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The Global Brief with Bianca Nobilo

Zelenskyy Accuses Russia Of Plot To Blow Up Dam; White House In Talks With Musk To Set Up Starlink In Iran; Donald Trump Formally Subpoenaed By January 6 Committee; Giorgia Meloni Becomes Italy's First Female Prime Minister; Race To Replace UK PM Gets Under Way As Boris Johnson Bounces Back. Aired 5-5:30p ET

Aired October 21, 2022 - 17:00   ET


JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: Jake will speak with one of Steve Bannon's attorneys David Schoen and that's tonight at 9:00 Eastern here on CNN. And join Jake



RICHARD QUEST, CNN HOST: Hello, everybody. Good evening to you. I'm Richard Quest in London. This is The Global Brief. Tonight, Ukraine says Russia is

planning an attack on a critical dam. We'll look at how technology is being used to support Kyiv's offensive.

The former U.S. President Donald Trump has been subpoenaed by the January 6 committee what that means, and another former leader also under

investigation while eyeing a comeback, Boris Johnson and whether he could or will or might become Britain's next prime minister. Again.

Ukraine's forces are approaching the occupied city of Kherson, and they are preparing for one of the most consequential battles of this war. But the

Ukrainian president is warning that Russia is raising the stakes even higher.

President Zelenskyy says Russian forces are laying mines along a key dam and hydroelectric plant on the Dnipro River. If those structures were

destroyed, it would create massive flooding and would deprive Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant of its cooling water.

Russia says Ukraine's accusations are nonsense. Ukrainian officials, however, believe Russia would risk a manmade catastrophe to stop Ukraine's


All week, we've been giving you an in depth exclusive look at Russia's battlefield tools, from mercenaries to Iranian made drones. Tonight, I want

to show you one of the latest weapons in Ukraine's arsenal. It's a tech innovation, which they say will give them an advantage. Fred Pleitgen is in

Kramatorsk for us tonight. What is this, this weapon?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Richard. Well, essentially it's a brain trust of the Ukrainians who are

coming together and on the battlefield, innovating weapons, creating weapons of their own to fit exactly the battles that they're fighting here.

And if you look at the region that I'm in right now, Kramatorsk and especially the Bakhmut area, which is very close to here, the Ukrainians

are really facing a gigantic Russian force here. They're outnumbered by about five to one. And they say that they've understood. The only way

they're going to be able to hold the line and push those Russians back is if they're smarter, and they're more nimble, and they start creating

weapons on the battlefield. Here's what we learned.


PLEITGEN (voiceover): As the crow flies, the front line is only a few 100 yards away in Bakhmut. Ukraine's forces are both outmanned and outgunned

here but holding on because they say they're outwitting the Russians.

We've been given access to this secret workshop where tech savviness is leveling the battlefield the commander tells me.

"STARSHINA", 93RD BRIGADE, UKRAINIAN ARMY: Oh, it's from his game changing stuff because we have no so much forces, we have no so much guns and

bullets and so on. So, we have to be smart.

PLEITGEN: The place is run like a startup, no idea is off limits. The soldiers work around the clock repairing, modify and arming consumer

drones, led by a young wiz known as The Serpent.

"THE SERPENT", 93RD BRIGADE, UKRAINIAN ARMY (through translator): It's way better to know in advance that an assault is coming. Literally every meter

we are watching every centimeter here. It helps us to save lives during both the assault and the withdrawal.

PLEITGEN: Ukraine's army says the Russians have around five times more troops here than Kyiv does. The brigade filmed this video they say shows

Russian simply charging towards Ukrainian positions out in the open, disregarding the lives of Moscow's own soldiers.

"THE SERPENT" (through translator): There are lots of them and they have a lot of weapons. We have creativity.

"VARNAK", 93RD BRIGADE, UKRAINIAN ARMY: In our platoon, I do bombs.

PLEITGEN: And they have their weapons expert, a 19-year-old who goes by the callsign Varnak and turns grenades into aerial bombs in his makeshift bomb


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We reroll them as a sign for drone dropping.

PLEITGEN: He removes any excess weight and attaches a pressure fuse.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Finished. We need to take some, some take. And you take this on a drone. Take this. Just drop it.

PLEITGEN: It's not just drones. The unit also built this radio controlled gun turret and a kamikaze cart packed with explosives. All of this is

developed on the battle field for the battlefield helping Ukraine's army turn the tide here.


"STARSHINA": We defend our positions. And now we come to -- we will make control fence and we are as successful in it.

PLEITGEN: Like so many of the troops defending Bakhmut, the tech warriors often worked to exhaustion, thinking up new ways to blunt Russia's massive

assault despite a lack of heavy weapons.


PLEITGEN: But it is still an extremely difficult battle here in the east of Ukraine, Richard. In fact, the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the

past couple of days running has said that Bakhmut this area here is really where the Ukrainians are facing the toughest times because the Russian

force is so big, because the Russian force has so many weapons including pretty heavy weapons like multiple rocket launching systems. They just used

to pound the Ukrainian positions, but also the city of Bakhmut as well.

Also, Richard, the Russians are you seeing some of their most brutal soldiers or brutal forces here in the east of the country, including the

Wagner private military company, which of course, is known around the world for its brutality. Yet, the Ukrainians are telling us they believe while

the going is tough, they are slowly able to turn the tide here. And one of the main reasons is the fact that they are so nimble and they're working on

these innovations. 24/7. Richard.

QUEST: Fascinating story. Thank you, Fred Pleitgen joining us from Ukraine.

Now to an exclusive CNN report that's across (ph). Multiple U.S. officials say the White House has contacted SpaceX founder Elon Musk, about setting

up his company's satellite internet service inside Iran. Washington wants to support Iran's protest movement and thinks that the Starlink satellites,

which are playing an important role in Ukraine, could be a solution.

Natasha Bertrand is with us from the White House. Clearly, they are not put off by Musk's seeming on off nature with Ukraine. And they believe this has

huge potential for the protest movement in Iran.

NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Exactly right, Richard. So what we're told is that the White House has had ongoing conversations with Elon

Musk about the possibility of setting up Starlink inside Iran to help these protesters access internet, be able to communicate with each other. And the

conversations have really centered around the logistical hurdles, right, of getting the system into Iran, because unlike in Ukraine, where the

Ukrainian government actually wants Starlink inside the country in order to help Ukrainian military personnel communicate with each other, the Iranian

regime, of course, does not want that. They're trying to censor the Iranian activists and protesters there.

So smuggling these terminals into Iran. Those terminals that are required in order for Starlink to actually work is going to be a major problem here.

Another problem that they're trying to grapple with is the signal being easily detectable, again, because the Iranian security forces are hunting

down activists and have responded to these protests with such extreme brutality and violence.

There are a lot of concerns that if these signals are detected by untrained activists and protesters, then that could be very damaging, obviously, it

could be very dangerous to the protesters. So, they are trying to -- they've been working with government technologists trying to figure out the

best way to do this.

But U.S. government officials told us that they want these systems to be as prevalent in Iran ultimately, as regular TV satellite dishes. They hope

that this can become an extremely saturated technology within Iran so that it's very difficult for the Iranian regime to actually get rid of it.

Now, of course, there are people who say, look, Elon Musk is not the best person to be partnering with on this because he can be so fickle, to say

the least, he has of course been kind of stringing the U.S. government along with regard to whether or not they're going to be paying for Starlink

in Ukraine.

Now he says that he will pay for it himself. But Ukrainians aren't so sure whether or not he's going to maintain that funding. So some folks are

saying, look, the U.S. government should be finding other ways to expand internet access and communications for the Iranian protesters. Elon Musk

not exactly reliable figure. Richard.

QUEST: Natasha, the White House. Thank you. Lawmakers investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol have subpoenaed the former President

Donald Trump. He accused him of personally orchestrating efforts to overturn the 2020 election and obstruct the transfer of power the committee

wants Donald Trump to testify under oath next month.

The subpoena follows the former Trump adviser Steve Bannon being sentenced to four months in prison for defying a similar order.

Sara Murray is live in Washington. Time is tight for, I mean, not necessarily for Steve Bannon, who's got to wait for an appeal. But for

Donald Trump and the January the sixth committee, they're both in some shape or form running against the clock.

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Time is certainly tight for January 6 committee. And look when you look through this

subpoena, they're calling on the former president to hand over documents by November 4. So it's pretty tight deadline and just show up for testimony by

November 14th.


And when you're looking through this subpoena, they sort of lay out all of the sort of extraordinary moments that led them to this point. You know,

they point out that, you know, this is the only former president of the United States who's taken efforts to block the peaceful transition of

power. They lay out, you know, their belief that he pressured Justice Department officials, he pressured state level officials, he watched the

Capitol riot unfold on TV and didn't call off his supporters.

So they're sort of laying out their case here. And they're asking for a very broad range of documents in this subpoena. So, they're asking for any

phone calls the former president made on January 6 records of those, but also, they're asking me if he asked someone to make a phone call for him.

We know that Donald Trump tends to go to aides and say, Hey, can you send a message to this person? Can you call this person? Can you get this person

on the phone for me? So they're trying to cover all of those bases. You know, they're looking for communications related to Mike Pence,

communications related to witnesses that have come before the committee. They're looking for any evidence of materials being destroyed.

So, this is a very wide subpoena. Trump's attorneys have responded today and said, they'll respond to this appropriate and they'll respond

appropriately, this unprecedented action.

QUEST: Right.

MURRAY: So we don't know what that means.

QUEST: I wonder this is really got two ways, doesn't it? It can either play that the former president complaint to get in front of people claiming

hello, do it live as he has, or it goes all the way into the courts, and it'll take months as it works its way through to the Supreme Court. Either

way, I get the feeling Supreme Court's going to have a say in this.

MURRAY: You know, I think that this is the kind of thing that could take awhile, but you have to remember this committee is, you know, work expires

with the end of this congressional term. They really don't have a lot of time. And there's a lot of dragging that you can do through the courts

before you even try to get to the Supreme Court. We don't even know if it's going to make it this far.

And frankly, we don't know what the appetite is going to be for the committee to take this to court and fight it in court. They have suggested,

you know, they'll figure out what steps they're going to take if they believe that he's actually defied the subpoena.

But if you look at what Steve Bannon taught us, it taught us your best course of action is not to just snub the committee and say, I'm not going

to give you a single piece of paper. I'm not going to show up. It's sort of to engage with them behind the scenes, as we've seen with other witnesses

like Mark Meadows, for instance, you know, they referred him to the Justice Department as well. The Justice Department said, Look, we're not going to

pursue contempt charges against Mark Meadows. So it's possible Trump could find a way to sort of run out the clock on this with his lawyers engaging

behind the scenes.

QUEST: Sara Murray in Washington. Grateful for you. Thank you.

And now to the mother of all messages (ph) of the mother of all parliaments. The race is on to replace Liz Truss we know as the British

Prime Minister. These are the candidates that we believe only one is declared, that's Penny Mordaunt in the middle, leader of the Commons. The

other two Rishi Sunak. former chancellor, Boris Johnson, former prime minister resigned in disgrace only a few months ago.

Some in the conservative party believe that Boris Johnson may be a unity candidate, who could bring stability to the UK. Bianca Nobilo is in Downing

Street. Come on, you've watched this a long, long time. Is it likely? Is it likely he does it Boris Johnson?

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I have been watching things a long, long time. And you know what British politics over the last few years often

turns up the least likely scenario of all. Boris Johnson cannot be underestimated. I hear that he's very keen to run if he can get those 100

MPs behind him. But he has to think about how those votes are going to be distributed among the triumphant of political figures at the moment that

the Conservative Party are looking towards.

Let's take a look at who they are.


NOBILO (voiceover): Liz Truss will soon be out as Britain's Prime Minister. Around 200,000 Conservative Party members, a tiny fraction of Britain's

population, the same electorate responsible for appointing Truss are expected to vote for her replacement by October the 28th. Three candidates

lead the pack, Rishi Sunak, Penny Mordaunt and Boris Johnson. Former finance minister Rishi Sunak was runner up to Liz Truss in the last

leadership race.

RISHI SUNAK, FORMER CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER: Honesty and responsibility, not fairy tales.

NOBILO: He wound (ph) her tax cutting plans would send the economy into free fall, accusing her of fairy tale economics words that many now believe

has been vindicated. Popular among fellow Tory MPs is nonetheless seen as a traitor among conservative faithful having played a pivotal role in the

final hours of Boris Johnson's Premiership.

Leader of the House of Commons Penny Mordaunt finished third in the previous contest.

PENNY MORDAUNT, LEADER OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS OF UNITED KINGDOM: The Prime Minister is not under a desk as the --

NOBILO: She stood in for two hours to answer an urgent question on the sacking of former chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng and was praying for her

handling of the situation, given the fractious history of Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson, Mordaunt could be seen as the Unity candidates.


A familiar face, Boris Johnson is expected to stand just three months after his drawn out departure from number 10.

BORIS JOHNSON, FORMER BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Like Cincinnatus, I am returning to my plot.

NOBILO: An admirer of Winston Churchill who famously was Prime Minister twice, Johnson went so far as to compare himself to Roman statesman

Cincinnatus in his farewell speech, who returned to power for a glorious second time.

The former prime minister was forced to resign following months of controversy around locked down parties and other scandals. He still faces

an investigation into whether he lied to Parliament about COVID breaches, which could see him suspended.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At the moment, I would lean towards Boris Johnson.

NOBILO: He enjoys the support of the Defense Secretary after the pair work closely together on Ukraine. Johnson's father also made plain Friday where

his affiliations lay.

STANLEY JOHNSON, BORIS JOHNSON'S FATHER: I think I'm going to support Boris. I'm pretty sure I'm going to support Boris. I'm just speaking now as

a as a voter, but I want to be sure that he's going to stick to the 2019 manifesto.

NOBILO: Johnson has never lost an election, allies will point to his 2019 victory as evidence he can unite the Conservative Party and prevent an

electoral wipeout that could put the party in opposition for a generation.

JOHNSON: A powerful new mandate.


NOBILO: And hot off the press, Richard, Tobias Elwood, a former minister has announced on his Twitter that he is the 100th MP to back Rishi Sunak,

which means that the former chancellor will probably comfortably get the support of the much needed 100 threshold on Monday.

Something that we'll all be watching here in Westminster over the weekend is this chatter that we've been hearing from both the Boris Johnson camp

and sometimes the Rishi Sunak camp that they might be having discussions behind the scenes about how they can possibly work together with Johnson

perhaps bringing the mandate of an election victory in 2019. And Sunak bringing somewhat of a fresh start, a safe pair of hands, someone that the

market's trust with the economy, would it be possible to bring the band back together after Sunak was considered to be responsible for

precipitating Johnson's downfall? Who knows. This is a very unpredictable contest that we'll see begin to unfold on Monday.

QUEST: Bianca, thank you. I can't help feeling a little uncomfortable sitting in your chair while you're out there in the cold in Downing Street,

but perhaps you're doing due today wherever your -- your way you're needed tonight watching over British politics. Thank you for allowing me to


Now the UK may be waiting for a new prime minister. In Italy the wait is over. Giorgia Meloni has officially been appointed as the country's new

prime minister after meeting with the Italian President. Meloni and her new ministers will be sworn in as ceremony on Saturday in Rome. Italy's first

female prime minister and a party claimed victory in September's general election as part of a broader right-wing coalition.

In a moment, I'll show you how more people in China fighting back against the country's highly unpopular COVID-19 measures. And an Israeli woman

injured in an attack by Jewish settlers speaks out from her hospital bed.



QUEST: The Israeli daily newspaper ad it says settlers in the West Bank have carried out 100 attacks against Palestinians in the last 10 days

alone. And the victims aren't always Palestinian, a 70-year-old Israeli woman was injured on Wednesday. Along with other activists who are helping

Palestinians harvest olives.

Settlers attacked them with rocks and clubs. She spoke from a hospital bed and said she'd suffered broken ribs, head lacerations and a punctured lung.

Now the stories that we follow in the international news agenda. This Friday, violence surging across Haiti and the UN Security Council has

unanimously adopted a resolution to impose sanctions on gang leaders in the country. This resolution includes a travel ban, freezing of assets and

imposes an arms embargo.

Pakistan's Election Commission has banned the former Prime Minister Imran Khan from public office for five years. The Commission found Khan illegally

sell gifts he received from foreign leaders while in office and he hid the profits it means he'll likely lose his parliamentary seat. His legal team

is vowing to appeal.

The Chinese Communist Party Congress is wrapping up this weekend. President Xi Jinping is expected to secure a third term as the party's general

secretary. And as Chairman of the Central Military Commission, that would break precedent. Selina Wang reports.


SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDEN (voiceover): He struggles to breathe and crawl, sweating profusely, exists exhausted under the weight of his hazmat

suits. He's wearing layers and layers of them. This is a demonstration from a Chinese citizen all the way in New York City's Times Square, a metaphor

for the suffocating zero COVID policy. Many feel in shooting pings China, it's to mark the ongoing Communist Party Congress, where Xi is expected to

secure his unprecedented third term.

ZHISHENG WU, CHINESE ARTIST: There are so many repressive -- repressed emotion during this two or three years. I vent my emotions out.

WANG: But in China shows of defiance are swiftly censored. Just a week before in Beijing, two big banners attacking Chinese supreme leader and his

COVID policies were hung on a busy overpass. One of them reads saying no to COVID test, yes to food. No to lock down, yes to freedom. The other banner

reads remove dictator and national trader Xi Jinping. People involved in the demonstration could be jailed or even worse.

China's draconian zero COVID policies have descended millions of lives into chaos. Fights with COVID enforcers, screams for freedom from locked

apartments, protests for food and supplies.

During a snap locked down in an airport in southern China, security even held guns near travelers. 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 pain erased

from China's internet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's just a general (INAUDIBLE) policy where people are being forced and herded and the dignity is being taken away.

WANG: We are not revealing this resident's identity because of fears of retribution for criticizing the government.


WANG (on camera): So why is Xi Jinping sticking to zero COVID?

STEVE TSANG, DIRECTOR, SOAS CHINA INSTIUTE: Because Xi Jinping can never be seen to have make a mistake constantly. We have the Party propaganda

machinery churning out narrative that, in fact, the zero COVID is protecting lives in China.

WANG: Beijing claims there would be a disastrous healthcare scenario, like the million plus COVID deaths in America, if China didn't have its zero

COVID policy. The pandemic is also Beijing's perfect chance to upgrade its surveillance technologies, including mandatory smartphone health apps that

track the daily movements of virtually all 1.4 billion people.

Yet many in China have adapted to the new normal with regular COVID tests and rolling lock downs. But back in New York, this Chinese artist is doing

what he can to remind the world that while they've moved on from COVID, millions in China are still suffering under the weight of lockdowns and

repression. Selina Wang, CNN, Hong Kong.


QUEST: And so as we come to an end of what's been a truly turbulent week in British politics with the announcement of the Prime Minister going, I don't

want to leave you with a big sigh. Now, a few smiles to go into the weekend.

So, this astonishing feat, this 23-year-old Australian ran across Australia jogging from Perth to Sydney in just 47 days, just about as long as the

prime minister that Liz Truss was in office, if not slightly longer. He raised almost one and a half million dollars for a homeless charity.

You're never too old. Even me. Meet Nada Ruda, a Bosnian artist. She discovered her painting skills at 87. Now her 100th birthday is being

celebrated with a first art exhibition and that looks remarkable.

And while we don't know the name of the next British Prime Minister, we do have the names of three rare Sumatran tiger cubs recently born at London

Zoo. Inca, Zac, Crispin are part of the global conservation project to protect their species. The question is, is that Inca? Is that Crispin? You

can't tell. And if you can, you'll probably be wrong. Thanks for watching. That was Global Brief. I promise you we will be back. World Sport is next.