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NATO Chief: Missile Accident Is Not Ukraine's Fault; South Korea: Pyongyang Fires Short-Range Ballistic Missile; President Xi Jinping Scolds Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Over Media Leaks; Qatar Dogged By Controversy Ahead Of Tournament; Lula da Silva Vows To Undo Amazon Deforestation By 2030. Aired 12-1a ET
Aired November 17, 2022 - 00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: All around the world. This is CNN NEWSROOM.
Coming up this hour, why the Kremlin is still on the hook for a deadly strike in Poland even if the missile was not launched by Russian forces.
The humiliation of a Canadian Prime Minister in just 40 seconds. Chinese leaders scolds Justin Trudeau over media leaks.
And can Lula save the world? If Brazil's president-elect can make good on promises to restore the Amazon, he might just save the rest of the planet along the way.
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Center, this is CNN NEWSROOM with John Vause.
VAUSE: What appears to be the first major rift between Ukraine and NATO, the president of Ukraine continues to insist a Russian launch missile was responsible for killing two people in neighboring Poland.
While an investigation is underway, early assessments from NATO, Poland, the U.S. are the missile was most likely fired by Ukraine's air defense system amid a flurry of Russian missile attacks on Tuesday, which the Pentagon has described as possibly the largest since the war began nine months ago.
Ukraine's military confirmed around the same time and in the same area of the deadly strike in Poland, there was an attempt to intercept a Russian projectile.
Western leaders have stressed this is Russia's war. The Russians are ultimately responsible.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDRZEJ DUDA, POLISH PRESIDENT (through translator): Nothing, absolutely nothing indicates that this was an intentional attack on Poland. So, what happened is a rocket hit our territory. It was not intentional. It was not a missile targeted at Poland. The fact is, this was not an attack on Poland.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: For now, Ukraine's president does not seem willing to accept this may have all been a tragic mistake, and now continues to insist it was a Russian airstrike.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): I don't even doubt that report that I have received, the delusion we received from the Air Defense Command. I don't doubt that it wasn't our missile. I don't have a reason to doubt them, I'm going through this war with them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Zelenskyy also wants Ukraine to play a role in a joint U.S.- Poland investigation. He says if Ukrainian air defenses are responsible, he wants proof.
CNN's Matthew Chance has more now reporting in from Eastern Poland.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): A Russian made missile striking a NATO ally and setting the world on edge. But it now seems the explosion that killed two Polish farmers here was a tragic accident, not as feared, ordered by the Kremlin.
JENS STOLTENBERG, SECRETARY GENERAL, NATO: The incident was likely caused by the Ukrainian air defense missile fired to defend Ukrainian territory against Russian cruise missile attacks. But let me be clear, this is not Ukraine's fault.
CHANCE: Not Ukraine's fault because its military was defending against the barrage of Russian missiles, targeting essential infrastructure and killing civilians.
Among the victims on Tuesday, was this 69-year-old woman, she was visiting her husband's grave in Kyiv when a piece of shrapnel tore through her body and killed her.
As winter sets in, Russia is making Ukraine civilians suffer with reckless abandon. But what happened here in Poland shows just how dangerous that is for the whole world too.
This while Ukrainian officials are redoubling their request for more advanced air defense systems from the United States and Europe.
They've also committed to cooperating with an investigation into what happened here and admitted their air defenses were active in the area.
But officials are clear, Russian President Vladimir Putin is responsible, dragging millions of Ukrainians and now a sleepy one street Polish town into his war of choice. Matthew Chance, CNN, on the Polish Ukrainian border.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Matthew Smith is Director of International Affairs at the University of New Haven is with us this hour from Washington. Thanks for taking the time, Matthew. Good to see you.
MATTHEW SMITH, DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS, UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAVEN: My pleasure.
VAUSE: So, overall, here's what most considered to be, I guess, good news from all of this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STOLTENBERG: But we have no indication that this was the result of a deliberate attack. And we have no indication that Russia is preparing offensive military actions against NATO.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: That seems to be stating the obvious in a way because why would Russia consider expanding their front lines of war which is already losing so badly?
SMITH: Well, I think there wouldn't be a reason. I think that there's -- it's possible at least to consider that this is a kind of -- a kind of deliberate neglect on the part of Russian military planners to sort of, you know, launch a missile and expect that it's got a decent chance of crossing the border in order to create a kind of probe, right, to test NATO's political response.
I don't think they -- I don't know if this happened, but I think we need to consider it. Especially given that Zelenskyy has come out and said, hey, my military told me that they've got strong evidence this was in fact a Russian missile, and not a strayed Ukrainian one. And he's asked to be, you know, be part of the investigation. I think we have to pay attention to that.
VAUSE: But among the rest of NATO, there doesn't seem to be any disagreement over who is ultimately responsible regardless of where, how and why the missile was fired. They say the Ukrainians are not the ones to blame. Here we go, listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KRZYSZTOF SZCZERSKI, POLISH AMBASSADOR U.N.: No matter what was the particular cause of the -- cause of the events in Przewodom (PH). The fact that fatal afternoon, those innocent people would not have been killed if there had been no Russian war against Ukraine.
(END VIDEO CLIP) VAUSE: So, I guess the argument here seems to be sort of in line at least with international law of Russia hadn't started this conflict, then if it was the Ukrainian air defense missile which was fired, it's not Ukraine's fault.
SMITH: It's absolutely correct, right? Russia launched 100 or so missiles to Ukraine against the energy infrastructure, which was a war crime. And the fact that this happened accidentally or deliberately is their fault.
VAUSE: And yet, as you mentioned, from the Ukraine, from the president on down, actually, there is this insistence, it was a Russian fired missile, it was launched by Russia.
And on that, a diplomat from one NATO country in Kyiv told the Financial Times this is getting ridiculous. The Ukrainians are destroying our confidence in them, nobody's blaming Ukraine, and they are openly lying. This is more destructive than the missile.
So, what are the chances that initially Kyiv (INAUDIBLE) saw an opening here to draw NATO more directly into the war, possibly and for some kind of no-fly zone. But with these new details, they are now struggling to walk everything back.
SMITH: I think it's unlikely that Zelenskyy's logic is moving in that kind of direction, because it is extremely risky. If he pushes NATO in that direction, and then you know, is called out and found to be wrong, he risks losing the entirety of the support that allows them to prosecute the war at all.
It's much more likely that Russia is probing NATO to see what kind of response they're going to have politically and if they might sort of break it apart in terms of policy to push Ukraine to negotiate sooner than they want to. I just don't think that Zelenskyy is dumb enough to risk everything he has with this kind of stunt.
VAUSE: That then gets us to the former Russian president -- former Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who tweeted this, the incident with the Ukrainian alleged missile strike on a Polish farm proves just one thing, waging a hybrid war against Russia, the West moves closer to the World War.
So far, the response from the West have been quite the opposite. It's been to try and deescalate this. How quickly and how easily could this incident have triggered a major escalation?
SMITH: I don't think the risk of a major escalation was that great because Poland and NATO have an opportunity to decide how they're going to respond, right? And in any case, this is a kind of an attack where they're going to step back, they're going to want to downplay it, even if they have evidence in their -- in their hands that it is a Russian missile, right? They have no good reason to come out and show that because they have no reason to escalate that plays into Putin's hand in terms of his propaganda. And you know, it hurts Ukraine, so they're going to -- they're going to hold their powder dry as long as possible. VAUSE: Very quickly, wrap this all together, how does this work -- how does this work out? How does this end?
SMITH: I think the thing to keep your eye on right now is the larger missile attack, which was targeting, you know, infrastructure in Ukraine's civilian infrastructure, and that what Putin is doing is he's really using the Ukrainian population, the civilian population as a pressure point.
He's trying to make the pain in that population so bad, especially in winter now that Zelenskyy may step up to that negotiating table. He's trying to create a refugee crisis in the rest of Europe that they may push Zelenskyy to that negotiating table, right?
That's Putin's entire strategy right now is to use the Ukrainian population as a weapon, really, and I think we need to keep our eye on that. Because, you know, that's the real context within which this is all taking place.
VAUSE: Matthew, thanks so much, we appreciate it.
SMITH: My pleasure.
VAUSE: North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile a short time ago, according to South Korea's military. The missile was fired into the eastern waters off the Korean Peninsula, it comes just hours after Pyongyang warned a fierce response to U.S. efforts to boost its security presence in the region.
By CNN's count, this is the 33rd day this year, which Pyongyang has carried out a missile test.
For more, we're now joined by CNN's Anna Coren live in Hong Kong. Maybe put it this way, it's been eight days since the North fired a ballistic missile. They clearly plan to continue, maybe a little slower but continuing nonetheless.
ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): They certainly continue. But some would say that North Korea has been pretty well behaved this week considering the amount of international diplomacy taking place in Asia.
Some analysts say you know, Kim Jong-un was never going to fire missiles during the G20. Of course, China's President, North Korea's closest ally, meeting with President Biden on a charm offensive mending bridges, so he wasn't going to upstage that event.
APEC however, in Thailand, there is no Biden. It's not as high profile and North Korea can only be ignored for so long.
So, this morning, John, we heard from North Korea's foreign minister, Choe Son-hui, she issued a threatening statement in response to a trilateral meeting that was held last Sunday in Cambodia at the ASEAN summit on the sidelines between the U.S., South Korea and Japan. They issued a statement last Sunday in response to North Korea's
provocative and aggressive behavior, saying that they had agreed to a greater security cooperation, that there was an unprecedented level of trilateral coordination that had been reached.
And also, the U.S. commitment to both Japan and South Korea was iron clad. This obviously angered North Korea.
This morning, we heard from the North Korea's foreign minister as I just said, and she said those talks and also the military exercises held between the U.S. and South Korea earlier this month, that had taken the situation to an unpredictable phase.
Let me read to you more of that statement that was issued on state media KCNA. She said the U.S. bolstered offer of extended deterrence and the daily increasing military activities of the allied forces around the Korean peninsula are foolish acts that will bring more serious instability to the U.S. and its allies.
She goes on to say that the U.S. will be well aware that it is gambling, for which it will certainly regret.
Now, John a few hours after issuing that statement, as you said, North Korea fired that short range ballistic missile according to the South Korean military, it was a map (PH) for, it flew 240 kilometers, an altitude of 47 kilometers.
This obviously in breach of the U.N. Security Council resolutions of which North Korea has no regard for whatsoever.
But it follows that flurry of activity that we saw earlier this month. On one particular day, we saw an unprecedented number of missiles that were fired, including an ICBM which was launched. It failed.
But still, as we know, the U.S. South Korea all believe that North Korea is preparing to test a seventh nuclear test, you know, which would be the first time since 2017, John.
VAUSE: Anna, thank you, we appreciate the update. Anna Coren live for us in Hong Kong.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has scolded Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, what appears to be a hot mic moment made for the world to see. The cringe worthy 40 second longest exchange came on the sidelines, the G20 summit in Bali.
Xi appeared to be irritated at the details of an earlier conversation with Trudeau had been leaked to the Canadian media.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUSTIN TRUDEAU, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER: Everything we discussed has been leaked to the papers and that's not appropriate.
XI JINPING, CHINESE PRESIDENT (through translator): And that is not the way the conversation was conducted. TRUDEAU: In Canada, we believe in free and open and frank dialogue and
we will continue to have and we will continue to work constructive together. But there will be things that we disagree on.
JINPING (through translator): Let's create the conditions first.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: And done. Earlier this week, the two leaders held their first face-to-face conversation in more than three years. Trudeau reportedly raised serious concerns over China's domestic interference, including allegations China meddled in Canada's 2019 election.
For more of this, joined by CNN's Will Ripley in Bangkok, Thailand. So, Will, yes, Xi Jinping is no strange to be on the world stage. He knows where the cameras are. It seems dissing down Trudeau was done knowing it would be seen around the world. What a humiliation it was.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): It is certainly remarkable considering just how buttoned up and how carefully control the state media is in China, which of course is not showing this exchange.
And yet, this back and forth where Xi Jinping is basically putting on display this muscular style of face-to-face diplomacy that has been so lacking in recent years because he's been hunkered down in the mainland in Beijing doing virtual summits and avoiding face-to-face contact.
Now, he's out on the global stage. He was in Bali. He's on his way here to Bangkok, he'll be landing within the next two hours, and there's no mask on, despite zero COVID in China where people in Beijing are being told to wear masks all the time. He's shaking hands. And he's getting right up in the faces of, you know, some of the most important allies of the United States after that three hour meeting on Monday with President Biden, which was an attempt to, if not a reset it certainly, you know, a sit down and have a discussion and be very more -- be clear, have clarity about the mutual goals of China and the United States.
He then went on to meet with other U.S. allies, Australia, France, the Netherlands, South Africa. Australia was a big meeting. They've had a very tense relationship, in recent years, there have been tariffs, there have been -- there's been increasing tension over a myriad of issues. But it basically went back to Australia calling for an investigation into the origins of COVID-19.
And now you have this kind of informal discussion with Justin Trudeau, where Xi Jinping is with that swagger of somebody who's basically been bestowed the title of Emperor for life, you know, he essentially now has unchecked power inside China.
He showed the world in those cameras exactly that he now is wielding the strength in these face-to-face meetings. So, listen to what Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada had to
say after that exchange.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUDEAU: Listen, I think that people know that not all the conversations are going to be easy with the other leaders, especially when it comes to issues that are sources of disagreement.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RIPLEY: One thing that President Biden has basically kind of created this narrative over the last few years that Xi Jinping has been absent from these face-to-face meetings is that there is this global, you know, escalating conflict, if you will, between the free world and the autocratic world.
But Xi Jinping pushed back on that calling his style of governance, where essentially he has an echo chamber of yes men, allowing him to move forward with any of his objectives with virtually unchecked power. He calls that Chinese style democracy, John.
VAUSE: Democracy with Chinese characters, I guess. Will, thank you. Will Ripley live for us in Bangkok.
Brazil's incoming president making some big environmental promises to undo the damage to the Amazon caused by his predecessor.
When we come back, Lula da Silva vows to put climate at the forefront of his agenda to the jeers of so many (INAUDIBLE).
Also, Qatar and controversy, they go together like peanut butter and jelly. The latest is over press freedom, all seen live on T.V.
VAUSE: Just days before Qatar's World Cup gets underway, officials have apologized to a news crew from Denmark, for what may best be described as overzealous security. This video posted on social media Tuesday appears to show confrontation between a reporter and security guards in Doha. The reporter was interrupted live on air followed by a threat to smash his camera.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RASMUS TANTHOLDT, TV2 REPORTER: Mister, you invited the whole world to the -- you invited the whole world to come here. Why can't we film it's a public place?
You can break the camera. You want to break it? OK. Break the camera.
So, you're threatening us by smashing the camera.
(END VIDEO CLIP) VAUSE: They didn't smash the camera but World Cup organizers later issued a statement saying upon inspection of the crew's valid tournament accreditation and filming permit, an apology was made by the broadcaster by on-site, to the broadcaster rather, on-site security. That's on-site security made the apology and they resumed activity.
Just the latest in a series of controversy surrounding the host of this year's World Cup from human rights, LGBTQ rights and treatment of migrant workers. And then, many keep asking the question why was Qatar chosen in the first place?
Isa Soares has our report.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The winner to organize the 22 FIFA World Cup is Qatar.
ISA SOARES, CNN ANCHOR (voice over): The sport world was stunned when FIFA awarded the World Cup to Qatar. Controversy took center stage and football risk becoming a sideshow.
Why was Qatar a tiny desert state with no football pedigree chosen to host FIFA's showpiece event?
Even the disgraced former chief of football's governing body has since described the decision as a mistake.
SEPP BLATTER, THEN-FIFA PRESIDENT: I was right at a certain time to say it is you should not go there.
SOARES: That moved 12 years ago provoked unprecedented anger, accusations of corruption and sports washing.
Qatari officials strongly denied the allegation that bribery was involved in their bid.
Before a ball is kicked at this year's tournament, attention has focused on Qatar's human rights record, its stance on same sex relationship, and most damaging to its reputation, the treatment of overseas workers drafted in to build essential infrastructure.
Amnesty International claims authorities failed to properly investigate the deaths of thousands of migrant workers despite evidence linking premature deaths with unsafe working conditions in this searing heat.
Qatari officials say they investigate all reports of abuse and exploitation and are committed to holding unscrupulous employers to account.
DAVID BECKHAM, UNICEF GOODWILL AMBASSADOR: How important is it to keep traditions like this?
SOARES: Ambassadors like David Beckham have been criticized for accepting roles set to be worth millions of dollars.
JOE LYCETT, COMEDIAN: If you end your relationship with Qatar, I'll donate this 10 grand of my own money.
SOARES: Comedian Joe Lycett called out the former England captain saying his status as a gay icon was under threat.
Homosexual acts are illegal in Qatar, considered immoral under Islamic law. Punishments include prison sentences and even death.
Organizers told CNN Qatar is a tolerant and welcoming country and claim no one will be discriminated against.
Nonetheless, calls to boycott the tournament have gathered momentum.
When the final whistle goes at Qatar 2022, the legacy will be judged not only over 28 days of football, but in the years that lie ahead.
Isa Soares, CNN.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Brazil's President-elect Lula da Silva is back on the international stage and that is a reason for many to cheer.
Rockstar meets football player's star welcomed at the COP27 Climate Summit in Egypt on Wednesday. Lula did not disappoint, accusing countries of ignoring the climate crisis while spending trillions of dollars to wage war. Mostly though he vowed to protect the Amazon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LUIZ INACIO LULA DA SILVA, BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT-ELECT (through translator): Dear companions, there's no climate security for the world without a protected Amazon. We will spare no efforts to have zero deforestation and the degradation of our biomes by 2030.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: For more now on the future of Amazon and the leadership role of Brazil's President-Elect Leah Stokes is with us. She's an associate professor at the University of California in Santa Barbara, thanks for taking the time to be with us. Good to see you.
LEAH STOKES, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA IN SANTA BARBARA: Oh, thanks so much for having me on.
VAUSE: OK, so Lula da Silva seems to be an example writ large of this relationship between domestic politics and the fate of the planet. Here he is, listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DA SILVA (through translator): On the outcome of the Brazilian election, depended not only the peace and well-being of the Brazilian people, but also the survival of the Amazon and therefore, the survival of our planet.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: And that's not really an exaggeration. This is a reason why he was greeted at COP27 with this applause and the enthusiasm. If he makes good on this promise, then, you know, we're looking good.
STOKES: Absolutely, you know, the last few weeks and really the last year have been really hopeful when it comes to climate action. We've seen fantastic elections in Brazil this past week in the United States, and more recently, or earlier on in the year in Australia as well.
You know, climate champions are beating back governments that have no interest in protecting people or the planet. And that is really good news for the planet.
VAUSE: So, Lula da Silva was elected president. After four years of this guy, here we go.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAIR BOLSONARO, OUTGOING BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): It is a fallacy to say that the Amazon is the heritage of humankind. And a misconception is confirmed by scientists to say that our Amazonian forests are the lungs of the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Jair Bolsonaro spectacularly wrong, that statement that was made back in 2019. And for the record, data from Brazil's National Institute for Space Research shows the rate of deforestation under Bolsonaro's presidency claimed by more than 70 percent from 2018 to 2021.
Can the damage caused by four years of Bolsonaro be undone?
STOKES: Well, you know, the damage can never fully be undone when you are cutting down forest, it can't magically be replanted, but we can stop the bleeding and that's why President-elect Lula is so exciting really on the international landscape because he's providing hope to so many people.
VAUSE: Is there a measure not only the harm which was done to the Amazon by Bolsonaro. But what are the progress, which was lost by not having Lula da Silva as you know, as president because he at the time was making good strides before he was voted out of office.
So, can we work out what we've lost by having Bolsonaro there in terms of progress, which has been lost?
STOKES: Yes. You know, President Lula, when he was previously in office was really doing amazing things. He had cut deforestation by something like 80 percent, making huge progress internationally. Unfortunately, Bolsonaro really rolled that back. But now we have a
chance to get the lungs of the Earth really working at a level that we haven't been able to do with Bolsonaro. And we can say the same thing in the United States. These elections are really hopeful when it comes to having climate action.
VAUSE: Here's the thing, though, it seems even if there is rare agreement among world leaders to take this action, it doesn't seem to be worth the recycled paper it's written on, be it President Trump withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris Accords, and more recently at COP27, this new leader of Costa Rica backing out of a coalition, which Costa Rica founded to end the use of oil and gas.
We just don't seem to have the luxury of, you know, politics and stupidity to occur at the same time.
STOKES: We really don't have the luxury. Time is not on our side. You know, scientists have said that we have to cut carbon pollution in half this decade. And we need leaders like President-elect Lula in Brazil to really be doing what's necessary or President Biden to have the leadership in Congress to keep pushing or, you know, the kinds of elections that we've seen in Australia. We need that to be happening everywhere all around the world.
But I have to say I'm more hopeful in the last few weeks than I've certainly been in many years. You know, the United States has passed landmark climate legislation this year, we have a president-elect in Brazil who's talking about restoring the lungs of the earth. There's a lot to be hopeful when it comes to climate action globally.
VAUSE: Each step, step all the way. Leah, thanks so much for being with us. Really good to see you.
STOKES: Thanks for having me on.
VAUSE: Well, ahead here on CNN NEWSROOM. In Uganda, vaccine trials are underway for a deadly strain of Ebola. There might just be some hope when we come back in a moment.
VAUSE: Welcome back, everyone. I'm John Vause. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.
The Iranian regime is continuing to crack down on government protesters after the death of a young woman in police custody. State media say three more protesters have been given death sentences on various charges, bringing the total number to five.
Demonstrations also took place across the country on the three-year anniversary of the deadly November 19th protest. In this video shared online by an activist outlet, you can see Iranian authorities pointing a weapon at protesters at a subway station in Tehran. Protesters set fire to a seminary in Western Iran around the same time
as five people were shot and killed in the region. State media calling the shooting a terror attack, claiming two people on motorcycles shot at security forces.
It's unclear if the shooting and the fire are linked.
Meantime, tensions between Israel and Iran are high after a drone attack on an oil tanker off the coast of Iran on Wednesday. Israel is accusing Iran of launching the drone, which it says, at the same time is being used by Russia in Ukraine.
The vessel's operating company says no one was hurt, but one Israeli official is calling it a provocation in the Gulf, designed to disrupt stability ahead of the World Cup in Qatar.
There is a glimmer of hope for parts of Uganda suffering from an Ebola outbreak. The World Health Organization says the first doses of a free trial vaccine for the Sudan strain of the virus will arrive next week. They'll be given to about 3,000 people who've come into contact with Ebola patients.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. MICHAEL RYAN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, WHO HEALTH EMERGENCIES PROGRAM: We hope -- dearly hope that this epidemic goes away. And this epidemic is controllable without vaccines. It's clear that we can get to containment without vaccines. But it's also clear from the Congo experience that you can get to control much quicker using effective vaccines.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Vaccine will need for many of those grappling with this disease. Uganda's president says more than 140 cases have been confirmed since September. More than 50 have died.
CNN's Larry Madowo shows us the devastating effect Ebola has and has had on one Uganda family.
LARRY MADOWO, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Joseph Singiringabo is raising his three grandkids alone at 78. Ebola swept through his family, claiming the lives of his wife, son, and his newborn granddaughter in a few short weeks.
They're picking up the pieces after the children's mother fled from the disease.
While Joseph was in mandatory 21-day quarantine, he says his only assets were stolen: his livestock.
JOSEPH SINGIRINGABO, MUBENDE RESIDENT (through translator): The problem I'm facing is getting food for me and my grandchildren. Secondly, I never went to school. But I want them to get an education. MADOWO: Did you ever imagine you would be left taking care of your
young grandchildren alone?
SINGIRINGABO (through translator): I knew that, at any time I would die (ph), and their father would take care of them.
MADOWO (voice-over): Uganda declared its first Ebola outbreak in a decade here, in the central district of Mubende in late September. Cases soon spread to a neighboring district, and the government has since restricted movement in and out of them.
Ebola treatment units like this one were quickly set up to treat positive cases and to quarantine anyone they had come into contact with.
MADOWO: This is a reality of what it means when Ebola breaks out in your community. That is a three-month-old baby that's a suspected Ebola case. The mother is down with Ebola, and so is one of the siblings. And she already lost her dad to the virus. Sometimes, when it rains, it pours.
MADOWO (voice-over): Six Ugandan districts now have Ebola cases, including the capital, Kampala. Though the rate of new infections appears to have slowed down, doctors say not all the sick are turning out.
DR. JACKSON AMONE, EBOLA CASE MANAGEMENT LEAD IN MUBENDE: Some of the patients are still hiding. And some of them, they don't know that they have Ebola. So they're in the community there. It is very easy for one case to have a very big multiplier effect. So we are not yet confident whether the number is going down.
MADOWO (voice-over): The Sudan Ebola virus strain now circulating in Uganda has no approved vaccine, but the country is launching free trial vaccines with contacts of confirmed cases.
DR. JANE RUTH ACENG OCERO, UGANDAN HEALTH MINISTER: These trial vaccines have been tested for safety. So our further testing is about efficacy and how long it protects. We want to see if within 29 days, the contacts can quickly generate antibodies and can protect themselves.
MADOWO (voice-over): Armed police watch over Ebola treatment units to block people from sneaking back into the community. Ugandan authorities say myths and misconceptions, ties to culture or religion are holding back progress in containing the outbreak.
YOWERI MUSEVENI, UGANDAN PRESIDENT: All traditional healers and witch doctors are prohibited from carrying out their duties during this Ebola outbreak.
OCERO: The number of probable cases --
MADOWO (voice-over): Uganda's health minister told CNN she expects to have the Ebola outbreak under control by April if citizens follow government guidelines.
MADOWO: Do you feel the international committee doesn't give you enough credit for your experience in dealing with previous Ebola outbreaks and, therefore, having this under control?
OCERO: This is our eighth Ebola outbreak. Every time we get an outbreak, our experience increases. What we need is to be supported, to end this epidemic as quickly as possible.
MADOWO (voice-over): Uganda's closing the school year early and sending kids home to avoid spreading Ebola among them as vigilance becomes a common tune.
Larry Madowo, CNN, Uganda.
VAUSE: Time for a short break here on CNN. When we get back, Republicans will take control of the U.S. House next year, but they'll do it with a razor-thin majority, already facing distractions over Donald Trump's early White House bid. How they're all linked, in just a moment.
VAUSE: If it's Thursday, it must be time for the British government to announce another economic plan. Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt is set to introduce a lot of new taxes and cuts to spending, while at the same time trying to move on from the economic chaos caused by the previous prime minister, Liz Truss.
The new government needs to restore confidence in the British economy. Inflation, just over 11 percent, a 41-year high.
Republicans are now set to take control of the U.S. House this January, and President Joe Biden says he's willing to work with the incoming majority. But whether they're willing to work with him remains to be seen, and chances are no.
The Republicans have a paper-thin hold over the House, far from the red wave many had predicted. They're also far from unified. The in- fighting continues over just who will be leader of the House.
And now, they have to deal with the destruction of Donald Trump's third presidential bid for an election that's still two years away.
CNN's Jeff Zeleny reports now from Washington.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Republicans winning control of the House after a midterm election that will change the balance of power in Washington.
But far less change than they envisioned. With turmoil inside the GOP dampening the party's mood and complicating its future. [00:40:07]
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): I'm not going anywhere.
ZELENY (voice-over): Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell surviving a threat from Florida Senator Rick Scott, with 37 Republicans voting to keep McConnell at the helm, and ten voting for Scott, amid deep infighting over the GOP's failure to win a Senate majority.
At the center of broader recriminations among Republicans is former president, Donald Trump.
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Much criticism is being placed on the fact that the Republican Party should have done better, and frankly, much of this blame is correct.
ZELENY (voice-over): Who took no responsibility for midterm election losses as he pulled the trigger on another bid for the White House.
TRUMP: I have no doubt that by 2024, it will sadly be much worse, and they will see much more clearly what happened and what is happening to our country. And the voting will be much different.
ZELENY (voice-over): His Mar-a-Lago announcement is being met by a collective groan from a broad swath of the Republican Party, including many who served in his administration.
Former secretary of state Mike Pompeo, who's considering a presidential run of his own, saying, "We need more seriousness, less noise, and leaders who are looking forward, not staring in the rearview mirror claiming victimhood." Those stinging comments a clear reference to this moment Tuesday night.
TRUMP: We must conduct a top to bottom overhaul to clean out the festering rot and corruption of Washington, D.C. And I'm a victim, I will tell you. I'm a victim.
ZELENY (voice-over): While Trump enters the race as a clear frontrunner, beloved by a loyal base of supporters, he is unlikely to have the field to himself.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who swept to reelection by nearly 20 points, drew applause today, saying the 2024 campaign can wait.
GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): We just finished this election. OK? People just need to chill out a little bit on some of this stuff. I mean, seriously. We just ran an election.
ZELENY (voice-over): Former defense secretary Mark Esper, who served under Trump, told CNN the party should look forward.
MARK ESPER, FORMER U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY UNDER TRUMP: Launch a new generation of Republican leaders who may be more aligned with what I consider myself, a Reagan Republican, who can do so without the baggage and the personal attacks and the self-centeredness of Donald Trump. ZELENY (voice-over): And former present Vice President Mike Pence,
who's also weighing a presidential run, said the country should not turn back to Trump.
MIKE PENCE, FORMER U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: I think we'll have better choices in the future.
ZELENY (voice-over): Tonight, McConnell said Republicans turned off moderates and independent voters in the last election. For the next one, he said Trump will have company in the Republican race.
MCCONNELL: The way I'm going into this presidential primary season is to stay out of it. I don't have a dog in that fight.
ZELENY: After his election, Senator McConnell talked about the prospect of divided power in Washington, talking about how the House would be controlled by Republicans. The Senate, narrowly by Democrats. He said he really thought it would be an opportunity to work with the White House and work on behalf of the American people.
Of course, we will see how much bipartisan unity there actually is.
But as for McConnell, starting next year in the next Congress, he will be the longest serving Senate party leader in U.S. history, 15 years, that the Republican party has changed dramatically under his watch.
Jeff Zeleny, CNN, Washington.
VAUSE: Thank you for watching. I'm John Vause. Back at the top of the hour with more CNN NEWSROOM. But first, WORLD SPORT starts after a very short break. See you in about 17 minutes.