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Iranian National Team Holds Silent Protest, Refuses To Sing Anthem At World Cup; Human Rights Abuses, Migrant Worker Deaths Among Controversies Clouding Qatar Showcase; Expert Tips To Make Travel Smooth During Thanksgiving Rush; "This Is Life" Premieres Sunday At 10:00 PM ET. Aired 1:30-2p ET

Aired November 21, 2022 - 13:30   ET




ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: World Cup, a silence that speaks volumes. Iran's national team stood stoically this morning as is national anthem played before kickoff. This was an apparent show of support for the anti-government protests back home.

And Qatar, the host country, is facing its own fierce condemnation on several issues. LGBTQ+ advocates outraged after Qatar's World Cup ambassador called homosexuality damage in the mind.


In that country, same-sex relationships are punishable by imprisonment.

The fact that Qatar was chosen as host was extremely controversial. It is tiny, the size of Connecticut. It didn't have the infrastructure at the time it made this bid, which was back in 2010.

The country's leaders brought in thousands of migrant workers to build all the roads, the hotels, the other facilities to make this possible. It was backbreaking work.

In fact, "The Guardian" found more than 6,500 migrant workers have died over the past 12 years. CNN has not independently verified that report.

Those same workers who built the venues almost certainly couldn't afford a ticket to the games. This weekend, they were asked to a stadium on the outskirts of the city to watch the opening match on a jumbo screen.

CNN's Don Riddell is at the tournament. He's joins us from Doha.

Don, let's begin with today's protest by the Iranian players. Was that expected?

DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: We didn't quite know what to expect, Ana, but it was certainly an extraordinary moment. Of course, the build up to this treatment for the Iranian team has

been marred of colored by the incredible protests that are now into their third month.

Protests which have swept the length and breadth of the country of Iran and which have been met with a brutal and violent crackdown by the government.

Human rights groups say that hundreds of protesters, including children and teenagers, have been killed.

So, for the Iranian national team to stand there and refuse to sing the national anthem was just an extraordinary moment. It was met with what seemed to be cheers and jubilance from many of the Iranian supporters in the crowd.

Because they had been asking for some kind of sign, some kind of indication that the players on this national team, on the highest possible profile stage on the back door of Iran, -- of course, it's just on the other side of the Persian Gulf -- for them to condos indicate their support in this way was absolutely huge.

Before the game, we saw a lot of Iranian fans coming into the stadium. Quite a few of them were wearing protest T-shirts.

A lot of them didn't want to speak to us because they were really, really concerned that there where pro-government raging spotters in the crowd and they just didn't want to be seen talking to the media.

But we did find one couple, Iranian born, now residing in California. They spoke to us and told us why they are protesting and why it is so important that the world focuses on this message.


UNIDENTIFID MALE: This is not about the soccer team this year. This is about freedom for Iran. So, that is what we are gathering here to support. They are killing our people. They are killing young people, kids, you know, so.

But this time it's going to be different. We have a message for them. This time is not going to be elected at the time. This time, the whole Iran is united. This is going to be different. Forty-three years of dictatorship ends. You guys have to go.


RIDDELL: Ana, we haven't even talked about the football. England thrashed Iran 67-2. A heavy defeat for the national team. But at that moment during the national anthem, lots of supporters of that as a win for their cause.

CABRERA: I should note that the U.S. plays in its first met this afternoon in about 20 minutes from now.

Don Riddell, thank you for your reporting. [13:38:38]

'Tis the season to travel. But it doesn't have to be a brutal experience. We have some hacks to make the holiday track a little less stressful, perhaps less pricey as well. That is next.



CABRERA: High gas prices and airfares are apparently not keeping Americans from traveling this holiday week. AAA expects 54.6 million people to fly or hit the road during the Thanksgiving holiday from Wednesday through Sunday. That adds up to nearly 98 percent of what we saw before the pandemic.

CNN's Pete Muntean has been talking to the experts about how to save some money and help trips go smoothly.

Pete, fill us in.

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Ana, the big question here is whether or not all these tips you are seeing online are really all that valid. We put some of these to the test. We tried to figure out whether or not they really work.

With these numbers are so huge, TSA is anticipating 2.5 million people to pass through security tomorrow. That is the highest number we have seen since the July 2022. We have not seen numbers this high for a long time now. We may see records of the pandemic.

I want you to listen to this piece, where we put all the steps to the test with a trio of expert. I want you to see just how they stack up.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Travel tips you might not know about. Let's go!

MUNTEAN (voice over): Travel hacks are going viral ahead of this Thanksgiving rush.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here's a flight hack I bet you didn't know.

MUNTEAN (voice-over): With AAA projecting more than 54 million people traveling 50 miles or more between Wednesday and Sunday. So, we turned to a trio of travel experts for the best advice to make your trip smoother.


One of the biggest tips, ditch that checked bag and bring only a carry-on. This summer, when airlines canceled 55,000 flights, passengers flooded the federal government with lost luggage complaints.

SCOTT KEYES, SCOTT'S CHEAP FLIGHTS: If your flight gets cancelled or you miss a connection, it's far easier to get put on a new plane and be nimble if you don't have a checked bag that they have to go find and move to a new flight.

MUNTEAN (on camera): A lot of airlines these days will allowing you to track your checked luggage on their app. But TikTokers came up with this idea. Take a tracker, like this Apple Air Tag, and drop it in your bag.

MUNTEAN (voice over): We put it to the test, tracking my bag as it snaked through Reagan National Airport, into the plane, and out at baggage claim in Charlotte.

MUNTEAN (on camera): Major bag alert. Made it.

KEYES: I think this is one of the best viral tips to happen in years.

MUNTEAN (voice over): Still, most Americans will drive this holiday. AAA said its best to drive when everybody else isn't. The wort times, on Wednesday from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

On I-85 in Atlanta, congestion could be more than twice the norm. Coming home again on Sunday, try to avoid driving from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00.

PAULA TWIDALE, SENIOR VP OF TRAVEL, AAA: The real (INAUDIBLE) is to be conscience of leaving at a reasonable time where you know traffic should be a little bit better. It's not going to be light, it's not going to be great, but it should be better.

MUNTEAN: Beyond traffic, one of the top concerns for drivers is the cost of gas. But Patrick De Haan of GasBuddy says a little bit of planning goes a long way, with prices an average 35 cents higher than a year ago.

Simply crossing the border from Arizona into California, gas prices can spike by more than a dollar a gallon.

PATRICK DE HAAN, GASBUDDY: If motorists are taking to the road for road trips, I certainly would advise them to shop around. They could be leaving low gas prices behind or the low gas prices could be on the road in front of them.


MUNTEAN: One more warning about driving. Airports are worried they may run low on parking spaces. You can probably tell because of the crowds we are seeing at Reagan National Airport.

But, also, because people simply stopped driving to the pandemic and start taking public transit to the airport.

The big tip? Book your spot at the airport ahead of time online if you can. That will save you a lot of heartache when you get to the airport -- Ana?

CABRERA: Instead of getting frustrated, just smile. That will make everything feel a little bit better when you can't control so much of this.

Thank you, Pete Muntean.

We have this just in. We are getting word off at least one person who has died and 16 others taken to the hospital. This is in Massachusetts where a car crashed into an Apple store.

I want to take you to the scene. This is in Hingham just south of Boston. Police say a dark-colored SUV crashed into the stores windows just before 11:00 this morning.

We have no word yet on whether this was intentional or perhaps a medical emergency. We'll continue to follow this. We will let you know more as soon as we learn.

A quick break and we will be right back.



CABRERA: Lisa Ling is back with a special new season of "THIS IS LIFE." In her first episode this season, Lisa explores how the loneliness of the pandemic era is changing the fabric of relationships and how people are going to nonhuman companions to fill the void.


LISA LING, CNN HOST, "THIS IS LIFE": What's your personality like?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Miss Congeniality. She's very caring and loving and loyal but she's got that Jersey edge. She'll do shots of tequila with you and then break the bottle over the head of a guy who tries to start a fight with you in a bar.

LING (voice-over): To those who know him best, Tony is just an order guy. But with Natasha, he can be an artist, fashion photographer --


LING: -- and a writer, compiling Natasha's thoughts and dreams online.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't like at her as a script I write. I don't sit down and say, ah, what is Natasha going to say next. I look at her and say, what are you thinking? I just let her flow through me.


CABRERA: OK. I'm intrigued. That's quite an interesting topic to explore, Lisa.

What did you find about, you know, this idea of nonhuman relationships impacting in general the way we interact with others in the world?

LING: Well, look, in the wake of the pandemic, we stopped interacting with many human beings and a lot of companies got pretty wealthy off of that. Amazon, Zoom, Door Dash.

And this company in Las Vegas that makes human dolls, they had their best years ever because people started to crave connection.

But it's not just with dolls. I mean, most of us have become more reliant and addicted to our devices than ever before. We rely on these devices for everything.

And we interact with our devices and even seek validation in the form of likes more than we interact with human beings these days.

And A.I. has gotten so good that there's so much we can do even from the confines of our own home or bedroom and not have to engage with human beings in the real world.


CABRERA: I only have 30 seconds, but is that a problem?

LING: It certainly could be a problem. I mean, I think people are really starting to forego human relationships. And we need human connection in order to survive and thrive.

I mean, it's estimated that, in the not-too-distant future, there might be large swaths of people who may not be having sex or need to have sex with human beings because they can -- again, A.I. is getting so good.

What does that say about the future of humanity?

CABRERA: It's wild. I'll watch with an open mind.

Thank you, Lisa, for giving us a preview.

Be sure to tune in. The final season of "THIS IS LIFE" with Lisa Ling premieres Sunday night at 10:00 Eastern, only on CNN.

That does it for us today. We'll see you back here tomorrow, same time, same place.

The news continues right after this.