 5-5:30p ET

Aired January 09, 2020 - 17:00   ET



BIANCA NOBILO, CNN HOST: Tonight on "The Brief" Canada had intelligence that Iran shot down Ukraine Airlines flight killing 176 people. We'll take

a closer look how bushfires in Australia have devastated the wildlife population.

And stepping back, Duke and Duchess of Sussex are making a major lifestyle change, but not everyone is supportive.

Live from London, I'm Bianca Nobilo, welcome to the show. We begin with new revelations that indicate that Iran shot down a Ukrainian passenger plane.

U.S. officials say radar indicates that the plane was hit by two Russian made surface-to-air missiles. U.S. says that the plane was hit by mistake.

Dozens of victims had ties to Canada. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau concurred with the shoot down theory and promised to pursue a

thorough investigation.


JUSTIN TRUDEAU, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER: It is now more important than ever that we know exactly how such a tragedy could have happened. The families

of the victims and all Canadians want answers. I want answers. That means closure, transparency, accountability, and justice. This government will

not rest until we get that.


NOBILO: The plane crashed early Wednesday at the height of the tensions over America's killing of a top Iranian general. All 176 people on board

died. Now, I'm going to show you some video of what was said to be the actual incident. If you look closely you can see something fired into the

sky, possibly a missile that appears to hit an object.

Now CNN can't verify this video is what it claims to be, but the buildings are similar to those near the area where the plane went down. As we

mentioned, Canada has a big stake in the investigation. 63 victims were Canadian citizens and others were studying there. CNN's Paula Newton has

more on a nation grieving and demanding answers.

PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Bianca, Canada does want answers. That's why they really stuck their next out on this intelligence and really were

forceful in trying to demand a transparent investigation as this country grieves.

In Canada the loss is profound, the grief intense. So many stories, so many lives upended in stunning ways. Hassan Shadkhoo tearfully holds the last

image of his wife Sheyda sent to him from flight 752. He says she had a premonition something tragic would happen to her.


HASSAN SHADKHOO, HUSBAND OF SHEYDA SHADKHOO: She was going down so she wrote I'm leaving but behind me there are worries - behind me there are

worries. I'm scared for the people who are behind.


NEWTON: The grief turned to shock when Canada declared it was likely Iran mistakenly shot down the airliner. Canada's Prime Minister left little

doubt as to the credibility of the intelligence.


TRUDEAU: We have intelligence from multiple sources, including our allies and our own intelligence. The evidence indicates that the plane was shot

down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile. The news will undoubtedly come as a further shock to the families already grieving in the face of this

unspeakable tragedy.


NEWTON: This is one of the worst aviation disasters in Canadian history. Not only were 63 Canadians killed but 138 of the passengers were headed to

Canada from Tehran. Vigils mourned the lives of so many children, parents, students who lived right across the country. Most were dual Iranian and

Canadian citizens.


HOSEIN AMOOSHAHI, FRIEND OF CRASH VICTIMS: I can't think of any other event of this scale that has touched so many people. I go on my Facebook and

Instagram and almost every friend I know here has lost a friend or family member.


NEWTON: The victims lived across the country from both coasts many Canadians were trying to come to terms with the loss.


PAYMAN PARSEYAN, FRIEND OF CRASH VICTIMS: One of my friends, his wife and two young girls were killed. His girls were nine and fourteen. How can

someone put words to that? It's just terrible. I can't imagine what their families are going through.


NEWTON: The news that Iran might have mistakenly taken the lives of so many of its own was just beginning to register. Families in Canada now worry

about how to repatriate the remains of their loved ones as Canada works to gain access to the site. You know a big issue for the families Bianca is to

get access to the site. They want a way to be able to repatriate the remains of their loved ones. Bianca.

NOBILO: Thanks to Paula Newton there. Let's hear what Iran has to say about all this. CNN's Frederik Pleitgen joins me from Tehran. Fred, in the face

of mounting evidence and accusations that this plane was shot down by Iranian surface-to-air missile, what is Tehran saying about the incident?


FREDERIK PLEIGTEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We're getting some new information actually right now, Bianca. Just about 10 to 15

minutes ago, there was a tweet that was put out by the spokesman of Iran's Foreign Ministry. He says that - and I'm paraphrasing what he is saying

here, investigations on the cause of Ukrainian plane crashed have launched based on international standards and ICAO regulations.

Ukraine and Boeing have been invited. Obviously in reference to the fact that the Iranians had originally said they were not going to allow, for

instance, the black boxes to be seen by Boeing, because this was an American company. Now they say that they have invited the U.S. and, of

course, Boeing specifically.

There was a statement earlier on the Fars News Agency saying that Boeing had allegedly designated a representative already to take part in the

investigation. However, the international sanctions might make it difficult for that person to come here. Reached out to Boeing, not sure exactly what

their answer is going to be on this.

There's another interesting sentence in this. He says, and I quote, we appreciate any country that can provide info to the committee in charge. So

the Iranians obviously saying they, themselves, are looking for information. Obviously this in the face of what we're hearing, for

instance, from the Canadians.

We now strongly believe that it might have been an Iranian missile that actually shot that plane down. The other thing we've done, Bianca, this is

also key, I think, is we've managed to get in touch with the head of Iran's Civilian Air Authority. He says that the Iranians are obviously

investigating this.

But he says he has doubts about the theory it was shot down by a missile. He said, look, the plane took off. It was flying for several minutes. Then

there was some sort of event that led the pilot to try to make his back to Imam Khomeini Airport from where it took off.

The Head of Aviation Authority saying he believes that if it would have been struck by a missile, it would have come down immediately. Again, those

are his words. As far as the black boxes are concerned, which of course right now very much the heart of the investigation, the Iranians is saying

they have the capability to read the information on those black boxes. They have done that yet.

One of the black boxes is damaged. There's a team of Ukrainian investigators also on the ground here. The Iranians are saying tomorrow the

Iranians and Ukrainians are going to try to get to that data. But because the box is damaged, that might be quite difficult, Bianca.

NOBILO: Fred in Tehran, thank you very much for joining us. Frederik Pleitgen there giving us the latest information that Iran has invited the

U.S. to participate in or at least be present for the investigation into the aircraft as Boeing manufactured the aircraft.

Now we're expecting a vote soon on Capitol Hill that's aimed at limiting Donald Trump's power to wage war on Iran. The House of Represents is

debating a resolution that would require the U.S. President to get congressional approval, before "Engaging in hostilities unless the use of

force is deemed necessary to prevent an imminent attack".

Now that's an important qualifier. As the Trump Administration insists that Qasem Soleimani posed an imminent threat before he was killed. Here is what

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said today about the strike on Iran's military commander.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): I do not believe in terms of what is in the public domain that they have made the country safer by what they did. That

is what our responsibility is.


NOBILO: It appears the majority of the Americans agree with her a new poll show 55 percent believe the Soleimani's killing makes U.S. less safe. The

commander of Iran's Aerospace Force says it's airstrikes in Iraq were not meant to kill U.S. troops. Rather, it was meant to strike at the heart of

America's, "Military Machine".

Iran said that its missile attacks on U.S. targets in Iraq this week could have been deadly but that they restrained themselves. Still, Iranian

military leaders are warning that they are planning harsher revenge for General Qasem Soleimani's death.


AMIR ALI HAJIZADEH, AEROSPACE COMMANDER, ISLAMIC REVOLUTIONARY GUARD CORPS: This action that the forces of IRG carried out and the missile strike at

one of the most important American bases, this, indeed, was the beginning of the big operation, an action that, God willing, will continue.


NOBILO: So that begs the question, why did Iran fire its ballistic missiles where it did? Clarissa Ward visits one strike spot in Iraq to find out.

CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So this is one of the sites where Iranian missiles hit the other night. As you can see, it's a

rural area. There is nothing much to see here. The nearest thing locals tell us is a refugee camp just under a mile in that direction.

Local security officials also saying that there are no Americans here, there are no American bases here. But nonetheless, this is where one of the

missiles hit and you can see this area of impact.


WARD: If you go through some of these small craters, you can also find some shrapnel from where the missile hit. The question really is what exactly

where the Iranians trying to target here? Were they even trying to target something specific at all, or were they just trying to show that their

missiles have a far reach?

More broadly speaking, of course, this is a strategically important area for the Americans. Northern Iraq has essentially been the base of

operations, particularly Special Forces operations in the fight against ISIS. For locals in this area, and there aren't that many of them, they did

say it was frightening to hear the palace. Windows were blown out.

Of course, there's real concern. Nobody wants to see tensions escalate any further between the U.S. and Iran. People in areas like this thought that

this conflict had nothing to do with them. But the Iranians showing with this missile hit that their attacks can go anywhere. Clarissa Ward, CNN,

Bardarash, Iraq.

NOBILO: A state of disaster has been extended in parts of Australia has have been ravaged by bushfires and conditions are expected to get worse in

the coming hours, particularly for New South Wales and Victoria. The death toll has now risen to 27. Up to a billion animals have also been affected.

For them the loss of land could mean the difference between life and death. Anna Coren takes a look at the devastating impact on wildlife and the


ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There are lots of eastern gray kangaroos on the Golf Course in Mallacoota; Victoria has always been part

of the scenery. But these animals aren't just here for a picture. Their habitat was completely obliterated during the bushfires and the fairways

provide grass remaining.

A young Joey moves slowly. It's caught the attention of its Chris Barton and Elaine Ong; this husband and wife team has flown from Melbourne to this

coastal town surrounded by National Park that remains cut off by fires. As volunteers they've brought desperately needed medical supplies and bags of



CHRIS BARTON, VETS FOR COMPASSION: This little one isn't walking well or hopping well and we're going to dart him and assess what he's going to be



COREN: They fire a tranquilizer dart, and within minutes it takes effect. Inspecting her pores and hind feet, their worst fears are realized.


ELAINE ONG, VETS FOR COMPASSION: Terribly burnt, this is a third degree burn.

BARTON: And this is all cooked up--


COREN: The decision has been made to euthanize. There is no other alternative. She's among hundreds of kangaroos' and more than a dozen

koalas that had to be put out of their misery.


BARTON: I've been a vet for over 40 years, and I still don't get used to it. It is wholesale slaughter. It's awful, still brings tears to my eyes.


COREN: As you can see so much pristine bush land here in Mallacoota has been wiped out by the bushfires and the concern is for the wildlife that

has survived and injured. The loss of habitat could mean starvation in the coming weeks.


ONG: In a way maybe the ones that died quickly were lucky. The survivors may not be so lucky.


COREN: Due to the overwhelming number of injured animals that have been found and brought to the makeshift clinic in town, some have been

transferred to Melbourne for treatment while others are recovering in local shelters.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have to change those every two days, but she's one of the lucky ones.


COREN: As is Wilbur, the koala.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The - city is good to go; he is a happy little fellow, too.


COREN: He was rescued during the fires, but now it was time to send him back to the bush.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's been in a cage for I think five days now. Let him have a bit of a walk and finds his legs before we send him up a tree.


COREN: Nearby a healthy mother and baby spotted in a gum tree. A hopeful sign some Mallacoota's fauna was spared and can help rebuild this natural

and incredibly fragile ecosystem. Anna Coren, CNN, Mallacoota, Victoria, Australia.

NOBILO: If you're looking for ways that you can help wildlife and people impacted by the fires, please do visit There you can find

organizations where you can donate.

Lebanon is trying to make sure that - Carlos Ghosn cannot leave the country. It imposed a travel ban on the Former NISSAN's CEO who stunned the

world last month when he fled Japan when he was facing trial for alleged financial wrong doing.


NOBILO: A new release of surveillance video appears to show Ghosn walking down a side street near his home in Tokyo hours before he fled the company

in a private jet. While CNN hasn't confirmed the video's authenticity, you can see it there its sparking speculation about whether or not he was

trying to evade detection. Ghosn told CNN that he decided to leave after concluding that he wouldn't get a fair trial in Japan.

Still to come on "The Brief" this evening define the Queen. New details on Prince Harry's decision to step back from the royal family.


NOBILO: We're learning more about Prince Harry and his wife Megan's surprise announcement to step back from their royal duties. Prince Harry

defied the Queen when he revealed his plans to pull back from the monarchy. The Queen said that she had asked her grandson not to issue Wednesday's

public statement but he went ahead with it anyway.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex say they are working towards being financially independent. That move has dominated the British media. The

Royal Couple are also debuting new branding to further distinguish themselves. They applied to trademark Sussex Royal the copyright would

cover everything from this updated website which you can see on the other side of the screen to their charity work and social programs.

Shola Mos-Shogbamimu is a lawyer and political and women's rights activist and she joins me for today's "Royal Debrief" Great to have you on the



NOBILO: Now we've been having a look at all the headlines here in Britain. One says Queen is furious. Harry and Megan say we quit. One saying they

didn't tell the Queen. How do you see this? Do you see this as them being courageous captains of their in faith or they been petulant and dare

letting their duty.

SHOGBAMIMU: I applaud them. I think that they make absolute right decision. It was clear that the unprecedented abuse of vitriol of hate, steeped in

with misogyny and racism and sexism that have been experienced has actually made their position or their duties as senior royals untenable.

So something had to give. This decision is absolutely right for their mental health, their well-being as a family, for their young son, so I

applaud them for making this momentous decision. It's the right thing to do.

NOBILO: How significant has the vitriol been lately because many people in the press, perhaps unsurprisingly, have argued actually the press coverage

was quite fair. There was a rough time given to both in that the beginning, plenty of unpleasant and racist things said about Meghan's background. But

the press coverage has been favorable in large part due.

SHOGBAMIMU: I don't know what press you've been reading. But there is nothing favorable towards Harry and Meghan. And even if you look at the

last six months just a few months ago both of them made such powerful statements. Harry said I will not play the game that killed my mother.


SHOGBAMIMU: Meghan said, not many people have asked if I'm okay. That doesn't sound like they are responding to some fair press. There has not

been any press. Within days of Meghan giving birth to their son, their son was referred to or compared to a Chimpanzee and the BBC host had made that

comment and posted that tweet was fired and then hired back a couple months later. There's no real accountability. The media is not being fair to them.

NOBILO: I mean that they are all obviously individuals who have done deeply racist and hateful things. If we think about Meghan's statement that she

made in that documentary which she referred to where she said that she was struggling, essentially, what would you say when people might all of you

that even though you could celebrate the fact that they're trying to look after their well being and their end happiness.

But actually when you're part of the royal family that does mean that in order to take on that responsibility and platform, you have to make some

sacrifices. The British--

SHOGBAMIMU: Well, I have some news for the British people. The Royal Family is not chattel. They are not property because taxpayer moneys are used to

pay for their accommodations or pay income to them. They are no different from you and me. If they are employees and we are the employers that don't

mean they don't have a right to no privacy or does not mean they should be put on some pedestal and suffer abuse.

Bottom line is this for all those who need to hear it Harry and Meghan don't owe the United Kingdom jackal about their own personal lives. They

can make their own decisions and let's be remind that there's nothing they have done in their duty as Senior Royals that has brought the Royals as

you're saying to disrepute it they have not done that.

Prince Andrew has. He has been alleged to commit rape he has had sex with a minor. He has made the decision to be friends with a convicted pedophile.

That is disgraceful. That is shameful. That is disappointing. Not Harry and Meghan deciding you know what we want to redefine our own boundaries. We

want to be able to go out there in the world and live a life that means something truly important for us and for their son.

And I think that is right to do. Let's not forget this is 2020. This is the 21st century. Women like you and I and Meghan should have the right to

decide for ourselves what quality of life we want. We should not be criticized harshly because we want to do something that is different from

the normal. I think that it's important that we stop criticizing Meghan for things that other royals are praised for.

NOBILO: Indeed there is an incredibly stark contrast between what we've seen with Prince Andrew and then how the media have treated Harry and

Meghan. But you do raise a point about they owe he the British public nothing. They haven't brought the institution into disrepute. But if we

look at that they did for example excluding the Queen from this decision making they did get into trouble over ostensible hypocrisy saying that

people shouldn't fly and then taking private jets, some issues over using the press occasionally but not others.

My question is when they say on their website that they want to be members of the Royal Family with financial independence, are there not inherent

contradictions here that they haven't acknowledged? They want some of the perks but then not the difficulties that sometimes are deeply unfortunate

but do go along with that territory?

SHOGBAMIMU: So I would interpret that differently. I think whether we like it or not, you, I, or anybody else, Harry will always is a member of the

Royal Family. So will Meghan because she's his wife.

Now, similarly, as though they have, you know, offended the Queen, we don't know that. I will take that with a pinch of salt. We don't know that for a

fact. I think people are making more out of that than there is. I don't believe for a second that people in the palace - key people were not aware

that this message was not going to go out.

I'm sure that all of this was - there's no doubt that Harry and Meghan had to make a momentous decision. The way you talk about things like the

decisions they have made or the hypocrisy, I don't see them be hypocrites. There are many people who support climate change who take planes.

Technology is not cut off with climate change yet. To call them hypocrites for doing that is again, being a hypocrite. We all care about climate

change but we all get on planes, too, because it's necessary or for time reasons to do so. So no, I don't see them as being hypocrites.

I do think that you do raise a fair point that they are probably going to be complexities and great shapes - a Royal Member but I want to have

financial independence. Again, like anything in life, this is something they're going to have to navigate. All I have to say is this giving them a

chance for goodness sakes. I mean, if you can't, leave them alone.

NOBILO: Shola, thank you very much for joining us. I appreciate it.

SHOGBAMIMU: Thank you.


NOBILO: When "The Brief" returns, Harry and Meghan are looking at a more unconventional future than expected as we have been talking about. But then

not the First Royals to go in a different direction.


NOBILO: So Harry and Meghan are taking an unprecedented step. But even though the Royal Family always like to keep a tight grip on what happens in

their world, through the years there have been quite a few wild cards. Take Henry VIII, when he wanted a new wife, his catholic faith stood in the way.

So he went ahead and created a new church.

Henry VIII was the king four centuries later. He wanted to marry Wallis Simpson an American divorcee, when he faced intense opposition to marrying

the woman that he loved, he abdicated. The Queen's own sister Princes Margaret fell in love with Peter Townsend he was a commoner and also

divorced. The marriage was denied.

And Harry's own mother, Princess Diana frequently broke royal protocol and became a power in her own right. The question is should the monarchy start

to change shape to accommodate the love and life plans of its members or is it just a saying by that seemingly glacial pace of change and prioritizing

the purgative of the crown over individual desires.

Let us know what you think. Tweet me. Write me a letter. That is everything for this evening, I'm Bianca Nobilo. And "World Sport" is up next.