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Ukrainian President Said To Believe Fears Of Sanctions Threat Against Russia Not Enough; Vladimir Putin Warned He Doesn't Want Ukraine To Join NATO; Pressure Mounts On British Prime Minister Boris Johnson; China Reports COVID Cases In Seven Cities; Evidence Shows Omicron May Spread Faster Than Delta Or Beta; Dozens Of Migrants Killed In Mexico Crash; British Court Rules Julian Assange Can Be Extradited To The U.S.; Canada's Maple Syrup Vault Is Open. Aired 10-10:45a ET
Aired December 10, 2021 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Well, hello, and welcome to a special edition of CONNECT THE WORLD live from Expo 2021 here in Dubai. A
busy two hours of news and analysis for you tonight with some cracking interviews including my sit-down with billionaire and philanthropist Bill
Gates who along with the crowned prince of Abu Dhabi made history earlier at the Expo by announcing the eradication of river blindness in Niger. That
is a big deal. My conversation with him about why. We'll also talk the global COVID response and whether or not he will join the space race.
And in 90 minutes, from the concrete jungles of New York to the urban metropolis of Dubai, Alicia Keys is in the house with new music ahead of a
one night only performance at the Al Wasl Dome behind me.
First up, though, the fear of sanctions is not enough to stop Russia from invading Ukraine. That is said to be the message from the Ukrainian
president to the United States. The Ukrainian official tells CNN that during their call on Thursday, President Volodymyr Zelensky warned
President Joe Biden that sanctions after an invasion would effectively be too little too late. Ukraine estimates that Russia has 120,000 troops on
its doorstep which are poised to advance.
CNN's Matthew Chance has been talking to his sources about all of this and he is now with us from Kiev.
So, Matthew, publicly, Mr. Zelensky is thanking President Biden. But you are hearing something quite different. What does Mr. Zelensky want from
Washington at this point?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Becky, you're right. I mean, publicly all the Ukrainians are saying is that they're very
grateful to the United States and for President Biden in particular to support Ukrainian sovereignty and its territorial integrity. And of course,
there is a high degree of, you know, thankfulness, gratefulness, for that. But it's just that privately, you know, there are these little bits of
frustrations that are coming out.
And, you know, I had a briefing last night from a Ukrainian official with knowledge of the phone call between President Biden and President Zelensky,
in which he basically gave a rundown of all the things that he discussed with President Putin on that video conference call a few days before, and,
you know, one of the things that President Biden did is describe to President Zelensky, all the kinds of tough sanctions that United States and
others have vowed to impose against Russia if it were to take the step off invading Ukraine once again.
Volodymyr Zelensky, according to the source that I spoke to, he said look, you know, I don't really like prescriptive sanctions because we think the
Kremlin has already taken them into account and it won't deter them. What the Ukrainians said they would prefer are sanctions that are upfront, that
perhaps over delayed implementation and it can be rolled back if, in the words of this official, Russia behaves.
There was also some frustration expressed at the fact that the weaponry that had been requested by the Ukrainian military from the United States
had not yet fully arrived, defensive weaponry, to defend against a potential Russian attack. Particularly important because on the U.S.'s own
intelligence the officials said there could be an invasion by Russia as early as next month.
There was also some I think disappointment is the word about NATO and about the fact that even though President Biden told Volodymyr Zelensky that
Russia would not be given a veto to decide whether Ukraine joined the Western military alliance or not, he didn't envision Ukraine joining until
at least or, you know, not before he said 2030. So some years away even if Russia, you know, doesn't get the veto on that.
ANDERSON: That's fascinating. Is it any clearer exactly what Moscow's intentions are at this point, Matthew?
CHANCE: Not really. I mean, we certainly know that tens of thousands of Russian troops have been building up as we've been reporting. The latest
Ukrainian intelligence assessments which came through to me just a couple of days ago said that the number had increased from Ukraine point of view
from 95,000 to 120,000, so that gives you an indication directly of travel.
Will Putin invade? Well, Russia says it's got no plans for an invasion but it clearly represents a credible threat because it's invaded in the past
and currently has occupied and has annexed a portion of Ukraine, in the Crimean Peninsula. But, you know, this is other sort of strand of analysis
that says that what Putin is really trying to do is bring the United States to the negotiating table, to rattle his saber, to coin a phrase, and to try
and get whatever concessions that he can on a range of issues from the United States.
ANDERSON: Matthew is in Kiev in Ukraine for you tonight. Matthew, thank you.
I want to bring our senior international correspondent Sam Kiley. He's been talking with a key U.S. official who was Washington's point person on
Ukraine during the crisis back in 2014.
And Sam, this is a crisis very much seen through the prism of the West. You spoke to Victoria Nuland earlier. She is the U.S. undersecretary for
political affairs. What did she say about that?
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, she is here, she's in the region on quite a wide-ranging group of subjects. Among them
Ukraine, Iran, the role of the United States in the Middle East in general. So we covered a wide range of topics including Israel and Palestine,
something that's sort of fallen off the agenda somewhat.
But on Ukraine, I put it -- I asked her really on behalf in a sense of Vladimir Putin who has been complaining about NATO being in his back
garden. This is my question to her and this is how the interview went.
KILEY (on-camera): Vladimir Putin has absolutely been clear and repeated very recently the idea that he doesn't want NATO in Russia's back garden.
Now historically Ukraine is the birth place of the Russian tribe, the Russian people. Georgia, another frontline state, if you like. Both of them
are being encouraged by the West, led by the United States, into at least fantasizing that one day they'd join NATO. Why bother? Why provoke the
VICTORIA NULAND, U.S. UNDERSECRETARY OF STATE FOR POLITICAL AFFAIRS: First, Sam, NATO is a defensive alliance. It is not planning to attack anyone,
never has in its 70 plus year history. It's about defending the territory of our members. It is also an entity that is open to any European democracy
that can meet its high standards. So we've always had an open door. We're not going out and recruiting anybody.
KILEY: But can you see that it is also provocative for Vladimir Putin?
NULAND: It is Russia that is provoking this conflict. It's Russia that's moving its forces forward towards the Ukrainian border. It's Russia that's
changing the status quo. And what President Biden is saying is that is provocative, that is destabilizing. If you have concerns, let's have a
conversation. Not intimidation.
KILEY: Now you are here in the UAE. Just in the last 24 hours, the UAE has seemed to brush off American suggestions that there may be a tightening of
sanctions towards Iran as part of the pressure to bring Iran back to the negotiating table and to get the JCPOA off the ground.
NULAND: Well, we're here in the UAE because we have a very rich and deep and strong relationship over many decades. But it is increasing now
exponentially as the UAE is playing an increasingly strong role in the region, as it's becoming more influential as an economic and technological
powerhouse. At the same time, there are lots of businesses here who have historically done -- been trading with Iran so it's important that we also
work together to ensure that sanctions aren't violated. And that's what we're doing.
KILEY: We're now seeing, coming out of Israel, B'Tselem and other groups actually accusing their own government of running an apartheid structure on
the West Bank in particular. Is that something that you would agree with? Do you see Israel emerging as an apartheid nation, and if so, what are the
consequences for Israel?
NULAND: Our goal with our ally Israel in addition to our incredibly strong relationship and our abiding commitment to Israel's security is to see
Israel also play a role in security and peace throughout the region. You could argue that this government through arrangements that it's making with
its neighbor Jordan to provide more water and more agricultural benefit to the Palestinians in the West Bank, to try to tamp down tensions, is a
better partner in that regard than we've had in some time. But there is work to do and there is still flashpoints and tension points.
KILEY: But on the Palestinian side, you've got a completely unelected, very physically ancient leadership with arguably extremely limited support from
the ground. Opinion polls do not reflect well on the Palestinian Authority. Are they getting close to the point of irrelevance?
NULAND: So it's important to go and talk about the fact that governments need to deliver for their people. And that's important right now. And the
population in the territories is demanding more opportunity.
They are demanding a better future. And we want to see that for them, too. This is a moment where the region is changing dynamically. You can see that
in the relationship between the UAE and Israel, the relationship between Israel and Jordan, the relationship between Israel and many of its other
neighbors, that it's important that that continue, that all these relationships be a force for peace, for stability, for prosperity. And it's
important that the Palestinians not be left behind in that story.
KILEY: So who are you going to squeeze hardest?
NULAND: It's not about squeezing. It's about talking. That's what diplomats do.
KILEY: Now, Becky, that's what diplomats do. But when it comes to Israel and Palestine, and it's somewhat indicative of America as well, but in the
wider region, there is a kind of sense on both sides of that debate that America the big brother that always had an arm around this issue is
ANDERSON: No, certainly you hear this a lot in this region. The U.S. is increasingly seen as an unreliable partner. So if that is the case, what
are the consequences?
KILEY: Well, from the American perspective, part of why Secretary Nuland was here, why we've got Treasury official coming next week, to try and
encourage the Emiratis in particular not to do too much business or any business with Iran at a time when they're trying to put the squeeze on to
get the Iranians back to the nuclear deal. So that's the sort of standard behavior.
What we're seeing in the region, though, particularly from the Emirates but also from Saudi Arabia and others is a much more independence sense that
they've got to be in control of their own destiny. So we've seen the Emirates' blooming relations with Erdogan. We've seen the Emirates going to
warm up relations with Syria's Assad regime. We've seen the GCC bring Qatar back in from the cold.
These are countries in a sense maturing their own foreign policy rather than relying on guidance or just falling in behind whatever is that
Washington is coming up with. And I think that's going to be a very interesting evolution and quite challenging for the Americans over the
ANDERSON: It's a complicated region. But you are certainly a witness here to a de-escalation and to a certain sense a recalibration of relationships
going forward, what that will entail going forward and the consequences of that are yet to be seen.
Thank you very much indeed.
You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD live from Dubai. Tonight, in the second hour of this newscast, my wide-ranging interview with Bill Gates when the
Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist believes the pandemic's impact will finally ease.
And just ahead, it's the nightmare before Christmas on Downing Street as a top Number 10 adviser gets caught up in a lockdown party spat. What this
could mean for Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Plus we take you to South Africa, what its leading scientists are saying about the omicron variant and the steps they are taking to control it.
I'm Becky Anderson. You are with CONNECT THE WORLD live from Expo 2020 this evening. Stay with us.
ANDERSON: Well, more pressure on Downing Street as questions grow over the U.K. government's alleged lockdown era Christmas parties. A new report says
the prime minister, the British prime minister's communications chief gave out awards at an apparent COVID rule-breaking party last December, an event
Boris Johnson has repeatedly denied ever happened. Word from the London Met, the metropolitan police, that they will not investigate any of the
controversial gatherings because of a lack of evidence.
And looming over all of this, a surge in Omicron cases. U.K. government numbers say they are up by 90 percent in the past days sparking reports of
potentially at least more restrictions.
CNN's Salma Abdelaziz standing by for us at Downing Street. And let's start with these latest revelations. This is over Jack Doyle, the British prime
minister's communications chief. Bringing into question of course some will say at least and certainly as critics will, of Boris Johnson's future. Is
this a dangerous moment for him?
SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There is no doubt that this is probably one of the toughest weeks in Prime Minister Boris Johnson's political
career. But let's start with those new allegations reported by our affiliate, they detail that the press chief was allegedly at a gathering,
at a party, on December 18th, that he was handing out awards and giving a thank you speech to up to 50 people at this alleged party, and this just
turns up the pressure even more, Becky, because it's becoming almost impossible if you are a member of the public to believe that parties,
plural, were taking place at 10 Downing Street, at the prime minister's residence and in his offices by his senior staff and somehow Prime Minister
Boris Johnson knew nothing about it.
And that's what this is really turning into here, Becky. It's no longer about what did or did not take place. Yes, there is an internal
investigation going on to find out the details of what these gatherings are exactly, but for the public, that sense of outrage, it comes from the
feeling that Prime Minister Boris Johnson is quite simply lying to the public, at least not revealing all the details and the truth of these
So what we're seeing happening here really is the prime minister fight for his political survival, particularly within his own party, the Conservative
Party. Do they continue to back him through yet another scandal because this is an important point here. This is not this government's first
scandal, it's not its first scandal when it comes to COVID restrictions. So there is very real questions now being asked about the prime minister's
moral authority, about whether or not he is fit to lead during a pandemic.
We're going to see in the coming days how he begins to convince his own that he still has a grip on power, but you can begin to imagine how MPs
will start to feel pressure at a local level from their own voters, from their own constituents. And yes, this country does not have another
election scheduled for a few more years, but there is always that possibility of a no-confidence vote, Becky. And that is absolutely the
prime minister's worst nightmare.
ANDERSON: And all of this of course amid concerns about a rise in Omicron cases and potentially more restrictions. What do we know at this point?
ABDELAZIZ: Well, prime minister on the same day that he was dealing with this scandal about Christmas parties, on that same day on the Wednesday, he
also announced plan B measures, tougher rules, mask mandates, mandates to show COVID rules in public venues, other restrictions in place now to deal
with that Omicron variant. We know that there's already hundreds of confirmed cases across the country.
Those are of course expected to rise. But again, the question right now is how can the prime minister stand at the podium, ask the country to follow
rules, to follow restrictions when his very government is being accused of not following those rules?
ABDELAZIZ: So you really have a question here over his moral authority. Now people of course concerned about the Omicron variant, they're going to
follow those rules because it's the right thing to do, because they care for their families and their loved ones. But a lot of questions as to
whether or not the prime minister has the respect of the people -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Salma Abdelaziz is outside the prime minister's residence. That is Number 10 Downing Street in London. Thank you.
Well, as cases of the Omicron variant rise around the world, one of the South Africa's top epidemiologists says there are no red flags about its
severity, says cases on the whole tend to be milder, confirming what other scientists have said in recent days. Regardless, South Africa's positivity
rate continues to climb. That's the percentage of all of the coronavirus tests performed that come up positive.
Well, there's not much room for COVID vaccine hesitancy in China with its Dynamic Zero COVID strategy. Under this stringent approach, millions of
people on the COVID restrictions are mass testing. Still China is struggling to keep the number of infections at zero. Earlier China's
National Health Commission reported dozens of cases this seven cities amongst eight high risk areas across the country.
My colleague Kristie Lu Stout has more.
KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A resurgence of COVID-19 in China. From the north to the southeast, coronavirus, testing Beijing's
commitment to its Zero COVID strategy, a policy to eliminate the virus within its borders. And for all its ambitious efforts, locally transmitted
cases have been above zero for more than seven weeks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The Dynamics Zero Case Policy we staked to doesn't mean there is no infection in the country. It means
stopping any infection in a timely manner.
LU STOUT: China sticking to its guns. A justification from the head of its COVID-19 response team, different ideologies lead to different strategies.
BEN COWLING, CHAIR PROFESSOR OF EPIDEMIOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG: Right now because of the threat posed by Omicron and before that by Delta,
I can understand the rationale for keeping the Zero COVID Strategy in place. There is a lot of benefits for Zero COVID, but there is also the
LU STOUT: That toll has been heavy. Millions in China living under some kind of movement restriction, either bound to their neighborhoods or,
worse, to just their homes. Like Nanjing, where more than nine million are advised not to leave the city. Or Harbin, where a population of 10 million
is largely banned from leaving the city. And Manzhouli, in China's inner Mongolia, where the recent outbreak began in November, has left more than
60 neighborhoods sealed. Add to that multiple rounds of mass testing for millions.
COWLING: I think we do have to think about the sustainability of the Zero COVID Strategy, the costs that it incurs, the travel restrictions that are
necessary as part of that strategy.
LU STOUT: The restrictions have had a ripple effect. In the past seven weeks, thousands of tourists stuck in a snap lockdown for days. Shanghai
Disneyland temporarily shut down. High speed trains ground to a halt. Yet the benefits of the strategy are clear. China's overall caseload pales in
comparison with those of many countries including the United States and the country has not reported a COVID-related death since January.
But with Omicron posing a threat, and the Beijing Winter Olympics right around the corner, China's Dynamic Zero COVID Strategy is here to stay.
Kristie Lu Stout, CNN, Hong Kong.
ANDERSON: Well, let's get you then to where this Omicron variant was first sequenced just a couple of weeks ago. Larry Madowo is in Johannesburg for
One top epidemiologist saying that there are no red flags when it comes to severity. There are those still several unknowns about this variant. What
are the most important questions that scientists there in South Africa, Larry, are still trying to answer?
LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Becky, we have to understand exactly how severe this Omicron variant is and how does it behave with people who are
already vaccinated. So what this top epidemiologist is saying tracks from what we've heard from President Cyril Ramaphosa here say before, that the
rate of hospitalization is not rising at an alarming rate.
So based on this preliminary data, it does show that it seems that even though this might be much more transmissible, which means it spreads more
easily from person to person, it does not look to be that much more severe. However, that rate of spread is of great concern and we've got some new
data about this. Listen to this one expert.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SALIM ABDOOL KARIM, AFRICAN TASK FORCE FOR CORONAVIRUS: We now are seeing clearer evidence, we have about two weeks of data now that show that its
doubling time is faster than what we saw with the Delta variant or the Beta variant. So there is now stronger evidence that it's more highly
transmissible. So not definitive, but it's certainly a strong indication.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
MADOWO: So what does that mean? It means that for instance here in this Gauteng Province, which includes the major city of Johannesburg, it is the
epicenter of the Omicron outbreak in South Africa right now, and cases have increased about 400 percent in just about a fortnight.
That's how quickly it is spreading. However, the rate of hospitalization has only increased about 200 percent so about half as much, which could be
promising, which means that even though more people are catching the Omicron variant, they're not getting as seriously sick to need
But, Becky, this is too early to tell for sure. We'll need a few -- a little more time, maybe a few more days, possibly a few more weeks.
ANDERSON: Yes. The other question was whether this is a variant that will swerve existing vaccines, of course. Look, only about 26 percent of people,
about a quarter of South Africans, are fully vaccinated. That is higher than most places in Africa. It is, though, still very low compared to the
rest of the world.
We've been talking about vaccine hesitancy now for some time, you and I, in South Africa and across the continent. And at this point, is that the
reason, the ultimate reason, why we are seeing these low level of uptick, or is it more about distribution challenges of the very vaccines that are
MADOWO: It's unlikely to be a distribution challenge at this time, Becky. The government says they have vaccines available all over the country and
other provinces, and they're really trying to encourage people to take the vaccine. And now we've got some new research, a survey from the University
of Johannesburg that says more than half of adult South Africans support vaccine mandates. More than half also support vaccine passports, making it
mandatory for you to be vaccinated to go to public spaces so you don't infect other people.
However, some people are still reluctant either for social, cultural reasons, for religious reasons or because they have just been listening to
charlatans on the internet, on Facebook, on Twitter, on WhatsApp, and that has led them to be hesitant to get vaccinated.
So between -- I spoke to one expert who says most South Africans are not necessarily anti-vaxxers, they're just hesitant and they need more
information, they need better education before they can take the vaccine.
ANDERSON: Larry Madowo is Johannesburg. Larry, thank you.
Is Julian Assange a crusader for truth or an accessory to espionage? Well, he is trying to stay out of the United States which says he is behind one
of the biggest leaks ever. The legal drama unfolds after this short break.
And tragedy in southern Mexico, an accident on the road cut short the lives of people hoping for a better tomorrow. Details on that are coming up.
ANDERSON: A very warm welcome back. I'm Becky Anderson live from Expo 2020 here in Dubai. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.
Well, at least 54 people were killed in southern Mexico on Thursday when a tractor trailer crammed with people collided with a truck and overturned.
Most of the victims are believed to be migrants. Emergency officials told local media the dead include men, women and children.
Matt Rivers has the latest.
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, just a horrific tragedy in southern Mexico on Thursday afternoon where state authorities in the border state of
Chiapas, which borders Guatemala, say that scores of migrants were riding in a trailer when that trailer was involved in a traffic accident. It
overturned and as a result of that more than 50 migrants died in this accident.
State authorities also saying dozens of migrants were injured as a result. Many of them with serious injuries taken to local hospitals. Mexico's
president, Mexico's foreign minister both extending their condolences on Thursday afternoon with Mexico's foreign minister saying that citizens of
several different nationalities were involved in this accident.
We know the president of Guatemala has acknowledged that Guatemalans were a part of that group of migrants heading north, the people that lost their
lives, saying that Guatemala will assist in repatriating the bodies of some of those people, some of those Guatemalans who lost their lives.
You know, this is a reminder of just how dangerous this journey can be for migrants heading north. Unfortunately, it is not all that uncommon for
migrants to lose their lives in traffic accidents after trying to get rides north, although of course this accident stands out just because of how many
migrants were involved. Both those killed and also those injured.
And you know, this accident comes not long after a report was released by the International Organization for Migration which said that at least 650
people in the last year crossing from Mexico across the southern border into the United States lost their lives. That is the largest such number
This accident in southern Mexico just a stark reminder about how dangerous the journey is for migrants on their way to the U.S. border.
Matt Rivers, CNN, Mexico City.
ANDERSON: Well, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange could be one step closer to being extradited to the United States. British high court has overturned
a judge's decision that kept Assange in the U.K. Now the U.S. government says Assange committed espionage when WikiLeaks published secret military
Nina Dos Santos joins us now from London with the details of what has been now a long ongoing saga. This as I understand it isn't the end of the road
for Assange, correct?
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: By no means, actually, Becky, yes. What we're expecting from here is more legal wrangling. His fiance, the mother
of his two children, Stella Morris, and various people who are a part of WikiLeaks have made it very clear that they are going to appeal at the
earliest possible opportunity and they've decried the chilling sentiment among publishers, journalists and advocates of free speech, they say that
this decision has delivered today.
They say that Julian Assange was only ever a publisher. Obviously U.S. lawyers are trying to make the case here that perhaps he was a lot more
than that. And he had a key alleged instrumental role in helping his source Chelsea Manning access classified military documents. And that is at the
heart of these 18 charges that he is facing, 17 of which as you said are under the U.S. Espionage Act.
The total sentence that he could be facing, Becky, is 175 years behind bars. And what's really interesting about the decision that we heard about
today from the high court is that it actually reverses an earlier decision made by a lower court, a lower jurisdiction in the U.K., which had said
that his mental health was too fragile to be sent to the United States, that they hadn't had the proper assurances that he might not commit suicide
if he were in jail.
Now the U.S. has delivered assurances that they would change his conditions if he were behind bar. They might even let him serve part of his sentence
if he were to be convicted in his native Australia. So that appears to have been enough for the judges in the high court, but it will have to go back
to other courts as well. It might go to the Supreme Court ultimately. It will be the Home secretary of the U.K. who will have to take a decision on
this highly charged political legal case -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Nina, what have we -- briefly, what have we heard from Assange himself?
DOS SANTOS: Well, not a huge amount from Assange himself because he's been behind bars as we know since 2019 in Belmarsh prison which is a maximum
security prison in the U.K. since the United States unveiled those charges and he was turfed out of the Ecuadorian embassy. But the reality is that,
and this is something that his family and campaigners have been saying for a long time is that this is a man who spent a long time in isolation,
Remember, he entered the Ecuadorian embassy where he lived in a tiny room for many, many years back in 2012. Even before then he was already trying
to do his best to avoid extradition or questioning by Swedish authorities related to a case -- a sexual assault case there, allegation that they
He's always said that all of these issues he's faced are politically motivated, linked to his dissemination of classified military U.S.
documents for which by the way his source Chelsea Manning has been serving time behind bars. But really at the end of the day, this is something that
is, as I was saying before, it's a question of judicial matters, but it's also very, very politically charged as well.
So it's likely it's going to go back and forth possibly even for many years. But it is a win for U.S. lawyers and a loss for Julian Assange
ANDERSON: Nina, thank you.
Let's get you up to speed on some of the other stories that are on our radar right now, folks. In China praising and the U.S. rebuking a decision
by Nicaragua to break off diplomatic relations with Taiwan. Nicaragua and China signed a joint communique today to restore diplomatic relations with
Nicaragua declaring Taiwan, quote, "an undoubted part of the Chinese territory." Taiwan's foreign minister says it views the decision with pain
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has paid his last respects to India's top military commander. General Bipin Rawat, his wife and 11 others were
killed on Wednesday in a military helicopter crash in Southern India. Rawat is being be laid to rest today with full military honors.
Well, still ahead, a night to celebrate for Barcelona Women's Football team as they left Arsenal frankly reeling. Details on that are just ahead.
And a former CNN colleague collects her Nobel Peace Prize, one of two journalists receiving the award for the first time since before World War
II. More on that is coming up.
ANDERSON: With a call to protect independent journalists, two journalists have received the Nobel Peace Prize for first time in 86 years. Philippine
journalist Maria Ressa, a former colleague and CEO of Rappler Organization, and Russia's Dmitry Muratov, founder of the newspaper Novaya Gazeta. Ressa
was recognized for their relentless work exposing abuse of power in her home country and for being a defender of freedom against President Rodrigo
Duterte's violent anti-drug campaign.
Well, the road to the award ceremony in Oslo, Norway, was hard for the former CNN bureau chief has faced several legal battles in recent years.
She says she is being targeted because of her news site's critical reports of Duterte's regime.
Here's what she said in her acceptance speech about that and the threat of hate speech on social media.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARIA RESSA, NOBEL PEACE PRIZE LAUREATE: The attacks against us in Rappler began five years ago when we demanded an end to impunity on two fronts.
Rodrigo Duterte's drug war and Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook. Today it has only gotten worse and Silicon Valley since came home to roost in the United
States on January 6th with mob violence on Capitol Hill.
What happens on social media doesn't stay on social media. Online violence is real world violence.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: That's Maria Ressa speaking earlier, during her speech at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony.
But when you hear the word vault, what do you think of? Gold, precious stones, maybe cash? How about maple syrup? You're shaking your head. But
wait, there is such a special and heavily guarded place in Quebec.
Sarah Leavitt from CBC gives us a tour.
SARAH LEAVITT, CBC REPORTER (voice-over): Welcome to Laurierville, a small unassuming town about two-hours' drive from Montreal. It's got its church,
its bank, its library, and its maple syrup emergency reserve. Wait, what? That's right. The world's only emergency supply of that oh-so-sweet sticky
DAVID HALL, PRODUCER OF MAPLE SYRUP: As you can see, we're not out of syrup.
LEAVITT: It's a strategic move by Quebec maple syrup producers to ensure no Canadian ever has to deal with a lack of syrup at the breakfast table.
HALL: We take syrup off the market when it's in the surplus, when there is no home for it, we put it in the white barrels here, we store it, and when
it comes time, we have a year like this year where sales went up, production went down a bit, we're able to fill the market.
LEAVITT (on-camera): Every single one of these barrels has about 272 kilos of maple syrup inside. I've done a little bit of math. And that is the
equivalent of about 400 cans. With all these barrels, that sure is a lot of maple syrup.
(Voice-over): About 45 million kilograms in all, say the producers. They're tapping into about half of it after a less than stellar year of production.
It's a significant chunk from the reserve, but producers say that it is serving its purpose.
HALL: I feel that next December when we talk people will still be putting maple syrup on their pancakes. I don't believe we're going to have to
resort to Aunt Jemima or corn syrup.
LEAVITT: Oh, and don't worry, there won't be any maple syrup heist from this warehouse.
(On-camera): What's security like here?
HALL: I wouldn't try and break in. That's all I'll say.
LEAVITT (voice-over): Sarah Leavitt, CBC, Laurierville.
ANDERSON: Well, they came, they saw, they conquered. Barcelona Women's Football team played their socks off against Arsenal and they scored and
they scored and they scored. Their rival English club did not stand a chance.
I want to let you tell -- let Alex tell you what the final tally was and what that result means for the Women's Champions League -- Alex.
ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Well, look, the women's football game has grown exponentially in recent years. But Barcelona are head and shoulders
above everybody else. Arsenal is currently top of the women's super league here in England. I took my daughter to the Women's FA Cup final at Wembley
last week where they lost 3-nil to Chelsea, so maybe they're on a bad run or form, but Barcelona winning comfortably. And in "WORLDSPORT" in a moment
I'll tell you exactly what a winning streak they're on and how many goals they're scoring.
ANDERSON: Look at this, we are really teasing the viewers. I said you'd let them know and you're telling them to stay on until after the break. So,
folks, stay with us, we're taking a very short break. Alex will stop the teasing after that. We'll be back top of the hour for you.