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Monterey Park Shooting Suspect is Dead; More Classified Documents Were Found at Biden's Home; Germany Softens Tone on Tank Aid to Ukraine; Frontline Aid Volunteers Continue to Help Ukrainians; Monterey Park Shooting Suspect Dead; Lunar New Year Celebration in China Despite COVID fears; Afghanistan Faces Starvation and Freezing Temperatures; Pakistan Hit by Major Power Outage; Netanyahu Dismisses Key Ally, Aryeh Deri; Lisa Marie Presley Laid to Rest at Graceland. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired January 23, 2023 - 03:00   ET




ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us here in the United States and all around the world. You are watching "CNN Newsroom," and I'm Rosemary Church. Just ahead --


UNKNOWN: Feel safe. You are no longer in danger because this shooter is gone.

CHURCH: The suspect in the deadly Monterey Park shooting confirmed dead, but for a grieving community, questions remain as to why the attack happened.

U.S. President Joe Biden facing new criticism from inside his own party after the FBI finds more classified documents inside his Delaware home.

And aid comes in many forms for a war-ravaged Ukraine. While Germany softens its tone on tanks, volunteers head to the front lines to deliver much needed supplies.


UNKNOWN (voice-over): live from CNN Center, this is "CNN Newsroom" with Rosemary Church.

CHURCH: And we begin in Southern California where police say the suspect in a deadly mass shooting in Monterey Park is dead. The Los Angeles County sheriff says the suspect died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound inside a cargo van after a standoff with police. He is accused of killing 10 people and injuring 10 others amid lunar new year celebrations. The suspect has been identified as 72-year-old Huu Can Tran. The sheriff says Tran went to another gathering in nearby Alhambra where two people wrestled the gun away from him. It was that seized weapon that allowed police to identify him. The sheriff says the investigation is ongoing as police work to determine a motive.


ROBERT LUNA, SHERIFF, LOS ANGELES COUNTY: We're looking at all criminal history, mental health history, and those are all things the detectives will take a very hard, long look at and see if it impacted -- what occurred here, the motive. And that's part of the learning lessons and sharing them with our partners and seeing if there's any -- any -- any gaps that were there that we may have missed.


CHURCH: CNN's Natasha Chen has been following developments and has more now from Monterey Park.


NATASHA CHEN, CNN U.S. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: On Sunday evening, on lunar new year, when this community was supposed to be celebrating, law enforcement gave a press conference confirming that a man they had cornered in a white van in Torrance, California was, in fact, the shooter of this Monterey Park scene, just a couple of blocks away from us, where on Saturday night, he opened fire, police said, killing 10 people, and almost 24 hours later, still seven people are in the hospital.

Now, we understand that the ages of the victims ranged in the 50s, 60s, and beyond. The coroner's office began to take away remains on Sunday afternoon and they're still in the process of identifying the people who died.

Now, it took about 12 hours for police to find this person in Torrance, about 30 miles southwest of Monterey Park. This after police say that he had gone from this dance hall in Monterey Park to a different one in Alhambra, a city north of where we are.

That's where law enforcement says that a person matching the same suspect description went in armed and that a couple of people actually wrestled with him, tackled him, and was able -- they were able to recover the weapon that he had, and that's how police were able to also recover that weapon and begin to trace who this person might be.

Now, this community is still reeling and stunned after this mass shooting happened just after the first day of the city of Monterey Park's huge lunar new year festival that had more than 100,000 people on these streets.

And many of the people speaking at the press conference, local leaders, were at those festivities just a couple of hours before this tragedy. They have reassured the community that they are now safe, that the person that police say died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound when police cornered him in Torrance, that person is no longer with us, as they put it, and that there's no longer a threat to the community.

And this is indeed a huge blow to a predominantly Asian community in Monterey Park here, again, about to celebrate the lunar new year, supposedly a time for joy, for health and prosperity, instead having to mourn the loss of their neighbors and loved ones.


Natasha Chen, CNN, Monterey Park, California.


CHURCH: I'm joined now by CNN's senior law enforcement analyst Charles Ramsey. He is a former Washington, D.C. police chief and former Philadelphia police commissioner. Thank you, sir, for being with us.


CHURCH: Now, I know I speak for both of us when I say we are sickened by the constant mass shootings in this country. And this time, the shooter took his own life after killing 10 people in Monterey Park, California. What more are you learning about this tragedy?

RAMSEY: Well, it seems at least is beginning to kind of shape up as being something personal as far as this individual is concerned. Now, what's really unusual about this is the age of the shooter, 72 years old.

Usually, when you have these kinds of situations, it is a much younger offender. And the victims were older as well, in their 40s, 50s, even 60s. And so, this is not your typical mass shooting-type scenario but just as deadly.

CHURCH: And we've learned, too, that the suspect apparently used to teach dancing at this studio and met his ex-wife there apparently. We also know the public helped avert another shooting by subduing this shooter. How does that help police efforts to nail down a motive, and why is motive so important in mass shootings like this?

RAMSEY: Well, I mean, motive is very important because we learn from each of these incidents what to look for, for the unfortunate reality that there'll be a next one. But right now, they don't have an actual motive. They're still going through a lot of documents that were seized from the van, probably executing search warrants maybe at a residence, looking for any kind of social media footprint, interviewing family, friends and so forth to try to pinpoint a motive.

But as this thing is developing now, it is beginning to look like it is more of a personal type of situation, a domestic situation or something like that. You know, of course, originally, everyone thought immediately it was probably a hate crime, but it's really starting to really show that it's really not bad. It's something else that is involved. We just don't know exactly what. CHURCH: Yes, and understood. And what more are you learning about the

weapon used in this mass shooting and, of course, how the suspect got hold of it?

RAMSEY: Well, it wasn't an assault rifle apparently. They're still doing the background on the various weapons that were seized as a result of this particular incident. I don't think they really have a firm handle on all this yet, whether or not they were purchased legally or whether he got his hands on it illegally. But the bottom line is it was more than one type of weapon involved.

You know, earlier you mentioned the second location where the patrons actually took the gun from the individual. Those folks are heroes. I mean, they -- they literally saved other lives because there's no doubt that he would have gone there and done the same thing that he did in Monterey Park. But because they were alert, because they saw him, because they were able to stop him from actually being able to fire any shots, they saved an awful lot of lives.

CHURCH: Yeah, they most certainly did. So, what needs to happen in this country to stop these mass shootings from happening again and again?

RAMSEY: Well, they're going to continue to happen again and again. And, you know, right after it happens, of course, you get your elected officials that make all kinds of comments, thoughts and prayers, and things like that. But the bottom line is nothing actually happens that really makes a difference.

You're not going to stop every shooting from taking place. There are so many guns in the United States right now that you're going to have some fall into the hands of wrong people. But that doesn't mean that there aren't steps that we can take to really guard against the opportunity for people to get their hand on guns that should not have them either because they're suffering from some kind of mental illness that would make them a danger to themselves or others, or they're just criminals and just should not have a handgun.

But we just tend not to make any real effort towards trying to pass any kind of legislation or taking any action that will really have an impact on this. And so, I'm not optimistic that this is going to be any different from what has happened in the past. And the only thing we do know is that there will be another one. It's just a question of where and a question of when.

CHURCH: Yeah, that is the sobering reality, isn't it? Charles Ramsey, thanks for joining us.

RAMSEY: Thank you.


CHURCH: U.S. President Joe Biden ordered flags to fly at half-staff at the White House and other federal buildings out of respect for the victims. They will remain at half-staff until sunset Thursday. Mr. Biden promised federal support for California investigators, and he offered condolences to the victims and acknowledged the impact on Asian-American Pacific Islander communities.

This as the White House braces for fallout after six more classified items were found Friday during a search at his Delaware home. The discoveries Friday are in addition to approximately 20 items found previously at Mr. Biden's home and his private office in Washington. The White House insists the president is committed to a transparent investigation.

CNN's Jessica Schneider has more.


JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: After that FBI search on Friday lasting 13 hours, the White House is getting their message out that they have been fully cooperative in the past few weeks with federal officials.

So, the president's personal attorney, Bob Bauer, he stressed in a statement that they did provide prompt access to Biden's Wilmington home. And it's clear that Biden's attorneys have been communicating with the team for the U.S. attorney who has been handling this investigation out of Chicago, John Lausch, all before that is eventually handed over to the special counsel that the attorney general appoint, Robert Hur.

Crucially here, Friday's search was not conducted with a search warrant or a subpoena. And, of course, that marks a stark contrast to the search that was conducted in August at Mar-a-Lago. That was undertaken after months of back and forth with DOJ officials and Trump's team.

And it was after a subpoena and ultimately a search warrant was issued all because Trump and his team were not handing over what turned out to be national defense information, also classified material. So that's why possible obstruction has been raised as a possible offense in that case.

You contrast that with Biden's team. They've made very clear that they've been working with federal authorities on this since November when some of this classified material turned up from the Penn Biden Center in Washington where President Biden had that office after his term ended as vice president.

And then notably, in a statement from January 14th, the president's personal attorney said that once attorneys found classified material at Biden's Wilmington home on January 11th, they immediately contacted DOJ officials and they stopped any of their own subsequent searches and that was all until the FBI moved in on Friday.

But the be sure here, the fact that classified material keeps turning up, it has really complicated things for the White House and it really does make clear that this special counsel investigation has only gotten more involved.

And because of that, the big question remains, is this the only search that will happen, the one that happened on Friday, or will other locations frequented by President Biden be searched in the future?

Jessica Schneider, CNN, Washington.


CHURCH: And earlier, I discussed the political sparring over classified documents with CNN political commentator and former Republican Congressman Charlie Dent and political scientist and Democratic strategist Caroline Heldman. I asked them about the investigations faced by both the current president as well as former President Donald Trump.


CHARLIE DENT, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, FORMER PENNSYLVANIA REPRESENTATIVE: We need to let these special counsels conduct their investigations, and we need to find out all the facts. There are differences in each case. Donald Trump has been uncooperative and defiant. Joe Biden clearly has been cooperative.

But it's also clear to me that we need to reform this whole system of classified materials. It seems that we classify far too much material and that far too many people have security clearances. That is something that has bothered me for some time.

And sometimes, I've also questioned the value of some of the classified briefings I have received over the years. Frankly, many times, I'd go into a classified briefing only to learn things that I'd already found out about in an open source or in a newspaper somewhere. So, I'm a bit concerned about how we overclassify in the United States.

That said, it's inexcusable that the highest officials in our government from Hillary Clinton with her server where material ended up there and now, of course, Donald Trump, and now Joe Biden, these folks have really mishandled classified material and there are many people who are much in the lower level in government who have lost their careers and their livelihoods for much lesser infractions, it would seem.

And so, I think we need to overhaul this system and really -- particularly at the highest levels of government. This shouldn't happen with three presidential candidates being nailed for this.

CHURCH: And Caroline, do you agree that documents are overclassified here? What procedural changes would you like to see?

CAROLINE HELDMAN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I do agree that they're overclassified. I think what this has revealed is that millions of documents are classified at any given time in an active way in politics and that you have, you know, tens of thousands of people at the highest levels who have access to them.


HELDMAN: And as, you know, Charlie is pointing out, we do need to standardize this. How is it that the National Archives doesn't know what they should be receiving from a president who is leaving office? It's unprecedented that we have a sitting president and a former president who are being investigated for essentially the same thing.

As Charlie points out, there are differences. As you pointed out, Rosemary, over the weeks, there are differences. Right? Donald Trump is being possibly investigated for espionage. He is possibly being investigated for lying to or having his attorneys lie to federal authorities.

It's not the case with Biden, but it's unprecedented that they're both being investigated for the same either sloppy or intentional mishandling of documents. We need an electronic tracking system. I just don't know how you make that secure. That's the big challenge.


CHURCH: Our thanks again to Charlie Dent and Caroline heldman for their analysis.

U.S. President Joe Biden has picked a replacement for outgoing Chief of Staff Ron Klain. Sources tell CNN Jeff Zients is expected to fill that role. He is being described as a master implementer, as we are told Klain favors him as his successor. Zients ran Mr. Biden's COVID- 19 response and also served in the Obama administration. Klain is expected to step down in the coming weeks, but a source says he will continue to be involved and remain close to the West Wing.

Still to come, this group of volunteers put themselves in danger to help civilians near the frontlines of the war in Ukraine. Plus, many Afghans enduring a brutal winter and economic hardship faced a difficult choice, food or warmth. We will look at the crisis putting millions at risk.




CHURCH: Foreign ministers from the E.U. have arrived in Brussels for talks on the war in Ukraine. In the coming hours, they are expected to discuss their support for the country as Russia continues its assault. Ukraine's foreign minister will join the meeting via video link to talk about the situation on the ground as well as his country's priorities.

Germany's foreign minister says her country, her government would not stop Poland from supplying German-made tanks to Ukraine. Poland offered the Leopard 2 tanks after Ukrainian officials asked the west for more modern weapons to counter Russia.

But so far, Berlin has been hesitant to provide tanks from its own arsenal. At the summit in Paris, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said all decisions on weapons deliveries would be made in coordination with allies. So, let's get more now from CNN's Nada Bashir. She joins us live from London. Good morning to you again, Nada. So, Germany will now allow Poland to send Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine and E.U. foreign ministers are meeting today to discuss additional support. What more are you learning about all of this?

NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: This is a significant shift in the message that we have been hearing from Germany, of course, in that meeting of defense chiefs on Friday in Germany, and there was significant pressure on the German government to offer that support, offer them modern tanks, the Leopard 2 tanks that Ukraine has been appealing for.

According to Ukrainian military officials, this is the crucial element that they need in order to support Ukraine's defense efforts ahead of what is anticipated to be a fresh Russian defensive in the spring.

Of course, Germany has faced criticism for not offering to transfer those Leopard 2 tanks. But Germany also crucially holds the export license for these tanks. You've heard from Polish officials saying that even if Germany refused to offer permission for Poland to transfer those tanks, they may go ahead or welcome a smaller coalition of nations to support Ukraine on that front.

But now, we are hearing from German's foreign minister that they will not stand in the way of another nation, including Poland, from transferring those tanks to Ukraine. Of course, this is a significant shift. They say they haven't received a formal request just yet but, of course, the focus of today's foreign affairs council will be very much focused on the transfer of tanks and other modern armament and artillery of support that the European nations can offer to Ukraine.

And this follows the announcement from Germany of a new military aid package worth just over $1 billion. And we heard from Germany's chancellor, Olaf Scholz, he had been very clear that Germany stands firm in its support for Ukraine. Take a listen.


OLAF SCHOLZ, GERMAN CHANCELLOR (through translator): We have constantly expanded our supply with very effective weapons that are already available today. And we have always closely coordinated all these decisions with all our important allies and friends. With France, for example, with the USA, for example, with other countries in Europe and, of course, with all those who are involved in this discussion.


BASHIR: The United Kingdom already said that it will be fulfilling its (INAUDIBLE) of tanks. We've heard from the French government that they are also considering sending their own tanks to Ukraine although parts of that consideration will be assessing the risks involved in engaging on that front and in particular whether or not this could lead to provocation or an escalation in the conflict.

Now, we've heard from the chairman of the Russian State Duma who has said that this could lead to serious escalation. That is the concern, of course, because for the most part, up until this point, we have seen NATO members and European members supporting Ukraine when it comes to Ukraine's self-defense, of course.

But when it comes to supporting Ukraine on the offensive front, there was a concern and that could perhaps be seen as provocation by the Kremlin and could lead to further escalation in the conflict. Rosemary?

CHURCH: All right, Nada Bashir, many thanks for joining us. Nearly 11 months into the war in Ukraine, a senior Ukrainian official in the east says the armed forces are in control of current positions, but moving forward is very difficult because the Russians have brought up substantial reserves.


CHURCH: Ukrainian forces have been trying to advance on the city of Kreminna in the Luhansk region in hopes of regaining the Russian-held cities of Lysychans'k and Severodonetsk.

CNN's Ben Wedemen reports from Eastern Ukraine on a group of volunteers trying to help civilians near the frontlines.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Down a well-trodden path, Anatoly (ph) heads towards home. Perhaps for the last time. Sasha (ph), a travel agent-turned volunteer, will help him collect what he can for the journey to Kyiv. It is time to be with family.

I want to see my grandchildren. I have four, Anatoly (ph) says. And my son just got drafted.

Neighbors will look after his chickens, goats, and dog.

That's all, he says. Let's go, guys, they'll start shelling now.

He's leaving with a group of young Ukrainians who deliver food and supplies to soldiers, front line communities and evacuate those who want to leave. They've had close calls, plenty. Says Sasha (ph), in Bakhmut, cluster bombs fell all around us. We ducked. God protected us.

A year ago, Oleksandr managed car parts store.

OLEKSANDR VETROV, UKRAINIAN VOLUNTEER: When the war started since February 2022, we come together, take one bus and gather some foods, some stuffs, make our visits to hot points.

WEDEMAN (voice-over): And hot these points are. They venture through villages still under fire, ravaged by months of shelling.

(On camera): They've come to this village looking for people. They heard reports that 27 were still here. So far, though, they haven't found any.

(Voice-over): Finally, they find a door. People have been hiding here in shelter. The volunteers quickly get to work with no time to waste.

We're always in the basement, says Sitlana (ph). We go there as soon as they start shelling, especially the last days. It's very, very hard.

Olha (ph) owned a cafe in Kyiv but left it to be here. She prefers to keep her mother in the dark.

I don't always tell her where I go because she's worried for my life, she says, but we go anyway.

In another village, they're evacuating Stefan (ph) who is suffering from frostbite or so he believes. He hasn't seen a doctor.

I was putting up with the pain, but now it hurts when I walk and I can't get any treatment here, he says. There are no doctors, no hospitals, so I asked my daughter in Holland to help me. In the evening, his daughter meets him outside the hospital nearby (INAUDIBLE). Her relief says it all.

Ben Wedemen, CNN, Eastern Ukraine.


CHURCH: And still to come, as China rings in the lunar new year, the government is reporting thousands more COVID-related deaths. We'll have a live report, next.




ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Returning to our top story now, the deadly mass shooting in Monterey Park, California. The Los Angeles County sheriff says the suspect has died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound inside a cargo van after a standoff with police on Sunday.

He's been identified as 72-year-old Huu Can Tran and is accused of opening fire at a dance studio Saturday night. At least 10 people were killed, another 10 injured in the shooting that broke out during the Lunar New Year celebrations. The sheriff says Tran went to another gathering in nearby Alhambra where some people wrestled the gun away from him.

These details are emerging as the community of Monterey Park grapples with becoming the latest city to be shaken by a mass shooting.


ROBERT LUNA, LOS ANGELES COUNTY SHERIFF: Gun violence needs to stop. There's too much of it. We're all standing here tonight because an individual took the weapon and did the damage that we've talked about without repeating it. I think all of us need to take some ownership there. I think we really need to go back and look at what we do.

But I could tell you this, the status quo is not working. So, we need to reexamine what we're doing and what may work better. And I hope that this tragedy doesn't just go on a long list of many others that we don't even talk about until the next one comes up.


CHURCH: The State of Louisiana is also reeling from a mass shooting which took place early Sunday. Twelve people were shot in a Baton Rouge nightclub in what police are calling a targeted attack. The police chief says more people would have been shot if not for the quick action of officers on the scene. Police are working with federal authorities to investigate the breakdown in security which allowed the shooter to get a gun into the club.

Well, meanwhile major cities across the U.S. have boosted security ahead of their Lunar New Year celebrations following the shooting in Monterey Park. In New York City, police ramped up security presence at events out of an abundance of caution. Police in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. have also increased patrols.

In China, concerns about COVID haven't stopped millions from welcoming the Year of the Rabbit with widespread celebrations. Millions of trips have been recorded as residents travel to see families of the Lunar New Year. In fact, state media report more than 26 million trips were reported on Saturday alone.


But there are fears that all that traveling could aid in the spread of COVID. Chinese officials are now reporting more than 12,000 new COVID- related deaths in the week just before the New Year. Despite those fears many residents remain optimistic. Those who gathered at this temple in Beijing prayed for good fortune and health in the New Year.


UNKNOWN (through translator): Everybody's finance or life has been greatly affected by these three years of pandemic. Now that this is gone, I can say the spring festival has (inaudible) making significance. Having been to the pandemic, now everyone appreciates life even more and this is the starting point for our hopes for the future. These are my thoughts.


CHURCH: CNN's senior international correspondent, Ivan Watson, joins me now live from Hong Kong. So, Ivan, what impact is this travel likely to have on COVID infections across China?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they're all over the country and there are concerns that the virus could spread even more. This is the biggest holiday of the year for China and people have not been able to celebrate it the way they're accustomed to due to the lockdowns, the travel restrictions internally in China throughout three years of the pandemic, quarantines as well.

So, there are people going home to see family members really for the first time in three years. The statistics that have been reported by state media indicate that on Saturday, as you mentioned, some 26 million passenger trips in a single day, which is roughly 50 percent higher than it was on the eve of the Lunar New Year holiday in 2022.

So, that gives you a sense of how many more people are on the move right now. It is still roughly 50 percent less than it was in 2019 before this terrible pandemic first hit China and then the rest of the world.

The ministry of transport is anticipating that by the end of this 40- day period, this spring festival, you could have more than 2 billion trips around the country. Just to give you a sense, again, of the size and magnitude of the travel that's going to be taking place.

That said, the virus is still spreading. I mean, China had been locked down. Suddenly the zero-COVID strategy was scrapped seemingly overnight, and the numbers of people being infected is enormous.

The chief epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control in China has gone on record saying he estimates 80 percent of the population has basically gotten sick in the last month and a half, and the official figures for deaths in hospitals over the course of the last week, another 12,600 people dying of COVID. That's on top of the roughly 60,000 people from the previous month.

We're just going to have to watch to see how more rural, more far flunk parts of the country, how they may or may not be affected by this huge mass of humanity kind of moving around, particularly in the areas that do not have such well-developed hospital systems and health care systems to treat illness. Rosemary?

CHURCH: That is a real concern, of course. Ivan Watson joining us live from Hong Kong, many thanks.

We're getting a stark warning about conditions in Afghanistan. The United Nations says millions of people already on the brink of starvation are struggling to survive this winter.

As Michael Holmes reports, critics blame the Taliban for making the crisis even worse.


MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Arctic conditions, heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures in Afghanistan has killed at least 78 people in the last few days according to Taliban officials. CNN not able to independently verify that number.

Thousands of live stock reportedly froze to death according to the U.N. Temperatures plunged to as low as minus 28 degrees Celsius. This has millions of people in Afghanistan face starvation according to the U.N.

To eat or stay warm, that is the choice many Afghan families are forced to make according to the International Red Cross. However, most Afghans struggle to afford either. Almost 20 million people in Afghanistan suffer from hunger, the U.N. says, with 4 million children and women facing acute malnutrition.

Aid groups are attempting to provide help. But since December at least a half dozen major foreign aid groups have temporarily suspended operations in Afghanistan after the Taliban banned women for working for NGOs. Women aid workers are essential to reaching other women and children in households in Afghanistan and providing them with services like food and warmth to survive the winter. But the Taliban's decision has halted time critical support for Afghans this winter.


UNKNOWN: So we're trying, you know, to cover this gap, but it has affected all our operations. In many cases, we need female staff, you know, especially when it comes to serving families that they're women run. So for that, we need female staff. And also there are some other cases that the presence of a woman is must.

HOLMES (voice-over): Afghanistan's humanitarian crisis only deepened after the United States froze billions of dollars of the country's assets. Billions in foreign aid evaporated all as more than 28 million Afghans required immediate humanitarian assistance according to the U.N.

Access to sources of warmth and food are scarce, and many Afghan families are starving, dying. The Taliban claims to CNN it has helped Afghans affected. But even if that's so, for many it may be too little, too late amid fears the cold conditions will worsen.

Michael Holmes, CNN.


CHURCH: A day after massive protests across Israel, a key ally of the prime minister is out of the cabinet. We will have the latest on that and the growing anti-government demonstrations. Back in just a moment.


CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Pakistan has been hit with a massive power outage within the last few hours. Officials say a breakdown in the national power grid has left much of the nation of up to 220 million people without electricity.

The Ministry of Energy says system maintenance work is progressing rapidly and that power has been restored in a limited number of grids in Islamabad and Peshawar.


Pakistan endured another national grid break down two endured another national grid break down two years ago in January 2021.

And CNN's Sophia Saifi joins us now live now from Islamabad with more on this. Good to see you, Sophia. So, what is it with this massive power outage across Pakistan?

SOPHIA SAIFI, CNN PRODUCER: Rosemary, this is something that we're trying to get answers to. We did get -- I mean Pakistanis all woke up early morning on a cold winter morning here across the country to no power in their homes. This, again, is not completely unusual because the country has been going through a cost of energy crisis. The country does have a regular power breakdown, but nothing on this scale.

From the north to south of the country, there hasn't been any power for about six hours. We're getting conflicting reports from various ministers and officials in the Ministry of Energy, claiming that this will take about 12 hours, it could be immediately. We do not have any answers yet from government officials.

We are getting information from traders in the city of Quetta in the southwest of Pakistan that shops have not been able to open because people do not have enough fuel to back up their generators. And the fact that people generally across Pakistan simply can't afford generators and the ones that cannot afford the fuel that is used for those generators.

We're seeing long lines across petrol stations across the country with people line up to get the fuel for their backup generators. They're also looking at people having electric backups, which aren't really operating for as long as they can because it has already been over six hours since the power has been out.

It is a developing story in a country of haves and have-nots. This is country which for the past couple of months has been dealing with record inflation, cost of living crisis, dwindling foreign reserves. It's almost like it's the tip of the iceberg when it comes to problems plaguing Pakistan's economy and energy sector at the moment. Rosemary?

CHURCH: All right. Hopefully, this can be fixed soon. Sophia Saifi joining us there from Islamabad, many thanks.

Israel's prime minister has dismissed a key ally, Aryeh Deri, from all ministerial posts. Deri's Shas Party is a key component of Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition. But last week, Israel's high court ruled that Deri's appointment cannot stand due to his past criminal convictions and his promise to retire from public life.

The dismissal on Sunday came a day after the largest turnout so far in three weeks against protests of Mr. Netanyahu's government and planned judicial changes. More than 100,000 people rallied in Tel Aviv Saturday and thousands more in other Israeli cities.

CNN's Hadas Gold has more now from Jerusalem.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) HADAS GOLD, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Benjamin Netanyahu isn't even one month into his new term as Israeli prime minister and he'll already have an empty minister's chair at his next cabinet meeting. Forced to fire Aryeh Deri after a bombshell Supreme Court ruling week said, Deri could not serve as minister because of his previous criminal convictions and his declaration to the court last year that he would not return to public office.

Putting off the dismissal for days, Netanyahu ultimately told Deri he was doing so with a heavy heart and would find a legal way to get him back in the government. Needing to carefully maintain the alliance with Deri, whose 11 parliamentary seats Netanyahu needs to stay in power.

Deri's dismissal amplifying an already heated debate in Israel over Netanyahu's proposed judicial reforms that will give parliament the power to overturn Supreme Court decisions, prompting more than 100,000 people to flood the streets once again in protest on Saturday, the third week in a row tens of thousands have come out to decry what they see as the destruction of Israel's independent judiciary, claiming these reforms will help Netanyahu get out of his own ongoing corruption trial, a charge Netanyahu denies.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): We will complete the reform legislation in a way that will fix what needs fixing. We'll fully protect individual rights and will restore the public's trust in the justice system which needs these reforms.

GOLD (voice-over): But the protesters are gaining momentum and numbers as opposition leaders including the former prime minister joined them in the streets.


YAIR LAPID, FORMER ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): What you see here today is a demonstration in support of the country. This is a demonstration for the country. People who love the country have come here today to defend its democracy, to defend its courts, to defend the idea of coexistence and of common good. There are people here to love Israel who came to demonstrate for a democratic Jewish state according to the values of the declaration of independence, and we will not give up until we win.


GOLD (voice-over): With hopes these protests turn into an ongoing public pressure campaign, Netanyahu won't be able to ignore.

Hadas Gold, CNN, Jerusalem.


CHURCH: Saying good-bye to rock and roll royalty, we will have details of the memorial service for Lisa Marie Presley, the only child of Elvis Presley.



CHURCH: The Sunday memorial service for Lisa Marie Presley, the only child of Elvis Presley, was filled with music.


Crowds gathered in and around the Graceland estate in Memphis in the U.S. State of Tennessee. Lisa Marie Presley died on January 12th at the age of 54 after an apparent cardiac arrest. Her mother, Priscilla Presley, read a poem by one of her granddaughter at the memorial service.

Around 20 million people in the north eastern U.S. are under winter weather alerts as yet another storm system moves through the area. The National Weather Service says up to 10 inches of snow could fall in parts of Maine and New Hampshire. Rapid bands of heavy snowfall are expected starting Monday afternoon, which could make road conditions very dangerous.

The NFL conference championship games are now set after this weekend's playoff action. In the NFC, the San Francisco 49ers are headed to their second straight conference title game after beating the Dallas Cowboys 19-12 on Sunday. San Francisco rookie quarterback, Brock Purdy, improved to 7-0 since taking the job in December. The 49ers will now face the Philadelphia Eagles next Sunday for a chance to go to the Super Bowl.

In the AFC, the Buffalo Bills were hoping for an emotional boost from teammate Damar Hamlin who was in attendance Sunday for their matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals as he recovers from this month's cardiac arrest. But the Bengals came out swinging taking a 17-7 lead in the half time. They went onto beat the Bills 27-10. The Bengals will now play the Kansas City Chiefs next Sunday in the AFC title game.

And thanks so much for spending part of your day with me. I'm Rosemary Church. "CNN Newsroom" continues with Max Foster and Bianca Nobilo.