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The Global Brief with Bianca Nobilo

Zaporizhzhia Shelling; Iran's Crackdown On Kurdistan; 2022 World Cup. Aired 5-5:30p ET

Aired November 21, 2022 - 17:00   ET



LYNDA KINKADE, CNN HOST: Hello. I'm Lynda Kinkade live in Atlanta. You're watching THE GLOBAL BRIEF. Good to have you with us.

Just ahead, we will be live in Ukraine as the nuclear watchdog says there are no immediate safety concerns at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

But the team warns of widespread damage caused by the recent shelling.

Then, Iran steps up its military crackdown on anti-government protesters in the country's Kurdish cities. We'll bring you the latest.

And Team USA and Wales played to a draw in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. CNN has full coverage of the World Cup.

A dangerously close call, that's how the U.N. nuclear watchdog describes renewed shelling around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine.

But it warns, if there is a next time, the world may not be so lucky. IAEA inspectors visited the plant Monday. They say all six reactors are stable,

and there are no immediate safety concerns. But they did report widespread damage at the site.

Ukraine and Russia are blaming each other for the attacks. The IAEA says whoever was responsible was playing with fire.

CNN's Sam Kiley is following the developments and joins us now live from Odessa.

Good to have you with us, Sam.

So, a major explosion at the power plant, and inspectors on the scene. What more are they learning?

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, there are a number of explosions. A number of artillery strikes in close to the

reactors in the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station. This may be the closest, certainly the most sustained bombardment on the central areas of

the facility. And that's important, Lynda, it landed, because of course these are nuclear power stations, as big as Europe, most of the reactors

have been shut down and put into hibernation. But the Ukrainians over the weekend, accused the Russians of being behind this because they said the

shelling had affected the ability of two of the reactors to feed electricity into the Ukrainian national grid.

And, of course, the national grid has been itself under sustained Russian bombardment now for several weeks, particularly over the last week with

over 100 cruise missiles being fired mostly intended to break the back of the Ukrainians, to generate power, as winter is settling in. The Russians,

however, are accusing the Ukrainians of conducting these bombardments. The IAEA has not pointed the figure, but it's raised red flags of warning,


KINKADE: And, Sam, Kherson may be liberated, but it's still coming under fire. We have residents there fleeing, strikes daily. You've got an

exclusive report. You've been speaking to foreign fighters who join the war effort to help Ukraine to push out the Russians. What do they tell you?

KILEY: Well, the residents of Kherson, of course, this is a province as well of the city of the same name. A few days ago, we were in some of those

recently liberated villages that were receiving incoming missiles and even direct tank fire in the city itself spin attacked in a similar way. That's

what Russians are trying to tie down the very dynamic new Ukraine out forces. We're using particularly the NATO style weapons they've been

supplied with to dramatic effect. But at the end of the day, it's all about the men and women on the ground.

This is what it looked like from the battle of course on.


KILEY (voice-over): Pensive, hyper-vigilant, these foreign volunteers and reconnaissance soldiers reliving weeks of fear, and final victory in the

battle for Kherson.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a fuel truck.

KILEY: Many are veterans of the Kurd campaign against ISIS in Syria. Now they work beyond the front lines, deep into enemy territory for Ukraine.

MACER GIFFORD, UKRAINIAN ARMED FORCES: We get so close to the Russians we can hear them talking. We could hear them cooking their food, chopping the

wood to build their shelters.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's like observation textbook, where they wrote what's going on.

KILEY: Andrii's military call sign is sneaky. And that's what the eight recon units under his command must be. Getting spotted here during the

campaign to catch Kherson has been fatal.


But they make off with a trove of stolen documents in Russian technology, all leading to moments like this, the obliteration of a Russian command

center, and the surrender of the Russian senior sergeant, a paratrooper abandoned by his comrades in retreat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They were shooting with artillery. He's hit and one more guy a captain. Russians take the captain but left him.

KILEY: Is that him?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, platoon commander.

KILEY: He tells them, he's been hiding out for six days. Then he warns Ukrainians that Russian aircraft could attack.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He says, run out from here because aviation is shooting at this place.

KILEY: They've been bombing here a lot he says. He's injured, but now safe.

Russian airstrikes on their abandoned positions were a constant danger for the recon units during the grinding advance on Kherson over the autumn.

Stinger anti-aircraft missiles a mixed blessing, messing with one can attract retribution from the air.

Recon is about gathering intelligence and hunting targets, using drones to fine-tune artillery. For months, bringing in strikes like this, trying to

force the Russians to run. And suddenly, across the whole front that's what they did. Run.

In chasing the Russians out, crossings like this have often been hit with artillery, and there are more to gamble. Survival, giggling relief.

But the rewards they say, worth it.

DAMIEN RODRIGUEZ, UKRAINIAN ARMED FORCERS: When I see villagers, they see rick union military for the first time. Who knows eight months, of course

you get teary eyed. You see everybody crying and thanking us for their help, for helping liberate their village. Yeah, of course, it gets, you



KILEY (on camera): Now, Lynda, the Russians have withdrawn to the other side of the Dnipro River, but as he rightly points out, they are shelling

back across that river. Their aim will be to try and tie down the Ukrainian units here in the south to prevent reinforcement in the east.

And, frankly, that's also what the Ukrainians are going to try to do to the Russians. They estimate there's 30,000 Russian professional soldiers

hardened paratroopers another professional units. And if they're able to be deployed to the east of the country, where the fighting is even more

intense, that can spell disaster for Ukraine.

KINKADE: All right. Sam Kiley, our thanks to you and your team for that exclusive report.

Well, the World Health Organization wants 20 percent of Ukrainians can't get the medicine they need because of Russian attacks on civilian

infrastructure. It says they also lack sufficient access to health services. And the problem is set to get worse, as winter sets in.


HANS KLUGE, EUROPE DIRECTOR, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: I would say that with 50 percent of this energy infrastructure being damaged or destroyed.

At a moment that there's an onset of a brutal winter, where temperatures will plummet down to minus 20 degrees, that this is to be considerate of

the largest attacks on health care on European soil since the Second World War.


KINKADE: Well, the first full day of world cup action now on the board. Seniority, there's as much drama on the pitch as off the pitch.

Take a look at this moment from Iranian players earlier.

The team refusing to sing the national anthem, in an apparent show of solidarity with protesters back home in Iran.

With the U.N. says as many as 40,000 people have been arrested in Iran since the protest movement started two months ago, and now the government's

crackdown on kurdish protesters seem to be escalating.

And Hengaw Organization for Human Rights says this video shows Iranian forces firing in the Kurdish city of Javanroud.

CNN's Jomana Karadsheh is in Istanbul, in neighboring Turkey.


JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Human rights Hengaw and activists are very concerned about the situation right now in the western part of Iran,

in the majority Kurdish region. According to Hengaw, as we've seen in new wave of protests, erupting across Iran this past week, they say the

government's crackdown on protests, many of those concentrated in the Kurdish region has intensified.


They're saying the brutality of the regime forces has increased significantly according to Hengaw. Regime forces have been shooting

directly and deliberately at protesters. And they say that they've also been firing indiscriminately in a number of towns, including into the homes

of people. The casualty figures have been rising over the past few days, especially since Sunday.

Hengaw and others concerned about the situation right now in the town of Javanroud, where they say the situation there is really dire. They reported

that security forces were attacking protesters, reports that there was an urgent need for blood donations in that town. But since, activists are

reporting that they have lost contact with Javanroud, as well as the majority of the Kurdish region, according to Hengaw. They say there has

been a total internet set shut down in the region. Major internet disruptions being confirmed by the internet watchdog, NetBlocks.

There's always the concern about what might be happening, or may it happen under the cover of an Internet shutdown.

The regime for its part is saying that it's in securities forces, military reinforcements into the western part of the country to confront and deal

with what they are describing as, terrorists and separatists.

And this is been the narrative that the regime's been pushing for weeks, saying that the unrest in the majority Kurdish region is being caused by

separatists and terrorists, completely dismissing the grievances of its own people.

Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, Istanbul.


KINKADE: One hundred and sixty-two people have lost their lives in an earthquake that hit Indonesia's west Java province on Monday. The

earthquake injured a further 300 people and displaced more than 13,000 residents.

CNN's Selina Wang reports.


SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Catastrophe struck Indonesia's West Java province. Residents trapped under the rubble of what

they once called home. As a powerful earthquake struck but, leaving dozens dead, and hundreds injured.

NURUL HIDAYA, OFFICER WORKER (through translator): Usually, we can feel the building moving when somebody walks in the building, but just now is so

strong as if somebody had pushed me.

WANG: Schools, a mosque, even a hospital now destroyed. As officials more warn the death toll may go up.

While this isn't new to a country situated on an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific known as the Ring of Fire, it's a grim history of

deadly earthquakes doesn't make this latest one any last painful. Each deadly earthquake and tsunami only adds to fears over the next.

AHMAD RIDWAN, OFFICER WORKER (through translator): We're used to this in Jakarta. People were so nervous just now. So, we also panicked.

WANG: Government authorities doing all they can to provide some sort of respite for those who have lost everything, building tents, shelters,

attending to their basic needs.

HERMAN SUHERMAN, CIANJUR ADMINISTRATION HEAD (through translator): A lot of houses were destroyed in the villages, we don't have the equipment for

that. A lot of roads cut off. We're still gathering data from that.

WANG: Fears of aftershock continues to linger, as residents brace themselves for yet another series of tremors.

Selina Wang, CNN.


KINKADE: U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris is in the Philippines right now. The trip, part of an effort to cast the U.S. as the Indo-Pacific's

better partner as China tries to expand its own influence in the region. She met with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. earlier. And will deliver a

speech from Palawan Island. It's home to a Philippine military base on the edge of the South China Sea, where China has been building military bases

on some of the islands claimed by the Philippines.


KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We stand with you in defense of international rules and norms, as it relates to the South China

Sea. An armed attack on the Philippines, armed forces, public vessels or aircraft in South China Sea would invoke U.S. mutual defense commitments

and that is an unwavering commitment that we have to the Philippines


KINKADE: Still ahead, how partygoers roped down a gunman after he opened fire inside a nightclub in Colorado.

Plus, a major first for relations between Israel and Qatar, all due to the World Cup.

We'll have more after a short break. Stay with us.



KINKADE: Welcome back to the show. I'm Lynda Kinkade. Good to have you with.

Well, a memorial is growing for the victims of a mass shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The alleged gunman opened fire

Saturday night, killing at least five people, injuring 90 more. Before the suspect could do any more harm, he was brought down by patrons inside the

club, taking heroic measures.


JOHN SUTHERS, COLORADO SPRINGS MAYOR: And we know that at least one patron was able to wrestle the gun away from him and use that gun to disable, not

by shooting him but, you know, by hitting him, an incredible, heroic action that undoubtedly save lives.

CNN correspondent Rosa Flores has more from Colorado Springs.


MICHAEL ANDERSON, WITNESS: I was bartending, making drinks and then I heard like a pop, pop, pop. Once I looked up, I saw the shadow of a grown

man wielding a rifle.

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Authorities are now calling it a hate crime, the shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs, that left five

people dead and at least 19 others injured.

Barrett Hudson says he was shot seven times, but miraculously escaped serious injury.

BARRETT HUDSON, SURVIVOR: I see a door kind of shut, and there is the gunman. There was a man in front of him. He put his hand up, took two steps

back. And the dude just killed.

FLORES: Tiara Kelly says she was performing at Club Q that night.

TIARA KELLEY, CLUB Q PRODUCER AND PERFORMER: This guy, the look at his face was full of hate. It was complete hatred. He walked by, went to the

patio and then came back through a door.

FLORES: The shooting started just before midnight on Saturday night. At 11:57 pm, someone at the bar called 911, and police started dispatching


DISPATCHER: Active shooter. We're getting reports of 4 to 7 possibly injured.

Start doing triage. Have we made a reach to the hospitals to see if they can handle the patients we're sending them?

FLORES: The first officer arrived on scene at 12:00 a.m. The shooter was stopped by two men inside the club, according to authorities, they

confronted and fought with a suspect, took his handgun and hit him with it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: God bless them. It could've been a lot worse if they hadn't stepped in when they did.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two absolute heroes. If not for them, I don't know how many other would've been injured.

FLORES: At 12:02 a.m., the suspect was in custody.

DISPATCHER: Suspect has been detained.

FLORES: The suspect, 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich, is in the hospital. Two law enforcement sources telling CNN he bought the weapons used in the

attack. Now, he's facing five charges of first degree murder as well as charges related to a possible biased motivated crime.

Aldrich was arrested last year over a bomb threat at his mother's home. The surrender captured on camera. But local media report, no formal charges

were pursued, and his records were sealed according to the district attorney.

Police have tried to speak to his mother.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's not been cooperative with law enforcement.

FLORES: This close knit, LGBTQ community in Colorado springs now struggling to find a way forward.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm doing okay considering I lost friends that I care about. And I don't think it's really in yet.


KINKADE: That was CNN's Rosa Flores reporting from Colorado Springs.

I want to take a look at some other key stories making international headlines today.

And a small passenger plane crashed shortly after takeoff in Medellin, Colombia, on Monday. All eight people boarding including two pilots, six

passengers were killed. Seven houses were also destroyed. The Colombia civil aviation authority opening an investigation.

Heavy rains have caused flooding in northern parts of Albania, leaving villages underwater. Emergency services evacuated residents to safety. And

some schools were closed. The flooding killed at least two people, police said on Sunday.

Beijing is tightening its COVID-19 measures, as the city faces an outbreak that officials say is the, quote, most complicated phase since the start of

the pandemic.

From Tuesday, all travelers will need to take a daily PCR test for three days and won't be allowed to leave the residents without a negative result.

Laid-off employees at Twitter's Africa headquarters in Ghana are accusing Elon Musk of breaking the country's labor laws, and trying to silence and

intimidate them after they were fired.

Here's CNN's Larry Madowo.


LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's shaping up to be a David versus Goliath fight. But this small Twitter Africa team is standing up to Elon

Musk. They claim, they were only offered severance pay after CNN reported of their plight. They rejected of, hired a lawyer, and sent a demand note

to Twitter asking it to comply with Ghanaian labor laws. They've also petitioned the chief labor officer in the Ghana employment ministry, asking

it to compel Twitter to do the right thing.

Here's a version of that letter. It is clear that Twitter Inc. under Mr. Elon Musk is neither deliberately or recklessly flouting the laws of Ghana.

It's operating in bad faith, and in a manner that seeks to silence and intimidate former employees into accepting any terms unilaterally thrown at


These former African employees of Twitter claim that there's never been any negotiation between them and Twitter. In fact, they don't even have a way

to contact anyone on Twitter, and emails keep bouncing back.

CNN has contacted Twitter and has not heard back.

Larry Madowo, CNN, Nairobi.


KINKADE: Well, Qatar hosting the 2022 World Cup's been fueled with controversy. But there's also been a historical step in relations between

Qatar and Israel. A direct flight from Israel to Qatar was impossible for the games. The first ever flight between the countries took off Sunday, and

CNN's Hadas Gold was there.


HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They've got their luggage, passports, tickets, and ball. These 180 soccer fans made history on Sunday,

taking the first ever direct flight between Tel Aviv, Israel, and Doha, Qatar, as part of especially arranged flights for the World Cup.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Historic. We didn't expect that.

GOLD: Qatar and Israel have no diplomatic relations. But as part of a deal with FIFA, Israelis with tickets can enter the country. And a series of

special direct charter flights were drawn up on the condition they include Palestinians as well.

Israelis had never before been allowed to travel direct from Tel Aviv to Doha and enter Qatar on their Israeli passports. And Palestinians from the

occupied territories typically need very difficult to obtain special permission in order to be able to fly out of this Ben-Gurion airport.

Usually, they fly from Amman, a journey that can take several hours and several checkpoints.

But for Palestinian fans with World Cup tickets, the process is easier. On the inaugural flight, most passengers have Israeli passports. But they hope

the beautiful game will triumphed over politics.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't mix politics with soccer. You get to know the people, the local ones.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I'm feeling great, especially since we are going to meet people from all the countries. We feel


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We are the same. The Israeli Arabs in the Palestinians from the West Bank and the Jews as all the people must

be united at the same level.

GOLD: Cyprus-based Tus Airways only received approval for the right flights in the last few days, and said demand is so high, they're looking

to add extra trips. That could help Palestinian fans since the deal for Palestinians and Israelis to travel together was only announced earlier

this month.

MICHA OWSINSKI, TUS AIRWAYS SENIOR COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR: We hope really that it will be a great celebration for our soccer. And that the Israeli

fans here both Arab and Jews, Israeli and Palestinians, enjoy.

GOLD: Despite the outpouring of good feelings, Israel is warning its citizens to be on their best behavior, with a video message from Israeli

soccer star Tal Ben Heim and device cards being handed out at check in.

LIOR HAIAT, HEAD OF THE ISRAELI NATIONAL PUBLIC DIPLOMACY DIRECTORATE: We don't think -- showing off the Israeli identity will help to them while

they're there.

GOLD: Qatar is allowing a small Israeli consular team to be in the country to help citizens, as Israelis hope this temporary presence will one day

turned permanent

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hope so, I hope. We need peace in all the region. It's one step forward for all the people.

GOLD: But for these fans, their eyes are on the ball.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why are we asking political questions right now? I'm kind of confused.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love football.

GOLD: Hadas Gold, CNN, Tel Aviv.


KINKADE: Well, thanks so much for watching. I'm Linda Kinkade. That was THE GLOBAL BRIEF. Good to have you with us.

Do stay with CNN. "WORLD SPORT" up next with your full World Cup coverage, including the results of the U.S. versus Wales game, which start last hour.