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The Global Brief with Bianca Nobilo

Britain's New Government; Biden Warns Russia; West Bank Violence. Aired 5-5:30p ET

Aired October 25, 2022 - 17:00   ET



CHRISTINA MACFARLANE, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone. I'm Christina Macfarlane in London. You're watching THE GLOBAL BRIEF.

Just ahead, the new British prime minister, Rishi Sunak, says mistakes were made. He's going to start immediately to fix them, as the U.K. faces what

he calls a profound economic crisis.

Then, the U.S. President Joe Biden warns Russia that deploying a tactical nuclear weapon in Ukraine would be a serious mistake.

And Palestinian authorities say tensions in the West Bank are reaching a critical point after the deadliest day of the year.

Now, from political comebacks to a party coming together, we begin this hour in Westminster with the new prime minister is promising a new era for

Britain. You're looking at Rishi Sunak's newly appointed cabinet. You will notice some familiar faces, such as Jeremy Hunt and Penny Mordaunt. They're

keeping their roles as finance minister and leader of the House of Commons.

Other notable appointments are Suella Braverman, back as home secretary, just days after she resigned under former prime minister, Liz Truss.

In his first speech as prime minister, Mr. Sunak said, he would fix some of his mistakes -- some of the mistakes of his predecessors, saying, Britain

is in a profound economic crisis, and that people will always come before politics.


RISHI SUNAK, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I stand here before you ready to lead our country into the future, to put your needs above politics, to reach out

and build a government that represents the very best traditions of my party.


MACFARLANE: With three prime ministers in just seven weeks, Britain's conservative party is hoping it will be third time lucky for the country's

new leader.

Max Foster has more now on Rishi Sunak's rise to the top and what we can expect now.


SUNAK: Right now, our country is facing a profound economic crisis.

MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Britain's new prime minister, Rishi Sunak, the first person of color and first Hindu to hold the

position. Clear on why he was chosen to lead.

SUNAK: This will mean difficult decisions to come.

FOSTER: The former hedge fund manager steered the United Kingdom through the pandemic, as finance minister. With catchy spending initiatives, such

as eat out to help out. Now, the 42-year-old, Britain's youngest prime minister in more than 200 years, says he's ready to lead Britain into the


At Buckingham Palace on Tuesday, King Charles III gave him a go ahead to form a new government.

SUNAK: I pledge that I will serve you with integrity and humility, and I will work day in, day out, to deliver for the British people.

FOSTER: His pledge, perhaps a dig at the scandal written Boris Johnson, who he famously served under as finance minister before helping topple his

premiership by resigning.

But man of the people, Sunak, is not. Much has been made of his immense wealth and privileged background. He studied at the exclusive, private

Winchester College, Oxford, and then Stanford Universities.

SUNAK: My friends who are working class but I'm not working class.

FOSTER: This clip of a young Sunak in a 2001 BBC documentary, doing him no favors after it later went viral.

Sunak is also being scrutinized over the non-domicile tax arrangements of his wife, Akshata Murthy, the daughter of an Indian billionaire, a tax

status she said was entirely legal whilst adding, she would've announced the these advantages.

The couple this year appeared on "The Sunday Times" rich list, of the UK's 250 wealthiest people, with an estimated joint net worth of 730 million

pounds, $826 million.

Now, Sunak has the job of leading Britain, despite soaring inequality and a severe cost of living crisis. His predecessor, Liz Truss, lasted just 45

days in office. Sunak can only hope for better.


MACFARLANE: That CNN's Max Foster joins me here now.

Max, it's good to see.

We know cabinet appointments have been happening all afternoon and there are some familiar faces, some old guard back in the folds. Clearly part of

Sunak's mission to bring some unity to the party, isn't it?

FOSTER: I think that's how he's pitching himself. So, all the wings of the party, really, reflect it. Everyone from Liz Truss' aside, to Boris

Johnson's side, his own side as well. This is his big challenge, isn't it? Immediately to show he can bring the party together.


They're all saying they're unified at this point. But now he really needs to make that work. So, people from very quite disparate views sitting

around the cabinet table, if he can make that work, that's a tremendous first step, frankly.

MACFARLANE: Yeah and one interesting -- of course, Ben Wallace, the defense minister, which is interesting given, you know, he had made some

statements on remaining in position if spending on defense was that 3 percent GDP was met.

What did we know, what do we know where Sunak is going to stand on Ukraine? I've said in a laugh how he's been speaking to President Zelenskyy.

FOSTER: Yeah, so I think the fact that he made a priority of speaking to Zelenskyy is a statement of intention, really. He's taking it seriously,

that's what Liz Truss did as well. I think Boris Johnson as well after his election, you know, always prioritize those calls as well.

But normally, you would go to keyless around the world and, you know, France, America, those sorts of countries. It's interesting they've spoke

to Zelenskyy. That does show that he is serious about supporting Zelenskyy and Ukraine. Money is the issue that, as you say, in reference to defense.

Can he keep up those budgets when there are going to be cuts across the border? It looks like to try to balance those books.

Also, just heard that he's spoken to President Biden tonight. And interesting, the conversation there did rotate, according to the Downing

Street readout, around Ukraine as well. So, Downing Street saying the reflected on the leading role on not just supporting the people of Ukraine,

and then ensuring Putin fails in this war.

So, clearly we are learning more about Sunak's policy priorities beyond the economy and Ukraine is up there as it was for his predecessors.

MACFARLANE: Yeah, you are talking there in your package about the enormous wealth that Rishi Sunak has -- combined 730 million with his wife. I mean,

with the task in hand of bringing, you know, stability to the economy, trying to tell people to tighten their belts, you know, to sort of rein in

spending, to be conservative, how is he going to square that with the public, who know, you know, that he comes from this enormous wealthy

background? Is that going to be a potential problem there?

FOSTER: I think he's got to be able to connect with his audience. He has not always done that in the past, kind of stilted and awkward, although

today was a much more powerful performance. So, his lack of connection with people is an issue, and it becomes more of an issue if there is a cost of

living crisis and he's incredibly wealthy, because people think they can really relate to their situation.

So, all he can really do, I guess, as we honest about it in the way he's use it in the past is to say, you know, my wife's father came from nothing,

created this empire. That's actually a very conservative entrepreneurial thing to do, so it's not completely out of character.

And he just has to show that he can see the economy for the benefit of people as the expert and the trusted safe pair of hands, as opposed to

pretending he really understands what it's like the struggle with each topic.

MACFARLANE: Yeah, exactly, we will wait to see, of course, as well, how that budget goes on in Monday and if Rishi Sunak is going to the --

FOSTER: Prime minister's questions tomorrow.

MACFARLANE: Of course, yes.

FOSTER: Big test.


Max, thank you very much.

Now, the U.N. Security Council has met behind closed doors to discuss what Russian calls a potential disaster that could threaten the entire Earth.

Moscow's circulating claims that Ukraine is planning to use a dirty bomb and blame Russia. Ukraine calls that a pure lie. It says U.N. nuclear

experts will visit Ukraine to disprove the allegation.

Western nations also sounding the alarm, saying Russia's false claim could be a pretext to escalate the war. U.S. president, Joe Biden, had this



JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Russia will be making an incredibly serious mistake for them to use a tactical nuclear weapon. I'm

not guaranteeing you that it's a false flag operation yet, don't know. But it would be a serious, serious mistake.


MACFARLANE: Well, CNN's Nic Robertson is following developments for us this hour from Kyiv.

Nic, President Biden there, sounding a warning to Russia after the White House saying, they see no evidence that Russia is planning to make use of

nuclear weapons. What more do we know of how the IAEA are going to be carrying out this investigation?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC: Well, Russia's defense ministry when briefing journalists in the weekend named two locations in

the Ukraine that they wanted to investigate. They gave no grounds for wanting those particular locations to be investigated, but one is a science

academy here in Kyiv, and the other is a mining facility in the center of Ukraine, and we understand that in the next couple days, those IAEA

inspectors will come here. Ukraine, obviously, has said that there is nothing to see, that this is a completely false allegation that is backed

by their allies. They will be hoping that the IAEA completes its job quickly.

However, it does seem that Russian officials, and indeed, the Russian ambassador at the IAEA in Vienna, has made it clear he thinks that this

should drag on for a while because he said, normally it takes several months for the IAEA to report on one of these inspections, and the

preliminary results would take several weeks to come out.


There's also something curious as well about these behind closed doors allegations that Russia has made about this possible alleged dirty bomb at

the U.N. Security Council. Number one, they said, without presenting any evidence, that Ukraine, because it has nuclear power plants, has spent

nuclear fuel rods, and therefore could use them to make a dirty bomb. But then rather oddly went on to say, and Ukraine could also sabotage its own

nuclear power plants, and then said that Ukraine could also attack the Russian control, the Ukrainian nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia.

So, it seems that Russia wants not only to claim there might be a dirty bomb, but the claim several other methods of which Ukraine might simulate

the sort of effect. It lacks absolute credibility at a moment, because Russia has not attached any evidence through all these accusations. And I

think that's what concerns the international community right now. Russia is raising the stakes and it's not entirely clear what they plan to do.

MACFARLANE: Nic Robertson there live for us in Kyiv, thanks very much, Nic, for breaking that down.

Now, President Zelenskyy says, Ukraine has not received a single cent towards its fast recovery plan set up to rebuild hospitals, schools,

transport, and power plants. Speaking via video link to an International Conference on Ukraine Reconstruction, Mr. Zelenskyy stress the urgency of

financial support, arguing that more than one third of Ukraine's energy sector has been destroyed by Russian attacks.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz also called for a new Marshall Plan at the conference, arguing that Ukraine's recovery will be a challenge for

generations. Of course, for their rebuilding efforts come at a pivotal moment on the battlefield. On Tuesday, Ukraine's military said, Russia is

preparing for a potential retreat from the city of Kherson.

Well, CNN cannot confirm that. Our team was able to travel to her sons frontlines with the Ukrainian reconnaissance unit.

Our Fred Pleitgen has this report.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): En route to the front in one of the most active areas of the brutal war in

Ukraine with a rocket artillery team taking aim at Vladimir Putin's forces.

They're called Karlson and use light trucks with missile pods mounted on the bed. The rockets carry a message of retribution. This one signed on

behalf of a fallen soldier, from the witch, it says.

"TARAS", UKRAINIAN ARMED FORCES (through translator): Our vehicle is very effective because we can set up quickly, fire, and get away again.

PLEITGEN: Now they're aiming at Russian positions several miles away.

But Russia's artillery is also dangerous and could fire back fast. It's not safe, he screams.

We have to get out of here as fast as possible because the Russians might target this position after they get hit by the salvo from our rockets.

Their key to accuracy comes from the air. The drone scopes out the target and then watches as the artillery hits a Russian military repair shop, the

unit says.

"JOHN", UKRAINIAN ARMED FORCES DRONE OPERATOR (through translator): We are the eyes of the unit, we do reconnaissance and then make sure the target

gets hit.

PLEITGEN: The Russians are under such pressure, they started evacuating tens of thousands of people from Kherson and the Ukrainians believe Moscow

is making its unfounded claims about preparing to use a so-called dirty bomb because Russia's troops are pinned down in this area.

The Karlson's commander believes it's only a matter of time before they oust Vladimir Putin's army from here.

TARAS (through translator): By the end of the year, we believe Kherson will be under Ukrainian flags.

PLEITGEN: And they hope their unit will make a small difference in the battle for Kherson.

Fred Pleitgen, CNN, in the Kherson region, Ukraine.


MACFARLANE: The chief executive of JPMorgan says, he's more worried about geopolitics than a U.S. recession. Dimon's comments came at the future

investment initiative that got underway Tuesday in the Saudi capital. The annual confidence draws thousands of policymakers, investors, and scholars.

CNN's Richard Quest is there and moderated a panel of top Wall Street bankers, many of whom focus on the risks that the recent political

developments pose.

Have a listen to what Dimon had to say.


JAMIE DIMON, CEO, JPMORGAN CHASE: Some very good news right now in the United States. People say consumers, businesses still spending, still lots

of money, a lot of fiscal stimulus. But there's a lot of stuff on the horizon, which is bad and could, is not necessarily but could put the U.S.

in a recession. That's not the most important thing for when we think about. What matters right through that, which is bad and could, is not

necessarily but which is bad and could, is not necessarily but could put the U.S. in a recession.

But that's not the most important thing for when we think about. What matters right through that, I'd worry much more about the geopolitics of

the world today.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS ANCHOR: You're worried about geopolitics, which side of the geopolitics particularly?

DIMON: I think the most important things is the geopolitics going on with the Russia Ukraine, America, China, the relationships of the Western world.

That would have me far more concerned whether there is a mild or slightly severe recession.


MACFARLANE: All right, coming up on THE GLOBAL BRIEF, protesters anger and fear in the West Bank after Israeli forces killed six Palestinians. That is


Plus, a Russian court denies Brittney Griner's appeal. We'll hear what the American basketball star said in court.


MACFARLANE: At least six Palestinians were killed by the Israeli military on Tuesday, making it the deadliest day in the occupied West Bank this

year. Five people were killed in a raid in Nablus, and one person was killed by Israeli live fire during a protest of that raid. Palestinian

demonstrators burned tires and threw stones along the border with Israel east of Gaza City.

In response to the deadly Nablus numbers, Israeli military operation, a bunch of Palestinian groups announced a general strike affecting schools,

universities and courts.

Hadas Gold walks us through a day of violence, grief and anger in the West Bank.


HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Gunshots echoed through the narrow streets in the old city Annapolis. As near 90 is really military

raids targeting militants in the west bank reach new heights in the early hours of Tuesday. It became the deadliest day for Palestinians killed by

Israeli forces in the West Bank this year, five killed in about 20 injured in this raid according to Palestinian officials and another dead in a clash

north of Ramallah.


The Israeli defense force said they raided Nablus to target the lion's dent, a new militant group that has claimed responsibility for deadly

attacks against Israeli security forces and who Israel says is planning to target civilians in Israel.

According to Israeli officials, soldiers raided an explosive manufacturing site for the group and killed one of the leaders.

Palestinians claiming this man was killed in a targeted drone strike, suggesting the Israelis are using new beetle escalation in this fight that

as a far has been on ground excursions.

This new armed Palestinian militant group does not belong to any of the traditional Palestinian factions. They're mostly young male members bounded

by the loss faith in their own Palestinian leadership to stand up against the occupation and Israeli settlers. A red ribbon around their weapons, a

symbol of the blood other martyrs won't go to waste.

Their popularity skyrocketing among Palestinians already with more than 200,000 followers on Telegram. Supporters heeding the call to flood the


Chanting then in the streets of Nablus after the raid. As 2022 remains the deadliest year for Palestinians and Israelis since 2015 with no end in


Hadas Gold, CNN, Jerusalem.


MACFARLANE: Wednesday marks 40 days since the death of Mahsa Zhina Amini. The young woman who died in Iranian police who died in police custody.

Forty is also the number of days in the traditional Islamic mourning period and protests over her death are raging despite the government's attempts to

crush them.

Iranian state new says officials are closing schools in the Kurdish provinces, but the pro reform demonstrators refused could be silenced.

Nada Bashir shows us.


NADA BASHIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From the streets to the classroom --


BASHIR: At least a dozen universities in Iran now gripped by anti-regime demonstrations. Students at the forefront of a protest movement posing the

biggest threat to the Iranian regime in years.

In Tehran, government spokesperson, Ali Bahadori Jahromi, was met with a crowd chanting against the regime.

The familiar rally cry of women, life, freedom followed by some calling for the spokesperson to, quote, get lost, forcing him to abandon's his talk

ahead of schedule.

And in the holy city of Qom, another frosty reception for the government official. Their message, we do not want a murderous guest at our


But the movement has also spread to the country's high schools.

Young girls seen here raging defiantly against the regime's strict code, some even joining the call for regime's change, but just as protests

continue to gain momentum, so does the regime's brutal crackdown.

College students in Hamadan seen here mourning the death of their classmate, Negin Abdolmaleki, according to human rights group Hengaw, the

21-year-old was killed by Iran's security forces during protests. Hengaw alleges that she was beaten by a baton, sustaining injuries to her head and

skull -- though Iran's semi-officials Fars News Agency denies those reports.

Another name, another life added to the growing list of those being held as martyrs. Each that only galvanizing the country's youth and their growing

fight for change.

Nada Bashir, CNN, London.


MACFARLANE: A Russian court has upheld the drug smuggling conviction of Brittney Griner. The decision effectively ends the legal process in the

U.S. basketball star's case. Griner was accused of smuggling less than one gram of cannabis oil in her luggage.

Here's Griner's statement in court ahead of the ruling.


BRITTNEY GRINER, U.S. BASKETBALL PLAYER: I have been here almost eight months and people with more severe crimes have gotten less than what I was

given. I want to also apologize for this and say, I said in my first court that yes, I plead guilty, I did not intend to do this, but I understand the

charges brought against me.

I hope that is also taken into account as well, that I did plead guilty.



MACFARLANE: Well, the judge ruled that Griner's nine-year prison sentence will be reduced slightly for time spent in custody, although it's unclear

how much will be.

U.S. officials are working to secure Griner's release, and the State Department spokesperson denounced the verdict.


NED PRICE, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: What we saw this morning was a reminder that this process has been a sham from the start. Today has been

another sad day for justice in Russia. I use that term justice very loosely, of course, because justice has eluded this case from the start.

The rule of law has eluded this case from the start.


MACFARLANE: Now let's take a look at the other key stories making international headlines today.

In Bangladesh, a tropical cyclone has killed at least nine people after it struck the south Asian county -- country, late Monday night. Almost 1

million people were evacuated ahead of the tropical storm. It unleashed up to 200 millimeters of rain in some areas, leading hundreds of villages


The Internet has been disrupted across Sudan, as pro-democracy protests marked one year since the country's military coup. The internet watchdog

says the disruption is likely to limit the sharing of information about what is happening on the ground. On Tuesday, tens of thousands of people

marched towards the presidential palace in the capital of Khartoum.

Adidas is ending its partnership with Kanye West over the positions anti- Semitic remarks. The sportswear company will stop production of his Yeezy brand products and will end payments to the artists. West who is also known

as Ye is refusing to apologize for his comments. Brand Gap will also remove Yeezy items from its stores.

We want to end with showing you some of the extraordinary pictures coming from the Middle East right now. The last solar eclipse of the year put on a

show on Tuesday over the region. The phenomenon happened when the moon passed directly between the earth and the sun and since all three are not

perfectly lined up, we get that crescent say you should see on the screen here. The next solar eclipse will be a total one in April 2023. It will be

visible over Southeast Asia and Australia. Good stuff, nice one to end on.

Thank you for watching. That was THE GLOBAL BRIEF.

Stay with us. "WORLD SPORT" is coming up in the next half hour.