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Russians Fleeing Country to Escape Military Draft; Ukrainians Describe Alleged Abuse During Russian Occupation; Staged Referenda Underway in Four Ukrainian Regions; Iranian Army Issues Warning as Protests Persist Over Woman's Death. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired September 23, 2022 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Voting, if you could call it that, has begun in hastily organized referenda in four Russian-
occupied regions of Ukraine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ELENI GIOKOS, CNN ANCHOR: Where some countries are slamming the move a sham elections. Deadly protests rage in Iran as outrage grows over the
controversial death of a young woman. And a first for Italy, the next prime minister looks likely to be a woman, so what is on her agenda? We are live
Hello, and welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Eleni Giokos in Dubai.
Staged referenda that Ukraine and Western governments called sham elections are underway in four Ukrainian regions under varying degrees of Russian
control. The areas make up about 15 percent of Ukraine's territory. And the votes aimed at annexing them into Russia are not typical in any sense of
the word. Voting processes are irregular, in some cases ballots are being delivered to people's houses, amid reports of coercion and threats.
There is no apparent international monitoring. The Ukrainian governor of Luhansk is stating today that Western officials have warned about this for
weeks that Russia will calculate the results in its favor no matter what. These stage votes happening just days after Russian President Vladimir
Putin's mobilization announcement that has led to scenes like this. Russians who have lived ordinary lives during the seventh-month war
boarding buses and planes now, thrust into potential battle.
Others are trying to flee the country via land borders like this one into Kazakhstan or paying what are skyrocketing airfares to book flights to the
few countries where Russians are not required to have visas.
Matthew Chance has more on this growing exodus of Russia and that protest inside of Russia that followed Putin's announcement to mobilize hundreds of
thousands of Russian citizens.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Suddenly an exodus across Russia's borders. Social media now filled with
images like these near the country's southern frontiers of vehicles backed up, out of sight.
Everyone is on the run from Russia, the male voice says. Endless cars. It's mind boggling, he adds. In the west towards Finland, border officials also
reporting significantly higher traffic, nearly 5,000 crossing in a single day, more expected by the weekend, as Russians make for the exits.
Across Russia, there's a growing sense of alarm, even anger at the call up of reservists to fight in Ukraine. More than 1300 protesters have already
been detained, many of them women, terrified their husbands and sons will be killed.
I've got two kids of conscription age, says this protester. I brought them up alone, and I don't want to lose them, she cried. And for what, asks her
friend. They're just so they can kill the sons of other mothers, she answers.
But the mobilization is taking place regardless. Images of reservists like these boarding a military transporter in the Russian far east show how many
are heeding the call to arms.
At assembly points families are saying emotional goodbyes before their men, some apparently in middle age, are bussed away.
As what was always cast as a limited special military operation feels more and more like a full-blown war.
Matthew Chance, CNN, London.
GIOKOS: All right. Ben Wedeman is on the ground for us in Kharkiv in northeastern Ukraine. We also have Salma Abdelaziz with us from London to
break down the story.
Ben, I want to start with you, I want to talk about these referenda that are occurring in various parts of Ukraine. First thing we know no real
international monitoring that is occurring and people being forced to vote and the coercion from what we understand.
WEDEMAN: Yes. Well, keep in mind, Eleni, that in some of these areas, more than 50 percent of the population has fled because of the war and because
of Russian occupation. So it's highly questionable how relevant or representative these referenda could be. Now we've seen on social media and
heard from the occupied areas that for instance in some areas there are teams of two election officials with the ballot box accompanied by two
armed men, going door to door to collect votes.
Now the Ukrainian government obviously has called upon the residents of the occupied territory to boycott the vote and specifically they said if any
strangers show up on your door, don't answer them.
Now yesterday, we were in an area that from months was under Russian occupation. And certainly the impression you get speaking to people in
those areas is no one is entertaining the desire to live under Moscow's boot.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): Anatoly is trying to make his demolished house a home again one nail at a time. But without a roof, plastic sheeting on the
windows won't make much of a difference. This is all they could salvage.
Anatoly is overwhelmed by what he and his wife Svetlana found when they returned to their village of Prudyanka.
What can I say, he asks. You can see for yourself.
Svetlana was born in this house 53 years ago. Her reaction? Pain, she says. Shock, pain, terrible pain and bitterness. The fruits of a life's labor
withered on the vine.
(On-camera): This is what happened to many of the towns and villages caught in the front lines in this war. They were totally destroyed.
(Voice-over): Up the road, residents unload relief supplies trucked in to the town of Kozacha Lopan. Mayor Vyacheslav Zadorenko back in his office
after months away. He says these armbands were handed out to the workers at the local Russian installed administration. Food provided to collaborators
and newspapers. About 100 people were collaborators, he tells me. When the Russians left, most left with them.
Oleksandr from the mayor's office shows us where town residents were brought for interrogation and torture in a dark basement. As many as 30
people to a cell. Prisoners, he says, were seated in this chair and subjected to electric shocks.
Vadim spent a few days there. He recalls his interrogator beat him first, then asked questions. They beat me on my back, my head, then shoved me on
the floor and kicked me, he says. Then they gave me a cigarette and started the interrogation. They asked me if I was pro-Ukrainian. I'm Ukrainian, I
said, of course I'm pro-Ukrainian. He was released. But his son Vladimir was taken by the Russians. He is still missing.
Vitaly draws water from the neighborhood well. He recalls when Russian soldiers asked if he and his wife had any Nazis at home. This is a normal
village, he chuckles in the retelling. We're farmers and workers.
Kozacha Lopan is the last stop on the train line before Russian border. Soldiers took over the railway station.
(On-camera): These are all letters and pictures sent by Russian schoolchildren to the soldiers here at the railway station. You have things
like this, pictures. And here is a letter from Alexander in the fifth grade, who says, you are heroes. Thank you for guaranteeing our safe
(Voice-over): Misguided, discarded messages of support for a disastrous war.
WEDEMAN: Now that town, Kozacha Lopan, was liberated about 12 days ago.
Many people there will tell you they don't want to see the Russians come back but in the occupied territories, the Russians for instance have put a
billboard saying Russia is here forever. And in the Donetsk region, during this referendum, they announced that the ballots would be in the Russian
language only because the leader of the local administration said Russian is the state language -- Eleni.
GIOKOS: Ben, powerful story, powerful images. Thank you so very much for that report. Ben Wedeman there for us.
Salma Abdelaziz standing by in London and I'll go back to the images that we're seeing in Russia at the moment where we have protest action, where
we're seeing immediate conscription of some of those protesters. And then we're seeing a mass exodus in terms of people trying to get flights out of
Russia, or you're seeing border crossings being swamped as well.
I want you to give me a sense of how Russians are responding to this mass mobilization that we're seeing.
SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think this is the week, Eleni, that the war very much comes home for so many Russians. You heard there from my
colleague, Ben Wedeman, on the ground about the gains that have been made in recent weeks by Ukrainian forces. Pushing Russian troops on the back
foot. And President Putin has responded with this two-pronged approach if you will.
First, on the ground, there happening right now, those so-called referendum, an attempt to illegally annex sovereign Ukrainian territory.
And then the other part of this, the other part of this two-pronged approach is this partial mobilization. The first seen in the country since
World War II. 300,000 reservists will be called up in stages. And the reaction to this inside Russia was swift and fast.
A sense of panic almost immediately. Protests seen across 38 cities, hundreds of people arrested, many of them women, women angry not wanting to
see their brothers, their fathers, their sons die in this war. And the other part of this reaction is of course this exodus, this desperate
attempt to flee by so many Russians by land and by air. Flight tickets now have soared. The price of a single ticket just to another European city
That's normally just a few hundred dollars. Flights booked up now for the next several days. People on the ground describing people just panic
buying, buying any ticket to anywhere to just get out of the country. And then we're also seeing that on the land border as well. Finland, one of the
few European countries that still has its land border open with Russia describing huge influx of people being in lines, queues for hours. Traffic
just halting that border stop.
Kazakhstan reporting a 20 percent increase in traffic along its land border. It is not just about this partial mobilization effort. There is
this sense that this war is growing. It is expanding, that it could continue to consume the call for these reservists is just the beginning.
That this could really impact more and more Russians in the future. And again, just that desperation, that sense of panic setting in across Russia
GIOKOS: Yes, and it's evident in the images that we're seeing coming through from various parts of Russia.
Salma Abdelaziz, thank you very much. Good to see you.
Now Iran's army has issued a warning to protesters, saying it's ready to confront enemies in the interest of maintaining security. The public anger
ignited by the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody shows no signs of cooling off. Protests are still raging across the country one week after
Amini's death. An Iranian media reports at least 17 people have died in the unrest as the government responds with a harsh crackdown and Internet
blackouts. Meanwhile, Amini's family is accusing authorities of lying about how she died.
CNN's Jomana Karadsheh is following the story for us from Istanbul, Turkey.
Jomana, we're seeing these images, acts of defiance. At the same time government is saying they're going to be cracking down. And importantly,
lines of communication means that, you know, are starting to slow as well with regards to the crackdown on access to internet. Could you give me a
sense of how the situation is unfolding?
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Eleni, it's very difficult for us to get a real sense of what is going on on the ground in Iran. What
is happening in real time as you mentioned because of the disruptions to the internet. Disruptions not seen on this level in the country since the
2019 protest. You've got social media platforms being blocked by the government.
And that is what protesters, activists on the ground used to send out those videos and information to the world.
So there is a lot of concern that after we've seen the government perhaps, allowing these protests to go on for the past few days, people to blow off
steam, perhaps in recognition of the widespread anger over the death of Mahsa Amini. Now the government seems to be drawing a line. You know, Iran
observers who watched the country for a very long time are watching what is going on right now.
And they are very concerned about what might be going on as much of the country has gone dark. We have seen the beginnings of this crackdown.
They're worried that we're seeing signs of that crackdown intensifying right now. You had Friday prayers in the country today and the Friday
sermons. You had calls for the government and the security services to take decisive action. We have seen protests taking place, these organized
marches with pro-government crowds in their masses being mobilized on the streets.
In contrast to those protests we've seen over the past few days, those leaderless demonstrations, you had very organized marches today by those
pro-government supporters. People out on the street. And perhaps now the feeling is, you know, when you hear the words that are being used, the sort
of rhetoric coming from the authorities, describing the protesters as rioters, describing them as foreign agents, and what is going on as a
conspiracy as you mentioned.
That army statement today, a lot of ominous warnings coming and a lot of people concerned that we might potentially be seeing the army and the
Revolutionary Guard for the IRGC getting deployed to suppress this protest. If they haven't already so, you know, a lot of that hope over the past few
days from people, Iranians outside the country, watching what is going on. Hoping that this is going to be a turning point, that this is going to be
something the country hadn't seen before. Now there is a lot of worry about what might becoming -- Eleni.
GIOKOS: Yes, Jomana, thank you so very much for sharing those details with us.
Moving on now a crackdown on corruption in China snares two high-level officials. Coming up we'll look at how that plays into the president's
efforts to keep his job. And Hong Kong reopens the door to international visitors. One big restriction is dropped, but a bunch more are still in
place. Details ahead.
GIOKOS: Two Chinese officials who were supposed to be looking out for corruption have themselves been convicted of corruption.
This man Fu Zhenghua was China's justice minister but will now spend the rest of his life in prison for accepting bribes. Sun Lijun was China's
deputy public security minister. Prosecutors say he had been taking bribes for 20 years. All this coming ahead of the Chinese Communist Party's twice
a decade gathering during which President Xi Jinping is expected to run for an unprecedented third term.
Will Ripley joins us now live with a closer look at the developments.
Will, a crackdown on corruption ahead of an important meeting. Unprecedented third term, all of these elements interconnected.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, critics might say that it is a selective crackdown on corruption. Given that a lot of
these people who are now either going to be in prison for a very long time or the rest of their lives were considered to be potential political rivals
of the Chinese leader Xi Jinping. You talk about Sun Lijun. You know, he is the former deputy public security minister, and yes, he was investigated
and found guilty of accepting some $90 million U.S. in bribes over 19 years.
But, and this might be key here, he was also accused of leading a political click and having basically over inflated political ambitions. You know,
basically some of the, you know, charges read against him were that his, you know, this political click was undermining the stability of the
communist party. Now in a democracy, people form groups all the time but that's not how it works in China.
And China, it is Xi Jinping at the very top. And if people don't fall in line, well, some critics say can that it could end up like it did for Sun
Lijun. He's just 53 years old but he's going to spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole. And other members of this so-
called click also received long prison sentences this week.
This is clearly a message, Eleni, to political opponents of Xi Jinping that they better watch out, which might explain why you have an entire country
still clinging on to the zero COVID approach that pretty much everywhere else in the world has either moved on or is moving on from it because Xi
Jinping says there must be zero COVID, China is doing it. One and a half billion people have had to give up extraordinarily, you know, in terms of
their freedom, in terms of their mobility. And because of this one man who is about to potentially get an unprecedented third term at China's 20th
Party Congress in just a matter of weeks.
GIOKOS: So, during this Congress, and here's the thing, does he still have the support with a slowing economy, zero COVID policy and a lot of issues
that are trailing him at this stage?
RIPLEY: You would think that that would weaken him but all indications are, now granted, you know, this is not a very leaky government were a lot of
information gets leaked out. Intelligence is very difficult to come by in China precisely because it is this authoritarian, you know, regime in which
Xi Jinping basically commands absolute loyalty and if anybody is found disobeying that, they can end up in prison or they can end up, you know,
potentially even worse.
You know, people are put under house arrest for, you know, on suspicion of something. And it could be six months in total isolation. And so if there
is dissent, if there is disagreement, you don't hear about it at the government level. You don't hear criticism. You certainly don't hear about
it in state media. And even though regular people are posting on, you know, Chinese social media, they're outraged when they're stuck in yet another
lockdown or waiting in yet another line under the sweltering sun to get a mandatory COVID test when there three cases in their city.
Those people's post are immediately deleted and often they might get a knock on their door and get a talking to. So that's how it works in China.
If there is dissent, if there is any sort of undermining of Xi Jinping's power, hey, some of those people might be under investigation for
corruption right now.
GIOKOS: Yes, and if any changes are happening at government level or leadership level, we'll find that when that decision already has been made,
right? As opposed to rumors.
Will, thank you so very much for breaking that down for us.
All right, so visiting Hong Kong is about to get a little easier. The government there has decided to end the mandatory hotel quarantine for
international travelers. Now that is good news for the tourism industry but not all restrictions have been lifted.
Kristie Lu Stout explains.
KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For more than two and a half years, Hong Kong enforced one of the toughest quarantine regimes on
the planet. And on Friday, the city's top leader Zhang Li announced plans to end hotel quarantine for incoming travelers from Monday, September the
26th. Instead new arrivals must undergo three days of self-monitoring with some restrictions of what public cases they can enter.
The government also announced that a negative PCR test was no longer needed before boarding a plane to Hong Kong. Tethered to China and it's zero COVID
policy, Hong Kong has that tough border restrictions in place.
At COVID-19's peak, people arriving in Hong Kong were forced to pay for and spend 21 days in a designated hotel. Last month, hotel quarantine was eased
from seven to three days, followed by four days of self-monitoring. Hong Kong's strict zero COVID policy, along with the political crackdown, has
prompted many to leave the city. Over the past year, over 113,000 residents have left marking the city's sharpest annual drop in population on record
The rules have also forced airlines to drop dozens of flight routes to and from Hong Kong, which used to be one of the busiest airports in the world.
The easing of quarantine restrictions comes ahead of plans to host the international rugby seven, and a global banking summit in November. Both
seen as opportunities for Hong Kong to revive its status as a world city and financial hub. Especially, as rival city Singapore has already opened
up and is enjoying a business boom.
(On-camera): Well, while many here in Hong Kong welcomed the end of the city's dreaded hotel quarantine, many tough rules remain in place. Health
codes are checked when going to restaurants or entertainment venues, gatherings of more than four people are not allowed, and a mask mandate is
in effect even for children as young as 2 years old.
Kristie Lu Stout, CNN, Hong Kong.
GIOKOS: In northeastern China, a man has been convicted to 24 years in prison for assaulting women in a restaurant last summer. The man and his
friends were filmed attacking the woman after they rejected his advances. The incident sparked a nationwide uproar over violence against women.
All right, let's get you up to speed on some other stories that are on our radar right now. At least 74 people have died after a small boat carrying
dozens of migrants sank off Syria's coast on Thursday. Officials said the boat left from Lebanon Tuesday with passengers of several nationalities. 20
people survived, others are still missing. But it's not clear how many.
A demonstration in Mexico City to demand justice for 43 students who vanished eight years ago turned violent on Thursday. Police say, 11
officers were injured by shrapnel from firecrackers and some suffered bruises after being attacked by protesters.
Wildlife experts say they don't know why two separate pods of pilot whales stranded themselves on the beach this week in remote Australia. Officials
discovered hundreds of whales on Monday. The team saved 32 of them, and about 200 died. Whale strandings have baffled scientists for decades.
And just ahead, Italy could make history this weekend when voters decide their next prime minister. We'll explain next.
GIOKOS: Welcome back. I'm Eleni Giokos in Dubai. And you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.
Stage referenda underway in four areas of Ukraine under varying degrees of Russian control. Ukrainian and Western officials described the voting as a
sham, and a pretext for Russian annexation. There is no apparent international monitoring, and some residents reportedly are facing threats
if they don't vote to become part of Russia.
Inside Russia, tearful goodbyes as Russians head to combat for President Vladimir order to mobilize 300,000 reservists.
Now the frontrunner, in the meantime in Italy, to become the next prime minister has pledged to continue the country's strong support for Ukraine.
If the polls are correct, Giorgia Meloni could be elected Italy's first female leader when voters head to the polls this Sunday. Now the
ultraconservative is a favorite of Donald Trump's ally, Steve Bannon, and her agenda could call into question LGBTQ and abortion rights.
Let's go to Barbie Nadeau who joins us now live from Rome. Tell me a little bit more about Georgia Meloni and why she's getting so much support?
BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: You know she's a really interesting political character. Five years ago the last time Italians went to the
ballot she really didn't make much noise at all. This time she is the leader. And Italy has changed a lot of course since 2018 elections. We're
on the back end of the pandemic. There is war in Europe and there's an economic crisis looming.
We took a close look at who Giorgia Meloni really is. Take a listen.
NADEAU (voice-over): Italian politics have never been for the fainthearted. And the latest twist is anything but straightforward.
Italy has had 67 governments and 30 prime ministers in the last 75 years. Italians head to the polls again on Sunday to try to find the next
government. Mario Draghi fell in July. He spent 17 months in office. In 2018, the antiestablishment five-star movement won the most votes as a
party but were unable to find a stable coalition partner. Giuseppe Conte who wasn't even listed on the ballot was chosen as a compromise prime
minister until infighting led to the collapse of his government. And the appointment of Draghi before squabbling ran an end to his reign.
The leading coalition who call themselves center right is anchored by Giorgia Meloni and her far-right Brothers of Italy party. The Romain native
started her political career in a neo-fascist party. Coalition partners include Matteo Salvini, with his anti-immigrant Lega Party. And Italy's
longtime former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi with his Forza Italia Party.
The latest available polls show the coalition in the lead. But there are already fractures in the coalition. And amid economic fears calls from some
in the coalition to rethink sanctions against Russia.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sanctions here in Italy of course, they are perceived as counter affective and harming Italy's economy first. And then Russia's
economy. I think they will try to soften our approach towards sanctions.
NADEAU: A center-right victory would likely also mean a clampdown on immigration.
They have campaigned strongly to stop irregular migration across the Mediterranean Sea.
The left-leaning Democratic Party is banking on former prime minister Enrico Letta, whose government lasted just 10 months in 2013 and 2014. But
lacks a strong coalition partner. While polls show that the Five Star Movement has lost some support. And many Italians are frustrated.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Neither Giorgia Meloni nor Letta, nor Conte, I don't feel represented at all.
NADEAU: With some voters saying they are undecided and others saying they won't vote at all.
NADEAU: Now you know Giorgia Meloni is leading that center right coalition, and the polls, the last polls are available as we said indicate that she'll
If she becomes the first female prime minister of this country, a very male driven society, it's going to be a challenge for her. But the challenges
facing Italy in the context of the greater European challenges right now would be difficult whether a man or a woman wins this race -- Eleni.
GIOKOS: Yes look, absolutely spot on. But, you know, you can't help but notice, female representation in the Italian parliament is not where it
should be. Here is an interesting person, Giorgia Meloni being potentially the first female PM. The dynamics are quite fascinating.
NADEAU: No, they really are. And she is, you know, as we said, the first potentially first female prime minister of this country. But she isn't
exactly standing up for women's rights. She is very much for the traditional family. The areas in which a party leads in Italy right now or
they have power in Italy right now have clamped down on some reproductive rights including abortion. You know, she has spoken out against LGBTQ
So there's a lot of things that a lot of women don't feel that she is the right woman to represent them. The vote on Sunday is going to be an
interesting one. You know, Italian polls are usually pretty close, but you never know. There could be a complete shake up as we go forward.
GIOKOS: Yes, absolutely, anything as possible when it comes to Italian politics.
Barbie Nadeau, thank you so very much.
All right, still ahead, what brings together the members of the big four. Perhaps a game of doubles. Details in our sports update.
GIOKOS: Welcome back. Now by 2030, it's estimated that the metaverse could generate between four and five trillion dollars. That's according to the
consulting firm McKinsey. And digital real estate is garnering a lot of attention with some plots of virtual land going for millions of dollars.
CNN's Anna Stewart shows us how major companies are pouring real money into digital land.
ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is Decentraland. It's just one of the hundreds of metaverse platforms in existence. After
Facebook changed their name to Meta in 2021, digital worlds like this experience a land boom. One property here even sold for $2.4 million.
Meeting me at the platform's trade center is Sam Huber, the CEO of LandVault.
(On-camera): Sam, thank you so much for joining us. So this is where I can buy myself some real estate.
SAM HUBER, CEO, LANDVAULT: This is the in world marketplace.
STEWART (voice-over): His company buys, builds and rents out property to brands in the metaverse. They say they own hundreds of real estate plots
and more than a dozen worlds. Some of that land Sam says he's rented out for $60,000 a month.
(On-camera): Do brands really know, though, what the value is yet in the metaverse? It's in the nascent stages really. Are they wasting their money
investing in a space that maybe don't fully understand yet?
HUBER: No, definitely not. I mean, you know, history has proven that being early, testing and learning is definitely a way to capture disproportionate
STEWART: Global businesses like Samsung and Adidas to name a couple say they've already invested in virtual land. Building experiences to engage
with the estimated two billion people who will access the metaverse daily by 2026.
HUBER: You need to start speaking the language of those people who have been basically born with the internet. They don't really watch TV, instead
they play games. So there are metaverse, you know, native. They are the citizens of the metaverse. And brands to date needs to start understanding
that. Otherwise, they are a big risk of becoming a relevant.
STEWART: There are companies around the world heeding Sam's advice. Like Ali Sajwani's company DAMAC.
ALI SAJWANI, DAMAC: This is our latest sales center, 63rd floor of Econ City.
STEWART: Headquartered in Dubai, they say that the largest private property developer in the Middle East. For Ali, the metaverse is an opportunity to
help boost sales of his physical properties around the world. When a customer buys an apartment or a home from DAMAC, they'll receive the
digital version of it as well.
SAJWANI: You can chat with your neighbors, you can meet with them online. We'll have some online games, so we're creating a sense of community in
STEWART: Physical or virtual, that community comes at a price.
SAJWANI: The penthouse is over $30 million U.S.
STEWART (on-camera): $30 million U.S. dollars, can I just have the virtual version?
SAJWANI: Just because you know me.
STEWART (voice-over): Anna Stewart, CNN, Dubai.
GIOKOS: Anna Stewart there having fun in Dubai. All right, brand new images of Neptune, the most distant planted in our solar system, have been
revealed. Courtesy of, of course, the James Webb space telescope. They are the clearest images ever seen of Neptune's hard to detect rings. That's
very exciting. Webb also revealed several of Neptune's moons and its faint dust bands. For comparison, here are some previous NASA images of Neptune.
The planet looks white in the new pictures because they were taken by Webb's near infrared camera. So vastly different. Incredible work there as
you can see.
All right, now, it is time for one of the greatest tennis players of the last two decades, Roger Federer, but he is not going away without a last
performance. And Roger is getting a little help from his friends, well, one in particular friend who is also super famous.
"WORLD SPORTS" anchor Amanda Davies joins me now.
Most people retire by taking a holiday, Amanda, or getting a really nice watch. And now we've got a retirement match which is so exciting.
AMANDA DAVIES, CNN WORLD SPORT ANCHOR: Yes, but, Eleni, I don't think anybody is going to begrudge Roger Federer, a player who has for so long
been described as one of the greatest of all time. This final fling, this final farewell. It's not the major exit that he was hoping for. His body
frankly isn't going to let him do that but this one final doubles match playing alongside Rafa Nadal, a longtime rival turned friend, that it says
so much about the respect that the tennis community has for Roger Federer.
But it isn't only Nadal. Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, they are all there for this moment. We are now just hours away and we're going to head there
live to the O2 Arena across London in "World Sport" in just a couple of minutes time.
GIOKOS: At least I know what I'm going to be doing this evening.
Amanda, we'll see right after the short break. Stay with CNN.