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The Global Brief with Bianca Nobilo

Russia Targets Ukraine's Energy; Imran Khan Speaks Out; Twitter's Job Cuts. Aired 5-5:30p ET

Aired November 04, 2022 - 17:00   ET



LYNDA KINKADE, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone. I'm Lynda Kinkade in Atlanta. Welcome to THE GLOBAL BRIEF.

Just ahead, millions of people in Ukraine are without power as Russia targets the country's energy network. CNN speaks to some of those injuring

daily blackouts.

Then, Pakistan's former Prime Minister Imran Khan speaks out after being shot in an attack that his party calls an assassination attempt. And he has

one message. He will go back out on the streets again.

And one week into the job, CEO of Twitter, Elon Musk, fires thousands of employees across the world via email.

Well, there is an uneasy calm right now over the occupied Ukrainian city of Kherson. That's according to Russian appointed official. He says Russian

forces, they are defending the city ahead of unexpected Ukrainian counteroffensive, which may be the most pivotal battle of the war so far.

Ukrainian forces say they are making progress as they get closer, striking Russians supply lines and distribution centers.

Meantime, Russia's president is telling his administration to evacuate civilians from Kherson, an act Ukraine calls a war crime.

Here's what Mr. Putin says.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Now, of course, those who live in Kherson should be removed from zones of dangerous

fighting, because the civilian population should not suffer from shelling, from any offensive, counteroffensive or other measures related to the

military operations.

Guys like you are doing everything to get people to the safe zone. Thank you very much.


KINKADE: Well, Russia's continuing to attack Ukraine's energy infrastructure. Minute millions of people are under emergency power cuts

after Russian attacks this week alone. And many are theoretically losing access to water as well. The G7 has announced measures to help Ukraine

survive this coming winter. Germany's foreign minister says the allies are putting together packages with generators, heating, and water pumps to help


In the capital city of Kyiv, thousands, hundreds of thousands of homes are suffering blackouts every day.

Our Christiane Amanpour shows how people they're dealing with the darkness.


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR (voice-over): Week four of Ukraine's new struggle against the cold and the dark. Rolling

blackouts blanket Kyiv, nighttime is spooky. And we are entering this high- rise apartment complex to see how the residents are coping with Russia's constant attacks on key infrastructure.


Up to the 12th floor, no light in the stairwell, but our cameras, and no elevator.

Iuliia Mendel us, hobbling down on crutches and the foot she fractured by tripping over the steps the first night of the blackouts. She's a

journalist and a former press secretary to President Zelenskyy.

Together, we visit her neighbor Natalia with her 18-month-old daughter Lina, just one of a whole generation of war-traumatized Kyiv kids,

especially with the constant air ride sirens.

Is she stressed?

NATALIA HORBAN, KYIV RESIDENT: She is, like, oh, oh! She's poring into the window so that she knows something goes wrong.

AMANPOUR: The two of them are recovering from a two-hour ordeal trapped in their tiny elevator when the power went out. Now all over Kyiv, residents

are putting small care boxes inside with water, snacks, and anti-anxiety medicines.

By the time we sat down to talk, the power popped back on again after nine hours on this day.

Do you feel demoralized? Do you feel like okay, all right, enough already, it's time to surrender and negotiate?

IULIIA MENDEL, JOURNALIST: No way. Look, we have passed through the hardships of '90s, and we didn't have light, water, and heating for hours

and hours every day. That then was desperate because we knew it was about poverty. Now it's about war, and we know that we must win.

AMANPOUR: Winning this phase of the war comes with weapons like these to charge phones and any other emergency equipment.

HORBAN: It's the most important thing here to have in Ukraine. It's a power bank. Without it, you don't have any connection. And it's the most

important now to know that your relatives are okay.

AMANPOUR: They tell us generators are almost all sold out and super expensive now, as well as candles, torches, and head lamps.


Natalia has improvised light from a water bottle and her iPhone.

Downtown, it's dire for businesses too. Every beauty salon operates on hair dryers for that blowout, and of course water to wash out the shampoo and

the dye. Olena is taking her chances today.

OLENA (through translator): After we finished dyeing it, I might have to go home to dry it, but it's fine.

AMANPOUR: Just one floor here has power, and the others are dark.

Before the war, Hair House had 150 clients a day. Now it's more like 50. And the salon has lost 60 percent of its revenue.

But as Dmitry, the commercial manager, tells me, they keep calm and carry on.

DMITRY MEDVEDEV, COMMERCIAL MANAGER, HAIRHOUSE: I believe that we should work even without light, even without electricity, we should help our army,

we should help our people. And we will do our job until the end. And I believe that sooner or later, the light will come.

AMANPOUR: Like so many civilians, they say, enduring these hardships on the home front is part of their war effort supporting their troops on the

front lines who are fighting to keep Ukraine independent, fighting for their homeland.

Christiane Amanpour, CNN, Kyiv.


KINKADE: I want to talk about the situation on the frontlines in Ukraine. Our Nick Robinson is in Kramatorsk, in Eastern Ukraine.

Good to have you with us, Nick.

So, Putin says that civilians in Kherson should be evacuated along that conflict zone. What more can you tell us about that messaging and whether

or not the civilians really did leave?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yeah, it rather comes across as a demand from President Putin and that extends not just to the

city of Kherson, but the areas around. It that are now being included for this forced mandatory civilian evacuation.

Interestingly, some of those areas evacuated actually on the east side of that river, the other side from Kherson. And interestingly, around a very

important dam that the Ukrainian forces have said. If they can get within shelling range of that than that can effectively bring an end to Russia's

defense. Russia will know it is encircled and has to leave rapidly.

Also, further north, along the Dnipro River, more civilians and forced from their homes. What we are going through social media is that groups like the

Chechens are moving into those areas. So you have some dynamic military movements and these force movements out by civilians. But this evening,

this afternoon in Kherson, the airport there on the northern side of the city was attacked. Now the Russian administrator of the city says that

fighting is not going on but he believes Ukrainian troops are lined up in convoys ready to come.

It is a confusing thing and we don't have accurate information. Ukraine's defense minister says, that they will take Kherson from the Russians

forcibly. Not as a gift, and it will come at a cost. They said also the Russians are finding pressure now on their front lines because their

trenches are the irrigation dishes in the area around this port city. And it has been raining. So those changes are filling with water making them

unsafe and unusable.

And then the dynamic and the forcefulness coming from President Putin about the evacuations signals that change is coming. And that is I think the

picture in Kherson. It is cloudy, but change is coming.

KINKADE: Yeah, very cloudy indeed. We know that Putin has said over 300,000 Russian troops have now joined the fight is part of his partial

mobilization efforts. But there are reports that Russians may be withdrawing, retreating from that Kherson region. Why would they push that

message out. Is that a trap given that we have also heard Putin tell civilians to leave?

ROBERTSON: It could be. You know, when trying to read it when you are not there and the information is partial and it may be manipulated, what we are

hearing from inside the city is that there are not many Russian forces inside the city, that they are mostly outside the city in a defensive


It could be that that is how Russia is taking down its forces. It has also been signaling in recent days that it might leave the city. It was

signaling that several weeks ago, the new military commanders have done that several weeks ago. It could be that this is their intent. It could be

that they are putting up a hard stiff resistance around the outside of the city, but taking everyone out from the inside.


That would be a classic way of retreating.

But it really isn't clear. The Ukrainians are wise to the fact that it could be a trap and doesn't appear to be set to walk into it. But if they

see weakness, they are going to take it. They are continuing to push.

The fact that the Russians are putting Chechen forces nearby tells you that they are putting in some of their toughest fighters. However, Chechens have

had heavy lot losses around Kherson. Recently their leader has admitted to that.

KINKADE: Yeah, certainly cloudy as you say, and with some confusion. But there is a dynamic that certainly seems to be changing. Nic Robinson for us

in Kramatorsk, our thanks to you.

Well, I want to go to an exclusive CNN report. U.S. intelligence officials believe that Iran is seeking Russia's help to bolsters its nuclear program.

Officials say that Tehran seems to want to help acquiring the new you color materials. It is not clear whether Russia has agreed to help. Iran denies

the allegations that it is trying to build a nuclear weapon.

Iran's hard-line president is lashing out at Joe Biden after the U.S. president promised to quote, free Iran.

Here is how Ebrahim Raisi replied.


EBRAHIM RAISI, IRANIAN PRESIDENT: I was told that Biden said that they want to liberate around, but I have to tell you mister president, that Iran

already liberated itself 43 years ago. And it is determined not to bow down anymore. Iran will not be your cash cow.


KINKADE: Well, the White House says Mr. Biden was expressing solidarity with protesters in Iran. Just days ago we saw videos of anti government

demonstrations in the nation's capital, and at least three other cities. They were marking 40 days since that killing of Hadis Najafi. She was a

prominent protester shot to death in September.

And one of those gatherings turned violent. Well, these protests, one of the biggest challenges to Iran's leadership since the revolution. And the

government is trying fiercely to suppress them. An Iranian rapper who has been leading his voice to the protests movement is now under arrest.

CNN's Jomana Karadsheh reports.


JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These are the lyrics that could cause Toomaj Salehi his life. The Iranian rap artist was

arrested last weekend, charged with crimes punishable by death, including cooperating with foreign governments, forming legal groups to destabilize

the country, and propagandist activity against the government.

But his real crime, his music, calling on Iranians to rise up and remove their repressive regime.

Toomaj also proudly posted these videos recently showing protests.

Family members say he was arrested along with two friends in a violent raid on Sunday. His uncle tells CNN that they have information he was tortured.

EGHBAL EGHBALI, TOOMAJ'S UNCLE (through translator): We still do not know anything about Toomaj's health or condition. The family tried hard to even

hear his voice. No one has given us any information. We don't know if his friends are live or not. We want to know what happened to our boys and what

torture has the Islamic government given them.

KARADSHEH: The short at a clip released on state media Wednesday claims to show him expressing remorse. I wish to remain and say it is a statement

made under duress. His uncle and others believe it is not even Toomaj.

The underground rapper has been a rebel for years, pointing repression to his politically-charged lyrics, speaking out against corruption poverty, he

was briefly arrested last year but this time that is different.

The regime is struggling to contain the national uprising and is unleashing of its brutal tactics. Thousands have been arrested. More than 1,000 of

them indicted. Many protesters accused of waging war against god and corruption on earth, facing the death penalty in what human rights groups

say our sham trials.

Many fear the ruthless republic will hand Toomaj and others the harshest of sentences to make them an example of those who dare to dissent.

EGHBALI: Toomaj's mother was a political prisoner. She passed away a long time ago. If my sister was still alive, she would have become Toomaj's

voice, the same as I am Toomaj's voice, the same as many are on the streets are the voice of Toomaj.

KARADSHEH: The voice they tried to silence, now louder and more powerful than ever.


TOOMAJ SALEHI, RAPPER (translated): No one can defeat us. It will take time, but it's the end for them. If I am here or you are here or not, it's

their end.

KARADSHEH: Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, Istanbul.


KINKADE: Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan is accusing three prominent figures of devising a plot to assassinate him. Khan spoke from

his hospital bed in Lahore in what his first public appearance since his convoy came under fire Thursday. At the time he was leading a protest march

to demand early elections. Khan's right leg was fractured by bullets, another person was killed.

Without providing proof, Khan said Pakistan's current prime minister masterminded the attack. The government denies any involvement. Khan is

vowing to resume his protest march.


IMRAN KHAN, FORMER PAKISTANI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): As soon as I get better I will go back all on the streets. I will give the call

again, once more. I will go to Islamabad because of the population, if these take control and if we accept this, this is not what Pakistan was

made from.


KINKADE: Well, tensions are escalating between North and South Korea. The north is demanding its southern neighbor and U.S. ally ceased their joint

military exercises if they want to avoid, quote, a grave situation. South Korea scrambled fighter jets after the military reported seeing about 180

North Korean military aircrafts near its border. All of this after the north launched 23 missiles in just one day this week.

Well, still to come, Elon musk's takeover of Twitter is in full effect. Thousands of employees have just been fired. What some are doing to fight


Plus, Hong Kong's iconic Rugby Sevens returns as the territory emerges from the pandemic. We will bring you that story, next.



KINKADE: Let's take a look at the stories making international headlines today.

There is been another death and 17 cases of Ebola reported in Uganda. That brings the total death toll to 49 since the outbreak was declared in

September. Earlier in the week, the WHO released almost $6 million from its contingency fund to assist Uganda in fighting the disease.

Ecuador's national security secretary says the country is increasing anti- criminal operations in a bid to stop the intensifying violence. Five police officers were killed this week in Guayaquil after a series of coordinated

attacks. Twelve servicemen were also issued from a separate incident at a prison.

Just a week after the U.S. midterm elections next Tuesday, former President Donald Trump could announce his comeback bed. Sources tell CNN that he is

considering launching his 2024 campaign for the White House during the third week of November. Possibly as soon as November 14th. Trump is hoping

to build on the momentum that if Republicans do well in the midterms, he dropped the sent to supporters in Iowa.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: Now, in order to make our country successful and safe and glorious, I will very, very probably do it again,

okay? Very, very, very probably. Get ready, that's all I'm telling. Very serious. You get ready.


KINKADE: Well, Twitter officers around the world have been dark and quiet around the world today as employees learn their fate.

Twitter's new owner Elon Musk started a round of layoffs Friday morning by email to his the committee staff. He is looking to asks about half of the

7500 employees. Several of those employees in California have already filed a class action lawsuit, claiming that musk clerk the law by not giving them

proper notice.

CNN correspondent Donie O'Sullivan joins us now from New York.

Good to have you with us, Donie.

So, Twitter layoff is now trending on Twitter. Fifty percent staff to go, and they find it by email which is just brutal. I think the headline was

today as your last working day.

DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. It was about this time last night that twitter plays around the world got a message saying to prepare

for tomorrow, for Friday. You will get either one of two emails, any low that will be sent your work account that says you are staying at the

company or an email that will be sent to your personal account saying that you are fired. The reason that would go to your personal counties because

you have been cut off from the Twitter systems.

We have been speaking all day, my colleagues to Twitter employees who have been fired. Many of them are devastated. A lot of people are relying on

visas and whatnot to stay in specific countries, particularly here in the U.S.

Some are somewhat relieved though because they received a direction that Twitter is going. In they see the behavior of Elon Musk and I think some

folks are happy to get out from under that.

KINKADE: And many of those fired were working on addressing misinformation on the site. Just talk to us about the timing of this, just ahead of the

U.S. midterms.

O'SULLIVAN: Yeah, look, the teams at Twitter were working on elections all around the world, particularly in Brazil and the U.S. Twitter never has

done a good job, particularly at fighting this information. We see the typical viral there all the time that is our lies in conspiracy theories

about elections.

But they did have a team that we're working hard to try and push back on some of the lies, or at least to put things into context. That team, one of

the seams involved in that were completely wiped out today.

So this is happening just days before the Election Day. And it is not as if it is going to be a normal election here in the U.S. We are expecting,

unfortunately people to contest, to not accept the results of many of the races, based off of misinformation, much of which cannot circulate more

freely on Twitter. That timing could not be worse.

KINKADE: Yeah, not good news.

Donie O'Sullivan, good to have you with us from New York. Thanks very much.


KINKADE: Well, the world of Marvel's "Black Panther" is coming back to the big screen.


KINKADE: This time in a sequel to the 2018 smash, "Wakanda Forever". Front and center in the film are the women that surrounded Black Panther's lead

character T'Challa.

Director Ryan Coogler said they were thinking about gender when they wrote the sequel. They just want to explore the characters who cared about him

the most.

Well, the sequel had been in the works one the actor Chadwick Boseman died of cancer back in 2020. Rather than re-casting his role, the script was



The stars of the new film talked about how important the legacy of the late actor was to the film.


LETITIA WRIGHT, PLAYS "SHURI": It is important for me to understand why we're moving forward. And I feel like he would have really wanted us to

move forward to inspire the next generation.

DANAI GURIRA, PLAYS "OKOYE": Losing Chadwick was, of course, very much something that led us to make the film in this way. It was about honoring

him. It was about honoring his legacy and something that felt, as he was, authentic, real, truthful, courageous.

LUPITA NYONG'O, PLAYES "WAR DOG NAKIA": Chadwick was surrounded by powerful women -- women with the agency, and very specific women, distinct

women. And so in his absence, it is only natural and organic that these women would come to more of the story. In Wakanda, it is unremarkable for a

woman to be powerful. And wouldn't that be nice. For the world we live in today.


KINKADE: Yes, indeed. Wakanda Forever hits theaters internationally on Wednesday.

And Christmas, of course, is approaching, and if you are struggling to think about the shopping left which, I mean who think about it this early.

This could be an item for beer lovers. The Christmas tree stand designed to fit around a keg, that's a Miller Lite beer. The beverage company is

describing it as the ultimate wait to enjoy it. And the whole idea is to make the holly crest miss a little more friendly for beer drinkers.

Now, we just need the wine version of that. Well, to make the package complete, the company is also selling Christmas ornaments or beer-naments

as it calls them. And they fit snugly around in kind of brew, but can be used to decorate the tree. They are thinking of it all.

Thanks so much for watching. That was THE GLOBAL BRIEF with me, Lynda Kinkade.

Stay with CNN. "WORLD SPORT" is up next.