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Survey: Majority Of Economists Say Global Recession Is "Likely"; "Dry January" Grows In Popularity As Drinking-Related Deaths Rise; CDC Detects Possible Increase In Stroke In People 65 And Older Who Received COVID Booster Shot; At Least 40 Killed In Russian Strike On Dnipro Apartment Building; Zelenskyy Issues New Pleas For Weapons Assistance From Western Allies; Moscow & Minsk Start Joint Military Aviation Drills In Belarus; Police: Stabbing Of Indiana Univ. Student Was Racially Motivated. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired January 16, 2023 - 14:30   ET



VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: What's the expectation beyond the U.S., beyond Europe?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS EDITOR-AT-LARGE & CNN ANCHOR, "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS": OK. So, really fascinating. You have China coming back into the game. They contracted at the end of last year. Now it's reopening, even with all the COVID. China becomes an engine of growth.

As for elsewhere, you have the gulf region with its oil revenues. Saudi, where they have huge amounts of money. You have different parts of the world.

But the truth is the developing world, Victor, the emerging economies are really going to feel is very, very badly. They don't have the safety nets -- social safety nets of the U.S. or the E.U. or the U.K.

In those countries, here, there's great concern, increased poverty, health risks, malnutrition, all the sorts of things. And, yes, eventually leading to political instability, the sorts you've seen in South America.

These are realistic possibilities and probabilities when major economies go into recession.

BLACKWELL: All right. Subject of conversation where you are right there in Davos.


BLACKWELL: Thank you so much.

TikTok is now banned from all government devices in Kentucky. The restriction was laid out in an updated employee handbook.

The popular app continues to be the target of criticism for its ties to China and potential security risks. Kentucky is one of 30 states that have restricted or proposed restrictions of TikTok on government devices.

"Dry January" has been growing in popularity since it began about a decade ago. According to the Consumer Research Group, CGA, more than one-third of U.S. adults took part in 2022.

If you are one of them, this may be a good time to rethink how much you drink from here on out.

CNN's Elizabeth Cohen joins us now.

There's a new relevant study out. What does it say?

DR. ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: So, this study is so interesting, Victor. What researchers at the CDC said, of all the deaths in the United States, how many are attributable to excess alcohol consumption.

So they looked at drunk driving incidents, and cancer and heart disease where alcohol may -- you can't blame it on alcohol but alcohol may have played a role.

Here's what they can up with. They said, if you looked at deaths of people between 20 and 49, one in five of them could be attributed to excess alcohol.

Ages 20 to 64, sort of a bigger age group, one in eight deaths were attributable to excess alcohol.

You might wonder what is excess. Let's look at what the CDC says is moderate alcohol intake.

So what they say is, for men, it's no more than two drinks a day. For women, it's no more than one drink a day. That's what they call moderate. That's not excessive. That's what they would call moderate intake.

Victor, I want to make a note here that you can't average these all out. You can't, you know, abstain from alcohol all week and on Saturday night drink seven drinks at once. That is binge drinking and has health problems of its own -- Victor?

BLACKWELL: Two a day is moderate. Good to know.

COHEN: Yes. I know. It's surprising. It seems like a lot, but that's moderate.

BLACKWELL: Seems heavy.

OK. Let's turn to new reports concerning the Pfizer COVID booster.

CDC says one of its monitoring systems detected a possible increase in strokes in people 65 and older. Tell us about it.

COHEN: The CDC and FDA are very sensitive about collecting information on side effects to vaccines. They want to be sensitive. They want to catch everything because they're giving vaccines to a lot of people. So, what they do is they set up these systems. One of the systems

said, wait a second, we may be seeing that senior citizens are having more strokes in the three weeks after they get the shot.

Then they looked at other systems they have, systems that the veterans administration has, Medicare, they said we're not seeing it here.

Here's what they concluded. They say, "The totality of all of the data currently suggests that it is very unlikely, very unlikely that the signal found in that first database represents a true clinical risk."

That's a fancy way of saying, we saw something, we looked into it, it's very unlikely to be real. It's very unlikely to be a problem.

And the CDC is still saying senior citizens go ahead, and everybody actually, but senior citizens in this situation, go ahead and get your COVID booster. They've been available since September -- Victor?

BLACKWELL: Maybe just a glitch or an anomaly there.

Elizabeth Cohen, thank you.


Police reveal some chilling details in the stabbing of an Indiana State University student. Investigators say the attack was racially motivated. More on this coming up.


BLACKWELL: The rescue efforts are continuing in the central Ukrainian city of Dnipro. A Russian missile strike on an apartment building killed at least 40 people.

This is new video of a woman being pulled from the rubble there of what's left of that apartment building. Dozens were injured. At least 46 people are still missing.

Saturday's missile strike is one of the deadliest single attacks since the start of the war.

CNN's Fred Pleitgen has more from Dnipro.


FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The morning brings to light the full extent of the destruction. The residential building, home to dozens of families, annihilated down to the foundation.


Even though rescue crews still work, the chances of finding survivors now virtually zero.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE) PLEITGEN: All night residents watched in fear, anger and grief.

Olla Nevin Shanaya says she passed by the building only about half an hour before this.

"There are many friends and people close to me here, many, many people."

Elena Loya stunned by the scale of the destruction curses the Russians.

"I simply hate them. Children, people die here, and we can't speak anymore."

Throughout the night, the death toll continued to jump. On top of the many killed, Ukrainian authorities say dozens were injured, many of them children.

In just this location Dnipro, one of many sites in Ukraine, Russia targeted with barrages of missiles this weekend.

PLEITGEN (on camera): The Ukrainian says the reason why the damage here is so extensive is that this building was hit with a cruise missile called the Kh-22.

That's designed to destroy aircraft carrier strike groups. And obviously, when it hit the building, it completely annihilated it, burying dozens of people underneath.

PLEITGEN (voice over): The Ukrainians call the attack state terrorism. And the President says rescuers will continue to try and save anyone trapped here.

"Let's fight for every person," President Zelenskyy says. "The rescue operation will last as long as there is even the slightest chance to save a life."

But even the slightest hope has now all but died and this is essentially a recovery operation. The crews searching for bodies where so many lives were violently ended in an instant.


BLACKWELL: After the attack, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked for more weapons from the West.

The U.K. and Poland announced plans to provide tanks to Ukraine. And Ukrainian soldiers are expected to start training on the Patriot missile system offered by the U.S. That training is supposed to start this week.

CNN's Oren Liebermann joins us now from the Pentagon.

Oren, so when will the weapons actually be delivered to Ukraine?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Victor, unfortunately, the short answer to that question is simply not yet. We see a clear willingness from the U.S., the U.K., Poland and others to send in more advanced, powerful weaponry.

Here's a list of some of that weaponry we've seen over the past couple of days.

The U.K. announcing it will send its Challenger II tanks. Poland saying it wants to send its Leopard tanks. That's waiting on German approval. That hasn't been publicly stated yet.

And the U.S. is beginning it's Patriot missile training.

But inherent to this is training on more complex systems and that will take time. That's the real holdup here.

And the question of how this can happen on different systems here. A U.K. system, a German system and an American system.

It's not just how to operate it, it's how to maintain this. It could be weeks or longer, a period of months until this arrives on the battlefield. And the U.S. and others are looking to make the changes they expect.

As for the Patriot training, here's what we know right now. It's set to begin this week at Fort Sill in Oklahoma. That's where the U.S. conducts its own training on Patriot missiles. The Ukrainians, a group of about 90 to 100 of them, have arrived to begin that training.

The question of how long it will take? Pentagon officials say several months. They will try to shorten it in any way they can so the Patriot can arrive on the battlefield as quickly as possible.

They're not putting a date on it yet, Victor, first, because they don't know how much they can shorten training that can last as long as a year.

And second, they don't want the Russians to know when the Patriot missile system will arrive.

It will be an long-range air defense option to add to the air defense systems they have, the shorter medium range.

It's because of that attack on Dnipro, you see the need for the U.S. to send this in and that growing willingness to send in more advanced and powerful systems both for offense and for defense.

BLACKWELL: Fred Pleitgen, thank you.

Retired Brigadier General Peter Zwack is with me now. He's also a Wilson Center Global Fellow at the Kennan Institute

General, good to see you again.

Let's start with this massive attack, the deadliest -- one of the deadliest since the start of this war. More than 40 dead, more than 40 missing, even more injured. Do you think this attack was strategic or sporadic, scatter shot?


I think that if we take in the full aggregate look, it is another vicious example of the wholesale mayhem that the Russians are dishing out on a land that they have invaded.


We must never forget that. They invaded, unprovoked. And they continue, as put to me, to be killing people and breaking things.

Yes, ostensibly, we'll hear that, yes, they were going for a power station. But no, you just had an apartment complex blown up with 50 or 60 probably dead and countless, and countless hundreds, thousands killed across the country.

So I think there's an aspect that is strategic in that the Russians want to -- I use this medieval term -- Ukrainians submit. And the Ukrainians won't.

The more the Russians do this and the viciousness -- and, by the way, they dig themselves into a hole in the world as well as a black cat.

But they are -- I think it's psychological in part. But like the British during the blitz, I think the Ukrainians will stay hard.

And then they are going for the power stations. But that is -- that is also more strategic.

But the bottom line, they're hitting a defenseless population and it has to stop --

BLACKWELL: General --

ZWACK: -- which is why more help needs to go to Ukraine.

BLACKWELL: Let's talk about the help. Let's talk about the help.

You said it's time to go all in on providing weapons to Ukraine. We reported on the tanks coming from Poland, the U.K., Patriot missile systems from the U.S.

What else do you think should go? Should there be more, should there be a different type or style of weaponry sent?

ZWACK: I think we're rapidly getting to the time where the Ukrainians need more tactical air support. They need to be able to reach out deeper with the artillery systems like, you know, like we have -- the very, very effective HIMARS. Their even longer range.

On the ground, the mano e mano fighting, tank by tank that's going on in Donetsk and elsewhere. This is good, by the way, what the British and Germans have done and the French with their AMX10. And we're coming up with the Bradley.

It's a start. It's a mark on the wall. But they'll need much more. It needs to come fast, Victor.

Because the Russians, I think, are trying to, in this awful fight around Bakhmut, draw and attrite the Ukrainians.

By the way, it may be a problem for the Ukrainians to build the forces to make a counter offensive.

By the way, the business in Belarus, about Russian/Belarussian exercises. There is an invasion risk, as last February. But it also might be a massive diversion to distract large Ukrainian forces from finishing off, if you will, the other battle fronts in Donetsk and to the south.

BLACKWELL: Let me ask you about the joint aviation drills that are happening between Belarus and Russia. You said it could be a diversion.

Since the start of the war, since February, there was a question, will we see Belarus fighters on the ground or aviation drills in the air over Ukraine?

Do you think there will come a time when we'll see them cross the border and join the fight in that way?

ZWACK: I think that if the -- I'll say this, Victor, flat-out to you and your audience. I think that the Belarussian strong man, Alexander Lukashenko, has been playing a balancing game for years with the Russians.

Yes, he's all in. He's their ally. He basically, to a point, marches to Putin's drum.

But he also knows and remembers just in 2020 the massive protests -- and you reported on it heavily -- in Belarus when the election got grabbed.

Tens of thousands of young Belarussians went out into the streets and it looked like it might have fallen but it didn't.

Here's the point, that -- a lot of those guys are now draftees in the Belarussian army.

If they go in or the air force goes in, it could create a meltdown within the army, in certainly Ukraine, maybe in Belarus, and lead to a meltdown of the population as occurred in 2020 in Belarus.

So I think it's a high-risk game for the Belarussian strong man to commit forces to an invasion. He's been letting the Russians use it as a staging area.

It's a dangerous game. But the capability is there.

BLACKWELL: Brigadier General Peter Zwack, thank you. Always appreciate having you.


ZWACK: Always.

BLACKWELL: Californians are again facing more rain, more flooding. Next, when the storm-battered state could finally catch a break.


BLACKWELL: The repeated stabbing of an Asian student as she tried to get off a bus in Indiana appears to be the latest incident of anti- Asian violence across this country.

The woman charged in the unprovoked attack allegedly told investigators that she stabbed the victim because she's Chinese.

CNN's Brynn Gingrass has filed the latest for us.

What are you learned about this?


BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I mean, we hear about this in the major cities. Now this is a mid-city that, unfortunately, has had this horrific attack, as you said, an anti-Asian attack.

What we learned from the charging documents is that 56-year-old Billie Davis, she was sitting on a city bus and an 18-year-old student from Indiana University was on that same bus.

And as the student stood up to get off the bus, police say that Billie Davis rose with a folding knife in her hand and stabbed that 18-year- old student seven times in the head before then just taking a seat again back on the bus.

Now the student was able to get away, went to the hospital. It's unclear, her condition at this point.

But we know that then Davis got off the bus and authorities were able to arrest her.

And according to the charging documents, when police were questioning her, she flat-out told them, she conducted -- did this because that victim was Asian and that she -- quote, "It would be one less person to blow up our country." That's what she told authorities.

Of course, now she is facing a number of charges, including attempted murder.

But the campus, you know, just riveting -- not riveting, just so upset about this, as you can imagine, sending out statements that, "We stand with our community."

Let me read to you part of this: "To our Asian and Asian-American friends, colleague, students and neighbor, we stand firmly with you." The Asian culture also saying they're getting so many cards and

prayers. People really coming together about this.

This is not something, again, that we hear often in these smaller communities on a campus, and here we are.

BLACKWELL: Awful it's happening. We talked about it here in New York and across the country. And it seems like this is spreading out into the rest of the country.

Brynn Gingras, thank you for the reporting.

President Biden is back at the White House and under fire over his handling of classified documents. Ahead, what the White House counsel and lawyers are saying about this growing controversy.