Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Newsroom

New Zealand P.M. Resigning; Ukraine Investigating Helicopter Crash That Killed 14; No Promise Of Tanks From German Chancellor Scholz; IAEA Sets Up Permanent Missions At Ukraine's Nuclear Plants; Political Crisis In Israel; Report: Greenland's Temperatures Warmest In 1,000 Years; Mob Boss To Make First Court Appearance Since His Arrest. Aired 2-2:45a ET

Aired January 19, 2023 - 02:00   ET




KIM BRUNHUBER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Warm welcome to all of you watching us around the world. I'm Kim Brunhuber. Ahead on CNN NEWSROOM. Ukraine's president says a deadly helicopter crashed near Kyiv is a result of war and tells Western leaders that any more delay in military aid could give Russia a big advantage.



JACINDA ARDERN, PRIME MINISTER OF NEW ZEALAND: We give all that we can for as long as we can. And then it's time. And for me, it's time.


BRUNHUBER: New Zealand's Prime Minister shocks the nation why she's choosing to resign instead of seeking reelection.

Plus, terror in Burkina Faso. 50 women and girls out picking fruit abducted by armed men last week. We'll look at what's being done to bring them home.

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Center, this is CNN NEWSROOM with Kim Brunhuber.

BRUNHUBER: Ukraine has launched an investigation into the helicopter crash in a Kyiv suburb that killed 14 people including the interior minister. The helicopter went down in a low visibility in a residential neighborhood on Wednesday. More than two dozen people were injured including 11 children. Investigators say they're considering a number of causes including technical malfunction.

But this point, there doesn't seem to be any indication that the helicopter was shot down. Ukraine's interior minister and five other officials were on board the aircraft traveling to the Kharkiv region. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaking to the World Economic Forum by video link called their deaths a great loss. Here here is.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY, PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE: I just want to ask you to honor the memory of every person Ukraine has lost with a minute of silence.


BRUNHUBER: Zelenskyy blamed Russia for the tragedy saying "Every death is the result of war." He also urged world leaders to speed up the delivery of tanks, air defense systems and other weapons to Ukraine.

The mayor of Brovary has declared three days of mourning for the victims. CNN's Clarissa Ward reports from the site of the crash.


CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): A quiet Kyiv suburb turned into an inferno. The sounds of screaming can be heard. Minutes after a helicopter crashed outside an apartment building just steps away from a kindergarten. On board, the leadership of Ukraine's interior ministry, including the minister himself, Denys Monastyrsky and his deputy Yevgeniy Yenin.

The chopper was bound for the city of Kharkiv when it lost control smashing into the kindergarten as it descended. One child was killed. Rescue Services work to clear the smoldering wreckage and search for survivors. Its neighbors looked out at the scene of horror.

Ala (ph) tells us, she ran outside as soon as she heard the explosion. We saw only injured children who were on fire. Sorry, she says. They were crying and running out from the school.

Ukrainian security services have opened an investigation into the crash. For now, there is no suggestion that foul play was involved. There was heavy fog in the morning. But President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said every death is the result of war even when it is far from the front lines. The wife of Deputy Minister Yenin sobbed in shock as she took in the scene. Another tragedy in a nation that has borne witness to so much horror.

As daylight faded, Emergency Services declare the end of the search and rescue. And the bodies were taken away.


BRUNHUBER: Sources tell CNN the U.S. is finalizing plans for a new $2.5 billion military aid package for Ukraine. It reportedly will include Stryker combat vehicles for the first time as well as Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles, but it won't include M1 Abrams tanks or the long-range missiles Ukraine has requested. Meanwhile, a senior U.S. official says Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will be pressuring Germany to allow the transfer of German-made Leopard tanks the Ukraine.

During a speech at the World Economic Forum German Chancellor Olaf Scholz wouldn't commit to sending them. Here he is.


OLAF SCHOLZ, CHANCELLOR OF GERMANY: Russia's aggression must fail. That is why we are continuously supplying Ukraine with large quantities of arms in close consultation with our partners.


BRUNHUBER: All right. Let's go live down to London. And CNN's Clare Sebastian. Claire, so let's start with Ukraine's demand for more military aid. What's the latest there?


CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I think it was critical. President Zelenskyy's speech, that remote speech to Davos on Wednesday picking up really where his wife left off, who gave a very powerful speech earlier in the week essentially accusing the west of not using its influence enough. President Zelenskyy really didn't hold back either and accused the west of being too slow in its decision making on weapons.

Really important to note that given the importance of that alliance with the West that this really underscores the critical moments that Ukraine has in the level of desperation that it is -- it is -- it is experiencing in this war. Take a listen to what he had to say.


ZELENSKYY: -- time the Free World uses to think is used by the terrorist state to kill.

The supplying of Ukraine with air defense systems must outpace Russia's vast missile attacks. The supplies of Western tanks must outpace another invasion of Russian tanks.


SEBASTIAN: So, this obviously comes as there are growing concerns in Ukraine that Russia may be getting ready to mount a new offensive towards the spring. It also comes as we've seen an uptick in western weapons suppliers. We've seen the U.K. promise tanks. Poland has also promised tanks. Obviously, the focus is now on Germany and whether they will grant permission to reexport those Leopard 2 wo tanks that are used by about a dozen European countries.

The U.S. also in the spotlight over the question of tanks. And the State Department Spokesperson Ned Price defended the U.S. position on aid on CNN on Wednesday. Take a listen.


NED PRICE, SPOKESPERSON, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE: When it was about the Battle of Kyiv, and the earliest hours and days of President Putin's war, we provided stingers and javelins, other air defense systems, other armored tank vehicles, armored vehicles, precisely what the Ukrainians needed for that moment. As the battle has moved to the east, as it's moved to the north, as it is taken on that flavor, we have provided HIMARS.

Longer range systems that our Ukrainian partners can use to target Russian positions on their territory. We have provided a Patriot missile system. We've provided other air defense systems that the Ukrainians have used to extraordinary effects.


SEBASTIAN: So, I think this is sensitive clearly because the U.S. has led the way when it comes to military aid for Ukraine. But the question now is whether the correct approach is to give Ukraine as Ned Price says precisely what it needs in that moment, or as President Zelenskyy is suggesting to try to outpace a potential future Russian offensive and give them more than what they need in that moment.

A key moment today to watch, Kim, will be the meeting between Lloyd Austin, the U.S. Defense Secretary and his German counterpart. We expect that he will pressure the Germans to give ground on that issue of tanks.

BRUNHUBER: All right. We'll be watching that. In the meantime, Claire, we're getting more reaction falling, that helicopter crash in Ukraine. Take us through that.

SEBASTIAN: Yes. I think this is -- has created a sort of a new level of shock in the international community. The head of the European Commission, calling it tragedy at the heart of a war zone. We're also hearing from many countries about their close relationship with Denys Monastyrsky who is the interior minister killed in that helicopter crash. Secretary Blinken, the U.S. Secretary of State calling him heroic as well as his team members.

The U.K. Foreign Secretary calling him a great friend of the U.K. Obviously, there's no evidence at the moment that this -- there was any foul play here, that it was any kind of attack. But I think for the international community, Kim, this underscores the prolonged and intense suffering that Ukraine is going through and, in that way, does strengthen the alliance with the West that Ukraine has just proven so crucial to Ukraine.

BRUNHUBER: Yes, indeed. All right. Thanks so much, Clare Sebastian. Really appreciate it.

Well, short time ago, New Zealand's Prime Minister made an unexpected announcement. She will resign in just a matter of weeks. Speaking at a Labour Party retreat, Jacinda Ardern says she doesn't have the energy to leave government anymore, won't be seeking reelection and announced the end date for her time in office. Here she is.


JACINDA ARDEN, PRIME MINISTER OF NEW ZEALAND: This summer, I had hoped to find a way to prepare not just for another year, but another term, because that is what this year requires. I have not been able to do that.

So today, I'm announcing that I will not be seeking reelection. And then my term as prime minister will conclude no later than the 7th of February.


BRUNHUBER: CNN's Kristie Lu Stout joins me now from Hong Kong. Kristie, quite a shocking announcement. Take us through the reasons for this decision and the reaction.

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN ANCHCOR: Yes. This was a bombshell announcement for many in New Zealand and all around out in the world.


Earlier today at a press conference in Napier, New Zealand. We heard from Jacinda Ardern who said that she simply doesn't have the energy to stand for reelection in October. She also added that she will stand down as the prime minister for a country by early February. I want you to listen to this what Jacinda Arden said earlier.


ARDEN: I'm entering now my sixth year in office. And for each of these years, I have given my absolute all. I believe that leading a country is the most privileged job anyone could ever have. But also, one of the more challenging, you cannot and should not do it unless you have a full tank. Plus, a bit in reserve for those unexpected challenges.


STOUT: Ardern added that she is not leaving the job because the job was hard and she went on to list the number of challenges that she and her government faced in the last 5-1/2 years including the COVID-19 pandemic, including that deadly volcanic eruption on Macquarie Island. Including of course, the horrific 2019 Christchurch terror attacks from the far-right terrorist, targeted to mosques in that city, ultimately taking the lives of 51 people and Jacinda Ardern as prime minister responded with compassion and decisive action.

Now we have been monitoring international reaction to her resignation. And on Twitter we saw this from the Prime Minister of Australia who said this earlier today. "Jacinda Ardern has shown the world how to lead with intellect and strength. She has demonstrated that empathy and insight are powerful leadership qualities. Jacinda has been a fierce advocate for New Zealand, an inspiration to so many and a great friend to me.

We also have this from Justin Trudeau, of course, the Prime Minister of Canada, who tweets, thank you just into order and for your partnership, and your friendship and for your empathetic, compassionate, strong and steady leadership over these past several years. The difference you have made is immeasurable. I'm wishing you and your family nothing but the best my friend. Now on the international stage Jacinda Ardern has been heralded and hailed for her leadership skills also for being a strong progressive voice domestically inside New Zealand. She had been facing growing political headwinds as voters focus on economic issues like the rising cost of living and concerns about a recession coming up this year. Arden will step down as prime minister on February the 7th.

She says professionally, she has at the moment no plans after that. But personally, she is looking forward to being there for her four- year-old daughter who will soon go off to school. She also says she looks forward to in her words finally marrying her partner. Back to you.

BRUNHUBER: Yes. Monumental. All right. Thanks so much, Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. Appreciate it.

Major strikes are getting underway in France over plans to raise the retirement age by two years. Workers in eight of the largest French unions are expected to skip work today and the government has already warned public transportation will be hellish. CNN's Melissa Bell has the story.


MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): For 28 years, Enrique Moreira has carried the same equipment to work. But on Thursday he'll take to the streets in protest over the two extra years the government wants him to spend working for his pension.

ENRIQUE MOREIRA, CONSTRUCTION WORKER (through translator): Living is getting more expensive, retirement further away. It's ridiculous. I can't go on. That's why we have to take to the streets and that's what we'll do on Thursday.

BELL: French President Emmanuel Macron has unsuccessfully tried pension reform before. In 2020, he backed down in the face of street protests and the COVID pandemic. 2023 he says we'll be different.

EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE (through translator): this year will be the year of pension reform which aims to guarantee the balance in our system for the coming years and decades. We need to work more.

BELL: Currently the French can retire at 62 or even earlier in some cases with a minimum monthly government pension of around 1000 euros.

Earlier this year this month, the French Prime Minister announced plans to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64, with a full pension raised by an average of 100 euros a month.

STEPHANIE RIST, GOVERNMENT M.P. (through translator): If we don't pass this reform, the books will not be balanced, which means that we will have to lower the pensions of retirees or increase the contributions of working people. Thus, reducing the purchasing power of the French.

BELL: Pension reform has been derailed in the past in 1995 under then President Jacques Chirac. It also faced stiff resistance under Macron's two predecessors.

FRANCOIS HOMMERIL, PRESIDENT, CFE-CGC UNION (through translator): It's true that there was a strong symbolic value for the social model put in place after World War II. The political forces from the far left to the right came together to govern France, and they created this model. It's our heritage, our wealth, and the French are incredibly attached to it.

BELL: The hope of the unions on Thursday that the protests will be as big as they were in 2010 when they claim more than three million people took to the streets of France.


Melissa Bell, CNN, Paris.

BRUNHUBER: Thousands of nurses in England are beginning day two of a 48-hour strike to protest low pay which they say hasn't kept up with soaring inflation now at 10-1/2 percent.


BRUNHUBER (voice over): Some of the nurses marched to the Prime Minister's Office carrying signs reading, Rishi Sunak, wake up. The government has so far said they can't afford to increase their salaries." The Royal College of Nursing union says its members will also stop working for two days early next month if there's no progress by month's end.

Protesters chanting on their way to Peru's capitol where anti- government rallies are expected to resume on Thursday. Protesters clashed with police in Lima on Wednesday as part of a nationwide demonstrations paralyzing the country for weeks.


BRUNHUBER: We have more now from Stefano Pozzebon.

STEFANO POZZEBON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Late on Wednesday night, the Peruvian Ombudsman's office updated to 51, the total number of deaths in the wave of protests that is sweeping across the nation since the ousting of former President Pedro Castillo last month. One person died on Wednesday in protests in Viru province in rural Peru. This occurred as thousands of people are traveling towards the capital, Lima for a nationwide rally against the current president Dina Boluarte scheduled for Thursday.

Among their demands is the resignation of Boluarte in a fresh round of election.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Well, as I said, there are several urgent needs. But right now, the political situation merits a change of representatives of government of the executive and the legislature. That is the immediate thing because there are other deeper issues, inflation, lack of employment, poverty, malnutrition and other historical issues that have not been addressed.

POZZEBON: Boluarte has called for any protests to be peaceful but has so far resisted calls for her resignation, saying that she intends to fulfill our mandate until the next round of election is scheduled next year.


POZZEBON: For CNN, this is Stefano Pozzebon.

BRUNHUBER: All right. Still to come. A handful of women are safely back in this village in Burkina Faso. But they're the lucky ones fleeing armed militants who are still holding dozens of others. We'll have the latest on their terrifying ordeal next. Stay with us.


BRUNHUBER: Well, we have a new update on the 50 women and girls abducted by armed men in Burkina Faso last week. A few of them has escaped and are now back home in the town of Arbinda. One woman says armed militants fired gunshots and closed in on the group as they were searching for wild fruits and the men forced them to walk through the bush for a whole day. Listen to this.



UNIDENTIFIED FEFMALE (through translator): We spent all day walking. Afterwards, we spoke amongst ourselves and said the ones that want to try and escape must try. At around 7:00 p.m., I managed to escape with my daughter here with me. The others were not able to escape, because they were too scared. Most of the girls were younger than my daughter.


BRUNHUBER: Burkina Faso's north has become a hotbed of Jihadist activity with jihadist seizing swaths of territory across the Sahel region over the past decade.

Fahiraman Rodrigue Kone, a senior researcher with the Sahel program at the Institute for security studies joins me from Bamako, Mali. Thank you so much for being here with us. So, we have some good news that a few have escaped. So, what's the latest on that? And has that helped us figure out who might be behind this horrific act and the reasons behind it?

FAHIRAMAN RODRIGUE KONE, SENIOR RESEARCHER, SAHEL PROGRAM INSTITUTE FOR SECURITY STUDIES, BAMAKO: Yes. You know, this situation, this area is very under charges insecurity since the already long time and there is many also insecurity fueled by jihadist group bandits but also community violence is end up. The time being there is no clear indication of who abducted them because the abduction has not been yet claimed.

And it could be one of the jihadist groups which are in this region, the JNIM, also the Islamic State, population groups. So, there is many abductions also in this area, is not the first, is not the first abduction because in September 29 there was 30 women who are big were abducted in the locality of Gaskinde. And also, last year in September in October 2000 -- in last year, there was also like 20 women also abducted.

But at the difference of what we are witnessing now, they were released in the same day. But this case is a really serious because there is no claim and now the research and have been launched in the area but with no success so far.

BRUNHUBER: Yes. Now, we don't know as you said, if Jihadists are responsible but there certainly been an increase in their activity. Why is that?

KONE: Yes. You see, Burkina Faso since 2015 have witnessed the spread of Jihadists insecurity from Mali, the neighboring country Mali in the -- in the north of the area. And since that time, the government's trying to fight again those groups that with no taxes because now those jihadists insecurities become a complex done with community violence, and also with some criminal economic in the area.

And now, the army since at that moment cannot have -- cannot fight them. So, it's now under -- I can say, the incapacity of the states to fight against this group which creates an environmental spread of the jihadist group.

BRUNHUBER: Yes. And let me -- let me just jump in because the effect of this has been absolutely brutal. I understand about two million people have fled their homes, which is, you know, roughly a 10th of the population of the country. It's led to two coos recently as well. And problem seems to be spreading from Burkina Faso to neighboring Benin as well. So, what does this mean for West Africa more broadly?

KONE: Yes. (INAUDIBLE) I think Burkina Faso is a key country is a -- in the geographical is the central location in West Africa and it's in insecurity in Burkina Faso (INAUDIBLE) I can see a way forward to spread in the -- in the region. But now the new authorities in Burkina Faso, the military authorities try to have a military response and now the manage to free like two town last week, and that is the good news.

And also, there is the necessity for all the country in West Africa to come in for -- a joint action to fight against this -- I can say insecurity (INAUDIBLE) which is not only for Bukina Faso but for all the West African.


BRUNHUBER: And then -- yes. So, there's a call for stepped up military response but A groups have been calling to fight this not with the military but with more investment in education, nutrition, health and so on. But how do you do that and if the security situation isn't stabilized?

KONE: Yes, the military -- yes, the real time action is very important response. Because now and as you said, there is humanitarian and insecurity, violence and communal violence. So, it's important to have this military response. But at the same time, the military action won't be the sustainable -- the sustainable response. And this will be also called a politics, negotiation with some groups but also development action that could be put on the way by the state that is -- and must be a collective action not only focusing on Mali and Burkina Faso itself, but West Africa.

BRUNHUBER: Yes. Let me jump in. And we only have 30 seconds or so. You mentioned Mali, your country. So long to as ask you about that French troops that were there fighting Islamic militants have laughed mercenaries from Russia's infamous Wagner group in the news, obviously, because their involvement in the war in Ukraine. They've been called in but the security situation seems only to have worsened.

KONE: Yes. Because the (INAUDIBLE) insecurity, as I said, cannot be resolved only by military action. It must be a broad solution and holistic solution which includes also politics responses and also development. Unfortunately, still now state seems to focus on military action, and military action wants grand result of all the problem. It's important but not sufficient for a sustainable response for this insecurity which is a multidimensional one with community implication also in the economy, traffic and illicit economy.

BRUNHUBER: Yes. Such a huge problem. No simple solutions, as you said. Fahiraman Rodrigue Kone, thank you very much for your time. Appreciate it.

All right. Still to come. A terrible tragedy. Want more on the investigation into Wednesday's deadly helicopter crash near the Ukrainian capital. Stay with us.



KIM BRUNHUBER, CNN ANCHOR: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has ordered the country's security services to investigate the cause of Wednesday's helicopter crash that killed 14 people, including Ukraine's Interior Minister. The chopper went down near a kindergarten and residential block in the City of Brovary, near the capital Kyiv. More than two dozen people were injured, including 11 children. Hours later in a video addressed the World Economic Forum in Davos, Zelenskyy asked for a moment of silence for the victims. An advisor to Ukraine's government had this response when asked, why the entire leadership team of the Interior Ministry was traveling together? Listen to this.


ANTON GERASHCHENKO, ADVISER AND FORMER DEPUTY INTERIOR MINISTER OF UKRAINE (through translator): We didn't have that protocol in place. I think this bloody lesson will be a clear example for us, that such high politicians and ministers cannot travel altogether. But this tragedy brought to -- of the death of children which is amazingly horrible. And obviously, everyone who died, every life of every Ukrainian is priceless. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BRUNHUBER (voiceover): The U.N. nuclear watchdog is deploying staff permanently to nuclear plants or operated by Ukraine. The move was announced after the agency's Director Rafael Grossi met with Ukrainian officials on Wednesday. Officials said the agency now has a presence in three out of four plants controlled by Ukraine. It'll soon have staff in all four. Grossi told CNN's Christiane Amanpour that his agency is still working on a proposed safety zone at the Zaporizhzhia plant, which is controlled by Russia. And he said he had to talk to both sides of the conflict to prevent a possible nuclear accident. Here it is.


RAFAEL GROSSI, GENERAL DIRECTOR, IAEA: I have been working and consulting, of course, for Ukraine because this is a Ukrainian facility. But I have been working with the Russians as well, because it is absolutely indispensable, that I talk to those who are in control. And you may recall that I met with President Putin, in Saint Petersburg back in October. So, to say that there is no interaction with Russia is -- would be equally incorrect. I'm afraid to say, I have to -- you know, my job is to prevent a nuclear accident here, which is very possible. The possibility is there, and I have to talk to everybody.


BRUNHUBER (on camera): Russia's Foreign Minister says the U.S., NATO, and the European Union are unfairly persecuting Russia, comparing them to the Nazis as well. Here's what Sergey Lavrov said.


SERGEY LAVROV, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): Just as Napoleon mobilized almost the whole of Europe against the Russian Empire, as Hitler mobilized, captured, and enlisted the majority of European countries, and deployed them against the Soviet Union. So, it is the same now. United States have created a coalition which includes almost all of Europe, that are NATO members and E.U. members as well. Using Ukraine, they are waging a war against our country with the same task. The final solution to the Russian question, just as Hitler wanted a final solution to the Jewish question.


BRUNHUBER: All that incendiary comment comes after he called a meeting between the heads of the Russian and U.S. intelligence agencies useful. A top White House official responding to Lavrov's Holocaust comparison, calling it, quote, ridiculous, ludicrous claim backed by a false narrative.

The U.S. Coast Guard says it's tracking a suspected Russian spy ship sailing near the Hawaiian Islands. The Coast Guard released this video of the vessel and said to be believed to be gathering intelligence. A ship which the U.S. has been monitoring for several weeks is moving through international waters.

With climate change high on the agenda, the World Economic Forum in Davos. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had harsh words for fossil fuel prosecute -- producers. On Wednesday, the U.N. chief blasted energy companies and their financial backers saying, their business practices threaten the future of humanity. And he cited a recent report that claims ExxonMobil knew in the 1970s that global warming was coming, but publicly cast doubt on the science. Here he is.


ANTONIO GUTERRES, U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL: Today, fossil fuel producers and their enablers are still racing to expand production, knowing full well that this business model is inconsistent with human survival.


BRUNHUBER (voiceover): His strong criticism came even as the International Energy Agency predicts China's reemergence after COVID could push world oil consumption to a record high.


(on camera) Scientists studying Greenland's vast ice sheets are issuing dire findings about rising temperatures in the Arctic. They say temperatures there are now the warmest they've been in at least 1,000 years. Researchers have been studying ice core samples that were first drilled in 2012. CNN's Fred Pleitgen was there to see it.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): The ice cores are essentially compressed snow that fell here over tens of thousands of years. Each layer holds a record of the climate in a certain era. The further down they drill, the further they go back in time. One of those taking part in the drilling mission is Trevor Popp, a climatologist from the University of Copenhagen.

TREVOR POPP, CLIMATOLOGIST, UNIVERSITY OF COPENHAGEN: These ice cores in Greenland tell us basically, the past climate, what the ice can record. And this is stuff like temperature, the amount of precipitation, the seasonality of precipitation, dust, impurities in the atmosphere, and importantly, changes from year to year.


BRUNHUBER: CNN Chief Climate Correspondent Bill Weir explains why drilling into the thick Arctic ice is valuable to understanding climate change. Here he is.

BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT: As a result of studies that looked at core samples, looked at the tiny pockets of gas, and all the level layers of ice. Each year it snows and adds another layer, and they can go back, and the data just gets longer and proves what a lot of these scientists have been warning, that the planet heated up by fossil fuels now is especially cooking the top of the globe. The Arctic is warming four times faster than the rest, and at the current rates, just Greenland's melt would add about 50 centimeters to global sea level rise, which mean -- which would mean engine -- reengineering every port city in the world. So, it's just further science, and yet another red flag.


BRUNHUBER (voiceover): Greenland's ice sheet is second only to Antarctica, and scientists warn that Arctic warming is near a tipping point. Greenland holds so much frozen water that if all of it were to melt, the rise of sea levels would be catastrophic.


(on camera) A political crisis is brewing in Israel. Still to come, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu needs to decide whether to fire his interior minister after a court ruling. Stay with us.


BRUNHUBER: In less than one-hour, Italian mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro is expected to make his first court appearance since his arrest. Italy's most wanted man was on the run for 30 years until he was finally caught checking in a private health clinic. Denaro received multiple life sentences in absentia, including for his role in the killings of two anti-mafia prosecutors in 1992, the focus of Thursday's hearing. He's said to have ordered dozens of Mafia-related murders. He's set to appear in court by video link from a maximum- security prison on the mainland where he's being treated for cancer.


Israel's top court has disqualified a Netanyahu ally from serving as interior minister. In a stunning ruling, the ultra-orthodox lawmaker was deemed ineligible to hold the post due to a past conviction for tax fraud. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has not yet said if he plans to fire Aryeh Deri. CNN's Hadas Gold has the details.


HADAS GOLD, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: This was a bombshell 10 to one ruling that could become a massive political and constitutional crisis for Netanyahu and for Israel. The highest court in Israel saying that the recently appointed Minister of Interior and Health Aryeh Deri, cannot serve because of his previous convictions, including from last year on tax charges for which he struck a plea bargain, resigned from Parliament, served a suspended sentence, and vowed to retire from public office.

So, now the Supreme Court said Deri needs to resign or Netanyahu needs to fire him. But Netanyahu will have to manage this relationship carefully because he needs Deri's 11 seats from Deri's party, in order to stay in power. If he loses those 11 seats from his coalition then Netanyahu no longer has a majority. So far Netanyahu hasn't commented beyond supporting Deri, and Deri has pledged to keep fighting. Most likely, though, this will speed up an already brewing showdown here in Israel over the role and power of Israel's highest court. Because Netanyahu and his government wants to make judicial reforms, they've already set off a plan, and part of this plan would make it possible for the Parliament, and therefore, whoever is in power to overturn Supreme Court rulings.

Now, backers of these changes have long accused the Supreme Court here of overreach and elitism. They say the changes would help restore balance between the branches of government. But the opponents of these reforms, including the former Prime Minister Yair Lapid, the current president of the Israeli Supreme Court, and 80,000 are so people who came out in the pouring rain on Saturday to protest in Tel Aviv, say it would destroy the independent judiciary, would destroy the checks and balances, and would potentially be the beginning of the end, they say of Israeli democracy.

But if Netanyahu manages to get these judicial reforms through, it cannot only help Netanyahu and his own corruption trial, something that he denies, but could also be the path back for Deri to serve, because -- then the Parliament and the party in power could overturn Supreme Court decisions. And backers of these reforms have now called on them, on Netanyahu to be fast-tracked, as result of this ruling against Deri. Speeding up was already expected to be one of the most dramatic legal, and political battles in Israeli history. Hadas Gold, CNN, Jerusalem.


BRUNHUBER: British actor Julian Sands has gone missing in the mountains of Southern California, according to a police spokesperson. The actor known for his roles in A Room With A View and The Sun Also Rises, was reported missing by his wife on Friday after leaving for a hike in the San Gabriel Mountains. Police warned the area is dangerous to hike this time of year due to snow and ice. Search teams had to pause their efforts due to avalanche threats and severe weather. We're using drones to continue the search for the actor.

The oldest member of K-pop supergroup BTS is one step closer to getting back on stage. Jin entered into South Korea's mandatory military service back in December during the band's break, and just completed his five weeks of basic training. He shared these pictures on the music fan app Weverse on Wednesday saying that he's having fun and wishing fans the best. Jin will serve as an assistant instructor at an army base. He's the first of his bandmates to start his military service.

All right, thank you so much for joining us I'm Kim Brunhuber. Back in about 15 minutes with more at CNN NEWSROOM. "WORLD SPORT" is next.