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Connect the World
Saudi Princes Released After Three Years in Jail; Briefing After High-Stakes Russia-U.S. Talks on Ukraine; Soon: Press Briefing after U.S.- Russia Meeting on Ukraine; China's Tianjin Goes Into Partial Lockdown as Omicron Spreads; Tennis Star says he wants to Stay and Compete at the Australia Open; Djokovic wins Appeal but May Still be Deported. Aired 11a- 12p ET
Aired January 11, 2022 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HALA GORANI, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: Hello everyone, I'm Hala Gorani. Welcome to "Connect the World". CNN has learned that Australian officials
are investigating whether Novak Djokovic lied on his travel entry form.
This comes one day after a judge in Melbourne overturned the tennis stars visa cancellation. Djokovic was blocked by border officials. You'll
remember initially last week over COVID vaccination rules ahead of the Australian Open. He's the defending men's champion and was back on a
practice court earlier Tuesday.
And on top of all of this, Australia's immigration minister could still decide to remove him from the country so it's not a done deal. Our Paula
Hancocks is in Melbourne and joins me now live with the very latest, Paula.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hala as every day passes, there's another twist in this visa saga. So as the tennis world number one is back
on the court he is trying to get himself prepared mentally for next week when the Australian Open starts.
But it is still not 100 percent guaranteed that he will be able to participate in that tournament especially now there is another
HANCOCKS (voice over): The nine time Australian Open champion is back in his natural habitat. This time no media or fans invited a Channel Nine News
drone catches a glimpse of the world number one, Novak Djokovic focuses on tennis while the visa saga continues to swirl around him. Australia's
immigration minister is still considering whether to cancel his visa and ban him from the country for three years.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just because you're rich and famous, why should you be treated anybody else?
HANCOCKS (voice over): A point the government here has hammered home rules are rules all have to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to come into the
country or have a watertight medical exemption. Now the tennis star may have fallen foul of another of Australia's rules.
The Australian Border Force is investigating whether Djokovic submitted a false travel declaration before his arrival. A source with knowledge of the
investigation tells CNN in answer to a question whether the visa holder has traveled or will travel during the two week period ahead of arrival,
Djokovic ticked, No.
But pictures posted a social media appear to show the world number one in both Spain and Serbia during that time. Tennis Australia filled out the
forms for their defending champion. The wrong box checked may be an honest mistake.
But with the Australian Government's smarting from a legal loss, overturning his visa cancellation Djokovic's stay here is tenuous.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Probably have an unpopular opinion and demanded I thought it was good for him to be here and in good spirit at the open.
HANCOCKS (voice over): With the tournament less than a week away, we still don't know whether the defending champion will be returning to Centre court
HANCOCKS: And this really has gone to the highest levels in both Australia and Serbia. Hala, we know that the prime ministers of the two countries
spoke to each other by phone on Tuesday.
In readout of that call, the Scott Morrison office said that it was a constructive call and said that the Prime Minister was pointing at the non-
discriminatory border policy of the country. And that is really key here.
The fact that the border controls in Australia are particularly strict and have been since the pandemic began. And that is also why there's fairly low
sympathy for Novak Djokovic here in Australia as well.
Many Australian citizens stranded abroad unable to get home, many in the country unable to leave Australia for the past two years. So certainly as
you heard there in that report Hala, they do not want to hear about a what they would perceive as a celebrity getting special treatment and whether
that is the case or not. As we know, perception doesn't always base itself on fact.
GORANI: Right. Thank you very much, Paula Hancocks live in Melbourne. Professional tennis coach, Bogdan Obradovic led the Serbian Davis Cup team
to its first ever victory in 2010. He's known Novak Djokovic since he was 10 years old.
He joins me now from the Serbian capital Belgrade. Thanks for being with us. You've known Novak since he was a boy, basically. So you've observed
this big drama. From Serbia, you're in Belgrade. What are your thoughts?
BOGDAN OBRADOVIC, DAVIS CUP CAPTAIN OF SERBIA (2007-2017): Hello, Hala. Well, I think that you already said something about that, you know, so many
those visas we make in the whole world until, I mean, from the time that we invent visa, which was maybe 50, 60, 70 years ago, I really don't know
that. But anyway, all of those visas finally, we have saga and the big movie about the visa.
And finally, something which is visa issue happened also to Novak who suppose just to come to Australia and to play the tournament and to try to
win the 21st title?
GORANI: And who do you think is that fault here?
OBRADOVIC: No, there is actually no fault, nothing; Novak was doing everything what was necessary to have, and to make the visa. And he was
doing everything what was said by the Australian Government, I mean, they'll throw your embassy.
So Novak didn't actually make the mistake, the only mistake is actually was make something which is unusually, we really don't know how it happens, you
know, that the government of the federal government of Australia and also government of that, you know, Republic of Victoria, I don't know how they
But anyway, they didn't agree at the same task, which was really, completely unusual. But anyway, Novak just went to the court, Australia is
a great country; they just have court, of course. And finally they find the solution, which means everything is OK. Novak has all of the papers that he
needs to have his visa, everything is clean, and now he's going to play the tournament.
GORANI: But as you know, the authorities are now looking into whether or not he submitted false claims that he hadn't traveled in the two weeks
before. There's this whole question about him saying that he tested positive for COVID on December 16.
And then the very next day, he's out in big crowds without a mask. There are still some questions hanging over this whole thing. Do you understand
how people still want answers from him?
OBRADOVIC: You know, this is the same like I'm going to ask Australian government or Australian country as a country, are we are going to
rediscover again, what happens with our regions? No, nobody's asking that. So let's start to make a sport.
Let's start to make a lot which means let's start to talk about the positive things, not threatening to each other, what is going to happen?
Nothing. I mean, Novak is the athlete; he's the sport hero of the whole planet. So don't ask him for those tools --
GORANI: I don't quite understand.
OBRADOVIC: He was not involved by himself. Just to have this -
GORANI: I don't understand the knowledge he was -
OBRADOVIC: This is the problem - Australian --. Novak was doing everything under the rules that he's supposed to do. And he's doing everything right.
GORANI: I don't understand the analogy with asking Australians to look back on their treatment of aborigines in this particular case, but let you know
him very well.
OBRADOVIC: Because it makes no sense, this is what doesn't make no sense even to talk about what is going to happen - because they are now
rediscovering what he was doing at the 16 date are they who cares for that? I mean, he's healthy. And then he's completely ready to play the
tournament, he is number one in the role.
GORANI: If he wasn't truthful on his travel declaration, that's the problem right? If he was not truthful, on his travel declaration, they're looking
into this that is an issue, no, you don't agree.
OBRADOVIC: The problem is that the Australian Government didn't recognize that the number one athlete in the world is coming to Australia. And they
have to treat him honestly like a champion. Somebody who was taking nine times title Australian Open, this is the problem, believe me.
If something like this was happening to Roger Federer, they will never talk about that issue. Never, but they are doing that. We know what why, because
they have some reasons. Ask them what the reasons are but I'm saying this, Novak didn't make anything not to play the tournament.
He was doing everything what was necessary to get prepared even for the visa to play the tournament because he likes Australia. You like people of
Australia. You love everything and everybody. Why they don't like him? We really don't know that.
GORANI: There you've heard the Australians justify their decision. Quick last one because you know him this has been a big distraction for him. And
for all the other players actually, if he plays can he still win?
OBRADOVIC: He's going to win. I know that why, because he's ready for that. You know, you remember the last year he was playing all four grand slams
finals three times title one he lost in the final match, which means we are talking about the best tennis player ever.
Doesn't matter, we are respecting Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Boris Becker, also Lleyton Hewitt, also Patrick grafter, also Marcelo Rios and Gustavo
Kuerten, Kafelnikov and - all number ones and also Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal everybody.
OBRADOVIC: But I'm saying listen, he's the best of all time I talked with all of those athletes. They said yes, he is the best. But that doesn't
matter. He respects everybody just let him to play tennis and nothing besides that this is a political issue.
Now, about COVID, my country was one of the first countries in the world that we start with vaccination. Novak is coming with that. We are
respecting everything what was said by the, you know, the health, World Health Organization, which means, we are the big country and we respect the
GORANI: Got it. We're going to leave it there. Thank you so much Bogdan Obradovic for joining us.
OBRADOVIC: Thank you.
GORANI: Appreciate your time today. We'll have more on. As you can see some very heated discussions, some passionate positions on many sides of this
issue is still no real final. And this is what's, I mean, in some ways incredible about this.
No final green light for Djokovic to play in the Australian Open, there is still may is a reversal of that court ruling. We'll keep our eye on that.
But let's talk about other important stories. And namely, no clear signs of Russian de-escalation on the border with Ukraine.
That assessment today from the U.S. Ambassador to NATO, talking exclusively to CNN a day after U.S. Russia talks in Geneva, aimed at heading off a
potential Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Kremlin spokesperson today said the talks offered no significant reasons for optimism but he also called
them open and direct, you know, Diplo speak for saying it wasn't a complete disaster.
And he says Russia is expecting a clearer picture after meetings this week with NATO and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Alex
Marquardt is the Correspondent who spoke exclusively with a U.S. NATO Ambassador, and he joins me now live from Brussels with more.
Matthew Chance is in Moscow. Alex, let's start with you. What did you - what came out of this conversation?
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR U.S. CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hala that the NATO conversation with Russia is due to take place tomorrow. And as you noted,
there was no major breakthrough in the U.S. Russia discussions in Geneva yesterday.
I thought it was pretty interesting that that Ambassador Julie Smith, who represents the U.S. here at NATO, said quite firmly that they do believe
that Russia is firmly committed for now to these diplomatic talks.
There has been some speculation that Russia might just be going through the motions in order to be able to later say, well, diplomacy failed. Now we
are turning to Military options. But she said that, that they are committed to this series of talks with the U.S. with NATO with the OSCE on Thursday.
And then we'll see where things stand after these talks. But I asked her where they believe what the intelligence shows what they know Russia's
positions to be along that border with Ukraine, as these diplomatic talks take place. Here's what she told me a little earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JULIANNE SMITH, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO NATO: Russia is still maintaining about 100,000 forces right on the border with Ukraine. We believe they have plans
to bring more forces forward.
We are not in a position where we can say that we believe that we have seen any clear signs of de-escalation. We are of the mind that at this point,
Russia is holding with the current force posture it has on Ukraine's border.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUARDT: So no major movement, Ambassador Smith says, but they still believe that Russia has the intention to send more troops to the border.
There has been no de-escalation; the US considers the de-escalation to be some of those 100,000 troops going back to their barracks.
Now, these talks are getting underway with NATO tomorrow and Russia is coming to the table with things that NATO has already dismissed, namely,
the membership of Ukraine and NATO. Russia, of course, wants NATO to say they will never be members. Russia would also like NATO to pull back its
Military assets in Eastern Europe. That is not going to happen, NATO says.
But Ambassador Smith told me that there are a number of areas that are up for discussion, namely missile placement in Europe, the discussion over
different kinds of missile systems in Europe, as well as the transparency about Military exercises on both sides, Russia and NATO, Hala.
GORANI: Thank you, Alex. And what's the Russian position on this day, Matthew?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Hala. Well, I mean, look, the Kremlin has come out and said, you look so far after this
first round of negotiations in Geneva; we've got no reason for optimism is what they've said.
But they have said they're making a positive assessment of the fact that the negotiations are taking place at all. And so, that they still remain
committed to the idea of sort of seeing through this next couple of rounds of negotiations in Brussels at NATO headquarters and at the headquarters of
the OSCE, the European security organization in Vienna later on towards the end of the week.
CHANCE: And anyway when they get to the end of that round, they say, are they going to assess what the next step should be. Is there room for more
negotiation? Should more talks be scheduled to try and see if any compromise situation can be released at reached?
Or is that an end to the negotiating process because their main demands are not being given the kind of focus and serious attention that they've been
looking for. And look and we don't know the answer to that. We'll have to wait to see essentially what Vladimir Putin the Russian President, the
president decides when is assessing the outcome of negotiations so far.
But they have asked for what are regarded in western circles as unreasonable demands in terms of clawing back, you know, kind of military
presence in countries that joined NATO after the collapse of the Soviet Union and a demand that NATO would be expanded any further eastwards.
It's whether they're prepared to settle for something less than that some of those items that Alex Marquardt set out in his interview with the U.S.
ambassador to NATO. It's whether the Kremlin would be prepared to take something less than it sort of maximalist demands that it's asked for,
GORANI: Thank you, Matthew Chance in Moscow and Alex Marquardt in Geneva. Ukraine may not be the only Russian neighbor that could be pushed closer to
NATO. Finland has a long had a delicate relationship with Russia, and it's one of six EU countries that are not NATO members along with Sweden.
Last month, Russia discouraged both Finland and Sweden from joining NATO, saying it's obvious that Finland and Sweden joining NATO would have serious
Military and political consequences, which would require an adequate response on Russia's part.
Finland's Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto says it is normal for European crises to fuel the debate on NATO membership. And he joins me now live from
Helsinki, thank you for joining us minister. How much more inclined is your country to joining NATO now, as a result of the last few months of
increasing tension between Russia and Ukraine on its border?
PEKKA HAAVISTO, FINNISH FOREIGN MINISTER: Of course, what has happened on the border of Russia and Ukraine is triggering also security debate here in
Scandinavia, Nordic countries, and also Finland. Our tradition in Finland has been this we call a NATO option.
So the principle that NATO keeps its door open for countries that are qualifying, and Finland will have that option now and also in the future.
It's very important for us and we will keep on that principle.
GORANI: Are you closer than before? I mean, then, before the last half a year or so, to considering full membership of NATO? And have you had
discussions with other NATO member countries about an eventual application to join the Alliance?
HAAVISTO: Finland or Sweden has already very close cooperation with NATO in form of the partnership, we are doing exercises, and we are partly taking
part also to political debates and so forth. At the moment, there is no intention of applying membership.
But for us, it's very important to keep the principle and if somebody is denying that principle from us, of course, that is then touching our
sovereignty. And we think that the European security order based on the OAC organization and its principles, gives every country the possibility other
words to be allied or no, no like country, and we will of course keep this pride ourselves.
GORANI: But when Russia says it Finland joins NATO, it would have serious Military and political consequences. Do you think they're not being
respectful of your country's sovereignty?
HAAVISTO: Well, I think is a question of NATO membership is very much upon the NATO and upon the country applying for the membership, and there should
not be any third party involvement on that. That's the principle of European security. And we don't accept anymore this kind of Europe divided
on spare of interest that was during the Cold War. And we think that that time, so.
GORANI: But Russia seems to be I mean do you interpret this as a threat? It would have serious Military and political consequences. Military, what do
you think that means?
HAAVISTO: Well, we have seen these types of statements, of course, also, also earlier. But - as I said, we are a sovereign country and of course to
do our decisions ourselves and keep those principles of European value very highly those principles of European security that are currently exist.
We are not in a vacuum in Europe; we have agreements like the OSC agreements, which are very important for us as well.
GORANI: When Russia says things like, do you then reach out to your counterpart Minister Lavrov and say hang on what does that mean? Did they
provide you with answers?
HAAVISTO: Well, I have been meeting my counterpart, Minister Lavrov, three times last year; our president met the end of the last year, President
Putin also in Moscow and so forth. So we also had the dialogue with Russia, but of course, on this kind of principles, we are not negotiating.
GORANI: So you're not negotiating? Perhaps you think maybe it's just rhetoric? I guess my wider question is do you believe the region is closer
to Russian Military action now? Do you think these talks that took place in Geneva had any positive impact because there's been no de-escalation?
Russia is saying they don't find any reason to be optimistic. How concerned are you that Russia will once again make a move on Ukraine?
HAAVISTO: Of course, we are quite concerned about that. And we are also waiting a de-escalation to take place. It was very good that the Russian
negotiator stated that they are not going to, to attack Ukraine. Let's hope that this will maintain like that.
And for us, it's very important that this week is the week of the diplomacy. I think the yesterday's meeting between the U.S. and Russia was
good also the U.S. statement that they don't negotiate on behalf of European countries important for us.
And that later this week comes to NATO Russia meeting and - always a meeting on Thursday. And that's, of course, the table where we are and also
on European Union, I think we are very united on the current situation. And if any Military attack towards Ukraine will happen, of course, European
Union will react together.
GORANI: Just one quick last one. You heard the Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia yesterday say no deployment of troops outside our own territory,
don't worry, we have basically no intention of invading Ukraine. Yes or no? Do you believe Russia when they say that they have no intention of
militarily moving in on Ukraine?
HAAVISTO: Well, of course, we have the history of the Crimea, illegal occupation of Crimea and the current crisis in Donbas. And I think the way
to go forward is to find a peaceful solution to Donbas. And this is very much pending on Russia as well commitment to the Minsk agreements.
GORANI: OK, Pekka Haavisto, the Finland Foreign Minister, thank you so much for joining us today. Appreciate your time this afternoon.
HAAVISTO: Thank you.
GORANI: And amid the political turmoil Europe is also grappling with, you guessed it, record numbers of COVID cases just ahead, why the W.H.O
projects that half of Europe will be infected within two months.
Plus sounding the alarms about Afghanistan officials are warning today that without help, "won't be a future", we'll be right back.
GORANI: A dire warning from the World Health Organization. The Omicron variant, which is sweeping the region west to east in Europe, could impact
half the population.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. HANS KLUGE, W.H.O. REGIONAL DIRECTOR FOR EUROPE: At this rate, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation forecasts that more than 50
percent of the population in the region will be infected with Omicron in the next six to eight weeks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: The numbers are still setting records; France is set to report 350,000 new cases just for Tuesday. To give you a point of comparison, here
you see France in yellow; it has been reporting around 400 new cases each day per 100,000 people that is much higher compared to the overall EU in
green, and the U.S. in orange.
So Europe, very much stills the epicenter. Jim Bittermann is in Paris with more. Despite all of these measures, despite the masks, the vaccine passes
all of that we're still seeing these record numbers. Why is that?
JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's amazing Hala, I think it has to do with the virility of this Omicron virus, the fact that
it's such a contamination everywhere, and how rapidly it is spreading. Those same W.H.O officials said in fact that at the beginning of this year,
the first week of this year, there were 7 million cases of infection across Western Europe.
And it's been going to grow as he suggested right there. It's certainly the case here in France, they were up to 350,000. According to the health
minister, it may come into somewhat different than that when we get the official figures in about an hour or so.
But the health minister was testifying before the Senate today trying to convince them of the necessity of this vaccination pass, that the French
are trying to install, requiring everybody to have a pass that shows they've been vaccinated if they're going to do any kind of public activity.
It's basically a dire situation, the government's trying to do everything it can to come to terms with, Hala.
GORANI: And how are ordinary people reacting because we're entering year three, I mean, we do see some vaccine hesitancy. But also, I think them as
they say, in French - General Hannibal you know, they're just fed up with the restrictions. Are people abiding by them? Are they giving authorities
the benefit of the doubt? What's the reaction overall?
BITTERMANN: Well, I was walking down the street today and I just could do a coyote and formal count Hala, about the idea that people have to wear masks
now in France when you're out in public thoroughfares. I would say about two out of three were wearing masks, one out of three not wearing masks.
And of course the question two is what kind of masks you're wearing. I mean, there's also a move various parts of Europe and Greece and Italy, and
other parts of Europe to require this FFP to match that. That kind of duckbill mask that is much more protective than normal cloth masks are the
kind of thing you might make at home, Hala.
GORANI: Right, Jim Bittermann thanks so much live in Paris. Now to Afghanistan, the UN is warning tens of thousands of children in Afghanistan
are at risk of dying of malnutrition. Just ahead, I'll speak with Jan Egeland of the Refugee Council about what the world needs to do.
And nearly 10,000 people now detained for allegedly taking part in the protests that rocked Kazakhstan of the government is showing that it is in
control, that's coming up.
GORANI: Welcome back, I'm Hala Gorani in London. You're watching "Connect the World" with a brutal winter upon Afghanistan. The United Nations today
called for nearly four and a half billion dollars in emergency aid. That is the UN's biggest ever appeal for a single country.
Afghanistan's already battered economy has been in a tailspin since the Taliban took power. The very basics really here like food like health care
are lacking. The youngest are especially vulnerable.
Officials say tens of thousands of Afghan children are at risk of dying of malnutrition, not just suffering from it. In fact, the group Save the
Children says two thirds of Afghan kids need some kind of help just to make it through the year. Without it the UN says a catastrophe is imminent.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARTIN GRIFFITHS, U.N. UNDER-SECRETARY-GENERAL FOR HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS: This is a stock gap, an absolutely essential stopgap measure that we are
putting in front of the international community today. Without this being funded, there won't be a future. We need this to be done otherwise, they
will there will be outflow there will be suffering.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: The U.N. is also seeking an additional $600 million for Afghans who fled to neighboring countries. Arwa Damon joins us now from Istanbul,
Turkey with more on the situation in Afghanistan and beyond, Arwa?
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Hala. And if this situation were any sort of a surprise, that would be one thing to say that
the humanitarian crisis the sheer level and scale of it caught everyone by surprise. But that isn't really the case.
This is a result of a number of compounded things that just came to a head to include at the beginning of 2021, the first few months, the fact that
Afghanistan went through its worst drought in three decades. But then on top of all of that, and this is where there is a burden of responsibility
on the United States, on Western nations, this rapid and chaotic withdrawal that we saw taking place.
Because even though the U.S. continues to say we didn't know that the Taliban would take over that fast, the fact that there was zero pre
planning in place to deal with what would seem to be an imminent humanitarian situation, given that the U.S. other countries and key actors
on the ground knew that at some point, the Taliban would be taking over makes this quite inexcusable.
The vast majority of money that flowed into Afghanistan over the last 20 years came from international aid, a lot of that came from the United
States and from Western countries.
When that aid froze, this is the situation that ended up unfolding now with so many across the country at risk of dying from hunger from cold from a
lack of access to medical resources. And what the United Nations is saying right now is give us the money.
Let us take responsibility for the funding, it will not end up in the hands of the Taliban, but just let us do our job because at this point in time,
various different countries around the world have clearly failed.
The Afghan people have chosen to employ this policy of punishing the Taliban by freezing billions of dollars in assets but are really ending up
punishing the population. And what the United Nations and these other aid organizations on the ground want to do is at least try to rectify that and
provide some sort of assistance to the population, Hala.
GORANI: Thank you, Arwa Damon. Jan Egeland of the Norwegian Refugee Council paints a grim picture on the ground. He tweets today's appeal come at an
existential moment from millions in Afghanistan, as snow falls heavy on Kabul Afghans are sliding into destitution.
GORANI: Many displaced families are shielding from freezing cold and makeshift shelters with almost nothing to eat. Jan Egeland joins me live
from Oslo. Thanks for being with us. I guess, people watching around the world remember, the one thing they'll remember about Afghanistan in the
last year is that rapid takeover of Kabul by Afghan forces.
And they're now leadership of the whole country. They keep reading stories about how they oppress women and how they, you know, commit other potential
atrocities elsewhere. And they will say why send money to them?
There is a fundamental misunderstanding, you will say to me that the money would not be going to them it would be going to organizations on the
JAN EGELAND, SECRETARY GENERAL, NORWEGIAN REFUGEE COUNCIL: In indeed, I keep hearing this not a penny to the Taliban. And I agree, I mean, the
money is no not going to men with beads, they're going with two women and children. When the western countries left the soldiers, the diplomats the
development officers, they left 40 million civilians behind mostly women and children. It's the same civilians really.
So let's now invest in some life saving for them after having spent the NATO countries more than a trillion dollars on this military strategic
project. Let us not let have these all of these people perish.
I was there in September, the mothers, many of them widows told me we will freeze and starve to death this winter, unless there is a scale up in aid
and unless there is an economy going again.
GORANI: So how does how does it need to happen? How does it happen in a transparent way, so that people are reassured that the money will not be
rerouted funneled to the Taliban because that seems to be the concern?
EGELAND: Well, this seems to be if Paul's concern, but we always NRC, for example, which Refugee Council, the United Nations and so on, we do our own
needs assessment. We do monitor, evaluate the assistance ourselves, in what is particularly now in Afghanistan is the following. 23 million people need
There is no other place on earth where the needs are so massive, 9 million people are one step away from famine, they will die unless there is food
aid. There is massive, massive, freezing to death at the moment. It's colder in Kabul Afghanistan tonight than it is in Anchorage, Alaska.
The difference in Alaska and Afghanistan is that they don't have shelter, adequate shelter these displaced people that we are to help. So transfer
funding, but also help make the banking system function again, we cannot actually transfer money to Afghanistan at the moment. We're shipping in a
trucking in winterization equipment from Pakistan and Iran.
GORANI: So are you - because we had this discussion month ago, you and I done. So this is a message that you've been trying to send for a really
long time? It doesn't seem to be landing really? Are you getting any takers here because it seems like the situation is getting worse and worse, is
getting worse and worse?
EGELAND: It's getting worse and worse. Of course, the humanitarian aid funding is, is coming. It's the development funding. That was the bulk of
the international aid that has been frozen, including a lot of World Bank money that was earmarked for teachers and nurses and doctors and water
engineers, all of the public sector employees, which was on their payroll before.
That money is frozen is sitting in Washington, of course that can go to the same people straight through UN trust funds. I wrote to the Secretary
General of the UN and the President of the World Bank on this, in September of last year, the UN has set up some trust funds, but the member States of
the World Bank has not cleared this money to happen.
So we're looking to Washington, we're looking to the Biden Administration, we are looking to the European Union, the Western donors and say come down
of the of the fence. Don't listen to a million lawyers whose saying, maybe we'll have to wait a few more months.
May be there is something in the sanctions legislations that could come back to us at one point. Women and children are dying at the moment. What
will come back to haunt them is that they let it happen.
GORANI: When does this because you said some of the humanitarian money is making it in, how much of it? How does it make without a banking system?
How does that work?
EGELAND: Oh, it's a stopgap kind of thing. We're using the hawala system, I think, you know, know about it is the traditional kind of a money lending
system, which goes from country to country, especially in the Islamic world.
But the Hawala system is also slow, it is cumbersome, and they take a bigger cut, then bank transfers, and is also bank transfers is also much
more transparent, easier to control. So the countries that have these sanctions are actually now encouraging a system with less transparency than
just to restore the banking and the normal development aid that would be fully controlled.
The Taliban we need to push to do now secondary education for women, for girls, and also full gender parity in the workplace. We're moving on that
it will take some time. And in the meantime, these girls should not stop and freeze to death.
GORANI: Of course. Yes, of course, well, it's such a long upward battle, Jan Egeland, thank you very much for joining us.
EGELAND: Thank you.
GORANI: In Nicaragua a day of celebration for some turns sour why a number of officials were hit with new sanctions on their president's Inauguration
Day and medical history is made. Doctors transplant a heart from a pig to save a man's life. How this may bring hope for more people on the organ
transplant waiting list, that's next.
GORANI: The government of Kazakhstan is seeing some commerce streets after protests rocked the country last week. The president says a Russian led
Military alliance which was called in to quell the protests will leave entirely within 10 days.
But a stringent crackdown appears to be ongoing. Fred Pleitgen has the very latest from the Kazakhstani border.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Kazakhstan's leadership appears to be trying to show that it's getting the situation in
the country under control, but at the same time also continuing their crackdown on the people who participated in the protests that shook that
Now, the President of Kazakhstan Mr. TOKev if he had his pick for new prime minister approved by Kazakhstan's parliament on Tuesday, at the same time
the authorities there also announced that the number of people detained in the wake of those protests had once again risen sharply.
PLEITGEN: The authorities are now saying that nearly 10,000 people have been detained and that number has been continuously steeply rising over the
past couple of days. The authorities are also saying that more than 160 people were killed in those protests, and the vast majority of those more
than 100 people in one town and that is the town of Almaty.
That, of course, is also the place where we saw some of the worst violence as those protests was taking place with rioters in the streets going into
government buildings. But at the same time, also Kazakhstani security forces on the ground there as well sweeping those areas, and in some
places, apparently, opening fire, as well.
Meanwhile, the Kazakhstani government is saying that those international forces that they've called in of course, led by Russian forces that their
mission has been complete and that their withdrawal will start in two days.
However, that withdrawal is going to take at least 10 days to complete if things go according to plan. Fred Pleitgen, CNN at the Kyrgyz Kazakhstan
GORANI: Well, let's get you up to speed on some other stories that are on our radar right now. In the UK, two thirds of those questioned in a recent
poll, including many conservatives believe Prime Minister Boris Johnson should resign over the latest claims of a party during COVID lockdown.
The poll was taken by the group Savanta ComRes. Mr. Johnson is refusing to say if he attended a staff party in May 2020 when England was in the middle
of its first COVID lockdown. A leaked email shows one of the prime ministers top officials invited his staff to a party in the number 10
NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command denies that it issued an alert that resulted in an unusual ground stop in the U.S. Monday. The
U.S. official says the alert was issued after a North Korean missile launch. The ground stop appeared localized to the U.S. west coast that was
lifted after just a few minutes.
The U.S. and the EU have slapped new sanctions on the Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega's inner circle. The sanctions were announced just hours
before he was sworn in for his fifth term on Monday, the U.S. has called Ortega's election, a sham, at least six of his political rivals were
arrested ahead of the vote.
The U.S. accuses Ortega and his vice president of human rights abuses and undermining democracy and the rule of law. Matt Rivers is joining us live
from Mexico City with more, Matt.
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hala, if you can measure yourself as a legitimate president, by the fact that you were elected during free and
fair elections as just the basic rule, and then Daniel Ortega is not a legitimate president.
I mean, what we saw over the past year really was a systematic campaign of political repression, where he jailed all credible political opposition in
the country, including the arrest of any legitimate presidential candidates from the opposition, which basically paved the way for those sham elections
that occurred in November.
But despite that, the inauguration yesterday moved forward with Ortega predictably giving a long rambling speech denouncing the United States
denouncing imperialism while thanking his remaining allies.
At this point, it's certainly no coincidence that the EU and the United States decide to put down new sanctions on both high level officials in the
country and also different institutions on the case of the European Union on the same day that this inauguration takes place.
So on the U.S. side, you see half dozen officials added to sanctions lists, as well as dozens of visa restrictions put on different members of the
government and the Military throughout the country. From the European Union side, you have an additional seven people added to the sanctions list, you
have a couple of different organizations that the EU adds to their sanctions list.
This was clearly a cooperative effort by the European Union and the United States to send a message to the Ortega regime on Inauguration Day, that
they don't believe that this government is legitimate.
And they do believe that this government has continued to carry out these human rights abuses against its own people in a manner that they just think
GORANI: All right. Thank you very much, Matt Rivers for that. Still ahead this U.S. heart patient has a medical first inside his chest will tell you
about the cutting edge surgery he just had that involves the organ of a pig.
And a shiny new quarter with a famous face the U.S. Mint celebrates remarkable American woman. And for the first time an African American woman
on the quarter, we'll be right back.
GORANI: This has really been one of the biggest talkers of the last 24 hours. And you know how much I love medical stories especially when they
involve cutting edge technology and innovation.
Well, this really ticks all the boxes. An American man is doing well several days after receiving a genetically modified pig heart and a first
of its kind transplant. The genes that cause the human body to reject pig organs were removed from the heart and human genes that help the immune
system were added.
According to the University of Maryland School of Medicine, the patient David Bennett, you see him there on the right had terminal heart disease
and the pig heart was the only available option. Our Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen joins me now live with more. All right, so
first, talk us through how this works.
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Right so as you mentioned, David Bennett was had terminal heart disease. He had no other
options; he had been told that he was not eligible for a human heart transplant and that he was also not eligible for an artificial heart pump.
And so they did this surgery and we're going to show you the surgery I will warn you if you're squeamish this video might not be for you. But they did
the surgery and Hala as you mentioned they genetically modified this pay card so that he would be more likely to accept it and not reject the pay
He is doing well and his even home days later. Obviously though we don't know how he's going to do in the future. There are several things that his
medical team will be looking for one immunity will he rejected what will happen in that way?
But also can the heart work for him pigs are low to the ground human beings are very vertical our hearts need to pump blood vertically. That's not the
case so much for a pig. So there's a lot of questions here this is a first of its kind it really is intriguing.
But of course you want to have you know a lot of caution here; we don't know how this gentleman is going to do there of course were ethical
questions about doing this to him. He said look I had a choice between dying or trying this, he chose trying this.
And by the way we have a little lifer I almost forgot there we actually heard from his surgeon. Let's take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. BARTLEY GRIFFITH, SURGEON: We've never done this in a human and I like to think that we have given him a better option than what continuing his
therapy would have been. But whether it's a day, week, month year, I don't know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COHEN: So Hala, you hear that. I want to say and I don't want to obviously we don't want to wish this patient; you wish him all the best. But one does
wonder is this necessarily a better option if it keeps him alive but in a terrible condition? Will he be glad that he did this? There are so many
questions that arise from something like this, Hala.
GORANI: But one thing I found interesting about what you said is he's already home and when you're severely or critically ill or you need a lot
of machines to help you breathe all sorts of things. You don't usually leave the hospital. So I mean what is that, how is he doing basically?
COHEN: We don't know any details other than that he's home and that is pretty amazing. I mean, I definitely when I read that I thought wow that's
incredible that he's home. But it's it doesn't tell you how he's going to do in the future.
COHEN: I mean, of course, we wish him the best. But just to be cautious we don't know what that means for the future. It's a great sign that he's not
attached to machines. But we don't know how he's going to do today, tomorrow, next year, the year after he could be doing great and maybe this
is something that other hospitals should copy. He might not do well, or he might do OK, but not what you would expect, not what you would hope for.
GORANI: Well, it's fascinating and certainly I know you'll be monitoring his condition. It would be great if this could work, obviously. Thank you
so much, Elizabeth Cohen.
COHEN: It would.
GORANI: The late poet Maya Angelou is now the first black woman ever to appear on a U.S. quarter. The quarter still features George Washington on
the head side, but the tail side honors Angelou by evoking one of her most famous works, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
This is the first in a series of new quarters featuring prominent women in American history. Others will include tributes to Sally Ride; she's the
first American woman in space and the Cherokee Nation leader Wilma Man killer.
Now something I bet you'd never thought you would hear scientists have taught goldfish how to drive. Yes, I said that right. This is a surprise to
me too. Sorry. Not only can they drive but some of them are pretty good at it. Take a look; just don't expect to see a fish and the furious movie
coming out anytime soon.
But it's really researchers have successfully trained goldfish to drive on land using remote sensing technology to help them navigate their vehicle.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RONEN SEGEV, NEUROSCIENTIST, BEN-GURION UNIVERSITY OF THE NEGEV: We use the six fish and they were all able to learn the task to some extent. There
were very good fish that were doing excellent and there were mediocre fish that were showed controlling of the vehicle. But we're less proficient in
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: This is crazy. Why would a fish want to drive a car? I'm Hala Gorani in London, thanks for watching. "One World" with Zain Asher is
coming up next. So stay with CNN.