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CNN International: Saudi Arabia Shock Lionel Messi's Argentina 2-1; War Veteran Took Down Gunman In LGBTQ Nightclub Shooting; Police Identify Five Killed In LGBTQ Nightclub Shooting; Russian Senator: The West Supplying Weapons To Ukraine & Desire For Peace Are "Mutually Exclusive"; China's COVID Policy: Is It Working?; CNN Speaks With Ukrainian Recon Team Targeting Russian Forces. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired November 22, 2022 - 08:00   ET



MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to CNN Newsroom. I'm Max Foster in London. Just ahead of, a race against time. Emergency crews search for survivors after a deadly quake strikes Indonesia. We'll have the very latest for you.

Plus, we're learning more about the five people killed in a Colorado nightclub. And two men are now hailing -- hailed as heroes. And China doubles down on zero-COVID. But at what cost? We'll take a closer look live from Beijing.

First, we begin with a massive upset of the World Cup. Saudi Arabia just slammed the favored Argentina team 2-1. It didn't start out that way. Argentina dominated the first half, leading one nil at the break. Lionel Messi made history as the first Argentina to score -- Argentina to score in four World Cups. However, the Saudi squad came back, sending nearly all 880 fans into a frenzy. FIFA ranks Saudi Arabia as 51st in the world.

Let's get to Doha, where Amanda Davies is standing by in shock, I'm sure. Surely, even you're shocked by this one.

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN WORLD SPORT: Yes, Max. I have to tell you, it was absolutely brilliant sitting here watching at the stadium. But in the Souq here in Doha, Souq Waqif, and you could literally hear the shockwaves, the reverberations echo all the way through the buildings behind us. I have to say, there were some fairly excited journalists sitting in the studio next to us, absolutely not expecting, but certainly celebrating this result.

It is without doubt one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history, because the discrepancy between these two teams really cannot be underestimated. This is an Argentinian side who were on a 36 match, unbeaten run, setting all the way back to June 2019, and they were widely touted as one of the favorites to win this competition, not only because of their record, but of course, they are Argentina's -- Lionel Messi's Argentina.

And this is the event which is widely expected to be his last World Cup. It's the one major piece of silverware he hasn't won. He, of course, reached the final, was beaten in the final with Argentina by Germany in Brazil in 2014. And things have been moving in the right direction. They got the monkey off their back, finally winning the Copper America, beating their great rivals, Brazil, last time out. And so hopes have been really, really high.

But you have to give so much credit to this Saudi Arabian team. They battled hard, they defended hard, but they also played some really good football. So many people had written them off their opening match at the last World Cup in Russia. They were thumped five nil by Russia. That is what we are talking about in terms of the development of this team over the last few years.

They do have a coach Herve Renard who knows how to play tournament football. He led Morocco in the last World Cup in 2018. He's also guided two different sides to victory at the Copper America. And you suspect from the large number of Saudi fans here, there really is going to be a party here in Doha tonight.

And if you just take a step back and look at this from the political perspective, bearing in mind, we're sitting in Qatar. There was the Saudi blockade here until January 2021. There was no travel or crossing of people over these borders until that point. So a really, really special moment that is definitely being celebrated by the Saudis. But commiserations all round for Argentina.

FOSTER: So much to talk about there. Thank you so much, Amanda. Do join Amanda after this show for more on that extraordinary moment in World Cup history really.

Now the death toll in Indonesia is rising and so is the pressure on rescuers to find survivors. Government officials now say Monday's earthquake has left at least 268 people dead and more than 1,000 injured. The governor of West Java says the majority of deaths were children in school when their buildings collapsed.

Rescuers are digging through rubble looking for anyone who might have survived. But the weather could make those efforts even more treacherous. Forecasters warn heavy rain could trigger landslides in the region.

Let's get to CNN's Paula Hancocks. She's following the story from Seoul. Paula?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Max, the reason that this was so devastating, this earthquake, is it was a significant size, 5.6 magnitude, but also it was shallow. It was only 10 kilometers below the surface, which means there was more damage to buildings, to homes, many of them collapsing.


And as we heard from one of the governors in West Java, the majority of those who have lost their lives are children. Now, it happens at around 1:20 in the afternoon local time. It is when children would have been in classes and we heard from, say, the children, that dozens of schools were impacted. And of course, now, as you say, the race is on to search through the rubbles of these buildings and try and find any survivors at all.

So there certainly is concern that the death toll could rise. There were still dozens of people missing at this point and it's a fairly mountainous area, it's also a fairly populous area. So certainly, there were many buildings and homes that have been damaged. One of them is saying they believe about 22,000 homes have been destroyed and more than 50,000 people have been displaced at this point.

Now, Indonesia's President Joko Widodo went to the affected area. He promised compensation for those who had lost homes. He gave condolences to those who had lost loved ones and also said when the rebuild happens, it has to be earthquake resistant buildings that are being put up because these areas are no stranger to these kinds of devastating earthquakes.

Indonesia is -- it sits on the Ring of Fire, which is a band around the Pacific Ocean, where there is frequent activity, whether it's earthquakes or volcanic activity. So what we're seeing at this point is a frantic search for any more survivors that they could possibly find. And at this point we know that more than 150 are still missing. Hundreds, a thousand, we have a figure of at this point have been injured.

And of course, the aftershocks are still continuing as well. According to Metro TV and News Channel, they showed images of hundreds of patients being cared for in the parking lot of one of the hospitals. Clearly, there is a concern that some of these structures have been damaged. And with aftershocks, there are concerns of further collapses. Max?

FOSTER: OK, Paula in Seoul, thank you.

Police in Colorado Springs, Colorado, who have identified the five people killed Saturday when a man opened fire inside an LGBTQ nightclub. They are Kelly Loving, Daniel Aston, Derrick Rump, Ashley Paugh, and Raymond Green Vance. 19 more people were injured.

The suspect is now facing murder and hate crime charges. Attack could have been far worse were it not for two people in the nightclub who took the gunman down. Earlier, we spoke with one of them, a war veteran. Take a listen.


RICHARD FIERRO, TOOK DOWN GUNMAN IN CLUB Q SHOOTING: This whole thing was a lot. My daughter, wife should have never experienced combat in Colorado Springs. And everybody in that building experienced combat that night, not to their own accord, but because they were forced to.

I told the mayor, I'm not a hero. I'm just a guy that wanted to protect his kids and his wife, and I still didn't get to protect her boyfriend.


FOSTER: CNN's Rosa Flores joins us live from Colorado Springs, Colorado. You've had a really tough story to report on here, but frankly, those two guys are seen as heroes right now, aren't they?

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, they are. And you just heard there the very raw moments and the raw emotion that is still here in Colorado Springs. And just to tell you a little bit more about Richard Fierro, who you just heard from, he served in the U.S. Army for 15 years. He served four tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and he says that his instincts just kicked in, his combat instincts to run towards danger to make sure that others are OK. And that's exactly what he described happened.

He said that when the gunman started shooting, he charged towards the gunman, took his firearms away, and used those firearms to hit him and subdue him and also asked other patrons at the bar to help him subdue the suspect. And according to Fierro, the suspect still kept on trying to get a hold of his weapons and his ammunition and that he just kept beating him until police arrived.

And now authorities here hailing him a hero, even though you heard it from him himself, he doesn't believe that he's a hero, but he saved countless lives, according to authorities. Now, five people did die, and now we know a little more about them. We know their names.

Here they are. Let me share those with you. Raymond Green Vance, his family describes him being very kind and selfless and gifted and willing to go out of his way to help anyone.


Kelly Loving, her sister Tiffany, says that her sister was just a good person. She was loving and caring and just very sweet. Everyone loved her. Ashley Paugh, her husband, saying that they were actually high school sweethearts, that his wife had a huge heart, that she worked for a nonprofit that helps foster children find homes.

Daniel Aston, his family says that he moved to Colorado Springs to be closer to his family. And Derrick Rump, I spoke to a survivor yesterday, Ed Sanders, who is a regular ad club queue and who says that Derrick Rump would never let him go home when he had a few extra drinks. He would always make sure he had an Uber. And if he couldn't get an Uber, Derrick Rump would drive him home to make sure that he was safe and sound.

Now, as for the latest on the investigation, Max, the suspected shooter, Anderson Lee Aldrich, he's still in the hospital. He -- the DA says the charges have not been formally made at this point in time, but that he is being held without bond pending multiple charges, including first degree murder and hate crime. Max?

FOSTER: OK, Rosa, thank you so much. Our thoughts with all of those victims.

Now in Ukraine, an area not far from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plants has again faced intense shelling. A Ukrainian military official says 60 Russian shells fell overnight in the Nikopol district, both sides blame each other for the attacks around the plant. Meanwhile, Ukrainians endured more blackouts on Monday. The head of Ukraine's biggest energy supplier warns unplanned outages could continue until the end of March. A senior Russian senator has a message for the west supplying weapons to Ukraine and a desire for peace are, quote, mutually exclusive. His comments come just a day after NATO's Secretary General renewed calls for greater support for Ukraine as the fighting grinds on.

Fred Pleitgen joins us from Moscow. Fred, what more can you tell us about the Russian senator's message?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think the Russian senator's message is very clear is that he believes, or he's trying to convey, Max, that he believes that the west is actually the side that is fueling this conflict. He says that western nations are the ones that are essentially keeping Ukraine in the fight here with those weapons deliveries that they've been doing.

At the same time, of course, calling for negotiations, calling for peace to happen. But he obviously said that this was mutually exclusive. So this is definitely the clear message that Konstantin Kosachev was trying to send. He is actually a very well-known senator here in Russia who's very public, who's very unspoken as well.

And, you know, it is quite an interesting message, though, because, of course, it comes on the heels of the fact that the Russians themselves have said that they've mobilized well over 300,000 men, many of which are already or have already been sent to Ukraine, many others of which will be sent to Ukraine in the future. And Vladimir Putin said that it's actually more than that and that other people are volunteering as well.

Russia, of course, also continues to pour military equipment into Ukraine as well. And at the same time, you hear the Russian senator there saying that he believes that Western nations are the ones that need to stop providing military gear to the Ukrainians because it's something that would be an impediment to any sort of negotiations taking place. It's unclear whether or not something of that, of course, is in the cards.

And then you had what you spoke about there before is you have the fact that the Russian military does still appear to be shelling a lot of places in Ukraine. The place near Melitopol that you were just talking about is called Nikopol. That is indeed right across from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

Of course, one, that's of great concern, not just to the International Atomic Energy Agency and the international community, but where both the Russian and the Ukrainian side have said that a major incident in that place is something that is -- that could happen or that there's a big danger of something like that happen if the fighting and the shelling continues.

So certainly, it seems as though, on the one hand, you have a very prominent Russian senator speaking about the west having to standdown on weapons deliveries to Ukraine. At the same time, you do see a lot of fighting going on, not just down there in the south of Ukraine, but, of course, as we've heard from the Ukrainian military, in many other parts of that country as well, Max.

FOSTER: Fred Pleitgen in Moscow, thank you.

Now, still to come, China doubles down on zero-COVID. But given the increasing human and economic cost, is it working? We're live in Beijing after the break.



FOSTER: Is China's zero-COVID policy working? There's increasing evidence of the strict measures are taking a toll across China, both a terrible human and economic cost. But despite that, the government has doubled down. This is the last we heard from the President on it in a substantial way. This was last month.

Xi Jinping saying, "We prioritize the people and their lives above all else, and tenaciously pursued dynamic zero-COVID policy in launching all out people's war against the virus." A very determined stance, but what's the reality?

This is the picture for COVID across Asia over the last seven days, up more than 50 percent in China, when in many other parts of Asia, they're actually on their way down. Let's also consider, the vaccination rate is very high in China. As you can see, 90 percent fully vaccinated. But a lot of experts pointing to the fact that they haven't relied on any foreign vaccines, particularly mRNA vaccines, and they say this may be playing a role here.

Let's bring in CNN's Selina Wang. She is live in Beijing this hour. We've come to you so many times in recent months to try to describe what it's like to live in China under these conditions, but what's it like right now after, you know, so much pressure over such a sustained period of time?

SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Max, I think the key way to describe life in China right now, not just here in Beijing, but in cities across China where they're ramping up these COVID restrictions, is uncertainty. Because at any moment, you don't know if you are building your compound, your neighborhood is going to go in a lockdown, if all the stores around you are going to shut, and if you could be sent to a mass quarantine facility because you're identified as a closed contact or a coffee case.

So here in Beijing, they have urged residents of their largest district, Chaoyang, which has millions of people, they are urging them to stay at home. They're shutting down major public venues, and they've also increased the requirement for a COVID test in order to enter any public venue. So before it was every 72 hours, now that's been increased to every 48 hours.

So I spent a lot of my time waiting in these long lines for that mandatory PCR test. And since close to the start of the pandemic, your daily life is also dictated by the color of the health code on your phone. So you've got to scan that code in order to enter any public venue. And if that code is green, then you're allowed to go in. This allows the government to contact, trace, and to surveil and track virtually all 1.4 billion people in China.

So we're seeing these restrictions ramp up here in Beijing and other major cities, in the southern metropolis -- metropolises as well, in Guangzhou and Chongqing. And it varies from more full, harsh lockdowns to more selective targeted lockdowns that we're seeing, like here in Beijing. But very much, there's anxiety and uncertainty about what the next day will bring. It's impossible to do any planning in a situation like this, Max.

FOSTER: And also, people are questioning whether or not it's working. The government says it's about keeping people safe, but there is a growing human toll here.


WANG: Absolutely. And that outrage, Max, has just been piling and mounting. We are seeing a repetition of these horrific stories of tragedy and suffering because of the draconian draconian execution of these lockdowns. For instance, when communities and buildings are sealed off, people are not allowed in and out.

So that means when people, people need emergency help, that it means that the emergency ambulance that they can't get to the hospital in time. So there have been so many reported cases of deaths because they can't get that critical care needed in lockdown, not to mention the difficulty that people face trying to get daily essentials, trying to get enough food.

So there was a recent case of a three year old boy in Lanzhou, China, and there's video of his father desperately trying to revive his young son, but he's not able to get him to the hospital in time because of the COVID checkpoints, the COVID lockdowns and the boy later dies. That case, Max, actually triggered protests in Lanzhou.

We've seen other very disturbing cases of people jumping from their windows to their death, facing mental health issues and lockdowns. Just numerous, countless cases of tragedy. And what's documented online before it's quickly censored by Chinese social media is just the tip of the iceberg of the difficulties that people are facing. And this frustration is only mounting because now we are in three years of these type of draconian lockdowns.

FOSTER: Selina Wang in Beijing, thank you. It won't be the last time we're speaking to you about it.

Now still ahead, high risk even higher reward. CNN talks to reconnaissance teams in Ukraine who put their lives on the line in the battle to retake Kherson.


FOSTER: Ukraine's retake of Kherson marks one of the biggest turning points of the nearly nine-month long war. Special reconnaissance units played a big role in the battle for the city, the nearby villages. The fight was grueling and at times incredibly dangerous.

Senior International Correspondent Sam Kiley talked to us some of the troops in this exclusive report.


SAM KILEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Pensive, hypervigilant, these foreign volunteers of reconnaissance soldiers reliving weeks of fear and final victory in the battle for Kherson. Many are veterans of the Kurd campaigns against ISIS in Syria. Now they work beyond the front lines. Deep into enemy territory for Ukraine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We would get so close to the Russians that we could hear them talking. We could hear them cooking their food and chopping the woods to build their shelters.

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

KILEY (voice-over): Andre'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 capture Kherson is nearly fatal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come back. One by one.

KILEY (voice-over): But they make off with a trove of stolen documents and Russian technology, all leading to moments like this -- the obliteration of a Russian command center, and the surrender of a 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 (on-camera): Is that him?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, platoon commander.

KILEY (voice-over): He tells them he's been hiding out for six days, then warns the Ukrainians that Russian aircraft could attack.

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

KILEY (voice-over): 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. Missing 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 are a mortal gamble. Survival a giggling relief. But the rewards, they say, worth it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, yes, of course, when I've seen villagers, you know, they've seen the Ukrainian military for the first time and who knows how long, eight months at least. Yes, of course, you get a little teary eyed. You say everybody crying and thanking us for the help, you know, for helping liberate the village. And yes, of course I get you.

(Speaking Foreign Language)

KILEY (voice-over): Sam Kiley, CNN near Kherson city.


FOSTER: Thanks for joining me here on CNN Newsroom. I'm Max Foster in London. World Sport with Alex Thomas and Amanda Davies up next, with one of the biggest upsets in football history.