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Connect the World

Heavy Infrastructure Damage As Ukraine Pummeled By Strikes; FIFA Rebuffs Zelenskyy's Request To Share Message Of Peace; Elon Musk Under Fire After Twitter Bans Some Journalists. Aired 11-12p ET

Aired December 16, 2022 - 11:00   ET



ELENI GIOKOS, CNN HOST: I'm Eleni Giokos in Dubai, I'm in for my colleague Becky Anderson. Hello and welcome. This is Connect The World. We begin with

a massive wave of Russian airstrikes on Ukraine, some of the heaviest that we've seen since the start of the entire conflict 10 months ago. CNN teams

in Kyiv say they heard explosions and saw and heard missiles as a number of districts were hit, forcing people to rush to shelter.

Ukraine's armed forces say 76 missiles have been launched at the country including four guided aircraft missiles. Regional leaders report critical

infrastructure is being targeted. The mayor of Kharkiv says the damage there is colossal and that people are without heat, electricity and water.

Ukraine's state energy provider says they are in emergency mode as critical infrastructure is targeted.

CNN's Will Ripley has more from Kyiv.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Kyiv city military administration says the Ukrainian capital has survived one of the most massive missile attacks

since the beginning of the full scale invasion. I'm standing in a square where you can see destroyed vehicles from the beginning of the war. We

actually can't take you to the scene of these attacks because the targets were critical infrastructure and Ukraine has very strict rules about

filming and showing these locations.

They don't want to tip off the Russians to what areas they might have hit and what areas they might have missed. But in this case, Kyiv says that

most of the missiles never reached their targets because they say out of around 40 missiles that Russia fired directly at Kyiv which is a huge

number, even for locals who've been living here throughout this full scale war for nearly 10 months now.

They say they shot down 37 of them. There were however three explosions reported here in Kyiv, both on the east and west banks of the river, two of

them in the East, one in the West. There are reports across Ukraine of entire cities plunged into darkness as a result of these attacks, which

didn't just hit here in Kyiv, they also hit to the south in Odessa and to the north in Sumy and Kharkiv.

But here in the capital, there were 10s of 1000s of people sheltering in place, hiding and underground subway stations waiting for an all clear and

there were sounds of explosions. We actually heard them this morning, as we were getting ready to pack up and go on a road trip, the air raid sirens

went off and there were some loud explosions that can be heard in our vicinity.

CNN staff who lived even closer to the scenes of the explosions, said they also heard the sound of the air defense systems being activated, shooting

down, presumably those dozens of missiles that were headed towards the Ukrainian Capital. The number of dead and injured, of course, those reports

are always fluid. But as of now we know at least two people killed.

At least five people injured, including children and UNICEF just days ago warned that these ongoing Russian attacks, this constant bombardment of the

civilian power infrastructure is putting the physical and mental health of nearly every single child here in Ukraine at desperate risk. Will Ripley,

CNN, Kyiv, Ukraine.


GIOKOS: Right, Will Ripley there explaining the impact of the bombardment, the strikes over the past 24 hours in areas across Ukraine, I want to

discuss now Russia's tactics with our military analysts. We've got Colonel Cedric Leighton joining us. Colonel, just hearing the - the enormity of

these strikes, and I was going through what kind of missiles Russia was using.

So 76 missiles in total, 72 were cruise missiles, the other four guided aircraft missiles, many of those intercepted. Could you firstly, give me a

sense of what you think Russia's game plan is here. And interestingly, what Ukraine's capabilities are in terms of air defense systems?

COL. CEDRIC LEIGHTON, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Right, Eleni? Well, one of the key plans that Russia has is really to continue their efforts against the

civilian infrastructure. And as Will was pointing out in his report, there are so many different target sets that the Russians are going after,

everything from the transport systems, subways, the rail systems.

You have military installations, but they seem to be secondary targets compared to all of the civilian targets, including the energy structure -

sector, as well as, of course, specifically the power grid. So what the Russians are trying to do is they're trying to have the Ukrainian state and

the Ukrainian society into submission. And they're doing so by targeting all these civilian areas, all of the different apartment buildings that are


Those are really deliberate targets in this particular case. The types of missiles that they're using Eleni, are ones to, you know, normally designed

to be used for military targets. So they're, you know, in essence, imprecise in some respects when it comes to civilian targets, but on the

other hand, they're doing exactly what the Russians want. They're hitting the civilian targets and causing misery for the Ukrainian population.


Now as far as the Ukrainian air defenses are concerned, they have a capability where they've been able to knock down a substantial portion of

risk going through there. But the problem that they have is that even the - the relatively few missiles that come through are still lethal enough that

they can inflict this great damage. So their defense systems are good. But they're not 100 percent. They're not totally effective against these types

of targets, because of the speed of the missiles involved, as well as the - the altitude that these missiles fly at.

GIOKOS: Yes, and then it begs the question, you know, what would Ukraine require to actively and effectively defend itself? We know that the U.S. is

talking about the Patriot missile system, we should have some kind of information on that in the next week. But if you look at the cost per

missile, there is, of course, a mismatch in terms of how many missiles Russia is using versus what kind of inventory and what kind of capabilities

Ukraine will have, even if it does get its hands on the Patriot missile systems.

LEIGHTON: Yes, that is correct. You know, when you look at the cost of a missile, a Patriot missile, you know and compare that to the types of

missiles that are being - and drones that are being flown against Ukrainian targets by the Russians, there's a definite cost mismatch. You know, when

you - when you look at what the patriot has, it's anywhere from $3 million to $4 million per missile that that is launched, using that against you

know, $20,000 to $40,000 drone.

That, of course, is a different cost mismatch. And that's just one example. There are other situations though, where these kinds of missiles, the

Patriot missiles would be very useful in a defensive mode if they help protect a major target, you know, such as, say, a water plant or an

electrical plant in say Kyiv or Kharkiv. And even when those situations it will be important to have defenses that might cost a lot on paper, but

they're also protecting from these kinds of strikes and preventing the kind of damage that that we see inflicted on them right now.

GIOKOS: Cedric Leighton, thank you so much Colonel, for joining us. Right so FIFA for now is rebuffing the Ukrainian President's request to share a

message of peace at the World Cup final. A source close to Vladimir Zelensky says he asked to appear via video link prior to Sunday's kickoff

and was surprised by the rejection but the source says talks between Ukraine and FIFA are continuing.

We've got CNN Sports Senior Analyst, Darren Lewis. Joining us now live from Doha. FIFA has made it clear, it doesn't want to associate itself in any

way to any human rights issues, blatant human rights show of force, whether it's those armbands and then this message from Zelensky seems to also be

shaking things up.

Is there a concern that they're hiding behind that no politics at this game sort of line as opposed to actually facing head on the things that people

are thinking about, the things that people are worried about?

DARREN LEWIS, CNN SPORTS SENIOR ANALYST: That's a really good question, Eleni because you know, it's been such a wonderful warm World Cup. And

ahead of the games, lots of people had put some of these key issues to FIFA and they had no option but to address them, but they had believed that the

football would basically wipe everything away.

And that's not the case. And a lot of people can't understand why they didn't give in to just accept this opportunity to send a really powerful

message for our colleague, Matthew Chance who has done this report. And, you know, FIFA, their unwillingness to address this and grasp this doesn't

reflect well on them when you consider that Zelensky has appeared at the G20s, at the Grammy, at the Grammys.

And he's sat down with a whole host of people, including Sean Penn and David Letterman. And there was a real opportunity here from an organization

that prides itself on pushing the power, football's power to build bridges and to succeed where politics often fails. And they've not accepted that.

It's a massive angle from FIFA and doesn't cover them with glory at all, Eleni.

GIOKOS: Yes, Darren, very quickly, they're currently in talks from what we understand, I think that because it's been such a loud chorus, people are

asking, why - why is this not allowed? Do you think that FIFA will change its mind?

LEWIS: It's a hard one really, because I think there are lots of common sense people that surround the FIFA president Gianni Infantino, but I was

at his press conference earlier today and he made this point he said look when we talk about footballers we're talking about people on the pitch to

play football.


They are not heads of state. And he doesn't believe that it's their responsibility to carry this kind of message. And he believes that lots of

people watching at home want a bit of escapism, I think per your initial statement, Eleni, people who are affected by these issues, want to see

action. That's what they want. And I think they're sending out the wrong message by not listening to them.

GIOKOS: Sports, music, it all brings people together. And it's an interesting conversation. I'm curious to see how this one's going to play

out. Thank you so much, Darren. Always good to see you.

All right. The European Commission is warning of what is called red lines and sanctions after Twitter's new owner banned some prominent journalists.

Elon Musk recently bought the platform for $44 billion. Germany is also slamming the billionaire who has falsely accused the suspended reporters of

sharing his live location and giving out what he calls assassination coordinates.


ELON MUSK, CEO, TWITTER: You dox, you get suspended. End of story. So and ban evasion ban evasion or like - or trying to be clever about it, like oh,

I posted a link to the real time information, is obviously, that is obviously simply trying to evade the meaning. That is no different from

(inaudible) and actually sharing real time information.


GIOKOS: All right, so one of the banned journalists is CNN's Donnie O'Sullivan, who did not share Musk's whereabouts. The suspensions call into

question Musk's supposed commitment to free speech. It's worth noting the reporters were banned one day after Twitter changed its policy on sharing

live location information, apparently to justify suspending an account that tracked flight data and shared the location of Musk's private jet.

Despite how he wants pledged to keep his online. CNN's Oliver Darcy joins us now live from New York. So many questions around, you know Elon Musk's

true commitment here to free speech, and he's rationalizing this by saying people were sharing his live location.

Facts, and what the journalist is saying, show a very different story. So the question is, what could his agenda be here?

OLIVER DARCY, CNN SENIOR MEDIA REPORTER: That's exactly right. And Elon Musk when he did by Twitter, he really said that he wanted to make this a

platform where free speech could - would be the - would reign king. You know, he talked a lot about how he thought that the previous

administration, the previous management at Twitter had been too suppressive when it comes to speech and said that he wanted anything really, but

illegal speech to stay on the platform.

And he has started allowing a number of banned accounts back. You know, you saw Donald Trump came back on the platform. And recent weeks, he's allowed

a lot of white nationalists on the platform. And I bring that up because it really stands in contrast now to what he's doing to these journalists,

which is banning them from Twitter because they were reporting basically on another banned accounts from Twitter, which was a Elon Jet account that

used public information, public flight information to track his jet.

And this isn't just Elon Musk's jet. There are a lot of these bots that track celebrity jets, think Taylor Swift or Kim Kardashian, one of these

bots tracked Elon Musk's jet, he didn't like it, he banned that account. Reporters cover that as a legitimate news story and now he's banned them as


GIOKOS: So where to from here on the story? You know, I think we've heard from regulators they're concerned about this behavior. You in the last hour

telling us listen, this is a private company. How do you regulate, create standards for this? But it's - it seems to be an attack on journalists. And

he even said journalists are not special. So it gives you insight into what he's thinking.

DARCY: Yes, the best way to put this is Elon Musk is censoring critical - critics, you know, journalists. These were people who are covering him

aggressively, but they were covering him fairly. And I think it raises a number of questions. Are news organizations, for instance, going to stand

by as the reporters are banned for reporting on him?

You know, CNN put out a statement when they - when he banned Donnie O'Sullivan, saying that it was going to reevaluate its relationship with

Twitter based on how they responded and so far, Musk has responded by effectively smearing these journalists. He said in a tweet last night that

they had basically posted assassination coordinates on the platform, and that's just not true.

And so it'd be interesting to see how news outlets respond and also advertisers. Are advertisers, major advertisers like Apple, Amazon, are

they going to want to be associated with a platform that is now in the business of censoring the press.


I think that's a question that hasn't quite been answered yet. And I'm interested in know what they do.

GIOKOS: I think we all are. Oliver Darcy, thank you so very much.

DARCY: Thank you.

GIOKOS: All right. The family of an American college student who had been missing for more than two weeks says, he's alive and safe. Ken DeLand

Junior disappeared in late November while studying at a university in Grenoble. In a statement, the family said they spoke to DeLand, Friday and

that they hope to bring him home for Christmas. The statement confirms that DeLand is now in Spain.

Armored trucks, hijacked crumbling streets, burned buildings left to languish ahead half private groups in South Africa are addressing all of

the above because the government hasn't. That's coming up.

Plus American border towns are bracing for a massive migrant surge as we learn the immigration court system is facing a record breaking backlog.


GIOKOS: We're about to find out whether South Africa's ruling party wants to stick by the current president amid scandal or choose a new party leader

ahead of the next election. The African National Congress just opened its five day leadership convention as President Cyril Ramaphosa fights

corruption allegations over the so called Farmgate scandal.

He already survived a potential impeachment vote earlier this week. CNN's David McKenzie is following the party congress from Johannesburg, for us.

And David, he's survived in Parliament, is he going to survive all the delegates because this is going to be really telling about what the next

move will be for the ANC?

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's a very good question because it is a different group of decision makers, a much wider

group representing delegates from the ruling ANC from across the country.

Cyril Ramaphosa has been giving a very exhaustive, detailed policy speech at that conference where he's outlining a report card as it were, of the

positives and considerable negatives of the last five years. He hasn't shied away from the challenges of the party. But I think some South

Africans may feel exhausted about hearing this yet again, but no necessary action in their mind is happening.

Whether he will be voted in again as the ANC president and likely the de facto next president of the country, that remains to be seen. The general

consensus is he will be voted and again, possibly because they aren't necessarily the strongest competitors in the field. But because of a recent

scandal of his own, involving corruption which he denies his legacy at this point is somewhat tainted at the very least, Eleni.


GIOKOS: Yes. And you know, South Africa has been dealing with over a decade of corruption scandals. It is dealing with gaping holes when it comes to

inequalities on the ground that the private sector often needs to come in and for.

This is an environment where South Africans pay a very high price when it comes to taxes as well and - and all these promises that Cyril Ramaphosa

made largely unfulfilled, but what are people feeling on the ground, David, what are you seeing?

MCKENZIE: Well, I think, you know, the ANC conference is vitally important from a political point of view for the country, but I think many South

Africans are just trying to go about their daily lives. And as you say, the price of living in this country for many is that they have to do the job

that the government should be doing.


MCKENZIE: A cash in transit team evading a sophisticated criminal attack. You likely saw this viral video from South Africa. Attacks like this happen

here all the time.

WAHL BARTMANN, CEO, FIDELITY SERVICES GROUP: So basically, what we do is, we do a lot of vehicle tracking and monitoring.

MCKENZIE: Some of the best protected vehicles and cash depots are tracked real time at Fidelity's nerve center in Johannesburg. Are you a step ahead

or step behind right now.

BARTMANN: We try and be one jump ahead of crime. But we know that they are very creative and they're well-organized so we're looking at the training,

we're looking at technology.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got a hijacking. One of our clients was hijacked in (inaudible)

on the eastern end, and he's getting his updating in (inaudible).

MCKENZIE: Their defense Unit has come here to the east of Johannesburg. This location was the last spot that a signal came out of a vehicle that

they think was hijacked. This search ends without a win. (inaudible) Is it frustrating when you see this has been thrown out?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They get away with too much.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The bad guys won.


MCKENZIE: Active private security officers here outnumber the police roughly five to one. Shouldn't the government get in this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, that's why the industry is so big, because I don't think government is getting to all of it.

MCKENZIE: All of this goes beyond security. On the streets of Joburg, private companies have to sponsor the pothole patrol. When a fire gutted

one of Africa's most important public hospitals, well known charity Gift of the Givers stepped in.

South Africans frequently joke that its founder should run the country. The Fire Service safety, security, construction water all of this is being

handled by private individuals or charities. What does that tell you?

IMTIAZ SOOLIMAN, FOUNDER, GIFT OF THE GIVERS: The message is very strong and clear. The country has lost faith in the government. That's the

reality. And at the same time, the country has lost a lot of hope.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every time when I look at my kids, especially in this moment, and I see that I can't provide them with most of the thing which

they need, especially when it comes now to Christmas time.

MCKENZIE: Hope is in short supply for Vincent Endo, who lost his construction job during COVID and says his wife left him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it's the survival of the fittest to be honest. It's not glad, I can say it's easy.

MCKENZIE: In Diepsloot informal settlement, the sewerage water runs through the streets, the electricity is more off than on. Vincent tried to set up

citizen patrols, but they ran out of funds. He says the police come late if they come at all. The government says it's working to improve services. And

billions depend on its social grant program.

But rampant corruption and mismanagement hamper these efforts.

SOOLIMAN: At the end of the day, it is our country. And I said very clearly, the country does not belong to the government. It belongs to the

people of South Africa. So we can either sit and mourn and cry, knowing nothing can be done, or within ourselves we can do something, fix it

wherever we can.

MCKENZIE: The cruel reality in the world's most unequal society. The rich can afford to secure their lives, the poor are on their own. You know,

sometimes trying - worth trying to remember that corruption is not a victimless crime and reporting the story, you're reminded of that we were

time and time again.

The question is whether the ANC can turn the corner, there have been some positive developments of those associated with grant corruption, arrested

in recent months and possibly will be prosecuted. That's the good news. The bad news is whether it's possibly too late to turn the corner for many of

these of the citizens of this country. Eleni.


GIOKOS: David McKenzie, thanks so much for that report. Now let's get you up to speed on some other stories that are on our radar right now.

An official investigation has been launched after fire near the French city of Lyon killed 10 people, five of them children. Regional officials say

flames broke out overnight engulfing parts of an eight storey apartment building. The prosecutor's office says it's not rooting out any possible

cause, including arson.

Malaysian officials say at least 19 people have been killed in a landslide while they were sleeping in tents. It happened before dawn at a campsite

just outside of Kuala Lumpur. More than a dozen people are still missing. Rescue crews are racing to find possible survivors.

A senior police officer has been shot dead in Jordan during demonstrations of a high fuel prices. Tensions have been high in southern cities after

strikes by truck drivers. Jordan's interior ministry says it will heighten security in response to what one local official called riots.

Coming up, after the break, several more protesters are killed during clashes in Peru. What the government is doing to try and stop the violence?

We'll have more on the unrest unfolding there. Plus, it nearly cost the life of the unborn baby. We have the story of one family's treacherous

journey from Venezuela to the U.S. as several American cities struggle to manage the influx of migrants.


GIOKOS: Peru's health ministry says at least 14 people have now been killed in ongoing protests. Half of the deaths took place Thursday. Protesters

clashed with police around an airport in southern Peru. All of this happening despite a nationwide state of emergency. The government has now

set up curfews in eight regions to help ease tensions.

The country plunged into crisis last week when Castillo was impeached and arrested after attempting to dissolve Congress. Rafael Romo joins us now to

tell us more about these developments. Rafael, I want to talk about these measures that have been imposed by the government and it includes state of

emergency to help bring violent protests under control. Is it working?

RAFAEL ROMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The short answer is no Eleni. Definitely it is a very chaotic situation still and President Dina Boluarte, as you

mentioned, had declared a state of emergency, Wednesday hoping that some of the measures like banning large gatherings and suspending some personal

freedoms would make a difference but based on a wave of new clashes between protesters and security forces, it is now clear that the government actions

may not be enough to put an end to the violence.


At least 14 people have died and 40 are injured after nine days of violence around the country. Eight regions altogether throughout the country are now

under curfew. But Lima, the capital is not included so far. In addition to regular Peruvians, the chaos is having a severe impact for hundreds, if not

1000s of international tourists who are stranded in Peru right now.

About two hours ago, I spoke with Jon Royer, an American from Baltimore who's traveling with his girlfriend and currently stuck in Cusco. Royer

told me that he faced a very scary situation, let's take a listen.


Voice of Jon Royer: My girlfriend was in, in the restaurant, and then all sudden we heard whistle blowing, and all the shops started slamming their

doors, and everybody ran off the street, or the end of the shops or just ran up the street. And I did the same thing, ran - ran up the street

because I couldn't go back to where my girlfriend was.


ROMO: Now Eleni, relatively speaking Royer is in a good situation because he has access to food and water. But that is not the case for other

tourists who say they believe their personal safety is at risk. This is what a couple of them had to say.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We want to inform the whole world that unfortunately, we are kidnapped in Peru. Many of us came for tourism

to visit this beautiful country. We feel bad because of the situation. We have been 24 hours without food, water, essential services, without police

protection. The state has not given us answers to go to our countries. We are surrounded and we are afraid of being physically attacked.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have been here for over 24 hours, we don't have water, we've not been given foods, and we've not being given protection.


ROMO: And as you know, every year 1000s of foreign tourists are drawn to world famous sites like the Machu Picchu, Inca citadel. The problem right

now is that many of them are trapped in different cities because some regional airports are closed and they can't take flights to make a

connection in Lima to leave the country.

According to government figures, more than half a million foreign tourists visited the country in the first five months of the year. So a very

difficult situation for them as well. Not to mention what we've been talking about and reporting about when it comes to Peruvians across the

country. Eleni, back to you.

GIOKOS: Yes, Rafael Romo, thank you for that. It's really interesting to hear what people are going through and how this political situation is

spilling over into what tourists are experiencing. Thank you so much.

All right, moving on now. Deepening crisis along the southern border of the U.S., crowds already building on the Mexican side ahead of the lifting of

Title 42 next week. Title 42 is a Trump era policy that allows U.S. border authorities to swiftly turn away migrants to curb the spread of


It has been extended multiple times. Last month a federal judge struck down the policy, but put his order on hold until December 21. The lifting of

Title 42 comes as the U.S. immigration court backlog surpasses 2 million cases, an all-time high. We've got Rosa Flores in Houston, Texas for us.

And as we get the news of this crushing backlog ahead of an expected surge of migrants into U.S. border towns, it is you know, worrying to think what

people's experience is going to be after December 21. And whether there's capacity resources that has been created to deal with a surge of


ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, you're absolutely right. And what a lot of these individuals, all those 1000s of migrants and those dramatic

images that you're probably showing right now don't realize is that the U.S. immigration system is extremely backlogged. It's more - more backlog

now than it has ever been.

There's a team of analysts at Syracuse University that look at this data all the time. And they just announced that the number of backlog cases in

the United States in the U.S. immigration court exceeded 2 million.

Now more than 787,000 of those are asylum cases. And what this team discovered is that the wait time for just a hearing is over four years. So

all of this is part of the broken immigration system here in the United States that even if you do have a claim of asylum, and you're hoping to go

through the immigration system in the United States, it's still going to take years for you to actually have your day in court, present your

evidence, if you have evidence in an actual case of asylum in the United States.


Now, back to those dramatic images coming out of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, and El Paso, there are 1000s of individuals who are waiting along the northern

part of Mexico for Title 42 to go. Now, some of those individuals have been waiting because under Title 42, Border Patrol agents are allowed to swiftly

return migrants back to Mexico.

Now, it's not a deportation. It is simply an expulsion. And here's the key. That means that there are no legal consequences for migrants trying

multiple times. That's one of the reasons why the United States has seen this huge increase in migrant encounters in the past few years under Title

42, because that's exactly what some migrants have been doing.

Now, some of them stopped trying and have been waiting on the northern border of Mexico, for exactly that reason, because they know that they're

going to be returned back. Now, come next week on December 21 when Title 42 is scheduled to lift, then DHS, the Department of Homeland Security here in

the United States, what they're explained is, they will use what is called Title 8 to process migrants once they enter the United States.

And what that means is that there's multiple options that the United States has. They can be removed in in a fast fashion from the United States, if

they don't have a legal basis to be here. They could be detained, or they could be processed and allowed into the United States for their immigration

processes. So Eleni, we're just going to have to wait and see to see what happens because we've been here before.

In the summer, we were waiting for Title 42 left and it didn't left because a court blocked title 42 from lifting, and so we're waiting. We'll see if a

court blocks it or not. But as of now, Title 42 is scheduled to lift and then it next week on December 21.

GIOKOS: Yes, and so many people waiting at the border already for assistance. Rosa Flores, thank you.

The mayor of New York City says he will ask for more money from the federal government to help manage the migrant crisis before Title 42 ends. New York

is just one of a number of U.S. cities still trying to figure out how to support asylum seekers who made it across the border. And as Omar Jimenez

reports, the migrants themselves are still learning to adjust to life in America.


OMAR JIMINEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: From Venezuela to Colombia, Central America, Mexico and then by bus from Texas, eventually to New York City.

July (inaudible) Rojas says she was frightened nearly every step of the month long journey. The first fear is the jungle she says, navigating

threats of possible violence, disease and more alongside her husband and son.

In the middle of it all the three of them found out she was carrying a fourth. She was pregnant. By the time she had gotten to New York, the harsh

conditions of her travel had taken a toll. I got sick because I came with a urinary infection from the trip over she says, was hospitalized because of

the baby, the beginnings of a potential abortion.

But in November her daughter was born symbolizing the future she came here for in the first place. Her journey mirrors the more than 30,000 asylum

seekers that have landed in New York City since the spring. Some on their own volition, some sent on a bus from Texas to make a political point.

As of this week, more than 20,000 migrants remain in the city's care. And it's part of why Mayor Eric Adams declared a state of emergency in October,

estimating the city will spend roughly a billion dollars on the influx of migrants.

ERIC ADAMS, NEW YORK MAYOR: We need help. This is some serious money that we're spending because we're doing the right thing.

JIMINEZ: Mayor Adams says he plans to ask for more money from FEMA ahead of the expected lifting of Title 42. But as the weather gets colder, the

reality for care in the incoming migrants is changing.

ILZE THIELMANN, TEAM TLC, NYC: We see people arriving in T shirts and still sometimes even in flip flops. And they don't have proper winter clothes. We

have - we see people, little kids with you know, babies showing up wrapped in a blanket with a diaper on and they've got no winter clothes. So that is

a huge challenge.

JIMINEZ: Robert Gonzalez works with the New York based group and a swelling alliance for community support, working to help connect migrants with

resources like social service, mental health and more. He knows while the journey here is difficult, an equally difficult one lies ahead.

ROBERT GONZALEZ, VENEZUELAN ALLIANCE FOR COMMUNITY SUPPORT: To find a job, to learn the language to be ability to understand and to integrate to a new

system and a new culture. They want to be able to grow up.

[11:40:00] JIMINEZ: Yes.

GONZALEZ: You know, like other people coming to the United States looking for that.

JIMINEZ: Rojas's husband is now working but since they got here in July, a baby later, they've been in shelters still in one now trying to endure. I

asked her what she wants for her future here.

We're waiting for the year to end to put in citizenship papers to become legal, she says, to get work. We're taking English courses. We're in this

process to try and bring our family, the kids that stayed to build a future here. Omar Jimenez, CNN, New York.


GIOKOS: Well, up next, Elon Musk's decision to ban prominent journalists from Twitter has caused controversy and warnings of sanctions on Twitter. A

conversation about free speech, social media and the law, that's coming up. And later if you want to see what it is like to hang out at a World Cup,

stick around, we'll take you inside a place where fans of Argentina and France are getting ready for Sunday's big finale.


GIOKOS: Let's now return to one of our top stories. The uproar over Elon Musk's move to suspend the Twitter accounts of several journalists. The

Twitter owner falsely claimed the journalist shared his live location, calling it assassination coordinates. Some European regulators say Musk has

crossed the line and a calling for sanctions against Twitter. The decision to ban the journalist comes after Musk repeatedly claimed he wants to make

Twitter all about free speech.


MUSK: It's very important for there to be an inclusive arena for free speech, where all so yes. Twitter has become kind of the de facto

Townsquare. If someone you don't like is allowed to say something you don't like and if that is the case, then we have free speech.


GIOKOS: My next guest puts it quite simply in response to stories about Twitter banning some journalists, he says free speech. Renato Mariotti is a

legal analyst and former federal prosecutor in the U.S. as well as the host of the podcast, 'It is complicated.' It is indeed very complicated.

Hopefully we can make some sense of this together.

Look, it's his company. It's a privately owned company. Can he do with it what he wants within the parameters of law? I mean, what law would govern

this behavior? You're saying free speech, and then you're clearly doing something else?

RENATO MARIOTTI, FMR U.S. FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: OK, well, one thing is certainly not complicated. Elon Musk appears to be a hypocrite. OK, so that

I think that parts just not complicated.


The complicated part is under US law how this could be regulated. In the United States we have something fairly famous part of our Constitution

called the First Amendment, which gives private citizens and companies the right to really say what they want for the most part, that's how it's been

interpreted by courts, very broadly.

As you point out it's a private company. Traditionally, the way the courts have looked at this is to say Twitter is the one you know, engaging in the

speech here, they can decide what's, what speech they want, or don't want to have on their private platform. Just like for example, a shopping mall

can evict people who are protesting at a private shopping mall. That could change. But that's not where law is right now in the United States.

GIOKOS: Yes, that's interesting because I mean, I think with a platform like this, you could argue that it is a private company, like we say, and

then what are the rules that govern this, but it is a platform that clearly has a significant impact on the way we think, the way we express ourselves,

the way we engage with politicians, things that have material impact on our lives.

And it was interesting to see the EU regulators coming out saying, look, this is a red line. We're thinking about sanctions, we're watching this


MARIOTTI: That's right. And I think that's an important thing for your audience to understand. The United States' approach towards speech is

unusual, right, compared to other countries around the world. Germany, for example, explicitly bans certain types of speech, for example, you know, a

Nazi, you know, advocation, of Nazi beliefs or use of symbolism of, of, you know, Nazi Germany is forbidden in the Federal Republic of Germany,

regardless of whether or not it's by a private citizen.

And I will say that, traditionally, in the United States, liberals, people on the left have called for private spaces where - that were a de facto

public squares. For a period of time, it was shopping malls, and then it came to cable television and now social media, that advocated for

government regulation to ensure that everyone had an opportunity to be heard, something that used to exist over public broadcast waves in the

United States called the Fairness Doctrine.

What's interesting is there has been a movement recently on the right. Conservatives are - are starting to advocate for the same thing. But that's

not where United States courts are right now. And it really I think, is going to depend on whether or not you know, U.S. courts, particularly the

United States Supreme Court, have a fundamental shift in the law in the future. But that's not something we can predict right now.

GIOKOS: I am going to go and read my terms of service when I get back on Twitter later today, I need to read through that big document to see what

I've signed up for. Good to see you Sir. Thank you so very much for joining us today.

All right. WNBA star Brittney Griner has just left the U.S. military base in Texas where she's been recovering after being flown home from Russia.

The former detainee is now hitting for the state of Arizona and was met by officials and teammates from her Phoenix based pro basketball team before

leaving and there she is.

It's not clear where in Arizona she's heading. CNN previously reported that Griner and her wife Cherelle made plans to move upon her return to the

United States and those are the images. All right so coming up next on Connect The World, stroll alongside CNN's crew in Qatar as they seek out

fans of France and Argentina enjoying the nightlife ahead of the World Cup. Our Don Riddell also enjoyed the night life so you don't want to miss that?



GIOKOS: German officials are trying to figure out what caused a giant aquarium in Berlin to burst open Friday morning. It sent 1 million litres

of water crashing through the hotel and shops that surrounded the popular attraction. Two people were injured by glass and officials say, all the

1500 fish in the aquarium died. The tank is described as the world's largest freestanding, cylindrical aquarium, and it includes an elevator

inside the tank for tourists to see the fish. There is speculation that extremely cold temperatures may have caused it to crack and then burst.

The U.S. is sharing more details about the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The National Archives released more than 13,000 previously

classified documents Thursday, including all of the remaining information. The CIA said it has that directly relates to JFK's murder.

1964 report found Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone when he shot and killed Kennedy in Dallas, Texas. Still, the killing has prompted a lot of

conspiracy theories. Researchers say it could take days to learn what is in the newly released files.

And in today's parting shots. All right, so the parting shots. While the football world awaits for Sunday's World Cup final between Argentina and

France we wanted to show you what fans are doing to pass the time. Our Don Riddell went inside a Qatari marketplace. It's called a souk, where he

found fans of both teams soaking up the atmosphere.


DON RIDDELL, CNN WORLD SPORT: Souk Waqif has been one of our favorite places during this World Cup tournament, it really has felt like a global

village with fans from all 32 teams and many other countries mingling here, hanging out, enjoying each other's company, often late into the night.

We're not seeing so many fans here tonight with three days to go until the final. Perhaps it's the calm before the storm, but there's still a great

vibe, a great energy, a really good atmosphere and hopefully we can find some fans of Argentina and France to see what they think about the big game

So when we flew out here four weeks ago, of course, we were very much looking forward to the tournament and I was wondering if I was going to

miss the alcohol, the chance to have a beer every now and again. And the truth is, I really haven't so I'm going to introduce you to our new vice.

We will have these often very, very late into the night. They're absolutely delicious.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel like Argentina will win, 100 percent. Everything in the team is really, really good. It's like it together. I think it's the

best thing we have. 78, 86 and now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sure that Messi will win In sha Allah and I support Messi from all my hearts and I support Argentina. And In Sha Allah, we'll


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's going to be tough but it's going to be good and he's going to- Argentina going to win, no doubt about it.


RIDDELL: Very spicy. So during our time here in Qatar we've really, really enjoyed the food. So much wonderful food from right across the region we've

had Iranian, we've had Turkish, we've had Kuwaiti, we've had Lebanese, very big fan of Lebanese food. No French, no French food and I'm not sure there

are any French fans here tonight so let's keep looking.

Well, I'm so pleased we found some French fans here because there's not many of you in Qatar at the moment.


RIDDELL: How are you feeling about Sunday?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are we are happy to go to the final Sunday so I hope the coach will be good, the player will rest a little bit and it will be

close against Argentina because it's a good team, we have two-three good players. One for most, I think the name's like Messi, something like that.

So maybe - maybe we're going to win. You know, we coach is good, is clever (inaudible) so we close the finger on, it will be OK.

RIDDELL: Are you feeling confident?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes you know we have - as he said we have very good player. I trust my team. I trust the coach so we are confident but we can't

say we are like 100 percent confident because it's still Argentina. So we are very happy to play against Argentina. It's going to be a good match,

wonderful football. But yes, we can't say with 100 percent confidence.

RIDDELL: So Argentina and France have successfully navigated their way to the World Cup final. And if you ever get lost in the zoo, because I did

actually earlier on this evening, this is your North Star. It's the Gold Thumb. It was built to commemorate Qatar's unlikely victory at the 2019

Asian Cup. And it's an appropriate way to end here because of course it's going to be a very golden weekend. The World Cup trophy is on the line. The

Golden Buddha is on the line, and whoever wins on Sunday might find that the statue of Lionel Messi or Kylian Mbappe in gold here one day in the

future. Don Riddell, CNN, Qatar.


GIOKOS: Don Riddell having so much fun there. Morocco, Croatia tomorrow morning. And of course, the big finale on Sunday so much to look forward to

over the weekend. So I hope you have a fantastic couple of days. From me, Eleni Giokos, thanks for watching.