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Israel-Hamas War; Explosion at UN-Run School in Gaza Described as "Horrifying", According to U.N. Official; Al-Shifa Hospital Called "Death zone" by W.H.O. Team; Interview Eastern Mediterranean Region W.H.O. Emergency Director Richard Brennan; W.H.O.: 32 Infants in Critically Ill Condition in Al-Shifa; "Very High Risk" Expedition to Al-Shifa Hospital Led by W.H.O.; 2024 U.S. Presidential Race; As Caucuses Approach, Trump Campaigns in Iowa; Protests for Hostages; The Future Worries the Relatives of Israeli Hostages; Veteran of World War II Struggles with Rising Antisemitism; Villagers in Myanmar Leave to Avoid Ethnic Conflict; Russia's War on Ukraine; According to Russia, It Stopped a Drone Strike on Moscow; Supplying the Front Lines with Healthcare Necessities; Interview with Independent Volunteer Anna Filippova; Soon After Launch, Starship Rocket Explodes; U.S. Might Have Rain, Snow, and Fog Throughout Thanksgiving Week. Aired 4-5a ET

Aired November 19, 2023 - 04:00   ET




KIM BRUNHUBER, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Welcome to all of you watching us here in the United States, Canada, and all around the world. I'm Kim Brunhuber, ahead on "CNN Newsroom".

The U.N. team travels to Gaza's largest hospital to witness its desperate conditions firsthand. The scenes that one of them described as a death zone, ahead.

Residents of one kibbutz describe the moments of the terrorist attack and why they fear the Israeli government could let them down again.

Plus, Trump's return to Iowa. As the state's caucuses draw near, the former president ramps up attacks on President Biden in some of his most explicit rhetoric yet.

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

BRUNHUBER: It's 4:00 a.m. here in Atlanta, 11:00 a.m. in Gaza, where we're expecting to learn new details about a large explosion at a U.N. run school being used as a shelter. One U.N. official called the carnage horrifying, and I have to warn you, the video is graphic. Now, the source of the blast hasn't been determined, and no confirmed casualty figures are yet available. The Israeli military says, it is aware of the explosion, but hasn't commented further. We'll have more on this in a moment.

As civilians, health workers, and patients try to evacuate from embattled areas, many are showing up at the Indonesian hospital, which was already overwhelmed. Wounded children can be seen lying on cardboard on the floors, but there's very little anyone can do for them.

President Biden is standing by his decision not to call for a ceasefire. This time, writing an op ed in the "Washington Post," the president said, "As long as Hamas clings to its ideology of destruction, a ceasefire isn't peace to Hamas' members, every ceasefire is time they exploit to rebuild their stockpile of rockets, reposition fighters, and restart the killing by attacking innocents again."

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization sent a team to Gaza's largest hospital on Saturday to get a firsthand look inside. CNN's Paula Hancocks was our Jerusalem correspondent for many years, and she joins us now from Seoul.

So, Paula, the W.H.O reporting horrific conditions at Al-Shifa Hospital. What more can you tell us?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kim, it was described, as you said, by one as a death zone. Now, the W.H.O officials were able to spend just one hour there, according to information they gave, and they said that there was heavy fighting in the near proximity as they were inside.

They said that what they saw inside was a number of staff and also patients. And when they spoke to them, they said they were, "Terrified for their safety and health." And they were pleading for evacuation. The W.H.O. says that they're urgently developing plans to try and evacuate the final doctors, nurses and patients who are unable to evacuate on their own.

Now, they say at this point there are 32 babies in extremely critical condition still inside Shifa Hospital. Also, two people in intensive care without ventilation and 22 dialysis patients whose access to lifesaving treatment has been severely compromised. They say that the vast majority of the patients that they saw inside Al-Shifa Hospital were war trauma victims, saying that the situation was extremely dire. Kim.

BRUNHUBER: All right. And then Paula, the U.N. reporting a school being used as a shelter was hit. What's the latest on that?

HANCOCKS: Yes, this is a school that was run by the U.N., by UNRWA, which is the U.N. body that looks after Palestinian refugees, and it was hit. We hear from one of the spokespeople for UNRWA. They don't know who was responsible. They don't know what exactly happened with this incident. But the images that are coming out from that UNRWA run school are devastating. They're horrific.

We see from this video, on two floors of the building, a number of bodies on the floor, many of them covered in dust. In just one room, we saw at least a dozen bodies lying in that area. Now, we don't have a casualty figure to share at this point. UNRWA says, they are still trying to assess what has happened. [04:05:00]

But clearly it is a devastating incident. The UNRWA chief saying it is horrifying. Thousands of people who had been internally displaced within Northern Gaza had actually gone to the school to shelter, believing that they would be safer there than they would in other areas. The IDF says, it's aware and is reviewing the incident. Kim.

BRUNHUBER: All right. I appreciate the updates. Paula Hancocks in Seoul. Thank you so much.

Now, for more on the high-risk mission to Al-Shifa Hospital, let's go to Dr. Richard Brennan, the World Health Organization's Emergency Director for the Eastern Mediterranean. Thanks so much for being here with us. So, I want to start, with the visit --


BRUNHUBER: -- by your organization to Al-Shifa. We heard the broad strokes from our reporter there, the WHO team, describing it as a death zone. What more can you tell us?

BRENNAN: Well, I think your reporters really captured some of the key elements. Al-Shifa Hospital previously was the largest and most important referral hospital in Gaza with, normally, was able to accommodate 750 patients. It was, what we would, call the tertiary referral hospital. It had all the main specialties and it's a very well-respected hospital across the region.

Because of the extra burden of the conflict, it was actually accommodating close to the 1,300, 1,400 patients at the peak of the current crisis. But essentially over the last few weeks, the supply lines have been choked off, minimal medicines getting in, limited access to fuel, clean water and so on.

So, the functioning of the hospital has rapidly declined. Many patients have sought care elsewhere. We've had minimal communications with the hospital over the few days preceding the mission. And when the team arrived, essentially our worst fears were confirmed. Many patients and -- many of the internally displaced persons who've been seeking refuge in the hospital over recent weeks had left the hospital in the morning yesterday. And they tell us under instructions from the IDF. So, when -- by the time our team arrived as your reporter had indicated, around 291 patients were at a 25 staff. But really not functioning in the hospital at all.

BRUNHUBER: Yes, I mean --

BRENNAN: Really desperate situation.

BRUNHUBER: -- even in the context of a war, I mean, one in which Israel says it's trying to limit civilian casualties, how shocking was what they reported, things like mass graves, for instance, that they found? BRENNAN: Well, yes, I mean, you know, a major referral hospital like that, you would expect a large number of deaths, particularly in a war zone. Unfortunately, they weren't able to leave the hospital grounds because of the insecurity to bury the dead. So, they've had to bury on site, which is tragic. And again, in a mass grave, you never, want to bury people in a mass grave.

But, yes, I mean, this really -- it -- the war is very, very concerning for us over the well over 11,500 deaths now. We estimate around two thirds are amongst women and children. We've had the deaths of over 100 humanitarian workers, repeated attacks on healthcare and schools, well over 30 reporters killed. This is -- it -- this is tragic from every angle. And we desperately call that ceasefire.

BRUNHUBER: Well, you say you want to evacuate the patients. How are you going to do this safely in the midst of a war, assuming that there isn't a ceasefire? And just as importantly, where do they go?

BRENNAN: No, it's important questions. So, we are working on a detailed plan right now with a number of partners, including the Palestinian Red Crescent, UNWRA, who you mentioned earlier in the show, and UNICEF, and other colleagues. I can't go into details on that plan right now, but we hope to have some more encouraging news later in the day.

Of course, these missions are a high risk to very high risk in a -- in an active combat zone. They have to be planned in advance and throughout with the military forces. And, of course, we need those security guarantees and the safe passage to the hospital. Yesterday, our team was on the ground for many hours because, you know, normally driving from Rafah to Al-Shifa would take 45 minutes. It took several hours yesterday because of the security concerns. In fact, the team only had an hour on the ground before they had to leave again.


So, detailed planning, detailed discussions with the military forces to do what we call deconfliction and ensure that safe passage. We expect to have a series of convoys over the coming days to bring patients down to two main hospitals in the South, the European hospital and Nasr hospital.

The big concern there is, of course, those hospitals are already overwhelmed, and now they're going to have, again, this very heavy patient burden because the remaining 291 patients, they have very complicated conditions. The 32 babies that were mentioned earlier who are critically ill. You know, well over 200 severely injured patients, including 29 patients with spinal injuries and burns and so on.

BRUNHUBER: Yes. I mean, there's so much concern for those neonatal children that you mentioned, those infants that are so vulnerable. Is there any specific plan just for them, maybe to expedite them out?

BRENNAN: Yes, there is. I can't say much about that at the moment, but yes, that's the big priority right now. And we have -- we might have more information later today. BRUNHUBER: All right. We'll follow along with that when we get more details. Beyond just Al-Shifa, doctors in Gaza are having to make these heartbreaking decisions that no doctor should have to make, like who to treat and whether they should evacuate and abandon patients, possibly leaving them to die.

BRENNAN: No, it's a situation that no doctor or nurse ever wants to be in. You know, I'm an emergency physician. I've worked in war zones, and I know that difficulty. It's tragic. It's happening more and more. For example, our team was in Nasr Hospital, one of the two hospitals I mentioned earlier, just a few days ago. They described a scene as a completely overwhelmed hospital. All the corridors with mattresses on the floor with patients on the floor being treated. And while they were there, the hospital received 30 new patients following an airstrike with very complex injuries.

So, it's -- in that overwhelmed situation, if you're a doctor in the emergency department or a nurse in the emergency department, you've got 30 new patients coming in with life-threatening injuries, there is nothing more difficult in medicine than that kind of setting. And the other issue that you have to remember is, in these instances, many times the doctors and nurses, they're wondering if could the next patient be a loved one? Could the next patient be a family member, a friend? Incredibly stressful. Incredibly stressful.

But I guess the positive note is that our team observed that the doctors and nurses there would do it. Were very well organized, providing very good quality of care. They said it was beyond heroic, almost saintly, the way that they were operating in this stressful situation.

BRUNHUBER: Yes, you really can't say too much about the incredible dedication of those doctors and nurses out there. Now, we're talking, you know, in this context about the acute injuries from the bombings and so on, but on top of that, a secondary threat caused by overcrowding and lack of clean water. Disease, I mean, could we see a point that illness and disease is killing as many people as the fighting?

BRENNAN: Yes, I mean, that's -- that is definitely a major -- as you rightly say. You know, we've got 1.6 million people displaced, and a large proportion of them now are housed in schools, incredible overcrowding. You know, these schools have been designed to accept displaced persons, but where, you know, four to six over the level that have been planned for.

And there again, lack of clean water, overcrowding, poor sanitation, toilets overflowing. We are increasingly hearing about people having to defecate in the open, and that, of course, brings with it the risk of the spread of disease. So, we are tracking disease trends. We're seeing increased rates of chest infections, respiratory infections, diarrhea, scabies, now jaundice gives us a concern of hepatitis. So, disease outbreaks are a huge, huge risk. It's very, very difficult to put in effective disease control measures in that context, but that's a big priority for us right now as well, of course. BRUNHUBER: Now, there may be help on the way. Israel says, it will allow a certain amount of fuel into Gaza. I think it's two tankers a day. From a health perspective, how far will this go to cover the basic needs of civilians to help run, you know, water, sanitation, as well as fueling aid trucks and ambulances?

BRENNAN: Yes, well, I think we need over 120,000 liters, as I understand it, a day to run, as you rightly say, the desalination plants, the sanitation works, the generators in the hospitals, the ambulances, the aid trucks and so on.


So, you know, really, it's no exaggeration to say fuel is the lifeblood of the humanitarian operation in Gaza. We can do a hell of a lot more for the people of Gaza if we have a reliable pipeline of fuel. So, that is welcome news. It's overdue, but we'll take that opportunity and move as fast as we can to scale up the aid for them (ph).

BRUNHUBER: All right. We'll have to leave it there, but really appreciate all of the updates from you, Dr. Richard Brennan. Thank you so much for speaking with us.

BRENNAN: Thank you. Thanks very much.

BRUNHUBER: All right. There's more to come after the break. Donald Trump hits out against President Biden on the campaign trail in Iowa, calling him stupid.

Voters in Argentina will head to the polls in the coming hours to choose their next president.

Coming up, a look at the role artificial intelligence has played in the campaign and what it could mean for other elections worldwide. That's coming up, stay with us.



BRUNHUBER: Former President Donald Trump campaigned in Iowa this weekend. He urged his supporters in the Hawkeye State to get out the vote and made accusations without evidence about President Biden. CNN's Alayna Treene is with the Trump campaign in Fort Dodge.


ALAYNA TREENE, CNN REPORTER: Well, Donald Trump is back in Iowa this weekend with just eight weeks to go until the Republican caucuses on January 15th. And even though he's polling ahead of his Republican contenders in the state, he warned voters not to get complacent and to ensure that they come out for him in a big way when the Iowa caucuses roll around. He also used some of the most explicit language yet that we've heard when talking about his need to win this state in order to knock his primary contenders out of the race. Now, Donald Trump also spent much of the speech on Saturday attacking Joe Biden, and specifically his record on foreign policy, as well as, his approach to China. China and potentially undermining U.S. agriculture is something that is very important to Iowa voters. He also, at one point, Donald Trump, attacked Joe Biden's mental fitness and called him a "Stupid person" and suggested he may be on medication. Let's take a listen.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT AND U.S REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Our leader is a stupid person. Our leader can't get off this stage. You see this stage? When he's finished with a speech, by the time whatever it is he's taken wears off, and he's looking -- OK -- thank you. Thank you.

TREENE: Now, those remarks are in line with Donald Trump's increasingly vitriolic rhetoric that we've heard from him on the campaign trail of late. Remember, last week in New Hampshire, Donald Trump received a wave of black -- of backlash for calling the political left being like vermin, and saying he wanted to root them out.

Now, one more just really interesting thing I want to put your attention to, is what Donald Trump did after his remarks. He got off the stage and went into the crowd. He signed hats and shook their hands. And that is very rare for the former president. He, typically, will immediately exit the stage and start getting into his motorcade after he wraps up these speeches. And so, a big moment for those in the room, and I think it really underscores the aggressive attitude that Donald Trump and his campaign are taking to Iowa in this final stretch.

Alayna Treene, CNN, Fort Dodge, Iowa.


BRUNHUBER: Now, of course, there's no evidence that President Biden has been on medication that would affect his cognition. CNN is reaching out to the White House for comment.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is once again saying that he would consider pardoning those imprisoned for the January 6th attack on the Capitol if he's elected president. His comments came during a campaign stop Saturday in Iowa. DeSantis said, under his administration, January 6th convicts would have the opportunity to apply for pardons and clemency, along with anyone mistreated by what he called the weaponized justice system. Here he is.


GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL), U.S. REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're going to have people that can apply and anyone that demonstrates that type of mistreatment, we would want to make sure that we even the scales of justice up. But beyond that too, we're going to clean house at the DOJ and the FBI.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BRUNHUBER: But the governor dodged questions about abortion.

Nearly 300 Georgia congregations are leaving the United Methodist Church. 261 churches in the state chose to leave the denomination over its 2019 decision to ordain gay priests and conduct same sex marriages. Their disqualification requests were accepted Saturday. Four congregations that requested to split were denied, but for those who were successful, the separation will go into effect in November. Churches that leave the conference can no longer use the United Methodist name or the denomination's logo.

Families and friends of hostages being held by Hamas filled the streets in Tel Aviv pushing for their release. Still to come, what the Israeli Prime Minister is saying about reports that a deal has been reached. That's coming up, stay with us.



BRUNHUBER: Welcome back to all of you watching us here in the United States, Canada, and all around the world. I'm Kim Brunhuber, this is "CNN Newsroom".

Hundreds of Palestinians are fleeing Northern Gaza as the fighting continues. Evacuees include everyone from women to children and the elderly and wounded. A few people are using donkeys, but most are on foot carrying bags, food, and water. The time the sound of gunfire sends people running, with parents separated from their children amid the chaos. We spoke to some of the evacuees, and one man told us the situation is miserable.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: While the international society is watching, condemning and worrisome times. There is no services. There is severe shortage of food, severe shortage of water. The environment situation is miserable. The water, the potable water is not suitable for animals. As you see, there is no fuel.


BRUNHUBER: Some family members of hostages whom Hamas took on October 7th say they feel let down by the Israel Defense Forces' slow response to the attack. And survivors say they may never return to the homes that the militant group destroyed unless the Israeli government can guarantee their protection. CNN's Nic Robertson reports.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voiceover): These are the moments, October 7th, where Nir Oz kibbutz began its nightmare. By the time the IDF arrived that afternoon, nearly one fifth of the residents would be kidnapped. Sagui Dekel-Chen was one of the more than 70 taken. ROBERTSON: Sagui was here at his workshop renovating buses when Hamas attacked at 6:30 in the morning. Eventually, he was able to make it back to his house, help barricade his wife and children into the bomb shelter. That was the last they saw of him.

JONATHAN DEKEL-CHEN, FATHER OF HOSTAGE: He made his wife swear that she wouldn't open the door for anyone.

ROBERTSON (voiceover): Jonathan, Sagui's father, is caring for his son's family, campaigning for his release.

DEKEL-CHEN: He's the kind of son who can complete thoughts for me. A big part of me is absent right now because of Sagui and also, honestly, because of the other losses on the kibbutz.

Yes, some of them entire families, actually, that were murdered. Their lives were intertwined with my family's life for the last 40 years.

ROBERTSON (voiceover): What's left of the kibbutz community is still intertwined. Most everyone together, hundreds of miles away.


They have each other, but their nightmare continues.

ROBERTSON: How do you think that the community is coping? Because you're kind of altogether. Does that help?

NIR ADAR, BROTHER OF HOSTAGE: Yes. Yes and no, because it's not always lifting you. Sometimes it's dragging you down.


ADAR: Yes, because people are traumatized and hurt.

ROBERTSON (voiceover): Nir Adar is hurting. His brother Tamir is another one of the hostages taken October 7th.

ADAR: I have some days I feel great and I feel strong and optimist. And I have some days, I feel the complete opposite.

ROBERTSON (voiceover): Nir survive the attack, hiding in here, in his bomb shelter with his two young daughters. He whispered fairy stories as the hours long battle raged around them.

ADAR: So much shooting, not only from guns, but RPGs and grenade. When I heard them breaking my house, so I told my girl that a tree fell down on the house.

ROBERTSON: It wasn't until he came out of his house here that Nir began to realize his brother may not have been as lucky as him. Just a few meters away, his brother's house was on fire.

ROBERTSON (voiceover): His brother's house was gutted. No proof of life from Hamas for him or Jonathan's son. DEKEL-CHEN: It's excruciating. he is the father of two little girls, married to Avital (ph), who is now eight months pregnant. So, it is a nightmarish situation. We don't know if he's healthy or wounded. We know nothing. It's a fate shared by, as I said, almost all of the 75 hostages still being held.

ROBERTSON (voiceover): Already feeling let down by the IDF's slow response October 7th, concerns in the community are growing. The government may let Nir Oz and others down again.

ADAR: They talk about -- to make a deal with the -- we -- with the kidnapped people and to bring back the babies and the women, and then I'm afraid that the men will stay -- will left behind.


ADAR: Because I think since that day, we can't really trust the government.

ROBERTSON (voiceover): The lack of trust in the government is also adding to their nightmare. Even if they do get their loved ones back, could they ever return to Nir Oz?

DEKEL-CHEN: We don't know if we'll ever be able to move back to the kibbutz.

ROBERTSON: Can you -- are people ready for that?

DEKEL-CHEN: In order to go back, certainly for our younger families, my children and grandchildren, would have to have a guarantee from our army, from our government, that this could never happen again.

ROBERTSON: Would you go back?

ADAR: It's very hard to answer. If the situation is same as now, never, never. No chance.

ROBERTSON (voiceover): The community is working on other locations that will help them stay together. Their dream life in Nir Oz, not a distant memory, but still a living nightmare.

Nic Robertson, CNN, Eilat.


BRUNHUBER: Israel's Prime Minister is denying what he calls false reports that Israel is considering a proposal for the release of at least 50 hostages held by Hamas. Benjamin Netanyahu says that when the government has something to announce, they'll report it. He also rebuffed international criticism over the Israeli military's actions in Gaza. Here he is.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): Israel abides by the laws of war. That's how our army works. The most moral army in the world. Humanitarian aid is also vital to maintain international support. Without humanitarian aid, even our best friends will find it difficult to support us over time.


BRUNHUBER: Wisconsin's governor is condemning a neo-Nazi march held outside the state capitol on Saturday. In a statement Tony Evers said, "Let us be clear, neo-Nazis, antisemitism, and white supremacy have no home in Wisconsin. We will not accept or normalize this rhetoric and hate. It's repulsive and disgusting." A group of around 20 people marched through Madison Saturday afternoon waving Nazi flags.

Now, the marchers waving those flags had no direct experience with the war with which they're associated. They never lived through the horrors, the ideology caused, never witnessed the pain it inflicted. CNN's Gary Tuchman talked with a veteran U.S. soldier who did and was working to make sure we will never see what he saw.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): Hilbert Margol, who lives in Atlanta, is three months away from his 100th birthday. Just before his 21st birthday, Army Private First Class Hilbert Margol, a Jewish soldier, was deployed to fight the Nazis in World War II.


HILBERT MARGOL, WORLD WAR II VETERAN: And when the Battle of the Bulge broke out, they rushed our three infantry regiments as fast as they could get them over there.

TUCHMAN (voiceover): The Battle of the Bulge was ending as Hilbert on the right and his late identical twin brother, Howard, on the left arrived in occupied France. The two gunners and their 42nd Rainbow Infantry Division ended up in combat and headed across the border to Germany.

MARGOL: We couldn't be more than three yards away from our howitzer, because we could get fire missions morning, noon, or night.

TUCHMAN (voiceover): On April 29th, 1945, the brothers Margol investigated a horrible odor they smelled. After about 15 minutes walking through the woods, they saw an open-trained boxcar in the German City of Dachau.

TUCHMAN: What did you see in the boxcar?

MARGOL: Nothing but deceased bodies. We had a little Brownie box camera we had delivered right a couple weeks earlier. So, we decided, well, let's go ahead and take a picture of that boxcar, which we did.

TUCHMAN (voiceover): The brothers knew nothing about Nazi death or concentration camps, but Hilbert and Howard were among the first American soldiers on the scene. They were the liberators of the Dachau concentration camp, where more than 40,000 people were murdered by the Nazis.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have we gone walking before we eat dinner?

MARGOL: No, I don't feel up to it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You don't feel up to it. OK.

TUCHMAN (voiceover): Hilbert and his 94-year-old wife, Betty Ann, had been married for 75 years. For most of those years, he didn't talk about the war, didn't reveal his emotions. But several years ago, he was an honored guest at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, and walked through a train boxcar exhibit.

MARGOL: This was a very nice-looking boxcar. But when I got in that boxcar to walk through it, that's when I broke down.

TUCHMAN (voiceover): Hilbert Margol has since been on a mission to teach and inspire. He speaks to schools and organizations.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ladies and gentlemen, let's give a warm welcome for Mr. Hilbert Margol.

TUCHMAN (voiceover): Late last week, it was to hundreds of students at Atlanta's St. Pius X Catholic School.

MARGOL: Found out later it was close to 32,000 prisoners in those barracks when we were there that Sunday morning.

TUCHMAN (voiceover): But he's never considered his speeches more important than he does today because of what happened in Israel on October 7th.

TUCHMAN: In all the years you've been back from war and it's been almost 80 years, have you ever seen antisemitism in this country as bad as it is today?

MARGOL: No, I've had some incidents in growing up Jacksonville, Florida, then in business. But nothing, nothing like it's happening now.

TUCHMAN (voiceover): Hilbert's son, Jerry, says he's never seen his 99-year-old father struggling with his emotions like he is now.

JERRY MARGOL, SON OF HILBERT MARGOL: He wants to talk about it and go a little deeper, but he can't. It's too painful to think that all this could happen over again.

MARGOL: If it doesn't slow down, if it doesn't change --

TUCHMAN: The antisemitism?

MARGOL: Right. Then who's next?

TUCHMAN (voiceover): Before we left Hilbert Margol, we thanked him for his heroism. MARGOL: Never considered myself a hero, because to me, the hero, the true heroes of those that didn't make it back. Those are the true heroes.

TUCHMAN (voiceover): Gary Tuchman, CNN Atlanta.


BRUNHUBER: Civilians are getting caught in the middle as fighting escalates between Myanmar's military and ethnic minority insurgent groups. Tens of thousands of people have fled the country's western Rakhine state since Monday. Witnesses say junta soldiers have burned down villages and destroyed schools, clinics, and hospitals. Insurgent fighters have taken control of several towns in their offensive, which is the biggest Myanmar's junta has faced in years.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): My house was completely burnt down and damaged. We have lost everything. But now, we want to go back to the village and construct a new house. Now, we are staying here in a peaceful environment, but we will miss our village. We are now waiting for when we will go back and when God will open the path.


BRUNHUBER: In Ukraine, she gets medical supplies to those who need it most. Coming up we'll hear from a Kyiv resident about her volunteer efforts to get lifesaving supplies to injured Ukrainian soldiers and rally her friends and associates to help that's coming up. Stay with us.



BRUNHUBER: Russia says, its air defenses thwarted an attempted Ukrainian drone attack on facilities in Moscow early Sunday morning. Ukraine hasn't commented. Meanwhile, on the ground, Kyiv's counteroffensive rages on. My next guest is a volunteer on the front lines whose job it is to get lifesaving medical supplies to injured soldiers.

Anna Filippova joins me now from Kyiv. Thank you so much for being here with us. So, now, much of your work is done with front line soldiers, but of course during this war, the front line seems everywhere, even the relatively peaceful Kyiv where you are. Russia has launched drone attacks on Kyiv for the second day in a row now. Have you seen any of this? Have you felt it?

ANNA FILIPPOVA, INDEPENDENT VOLUNTEER: Hi. First of all, thank you so much for having me here. Yes, I'm in Kyiv at the moment. And to be honest, I haven't heard any drone attacks here where I am. Apparently, our air defense is working pretty well.

BRUNHUBER: OK. Well, that's good to hear. So, listen, when it comes to your volunteer work, I mean, you're not just sitting behind a desk raising funds, arranging logistics. I mean, you're traveling to places like Bakhmut with the soldiers. Tell us about what you're doing.

FILIPPOVA: I do many things. Sometimes I sit at the desk as well, yes. But most of my time I'm traveling. I'm somewhere around the front lines. I source supplies, I pack them and I deliver them to units and to combat medics.

BRUNHUBER: All right. So, we're seeing some pictures of some of the equipment that you've taken to them. I mean, what do these soldiers need the most right now?

FILIPPOVA: Well, first of all, I'd like to say that at this stage, they need for bleed stops and tactical meds. And Ukrainian frontlines is overwhelming. It's huge. Our government, sadly, cannot provide even half of what's needed for them. So, when it comes to bleed stops, blood stopping tourniquets, chest seals, Israeli bandages. All sorts of bleed stop and similar stuff that needs to -- that we need to rescue lives of wounded soldiers in the trenches. Regular people, like regular Ukrainians have to step in and bridge this gap.


BRUNHUBER: Yes. It seems strange. I mean, you say the government can't provide this. I mean, the U.S. and other countries are sending Ukraine billions of dollars in aid. I mean, why the need to crowdsource vital things like medical supplies?

FILIPPOVA: My best guess is, like, I don't have all the complete picture, of course. I don't have the bird eye view from where I am. But my best guess is that the need for this is just so huge. We use a lot of it. Our government, of course, and our military are not at liberty to disclose the numbers of wounded soldiers, but I know that they're very big. And all the supplies, they just ran out very quickly.

BRUNHUBER: So, you're, you're there on the front lines is that the fighting seems to be settling into a somewhat of a stalemate and the Ukrainian counteroffensive has basically ended without any significant advance. What are you seeing? What's been the morale, you know, among the soldiers?

FILIPPOVA: The morale of the soldiers, is still good even though the counteroffensive, wasn't as superefficient as we would like it to be. The morale is still good and soldiers are very determined to fight and defend our country, and we are making advances in certain areas. So, with the support from people and general motivation to defend our home, since we don't have any other options, really, the morale of the soldiers is still good.

BRUNHUBER: Yes, what comes across sort of looking at your social media is the -- is, you know, the humor that that a lot of the soldiers are kind of dealing with all the challenges and even being injured and so on. Tell us about that

FILIPPOVA: Yes, this is something that I've noticed here during this war that many people survive on dark humor and it helps. Apparently, it's a coping strategy. It helps us cope with the harsh reality. What else do you do when you see blood and death around you all the time? You have to keep yourself sane somehow and we happen to do it with dark humor and jokes. Yes, that helps.

BRUNHUBER: Listen, I -- how hard is it to convince, you know, your colleagues, your friends and so on to contribute to this? I mean, it may sound, you know, like you're trying to run a scam here. How much support are you getting from those around you?

FILIPPOVA: Oh, actually, everybody around me is incredibly supportive. When it comes to Ukrainians, you don't need to convince anybody. Everybody knows the right thing to do, and everybody wants to contribute and help. And actually, in Ukraine, the volunteer movement is so big that most people, those who don't go to the front lines themselves, they at least donate to help those who do. So, it's -- there is complete mutual understanding in here.

BRUNHUBER: Let me ask you though, I, obviously, you know, you -- convincing Ukrainians is one thing, but you get a lot of help from overseas. What do you want the world to know about the situation in Ukraine? Especially right now with much of the world's attention focused on the war between Israel and Hamas.

FILIPPOVA: Yes, of course I would like Ukrainian situation to still be on the screens, and I would like the world to not forget about us. Because we do feel that the interest in the world to Ukraine -- Ukraine-Russian war has gone down significantly, at least over the past year. And of course, I would like the world to remember this. But, hey, there is a war going on in the middle of Europe and we're dying here. Like, a lot of Ukrainians are getting killed each day and we need all the support from the Western world that we can get. We're heavily outnumbered.

BRUNHUBER: Yes, well listen, it's been great speaking with you. And interesting to see, you know, the courage that you and other volunteers show on a daily basis. Trying to help the Ukrainian troops out there. Thank you so much for speaking with us, Anna Filippova. Appreciate it.

FILIPPOVA: Thank you for having me here.

BRUNHUBER: Still to come, millions of Americans are about to take to the roads and the skies for the Thanksgiving holiday. We'll get to the weather outlook for the week ahead. That's coming up, stay with us.



BRUNHUBER: SpaceX's Starship rocket headed for the skies on Saturday in its second ever test launch. It's the most powerful rocket ever built, and it went farther than it had in its initial flight back in April. The unmanned spacecraft climbed to about 93 miles, or 150 kilometers, above the Earth's surface, reaching the edge of space. But the test flight ended moments after launch in a massive explosion. The FAA said there were no injuries on the ground and that a mishap investigation will be carried out.

One of the busiest travel periods of the year is now kicking off for Americans, and the weather, well, it's not going to make it any easier. CNN Meteorologist Allison Chinchar has the outlook for Thanksgiving week.


ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: As millions of people gear up to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday, mother nature not likely to cooperate for all locations. We have multiple systems that are going to make their way across the U.S. over the next several days, bringing rain and snow, some patchy fog and some even gusty winds.

It starts with this system across the western U.S. You can see as we go Sunday morning, the main focus is across Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Northern California. Then we start to see that system begin to make its way across the mountain west and eventually in towards the Central Plains by the time we get towards the latter half of the day Sunday.

So, again, morning time, you see the rain and also the snow for the higher elevations and more rain developing here along the Central and Southern Plains. That system is going to continue to progress eastward. As it does, that low pressure system is going to deepen and intensify, and a new threat will develop along the Gulf Coast in the form of severe thunderstorms with the potential for some tornadoes, hail and even some damaging winds, especially late in the day, Monday and carrying into the evening.

Elsewhere, still looking at rain, however, farther to the north, Kansas City, Chicago, even Indianapolis, looking at the chance for rain. By Tuesday, more of that rain begins to shift off to the east. Now, you're talking some pretty big travel cities, connectors.


If you've got connections at airports, say, across New York, Washington, D. C., Atlanta, or Chicago, you're likely going to experience some delays at some point on Tuesday as this system continues to slide east.

And even some of the roadways, 75, 85, 95 corridors, all looking at the potential for some wet roads as we go through the day Tuesday, and that will continue into Tuesday evening as we see a lot of that moisture begin to surge into portions of the Northeast.

Now, in terms of the severe weather that we're focusing in on Monday, again, you're talking Little Rock down through Shreveport, Houston and over into New Orleans. The main threats here will be damaging winds, but it's not out of the question to see some potentially large hail and even some isolated tornadoes.

In terms of travel disruptions, for Sunday the main focus is going to be on the West Coast. As that system begins to progress eastward, you'll start to see more of that develop in the central U.S., Sunday into Monday, and then by late Monday, your focus really becomes the Midwest down across the southeast, essentially stretching from the Canadian border down to the Gulf Coast. And then by Tuesday, you're looking at it starting to spread into the mid-Atlantic and continue into the northeast once we get later on into the evening hours.


BRUNHUBER: A chapeau fit for an emperor will soon be up for auction in France. The signature wide black hat worn by Napoleon is expected to fetch more than $800,000 on Sunday. It's made of black beaver pelt. And Napoleon is said to have more than 120 of them, but the auction house believes there are only about 16 left, many of them housed in museums because of their historical significance.


JEAN PIERRE OSENAT, AUCTIONEER (through translator): And so, people recognize this hat everywhere. When they see it in the battlefields, they knew Napoleon was there. And when he's in private, he always had it on his head, or he had it in his hand, and sometimes he threw it on the ground. That was the image, the symbol of the emperor.


BRUNHUBER: Other items owned by the famous general are also up for auction, including his knight shirt and a copy of his will.

All right. That wraps this hour of "CNN Newsroom." I'm Kim Brunhuber. I'll be back with more news in just a moment, please stay with us.