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Connect the World

Biden to Leave today for First Middle East Trip as President; Saudi Visit is Allegedly Anticipated as Biden has to Rein in Energy Prices; NASA Releases more Images from James Webb Telescope; U.S. President to visit Israel and Saudi Arabia this week; Trump Ally Steve Bannon now says he's willing to Testify; Producer who Worked with Arrested Filmmaker Speaks to CNN. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired July 12, 2022 - 11:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: Folks, we have a new view of the universe. NASA, releasing a slew of new full color infrared images

demonstrating what the largest space telescope ever built, known as the James Webb is capable and you're looking at some of the deepest views of

space ever captured.

And as we've been on air, they have just at NASA released a new image and I want to bring back Miles O'Brien, who has been walking us through what we

are seeing and the significance of these images. Miles if you're with me, this, our viewers are seeing is the third big reveal, as it were, today,

tell us what we're seeing and why this matters?

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN AEROSPACE ANALYST: This is the Southern Ring Nebula, Becky, like it has never been seen before. That blue center is hotter

temperature. And it is a view which is difficult, I will actually impossible for other telescopes to obtain.

If you think about some of the great Hubble Space Telescope images, those kind of cloudy images of Nebula, what is effective and interesting about

the Webb Space Telescope is it is in the infrared spectrum which allows it to go to the more distant reaches of the Universe, because what happens is,

the light spectrum gets stretched as the universe expands.

And so to see the farthest distances, you need to be in the infrared, but the infrared has another advantage in that you can see through those clouds

and see what's going on behind them. And so while the clouds are kind of fun images to look at, and they're beautiful for scientists, they want to

peer through the clouds.

And that's what this image is telling you. You can see what's going on underneath the clouds as well as understanding the tremendous beauty. I

mean, you can't help but look at that and not say wow, that is that is beautiful!

ANDERSON: This project is collaboration between NASA, the Canadian Space Agency and the European Space Agency, just how important is that

collaboration, when we see the sort of the images that we are looking at today?

O'BRIEN: Well, the Europeans got the space telescope to its place in space. You know, that was a huge, huge deal. And they did it in such a way that as

extra fuel to be has a much longer mission than was initially anticipated.

The Canadians provided instrumentation on board, the Webb Telescope, and then idea of, you know, spaces away for nations to come together with peace

in mind and no other things. And there aren't many things that bring nations together, naturally like this; the International Space Station is a

good example.

Of course, that's been stressed horribly, because of the situation in Ukraine and the Russian partnership there. But this is an example of how

nations working together the best scientists can achieve things together, not just as nations but as humanity. And that sounds a little bit, you

know, kind of - if I sound a little bit naive, I like to think that nations can work together for good purposes. And this is an example.

ANDERSON: This is the top of the hour; we are into the second hour of "Connect the World". So forgive me if this sounds a little repetitive for

those who've been with us, but I know that we'll have viewers who may have just joined it.

And so I want to just get that the producers of the show just to bring up that first reveal. And this is NASA folks today, revealing some spectacular

images from the James Webb Space Telescope and so miles for the benefit of those viewers who may just be joining us, walk us through what we see here

now this was the first reveal.

O'BRIEN: OK, so that is a cluster of galaxies. It's what we call in the space world, a deep field. So imagine a grain of sand on your fingertip and

you're holding your hand out this far away. That's the amount of sky that this image was trained on to get that image.


O'BRIEN: So a tiny little speck of the night sky seemingly empty and just avoid revealing what you just saw there is the extraordinary thing.


O'BRIEN: Thousands, millions, billions of galaxies spinning around, some of them as far away as 13 billion light years away from us. And so the fact

that they were able to capture this image kind of before breakfast, it took years ago, it took Hubble in excess of a week to shoot a similar image with

not as much fidelity. So this is going to give you an idea of the kind of power and depth and the incredible detail which Webb has provided us.

ANDERSON: I'm just - I'm just doing what you asked me to do holding my finger up and imagining a grain of sand--

O'BRIEN: Have a little grain--

ANDERSON: I really just don't see. And within that grain of sand, what you've just described as me looking at some images of as much as 13 billion

light years away. I mean, that just does my head in. I have to admit. What are we learning from an image that gives us a sense of 13 billion light

years ago?

O'BRIEN: Yes, do you remember the Dr. Seuss story Horton Hears a Who?


O'BRIEN: You know, is a kind of little speck of dust. And there's a whole little world in there. And this is kind of what this is like. It's like,

oh, my God, that little speck of dust. It is - it's hard to fathom how large and how big the universe is? And how many galaxies are there? As you

say, it kind of makes the mind explode a little bit. But again, you know you can't help but look at that and think not only is that beautiful and

amazing but quick, there's got to be life in there somewhere.

ANDERSON: Do you believe there is?

O'BRIEN: Oh, yes. Well, you know, the question is, though, you're looking at things like that second image. So Southern Ring Nebula, it's from that--

ANDERSON: Let's bring that up folks, yep go on.

O'BRIEN: So that's 2000 light years away. Let's assume somewhere in that beautiful image, there's someone or something. And imagine trying to

communicate with them? Well, it would take 2000 years to send the message out, and 2000 years to get the message back.

I'll tell you, Becky, it's very difficult to do comedy with a 4000 year return. The timing is difficult, right? So how are we going to - how are we

going to communicate in a fundamental way if in fact, there isn't a smart civilization than it takes a 4000 year round trip just to say hello?

ANDERSON: I'm enjoying your comedic value having you on it are a real pleasure and a delight. We were talking before the break about the

importance of significance, the impact of what we are seeing and why it is that the scientists involved in this project have been so incredibly

excited about what they are seeing here?

And about the fact that this project now goes on for what as you described maybe as long as 20 years, and whether what we are seeing here is really

defied expectations, has it?

O'BRIEN: Yes, you know, it's hard to know what to expect when you are truly exploring at the beyond what is known. And, you know, that's the thing to

remember on the Webb is, you know, so delayed, and so over budget, but it frankly, if it was on time and on budget, it probably wouldn't have been

ambitious enough, right?

I mean, they were kind of designing the aircraft while it was in flight, so to speak. They were building and trying to figure it out something that had

never been done before. And so to get to that point where it actually derives his payoff, it's sort of easy to forget all the difficulties it

took to get there.

But this is a huge story of human inspiration, and ultimately perseverance to get through this to see a goal and try to design something that would

meet that goal against all these odds, to me is as much of a story as what we're seeing at the 13 billion light year distance.

ANDERSON: Let me stop you there for just a moment. Let's just go back to NASA and to their live broadcast and just hear what they - what they've got

to say?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: --million light years from us, and that we're locked in a closed interaction, a sort of cosmic dance driven by the gravitational

force. You can see these two in a process of merging within each other. This is a very important image, an area to study because it really shows

that the type of interaction that drives the evolution of galaxy that that's the mechanism of galaxies groves.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love this image of the cosmic dance moving through each other. And Mark there's a lot going on there in this image isn't



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is. So this is a near infrared image and a mid- infrared image combined and when we zoom in on the left hand side here we see this foreground galaxy, you see lots of individual stars in there

actually resolved as point sources, which is remarkable.

And then as we pan across, we actually see the galaxies in the emerging galaxies. We now see gas and dust, which is being heated up in the

collision between those galaxies. And that's placed where new stars are being born today.

So we're actually seeing the process of creation of new stars in this region. And then when we look in the background here, we see not only the

galaxies at 300 million light years, but also star in our own galaxy, these snowflake structures that you see here, those are nearby stars. But in the

corner, and around the edges, we see galaxies, which are much, much more distant, much further away.

So similar in some sense to the ones that we saw earlier on in that deep field. And so this image actually takes us from the nearby galaxy, our own

Milky Way through these galaxies, which are evolving today, all the way to the distant universe. And in a way it captures cosmic evolution of galaxies

over those 13 point 8 billion years.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So we have another image, don't we that we can --?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Exactly. So if we strip away the near infrared view there of the stars, predominantly. Now in the mid infrared, with Mary

alone, we see mostly gas and dust. So we see the same galaxies, again, the two merging. And then we also see something very interesting up at the top

here, because this top galaxy has something new and bright in the middle of it and Jovana (ph) tell us what that is.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, that's an active black hole. We can see the black hole itself. But we see the materials were around being swallowed by the

sort of cosmic monsters and get gas - gets heated to extremely high temperature as it falls onto the black hole. And it becomes very bright.

In fact, this is our shine is the galaxy. We see a luminosity that is 40 billion times the luminosity of our suns is really, really bright. And we

near spec, we can zoom into this area. And we have this technology that allows us to take thousands of images of different wavelength channels.

So see the distribution of the gas, what's going on in the gas in different regions of the of this core area, and understand the composition of the

gas, the velocities, the temperature, so that's very important to understand the physics.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So that it's giving us so much information, and it just shows the power of this telescope, Mark. This is just the beginning,

though, isn't it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think that's a very important takeaway from today. You know, we these are like pictures just taken over a period of five days. And

every five days, we're getting more data which will contribute more in that in that direction. It's a combination of decades of work, but it's just the

beginning of decades.

And you know, what we've seen today with these images is essentially that we're ready now. This telescope is working fantastically well. And you

know, to borrow a phrase from a famous rock musician, you know, we're ready to turn this telescope up to 11. It really is time. It's fantastic.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you very much indeed both of you, back to you, Michelle.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thanks, Katie; it is so great to have your colleagues with us on this historic day. So before we get to the fifth and final image

reveal of the day, it cannot be said enough that an achievement like the James Webb Space Telescope is something bigger than any one of us. It's

bigger than any organization, any country. This truly takes a planet, what belongs to all of us, and starting today, the discovery start and they're

not going to stop. This is just the beginning.

ANDERSON: Right, let's bring Miles O'Brien back. They are really milking this aren't they? The teasing of the great reveals it's wonderful, good for

them to sort of see that--

O'BRIEN: --but they still can't reach Canada Becky.

ANDERSON: Oh, the irony. Miles, let's go back to the image that they've just had - they've just revealed that and walk us through again the

significance of what we all see? Explain what we're seeing and why this is significant?

O'BRIEN: Stevens Quintet it is - I'm trying to do the math two kilometers is 290 million light years away. So I don't know what that is in

kilometers, long way.

ANDERSON: You can make it up. I'm pretty sure there'd be nobody watching is going to suggest you're wrong.

O'BRIEN: Well, you can - right? So what's interesting about these galaxies aside from the say, this quintet is clearly beautiful, but they interact

with each other. These are whole galaxies, four and the five of them are actually colliding and pushing and pulling and stretching.

And they discovered a long time ago, late 19th century.


O'BRIEN: And then objects astronomers have been interested in for quite some time. But this is an image like no one's ever seen of these galaxies

and how they all interact us.

ANDERSON: Let me stop you because the great teaser is on and the great reveal is happening. Let's get, let's get the fifth image. And then we'll

come back to this one and talk about the other one. Here we go.

So let's do a quick review of where we've been so far. So Jane Rigby got us rolling today with an extraordinary new deep field image showing us one of

the farthest views of the universe ever.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, this image really does demonstrate that --------- Jade AVIRIS T can do exactly what we've designed it to do.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. And the Canadian Space Agency then took us to the massive planet, wasp 96 B, where the team has detected evidence of

atmospheric water.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And here again, we're seeing the incredible efficiency of this observatory.

We're able to do these kinds of measurements in a fraction of the time that we are - we're able to before.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And then we look at the road from NASA Goddard to the Space Telescope Science Institute, where Alex and Carl showed us the

exquisite Southern Ring Nebula, a mixing bowl of stellar matter around a pair of dying stars.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, and I'm just blown away by the level of detail we can see like in the outer part of this nebula, it's incredible.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wow. OK. After that it was off to Germany, where the European Space Agency wowed us with pictures of galaxies interacting and

mixing together.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right in this image again, it's just its incredible, because it's showing us one of these fundamental processes of the universe,

how galaxies merge together. And we're able to learn about these processes in a brand new way.

So the web team has a lot to cheer about right now. So across the campus, there's this big watch party. And we can feel the excitement all the way

from over here. So let's join that celebration now.

We're back with senior project scientist John Mather, along with the Head of NASA Science Mission Directorate, Thomas Zurbuchen. Hello.


with a cheerleading crew right over there. That's amazing. Look, you've been with this mission for decades. How do you feel today?

JOHN MATHER, NASA'S SENIOR PROJECT SCIENTIST: I am so thrilled and so relieved, this was so hard. And we, it took so long, it's just impossible

to convey how hard it really was, we risked so much to say, we're going to go do this, and it's so near impossible. But we did it.

ZURBUCHEN: Yes. There are thousands way, thousands of ways this can go wrong. Many of them, you know, we worried about and frankly feared even

after launch, I have to tell you, I was really, really nervous. And you know it's almost like athletics. For me, you always get to know the team,

and they're on the field. And on the field, they were right after this launch, and they were perfect.

MATHER: They absolutely were, and I really wasn't worried, but maybe I should have been.

ZURBUCHEN: And that's difference between the two of us. I always worry, I always tell everybody, I'm paid to worry frankly, and that's good. What we

want to do, though, is, you know; just really thank the team again.

You know, of course, we heard Bill and Scott and Greg talking about the team that was there. I think what's also important is to recognize that

Ernie is sitting there was the first manager, was sitting there, could you stand up.

And I want to mention that Phil Sable House, who is a manager, also during a time, is no longer with us per day his heart went out today. I have to

tell you, I have to tell you, John, after each one of these milestones, I called a lot of people I called Bernie, for example.

And I called people about my job and people who are administrators, because there are many of them. And I just wonder how you feel about the team to

stack if you weren't here.

MATHER: I am just so thrilled that we had a privilege to assemble such a brilliant team; we drew from the best of the best. And here we are. So my

extreme deep thanks go to all the people who built that team, not only to Bernie, who started us and help us build up all the technology to fill who

made sure we would have a plan.

And then when we didn't have quite enough money to build who pulled it all together, and made it get all the way to the end. I am so thrilled that we

had so much talent to draw on.

And here we are - we have the support of the country and the world to take on this immense challenge.

ZURBUCHEN: You know what I'm most excited about there's tens of thousands of scientists, and frankly, some of them just got born or not even born who

are benefiting from this amazing telescope because it will be with us for decades.

MATHER: It will be, we have it took us about 25 years to get here since 1995. And we have at least 25 to go. I hope.

ZURBUCHEN: So look, we are in a sense of these images, the art that is out there in the sky, revealed for the first time we're thinking of the team

and we're thanking them. John, thanks to you, thanks to all of you and back to Michelle.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you so much, Thomas. And this entire collection continues to just absolutely astounding. OK, Amber. So here it is. Can you

walk us through the final image reveal?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely. Here we go. Last image is Wow, look at that. So Amber, can you can tell us a bit about what we're seeing here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Of course, this stunning vista of the cosmic cliffs of the Carina Nebula reveals new details about this vast stellar nursery.

Today, for the first time, we're seeing brand new stars that were previously completely hidden from our view.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In addition, we want to point out here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely. So honestly, it took me a while to figure out what to call out in this image. There's just so much going on here.

It's so beautiful. One thing that really, really stands out to me is you sort of get this sense of depth and texture from this new data.

There's just there's a lot going on to call out a few specifics. First of all, in general, the Carina Nebula is a nearby star forming region within

our own Milky Way Galaxy, about 7600 light years away. And in this view, we see some great examples.

First of all of hundreds of new stars that we've never seen before, we see examples of bubbles and cavities, and jets that are being blown out by

these newborn stars. We even see some galaxies sort of lurking in the background up here.

We see examples of structures that honestly we don't even know what they are like what's going on here. There's just there's the data is just so


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And there's something really special about the infrared, infrared can actually see deeper into the star forming regions.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely. That's one of the great things about infrared is it really does reveal what's going on here in a really cosmic

sense. And in general, what's happening in sort of this overall landscape is we have these gigantic, hot young stars up here to the top of this rim.

And the radiation, its stellar winds from those stars is sort of pushing down and running into all of this, this is gas and dust. And of course, we

know that gas and dust is great raw material for newborn stars, and baby planet.

But there's a flip side of the story and also a little bit of a mystery, because these same processes can serve to sort of erode away this material

and stop star formation.

So we have this sort of delicate balance going on of new stars being formed. But at the same time the star formation is being halted.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And for me, when I see an image like this, I can't help but think about scale, you know, every dot of light we see here is an

individual star, not unlike our sun. And many of these likely also have planets.

And it just reminds me that, you know our sun and our planets and ultimately, we were formed out of the same kind of stuff that we see here.

We humans really are connected to the universe were made of the same stuff in this beautiful landscape.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And actually, the Carina Nebula was one of my favorite images from Hubble. So have looked at this as well, right?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely. Yes, yes, the Hubble image of this is also spectacular. We saw it in a different kind of light, when Hubble took an

image of this particular Nebula, and then you can see amazing things with Hubble.

But when we zoom in to this new image, we're able to see so much more detail. And of course, all of us, you know, I grew up on Hubble, and all of

us love Hubble. And I'm just I'm so excited to see what these two amazing observatories are able to do really in tandem with each other.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you so much and again, congratulations. It's been a pleasure to be working on this with you. I'm just amazed by what's

been going on.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Me too, thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So as we're wrapping up, one of the things that I really have to say is the--

ANDERSON: Right, let's bring Miles O'Brien back CNN's Aerospace Analyst and Science Correspondent for PBS news hour. I mean, I really took a sharp

intake of breath when I saw this new image.

O'BRIEN: Yes. I'm a little - Becky. I am. I really am, I'm a little misty, I didn't expect to be affected this way. But it's really it's just it's so

beautiful and stunning. And data rich too you know, the scientists see it in a different way, but you know I'm more of a right brain guy.

When I look at that, I think the beauty of the creation in which we live is pretty stunning.

ANDERSON: Just explain what we are seeing here. I mean, what you recognized--

O'BRIEN: Yes, this is a nursery it looks like it could be you know the Rocky Mountains on a starry night - you know with a hat tip to Van Gogh

here. He was pressured into what he painted.


O'BRIEN: But this is, yes, it's a nursery. This is where our stars are born, Nebula that cloudy stuff, ultimately congeals and creates stars and

planets and solar systems and galaxies. And so this is the ability to see something deep, deep, deep back in time.

And what it looked like as those stars were forming billions of years ago, the Carina Nebula 7600 light years away, you do the conversion on how far

away that is in distance. And it's several times larger than our Sun many of these stars.

And what's great is when you hear a scientist saying, you know, we're looking at that object and Amberstron is one of the best. We're looking at

that object. We're not even sure what the heck that is.

That proves that they've done something right here, right? They are on the edge of big discoveries here. And who knows what we're going to find out,

it's going to be a fun ride, I think.

ANDERSON: Just before I let you go, this is the James Webb Space Telescope. And as the guys we're just pointing out, I mean, this isn't been an easy

run to get to this point.

What sort of, what sort of budget are we talking about here for the hardware, as it were? And what does it take to continue to finance an

operation like this?

O'BRIEN: It's a $10 billion operation. And that's about twice as much as was first imagined back in 1995, when they first started talking about it.

But you know they were optimistic that they could do it, they really didn't know how they were going to do it. So how do you estimate?

I tell all my friends at NASA, whatever number you come up with, just double it, because it will be double. And sure enough, here it is. But I'll

tell you honestly, in the grand scheme isn't worth $10 billion. It's less than some weapons systems at the Pentagon. I would trade these images for a

weapon system any day of the week. How about you?

ANDERSON: Yes, well, absolutely, absolutely. Not a shadow of a doubt. This has been amazing. And thank you for making time for us today. As I say it's

always a pleasure to have you on miles.

Yes, and just thank you for walking us through what has been some remarkable imagery revealed with such fanfare by NASA today in what has

been their live broadcasts that we've been dipping in and out of, thank you very much indeed.

I'm going to leave you bottom of the hour taking a very short break. Thank you Miles, I'll take a very short break. We'll be back with "Connect the

World" after this. I'll leave you just with one of these images.



ANDERSON: By this time tomorrow, Joe Biden will be on his first visit to the Middle East since he became U.S. President. His first stop is Israel.

But the most eagerly anticipated part of the trip will be the President's visit to Saudi Arabia.

And he's hoping to get the Saudis to help fight spiraling energy prices. But Mr. Biden's National Security Adviser says they have an awful lot of

issues that they want to discuss with the Saudis.


JAKE SULLIVAN, U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: America's values human rights are a strategic interest of the United States. So is energy

security, so is stopping terrorism. So is seeking peace in a place like Yemen. So we're trying to do multiple things all at once advance along a

number of different tracks.


ANDERSON: CNN White House Reporter Natasha Bertrand joins us now with a look at what is on the President's agenda in the Middle East. And as I

listen there to Jake Sullivan, I have to say, it does feel like a bit of a smorgasbord this trip.

Is it clear to you at this stage? What it is that the White House is hoping to achieve?

NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: It is a big trip. But ultimately, their objective is to expand normalization between Israel and

Saudi Arabia, the normalization process get those kind of diplomatic conversations moving.

And that really is why when you view the President's trip to Israel; it cannot be viewed in a vacuum separate and apart from his trip to Saudi

Arabia. This is one of the very few foreign policy initiatives by the Trump Administration that the Biden Administration is actually embracing here,

which is the Abraham Accords, which of course led to normalization between Israel and the UAE.

So what the president is now wanting to do is expand on those accords expand Israel's diplomatic relationships, especially with Saudi Arabia of

course, in furtherance of additional security and regional stability, of course, in the face of Iranian aggression.

But ultimately, the trip is also going to be about more tangible objectives like oil production. That is a major reason why the president is trying to

repair ties with the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, because the relationship has just been so damaged over the last year, because of MBS,

of course, approving the murder of The Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, because of the president vowing to make Saudi Arabia pariah that

the Saudis have refused essentially, to pump more oil now in the face of Russia's aggression in Ukraine, given the volatility of oil markets.

The President and the White House have really realized here that they need increased oil production in order to do that they need to repair this

relationship with MBS.

ANDERSON: Yes, I mean, the president when asked NATO did say that it wasn't just energy that he would discuss with the Saudis. Of course, it was the

kind of you know, it was a wider discussion for what is a wider group, because when it gets to Saudi Arabia, this will be a GCC plus three meeting

there, the plus three being Jordan, Egypt, and Iraq.

Jake Sullivan earlier, suggesting that Iran is getting ready to provide drones to Russia for the war in Ukraine. There are an awful lot of strands

going on here. But we what we do know is that Iran for many, if not all of the hoops that the president will meet this week is front and center when

it comes to regional security.

How do we expect this new news about Iranian drones to Russia to play into the ongoing nuclear negotiations?

BERTRAND: Yes, this was a very big disclosure by the National Security Adviser yesterday saying that Iran is preparing to ship potentially

hundreds of armed drones to the Russians to help them in their fight against the Ukrainians.

But according to the White House coordinator for national security communications, John Kirby, the U.S. does not necessarily believe that this

development is going to significantly impact the status of the nuclear talks.



our efforts to try to get a nuclear deal with Iran. It certainly is going to affect our efforts to continue to support Ukraine.

We have to see exactly how the Russians move forward here with the Iranians on these UAVs and what they get how many and how they use them. So we'll be

watching that closely.

I do want to add, though, Brianna, that we continue to want to see a nuclear deal that takes Iran's nuclear ambitions at least nuclear weapons

ambitions off the table.


BERTRAND: So this has been one of the main issues that several of the United States Middle East allies have had with the US talks around the

nuclear deal with Iran. They say that the Iran nuclear deal and the idea that the Americans really are laser focused on only the nuclear aspect of

Iran's malign activities are misplaced.


BERTRAND: And that they want to discuss the broad range of everything Iran is doing, not only regionally but internationally in order to foment


And so the main topic of discussion during President Biden's meeting with the GCC plus three will be, of course, on Iran in the larger picture here,

not just on the, you know, the development of their nuclear weapons program, but also on how the United States is prepared to counter Iran's

malign influence now, including, of course, potentially shipping and training the Russians on using these hundreds of armed drones, Becky

ANDERSON: Yes, fascinating. It's going to be a really important week. We'll be in Saudi Arabia in Jeddah to cover this on "Connect the World". Our

coverage of that trip starts on Thursday.

Thank you. As Iran packs up those drones for Russia according to U.S. Intelligence Russian President Vladimir Putin is packing up to go to Iran.

The Kremlin is confirming that Mr. Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Iranian President, Ebrahim Raisi will meet in Tehran one

week from today.

Now the focus is said to be on Syria, but Iranian media says President Putin and Mr. Raisi will always also look at expanding their economic ties.

Well, we are learning the death toll in Sunday's apartment building attack in eastern Ukraine has risen to 38. It happened in Chasiv Yar, a small town

in the Donetsk region.

The Ukraine emergency services despite the rising death toll they have just rescued nine more people from the rubble. And Ukrainian officials report 12

people were hurt Monday night in the southern city of Mykolaiv.

The city has been under heavy fire this is the damage left by missile strikes. Just last weekend, officials say Russian missiles hit residential

areas and two hospitals there.

Well, those left to pick up the pieces after the battles find themselves in need of basic necessities like medicine and food. My colleague Alex

Marquardt went along with a group of pharmacists who are filling that need by filling prescriptions, have a look at that.

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Becky, as Russian forces advanced on the city of Kharkiv and then was repelled by

Russian forces. What that has meant is that villages and towns have been occupied and then liberated and now left in some kind of gray zone caught

between the two sides.

It has meant that they are often devastated with many people suffering and in need of all kinds of things including medication. So we went with a team

of pharmacists from Kharkiv out to some frontline villages to see how they deliver that much needed medicine.


MARQUARDT (voice over): In a boarded up pharmacy in Kharkiv, we follow -- Yulia Clem Nia down into the basement. They never used this space before the war. Now it holds shelf after shelf of vital donated medicine while

also serving another purpose.

MARQUARDT (on camera): As we've been down here, we can hear some heavy shelling from up above. That's not very common at this time of the day and

in mid-morning. Thankfully, we're already down in the basement, so we're where we need to be.

MARQUARDT (voice over): That shelling killed at least six city residents, Yulia and her team is unfazed. Preparing to head out on a monthly visit to

multiple frontline villages, which desperately need hard to get medicine, medical supplies and basics like baby formula?

The pharmacy comes to the village she says, pharmacies are either destroyed or there are no pharmacists and people need medicine. The lead vehicle in

the convoy is an ambulance.

When it arrives in the first village, it sirens ring out to tell everyone they're here. Soon a line has formed in the rain. Old retirees, young

parents with their kids, anyone who's left here seems to come out, including a village doctor.

We really need medication. We don't have a local pharmacy. We have nowhere to buy anything; she says insulin, heart and blood pressure drugs are at

the top of her list along with sedatives and antidepressants.

Animals are a priority to another car is full of dog food for beloved pets like - who's owner of Eager, says - a shell shocked from all the

explosions. This village had been occupied by Russian forces and caught between the warring side's scars of the fighting very visible, as is the

Russian retreat.

When the Russians occupied this village, a man who lives here says that they would tuck their tanks and their armored vehicles between houses and

cover them up to try to hide them.

But then the Ukrainians retook this village and you can see they blew up and destroyed this armored vehicle. After about an hour the team packs up

and moves on to a poor rural village just 25 kilometers or 16 miles from the closest Russian position.


MARQUARDT (voice over): Here the residents gather around even faster. The profound need for aid is clear. While we're there, a team from World

central kitchen arrives to hand out meals. Another eager line forms.

Many of the Ukrainians we met were forced to live in the basements of their own homes while Russians occupied them, Yulia tells us. They're helpless

held hostage by this situation, she says, we help because they cannot provide for themselves. MARQUARDT (on camera): That team that we are with

visited three frontline villages and managed to get medicine to 400 people. They say that they regularly visit more than 100 villages just to give you

a sense of how many people they reach.

And we could see how grateful those people were. Becky, it's not just about pharmacies that have been forced to close down or have been destroyed.

People have often lost their jobs, lost their means to buy medicine or they've lost their means of transportation with vehicles getting blown up

in the fighting or they are simply too scared to leave their homes and neighborhoods. Becky?


ANDERSON: Well, that's Alex Marquardt reporting. Still to come on "Connect the World", the extremist groups who took part in the January the sixth

attack, how much did Donald Trump and his allies know about what they were planning more on that is after this.


ANDERSON: We are less than two hours from what will be the latest public hearing and the January the sixth attack on the U.S. Capitol. The big focus

today we are told will be the role of extremist groups like the proud boys and the Oath keepers played on that day and how Donald Trump's closest

allies allegedly worked with those extremists. CNN Congressional Correspondent Ryan Nobles has the latest for you.


RYAN NOBLES, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): CNN has learned that January 6 committee is planning to zero in on a key link. The

extremist groups ties to Trump associates Roger Stone and Michael Flynn.

The hearing comes as another key Trump ally Steve Bannon is changing his tune, telling the committee he would be willing to testify, but only in a

live public setting.

It's a move prosecutors believe is a stunt to try and wiggle out from his criminal contempt charges. But a federal judge on Monday declined his

request to postpone his trial for next week.

REP. ZOE LOFGREN (D-CA): I expect that we will be hearing from him and there are many questions that we have for him.

NOBLES (voice over): The committee has already revealed a bevy of new information. Among the biggest headlines, that Trump and his allies were

made fully aware that there was no evidence the election was stolen.

BILL STEPIEN, TRUMP 2020 CAMPAIGN MANAGER: I didn't think what was happening was necessarily honest or professional--


NOBLES (voice over): Trump knew he lost the election but kept telling his supporters he want without evidence to back it up. That the campaign to

subvert the will of the voters extended all the way to the states, where Trump personally pressured officials to help his effort.

RUSTY BOWERS, SPEAKER, ARIZONA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: You're asking me to do something against my oath and I will not break my oath.

NOBLES (voice over): The committee also revealing that Trump knew his supporters were armed and planning to be violent, but he directed them to

the Capitol anyway.

CASSIDY HUTCHINSON, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE AIDE: Ever heard the President say something to the effect of I don't think that they have weapons.

They're not here to hurt me take the - effing mags away. Let my people and they can march the Capitol from here. Let the people in take the effing

mags away.

NOBLES (voice over): The committee also uncovering details about Trump's efforts to prevent Congress's certification of the election. We ignored his

advisors that there was no fraud and instead tried to install an attorney general who would do his bidding.

RICHARD DONOGHUE, FORMER TRUMP JUSTICE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: I recall toward the end saying what you're proposing is nothing less than the United States

Justice Department meddling in the outcome of the presidential election.

NOBLES (voice over): That man Jeffrey Clark is now under scrutiny as part of a federal investigation into the attempts to overturn the election. And

finally, as an angry mob called for the assassination of his vice president, witnesses say Trump did not seem to be bothered.

His response to the violence is leading several cabinet officials to quit, and others quietly considering a plan to invoke the 25th amendment.

HUTCHINSON: There's a large concern of the 25th Amendment potentially being invoked. And there are concerns about what would happen in the Senate. If

it was the 25th was invoked.


NOBLES: And among the people that we could hear from on Tuesday, Pat Cipollone, the former White House counsel who was deposed by the committee

last Friday. We're told that the committee asked Cipollone a number of questions about a key meeting that took place in the White House in


Select committee aides said today that they believe that that meeting was a pivotal moment. That set the stage for the violence that took place on

January 6, Ryan Nobles CNN on Capitol Hill.

ANDERSON: And you can watch the January the sixth hearings right here on CNN. Our special coverage starts about 15 minutes from now, that is 5 p.m.

London time.

If you're watching in the UAE where this show is normally broadcast from it is 8 p.m. now. And you'll work out the times locally wherever you are

watching. We are back right after this short break folks.


ANDERSON: Earlier this hour, we talked about Iran's recent foreign policy moves like potentially supplying Russia with drones that it might use in

the war in Ukraine and how that might impact the stalled Iran nuclear talks.

But as tensions with the West grow, we are seeing greater domestic repression in Iran itself. Over the weekend, dissident director, filmmaker

Mohammad Rasoulof was arrested, that's--

And that is a clip from There Is No Evil, his film depicting the price of living under repressive regime. His arrest is among a string of other high

profile ones in what appears to be a wider crackdown on dissent.


ANDERSON: Iran's former Deputy Interior Minister Mostafa Tajzadeh, and two other filmmakers, Jafar Panahi and Mostafa Aleahmad are now behind bars.

All four are being accused of acting against Iran's national security.

Well, authorities say Rasoulof and Aleahmad were arrested for disrupting public safety for criticizing the handling of the matter of whole building

collapse in the city of Aberdeen just weeks ago

Remember, 41 people were killed here. And the tragedy sparked anti- government protests across the country. Well, my next guest is Iranian filmmaker Kaveh Farnam. He worked closely with Mohammad as the producer on

the 2020 Golden Bear winner, "There Is No Evil".

Cabot joins us now from Dubai with more on the arrest of his former colleague newer on the phone with Rasoulof at around 6 p.m. Friday night,

as I understand it, right before he was arrested. Was he concerned about his safety at that point?

KAVEH FARNAM, IRANIAN FILM PRODUCER: For sure, this is our main concern, and this is the things that make us really worried. Let me tell you

something, you know, one of the case that opened against him is making a documentary film, which call intentional crime, which is about the death of

our colleagues are the - colleagues, Mr. Baktash Abtin, who was a documentary maker, poet and a member of Iran writer Association.

Mr. Abtin was arrested on a year ago, and in 22nd, December this year, unfortunately, he passed away in the hospital which was belong to the jail.

And we tried to take him out.

There were a lot of things against him, but unfortunately, because they didn't pay attention to his health system, he passed away. Mohammad made it

feel that this film just came out on some of the TV station on 17 February.

In this film, Mohammad proves that even with the existing law in Iran, the death of the Baktash Abtin is a murder and is intentional crime. It's one

of the reason that Mohammad in the unrest investigation, and because of this tragedy, because the stars project - recently happened for us. We are

really, really worried about of your colleagues, Jafar Panahi and Mostafa Aleahmad and Mohammad Rasoulof health and safety.

ANDERSON: I understand and I'm so sorry about the death of your friend. The Iranian government, why do you believe that they have arrested him?

FARNAM: See, when you are living in the totalitarian regime, there is no need to any reason that they come and arrest you. You know that naturally

this kind of regime they couldn't see any movement, any action, they couldn't hear to any voice even they couldn't tolerate even at the top, so

no need to do any things that they come and take you, they couldn't tolerate you.

ANDERSON: Have you been subjected to any intimidation by the Iranian regime? FARNAM: You mean me by myself? Or didn't get your point? Would you


ANDERSON: Yes. Have you been subjected to intimidation? I know that you're in Dubai.

FARNAM: No, I couldn't say that. You know, unfortunately, unfortunately, I'm not living in Iran the last 22 years. But most of the time that the -


ANDERSON: Sorry, go on.

FARNAM: No, no, but most of the time when there is coming some letter from the court or different things to Mohammad or to Mostafa or other

colleagues, most of the time, they named me also, but it's never been serious, no.

ANDERSON: To your mind, why do you believe that we are witnessing this recent crackdown? I know you'll tell me that, you know, things haven't

changed and things of you know, things have been, you know, extremely bad for so many people for so long.

But we are seeing it seems an uptick here. So why this recent crackdown does you believe?

FARNAM: See, I think that in general the economic situation in Iran is not good at all. And somehow it went out of control. And the politics games

that they're playing around were not successful.

So they have to bring some other things to the society to make them easy to show that they still have muscles. And they try to finger some of the

priests that they are the one who put us in your travel or they are doing different things is the reason that they only want to show their muscles

and try to keep their area more secure.


ANDERSON: Sir, I'm going to leave it there. I thank you very much indeed for joining us. Please do stay in touch; you'll know that this show is

normally broadcast from Abu Dhabi.

We want to keep across what's going on with those who have been incarcerated. And please join us again, when we're back in our home base of

Abu Dhabi you're just down the road from us of course in Dubai.

Thank you very much indeed for joining us. And that is it for us. CNN special coverage of the January the sixth committee hearing is up next.