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CNN International: Zelenskyy Urges U.N. Security Council to Support Peace Formula; Russia's Lower House of Parliament Passes Amendments to low on so-called "LGBT Propaganda" in Third Reading; Day 5 Features Final Opening Matches of Group Stage; What's Driving Gun Violence in America; Midwest Communities Devastated by Colorado River Crisis. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired November 24, 2022 - 08:00   ET



MAX FOSTER, CNN HOST: Hello and welcome to CNN Newsroom. I'm Foster in London. Just ahead a massive struggle to restore power across Ukraine after Russian strikes causes a national blackout. We'll have a report from Odessa this hour.

Plus, Foxconn under fire the iPhone maker faces anger from employees and is forced into a huge turn over pay. And all eyes on Cristiano Ronaldo, the football superstar preparing to take to the pitch in Qatar as speculation swirls about his future.

Well, heat and electricity are gradually being restored throughout Ukraine following Russia's massive assault on key infrastructure on Wednesday, but the state's energy company warns is taking longer than usual because the attacks targeted all of Ukraine's nuclear plants.

Kyiv says the missile strikes caused a blackout in the power system even spilling over into neighboring Moldova. And speaking to the UN President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, once again emphasized his country's need for air and missile defense systems.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT: Energy terrorists comparable to the use of weapons of mass destruction when we have the temperature below zero, and scores of millions of people without energy supplies, without heating, without water. This is an obvious crime against humanity.


FOSTER: Meanwhile, Ukraine says nearly 3000 miners in the central region who are trapped underground due to the power outages have been rescued. CNN's Matthew Chance went to visit a reception center in Odessa, in Southern Ukraine today, where many of those suffering after the power outages are going to get basic supplies, he filed this report.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I'm out and about because the power cuts across the country and the water shortages have really led to, you know, a humanitarian crisis across the country, you've got thousands of people on the move, moving from their sort of war torn frontline locations to big cities like Odessa, where they can at least get some kind of relief, some shelter, some food, some electricity provided by generators.

Well, a reception center right here in the middle of Odessa, and there's been a big crowd of people, it's about 500 to 700 families from all over Ukraine that come here to try and get food and water and sort of basic sanitation supplies as well. It's a big center actually; some people hear that some of the stuff they've picked up--

Can I have a look at what they've got - this woman here is from the Donetsk Oblast of course, that's one of the main centers of the fighting. She has come here several 100 kilometers miles away. And she can --.

All right, some sweet corn or some whatever, beans I specified, can of beans, some oil, some washing up liquid here, toothpaste, lot of this, of course, from USAID from United States. But there are other donors from around the world and from private companies as well.

It is all sort of helping scratch the surface, at least providing some support for these people. But the big problem is the missile strikes from Russia are continuing. Electricity and water systems are being pounded by the Russians. And it means that with every day that passes this humanitarian crisis, the shortages are getting worse and worse.

FOSTER: That was CNN's Matthew Chance reporting from Odessa in the last hour. Now a Russian bill that expands what's been described as LGBT propaganda has been approved by the lower house of parliament. Under the measure, any attempt to promote homosexuality could result in a heavy fine.

The original version applied only to children now lawmakers, including adults as well. So there's Fred Pleitgen, joins me now live from Moscow. What would this mean, then for adults who are accused of this? What will be a crime?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it could - yes, I mean, it could mean this severe sanctions against these people severe fines as well, if we're talking about implementing some of these fines for regular people, that's thousands of dollars for companies can be tens of thousands of dollars.

So certainly this is could have a chilling effect on a lot of people here in this country. And some of it also counts for foreigners as well. And if you look at the bill, it says that it bans the promotion of non-traditional sexual relations. In basically all media, you're talking about social media.

You're talking about the internet, talking about television, radio, but also books, for instance, as well. So this is really a wide ranging law that expands some of the things that the Russians already had in place for minors as well. And essentially what it does here is it equates homosexual relationships or same sex relationships with sodomy here in this country. And that's exactly what the speaker of parliament said today. The Russians call this the answer to Blinken.

Of course, referring to the U.S. Secretary of State that's what they call this new law which is just passed in the third reading. I want you to listen in to what the speaker of Russian Parliament had to say about this.



VYACHESLAV VOLODIN, CHAIRMAN OF RUSSIA'S STATE DUMA: It is the best answer to the United States Secretary of State Blinken stop imposing on us foreign values. You destroyed your values. We'll see how it ends. But that is sad for sure because it is sodomy. I can't say it in any other way. The United States of America has become the global center of this sodomy, let them live there. Do not touch us.


PLEITGEN: So there you have the Speaker of Russian Parliament and almost 400 members of Russian parliament voted for that law. There were none that voted against. There were some abstentions. And you know we've been in touch with some members of the LGBTQ community here in Russia.

And a lot of them are saying this is already having a chilling effect on people. There were some books with some LGBTQ content here in Russia that have already been taken off websites here in this country. There are other people who are just simply afraid to speak right now really seeing how all this pans out.

One of the things Max that we do have to point out is that this law has now been passed by the Lower House of Russian Parliament by the Duma, it still needs to go through the Federation Council, which is essentially the Russian Senate and then needs to be signed by Vladimir Putin into law.

Nevertheless, right now that law is well on track. And it certainly seems as though for the LGBTQ community here in Russia, things are about to get a lot tougher than they already have been. Because of course, we know that a lot of people have already fled this country to the West Max.

FOSTER: Absolutely, Fred in Moscow thank you! The unrest that is gripping Iran has sparked a full-fledged human rights crisis. So says the U.N.'s Human Rights Chief, Volker Turk, in a strong review today in Geneva during an urgent council session took urged Iranian leaders to respect freedoms of expression and assembly, and he's calling for an independent investigation into possible human rights violations.

The protests erupted in mid-September, after 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died in police custody. The U.N. says more than 300 people have been killed in the protest since. Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister says foreign powers are creating false narratives about the situation. Well, the problems are mounting of the world's largest iPhone factory in China.

Workers staged protest when the company failed to pay the bonus and salaries are promised to the workers. The company blames a technical error and that the workers will get what they were promised. The clashes with police were also over sanitary conditions at Foxconn Facility.

For those who don't want to stay the company is offering a $1,400 payment if they quit. Our Selina Wang in Beijing with the very latest, the disruption to iPhones, and the disruption to the community is something that the government doesn't want to see.

SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Exactly. In fact, right now, this whole conversation or reports being censored on TV screens here in China for where it places where they have access to CNN. And even though that $1400 payment, it might temporarily quell the situation.

This actually puts more pressure on Apple ahead of the key holiday season. They need those workers and videos already show that some of these workers they're taking that payment package, they're lining up for buses, and they're trying to get out of that factory area.

Now we've obtained new videos showing how those protests over the last few days turned violent. You can see in one of the videos that there is a group of policemen they are beating some of those workers groups of them surrounding them, beating them with metal bars and batons.

There's another video we've obtained that shows masses of protesters throwing metal bars and COVID barriers. They're tearing down those COVID barriers this anger has boiled over because of what these workers are saying is unfair treatment.

What they're saying is unpaid wages, as well as chaotic COVID rules. Remember several weeks ago, there was this max exodus of these Foxconn workers because they were worried about getting COVID about what they were calling unsanitary living conditions.

As a result, Foxconn went on this massive recruitment drive promising these attractive payments and bonuses to workers that would come to the factory. However, after workers got there, many said that the pay packages they were given were not as attractive as what was promised.

In fact, we spoke to a Foxconn employee who said that these workers really felt cheated. And he was actually at those protests. He watched them turn violent. He said the scenes became a sea of blood so this only adding to the supply chain pressures on Apple.

They've already said several weeks ago that because of China's COVID restrictions and lockdowns while shipments of their newest products are going to be even more delayed to their consumers Max.

FOSTER: Selina Wang in Beijing thank you for the update! Day five of the World Cup in Qatar features the final opening matches in the group stage tournament favorites Brazil a for record sixth title will cap the day's play with a match against Serbia. And in a few hours Portugal take on Ghana. Portugal's Manager promises his side will not be distracted by the drama surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo's departure from Manchester United.


FOSTER: Alex, drama around Cristiano Ronaldo is bit of a shock?

ALEX THOMAS, CNN WORLD SPORT: That sounds surprising, isn't it, Max? Now I mean he's a huge star of the game. The World Cup is the biggest tournament in the sport for a reason. You want to see the biggest stars and the biggest names playing each other.

Cristiano Ronaldo is certainly that no matter what happens when he hangs up his boots, he'll go down as one of if not the greatest footballer of all time incredible scoring feats. But as fallen out with his club Manchester United after an explosive TV interview last week, criticizing the club and as such has actually left Old Trafford now by mutual consent, allowed to focus on this World Cup his fifth he could become the first ever to score at five successive World Cups.

Certainly Portugal want that but playing Ghana is a difficult opening game. We've already seen the first of Thursday's four fixtures take place, a narrow 1-0 win for Switzerland over Cameroon. And the interesting thing here Max was the goal scorer for Switzerland, Breel Embolo was actually born in Cameroon's Capital Yendi before settling in Switzerland becoming eligible for their team and refused to celebrate after scoring the goal that consigned the country of his birth to defeat.

FOSTER: In terms of Brazil, I mean, we've had all these upsets, haven't we? What are the chances of another one?

THOMAS: I mean I wouldn't put it past anyone. But Brazil are the bookies favorites. They're highly ranked. They are the most successful nation in World Cup history. They've got a fearsome frontline led by Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar so most people would expect them to start with a win. We'll have to wait and see.

FOSTER: Absolutely, Alex we will be watching in the great tournament so far hasn't in terms of the sport? Much more still to come this hour on the Qatar World Cup as well. Alex, we'll be back in about 15 minute's time with CNN's World Sport of course. Still to come, more than 600 mass shootings this year alone as the terrible scale of gun violence crisis in America. So what's behind it we'll try to take a closer look?


FOSTER: Welcome back! The big question what is driving the violence in America large scale shooting seemed to become tragically commonplace? The Gun Violence Archive says there have been more than 600 mass shootings this year alone. Here is a grim representation of that tally as you can see across the country. Let's put a human face on just one of the incidents. These are five people who became victims in Club Q in Colorado over the last week. But Club Q was just one incident in the last week. There it is November the 18th, 19th rather, all of these mass shootings in one week in the last week in America is just astounding to people outside America as well as within America.

Let's go to CNN National Correspondent Nick Watt. Nick does it feel to you like its getting worse? I mean how it feels like to live in America with these statistics coming out all the time?


NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, Max, you know, it feels more frightening, particularly in this atmosphere of hate, which is only kind of increasing in this country, political polarization, hate against different groups, you know, that certainly upped the ante.

And I've got to say, you know, reporting on this stuff, it's frustrating, it's dispiriting, you know, we've been here, you know, all weekend since we've been here. We've seen another shooting in Virginia. We've seen another shooting in Maryland. I mean, it is never ending.

And then, you know, after the big events, you know, after 19 kids are slaughtered in Uvalde, Texas, you know, there are thoughts and prayers, thoughts and prayers, and, oh, there's going to be changes in gun laws. And I'm afraid I'm very cynical about that.

I mean, because they don't really change. And after Uvalde 19 kids murdered in cold blood, there was a push by the Democrats to have more gun control and some Republicans, and you know, what they ended up doing was not anything big.

They didn't ban these assault weapons that are all over the place. What they did was little incremental things like they closed what they called the boyfriend loophole. So you know, that means that it's not just people who have been convicted of domestic violence against a partner they live with, or a partner, they share a kid with, you know, if you're just a boyfriend, you can also have your guns taken away.

I mean, it's incremental. It's small. And you know, the other thing that we deal with Max is, should we be reporting on this? A lot of people tell us on Twitter, you're just glorifying these killers. And, you know, you're spawning more copycats, but we have to cover this. This is news.

I mean, are we not going to cover when 19 kids are killed in Texas? Are we not going to cover when 49 concert goers are gunned down in Vegas? We have to cover it. It's news. It's what's happening in this country. But sadly, it doesn't seem to make any difference by covering it. It's just a loop. It's just a loop Max.

FOSTER: Some people will question on top of that, should we name the killers in these situations? Because they're often disgruntled employees, disgruntled students, some people suggesting that they're looking for some sort of notoriety off the back of these attacks.

So there's a criticism there about whether or not we should name them. But do you think there's a common link between any of the recent cases you've covered?

WATT: Well, simply Max, you know, I do not name the suspects. That's just how I go about it. Common link, well, you know, there is a common link in a lot of these cases. It is often young men armed with assault rifles and you know that's interesting.

California a couple of years ago, tried to change the law to make it you had to be 21, to buy these AR type weapons. And then that was knocked back on appeal by a judge who said, we need to honor the young man who died in the Revolutionary War, by allowing teenagers now in modern America to carry assault style weapons.

Doesn't make any sense to me, but apparently made sense to him and, you know, just a little personal note, you know, I've got kids in this country. I live in Los Angeles. The other day, we got a call from the school, that there was a lockdown, because there was a bomb threat on campus.

I was texting with my son. And he was saying he's getting hungry. And you know it's weird it feels sort of mundane. And I said, I don't understand why, you know if they think there's a bomb on campus, why are they keeping you on campus and the classrooms?

Turns out, I was very naive. The reason that they do that is that they thought that the bomb threat would be a hoax, all the kids would then stream out of the classrooms, and then they'd be shot by somebody with a gun. You know, that's the reality we live in.

I know, some friends who have left this country because of the gun threat. Listen, I feel very lucky to live in this country. It's a great country in many ways. But I think we can all agree, or we all should be able to agree that the gun thing is an issue.

And you know, the Colorado Attorney General was on our air the other day, and he was saying, we need to not make this a bipartisan issue. You know, in this country, if you're a good Republican, you oppose abortion, and you're for guns, if you're a good Democrat, it's the other way around.

And the Attorney General here in Colorado saying, you know, we need to get beyond that. We need to actually be more commonsensical about this rather than partisan. And, you know, let's see, I don't hold out much hope for that Max, but you got to hold out for something.

So we'll see. But in the meantime, I know that my job is going to involve covering a lot more of these shootings and that makes me very, very sad. And just a little bit angry Max.

FOSTER: And actually get more of these shootings, there's more issues with the response isn't there as well? Inevitably you find fault with the response. Is there a concern that, you know, the first responders aren't acting effectively so that makes you more concerned, for example about you with your kids, but if there is an incident they might not getting the best possible reaction from the authorities?


WATT: Well, you know, I've got to say this case in Club Q here in Colorado Springs, one of the key things was OK, the shooter was taken down by an Army veteran, and two other people helped one a young Navy officer, one a Trans woman.

And so what was key there is that the authorities did manage to respond very, very quickly, you know, within five minutes, the shooter was down and was no longer a threat. So then the ambulance crews were able to come in and treat people. And that was key in saving a lot of lives now.

I mean, you mentioned a criticism in response Uvalde, Texas, where those 19 kids were killed is a prime example. There is huge criticism of the response to that shooting. There were kids in that classroom, calling on their cell phones, begging for help. And that help was not coming that help was not forthcoming, and that is going to be an issue going forward.

And that is what has kept that Uvalde story largely in the news. One of my colleagues, Shimon Prokupecz has just kept on the authorities there talking about how poor that response was? And you know that can only help keeping something like that in the news.

But as I say, you know, it does get frustrating because all of the work that our colleagues have done on Uvalde, all of the work that we do covering these stories, not much seems to change. They close the boyfriend loophole big deal, Max.

FOSTER: OK, Nick, absolutely understand the frustration. We'll keep covering it as we do as you say. Thanks for joining us from Colorado Springs. We'll be back in just a moment.


FOSTER: The Mega drought plaguing the American West is the worst in 1200 years. But that reality isn't flowing equally to all Americans in the region. CNN's Lucy Kafanov has more.


LUCY KAFANOV, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): This picture perfect but parched corner of Arizona is the Rio Verde Foothills an unincorporated expanse of upscale homes and sprawling ranches about an hour's drive from downtown Phoenix.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: --here is a 5000 gallon water tank.

KAFANOV (voice over): Karen Abbott (ph) he loved her little slice of paradise until it began to run dry.

KAFANOV (on camera): What keeps you up at night? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Water, water and water.

KAFANOV (voice over): Neighbors' wells have begun to dry up others harvesting rainwater as an extra buffer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is the stockpile that's about to go into the house to be used to flush our toilets.

KAFANOV (voice over): Many homeowners rely on private water deliveries from nearby Scottsdale, which no longer has enough to spare.


KAFANOV (voice over): Last November Scottsdale informed water hauling companies that starting in 2023 they could no longer buy Scottsdale water to deliver outside city limits, including the Rio Verde Foothills. The man delivering the water and more recently the bad news is John Hornewer.

HORNEWER: There's no question about it. The drought is reality. Rio Verde is the first domino to fall because of the drought that we're in.

KAFANOV (on camera): Are people taking it seriously enough?

HORNEWER: We're not. Water is more precious than you realize. And once you go to your faucet and you turn it on and there's no water, then its value becomes real.

KAFANOV (voice over): Across swaths of urban Arizona signs of drought aren't immediately obvious as the taps run dry developers keep building.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a symbol of the massacre at the Maricopa County.

KAFANOV (voice over): Maricopa County which includes the Rio Verde Foothills is the fastest growing in the nation adding more residents last year than any other county.


KAFANOV (voice over): But as cities boom the drought pushes Arizona farmers to the brink.

KAFANOV (on camera): Thanks to Colorado River Pinal County is or at least was when the most productive farming regions in the United States. The crops grown here are shipped all over the country. But as the mega drought continues to worsen and water supplies like this dry up, the farmers here fear their fertile fields could become desert again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Once we hit tier two shortage we lost all of our water.

KAFANOV (voice over): For three generations Will - family has tilled the soil in Pinal County an hour's drive South of Phoenix.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're looking at where I grew corn last year, but we didn't have enough water. So field sits empty 50 percent of my farm has fallen out.

KAFANOV (on camera): And that's a big economic hit.


KAFANOV (voice over): Neighboring farms have folded up others have sold their land to solar companies and developers.

KAFANOV (on camera): Do you fear that the future of farming in Arizona is under threat?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. No one can produce it like the Colorado River can for food. So yes, I'm really worried. In 50 years down the road unless we come up with solutions farming won't be here.

KAFANOV (voice over): To survive - is placing his hope on a new crop.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're looking at a plant called "Wyrley".

KAFANOV (voice over): A drought resistant desert shrub that produces natural rubber for tires while using a fraction of the water. But he wants politicians to listen up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People just keep saying we'll pump some water what happens in 50 years? What happens to people's kids and grandkids and where's all the food come? Just kicking the can down the road and hoping for the best is what everyone seems to be doing? I don't think is a path for success.

KAFANOV (voice over): Back in the Foothills residents see their plight as a warning to others.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: America wake up for the folks that are sitting there and surrounded by water and have great wells and other states and that kind of thing. Don't think you're not going to be affected.

KAFANOV (voice over): Lucy Kafanov CNN, Arizona.


FOSTER: Thank you for joining me here on CNN Newsroom. I'm Max Foster in London "World Sport" with Alex and Amanda up next.