Return to Transcripts main page

The Global Brief with Bianca Nobilo

England Versus USA; Ukraine Power Outages; Venezuela. Aired 5-5:30p ET

Aired November 25, 2022 - 17:00   ET



CHRISTINA MACFARLANE, CNN HOST: Hello and welcome. I'm Christina Macfarlane in London. This is THE GLOBAL BRIEF.

Ahead, a thrilling day in Qatar capped with the draw between the USA and England. We're live with "WORLD SPORT's" Don Riddell in just a moment.

Then, days of power outages. Electricity should be restored in Kyiv within hours, but how long until the lights go dark again?

And after months of closed-door talks, the Venezuelan government and opposition agreed to restart negotiations regarding the country's political


We begin today with the World Cup and the hotly anticipated match between the USA and England that ended in stalemate. A scoreless draw over just an

hour ago. The match was a tight one. Both teams struggling for clear-cut chances.

The draw means England remains in the driver's seat while team USA face a must-win match against Iran after the team defeated Wales earlier Friday.

Let's bring in "WORLD SPORT's" Don Riddell who is live for us in Doha tonight.

And, Don, credits to United States to remain unbeaten against England in the World Cup.

But, Don, that was a pretty underwhelming performance for England, wasn't, who are obviously the heavy favorites

DON RIDELL, CNN HOST, WORLD SPORT: Yeah, I think, you know, giving them some credit warehouse for scoring six goals in their first game against

Iran, which gives them a little bit of wiggle room in this group. And I think this game got to a point where both sides were kind of happy


But I would say certainly the USA acquitted themselves very well. They had some really good chances in the first half. If we can see some of the

highlights here, we will show you a couple of them. Of course, a lot of Americans players are actually very familiar with England's team, many of

them played in the Premier League. So these guys all know what each other is about.

Weston McKinney doing very well. Guiding that shot there. But Christian Pulisic, who is arguably the biggest star in the American team, he rounded

across in the first half. England had a chance towards the end of the half, Mason mount John a good save out of matt turner, and then towards the end

the England team carried live off of a free kick.

And so that was that, honours even. It means that England are pretty much good I would say for the -- they have done pretty much everything that they

need to do already. They just have to avoid a heavy defeat for Wales.

For the USA, it is very simple. It really is winner go home in their final game against Iran. By the way, if you like your World Cup history, you'll

remember that Iran beat the U.S. back in 1998 at the France World Cup.

So, this one could go either way. Around looked really good today against Wales so that will be a tough game for the United States but at least it is

in their own hands.

MACFARLANE: Yes, something to keep in mind, Don. Earlier in the day, Don, after that stunning win for Iran's national team over Wales, we did see

some incidents, concerning incidents of Iranian fans who are declaring support for Iran's anti-government protests being confronted not only in

but out of the stadiums as well.

What more do you know about that?

RIDDELL: Yeah, this is quite worrying. I was that Iran's first game against England and there were quite a few Iranian fans with the kind of

protest t-shirts and they seemed to get in okay. They weren't too happy about speaking to the media that because obviously they felt like they were

being watched. And it seems to have now escalated in the second game. We definitely had fans having issues with the protests t-shirts, we had a fan

inside the stadium who was photographed with a Mahsa Amini image and there are now images of her being led out of the stadium, reports of other fans

being detained and taken to police stations.

We are still trying to get to the bottom of exactly what happened but this clearly is a very worrying escalation for football fans who are coming to

these games. Of course, Iran is not very far away from catch our. It is just on the other side the Persian Gulf. And these fans are now warning

about their safety and security at this World Cup tournament.

MACFARLANE: Don, that thus far this tournament has been noteworthy because of the number of protests we have seen day in and day out. How have FIFA

generally been responding? We saw their response and their return over the armband incident. With the protests we are seeing around Iran, I mean, has

there been any more response from FIFA to give us any indication as to whether they're overseeing this at the very least?


RIDDELL: The latest I understand, Christina, is that FIFA have said, they are trying to find out more about it. They have said all along that they

believe everybody should be free to attend these matches and everybody should be safe while they are visiting Qatar. That has always been FIFA's


The interpretation of the local Qatari authorities sometimes seems to have been a little bit different. We saw it with the rainbow t-shirts and the

rainbow hats where some fans and journalists were trying to get into games and meeting some pretty stiff resistance being detained for 30 5:40

minutes, some of them reporting that they were spoken to pretty harshly.

So that is certainly not what FIFA wants to happen. On the rainbow flag on the "OneLove" issue, FIFA says that they have communicated with all of the

local security and things should be resolves now. But I would say the still remains a very fluid situation and there are certainly some fans here

wondering just how safe they really are in Qatari.

MACFARLANE: Yeah, one you will no doubt continue to follow. Don Riddell for us live in Qatar tonight, thanks very much, Don.

Well, Qatar, did you know, is the first Muslim country to post a FIFA World Cup with players, fans, and officials partaking in Friday prayers earlier

at midday.

People from all nations gather together across at mosques across Doha. One fan who traveled from Morocco reflected on the multicultural nature of this

year's competition.


YOUSET AL IDBARI, FAN FROM MOROCCO: The thing that I really like to see that I came to an Islamic country to attend Friday prayers, as you can see

here in the mosque. I eat Halal food, and I meet people with different nationalities either Arabs, Europeans, Asians, or Americans. This is what

makes me happy in this competition.


MACFARLANE: Now, Ukraine's president says 6 million customers remain in the dark two days after Russian missiles decimated critical energy

infrastructure. E.U. countries are pledging hundreds of transformers, generators, and other equipment to help restore heat and power. The U.N.'s

human rights chief says the Russian attacks have caused appalling conditions and could violate international humanitarian law.

Officials have been racing to restore power and says Kyiv should have normal electricity coverage on Friday. But winter is just beginning and

Ukrainians fear these types of attacks will not be the last.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): The situation piles on psychological pressure. It is winter. It is cold. Especially in the

evening, nights when there is no light. You feel lost. It is tough.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): There has been no electricity in my house for more than a day. My friend is in the same situation. The

library helps a lot in such moments because there is connection, electricity, you can make some tea, everything is great.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): The only thing that saddens me is that I washed my hair today and ice cold water. I got cold because of

it. Otherwise, it's fine. You can survive under any circumstances as long as there is peace.


MACFARLANE: Well, these satellite pictures give you an idea of how widespread the power outages are after repeated Russian attacks on

infrastructure. The photo on the left was taken back in January, and the one in the right shows Ukraine this month.

Well, for a further look at the current challenge, as Ukrainians are facing, let's bring in Sam Kiley live from Zaporizhzhia this evening.

Sam, this is psychological warfare from Russia and it appears to be working. We heard president Zelenskyy saying that 6 million households

without power. Presumably, the supply of generators from Europe will be welcome news to Ukraine.

But what else you Ukrainians need in order to deter Russia from continuing their assault on energy and infrastructure?

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, to deter the assault, the Ukrainians are absolutely clear. They are saying that they

want the latest anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems. The Israeli systems, the American patriot type systems. Whatever they can get their

hands on.

They have got some help, significant help particularly from the United States of America. But it is not the type and stuff. It is not the stuff

that gives them complete assurance and it is not the sort of equipment that the Russians can't overwhelm. Now, with the latest attack against the

country, for example, more than 70 cruise missiles were fired. Most of them were shot down. We don't need that many to get through for it to have an

effect on the power grid.

The reason for that is that it is the seventh storm attack against the power grid according to the Ukrainian government. So every time the grit is

attacked, it gets a little bit more integrated. It gets rebuilt. It gets re-gerrymandered and build to get back together again and then it gets hit



So there is a steady downward side of the quality of service, so the government for example is saying that they expect service to be back

tomorrow, but it's not going to be a full service. It just means that they are going to be able to schedule blackouts, and most households could look

at 4 to 6 hours a day being cut off from the electrical supply to their homes because that supply needs to be sent elsewhere in the country.

In terms of the longer term repair mission, it would take the Ukrainian government experts are saying up to two years. There simply aren't enough

spare parts in the world, they, say to actually fix it back to 100 percent capability.

But they are not talking about that. They are talking about getting through the winter and trying to get the equipment that they need to deny at the

skies to the Russians, that we have another fact. It would make prosecuting there were on the ground, the Ukrainian advance which has been successful

over the last few months. It would be able to continue apace if the Russians were not able to fly with relative impunity through Ukrainian


MACFARLANE: Sam, it's great to have your analysis. Thanks very much for live from Zaporizhzhia. Appreciate it.

Well, Vladimir Putin's war efforts depend heavily on the support of Russian people. On Friday, he met with those who paid a very high price. Mothers of

soldiers killed in the fighting.

As Fred Pleitgen reports, some not invited to the gathering say the Kremlin handpicked the audience to weed out Putin's strongest critics.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Russian president meeting those he knows are a backbone of the combat

effort in Ukraine, soldier's mothers, many of whom have lost their sons.

NINA PSHENICHKINA, MOTHER OF RUSSIAN SOLDIER (through translator): My heart bleeds and my soul freezes. Dark memories cloud my mind. I cry and

cry. And I hear my son say that we will see each other one day.

PLEITGEN: Putin eager to show empathy.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): I want you to know that I personally, the entire leadership of the country, we share your

pain. We understand that nothing can replace the loss of a son, a child, especially for a mother.

PLEITGEN: As the war in Ukraine, what Russia calls the special military operation, drags on and casualties mount, an increasing number of wives and

mothers are calling on Russia's president to help their husbands and sons.

Valentina Melnikova heads the Russian Soldiers Mothers Committee and says her group and many others were not invited to meet the president.

VALENTINA MELNIKOVA, HEAD OF RUSSIAN SOLDIER'S MOTHERS COMMITTEE: Why didn't they take these women who reported the videos? How many of them are

there? Fifty people? We'll bring them to Moscow. Put them in the hall not too close to Putin. No, they didn't want to. They want to do handpick


PLEITGEN: The Russian military says it has mobilized more than 300,000 Russians from September to November.

But complaints have been mounting from old rusty weapons to a lack of food and poor housing conditions. As this video uploaded to social media

purports to show.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): It's how we live, no command, no officers, nothing. Here you can see how guy set out to fix out the window.

We have no supply provisions, no food. They said survive in your own. It's up to you.

MELNIKOVA: Well, the logistics turned out to be completely unprepared for what has been happening for nine months. The frontline is long, there are a

lot of units, there are a lot of people there and the army should do this. They should feed, clothes, and provide medical care.

PLEITGEN: Russia doesn't regularly updated casualty figures but it is clear many families are grieving. This ceremony for fallen soldiers in the

Irkutsk region.

IGOR KOBZEV, GOVERNOR OF IRKUTSK REGION: They are true heroes. They did it in the interest of our state, in the interest of all of us, of our


And the Russian president knows more mothers and wives will have to sacrifice and there seems no end in sight to the war in Ukraine.

Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Moscow.


MACFARLANE: Well, Moscow is adding parent Facebook's parent company Meta to its list of extremist organizations. A Russian court ruled a few months

ago the Meta had engaged in quote, extremist activity. And while the court exhibits the court decision included Facebook and Instagram, WhatsApp was

spared. The justice ministry list and now there's more than hundred companies and organizations. And millions in Russia no longer have access

to multiple Western social media platforms.

Now, for the second day running, China has recorded its highest number of COVID-19 cases ever. More than 32,000 locally transmitted cases have been

reported by the National Health Commission. Now, keep in mind, these numbers are higher than the initial days of the pandemic when many cases

went unreported.

CNN's Selina Wang has more for us.



SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anger is rising in tragedies are mounting, but China showing no sign of budging on zero COVID. And for the second

straight day, China reported its highest number of new COVID cases since the start of the pandemic, reporting more than 30,000 new cases.

And authorities are responding with more lockdowns, mass testing, and quarantine. And people here are getting more and more frustrated. Adding to

that anger is a fire that broke out in Xinjiang region on Thursday night. Ten people were killed and nine injured in a fire at an apartment building.

Most parts of Xinjiang have been under lockdown for more than 100 days. The deadly fires sparked nationwide outrage because widely circulated videos,

which have now been censored in China, show that COVID lockdown measures very likely delayed firefighters from getting to the scene.

State media claims that people in the compound were allowed to leave the building. However, videos show fire trucks unable to get close to the scene

because the compound entrance was partially blocked. The video shows it's blocked with fences, tents, and metal barriers that are normally used as

part of COVID measures. The video shows flock and smoke and flames coming from a high floor of the building with the water failing to actually reach

the fire. What adds to the tragedy is that those who died of the fire likely spent their last three months largely confined to that building, if

not entirely.

This tragedy really struck a chord with the public here because the scenes of suffering and tragedy have played out over an over again since the start

of the pandemic. So many stories of people struggling to get food, necessities, an emergency care and lockdown. Three years into these harsh

policies, frustrations are more frequently turning into protests, which are normally rare and authoritarian China.

So, last week, in the southern city of Guangzhou, some residents revolted during lockdown by tearing down barriers and marching through the streets.

And then there were violent clashes as the Foxconn factory in Zhengzhou this week. But still, there is no end in sight to zero COVID.


MACFARLANE: Selina Wang there.

All right. Still to come on THE GLOBAL BRIEF, Venezuela is gripped by an economic and political crisis. Government and opposition negotiations are

now back at the table but can they come to an agreement.

Plus, shoppers are now chasing those Black Friday discounts, but inflation might take the joy out of holiday shopping this year.


MACFARLANE: Welcome back.

Let's take a look at the other key stories making international impacts today. The death toll from Indonesia's earthquake has risen to 310 people.

The natural disaster occurred on Monday with rescue efforts still underway. The head of the National Agency for Disaster Management said 24 people are

still unaccounted for.

Leaders from Kenya, Burundi, Angola, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Condo have signed a cease-fire agreement following intense fight in

Eastern DRC between the Congolese army and M-23 rebels. U.S. State Department has welcomed the agreement, calling for an end to the violence

and suffering.

Saudi Arabia has experienced its heaviest rainstorms in more than a decade. The extreme weather event killed two people. Numerous neighborhoods are

flooded with schools also closed.

Turning now to Venezuela where the government and opposition have via finally agreed to restart formal ago she actions to address the country's

economic and political turmoil. The deal comes back -- off the back of months of behind closed door talks. It was brokered by Norway with some

support for Mexico and the U.S.

For more, let's bring in our Stefano Pozzebon.

And, Stefano, these two sides are blocked a stalemate for years now. So, just explain to us what it is which has brought them both back to the

negotiating table.

STEFANO POZZEBON, JOURNALIST: Yes, Christina. I think the main reason is just the sheer scale of Venezuela's crises. It's a country that a few years

ago, the country was a thriving economy. It is now a place where over 80 percent of the population still lives below the poverty line. Over 7

million people have left the country in recent years to try to find better fortunes abroad. And 7 million is almost a quarter of the entire Venezuelan


I think both sides have realized after a year or so of uprising that they can't find a solution on their own. In fact, as the two delegations are

traveling to Mexico City at this hour to hold talks tomorrow. We are expecting the government delegation to arrive in Mexico City in the next 60

minutes or so. The most talked about aspect of the negotiations is the creation of this international fund to address the humanitarian crisis in

Venezuela. It's worth about $3 billion U.S. dollars. Three billion is a heavy sauna for a country in dire straits like Venezuela.

On top of that, of course, as you said, the international pressure with countries all around the reason, Columbia, Mexico, Argentina, all applying

pressure to try to convince the two parties to go back together. And, of course, the U.S. which, for example, this summer freed to personal

relatives of strong man leader Nicholas Maduro who were serving a sentence for drug trafficking in the U.S. Those were free to exchange for the

releases of several U.S. citizens still detained in Venezuela.

That has created a positive climate which now allows the two parties to sit at the same table, and, hopefully, find a solution to a crisis that has

lasted seven years now -- Christina.

MACFARLANE: Yeah, a lot on the table. But whether or not they will reach an agreement is another matter.

Stefano, thank you for now. We will check back in with you to see how this progresses.

Well, it's Black Friday in the U.S. It is a phenomenon which has spread around the world in recent years. This time around, holiday shoppers are

caught between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, a flood of online deals is sometimes too good to pass up, and on the other, inflation and the

cost of living crisis.

CNN's Alison Kosik reports from the most famous department store in New York City, Macy's.


ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORESPONDENT: No shortage of crowds piling into the Macy's department store, the iconic department store right here in the

heart of New York City in Herald Square. They are looking to start their Black Friday shopping. Black Friday is expected to be one of the biggest

shopping days of the year with 150 million people expected to have gone shopping just on Friday with more than half of shopping in store.

And while shopping in-store has become popular again, online shopping is popular as well. Here is one Macy's executive.

MARC MASTRONARDI, CHIEF STORES OFFICER, MACY'S: I think we have a really big base of consumers which shop online.


But we also have consumers are shopping in stores, and our best customers shop both of them. They really shop by their situation. They shop by their

occasion. That's why we spend so much energy on being an omnichannel retailer that allows our customer to use all of the different options that

we offer, whatever is most convenient for them.

KOSIK: Deals and discount are expected to bring out a record number of shoppers; 166 million people are expected to shop from Thanksgiving Day all

the way through cyber Monday. And this year, inflation really is the elephant in the room it is pushing consumers to kind of think strategically

on how they want to shop. Inflation is cutting into their budgets. Here's what one shopper told us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of the problems is inflation. Prices are high. You have to make some adjustments. What are you going to buy this year? Yes, it

is a little bit of downsizing in terms of buying gifts. It's not like last year. So, yes, inflation is affecting us.

KOSIK: So, shoppers tell me they are sticking to their budgets. They are letting deals and discounts dictate how they are going to spend. The

National Retail Federation is upbeat about how this holiday shopping season will wind up, saying they expect Americans to spend 8 percent more than

last year, adding up to a total of 940 the 960 billion dollars for November and December.

Back to you.


MACFARLANE: Now, we want to end on a good note. So, here is this week's happy happenings. We begin with an unbearably cute moment here in London.

The queen consort personally delivered hundreds of Paddington bear's to underprivileged children. The toys were left among the tributes after the

passing of Queen Elizabeth II.

Well, next up, it was Winston for the win.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The national dog show best in show winner is the French bulldog.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at this. No one happier.


MACFARLANE: Oh, the purr-fect French bulldog won best in show at the U.S. national dog competition. He's the first of his breed to ever win top

honors. Now, as you can see, his owner was having a ball.

Finally, if you're more of a cat person, meet Flossie, a centenarian feline at 27 years old. Which is 120 in human ears. She has meowed herself a

Guinness record as the world's oldest cat. A purr-fect place to end the show.

Thank you for watching. That was THE GLOBAL BRIEF.

Stay with us. "WORLD SPORT" is coming up next.