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Russia Hits Ukrainian Infrastructure In Large-Scale Attack; Foxconn Workers Confront Police At Zhengzhou Factory; Japan Stun Germany With 2-1 Comeback Victory In Group E; One Dead, 18 Injured In Back-To-Back Blasts In Jerusalem; Iranian Doctor Describes Brutal Crackdown On Protests; Six Killed, Gunman Identified as Walmart Employee; U.S. Logs More Than 600 Mass Shootings This Year. Aired 12- 1a ET

Aired November 24, 2022 - 00:00   ET




ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello everyone, I'm Anna Coren live from Hong Kong.

Ahead on CNN NEWSROOM, weaponizing winter, Russian missiles pound Ukraine, knocking out power to millions as temperatures fall.

Clashes at the world's largest iPhone factory with workers angry about their pay and safety.

And Germany's football team is the latest to take a stand at the World Cup saying their voice has been denied.

We begin with Russia's latest barrage of missile strikes across the Ukraine, targeting the country's critical infrastructure and killing at least seven Ukrainians.

The large-scale assault on Wednesday knocked out power too much of the country including in the capital Kyiv, but hours later, a number of regions were reporting that repair work had largely restored the power supply.

The strikes also causing massive blackout in neighboring Moldova, where the prime minister sent a message of support to Ukraine after Russia's attack.

Well, meantime Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council to support the Ukrainian peace formula, saying there should be no room for terror in the world.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Energy terror is 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.

LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: Colleagues, it seems that Putin is determined to reduce Ukraine's energy facilities to rubble. Putin's motive could not be more clear and more cold blooded. He is clearly clearly weaponizing winter to inflict immense suffering on the Ukrainian people.


COREN: Well, CNN's Matthew Chance is in southern Ukraine with more details now on Russia's latest assault on the country.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The latest target in Russia's ruthless missile barrage, the Ukrainian maternity ward pounded from the skies. Emergency workers pulling a doctor and a young mother from the rubble but a newborn baby just two days old, couldn't be saved.

Tatiana is the grandmother now in unbearable pain. Her daughter's face and legs were wounded by shrapnel, she says, but it's the loss of that child that's left her daughter emotionally shattered. Another life, another family now in ruins.

Across Ukraine, the roar of Russian missiles is tearing up the skies. Near the capital Kyiv, a residential building was hit, the yard outside turned into a smoldering disaster zone.

Officials say casualties are high with dozens injured or killed. Russia tries to target energy and water infrastructure across Ukraine and apparently deliberate attempt to make people here suffer.

And another obstacle, the Ukrainian leadership is vowing to overcome.

ZELENSKYY (through translator): The task has been set. We will restore all of this and we will get through all of this because we are an unbreakable people.

CHANCE: But with power outages nationwide, these are fragile times. Shops operating by flashlight, public transport at a virtual standstill and even hospitals far away from the war zone on emergency supplies.

Russia's barrage may not have broken Ukrainians, but it is making them suffer.

Matthew Chance, CNN, Odessa.


COREN: The European Parliament is now recognizing Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism in what's considered a symbolic moves since the European Union itself cannot officially designate states as sponsors of terrorism.


Well, this comes after a non-binding vote on Wednesday, as Parliament announced it made the decision amid the destruction of civilian infrastructure and "deliberate attacks and atrocities by Russian forces against civilians in Ukraine".


YLVA JOHANSSON, COMMISSIONER, E.U. HOME AFFAIRS: This is yet another lie that we have been hearing constantly from the Russia's side, that the Russian military is conducting an operation targeting military objects only.

In reality, the more the Russian army is being pushed back and defeated on the battlefield, the more it is targeting civilian objects with an attempt to frighten the Ukrainian society and weaken its result.


COREN: Following Wednesday's vote, the parliament's president say its website was hit by a sophisticated cyber-attack. He said the I.T. experts were pushing back and working to protect its systems.

Anders Aslund is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University and former resident a senior fellow in the Eurasia Center at The Atlantic Council, he joins us now from Washington. Anders, great to see you.

The adoption of this non-binding resolution designating Russia a state sponsor of terrorism is a symbolic move, but clearly, it has upset Moscow.

ANDERS ASLUND, ADJUNCT PROFESSOR, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: Yes, I think that it's quite a strong manifestation by the European Parliament. And of course, the majority in the parliament was a massive, all the big serious parties voted with a big majority before this resolution, so it's truly multi-partisan, and it contains a lot.

No decisions that have legal force, but it means a lot of pressure on other European Union agencies to act.

COREN: And as Moscow responded to this resolution by launching a cyber-security attack on the European Union. And then of course, that missile attack on Ukraine's critical energy infrastructure, it seems to be lashing out.

I mean, it's not really making any inroads on the battlefield. But as far as hitting that critical infrastructure in Ukraine, it is hurting the population.

ASLUND: Yes, as the Ukrainian military say it, the Russians can't fight after, so therefore, they are fighting the civilian population and our infra-structure.

Again, since the 10th of October, we have seen repeated quite massive missile attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure and mainly the electrical system. And only two occasion the Russia send something like 100 cruise missiles, most of them are actually blocked by the effective Ukrainian Air Defense. But it's enough if 10 20 percent of these missiles go through and hit their targets.

COREN: And as if Russia was hoping that Europe would become divided, the longer that this war dragged on, it must be sorely disappointed to see the unity within the European Parliament.

ASLUND: Indeed, you're right. This is really a manifestation of the unity of all the European countries and of all the big European pockets. So, this was quite impressive after so many voted for this resolution, and that the resolution (INAUDIBLE) it has been driven by a former Lithuanian Prime Minister, and it's typical that it's the Baltic States and Poland that are driving the tough policy towards Russia within the European Union.

COREN: Ukrainian President Zelenskyy called for an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting and there was of course an international condemnation.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., said Putin was "determined to reduce Ukraine's energy facilities to rubble and freeze the country into submission."

How will Ukraine survive this winter?

ASLUND: Well, I do think that it will survive but of course, this is a massive suffering. We could see actually that the most of Ukraine had a blackout, you can see that on the satellite photos.


But normally then, the electricity comes online in most parts of Ukraine relatively soon because the Ukrainians are used to repair their electricity system.

COREN: Well, Anders Aslund, great to have you with us and thank you for sharing your perspective.

ASLUND: My pleasure.

COREN: Coronavirus problems are mounting for China despite its zero COVID policy. On Wednesday, the country recorded more than 31,000 local cases. It's highest since the start of the pandemic.

The capital city of Beijing alone reported its third consecutive day of more than a thousand local infections.

Well, this comes as violent protests erupt at the world's largest iPhone assembly factory in central China with workers there upset about paying insufficient anti-COVID measures.

Social media video shows workers at the Foxconn plant confronting police in hazmat suits. The company is offering those who are willing to quit their jobs and leave Zhengzhou compound a $1,400 payout.

Well, for more on this, CNN's Kristie Lu Stout joins me here in Hong Kong. Kristie, these are extraordinary scenes. What are you learning?

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Anna, we are closely monitoring online video showing these clashes taking place at this massive iPhone factory in the central Chinese city of Zhengzhou.

The workers there at Foxconn are fed up and furious over pay, over COVID controls and over sanitary conditions inside the factory. Foxconn is now offering $1,400 for new hires willing to leave the Zhengzhou Foxconn facility immediately.

That's a lot of money. It's equivalent to about two months salary for these workers. And apparently, this is being done in a bid to get workers to leave the site to restore order and to end these violent clashes that you're looking at your screen right now.

We've been watching the scenes play out. Tense standoffs between the workers and the authorities and security forces in hazmat suits while the workers breaking down barriers and all out chaos breaking out in a live stream that has since been taking down.

You can hear the workers complain about the conditions inside the factory as well as their pay. And we have a fresh statement just out this morning from Foxconn. Let's bring it up for you.

The company says this "taking care of the health and safety of employees is the primary operating principle that the group has always adhere to and fully understand the concerns of some newly recruited employees in the Zhengzhou Park about possible changes in the subsidy policy. Our team has been looking into the matter."

Now, CNN has also learned that Apple has staff on site in Zhengzhou at the Foxconn facility and we have this statement from Apple saying this: "We are reviewing the situation and we're working closely with Foxconn to ensure their employees concerns are addressed."

Now, Zhengzhou is of course a major manufacturing hub for the iPhone. It was last month when due to rising COVID-19 cases, the city ordered a city wide lockdown which stopped basically all non-essential business and manufacturing activities.

A number of Foxconn workers allegedly fled in order to make-up for the shortfall. Foxconn offered big bonuses for workers to come back and to work inside its closed loop (AUDIO GAP) that morning.

COREN: OK, we seem to be having some technical issues. That was Kristie Lu Stout reporting on those protests in Zhengzhou at the Foxconn factory.

Well, now, to the World Cup and yet another underdog upsetting a heavyweight, this time it was Japan taking down the mighty Germany.

Well, fans in Tokyo screaming and streaming into the streets, phones held high to capture this moment in time.

Well, the Samurai Blue trailed the Germans after the first half but scored twice in the second. CNN's Don Riddell has a closer look at the unlikely victory and a preview of Thursday's action.


DON RIDDELL, CNN WORLD SPORT CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Germany are one of the most successful World Cup teams ever. They've won it four times. But on Wednesday here in Qatar, they made a disastrous start in groupie.

However, before they lost their opening match against Japan, they staged a creative protest accusing football's world governing body FIFA of muzzling their freedom of expression.


The players have hoped their captain Manuel Neuer would wear the One Love armband, a campaign that promotes inclusivity and is against discrimination of any kind.

Germany's interior minister wore the armband at the game, and the German Football Federation tweeted a statement saying that denying us the armband is the same as denying us a voice.

FIFA say they will not take disciplinary action against Germany for the protest. Germany made a decent start against Japan leading at halftime through Ilkay Guendogan penalty, but it was very different after the break. When Japan equalized through Ritsu Doan and then Takuma Asano settled it with a brilliant finish. A 2-1 win sparking scenes of jubilation amongst both the players and the fans.

Germany's biggest rivals in groupie are supposed to be Spain and the 2010 champions dominated their game against Costa Rica, thrashing them 7-0, that is the biggest win of the tournament so far, and it was historic.

Gavi one of six different scorers on the night. He's the youngest World Cup goal scorer since Pele, an 18 years, three months and 18 days. He's also now Spain's youngest ever scorer in the World Cup.

Spain completed their route with a couple of leg goals. Carlos Soler were targeted in the 90th Minute, Alvaro Morata then added another for good measure in injury time.

Wednesday's Group F match between Morocco and Croatia wasn't quite so exciting, that one finished in a golden straw but there was plenty of drama as Canada made their first World Cup appearance since 1986.

Arguably their biggest star Alphonso Davies had an early penalty saved by Belgian Thibaut Courtois and the Belgians took the lead on the stroke of half time through Michy Batshuayi and that turned out to be decisive in a 1-0 win.

The team that Belgian knocked out of the last World Cup Brazil will kick off their campaign against their potential Dark Horse in Serbia on Thursday. And of course, all eyes will be on Cristiano Ronaldo is his Portuguese side take on Ghana. Back to you.


COREN: Don Riddell there reporting from Doha, Qatar.

Well, two back to back explosions raised new concerns in Israel, that the ongoing wave of violence could become even deadlier, that's ahead.

Plus, as protesters cry out for freedom and justice in Iran, the U.N. Human Rights Council will be meeting to discuss the dire situation in the country.


COREN: Extraordinary scenes coming out of Indonesia after rescuers pull a 6-year-old boy alive from the wreckage of Monday's earthquake. His parents and grandmother are among the 271 people who were killed. The boy survived unhurt, protected by a mattress.

Well Meanwhile, a woman who started having contractions during the earthquake has given birth to a son. She was evacuated to a medical tent despite the quake and subsequent landslides. The baby's father says he's feeling overjoyed and blessed.


Well, a gag order has now been imposed in Israel, barring the release of any details on Wednesday's double bombing in Jerusalem for at least 30 days.

A teenager was killed in one of the blasts and 18 other people were wounded. No one has claimed responsibility and police are searching for the suspects.

Hours after the attacks, hundreds of people attended a funeral for the 15-year-old who was killed. Prime Minister Yair Lapid says the perpetrators will be found.


YAIR LAPID, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): I want to tell the citizens of Israel, we will get them. They can flee, they can hide but that will not help them. The security forces will reach them. If they resist, they will be eliminated. If not, we will punish them to the fullest extent of the law.


COREN: The prime minister also noted the alarming level of sophistication seen in these attacks and there are concerns more could follow. CNN's Hadas Gold has this report.


HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Sirens ring out during rush hour after a double bombing shook Jerusalem Wednesday morning. A 15-year-old student was killed and more than 14 injured in what authorities are calling a suspected coordinated combined terror attack.

The first explosion captured on CCTV footage widely shared on social media rocking a bus station at one of the main entrances to the city. The blast so strong, debris and pockmarks reaching past three lanes of traffic.

Authorities believe a bag or package was placed at the bus stop around 7:00 a.m. and was likely detonated remotely, the first blast killing the teenage boy, a Canadian Israeli citizen who was a student at a Jewish religious school and injuring at least 11 others.

A second blast occurred not far from the first around half an hour later at the city's remote junction lightly injuring three people. A spokesman for first responders at the scene telling CNN the injuries inflicted show the hallmarks of terror.

RAPHAEL POCH, SPOKESPERSON, UNITED HATZALAH INTERNATIONAL: There were shrapnel injuries in nails and ball bearings and those types of things which were very common to be placed in bombs that detonate for the sake of terror were definitely a factor as well.

GOLD: The incident reminiscent of the style of attacks carried out in the Second Intifada, organized and technically sophisticated.

POCH: This is something very, very tragic. It's something we haven't seen in a very long time. And we hope it doesn't come back to become a routine or regular situation.

GOLD: Israel's Prime Minister Yair Lapid also noting the worrying development.

LAPID (through translator): This event is different from what we have seen in recent years. An extensive intelligence effort is now underway that will lead us to find these heinous terrorists, those behind them and those who provided them with weapons.

GOLD: As Israeli police search for suspects the man pushing to become Public Security Minister in the incoming government arrived at the scene, the far right leader Itamar Ben-Gvir calling for sweeping security measures in response.

ITAMAR BEN GVIR, JEWISH POWER PARTY LEADER: Charging a price for the terror means checking where these terrorists came from reaching their villages, whether they are in Israel or in Judea and Samaria, imposing a curfew, going from house to house and searching for weapons and bringing back deterrence and governance.

GOLD: A deadly escalation in what's already been one of the most violent years in this region since the days of the Second Intifada, as fears grows, that this attack will bring more.

Hadas Gold, CNN, Jerusalem.


COREN: In the coming hours, the U.N.'s top human rights body will discuss the government crackdown on protesters in Iran, especially the treatment of women. The U.S. is imposing sanctions on three officials in Iran's Kurdish region after a brutal security response to demonstrations over the past few days, where dozens of protesters were reportedly killed.

Anti-government protests have been sweeping through the country since the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody back in September.

As many as 14,000 protesters have been arrested and at least 2,000 charged so far. With at least six protesters receiving death sentences, lawmakers have been calling for protesters to be taught a "good lesson to deter others who threaten the authority of the Iranian government."

CNN's Jomana Karadsheh spoke to one protester about the relentless determination to keep going.


JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Iranians have been risking it all for freedom to break free of the shackles of a repressive regime. That's brutality and bullets only fueling the anger of those on the streets, making them more defiant than ever.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know as long as the Islamic Republic is ruling the country, I couldn't do my duty.

KARADSHEH: This doctor we're not identifying for safety reasons, was one of hundreds of medical professionals who gathered into Iran last month for a demonstration organized by their counsel. And it was violently broken up.


Doctors tell CNN at least one person was killed, many injured, including one shot in the eyes and blinded.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As soon as I arrived there, the area was full of all kinds of forces. Plain clothes forces was too much. And they literally shoot everyone that was walking on the sidewalk of the street.

I have bruises, multiple bruises in front of my body and back and all of them was above my waist. But I saw injuries with batons and they beat a lot, electric shocks.

KARADSHEH: Just for going out and protesting you could go to jail or get killed?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not just death, it literally could be worse. We wish they would kill us on the streets rather than they arrest us.

KARADSHEH: Because of all the horrors in detention facilities. All these risks, the threats to you and to your family, that's not stopping you and others. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course not, they killed more than 1,500 in three days in less than a week, about two years ago. We know it could happen. And all of us, we will continue, there is no other way.

We came from a long journey and we realized that Islamic Republic cannot change and don't want to change. It is our duty to our next generation that we fight it and hopefully change it.

KARADSHEH: Only Iranians can change it, this protester and other say, but they believe the international community can do more than just watch, condemn and announced symbolic sanctions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They could close Islamic Republic ambassadors, United Nation, UNICEF, pay more attention. We need actual action. The most important question is are they willing to or not? To stand on the right side of history or not?

KARADSHEH: Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, Istanbul.


COREN: Still ahead, more than 600 mass shootings in the U.S. this year. The latest at a Walmart in Virginia. I'll speak with a former congressman about what can be done.


COREN: Welcome back, you are watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Anna Coren.

Police in Chesapeake, Virginia have identified the gunman who opened fire inside a Walmart as an employee at the store.


He killed six co-workers and then himself. Four other people are still in hospital. CNN's Brian Todd has more.


BRIANA TYLER, EYEWITNESS: He just looked around the room and just shot, and there were people just dropping to the floor.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Another mass shooting, less than 70 hours after one in Colorado, this time at a Chesapeake, Virginia, Walmart busy with holiday shoppers.

Briana Tyler, an employee who witnessed the shooting, recounting the horror of what took place last night just after she arrived for her overnight shift.

TYLER: He shot near my head, and it was about inches away. In that moment, it still hadn't really kicked in that it was real, because I was thinking it was, like, a simulation type of thing. Like this is what we do if we have an active shooter. And the reason why I think it was that was because I recognized his face. TODD (voice-over): The city of Chesapeake identifying the shooter as

31-year-old Andre Bing. Walmart confirms Bing was an overnight team leader. His home seen here with the door smashed in by police, when they and other agents were on the scene, investigating.

Police say the gunman was armed with several magazine and a pistol that he used to kill at least six people. Two of the victims were found dead in the break room, along with the gunman, who police believe died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Another victim was found near the front of the store. Three victims were taken to local hospitals, but later died. At least six other victims were also taken in the hospital, with two in critical condition.

Briana telling us of warnings she'd gotten from other employees about Bing.

TYLER: They warned me that he was just the manager to look out for, pretty much. You know, he would write you up just because he could or just if you did something that he wasn't a very, you know, big fan of. You know, he just -- he picked a lot. I guess that's what I heard. Just he was just that manager that would probably give you issues. But not anything to this extent.

TODD (voice-over): Other employee witnesses in shock.

KEVIN HARPER, EYEWITNESS: Just left by the break room. (EXPLETIVE DELETED) came in there, started capping people up in there; started shooting, bro.

TODD (voice-over): Just two days before Thanksgiving, family members receiving frightening calls and texts from their loved ones.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: His wife received a phone call about 10:18 saying that he had been shot. He clocks in at ten, so he hadn't even been there ten minutes.

TODD (voice-over): Joanna Jeffries (ph) says her mother was inside the store during the shooting and sent her these text messages, saying there was an active shooter in the store. Those surviving the incident thankful.

TYLER: Could be all gone in a blink of an eye, literally. Like, my life truly did flash before my eyes.

TODD: We've asked Walmart to respond to Briana Tyler's account that she was previously warned by other employees to watch out for Andre Bing. And we've asked Walmart if Bing was ever the subject of any disciplinary measures or if any other employees had ever complained about him. They have not responded to those questions.

Brian Todd, CNN, Chesapeake, Virginia.

(END VIDEOTAPE) COREN: Well, joining us now from Washington is Joe Walsh. He's a former Republican congressman and now an advisory board member for the bipartisan gun safety group, 97 Percent.

Joe, great to have you with us.

Mass shootings in the U.S. are happening week after week, in a country where you have a president that wants gun reform, a population where there is a majority in support of universal background checks, and yet, nothing happens. Why?

JOE WALSH, ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER, 97 PERCENT: Anna, good to be with you.

Because gun owners like me have not engaged in this debate and led on this issue. And Anna, that's going to be -- that's going to change.

Look, most Americans -- you've said it -- most Americans support universal background checks. Most gun owners like myself do.

The problem right now in this country is that we do a really bad job of making sure somebody who shouldn't have a gun doesn't get a gun. We've got to do a much better job with that.

COREN: Mental health is often, you know, a big factor when it comes to gun violence in America. We know that the gun culture is part of the fabric of the United States, but surely Americans don't want guns in the hands of people who are not mentally fit to own guns?

WALSH: Yes. And Anna, that's a really good point. Look, gun culture is a big part of America. We have a lot of guns in this country. Again, I'm a gun owner. Ninety-eight, 99 percent of all gun owners in America are law-abiding gun owners. We have a Second Amendment that distinguishes us from the rest of the world.

But bad people, sick people, violent people shouldn't get their hands on a gun. And right now in America, we've got to be honest. It's too easy for people to get a gun. Too easy for people who would endanger others or endanger themselves.


And that right there, I think, is really what we need to work on. And right there, Anna, that's where gun owners like me can come together with gun reform advocates and really try to work on something that can make a difference.

COREN: Joe, the Walmart shooting last night, that was the 608th mass shooting in the United States for this year. Do you think there will ever be the political will to take on the very powerful gun lobby?

WALSH: Yes, the political will, Anna, will come when gun owners like me demand change.

Traditionally in America, it's been the Democratic Party and the left leading the call for gun reform. And it's been really easy, then, for Republicans, my former political party, to just say no.

But when gun owners like me stand up and demand that we implement red flag laws or demand universal background checks, well, then that's a pressure that Republicans can't ignore.

And I've got to tell you, Anna, that's why it's really exciting for me to be a part of an organization, 97 Percent, which is all about giving gun owners a chance to lead on this debate.

There will be no change, none, at all on guns in America until gun owners take the lead, and they're ready to right now.

COREN: So Joe, what's the answer? What changes in legislation need to be made? Because we know, unfortunately, it's just a matter of days or weeks before there is another mass shooting in the U.S.

WALSH: Yes, and let's -- let's be clear, Anna. We live in a free society. We live in a society that values the Second Amendment and the gun culture. A lot of gun owners in this country. But what can we specifically do?

Again, if you focus on making it harder for somebody who shouldn't have a gun to get a gun, well, then we've got to strengthen background checks. No matter where you, or no matter where you go in America, you have to get a really solid, strong background check.

We need red flag laws all over the country, Anna. Red flag laws are where law enforcement or family members, if they believe that you are a danger to yourself or others, that firearm can be temporarily taken away from you.

That, by the way, would have prevented last week's shooting in Colorado. We need to do that.

And then, final piece to look at is I'm a gun owner. If you get a gun in this country, you should have to have training. Basic training. You should have to get a permit that says that you got that training.

These are all reforms, Anna, upfront, before a gun is bought, that will help. And most importantly, Anna, these are all reforms that the vast majority of gun owners support. Now it's time for gun owners to demand these reforms.

COREN: Joe, you are speaking a lot of common sense. I hope that the politicians are listening. Joe Walsh, great to have you with us. Thank you.

WALSH: Thank you.

COREN: Stay with CNN. Much more after the break.



COREN: The head of Brazil's electoral court is dismissing outgoing President Jair Bolsonaro's attempt to challenge the runoff election results.

The court president called his request ludicrous, and illicit, and ostensibly conspiratorial. And he slapped Bolsonaro's Liberal Party with a fine of about $4 million for bad-faith litigation.

That's after Bolsonaro filed a petition to have the round two ballots annulled. He claims some voting machines malfunctioned.

Bolsonaro narrowly lost to former President Luis Ignacio Lula da Silva last month. Lula's inauguration is set for January 1.

The United Kingdom's top court says Scotland cannot hold a second referendum on independence without the approval of the British Parliament.

It's a blow to the Scottish National Party, the dominant force in Scottish politics, who have been campaigning for a split from the U.K. for years.

The court argued a referendum could have lasting effects on the democratic legitimacy of the union between Scotland and the U.K.

Independence supporters gathered in Edinburgh on Wednesday, and listened to party leader and Scottish first minister, Nicola Sturgeon. While she accepts the court's ruling, she also accused the British government of, quote, "outright democracy denial."


NICOLA STURGEON, SCOTTISH FIRST MINISTER: The United Kingdom is not a voluntary partnership of nations. A partnership in any walk of life that requires one party to seek the consent of another to choose its own future is not voluntary. it is not a partnership at all.


COREN: The ruling is not expected to silence independence supporters, but British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak says it's an opportunity to address other, more important challenges facing the U.K.

He's being called the world's first parastronaut. The European Space Agency has appointed its first astronaut with a physical disability.

British paralympic sprinter John McFall will help the ESA create conditions for people with disabilities to travel to space. McFall, who lost his leg in a motorcycle accident at age 19, was chosen for the rollout of 357 applicants.

This is the agency's first major step towards allowing those with physical disabilities to live and work in space.

I'm Anna Coren. I'll be back at the top of the hour with more CNN NEWSROOM. But first, WORLD SPORT starts after this break.







COREN: Hello, everyone. I'm Anna Coren, live from Hong Kong.

Ahead on CNN NEWSROOM, weaponizing winter. Russian missiles pound Ukraine, knocking out power to millions as temperatures fall.