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The Global Brief with Bianca Nobilo

Battler Over Kherson; Liz Truss Sacks Finance Minister; Rare Protests In China. Aired 5-5:30p ET

Aired October 14, 2022 - 17:00   ET


CHRISTINA MACFARLANE, CNN HOST: Hello and welcome to the show, everyone.


I'm Christina Macfarlane in London. This is THE GLOBAL BRIEF.

Just ahead, as the fighting intensifies around the city of Kherson, CNN joins the Ukrainian troops leading the offensive. Nick Paton Walsh is live

with a special report.

A dangerous strategy which may not pay off. Liz Truss sacks her finance minister and survives another day. Her future as PM however remains


And Chinese demonstrators show their unhappiness, as Xi Jinping is about to become leader for a third term.

Now, after a nearly week of brutal Russian air assault, Ukraine's military commander says the battlefield is complicated but controlled. Ukraine says

its forces destroyed a significant amount of Russian weapons in Luhansk, after striking a key railway hub which Russia depends on to transport

military equipment. Ukraine also says Russia is suffering losses in Kherson, Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk, all regions that Russia has claimed to

have annexed.

In Kherson, pro-Russian officials are urging Moscow to arrange evacuations of civilians as Ukrainian forces close in. Ukraine says that this amounts

to semi-voluntary deportation of its citizens.

But Russia is also gaining ground, slowly and steadily closing in on the town of Bakhmut in the east with the help of mercenary fighters.

And Russian President Vladimir Putin says that the massive airstrikes on Ukrainian cities are over, for now, but he is not apologizing.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): I have no regrets, what is happening today in Ukraine is unpleasant but this is all the same

results we would have received later, only in much worse conditions for us.


MACFARLANE: Our Nick Paton Walsh is live in Kryvyi Rih this evening.

And, Nick, these evacuations or, perhaps more accurately, deportations happening in Kherson are being seen as a sign of panic from Russia as they

rapidly lose ground there. I know you've been in the region today, but what did you see?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: Yeah, it's really not clear quite what Russia was trying to achieve by having its locally

official ask for wide scale evacuation of civilians and then have Moscow respond to that yesterday. We don't know quite at what pace that is

currently proceeding, it might be about trying to prepare the ground for future offensive by Ukraine in that direction, over the winter as the

months approach, or it might simply be another sign of how their messaging is collapsing as they lose territory.

A senior U.S. official defense official agreeing that we are seeing on the ground that they are slowly losing around in the Kherson area, one of

multiple fronts where things are going badly for Russia. A message from Vladimir Putin today at over summit of what would normally be allied

nations in Kazakhstan was remarkably conciliatory, frankly, trying to suggest that perhaps they were looking for some sort of way out, although

obviously the western Ukraine do not trust Russia, but makes those kind of noises.

But still, on the front lines there is clear momentum forward for Ukraine, but it's not something that is going to necessarily change overnight. They

are facing a Russian army that is sometimes disciplined, sometimes well- trained, certainly dug in for now.

Here's what we saw.


WALSH (voice-over): Night is when the push for the south busies, Humvees sped the roads and incendiary munitions light up the night.

That dusk, the skies alight with air defenses around the Russian-held heavily defended town of Snihurivka, just three miles south of here. It's

the gateway to the big prize, the city of Kherson, where Russia is already evacuating civilians and low on supplies.

They say the shelling has been noticeably less over the past month and a half, probably because of the damage done to supply lines the Russians need

to bring munitions toward the front here.

Radio chatter intercepted between Russians here is of ammo running out and conscripts fleeing.

VOLODYMYR, SOLDIER OF 63RD BRIGADE: The mobilized conscripts here are called humanitarian aid and they say they don't need them.

WALSH: In three days, moving around the front lines here, it's clear Ukraine's movement forward has met a hardened Russian defense, even if

they're low on ammo.

On this tree line to the west, the Russian paratroopers are under a mile away.

NAZAR, SOLDIER OF 63RD BRIGADE: They are well trained. They fire often and yesterday hit the trees, 200 meters away from us, 25 times.

WALSH: New trenches are being dug and camouflage laid out. Nature is about to turn on both sides, equally.

Obviously in the winter the cover of the trees will be gone and so there is a race here to prepare new positions, so they can't be seen by Russian

drones in the winter.


A mix of the oldest type of warfare and oven heating bunk beds underground here.

This for five people, this is where they're going to be in the winter if they are still here.

And the newest, this is an antennae for Starlink, billionaire Elon Musk's satellite internet service sending a live stream of drone footage for the

artillery battle here.

STAS, DRONE OPERATOR: They are firing at us and I am trying to find them.

WALSH: This is where that signal is scent.

Meet Fugas, his nickname, a farmer turned drone warfare commander.

And then, the lethal impact of a billionaire's Internet service and store- bought drones. I hit on a Russian vehicle. The black smoke under the most cursor.

They show us video of several impacts that they. They know they will hit back.

FUGAS, UKRAINIAN COMMANDER: They don't value human life or the lives of their soldiers. Unlike us. But all the same they are watching us all the


WALSH: In the villages out east in Kherson, we see how fierce the fight for east each finish has been. Ukraine is slowly moving forward, but every

farm is a slog. Smoke crawling over every. One of Russia's largest bonds hit here. Nothing left to come back for if you once lived in these homes.

It is as if this wasteland is telling the Kremlin that it is time to leave, but they think that there is more damage left to do before the inevitable



WALSH (on camera): Now, it's important to point out that all of the entities whereby met Starlink on the frontlines, they have talked about how

utterly vital it is. That is in the face of reports that Elon Musk has written to the Pentagon, suggesting he will not continue to be able to fund

that Internet service. It is unclear exactly how much financing Elon Musk and Starlink and SpaceX are putting into that particular service. Make no

mistake, on the frontlines there Christina, it is utterly vital to the work they do. They have experienced no interruptions from the places we have

been to in the past month at all -- Christina.

MACFARRLANE: Yeah, so important to see how that Starlink operates there on the front line, Nick. Thanks very much to you and your team as well. Thank


Well, to another astonishing day in British politics. One that's left the prime minister fighting for her political survival. Just two weeks into the

job, Liz Truss made a stunning U-turn, sacking Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng for implementing her own economic policies. He is now being replaced by

foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt, making Kwarteng's time as chancellor one of the shortest in history.

Truss dodged questions about whether she herself would not stand down. She says she is determined to see through her economic vision, though she will

reverse her plan to scrap in corporation tax, a plan that's caused the pound to take a beating.


LIZ TRUSS, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I've acted decisively today because my priority is ensuring our country's economic stability. As prime minister, I

will always act in the national interest. This is always my first consideration. I want to be honest, this is difficult. We will get through

this storm and we will deliver the strong and sustained grace that can transform the prosperity of our country for generations to come.


MACFARLANE: A former British chancellor said that the conservative party's economic reputation is now in tatters. Bianca Nobilo has more on the day's



BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Marking 38 disastrous days in office for the Truss government, Kwasi Kwarteng, the prime minister's

trusted ally and economic kindred spirit has been sacked as Britain's finance minister. Liz Truss said that she was incredibly sorry, but that

her mission remains.

TRUSS: It is clear that parts of our mini budget went further and faster than markets were expecting.


NOBILO: After delivering the mini budget just three weeks ago that sent the pound plummeting, promising huge tax cuts and increased borrowing,

Kwarteng was shown the door on Friday. Speculation over his political future had become a distraction, a senior source inside of Downing Street

told CNN, echoing a similar excuse issued last week, when the government U- turned on their announcement, cutting the top rate of tax. That too had become a distraction.

KWARTENG: What a day. It has been tough --

NOBILO: Now, another u-turn on corporation tax.


Truss said she will keep corporation tax at its current rate, reversing her policy to scrap the planned rise from 19 to 25 percent. How this impacts

the beleaguered prime minister remains to be seen.

Kwarteng was a key confidant, the speaker than introduced her at her campaign events. You could be forgiven for feeling scapegoated by prime

minister in peril. After all, it was Liz Truss who campaigned on the promises drawn up in Kwarteng's mini budget.

News agencies offered live video of his plane landing back in London from Washington D.C., where he met with IMF, one of the bodies that criticized

the plan.

KRISTALINA GEORGIEVA, IMF MANAGING DIRECTOR: No, in this jittery environment, there could be no reasons for more jitter.

NOBILO: Kwarteng continued to defend his plan in a letter issued Friday afternoon, following the status quo, he wrote, was simply not an option.

TRUSS: I want to be honest, this is difficult.

NOBILO: Truss appeared defeated at her very brief press conference on Friday. Questions centered on her credibility, whether she will continue to

hold the authority to govern having thrown her friend under the bus in order to save her premiership.

TRUSS: But we recognize, because of current market issues, we have to deliver the mission in a different way.

NOBILO: Jeremy Hunt will replace Kwarteng as chancellor, opposition that has changed hands four times in as many months.

Bianca Nobilo, CNN, London.


MACFARLANE: I want to bring in Richard Portes, an economics professor at the London Business School and founder of the Center for Economic Policy


Thank you so much for joining us this evening.

I think we are all still reeling and trying to get our heads around the fallout today and what this is going to mean for the market. I hope you can

help us break it down.

So, we now know not the rising corporation tax is still going to go ahead. That means there's going to be some 18 million pounds going back into

British coffers. But we already know, Richard, that that is not going to be enough to balance the books that this proposed tax cut.

So, what needs to happen next? What do we need to see in that budget announcement on the 31st of October?

RICHARD PORTES, PROFESSOR OF ECONOMICS, LONDON BUSINESS SCHOOL: Well, first, there will be the report from the office of budget and

responsibility which they sideline when they introduced the mini budget. And that will show a very dim picture.

So, then, they are indeed how to find a new source revenue or cutback expenditures. Cutting back expenditures, you look at the possibilities that

there are too painful. Politically painful. They won't be able to get it. They won't be able to get it passed the House of Commons.

So, then, new sources of revenue. I think there is one obvious one which they have refused to contemplate in any substantial form, and that is a big

windfall tax of the profit of the energy producers or oil and gas companies. Not the distributors, they're going after the distributors

that's the mistake really.

The windfall profits are coming to those who owned oil and gas reserves and that would be a -- it could be a major source of revenue. They are

steadfastly set against that.

MACFARLANE: Yeah, they have dogged resisted that windfall tax, haven't they?

Also of concern today, Friday, is that the emergency bond-buying scheme set up the Bank of England to protect pensions. So, it's essentially coming to

an end. Are the Bank of England going to need to do more here? What do you expect to see come Monday?

PORTES: There's a big credibility issue here. It is partly what they need to do, but they may need to do on Monday will depending on how credible

their commitment is. The pension fund story is a very complicated one. I can't go into it now, but it may still be necessary for those funds to

unload British government bonds into the market and that could be, continue to be, destabilizing.

So, it's a toss-up, honestly. I can't predict which way the market will receive this and how much turmoil there will be. They may be lucky, they

may be good, who knows.

MACFARLANE: Yeah, on the issue of credibility. Just briefly, Richard, we know it's the financial markets that have really destroyed Liz Truss and

Kwasi Kwarteng here. Will they now dictate whether Liz Truss stays or goes as prime minister?

PORTES: No, I think that's -- I think that's a decided question. She can't continue for very, very long. She can continue if they failed to fund a

credible successor, then she can limp along because no one will challenge her.


But her authority is gone. Her ability to govern is gone. And she is dead, politically. So, if you watch her press conference today, that was

appalling, and it just shows how completely out of touch she is, how unable she is to communicate and how badly she has run the story.

MACFARLANE: Yes, I think the consensus today is that she is on borrowed time.

Richard Portes, I appreciate you coming on and helping us see what is essentially going to happen in the days to come. Thank you very much.

PORTES: A pleasure, thank you.

MACFARLANE: All right. Still ahead, escalating violence in east Jerusalem. We'll see what is behind a six straight night of Israeli-Palestinian


Plus, a rare protests in Beijing, just days before an important communist party meeting.


MACFARLANE: We are following a story just coming into us from Turkey. The interior minister says that 22 people are dead after a coal mine explosion

in the country's north. Rescue crews are on the scene. These are live pictures coming here.

We believe that there are still people trapped inside but it's not exactly clear how many. Officials say the blast is believed to be caused by

naturally occurring gas inside the mine. We are monitoring the story, and, of course, we will bring you updates as we get them.

U.S. lawmakers investigating the January 6th insurrection want to hear from the man they say treated or threatened the very democracy he vowed to

preserve. The January 6 Committee voting unanimously to subpoena former President Donald Trump and said he knew he lost the 2020 election but went

ahead with a premeditated plan to overturn it with false claims of fraud. A formal response hasn't been had from Trump, but on social media, he called

the committee a total bust and repeated the election lies.


CNN has obtained access to more exclusive behind the scenes footage of congressional leaders on January six. It comes from filmmaker Alexandra

Pelosi, the daughter of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Secret Service said they have dissuaded him from coming to Capitol Hill. They said they don't have the resources to protect

them here, so at the moment, he is not coming, but that could change.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): I hope he comes, I want to punch him out. We're waiting for this, for trespassing on Capitol ground. I want to punch him

out, I will go to jail, and I'm going to be happy.


MACFARLANE: Now for the sixth straight night, clashes erupted between Israelis and Palestinians in east Jerusalem on Thursday. At least 20

Palestinians and two Israelis were injured.

CNN's Hadas Gold has the details.


HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For days now, parts of East Jerusalem have been smoldering. It's the nearly daily violence of the West

Bank, that seeps into the holy city. On late Thursday night, clashes in the flash point neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, reminiscent of the violence in

the city that helped spark last year's deadly 11-day war between Hamas and Israel.

Groups of Palestinians and Israelis throwing stones, some setting off fireworks. Large rocks littered the ground, car windows shattered and

neighborhoods minutes from Jerusalem's old city. Police erecting barricades as they arrested more than a dozen. At one point, far-right Israeli

politician (INAUDIBLE) showed up, fanning the flames further by unholstering his gun and yelling at police --

If they throw stones, shoot them.

At least five Palestinians and two Israeli sent to the hospital as a result of injuries from stones and beatings. Clashes also erupted in other parts

of East Jerusalem, in an area considered occupied by most of the international community.

More than 100,000 residents of the refugee camp blockaded four days after a Palestinian shot that one Israeli soldier and quickly wound it another at

the camp checkpoint.

As Israeli forces raided the suspect still on the run, residents threw stones at soldiers and burned tires.

The situation in Jerusalem starting to mirror the worrying situation in the West Bank. On Friday, two more Palestinians were killed in the West Bank

town of Jenin, and with the Israeli military called a shoot out between militants, while they are in the camp to arrest Hamas militant group.

These near-daily Israeli raids into occupied territory and more frequent Palestinian attacks have made this the deadliest year for both Palestinians

and Israelis since 2015. As more and more young Palestinians pick up arms in militant hotspots like Jenin and Nablus, disillusioned from their

leaders, with seemingly no political force in sight to stop what has become an endless cycle.

Hadas Gold, CNN, Jerusalem.


MACFARLANE: All right. Let's take a look at the other key stories making international impact today.

Uganda says that an outbreak of Ebola that has killed 19 people across the country has not reached the capital of Kampala, despite a couple testing

positive there. The couple have been exposed elsewhere. There have been 54 confirmed cases since the outbreak started in central Uganda in mid


In Southeast Australia, thousands have lost power and been ordered to evacuate. Victoria state, New South Wales, and the Tasmania have seen more

than a month's worth of rain in the past few days. A town near Melbourne is facing the highest flood levels in almost 50 years.

Now, say no to COVID tests, yes to food -- those words in a rare and prudent provocative banner in Beijing, days before the start of China's big

communist conference. It was taken down very quickly, it expresses the frustration of millions still under COVID lockdowns.

CNN's Selina Wang reports.


SELINA WANG, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): An extraordinary sight in China's capital. Two big banners attacking China's

supreme leader and its policies hung on a busy overpass in Beijing. One of them reads: Go on strike, remove dictator and national traitor Xi Jinping.

A voice repeats the message on loudspeaker. Plumes of smoke billow from the bridge. The cause, unclear.

Demonstrations are rare in China, especially ones directly criticizing Xi and especially before the crowning of his unprecedented third term in


Another banner reads: Say no to COVID test, yes to food. No to lockdown, yes to freedom. No lies, yes to dignity.


No to great leader, yes to vote. Don't be a slave, be a citizen.

Punishment for the people involved in the demonstration could be very severe, including prison time or even worse. The brazen display of defiance

already scrubbed from Chinese internet. A few hours after the incident, hashtags of its location and even the word Beijing banned from Chinese

social media.

China's draconian zero COVID policies have pushed many over the edge. Fights with COVID enforcers, screams for freedom from locked apartments,

protests for food and supplies, resistance of snap lockdowns.

Entire cities are still being locked down over a handful of COVID cases. This woman yelling out in frustration that she's been in isolation for six

months already.

But the images of anger erased from China's Internet. Just like the anti-Xi Jinping banners folded, taken away by police. The bridge sanitized and

cleaned up like nothing ever happened. The party clearing a smooth road ahead for its supreme leader.

Selina Wang, CNN, Hong Kong.


MACFARLANE: And finally, tonight, a pair of Levi jeans from the 1880s has sold at auction for more than $87,000. The jeans were found in an abandoned

mind by so-called denim archaeologists and are considered extremely rare. The buyer says the jeans are still in wearable condition, really? But they

hope that they will be displayed in a museum like the Smithsonian or Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Meantime, the jeans are available for viewing by appointment. Most likely for those with deep pockets.

All right, thanks for watching. That was THE GLOBAL BRIEF. I'm Christina Macfarlane in London. Stay tuned for world sports coming up next.