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Hundreds Stranded In Machu Picchu Amid Violent Protests; Water Supply, Metro Systems Restored In Kyiv After Russia Strikes; Growing Fears Of A Full-Blown Border Crisis Amid New Migrant Surge. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired December 17, 2022 - 07:00   ET




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And the next hour of CNN this morning starts right now.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Buenos dias. Good morning. And welcome to CNN THIS MORNING. I'm Boris Sanchez.

WALKER: Good morning, Boris I'm Amara Walker. Hundreds of tourists are left stranded in Machu Picchu as protests unfold in Peru, the effort to get them out and what's behind the unrest.

SANCHEZ: Plus, Russia launching a barrage of attacks on Ukraine hitting critical infrastructure targets. With residents forced to huddle in subways as air raid sirens and explosions were around them. We have a look at the extensive damage and what could next unfold and this winter phase of the war.

WALKER: And border towns are bracing for a surge as a Trump era policy is expected to end next week. You're going to hear from both from those who journey to the border and officials trying to contain the crisis.

SANCHEZ: And the royal revelations that have the world talking as Harry and Meghan tell their story.

WALKER: Good morning, everyone and welcome to CNN THIS MORNING. It is Saturday, December 17th. Boris, good morning to you. You know, I had a hard time getting out of my, my house today because it's just freezing. I'm ready to go to Florida and just you know bake in that sun.

SANCHEZ: You see you were waiting for winter. You were so excited about the cold. And now that it's here --

WALKER: I was, I laughed in a minute.

SANCHEZ: -- you're dying to get to the warm. I knew it. I knew that this is going to happen.

WALKER: Yes. I know. I'm a wimp. Oh, well -- hello, we begin this morning with hundreds of tourists including dozens of Americans who are stranded in Machu Picchu after a state of emergency was issued in Peru following the ousting and the rest of the country's president.

SANCHEZ: Yes, the State Department says the U.S. has been in contact with the Americans there as trains to the remote city have been suspended indefinitely because of violent protests erupting across Peru. So far, at least 20 people have been killed as demonstrators call for the release of former Peruvian President Pedro Castillo. But even with a growing unrest, Peru's Congress voted against the proposal Friday to hold elections early next year.

WALKER: And with the local economy they're dependent completely on tourism, Machu Picchu's mayor says those stranded are already running out of necessities like medication and food.

SANCHEZ: Let's bring in CNN Rafael Romo who's been following this story for us. Rafael, what is the latest on the situation this morning.

RAFAEL ROMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Amara, Boris, good morning. I've been in touch with Americans who had plan to the trip of a lifetime to exotic places in Peru like the ancient city of Machu Picchu. They told me as early as Monday they noticed people protesting violently on the streets in cities like Cusco and Ayacucho. Shortly thereafter, rail lines and regional airports shut down and now they're unable to return home.


MICHAEL REINER, AMERICAN STUCK IN PERU: We were out a few times when some of the initial protests were beginning.

ROMO (voiceover): It was the trip he had been looking forward to, Michael Reiner, an American tourist lives in Washington, D.C., says he was very excited about traveling to Peru with another seven Americans, friends from college and others.

REINER: We arrived in Lima last Thursday night. We left Friday morning from Lima to Cusco. And then from there we spent three days in (inaudible), which is part of the sacred valley between Machu Picchu and Cusco.

ROMO: But the fun trip to an exotic location came to a screeching halt Monday, when they realized all of a sudden, the whole country was in turmoil, and their safety was no longer guaranteed

REINER: To be a tourist in a country where there's political unrest taking place before eyes is a whole new way of experiencing a country.

ROMO: Deadly protests around Peru have rocked the South American country for more than a week after former president Pedro Castillo tried to dissolve Congress. Lawmakers responded by impeaching him and the Attorney General put him in jail, accusing him of conspiracy and rebellion which prompted thousands of his supporters to violently take to the streets. Eight Provinces throughout the country are now under curfew. But Lima, the capital, is not included so far.

In addition, to regular Peruvians the chaos is having a severe impact on hundreds, if not thousands, of international tourists who are stranded in Peru right now. People like John Royer, an American from Baltimore who is traveling with his girlfriend and currently stuck in Cusco.


JOHN ROYER, AMERICAN STUCK IN PERU: My girlfriend was in, in the restaurant, and then all sudden we heard whistle blowing, and all the shops started slamming their doors, and everybody ran off the street or the end of the shops.

ROMO: Every year, thousands of foreign tourists are drawn to world famous sites like the Machu Picchu Inca citadel. The problem right now is that many of them are trapped in different cities, because some airports are closed, and they can't take flights to make a connection in Lima to leave the country.

REINER: There's something bigger happening here than just our travel experience. And having been to many parts of South America, I know that the priority should be with supporting the Peruvian people.

ROMO: President Dina Boluarte declared a state of emergency Wednesday hoping that some of the measures like banning large gatherings and suspending some personal freedoms would bring an end to the chaos.


ROMO: And yes, this morning Boris and Amara, Peruvian authorities just confirmed the Cusco Airport has reopened. This is, of course, good news for people trapped they're trying to catch a connecting flight to Lima, the capital to leave the country. And just to give you an idea about how popular Peru is as an international destination, more than half a million foreign tourists visited the country in the first five months of the year, according to government figures. Back to you.

SANCHEZ: A dream vacation turned into a nightmare for those folks. Rafael Romo, thank you so much.

CNN has spoken with some of the Americans stranded there in Machu Picchu. And here is how tourist, Kathryn Martucci, describes the wait she experienced hoping to be rescued.


KATHRYN MARTUCCI, AMERICAN STRANDED IN PERU: What we know is that there's four helicopters. We do not know the capacity of the helicopters, and we do not know if they're making more than one run.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I mean, so, so Catherine, all of that is nerve racking, I can imagine. And so, you are one of the tourists who is out of medication. You all were told that you were going for, you know two days, which is the typical amount of time to get up and down from Machu Picchu. So, you packed very lightly how dicey is your medical situation today.

MARTUCCI: It's not life threatening, but the withdrawal from the medication itself has challenges. So, to abruptly stop taking this medication is an issue. I don't have any more. I do have some in Cusco. So, if I get to Cusco, I'll be good, but they do not have that medication here. Some of our group members have hypertension, and they were able to get their medication here in Machu Picchu at the hospital.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And so, Kathryn, we heard that some of the restaurants have run out of food, what's the situation with food there?

MARTUCCI: Well, we have food, there's no really, you know, we're, we're well fed. However, one of the restaurants that our tour, tour group contracts with is out of food, and we expect more establishments to run out of food as time goes on. And as you said, in the in the, in the introduction, the only way in here is by that rail, and that rail is privately owned. It is not owned by the government.


WALKER: Gosh, what a frightening situation. So, the State Department is asking us travelers in Peru to sign up for, for step alerts from the US Embassy if they haven't yet.

SANCHEZ: New this morning water supply and metro services are finally up and running again after a major disruption in Ukraine's capital of Kyiv.

WALKER: The mayor announced the service restorations after a barrage of Russian missile strikes hammered the city on Friday, forcing residents to take shelter and subway stations as you see and leaving as many as two-thirds without water and heat. CNN's Will Ripley has more now on the latest wave of attacks targeting the country's infrastructure.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): Without warnings. A massive Russian missile attack targeting cities across Ukraine on Friday. The military says around 40 of those missiles aimed at the capital, Kyiv, forcing thousands underground subway stations becoming temporary bomb shelters train service suspended for hours. Scores of students like Katya had to miss school. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sitting here about three hours. I want to go home.


RIPLEY: Ukraine says, air defense shut down most of the missiles but not all. Several deafening explosions shook the country. The strikes killing at least three in Central Ukraine, terrifying people near the points of impact. Thermal and hydroelectric power plants and substations taking direct hits, triggering an energy emergency with widespread blackouts.

Ukraine's president says all their targets today are civilians. Mainly energy and heat supply facilities. As a result of this war, the meaning of the word terror for most people will be associated with the crazy actions of Russia. Ukraine's second largest city Kharkiv also plunged into darkness, no light, no heat, no water, even no way to cook. Many forced to brave freezing temperatures just to line up for a warm meal.

"People need to be fed," she says or cooking on a wood stove. Ukraine's military monitored Russian jets above Bella roofs during the strikes, Moscow and Minsk staging joint military drills in recent days. Kivas warning of a possible attack from the north. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko announcing his friend and ally, Russian President Vladimir Putin, will be in Minsk on Monday. Two strong men, strengthening their alliances.

ALEXANDER LUKASHENCO, PRESIDENT OF BELARUS: We will never be enemies of Russia. We will never look disapprovingly at Russia. He says, if it were otherwise, we would be like Ukraine.

RIPLEY: Obedience in Belarus, resistance in Ukraine. This democracy under siege, defying danger with a smile. Will Ripley, CNN, Odessa, Ukraine.


SANCHEZ: Will, thank you so much. Joining us to discuss the very latest from Ukraine is CNN Military Analyst and Retired Air Force Colonel, Cedric Leighton. Colonel Leighton, always great to have you on appreciate you being up bright and early for us. You said just weeks ago that you were concerned about weapons shortages in Ukraine. Congress just passed this new defense bill; it includes $800 million in aid for Ukraine. It allows the US government to pay industry to produce weapons. It expedites delivery of munitions and replenishes U.S. weapons stockpiles. Does that aid go far enough?

CEDRIC LEIGHTON, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, Boris, good morning. I'm not sure it really does. Because what we're looking at is time. Yes, the quantities sound great. It sounds like it, the quantity itself will be at least somewhat sufficient to take care of what the Ukrainians need, especially if it's the right kind of weapons. But we need to absolutely make sure, and I know the bill has provisions in it that look at the speed at which things are delivered as well. But we need to make absolutely sure the weapons systems that are earmarked for Ukraine, actually get to Ukraine and see the battlefield so that they can be effective.

SANCHEZ: And Colonel, let's talk about the Patriot Missile Defense System. CNN is reporting that the Biden administration is finalizing plans to send it to Ukraine. How exactly is this going to help the Ukrainian forces?

LEIGHTON: So, I think, Boris, what we need to do is think about the air defense system as a series of layers. What you can -- right now has is basically the first two or three layers of a Workable Integrated Air Defense System. The Patriot Missile System is designed to provide that fourth and final layer in terms of altitude and distance that it can be used at.

So, this would be something like developing the system somewhat similar to what the Israelis have with the Iron Dome, I and what it does is it uses the technology of the Patriot System, plus the technologies of the systems that are already there, to give the Ukrainians a much better chance at taking out the missiles that are striking their target. And of course, it also works against drones and manned aircraft should that be needed as well.

SANCHEZ: So, would this further help move momentum toward Ukraine at this point in the conflict?

LEIGHTON: Yes, I think it would, because what the Patriot would do is it would allow for the Ukrainians to protect more of their targets, more of the area, say around Kyiv or Kharkiv, the major cities, their military installations, or their critical infrastructure installations, and would allow them to target more of the incoming missiles. They've done a great job like yesterday's missile strikes included 76 missiles, 60 of them were shot down, according to the Ukrainians.

That's a pretty good track record, but those 16 that got through still did a lot of damage, and you would get those remaining 16. And that's the kind of thing that will help the Ukrainians and once you do that, once you protect those target areas, then it makes it much harder for the Russians to achieve their tactical and strategic goals.


SANCHEZ: Colonel Leighton, while we have you there was another aspect of that massive defense spending bill that I wanted to ask you about. It includes an end to the military's COVID vaccine mandate. I'm wondering if you think ending the mandate was the right move?

LEIGHTON: It's not the right move for us, and here's why: the vaccine mandate, you know, we should take all the politics out of this, what it is, is a very clear readiness issue. I, and when it comes to vaccines, you know, all of us in the military have been vaccinated for all kinds of things, everything from measles, all the way up to anthrax, and depending on when you served, you got specific vaccines for malaria for other things like that.

So, these vaccines are needed in order to keep the military it's at its most effective with a virus like COVID 19. I ID to not only mutates, but it becomes part of the permanent infrastructure of diseases around the world. And when you deploy people, if they're not immunized against these diseases, it can render them mission incapable and mission ineffective, and that becomes a critical readiness issue for the U.S. and frankly, for our allies as well.

SANCHEZ: Colonel Cedric Leighton, appreciate the time as always and happy holidays.

LEIGHTON: Happy holidays to you too, Boris. Thanks so much.

WALKER: More than five million people remain under winter weather alerts this morning, the Nor'easter brought several feet of snow to parts of New England and rain to coastal areas. And this morning, thousands of people across the Northeast are without power. CNN Meteorologist Allison Chinchar is in the weather center. Allison, if you don't like the cold, you're not going to be happy.

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: I really don't have very good forecast for you for the next week, if that's the case. Yes, we still have some lingering snow. This has been a very slow system. And so, it's taking its time exiting the region. So, for today, we do still anticipate having some additional snow showers, especially across portions of New England. But even cities like Portland and Boston, that transition from rain into snow is happening. So, even if you've been lucky up to this point just to have rain, you're going to start to see more of that mix in with snow as the day goes on.

Pretty significant snowfall totals already two feet across areas of Vermont. But even areas of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New York also picking up in excess of one foot of snow. We also have the potential for some snow in the Midwest, most of this is really going to be lake effect snow, but some of them still looking at several inches, maybe four or five, even six inches of additional snow across the Midwest, on top of what they've already seen.

But the heaviest amounts of snow are actually going to be across portions of upstate New York in areas of Pennsylvania right there along the lakes from that lake effect, it will we could see as much as an additional one feet, or one foot of snow on top of the feet of snow they already have. One thing to note really for the entire eastern half of the country is you're going to start to notice a big change in terms of temperatures. Some of these areas, as much as 40 degrees below normal.

Most areas, however, will be within that 15-to-20-degree range. Look at Minneapolis, for example, high today of 21. That's still below the average. But it's going to drop even more. Thursday and Friday of the upcoming week. We'll be lucky if we can maintain in that positive range for the high temperatures. And Atlanta, again 50s for much of this week, still below average. But that's going to be much nicer than the 25, Amara and Boris, that we expect at the end of the week. And D.C., Boris, sorry, not much better.

SANCHEZ: I think I'm going to start a protest. Just take to the streets and hold signs. WALKER: You're not going to make it out onto the streets. No way! You're going to be doing it from your, your living room with the heat on like at 80 degrees, right?

SANCHEZ: I'm going to be in Florida, as a matter of fact.

WALKER: Same here.

SANCHEZ: Just like you, Amara, running away from a cold. Thank you so much, Allison Chinchar.

WALKER: Good to see you, Alison. Well, the Trump era border policy is set to expire next week and towns along the U.S.-Mexican border are preparing for an influx of migrants. The concerns from officials across parts of Texas is coming up.

SANCHEZ: Plus, Harry and Meghan telling it all revelations in that Netflix documentary and how it's playing back in the U.K. and around the world.


WALKER: Plus, those airline miles just aren't going as far as they used to. How airlines are cutting back on perks for frequent fliers as travel demand surges.


SANCHEZ: So, a federal appeals court rejected a bid by several Republican-led states to continue Title 42. That's the Trump era policy that cites COVID-19 as the reason for the United States to expel migrants immediately at the southern border.

WALKER: And unless the Supreme Court intervenes, the Biden administration is bracing for a surge in migrant crossings when Title 42 ends on Wednesday. CNN Ed Lavandera is in El Paso, Texas where city officials are overwhelmed as thousands of migrants are already arriving each day.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): It's 39 degrees and getting colder. This is Roberto Cordovas's first night sleeping on the El Paso streets. He says, he's never experienced anything close to homelessness. He left Cuba last month and is hoping to get to Miami soon.

He says this is the first time in his life he's ever had to spend the night on the street and he feels completely lost.

A thin pair of New York Giants socks and unlaced shoes won't be enough to get through the frigid night.

Everything that he's wearing now, the jackets and the heavy clothing donated by people who have dropped it off here.

Roberto hopes there's something else to keep him warm in the back of Sandra Grace Martinez's car for days, she's handed out donated goods.

SANDRA GRACE MARTINEZ, DONATING GOODS: They're on survival mode. It's fight or flight for them.

LAVANDERA: The long lines of migrants from what is Mexico waiting to get escorted into El Paso by border patrol agents has significantly dwindled, a sign that perhaps this lady latest migration surge has slowed down for now. But that could change next week with the Title 42 Public Health rule set to expire. That order allows for the swift expulsion of migrants at the border. As more migrants arrive in El Paso, officials plan to bring in more buses to move migrants to their destinations in the U.S. faster, hoping to prevent a backlog of people on the streets.


MARIO D'AGOSTINO, DEPUTY CITY MANAGER, EL PASO, TEXAS: And so with that, that might bring in transportation in forms of buses to get them to that transportation hub, whether it's Dallas, or Denver, or Phoenix or whatever that next large airport or bus terminal is, it's to move them on to those locations.

LAVANDERA: El Paso Emergency Management outreach teams are helping migrants find shelter space at night. But Albert Robles and his wife have been sleeping on the street buried under blankets since Monday night. Their bus ticket to Connecticut isn't good until this weekend.

He said the first night that he was sleeping on the street, it was drizzly and cold. It was almost like a fatal feeling. But he thought, you know, he's been dreaming of this moment for so long that there was no way he was going to turn back.

City and county public officials have been meeting with the federal government including customs and border protection officials. They're all in the process of planning and preparing for what's to come next week. If and when Title 42 is lifted on Wednesday. Ed Lavandera, CNN, El Paso, Texas.


WALKER: Some remarkable stories there. Great reporting there from Ed Lavandera. Much more still ahead this hour, including a short-term fix in Washington, President Biden signs a one-week stopgap funding bill to avert a government shutdown. But can lawmakers get a long-term deal done before it expires?



WALKER: President Biden has essentially reset the clock after signing a stopgap spending bill, averting a government shutdown for now. The measure will extend funding for another week until Friday, December 23rd.

SANCHEZ: Negotiators say they are closer to an agreement to fund the government for a full year, and that would avert a potential showdown between the Biden administration and a Republican-controlled House. CNN's Jasmine Wright joins us now live from Wilmington, Delaware.

Jasmine, Republicans take control of the House in just a matter of weeks. The White House is looking for ways to work with them in the new Congress.

JASMINE WRIGHT, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: That's right, Boris. It's interesting because even though that the process playing out right now with bipartisan negotiators, is high stakes, and going to the last moment, the White House is aware of the fact that it is a piece of cake in comparison to what they can expect for next year.

Already, Republicans have said that they would make these sorts of partisan fights out of must pass bills like government funding, spending, and the debt limit.

So, the White House, at the direction of President Biden has started kind of this early preparation, early research, trying to identify key groups of Republicans that they feel that they could come to some sort of agreement with when it comes to bipartisan legislation.

Now, they've identified two such groups, officials tell CNN, and that includes moderate Republicans who have a track record with reaching out over the line with Democrats. And of course, those Republicans in this new class, of Republicans that flipped congressional districts that President Biden won in 2020. Flip them to win them, and this midterm in 2022. So, those are who the White House is focusing on.

Now, this is in the early stages here, Boris and Amara. And that includes kind of researching them, researching their pressure points, identifying what makes them tick, and what kind of issues that in the past they have worked on, that they would like to work on, again.

Of course, as this White House faces a reality that the legislative, bipartisan wins that they face, there are -- that they won rather in the last two years, could dry up when it comes to Republicans in the House.

And they said that they are not signing any blank checks moving forward.

So, this is in the early stages, of course. But it all leads up to White House reach out, which, of course, can lead up to President Biden reaching out to these Republicans. As we know that he likes to work across the aisle, as the White House tries to find some way -- some silver lining to get some bipartisan wins in the last two years of the president's first term. Boris, Amara.

SANCHEZ: And of course, there is so much in flux, because we still don't know who the Republicans are going to elect a Speaker.

That obviously is a huge part of this equation.

WRIGHT: Exactly.

SANCHEZ: Jasmine Wright, traveling with the president in Wilmington, Delaware. Thank you so much, Jasmine.

Up next, inside the royal splits. The final three episodes of the docuseries, Harry and Meghan, offering insight into their decision to leave the royal family.

We're going to talk about it next.



SANCHEZ: Netflix released the final three episodes of the docuseries, Harry and Meghan this week.

The couple explaining a new detail the breakdown of their relationship with the British Royal Family, triggering their exit from the U.K. in early 2020.

WALKER: Netflix says the first half of the series had the biggest debut of any of its documentaries. More than 28 million households watched the first three episodes. CNN's Scott McLean, with more.


PRINCE HARRY, DUKE OF SUSSEX: It was terrifying to have my brother screaming shout to me, and my father say things that just simply weren't true, and my grandmother, you know, quietly sit there and sort of take it all in.

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The final accusations made in Harry and Meghan's Netflix docuseries have been met with silence from Buckingham Palace. As for the public, some sympathy, but also a lot of eye rolls.

SHELAGH FOGARTY, RADIO HOST, LBC: Rachel Esco (PH), from Manchester. Hi, Rachel.

RACHEL (PH): I am absolutely stressed and fuming. And I'm here to put the side of all the people who think, Harry, for God's sake, just shut up man.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think he should move on and not throw his family under the bus.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is same division. Complete division. It's the royal family, it's about broken apart.

MCLEAN: And, of course, there is strong reaction from much of the tabloid press.


MCLEAN: The image of the prince and princess of Wales carrying on with royal duties was on nearly every front page, contrasted in the Daily Mail with Harry's savage onslaught.

The Sun, said he and Meghan had declared war on the royal family. Others questioned the couple's motives and their honesty.

PIERS MORGAN, FOX NATION PRESENTER: And this was all apparently a heroic fight for family privacy. But we have to learn about that fight in a $100 million reality T.V. show.

EMMA WEBB, DIRECTOR, COMMON SENSE SOCIETY: It looks like revenge, as well, it looks like that's they're being vengeful in the way that they've approached this, because they are just slinging unverifiable mud at his brother. They use particular footage of Brits that make us look like we're just an eccentric bunch of racist.


WEBB: But we're not racist, that we are quite eccentric.

MCLEAN: A poll taken between the first and second chunk of episode shows the ones wildly popular couple, have more detractors than fans in the U.K. With a net popularity rating of minus three for Harry, and minus 19 for Meghan.

Still far better than Prince Andrew, but far worse than King Charles or Harry's brother, Prince William.

The same poll found almost six in 10 Brits think that releasing the Netflix series at all was a bad idea.

Do you think they should have made it in the first place?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. If they're seeking privacy, probably not.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just think, if you got to run away from the press, run away from the price. You know, don't -- I'm leaving London because the press had been awful to me. But then I'm going to let Netflix into my house.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't think anything will ever change. Racism just can't change.

MCLEAN: But even sympathy was sometimes paired with skepticism.

FOGARTY: I am disposed to them when it comes to the distress that was clearly part of their experience of the last four or five years.

However, there were moments when I was like, oh, come on, come off it, you know. I wasn't buying chunks of it.

MEGHAN MARKLE, DUCHESS OF SUSSEX: Kensington Palace sounds very regal. Of course, it does. It says palace in the name. But Nottingham Cottage was a small --

PRINCE HARRY: The whole things on a slight -- on a slight lean. Really low ceilings.

FOGARTY: All right, look, just around the corner from Kensington Palace, there's people sleeping on the street. So, I wouldn't go too far down that route if I were you, as, you know, speaking as a duchess. Not great look.

MCLEAN: Scott McLean, CNN, London.


WALKER: All right, our thanks to Scott McLean for that report.

Bidisha Mamata is a British broadcaster and she is joining us now.

Great to see you this morning. I do want to point out, the documentary does talk about how Britons -- how they see the royal family as really an extended part of their own family. Right?

So, when you -- when you know that in context, how are people there in the U.K. receiving this?

BIDISHA MAMATA, BRITISH BROADCASTER: It's 50 percent intrigue, because, of course, looking at other people's stuff is always very interesting.

And 50 percent a little bit of tiredness. Because no matter how terrible Harry and Meghan feel, their injury, their wound is really very personal.

Yes, they had terrible treatment at the hands of the tabloid press. But actually the source of their pain has to do with a family. And we will never really get into the rooms where the fathers and the brothers and the queen herself are trying to negotiate these personal and political and public relationships.

So, they could release a documentary series that had 1 million parts to it. I'm not suggesting that that's what happens. And we will still never get to the heart of what happened in those rooms, because nobody will really disclose those conversations.

WALKER: Right. There is three sides to a story, right? One -- the first part, the second part, and of course, the truth.


WALKER: So, clearly, this is eliciting a lot of emotions in the U.K. And a lot of questions about the intentions behind this. And we heard Harry, at least, in the first episode, saying that, you know, this is about protecting my family, yet they are giving up a lot of their privacy, you know, and bringing in a lot of publicity with this documentary series, right?

MAMATA: I would love to hear a psychologist's take on this, because exactly as you say, there is the public's perception of what happens. And then, there is what's prince -- there is what Prince Harry is saying to himself.

So, he is saying to himself, I have been betrayed by my brother and my father, my grandmother, all of these institutions, no one will ever understand what it's like to be a prince. And then he is saying to himself, also, I must protect my lady love and my children. I must try to bring up my own family without the royal aspect.

But, of course, I think it's quite clear they want to retain many privileges: fame, money, the ability to speak your truth, the ability to cut a very big deal with Netflix.

They're not rejecting celebrity. They're trying to cut a very fine line between being working royals, which is very onerous, it's very dutiful, and staying in the public eye and enjoying the privileges of all of those aspects of being famous.


WALKER: Much has been made about Prince Harry and Prince William, and their relationship, or at least, maybe, their deteriorating relationship.

I want people to listen to Prince Harry, talk about his differences with his brother. Listen.


PRINCE HARRY: I mean, the saddest part of it was this wedge created between myself and my brother. So, that he is now on the institution side.

And I get -- a part of that I get. I understand. Right? That's his inheritance. So, to some extent, it's already ingrained in him that part of his responsibility is the survivability and the continuation of this institution.

WALKER: You know, I feel like so much of the public, right? Around the world that has, you know, seen Harry and William as little children growing up, watching them, you know, deal with the tragedy of the death of their mother.

I think a lot of people are heartbroken, at least, to see siblings fighting in this public way. Do you see this relationship to be reconcilable in any way?

MAMATA: I think your point is exactly right that this is the most painful aspect of it. And, in fact, Prince Harry said that himself.

I don't think it's a surprise that King Charles and the princes are a little remote from each other, because the king or Prince Charles is the king or the prince.

But when you have two brothers, who exactly as you say, came to public prominence because they were forged in suffering, they were forged in grief, they were brought up in this family as motherless children surrounded by tragedy and gossip, and being made to come out and preyed in front of the public in the day following their mother's violent death. Of course, the entire world wants to see them together as brothers. And, of course, for Prince Harry, that is the most grievous pain of all. Because he has had his own realization process.

He has realized that his own brother is not just a brother. He is future king. He is a solid member of the firm, the royal family. He can never just be your brother that comes around to hang out with you the weekend before Christmas, as we are right now, to talk about fun stuff.

He will always have, at least, half his mind on institutional aspects. Aspects of duty and public facing roles that he has to fulfil for the rest of his life.

WALKER: No comment from the palace per protocol. Will that change? We will see. Bidisha Mamata, thank you.

MAMATA: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: Coming up. With travel demands surging, airlines are pulling back on perks. More on the changes fliers can expect, still ahead.



WALKER: So, more people are flying these days as pandemic restrictions ease and the holidays approach. But airlines are cutting back on frequent flyer perks, as travel demands surge.

SANCHEZ: And travelers could be frustrated as major airlines, including Delta and United, began raising the bar to access airport lounges and using free travel miles.

CNN's Pete Muntean has more.


PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Stephanie Ogbogu is a proud frequent flyer, now frequently frustrated by the airlines.

STEPHANIE OGBOGU, FREQUENT FLYER: They wanted us to take advantage of travel, and then we finally do. And it's like, oh, wait, wait, wait. Now, it's too much.

MUNTEAN: Stephanie is just one of Delta Airlines loyalists, fuming over new rules. Next year, the company is making it harder to get into its more than 50 Sky Club lounges at airports worldwide.

Delta cites customers upset over lines outside and crowded seating inside, telling frequent fliers, "We have made the difficult decision to implement new policies that we believe will preserve the experience our guests deserve."

SCOTT KEYES, FOUNDER, SCOTT'S CHEAP FLIGHTS: I think this is the sort of a trend.

MUNTEAN: Scott Keyes of Scott's Cheap Flights, says airlines are cutting back on perks now that travel numbers are back near pre- pandemic levels.

United Airlines is anticipating end of year holiday travel even bigger than this past Thanksgiving.

Next year it will raise the bar on earning frequent flyer status, making it harder to get free upgrades and fees waived.

KEYES: It's going to be much more difficult to get into lounges, much more difficult to renew elite status, and much more difficult to redeem their frequent flyer miles for a free trip.

MUNTEAN: A Delta flight from LAX to JFK over spring break would typically cost you 25,000 frequent flyer miles for an economy seat.

Now, Scott's Cheap Flights says it will cost more than twice that, 52,000 miles.


MUNTEAN: Consumer advocate say earning miles has never been easier, thanks to airline credit cards. But now, redeeming miles is getting tougher.

MCGEE: You enter these programs in good faith and you invest in them for years and years, and you find that the goalposts are a lot further away than they were when you started.

OGBOGU: Airlines there, they're missing the mark here. I hope that they listen to the consumer and they really think about some of the decisions that they're making at the top level.


MUNTEAN: Travel experts say there are some real winners and losers here. The winners are those with airline credit cards and mega status already.

But the losers were those right on the cusp of achieving status of their favorite airline. The latest carrier to tweak its frequent flyer program, American Airlines, starting in March, will make it harder to get do its gold level.

It was 30,000 points. Now, that will go up to 40,000 points. Making it harder to get free upgrades and free checked bags.

Boris, Amara?

WALKER: I've been stuck in the same status for like years. I don't think I'm ever going to move up. Gosh, that sucks.

Pete Muntean, thank you. [07:54:49]

We'll be right back.


WALKER: A programming reminder. Don't miss this week's new episode of CNN's "THIS IS LIFE WITH LISA LING". This week, Lisa explores how for some the pandemic push them from casual drinking into the disease of addiction, especially among women.


LISA LING, CNN HOST: This is Lisa Ling. I'm in the middle of an interview when I get a call.

LING: Hi, Brooke.


LING: How are you doing?

LING (voice over): It's Brooke, a woman who is sober for months, but it's just relapsed.

BROOKE: I am so sorry.

LING: No, no, no. Don't, don't, don't apologize.

BROOKE: OK. But, I was supposed to do better and I'm sorry.

LING: You're going to go to the hospital now?



LING: So, you feel like you need to get into detox now?

BROOKE: Yes. Is there any way we can show how this happens?

LING: I want to document this.