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President of University of Pennsylvania Steps Down Amid Controversy About Antisemitism; Israel-Hamas War; People Advised by IDF to Leave Certain Areas in Khan Younis; Structure Where People Were Seeking Shelter Leveled by Two Blasts; Hamas Still Keeping 137 Captives, According to Israel; Call for Captive Release at a Rally in Tel Aviv; U.N.: Kerem Shalom Crossing Undergoes Aid Assessment Testing; London Sees Thousands of Demonstrators in Favor of Palestine; Pro-Palestinian Demonstration Staged in New York; At Least 6 People Die in Tennessee Tornadoes; Ukrainian Lawmaker on Russian Strikes; Trump on His Indictments, Trials; Russia's War on Ukraine; Attacks on Ukraine by Russia Increase as Winter Draws Near; Zelenska Issues Solemn Plea for Further Military Assistance; Interview with Ukrainian Parliament Member Oleksiy Goncharenko; U.S. Congress Blocked Military Aid for Ukraine; U.S. 2024 Election; Prior to Caucuses, GOP Candidates Focus on Iowa Voters; Children of Jailed Iranian Activist, Narges Mohammadi, Will Accept Award on Her Behalf; EU Poised to Approve Sweeping A.I. Regulations; Interview with Irish Council for Civil Liberties Enforced Senior Fellow Kris Shrishak; Annual Army-Navy Football Game; 2023 Heisman Trophy Winner Jayden Daniels of LSU. Aired 4-5a ET

Aired December 10, 2023 - 04:00   ET




BIANCA NOBILO, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Welcome to all of you watching here in the United States, Canada, and around the world. I'm Bianca Nobilo. Ahead on "CNN Newsroom."

The firestorm over her comments on antisemitism to Congress leads to the University of Pennsylvania president stepping down. One member of Congress says, expect more to follow.

Plus, the IDF tells civilians to leave the center of Khan Younis, but it's not sure that they're getting the message.

And --




NOBILO: A deadly storm system ripped through Tennessee, and now several counties are under a state of emergency.

University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill and the head of the school's board of trustees have resigned. It comes after the intense backlash to the comments made by three U.S. university presidents to Congress about antisemitism on their campuses. This all began amid a wave of protests over the Israel-Hamas war. Many at college campuses, many of them expressing support for the Palestinian cause. But there's a debate over whether phrases like, from the river to the sea, a mount tall call to eradicate Israel.

Magill and the presidents of Harvard and MIT struggled to answer a Congressmember's question about where universities would draw the line.


REP. ELISE STEFANIK (R-NY): Specifically calling for the genocide of Jews, does that constitute bullying or harassment?

LIZ MAGILL, PRESIDENT, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA: If it is directed and severe or pervasive, it is harassment.

STEFANIK: So, the answer is yes?

MAGILL: It is a context dependent decision, Congresswoman.

STEFANIK: It's a context dependent decision, that's your testimony today? Calling for the genocide of Jews is depending upon the context?


NOBILO: That Congressmember, Elise Stefanik, had a blunt response to Magill's resignation. One down, two to go. And some Jewish UPenn students said that they hope her resignation will bring positive changes.


EITAN WEINSTEIN, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA JUNIOR: It became clear that President Magill didn't really seem to have a very strong grasp on the situation on the ground on campus.

JOSHUA WEISSMAN, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA SOPHOMORE: There's a lot of tension on campus. and I really hope a lot of it starts to go down and people start to calm down a little bit.


NOBILO: Magill's resignation also comes after a wealthy alumnus threatened to withdraw a $100 million donation. CNN's Polo Sandoval explains what happened.


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In back-to-back resignations, the president of the University of Pennsylvania announcing that she would step down just moments before the university official who made her announcement announced that he too would be resigning. Liz Magill announced on Saturday that she would be stepping down from her position as UPenn president. Per university statement, she will remain tenured, a faculty at the university's law school, and also agreed to stay on board while they find an interim replacement. As we've reported before, students, faculty, even donors say that they've lost confidence in Magill after Tuesday's pretty disastrous hearing in which she, along with the presidents at Harvard and MIT failed to explicitly say that calls for genocide of Jews would immediately violate the respective universities codes of conduct.

Now, moments after Magill's Saturday evening announcement, Scott Bok said that he, too, would be stepping down as chair of the board of trustees at the university. In his statement, Bok writing, "Former President Liz Magill last week made a very unfortunate misstep." Bok eventually writes., following that, it became clear that her position was no longer tenable, and she and I concurrently decided that it was time for her to exit.

Bok also defending Magill, calling her a good person, a talented leader. And in his words, not the slightest bit antisemitic. Bok also sharing some perspective about what may have been Magill's state of mind the day of this disastrous hearing on the Hill, saying that Magill was not herself at the time, that she was over lawyered. That she was overprepared and that she provided a legalistic answer to what was a moral question. And that, Bach says, was wrong.

Polo Sandoval, CNN, New York.



NOBILO: In Gaza, Israeli airstrikes and ground operations are ongoing against what Israel says are Hamas targets across the Strip. Some of the fiercest battles are said to be in and around the southern city of Khan Younis, which the IDF has described as a Hamas stronghold. The Israeli military is now telling people that they have to leave specific areas, although, due to poor communications, it really isn't clear if Palestinians are able to receive those warnings.

Two large explosions at a building in Central Gaza early Saturday set off a frantic scramble to pull victims from the wreckage. Residents say, at least 150 people were thought to be sheltering inside. The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza claims more than 17,000 people have been killed there, and nearly 49,000 wounded since the war began two months ago. CNN can't verify those figures.

The U.S. is preparing to rush thousands of tank shells to Israel as it advances its military operations across Gaza. Weapons sales normally go through Congress and require a 20-day review period. But a source with direct knowledge tells CNN that the State Department notified lawmakers late Friday that it would waive the waiting period to send 13,000 tank shells right away. The State Department's emergency declaration came on the Hill's request to Congress last week to transfer 45,000 rounds of tank ammo to Israel.

Elliott Gotkine is covering all of this for us here in London. Elliott, bring us up to date on the latest on the ground.

ELLIOTT GOTKINE, CNN JOURNALIST: Bianca, in the last couple of hours, the IDF has given an update, talking about more than 250 strikes taking place on targets in the Gaza Strip over the previous day. In one incident, it says that it struck what it described as a Hamas military communications site adjacent to a mosque. But at the same time, there's been fierce fighting on the ground.

Hamas itself, describing the fighting as -- talking about fierce battles from zero distance taking place, especially in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, where Israel says it is closing in on the command-and-control centers of Hamas in Jabalia and Shuja'iya in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, which it describes as strongholds of the militant group.

At the same time, the IDF releasing quite striking video footage of its soldiers doing battle on the ground inside the Gaza Strip. In one video, you can see soldiers firing with automatic weapons and rocket propelled grenades down the street in Gaza. And in another, you see them firing into a house where it said it had been coming under fire from militants, and also throwing in grenades, you see the explosions. Then afterwards, once the dust has settled, you see the blurred images off the militants that Israel said it killed in that particular battle.

Now, at the same time, you mentioned the death toll in the Gaza Strip since Israel launched its operations in the wake of the Hamas terrorist attacks of October the 7th. The Hamas-run health ministry saying 17,700 people now killed. Israel's national security visor -- advisor Tzachi Hanegbi saying that at least 7,000 militants have been killed since Israel launched its operations.

Now, we have no way of verifying Hanegbi's figures. We have no way of verifying the Hamas-run health ministry figures either. But if they were to be accurate, that would obviously reduce greatly the number of civilians that have been killed. But even then, clearly 10,000 or so noncombatants being killed in this conflict is a mind-boggling number, Bianca.

NOBILO: Elliott, what are you learning about the hostages still being held by Hamas?

GOTKINE: Well, we heard from the Israelis over the weekend, talking about the death or the murder, it described, of one 25-year-old Sahar Baruch who had been kidnapped by Hamas or other militant groups on October the 7th. After his death, there are still 137 men, women and children still being held by Hamas and other militant groups inside the Gaza Strip.

And on Saturday evening, there was another rally by thousands of people, calling for the release of those hostages. Some bearing placards saying, bring them home now. We -- they heard first person testimony from people like a one 77-year-old woman saying the militants had taken her oxygen canister which she needed to sleep. Talking about the deprivations, the lack of sleep, food and medicine that had been affecting the hostages while they were being held in the Gaza Strip. One father, one Ruby Chen, talking about his 19-year-old son, who is still being held captive in the Gaza Strip, saying that time to get them released is running out.



RUBY CHEN, FATHER OF 19-YEAR-OLD HOSTAGE ITAY CHEN: We have no time. At any meeting that I go with the Israeli government, I explained to them when I was there Tuesday at the war cabinet meeting, I put this in front of them and said, we have no time. And you will be judged by the ability of how many and how soon hostages you're able to bring back alive.


GOTKINE: And the IDF very much under pressure to do all it can to free those hostages. Indeed, in one incident over the weekend talking about how soldiers tried to free at least one of the hostages, that a couple of soldiers were severely wounded and that that particular attempt failed. But very much getting those hostages back to Israel is very much uppermost in the minds of the war cabinet as it carries out its battle plans inside the Gaza Strip. Bianca.

NOBILO: Elliott Gotkine, very much.

Another border crossing with Gaza could finally open to help get more aid into the enclave. The World Food Programme says, it's testing a new process for inspecting aid trucks through Gaza's Kerem Shalom border crossing with Israel. It says that the needs are massive, and opening the crossing would help organize U.N. convoys going into Gaza. On Thursday, an Israeli official said they would open the crossing in the next few days, but only to inspect aid trucks.

Thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters filled the streets of London on Saturday.



NOBILO: Many carried signs and Palestinian flags, calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. Police estimate nearly 40,000 people were at the rally. They say at least two people were arrested for carrying offensive posters. And in New York, pro-Palestinian demonstrators rallied in Brooklyn on Saturday. They flooded the roads and reportedly blocked traffic in some areas. Many in the crowd held signs and chanted, Palestine will be free.

In eastern Tennessee, an eyewitness captured video of this tornado as it moved over Madison, causing electrical flashes and an explosion.




NOBILO: Chilling. And now, a state of emergency has been declared in some communities as twisters swept the area. At least six people are dead and nearly two dozen are injured. This is the scene in Clarksville on Saturday, where buildings were torn to shreds. The mayor lamented, our hearts are broken. Officials say they're still in a search and rescue phase and are trying to see if there are more casualties. Authorities are urging residents to stay away from the damaged areas as the emergency crews work. Witnesses described what happened.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Walls bursted, the windows bursted. Everything just, like, exploded. This is what it really like. It felt like everything exploded, like, a lot of pressure built up and just popped.


NOBILO: Russia ramps up its strikes in Ukraine as the country braces for another brutal winter. Still ahead, we get reaction from Ukrainian parliament member as cities across his country are targeted.

Just days before he is expected to take a stand in civil fraud trial, Donald Trump calls his numerous indictments a badge of honor. What else he said about the legal cases is coming up for you next.



NOBILO: Ukraine is getting a preview of what could lie ahead in the coming months as Russia steps up attacks across the country. Officials said on Saturday that Russia launched close to 100 airstrikes over the preceding 24 hours. The Kherson region was hit by a barrage of artillery and drone attacks, which killed at least one person and wounded another. That happened a day after Russia used cruise missiles for the first time in more than two and a half months. Western Intelligence officials expect Moscow to ramp up strikes on infrastructure and electrical facilities this winter.

Ukraine's First Lady, Olena Zelenska, is making a somber appeal for soldiers back home. She spoke with the BBC after the U.S. Senate Republicans blocked the latest batch of military aid for Kyiv. The bill is now in limbo with money for Ukraine quickly running out. Zelenska said that if the world gets tired of helping Kyiv resist the Russian invaders, it will be the equivalent of letting Ukrainians die.

For more, we're joined by Oleksiy Goncharenko, a Ukrainian parliament member who represents the Odessa region. Thank you so much for being with us this morning, sir. And first, I would like to speak to you about what Mrs. Zelenska said, and whether or not that sentiment is widely shared in Ukraine. It must be very frustrating to see this partisan gridlock in the United States. What is the feeling in Ukraine about that? OLEKSIY GONCHARENKO, UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT MEMBER: Definitely, Olena Zelenska is right when telling that without U.S. support, we are speaking about the genocide of Ukrainians which will be made by Russians. Because on occupied territories of Ukraine, Russia is committing genocide. Unfortunately, all five criteria are sexual crimes, mass murders, the forceful deportation of people including children, all of this is on the place.

So, if Russia will expand its control on new territories of Ukraine, that will mean that hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians will be under threat of genocide. That is the very grim reality that we have. And that's why we are so concerned to observe what's going on in the U.S. Congress now with a new package of support to Ukraine. You know, the West and the United States leading were telling for two years, we will be with Ukraine as long as it takes. But I -- we can't believe that as long as it takes men (ph) just two years.

NOBILO: Do you also think that it's a shaky argument for some Republicans to make, that they want to not be embroiled in the war in Ukraine and directly at odds with Russia? But if Ukraine starts to struggle to hold Russia back, and Russia is, in some way, successful.


That Putin won't stop there, and that might actually bring the U.S. into closer contact with Russia if Russia strikes a NATO country?

GONCHARENKO: I mean, again, let us be -- let us -- those who are watching us from the United States, ask yourself, is Russia ally of the United States or is Russia a rival of the United States? I think the answer is absolutely clear. And today, Ukrainians are destroying these, probably, second strongest rival after China. And maybe even the first, because we don't know anything about Chinese army.

But Russian army now is battle hardened. They received unique experience of warfare of 21st century. Putin feels himself emboldened. And do you really think that having some even partial success in Ukraine he will stop? So, Ukraine today with no one life, no risk in any one life of American soldiers or officers is destroying capabilities of the biggest rival of the United States.

So, I can't understand how it could be a better investment than to help Ukrainians. We are not asking for boots on the ground. We don't need courage. We have enough of our own, but we just need weaponry. And to provide us with this weaponry. I think this is the smartest idea and that's the best investment that the United States could do. And it's not about, when I hear like people like Vivek Ramaswamy who are telling that Ukrainians received $200 billion or something like this is just not true.

Ukraine received in military, if to calculate the weaponry which we received in reality in Ukraine, not refreshing of stockpiles in the United States, not like this. But what Ukraine received is just more than $20 billion. And most of this money are still in the United States. They came to United States factories, to companies which produces, missiles, drones, and other things. Creating jobs in the United States.

So, isn't it a wonderful investment? Not really a very big one, but very successful one. So, I can't understand why Ukraine became a hostage of internal political discussion in the United States. Making such a great investment and Ukrainians being so resilient and strong. And don't forget that Ukrainian army today probably is one of the strongest in the world. And let's ask yourself, if the United States will need support of any of its ally, who will be in trenches near Beijing? That's the question. Ukrainians are ready to be, and I'm not sure that many other countries which are allies of the United States are ready to be there.

NOBILO: Indeed. When I speak to my friends who are in Ukraine, that's always what they say to me. That they very much see it as Ukrainians are paying the price with their lives and their limbs and their families to keep Putin at bay from the rest of NATO's territory.

I'd like to get into some of the tactics that the Russians are using at the moment, especially as this harsh winter in Ukraine is setting in. Do you have concerns that Russia is going to continuously target power infrastructure even more so? And obviously, I presume it hasn't been possible for Ukraine to fully rebuild from last year's onslaught.

GONCHARENKO: Yes, it's absolutely possible. We will see what will be in Russian playbook this year, but that is Russian in general, their playbook, just to cause as much sufferings to civilians as possible because attacking power grid, it's nothing about the front line. It doesn't hurt in any way Ukrainian military, but it hurts Ukrainian civilians. And Russia is making this campaign of terror against Ukrainian people all the time. They did it last winter, and it's very possible they will -- that they will try to do this this winter.

And that's why we so desperately need their support. We need air defense to protect our city, to protect women and children. I don't believe, I -- really, I don't believe that there are Americans who will be just -- I mean, they will not be interested watching how children and elder people and women will be -- die -- frozen to death in Ukraine during this winter. I don't believe in this because that is something which is not in the U.S. values of American people. I know many American people and they are with a great heart.

So, just imagine what an awful suffering, almost two years of full- scale invasion, in reality 10 years of war, because Russia started invasion of Ukraine in 2014. And don't forget one thing, when we are addressing to the United States of America, it's not just that we ask, it's not just that we also can be a very strong ally of United States in future.


But United States has some responsibility. Why? Because this week there was a 29th anniversary of Budapest Memorandum. Ukraine is the only country in the history of the world which voluntarily gave up its nuclear weaponry. And at that time, we had the third biggest in the world arsenal, and that was under the guarantees of the United States of America that we will be protected and we will be not attacked. So, that is also a moral and legal responsibility for the United States of America to be with Ukraine in such a harsh time. So, I hope that U.S. congressmen and senators, as well as all politicians will realize this and will not let Ukraine down and will not show that United States is not the country others can rely on.

NOBILO: Oleksiy Goncharenko, thank you so much for joining us. I hope they hear your message.


NOBILO: The presidents of Venezuela and Guyana have agreed to meet soon amid a growing impasse over disputed land. At issue is the status of the Essequibo region, a densely forested area that is rich in oil and minerals. It makes up two thirds of Guyana's territory but is claimed by Venezuela. According to a letter shared with "CNN en Espanol", the leaders of both countries have tentatively agreed to talk this Thursday. CNN has reached out to the governments of Venezuela and Guyana for comment on the proposed meeting.

I'm Bianca Nobilo in London. For our international viewers, "Going Green" is next for you. For those in North America, I'll have more news in just a little bit.



NOBILO: Welcome back to our viewers in North America. I'm Bianca Nobilo and this is "CNN Newsroom."

In U.S., presidential politics. The first real test for Republican candidates is next month, when Iowa holds its caucuses. But between now and then are the holidays, which means that GOP hopefuls have very little time left to make a good impression. Here's CNN's Eva McKend.


EVA MCKEND, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER: Ambassador Haley, Governor DeSantis, Vivek Ramaswamy, leaning on Iowans to get out and caucus for them in just a few short weeks. They all appeared on the same stage at a faith and family forum, an opportunity to talk about how faith and family informs their policy visions. Something, of course, that is so important in this State of Iowa where so many of the caucus goers are evangelical voters.

For the most part, they stayed away from attacking one another. But Ambassador Haley, Governor DeSantis did seem to suggest that both of them would be better general election candidates than Former President Donald Trump.

NIKKI HALEY, U.S. REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What I know is you don't defeat Democrat chaos with Republican chaos. And that's what Donald Trump gives us. I had a great working relationship with him, but rightly or wrongly, chaos follows him. You know I'm right. Chaos follows him. And we can't have a country in disarray and a world on fire and survive this chaos.

GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL), U.S. REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's important to point out that normally in an Iowa caucus, you've got five or six candidates that are running as conservatives, and conservative voters are having to look through. That's not the case this year. I think, you know, you have Donald Trump, who's obviously moved left. He's not even really putting in the work to earn people's votes.

MCKEND: And at a town hall in Silver Lake, Iowa, Ambassador Haley took questions from voters on a number of issues. Many of them seemed concerned about the future of Social Security in this country. Something notable is that Haley, DeSantis, they seem to really be pushing forcefully back against this notion that they are interested in being Trump's vice-presidential running mate. Haley stressing that she is not in this contest to play for number two.

Eva McKend, CNN, Silver Lake, Iowa.


NOBILO: Donald Trump is the clear favorite for the Republican nomination, at least right now. But New polling suggests that he'd face a tougher time against President Biden than some of the other Republicans who want the job. "The Wall Street Journal" found that in a head-to-head general election matchup next year, Nikki Haley beats President Biden by a stunning 17 points. Trump, meanwhile, fares worse, and he would hold only a four-point edge over the president. Here was the former president making his pitch last night to young Republicans in New York.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT AND U.S REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Unlike crooked Joe Biden, I'm running to liberate America. We want to liberate America because we're in a country that's in a lot of pain right now and a lot of hurt. This campaign is a righteous crusade to rescue our nation from a very corrupt political class. They are corrupt, they're incompetent, and they probably hate our country.

Every time radical left Democrats, Marxists, communists and fascists indict me, I consider it a great badge of honor. I'm being indicted for you. These are not indictments in the traditional sense. These are Biden indictments against their -- this is just against a political opponent.


NOBILO: Trump has not campaigned as much as the others, partly because he's been in numerous courtrooms on a wide variety of serious charges. He's due to take the stand Monday in his own defense in his $250 million civil fraud trial in New York. President Biden had this to say about him at an event on Friday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: Trump just talks the talk. We walk the walk. Look, he likes to say America's a fairly nation. Frankly, he doesn't know what the hell he's talking about.


NOBILO: When this year's Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in the next few hours, the winner won't be there. Instead, the children of jailed Iranian activist, Narges Mohammadi, will accept the award on her behalf.


She was sentenced to a total of 31 years in prison and 154 lashes for her work against discrimination and oppression in Iran. CNN's Jomana Karadsheh has this exclusive report.


JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): Ali and Kiana are preparing for the proudest moment of their lives.


KARADSHEH (voiceover): The day they'll stand on the world stage here in the historic Oslo City Hall to receive the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of their mother, Narges Mohammadi.

K. RAHMANI: This is very symbolic for us. Narges is a flower in --


KARADSHEH (voiceover): We joined them as they got a first look at the room where they'll also present her Nobel lecture smuggled out of Iran's Evin prison.

K. RAHMANI: (Speaking in a foreign language).

KARADSHEH (voiceover): Standing here, I'm trying to visualize the crowd, Kiana tells us. We will have to live up to this. A lot of important people will be here.

The 17-year-old twins' first language is French. They were not yet nine when they left Iran with their father for self-exile in Paris after their mother was ripped away from them by a regime that has tried and failed to silence her.

ALI RAHMANI, SON OF NOBEL PEACE PRICE LAUREATE NARGES MOHAMMADI (through translator): We are extremely proud of all that she's done, but what really saddens us today is that she's not here, because we should not be the ones being interviewed. That's my mother's right. But we'll do our best to be her voice and represent what is happening in Iran.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Speaking in a foreign language). KARADSHEH (voiceover): Their mother has been punished time and time again, sentenced to a total of 31 years and 154 lashes for standing up for political prisoners against the death penalty and the compulsory hijab and for exposing sexual assaults in prisons. She's been accused of anti-regime propaganda and threatening national security. Her decades-long struggle for a free Iran honored in this exhibition at the Nobel Peace Center.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, we have been able to tell the story about Narges in -- from 1979, 1990 --

KARADSHEH (voiceover): Part of the exhibit is this recreation of the tiny cell where prisoners like Mohammadi and her husband, who is also a political activist, were locked up during solitary confinement. The exhibition and Mohammadi's Nobel win also paying tribute to the people of Iran and their 2022 Woman, Life, Freedom uprising.

K. RAHMANI (through translator): We're not just here for our family, but for freedom and democracy. We feel mostly proud, brave and determined. A determination we got mostly from our mother.

KARADSHEH: I can't imagine what it's been like for you growing up without your mother being there.

A. RAHMANI (through translator): From the time I was four when my father was arrested by the Revolutionary Guards, I realized that my family would never have an ordinary life. My mother has been more than just any mother. She chose to fight the government for me and my sister so that my sister could have the same rights as me.

K. RAHMANI (through translator): Of course, at times in my life, I wanted her by my side. At puberty, your body changes, it's the kind of question you would ask your mom. I had no one to ask, so I learned by myself. I would have loved if she could have taken me shopping, taught me how to wear makeup and how to handle my body. Frankly, I'm just glad she's alive, because others have lost their loved ones and I can't even imagine what that feels like.

KARADSHEH (voiceover): The family says Mohammadi hasn't been allowed to call them in nearly two years, and they're worried about her deteriorating health.

K. RAHMANI (through translator): I'm not very optimistic about ever seeing her again. My mom has a 10-year sentence left, and every time she does something, like send out the speech we'll read out at the ceremony, that adds to her sentence. Whatever happens, she'll always be in my heart. And I accept that because the struggle, the movement, Woman, Life, Freedom is worth it.

KARADSHEH: The pain of separation from her children is one Mohammadi lives with every single day. I asked her about this in August with the help of intermediaries in Iran, she responded in writing.

KARADSHEH (voiceover): Mohammadi said, "If I look at the prison through the window of my heart, I was more of a stranger to my daughter and son than any stranger. But I'm sure that the world without freedom, equality, and peace is not worth living. I have chosen not to see my children or even hear their voices and be the voice of the oppressed people, women and children of my land."

Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, Oslo.


NOBILO: The E.U. is poised to approve the world's first expansive rules, regulating artificial intelligence. So, coming up, we'll explain what's in the new laws and speak with an A.I. expert about what they could do and where they might fall short.



NOBILO: The European Union is on track to approve the first laws governing artificial intelligence. After nearly two days of talks, E.U. lawmakers struck a landmark deal on Friday to pass the AI Act. It's the first of its kind regulatory framework that will promote A.I. development while also addressing its risks. The AI Act bans certain uses of artificial intelligence, including cognitive behavioral manipulation. It limits how governments can use real time biometric surveillance. And it will also require A.I. systems like ChatGPT to comply with transparency requirements.

So, to better understand the E.U. regulations, and of course why they're needed, I want to turn to Kris Shrishak in Germany. And he is the Enforced Senior Fellow at the Irish Council for Civil Liberties who has advised lawmakers on A.I. And it's such a great opportunity to speak to you this morning because there's lots to get into with this landmark legislation. What is your assessment of its efficacy and where you think it falls short? I saw that Amnesty International has criticized its decision not to ban all mass public surveillance, for example.

KRIS SHRISHAK, ENFORCED SENIOR FELLOW, IRISH COUNCIL FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES: Indeed, that is one of the big issues. In fact, it's not Amnesty only, many other civil society organizations, as well as in fact, the United Nations Human Rights who come out in the recent months to say that such uses of facial recognition technology in public spaces should be fully prohibited.

What the European Union has actually done is it's gone for a partial prohibition, so it allows for certain targeted uses. And I think that still opens up the possibility of large-scale mass surveillance. Like treating people as license plates instead of as human beings.

NOBILO: Given that the threat and opportunities of A.I. are very much global in their nature.


How useful is it for independent countries, continents or blocs to come up with their own legislation when there's obviously a race to further A.I. to develop it and each country wants to be an industry leader?

SHRISHAK: In fact, it depends on how the regulations are scoped. For example, this regulation applies to any company that wants to provide A.I. services or A.I. products in the European Union. So, if it's an Australian or an American company who wants to sell any kind of air system that falls within the scope of this regulation, then they will be regulated as well. So, it's not just about E.U. companies, so that's one thing. And that also means that there's a possibility some of these companies might actually oblige with these obligations in other parts of the world as well. So, there's a possibility that these requirements can propagate.

NOBILO: In your view, which areas of the world do you think presents the greatest danger spots for potential uncontrolled expansion of A.I. or abuse of A.I.?

SHRISHAK: So, there are actually different ways to think about it. The first is the lack of regulation, but also the scope, for instance, in this regulation. This regulation, for instance, is primarily focused on the E.U. market. It does not prohibit E.U. companies, for example to sell the same prohibited A.I. systems that are there in this regulation to other countries.

But also, there's the aspect about what do these requirements do? For example, as you mentioned, systems that underlie ChatGPT and the like. What the E.U. law has gone for is primarily transparency requirements. Unless these systems are categorized as systemic risks, which go beyond individual human rights risks, then unless that happens, the requirements are pretty minimal. Not even cyber security requirements are required in such cases.

NOBILO: What are the most imminent threats that are actually posed to society at large from A.I. at the moment? We hear all these, you know, dystopian scenarios, Terminator-esque futures, but realistically how valid are those concerns and what should we be most concerned with?

SHRISHAK: I think there are real concerns already now. We have, because this regulation, for instance, does not prohibit biometric surveillance completely, that in itself is a massive risk. There's also the aspect that there are systems out of these companies selling products with so-called emotion recognition, which is essentially pseudoscience. And even that, in fact, this regulation doesn't fully prohibit. It only prohibits under very narrow set of circumstances, such as employment and education.

And so, these are real risks that are already there. And there's also the question of how these so-called general purpose A.I. systems or generative AI systems could be used for -- by a small group of people that could potentially even affect elections and upcoming elections in different countries.

NOBILO: What pressure groups or interests would have been at play that may have underpinned the E.U.'s decision here not to fully ban like biometric facial recognition?

SHRISHAK: So, it comes primarily from various polices, in police organizations and police in different EU countries. I can actually tell you that the European Parliament, which is the democratically elected entity in the whole negotiation, did push very hard for a full prohibition. But they were essentially blocked by different E.U. countries, and who were heavily lobbied by the police and other forces to get this scope out to prevent a full, prohibition.

NOBILO: Kris Shrishak, thank you so much for joining us. In for Senior Fellow at the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, I'm sure you'll have a very busy few months, years ahead of you. Thank you.

It's a U.S. tradition for more than a century. Still ahead, the annual Army-Navy football game. Who wins bragging rights? We will recap the action in one of America's great rivalries.



NOBILO: In college football, a 22-year-old senior just received the biggest honor of all.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is my great pleasure to announce that the 2023 Heisman Trophy winner is Jayden Daniels from Louisiana State University.


NOBILO: Quarterback Jayden Daniels has won the Heisman Trophy, college football's highest accolade. He beat out three other contenders, including two other standout quarterbacks. Daniels says, winning this is a dream come true.


JAYDEN DANIELS, HEISMAN TROPHY WINNER: I want to dedicate this award to every boy and girl who has a dream. With faith and hard work, you never know what's possible.

So, what did I learn from all this? I learned how to block out the noise, that you can overcome any obstacle, and just be humble, be legendary, and most importantly, you know, be joyful about what you do. And when you get knocked down, get back up, keep smiling, and never give up on your dreams.


NOBILO: Brilliant advice.

The battle for bragging rights has just been decided for another year in the Army-Navy football game. CNN's Coy Wire has the play by play.


COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: The 124th edition of the iconic Army-Navy game here at Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots, was historic. Held in New England for the first time in its history, birthplace of both the U.S. Army and Navy. Dating back to 1890, America's game is loaded with tradition and pageantry that make it one of the greatest rivalries in all of sports.

Army, ranked as the third best defense in the nation at forcing turnovers got two more in the biggest game of the year. Max DiDomenico had a tremendous interception and Kalib Fortner scooping up a fumble and taking it all the way to the house to score for Army.


But in this defensive slugfest, it would come down to a goal line stand and Army would finish strong. Final score 17-11, afterwards, Army starting the epic celebration. This is like their Super Bowl. Army has now won six of their last eight matchups in this rivalry. They are rolling. We caught up with the leader, head coach Jeff Monken and his crew after the game.

JEFF MONKEN, HEAD COACH, ARMY BLACK KNIGHTS: Man, both sides, just battle right to the -- welcome to the Army-Navy game. Down there on the one-yard line at the end of the game.

TYSON RILEY, RUNNING BACK, ARMY BLACK KNIGHTS: It speaks to our culture. Our never give up attitude. We've talked a lot, in the recent weeks about how we started off and how that's completely different than how we finished. This win is just a culminating event for all the work we've put in and I'm really proud of this team.

AUSTIN HILL, DEFENSIVE LINE, ARMY BLACK KNIGHTS: No one flinched. We did it. We did it, you know, you know. It came to inches and we said it was going to come down to that final inch, and it came our way. It's a testament to the seniors in this culture, these coaches, great people, great culture and a great brotherhood. I'm proud of these guys.

WIRE: America's game highlighting some of the best and brightest America has to offer. It's a rivalry like no other. Next year's edition will move to the nation's capital, Washington D.C.

I'm Coy Wire, CNN, Foxborough, Massachusetts.


NOBILO: Just hours ago, Buckingham Palace released this year's Christmas card featuring King Charles and Queen Camilla. They were photographed in the throne room, relatable, of the palace, following the coronation in May. The King is wearing a purple silk velvet robe that was worn by King George VI back in 1937. And as you can see here, the Prince and Princess of Wales chose a more Casual vibe for their family Christmas card, William and Kate were photographed with their three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

And that's a wrap for this hour of "CNN Newsroom". I'm Bianca Nobilo, but I'll be back with the news in just a moment.