Return to Transcripts main page
Connect the World
International Affairs Underway to Aid Tonga Tsunami Victims; Houthis: 12 Killed in Coalition Strike on Yemen; EU Condemns Violent Crackdown on Sudanese Protesters; Brazil Begins Vaccinating Kids Despite Bolsonaro's Opposition; Dual Nationals Languish in Prison During Nuclear Talks; Asteroid Makes Closest Approach to Earth in 200 Years. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired January 18, 2022 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN, Atlanta. This is "Connect the World".
LARRY MADOWO, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: I'm Larry Madowo at CNN Center. Hello and welcome to "Connect the World".
We're getting the first glimpses of the damage in Tonga brought on by side of this massive volcanic eruption and the tsunamis it's triggered. And Thai
communities the Pacific Island Chain covered in volcanic ash.
The Prime Minister says at least three people have died there. And while there have not been reports of mass casualties, we still don't have a clear
picture of what's happening on much of the Pacific island chain, especially on their more remote islands. CNN Meteorologist Tom Sater has more.
TOM SATER, CNN METEOROLOGIST (voice over): A first look at the damage surveillance planes from Australia New Zealand take to the skies to try to
assess just how bad the damage is and Tonga after an underwater volcano erupted over the weekend, triggering the tsunami warnings throughout the
Pacific with some waves reaching as far as Peru and the United States.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We know water is in immediate need.
SATER (voice over): Countries like New Zealand, Australia and China say they are standing by to send aid, but the scale of the devastation in Tonga
is still unknown. Scientists say Saturday's eruption could be the worst volcanic eruption the Pacific has experienced in decades.
Just the day before the volcano belted out an anonymous warning of what was to come shooting ash and smoke some 20 kilometers in the air. But it was
the ferocity of the next day's eruption that Unleashed waves of water around the world.
In Tonga, the swells at time reach heights of more than a meter high. No mass casualties have been reported so far. One British woman is reported
dead. But the full impact of the volcanic blast is yet to be seen. Since the country has been largely cut off from the outside world the government
says phone networks are working again.
But international communication is limited because of damage to an undersea cable, which could take more than a week to repair. That's making it hard
for some aid agencies to plan their next move.
ALEXANDER MATHEOU, ASIA PACIFIC DIRECTOR, IFRC: WE roughly thinking up to 80,000 people could be affected. But how many of them are seriously
affected? We don't know.
SATER (voice over): Over the weekend large waves also hit the Coast of Fiji some 800 kilometers away. Tsunami warnings and advisories were issued in
parts of New Zealand, Japan, Canada and the West Coast of the U.S. Coastal cities in Peru are inundated with knee deep water trapping people on the
Police say two people died due to the abnormally high waves. A force of nature felt for thousands of kilometers. Officials say they hope they'll
soon get a better picture of what happened in Tonga, where not even the volcanic island itself was spared. Satellite imagery shows it has now
largely sunk into the sea. Tom Sater, CNN.
MADOWO: As you've heard from Tom's reports, New Zealand, Australia and others are deploying to help. For more on those international efforts I'm
joined by Paula Hancocks live in Melbourne, Australia. Paula, what can you tells us about how to what kind of help Tonga needs right now and how
Australia and New Zealand are helping out?
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Larry, we know that New Zealand's Royal Navy has already sent two ships, they're on their way. And they're
carrying humanitarian aid; they're carrying 250,000 liters of drinking water and also the ability to desalinate more water once they're on the
But it'll take up to three days they believe to reach those who need their help a similar situation for the Australia, one of Australia's boats, which
is on its way as well laden with humanitarian goods. So what the issue is at the moment, we understand from officials on the ground who has issued a
statement is that the airports and the runways at the airport specifically have been covered by ash, so they're unable to be used immediately.
Now, this is one of their priorities to try and clear the runway so they can then get humanitarian flights in much quicker to get aid to those who
really need it. Now, within the statement, they also mentioned that there was one of the outlying islands Mango Island, it's a population of just 50
But official say that every single house on that island had been destroyed. So they're also trying to organize evacuations from some of those islands
that which have been extremely badly hit, to get to areas where they can they can have more help.
Also pointing out that the tsunami in some of the areas along the coastline was up to 15 meters high so you can imagine the kind of damage that would
have done and as you saw in that piece there from Tom Sater the, the images of the ash covering buildings, trees, roads, neighborhoods, completely
There is a lot to be done in in Tonga, but of course, the first thing they need to do is to clear the runways so that they can get the humanitarian
aid in quickly, Larry.
MADOWO: And a lot of challenges communications down because of damage to fiber optic cables, the airport needs to be cleaned up so it's going to
take a long time to clear all that and try to rebuild.
MADOWO: Do you have any sense about if - we don't know the extent of the damage because it's difficult to communicate with people but are there any
kind of shred of information coming out from the islands?
HACOCKS: Well, we did have the official statements from the Prime Minister's Office and their biggest concern at this point was with some of
those islands that they were unable to get hold off, but they say some of the outlying islands had been very badly affected.
And of course, there are many Tongans who are living overseas that are desperately waiting to get hold of loved ones and to speak to family within
Tonga itself, but that underwater communications cable has been damaged. There is no international connection between Tonga and the rest of the
There is a cable between Tonga and Fiji that's been damaged. And we're hearing from officials in charge of that, that it could be the beginning of
next month before they are able to start repairing it by the time they have all the equipment that would be necessary.
And even then they don't know how bad the damage is. So even though there are internal phone networks, we understand at this point that communication
to the outside world will be key.
MADOWO: All right, Paula Hancocks in Melbourne, thank you. And in the last hour, we heard from a Tongan youth activist - who talked about just trying
to get back into the country because she's been a student in Australia. But she really wants to go back to the country and be with her family and help
in the rebuilding efforts. She says they go through cycles and seasons, but this one has been especially devastating.
And this volcano is part of the so called Ring of Fire. That's a very active region for volcanoes and earthquakes. So what makes this area so
active? CNN Meteorologist Jennifer Gray is here with us. We were talking about this yesterday, Jennifer the possibility of a new eruption in the
next few days but what about in the distant future? How common or how likely is that?
JENNIFER GRAY, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, it's you really don't know when an eruption is going to take place, right? But we do know that this region is
very active. And that is because this is the Pacific Plate and where this plate meets up with other tectonic plates, they are always brushing against
each other colliding, pulling apart.
And this really triggers a lot of earthquakes. And those earthquakes will a lot of times trigger those volcanoes. And so here are some of the more
notable eruptions over the last couple 100 years. And you can see right there we have seen roughly 450 volcanoes within the Ring of Fire. 90
percent of the world's quakes happen on the edge of major tectonic plates.
And that includes major mountain rages along this as well so looking back at some of the more notable eruptions. The - eruption in 1883 actually shot
at 80 kilometers into the sky it could be heard as far away as Perth, Australia 4500 kilometers away, it killed more than 36,000 people.
And tens of thousands more drowned in tsunamis that followed this eruption including one that sent water 36 meters high, that wall of water. So one of
the more widely known eruptions was Mount St. Helens in 1980 in the U.S., this is the most economically destructive volcano that ever erupted in U.S.
Ash rose more than 24 kilometers in the sky. Ash drifted across the U.S. and three days and circled the globe in just 15 days. And then this is
Mount Pinatubo erupted in 1991 in the Philippines, this is the second biggest eruption of the 20th century. Ash rose 35 kilometers into the air
lower levels of ash blue in all directions because of a typhoon that was happening at the exact same time and ash traveled around the globe several
So Larry, like we mentioned, we really don't know when another eruption is going to take place. But we do know that the Ring of Fire is the most
active region in the entire - in the entire world rather.
MADOWO: Alright many things for that background Jennifer Grey for us. It's hard to imagine the force of this eruption and the tsunamis that followed,
find more incredible images @cnn.com and find out about the latest efforts to help the people affected by this disaster.
The calls for de-escalation in the Russia/Ukraine standoff are growing louder, but still are signs of impending war. Ukrainian Military
Intelligence says Russian commanders are recruiting and training occupation forces in the Donbas region of Eastern Ukraine. The accusation came as top
Russian and German diplomats met in Moscow.
The German Foreign Minister says there's no plausible reason right now. For more than 100,000 Russian troops to be deployed near the Ukrainian border.
In Berlin, the NATO Secretary General announced his invited Russia and NATO allies to another round of talks. But Jens Stoltenberg again, warned Russia
to stand down.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JENS STOLTENBERG, NATO SECRETARY GENERAL: The risk of conflict is real NATO allies call on our short to de-escalate and any further aggression will
come with a high cost for Moscow.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADOWO: Senior International Correspondent Frederik Pleitgen is connecting us now from Moscow, we're seeing a flurry of activity, Fred, but is this
helping to cool down things? Or is it all the same from where you stand?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, first of all, I think you're absolutely right, Larry. I think it's certainly is a
flurry of activity that's going on both on the Russian side and then of course, also on the side of the U.S. and its allies as well.
And of course, the main meeting that we had here today was the one between the German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, and Sergey Lavrov, the
Russian Foreign Minister, many eyes on that. And it was quite interesting to hear some pretty tough talk from the German Foreign Minister saying
that, of course, if there is further escalation from the Russian side that the Nord Stream II Pipeline, which is a real key economic project between
Russia and Germany.
That of course, that would be affected as well, the Germans there saying that they will do everything that they can to defend as they put it, the
European value system, even if it means grave economic consequences for them. That's a pretty tall statement for a big exporting nation like
Germany to make.
Now the Russians have for their part in the form of Sergey Lavrov said they don't believe that they are the ones who are escalating the situation. They
believe that there are instead a lot of threats against them. Let's listen to similar to what Sergey Lavrov had to say at that press conference.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SERGEY LAVROV, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: We cannot threaten anyone, but we hear threats against us. I hope that all this only reflects the emotions
that certain forces evoke within the camp of Western countries; we will be guided by concrete steps and deeds.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PLEITGEN: Now against all that you obviously also have the military situation that's sort of unfolding on the ground, and that we're really
trying to piece together here by some of the public statements that we're hearing, especially from the Russian side.
They're saying they have sniper drills ongoing and what they call the southern Military District, which is right on the border with Ukraine are
close to Ukraine, actually. And the other things the Russians have started doing today is they started actually moving troops into Belarus.
The Russians and the Belarusian say that they are going to conduct large scale military exercises in Belarus starting early February. Another big
point of concern for the Ukrainians because of course, the southern border of Belarus is the northern border of Ukraine.
So the Ukrainians increasingly feeling like they're getting pinched by Russian forces that are really stationing almost all around their borders
MADOWO: And Fred, part of that diplomatic activity we've been talking about is also the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken did speak with the
Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov. And now we have seen readouts from the State Department and from the Russians. What do they talk about? What
are you taking out from this?
PLEITGEN: Yes. Yes, you're absolutely right. Antony Blinken really active in all of this as well and today active once again, the call with Sergey
Lavrov, when you see the American readout Antony Blinken saying that the American side once again re-iterated that there is a big need for de-
Once again, spoke about the territorial the importance of the territorial integrity of Ukraine, and the independence of Ukraine as well. And once
again, reiterating America or the United States, his unwavering support for Ukraine.
The Russian readout obviously, sounds a little bit different from that the Russians also saying obviously, that de-escalation is something that needs
to be nested that is very necessary. The Russians also are saying that the U.S. shouldn't fall as they put it into the trap of believing that Russia
is the one that's escalating.
And the Russians once again, reiterating this is something that Sergey Lavrov has actually been saying over the past couple of days, is that the
Russians want written responses from the United States as far as their security demands are concerned.
Of course, those security demands are the ones that were iterated by the Russian side at those security talks in Geneva last week. The core of them
being no more a NATO enlargement, they want some NATO forces pulled back from Eastern European NATO states.
And first and foremost, they don't ever want Ukraine to become a NATO member state. The U.S. and its allies say those demands, by and large are
MADOWO: Really fascinating. And part of that Russian readout says the minister as a secretary of state not to replicate the speculation of the
allegedly impending Russian aggression, so they really wanted to get that out there. Fred Pleitgen in Moscow thank you!
Ahead we turn to tensions in another part of the world. The Saudi led coalition is hitting back after deadly strikes by Yemen's Houthi rebels. Is
this a new face in the immense long war? Plus, roads blocked and shops shut down as political unrest continues to grip Sudan. I'll be speaking to a man
who was at the heart of the former government.
MADOWO: Tensions are rising after the latest strikes between rebels in Yemen and the Saudi backed coalition. Houthi rebels now say coalition
airstrikes killed 12 people in the Yemen's Capitol, searches are still ongoing for anyone trapped in that rubble.
You can see there, Sanaa is at the center of the Houthis control. The coalition was apparently retaliating for a deadly Houthi drone attack in
Abu Dhabi. CNN's Sam Kylie is in Abu Dhabi and joins us now with the latest.
Sam, we saw the drone strikes in Abu Dhabi and the retaliatory attack, these airstrikes into have been quite devastating in Sanaa.
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, they've been their biggest airstrikes against Houthi positions in Sanaa.
And indeed, it would appear some civilian casualties to for many, many months, of course, does represent at least in the short term, a drastic
escalation, Larry with civilian casualties, the likes of which provoked international criticism against the Saudi led coalition.
Arguably was one of the reasons that the Emiratis pulled their Military forces out of the Yemeni quagmire, also, some months ago, finishing in
2020. Because of the sorts of reactions that the world was seeing from the streets following these Saudi led coalition airstrikes, and once again,
this is what we're hearing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What happened is a heinous crime. The missile targeting this house led to the death of three entire families. Only one girl
survived and she's in critical care.
They also targeted my brother's house; five people are missing, including two women. We're still searching for them and haven't found them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KILEY: Now the Saudi coalition has in the past insisted that it only targeting Military locations. That is something that the Emiratis had prior
prided themselves on in terms of their own air campaign in the past.
But this is retaliation for the murder of three people here on Emirati soil here in the Emirati capital, Larry.
Pakistani national was killed alongside two Indian nationals and eight others, wounded in two different locations, one quite close to the
International Airport in the area under construction for a new international airport, and the other at a critical oil storage facility.
These killings were inevitably going to be met with retaliation. The important issue now for international diplomats, and indeed, particularly
for the Emiratis is to try to make sure that it is contained at this point and not escalated any further, Larry.
MADOWO: Worrying developments in that part of the region, many thanks, Sam Kylie in Abu Dhabi tonight. Two days of strikes and civil disobedience have
begun in the Sudanese Capitol. Food Stores and offices have closed up shop and demonstrators have erected barricades blocking roads in Khartoum.
The general strike comes after Sudanese security forces reportedly shot dead at least seven protesters on Monday. They were the latest casualties
in what has been a bloody crackdown on anti-coup protests, which started in October after the Military ousted the country's Prime Minister.
MADOWO: The EU's top diplomat Josep Borrell said in a statement Tuesday that repeated calls on the Military authorities to "refrain from violence
against peaceful protesters had fallen on deaf ears". My next guest was the Deputy Chief of Staff to former Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.
He told the Financial Times in January that the blood that continues to be spilled since the October 25 must stop flowing. If not, the military will
find itself fighting the entire Sudanese population. Amgad Fareid joins us now live from Khartoum.
Thank you, sir, for coming to talk to us here on CNN. What is the general sentiment on the ground right now? How did the Sudanese people feel about
the state of the country?
AMGAD FAREID, FORMER DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF TO PM HAMDOK: Thank you, Larry. I think the Sudanese people have been very clear since the fairies day of
the cool on the 25th of October. And what happened yesterday was a new level in society of violence and instability that the cool austerity has
The peaceful protesters where we're confronted by life ammunition and Military equipment, and even the aircraft guns that led to the killing of
at least seven people yesterday, and the injury of other doses.
And this is added to the 71. This is witnessed by large ammunition since the fair is Day of the coop. The coop austerity have paved the way to this
massacre, actually, by taking measures to blog down the media and shut down some media offices like - office that was transferring our habits in the
And also they made some changes in the police administration of --. In addition to that we witness like for the last two weeks, a continuous
attempt from the coop - until you analyze the young, peaceful protesters.
Obviously, the Military facility right now on the coop facility is looking for confrontation or starting a confrontation. Again, it's the whole
Sudanese people who are looking to realize their aspiration in a civilian led government.
MADOWO: Right. Security Forces have crackdown violently, and protesters since the October 25 coup. We've covered that extensively here on CNN. But
Monday was especially brutal. You talked about the seven killed, medics are saying at least 71 people have died since the coup.
And this is all to blame, do you think is that the Military to blame? Is it General Abdel-Fattah Al-Burhan, who is essentially the Military leader of
Sudan right now? And what is the end game for the Military do you think?
FAREID: Of course, before the 25th of October, there was a state of instability in Sudan; there was a civilian led government that had popular
consensus around it. Yes, of course, people were protesting against different reform approaches of the government.
But the killing of people, the killing of protesters, the - the intense escalation of violence in Bedford, or that we witnessed it after the coup
of the 25th of October. I don't know what the end game of the Military is.
But what I'm sure of the Sudanese people will not come on will not bow down to another attempt of Military ruling in Sudan. The Sudanese people have
launched a strong, peaceful resistance to the regime of the ICC indicted Omar Bashir against Islamist National Congress Party, and they removed him
from power and agreed with the Military in 2019 on some constitutional arrangements, leading to democracy into that other.
Abdel-Fattah Al-Burhan and the rest of the Military leader launched a coup against these constitutional arrangements. Now the international community
and today - today also there is a meeting of the group called Friends of Sudan that includes the U.N., the U.S., the EU, and other international
They are having a meeting today, following the announcement of the U.N. mission of launching a political process in Sudan. But however, the
violence that we witness yesterday have built all hope, of success of these missions.
International community now, you know, to be fair, in his message, in his message to the Military leaders and to the - to reframe of committing more
crimes against the Sudanese people and to face the consequences of the crimes that they already committed.
MADOWO: So you're not confident that this Friends of Sudan meeting in Riyadh will have any positive outcomes for Sudan?
FAREID: If not sending a clear message to the Military leaders that Abdel - is not obstructive. And what they are doing is not is criminal offense, and
there are consequences for it.
It will just be - service that will lead to do nothing, you cannot negotiate, or you cannot have a political process aiming for a peaceful
resolution of this crisis, while there are some out there in the equation, killing the people in these basic numbers.
MADOWO: Really quickly Sir, because I'm out of time, but you worked with the former Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, since he resigned at the
beginning of the year, where is he?
FAREID: It was announced that Dr. Abdalla Hamdok have left the country for family visit and medical checkups last week, and I think he will be coming
back to the country after the end.
MADOWO: All right, we're going to leave it there. Thank you so much, sir, for your time and hopefully come back and talk to us when things improve in
FAREID: Thank you very much.
MADOWO: All right, still to come. Brazil States go against the president and vaccinate young children. We're live in Sao Paulo after the break. And
a frank admission from the Serbian Prime Minister about the Novak Djokovic saga, she is disappointed more details in a few minutes.
MADOWO: Welcome back. I'm Larry Madowo at CNN Center and you're watching "Connect the World". We're hearing more from Serbia's Prime Minister on
that saga that seems to never end. We're talking of course about Novak Djokovic; he's back home in Serbia instead of defending his title at the
The top men's tennis player was deported after losing a court challenge to stay in Australia over COVID vaccine requirements. And as of now, it
appears he won't be able to defend his title in Paris either.
Serbia's Prime Minister tells CNN she is disappointed with the way Djokovic was treated in Australia. She sat down with our Scott McLean, take a
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANA BRNABIC, SERBIAN PRIME MINISTER: I got the - as the politics would not be involved. And Novak would be treated fairly.
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: If you were given assurances by Australia that this would not be political or that politicians would not be involved,
you must have felt betrayed then.
BRNABIC: I can't say that I felt betrayed. What I care is that the citizens of Serbia are treated fairly. And I try to help them as much as possible.
MCLEAN: Do you know why Novak Djokovic doesn't want to take the vaccine?
BRNABIC: No, I don't know, it's his own personal decision.
MCLEAN: Australia has framed him as an anti Vaxxer. I know that that's not how he's seen in this country. But do you think he has an obligation to
clarify his stance?
BRNABIC: No, no, I don't think so. I, his I do not see Novak as anti Vaxxer. When Novak was organizing tennis tournament here in Serbia, you
know, we had, you know, we had all of the vaccines available for tennis players when they couldn't get the vaccination in their own countries.
You know, so he supported the vaccination, he supports the vaccination of those people who want to be vaccinated. So I do not perceive him as anti
MCLEAN: Does it make you a little bit uncomfortable, though, that over the past week or so, you've had to defend someone's right not to take the
vaccine even as you're trying to get people to take it.
BRNABIC: But do we not live in democracy? Isn't that about the personal choices? So I am very proud and I'm very happy that here in Serbia, we have
tried to allow people to voice their disagreements and not force them into agreeing with something.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADOWO: And Scott McLean is joining me now from Belgrade. It's clear from this interview and from everything you've been doing in your reporting that
Novak Djokovic is public standing in Serbia has not been dented at all but this debacle in Australia.
MCLEAN: No, it certainly doesn't seem that way at all, Larry and the government seems pretty reluctant still to criticize him very harshly. Of
course, they will point out that he should not have broken lockdown as he confessed on December 18.
But they're not in a hurry to go after him harshly because you asked pretty much anyone on the street here, Novak Djokovic is a hero. And the
government's stance on personal choice on the personal choice whether or not to get vaccinated is very much in line with the majority of what people
here will tell you.
Now, the Prime Minister Ana Brnabic of course, she's had a difficult week, she's been having to defend Novak Djokovic and his right not to take the
vaccine. But she's also been trying to encourage Serbs to take the vaccine.
This is a country where less than 60 percent of the adult population has actually been vaccinated. And the most interesting thing I thought came out
of that interview is that she says she got assurances from the Australian Government that politics would not be involved. Of course, we know that the
ultimate decision was made by the Immigration Minister in Australia, which surely must have come as somewhat of a surprise to her.
She simply cannot understand how he was able to fly halfway around the world with a visa in his hand and still get rejected. I also asked her
about the claim that Novak Djokovic made that on December 17, the day after he tested positive for COVID 19.
He went out to an event with children mask less. And the reason why is because he says that he didn't know that he was positive at that point,
despite the fact that the government had previously said that he was notified on December 16 the day before.
Well, the prime minister says that she takes him at his word. She also says when it comes to his admission that he breached COVID restrictions on the
18th, she said that his admission was quite a human explanation for what happened.
And when I pressed her Larry, on the fact that Serbia has prosecuted people in the past quite harshly jail time, pretty harsh fines as well. She said
look, there is a big difference between what Novak Djokovic did and what some of these earlier breaches were because it was simply a different time
the harsh prosecutions came at a time when this country was under a state of emergency.
Novak Djokovic did the same thing. It was not and there is simply no way for the government to retroactively go back and prosecute him, Larry.
MADOWO: Alright, Scott McLean in Belgrade. Thank you. Brazil is now giving COVID vaccines to younger children. The campaign to jab five to 11 year
olds began over the weekend.
Most Brazilian state capitals are participating despite the weeks of pushback from President Jair Bolsonaro and his government. Mr. Bolsonaro
has been reluctant to vaccinate children, even his own child.
CNN Correspondent Shasta Darlington is following this for us. She joins us live from Sao Paulo. The President there Bolsonaro has been a noted COVID
spectacle skeptic even after he himself got COVID and it seems also a vaccine skeptic but the rest of the country appears to be moving forward.
SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Larry. Unfortunately, it's taken quite a while have been repeated delays and as you mentioned
outright objections from President Jair Bolsonaro. So finally, this week the vaccination campaign for five to 11 year olds is being rolled out
across the country, we're seeing families lining up.
DARLINGTON: And according to a poll, 79 percent of Brazilians are in favor of COVID-19 shots for children. Nonetheless, Bolsonaro has repeatedly
criticized these vaccines claiming the chances of a child dying from COVID were "almost zero".
When in reality, more than 300 children in that age group have died of COVID since the beginning of the pandemic. Now, the country's health
regulator and visa actually approved the Pfizer vaccines for children more than a month ago.
At the time Bolsonaro cold called this decision unbelievable. He said as you mentioned that he wouldn't vaccinate his own daughter and later
publicly asked what interests were behind the decision by --visa.
His health ministry initially proposed requiring a doctor's prescription for each and every vaccination. The government backpedaled when there was
widespread criticism. But they still called for a public consultation before the vaccines were finally made available over the last couple of
And in the meantime, of course, we've seen Omicron explode across Brazil with the number of new cases climbing sharply every day. Many schools are
scheduled to reopen later this month after the southern hemisphere summer break, but thanks to all these delays.
The health ministry has only received a small portion of the doses it needs to inoculate Brazil's children, which means there's little or no chance
that children will be fully vaccinated when they head back to the classroom, Larry.
MADOWO: And Shasta, what does it do to public health messaging where the president of the country is so actively opposed to what many public health
experts consider necessity to protect people to reopen back the country.
DARLINGTON: It has caused a lot of contradiction, his health ministry; the National Health Ministry has often followed his lead. They as I mentioned,
they initially called for these prescriptions before children could get inoculated a public consultation when it became clear that the majority of
the population was in favor of vaccinating children.
They started going after acquiring those vaccines. In the meantime, you have governors and mayors saying they're ready. They want to start rolling
out these vaccines. They're just waiting for the government to obtain them and distribute them.
So you actually get a lot of infighting, a lot of politicking, especially given that this is an election year. And a lot of these different
politicians are hoping to play a major role in upcoming elections Larry.
MADOWO: All right, the - and of course COVID vaccines all of these have become political hot button topics in many, many countries, Shasta
Darlington in Sao Paulo, thank you and coming up next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My message is simple, no deal with Iran unless the hostages are free.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADOWO: As nuclear talks with Iran make some progress called grow louder for Iran to release for a national being held after the two people who have
been detained in Iran.
MADOWO: For many Iranian dual nationals, one of the biggest fears is being detained in Iran. A simple trip to visit family and friends could turn into
a geopolitical nightmare, becoming pawns in a high stakes chess game between Iran and the West.
While Iran doesn't recognize dual nationality, there are at least 16 dual nationals detained in Iran as October 2021 according to the Center for
Human Rights in Iran. You may have heard of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the British-Iranian aid worker has been held since 2016 after visiting family
with a young daughter in Iran.
And the stocks over Iran's nuclear program progress, there are new calls to demand her release. Nazani's husband Richard Ratcliffe went on a hunger
strike in November to demand her release. Here's what he had to say to CNN's Bianna Golodryga at the time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARD RATCLIFFE, NAZANIN ZAGHARI-RATCLIFFE'S HUSBAND: So nothing is held over a debt that you carry around. That's why she was taken. And it's taken
a long time to push the government to say, or to acknowledge the fact that actually it's not responsible to let your citizens be held hostage over a
debt that you owe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADOWO: He's not the only one to go on hunger strike to demand the release of these prisoners. My next guest is a survivor of the 1979 Iran hostage
crisis. As a former U.S. Embassy's press attache Barry Rosen was one of the 52 Americans held for 444 days.
He tweeted; I am starting a hunger strike this week in Vienna 41 years after my release to demand the release of all hostages being held by Iran.
And Washington Post columnist Jason Rezaian also released this week, six years ago.
Yesterday, he tweeted six years ago today; I was freed after being held hostage in Iran for 544 days. I was taken from prison, boarded a flight
leaving Tehran and reunited with my family. It was a day of celebration and relief.
Jason is also the host of the podcast 544 days about his ordeal. Barry and Jason, join me both now. Thank you so much, gentlemen, for being here. We
appreciate your time. Barry, let me start with you.
You're heading to Vienna, where talks have been going on to try and revive the deal that limited Iran's nuclear program? Why hunger strike and why
BARRY ROSEN, SURVIVOR OF 1979 IRAN HOSTAGE CRISIS: Well, you know, it's been on Thursday, it will be 41 years since my release. I felt very
strongly after giving much thought that, you know, I need to do something to free the hostages. It's been for decades that this has been going on.
Iran has been taking hostages as bargaining chips and pawns destroying the lives of people and mostly, for me, it's the issue of the human being above
the political situation.
And I want to see that our allies, America and our allies push Iran to say, look, we're not going to have a deal unless all the hostages are released.
I think it's about time this has been going on too long.
MADOWO: Jason, you wrote in The Washington Post last week that if there is to be a return to the nuclear deal, the international community must use
all tools available to alter the regime's other destructive activities.
And I imagine you're including hosted taking among those activities. Are you optimistic this could happen?
JASON REZAIAN, WASHINGTON POST GLOBAL OPINIONS WRITER: Well, first of all, Larry, thank you for having Barry and I do want to talk about this
important subject. And I want to wish Barry, great good luck and health. He's been an advocate for the release hostages for many years.
Yes, I think that there is hope. We have deterrence available to us in international law, and here in the U.S. in our legal code to punish hostage
taking, a deterrent that we haven't been actively using. So I think that there is the means and the resources to address this issue. Whether there's
the political will or not, is another question.
MADOWO: And let me pick up on that barrier, because the U.S. and its allies can't even get Iran to agree on the current nuclear agreement deal. So do
you think there's that well to go further to press Iran on hostages and other human rights abuses?
ROSEN: Well, I think one conceivable way for me is to embarrass Iran. That's why I'm doing this, this hunger strike. Iranian culture and
civilization has been talking about in literature and art about the civilized Iranian country.
And Iran has a long history of working with guests the idea of the guest in the country; it should be esteemed rather than being punished.
ROSEN: So my aim, I think, is to try to free Iranian, American Iranians and a European Iranians, because I want Iran to understand what they're doing
is adverse to their own culture and history.
MADOWO: And, Jason, you've been an advocate for other hostages in Iran, since you released six years ago, you have a thrilling podcast, which
sounds kind of like a guide for families that have relatives that are detained. Do you think hunger strikes are effective? And what do you
recommend for these families to do?
REZAIAN: Well, I think, you know my situation. And I would say that the situation that Barry and the 51 other American hostages were in over 40
years ago, would indicate that raising awareness, however you can raise awareness on these cases, is the way to go about winning the release of
loved ones whether it's by Iran or other governments, who are unfortunately doing this increasingly.
I think, unfortunately, most governments would urge citizens not to publicly advocate for their loved ones being held hostage with the
justification being the doing so puts their loved one in more peril, or potentially raises the cost of bringing them home evidence, you know, does
not bear that out.
I think engaging with adversaries who take our citizens hostages is really the only way to get these people back. And I think Barry is right. I mean,
you know, we have to shame Iran, but also teach them that the costs and consequences of doing this.
And continuing to do this have been extremely detrimental to their country's economy, and far outweigh whatever gains they think they've
achieved by doing this.
MADOWO: You have a platform, Jason, writing for The Washington Post and being an advocate, like I mentioned, for detained families. But have you
been in contact with any officials of the U.S. government about what more can be done and what they're doing?
REZAIAN: Yes, I'm constantly in contact not only with families and other advocacy, wings and organizations like the one that Barry works with
hostage aid worldwide, but also with members of the current U.S. administration, the previous administration, and the Obama administration.
And I think that this is a work in progress, the issue has long been deemed one that can't be solved, that will be with us forever. I think that that
we can do much better than this. I don't think that that's true.
For me, there are two priorities in these hostage matters. One, the speedy and safe return of our fellow citizens being held hostages and two,
figuring out deterrence to make this practice more difficult, more costly, and detour other regimes from doing this in the future, and I think that
the conversation has started. Barry's been a big part of that, as well as other friends and allies of ours, in and out of government.
MADOWO: And you mentioned in your tweet thread that hostage taking has become something that lots of autocratic governments around the world now
do quite frequently. What about you, Barry? Have you been in contact with any U.S. government officials about your position and your impending hunger
ROSEN: Yes, I have written both to the Iranian delegation in Vienna, and to the special envoy, Robert Malley in Vienna too. So I'm trying to set up
meetings with them, and I hope my message will be direct to book to both of them. Iran has to release the hostages immediately.
United States should not sign any agreement with Iran until all the hostages are released. And I really would like to add that if there is a
signing of an agreement down the road, that if Iran takes hostages once again, the agreement is null and void.
MADOWO: We talked at the beginning of this segment about Nazanin Zaghari- Ratcliffe and her husband, Richard Ratcliffe, ending his hunger strike. Barry after three weeks he was outside the British Home office in London.
For how long are you willing to do this?
ROSEN: I really don't know, I mean, look at my age at 77, you know, I have no idea how long I can sustain it, but I will let I last as long as I
possibly can. For me, it's important to do it to support the hostages and their families. They've gone through grieve this human rights violation.
And I think I can do something to assist them, my experience and the imprisonment that I went through and the psychological torture that I went
through. I don't want any other person to go through that again.
MADOWO: Alright, we're going to leave it there. Many thanks, Barry and Jason, thank you for coming to talk to us and for shining a light on this
REZAIAN: Thank you.
ROSEN: Thank you.
MADOWO: All right, still to come, what's that? It might look small but it's definitely not and it's heading quite close to earth. Details when we
MADOWO: And the strangers place to take a selfie is not exactly the Titanic, but it's definitely sinking fast.
MADOWO: Don't be afraid that's from the movie Deep Impact about a comments colliding with Earth. However, we have some news from space in the coming
hours. And asteroid is expected to pass close to Earth.
I think I'm going to let Kristin Fisher explain what's happening here. She joins us from Washington. This has a bit of I guess, references to another
movie that people are freaking out about right now. Kristin Fisher, don't look up.
KRISTIN FISHER, CNN SPACE AND DEFENSE CORRESPONDENT: I know every time you hear about one of these asteroid Close Encounters everybody thinks about
Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck now Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence. But you know, this is a very important reminder that you know, asteroids do
pose a threat to everyone and all animals on planet Earth.
The good news is that this close encounter today is not going to pose any immediate threat to Earth. Scientists have been tracking this asteroid for
decades. And this asteroid is going to get only about a million miles away from Earth.
And yes, that's a pretty far distance. But it's also pretty close too close for comfort in terms of the grand scale of the cosmos. And then when you
factor in the size of this asteroid, Larry, it's twice the size of the largest building in the world, about four times the size of the Empire
And so that the orbit combined with the size of this asteroid is why NASA has deemed it potentially hazardous but again, not expected to cause any
direct threat or impact to the planet.
Larry, it is really those other asteroids, the ones that can kind of sneak up on the planet that has NASA so concerned.
MADOWO: Hang on. But Kristin, you have buried the lead because if the asteroid is not an asteroid has not been this close to Earth in almost 200
years, then how does we know for sure?
FISHER: This particular asteroid has not been this close to Earth in a very long time. But because these astronomers study the orbit of it, they know
exactly where it's going to go because they've been tracking it for an extended period of time.
What's concerning to them is Larry what happened like two years ago in 2019, there was this asteroid that came within just 40,000 miles away from
Earth, and no one on the planet even knew that it was coming until less than 24 hours before the closest encounter.
And so that's what really keeps folks at NASA up at night. And it's part of the reason that NASA is launched this first ever planetary defense mission
called DART, the Double Asteroid Redirection Test.
FISHER: And in just a few months, they're going to slam a spacecraft into this asteroid, not this asteroid, a separate asteroid, to see if they can
gently sort of nudge it off course, in the event that an asteroid like the one approaching today does indeed come too close for comfort. Larry?
MADOWO: All right, this is really reassuring because in the movie, Don't Look Up Again, which is it obvious I'm obsessed with it? The exact opposite
happens. Kristen Fisher, thank you.
FISHER: You just spoiled it.
MADOWO: Oh, I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry. It's not obvious.
FISHER: That's all right.
MADOWO: Kristin Fisher, thank you, I appreciate it. OK. Investigators say they've uncovered a prime suspect in the revealing of Anne Frank's hiding
place to the Nazis. After a six year investigation, a team of historians, criminologists and data specialists claim it was most likely Jewish notary
Arnold van den Berg.
The key piece of evidence came in a note came in a note to Frank's father, alleging van den Berg disclosed the hideout possibly in an effort to save
his own family. The Frank family lived in a secret annex in Amsterdam for nearly two years before the Nazis found them in 1944.
Frank documented her experience in a diary published after her death in a concentration camp at age 15. You know that sinking feeling, especially
when you're on thin ice. OK, let me show you.
I want you to look at this Canadian woman look very closely. Her car is sinking in the frozen Rideau river. But while others scramble to save her,
she's taking a selfie. In the background there you see residents running trying to rescue her.
The good thing is they found a kayak, flung it into the river and pulled her to safety and not a moment too soon because the car sunk in just a few
more minutes. Since early she was filmed racing down the icy river surface that's what you're looking at there.
Ottawa Police charged her with dangerous driving. Wow. I know this is - that's a lot. Thank you for watching. I am Larry Madowo in Atlanta. "One
World" with Zain Asher is next. And maybe excuse me while I take a selfie now because it's way safer here in studio than out there in a frozen river.