Return to Transcripts main page

Connect the World

China Moves Away from Zero COVID Policy as Infections Surge; Thousands of Flights Cancelled across the U.S.; Looking at Key Moments in 10 Months of Conflict; Aid Group Suspend Work after Female NGO Staff Banned; Supreme Court to Rule on Title 42 Migrant Policy; Couple Host Stranded South Korean Tourists amid Winter Storm. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired December 27, 2022 - 11:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: Well, travel upheaval from a remarkable policy reversal in China to auto travel meltdown in the United

States. That's today on 'Connect the World'. I'm Becky Anderson. Hello and welcome back to the show.

After nearly three years of being one of the most isolated nations in the world due to stringent pandemic restrictions China is unwinding its zero

COVID policy at rapid speed. Starting January the 8th China will now scrap quarantine requirements for international arrivals restrictions on travel

and flights out of the country will also ease.

The global impact of this cannot be overstated. Japan, India and parts of Italy, for example, responding already they will require travelers from

China to show a negative COVID test why? Well, a wave of new COVID cases is sweeping across China.

But it's almost impossible to confirm just how many cases there are? China reducing how often it reports COVID-19 data and is now calling COVID an

infection, not pneumonia CNN's Marc Stewart joins me now to talk more about all of this?

Starting with online searches in China for travel they are up some tenfold on some sites. Let's just talk about how reopening one of the biggest

economies in the world is likely to play out both outbound as it were an inbound?

MARC STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. And Becky this is just remarkable. I mean, over the past three years, you've been reporting on the stringent

lockdowns. And now we see this swift and sudden change. And as you rightly noted, it will have impacts on both sides of the Pacific Ocean.

Earlier today here on CNN we heard from Ian Bremmer, a longtime China Scholar, President of the Eurasia Group, he pointed out the fact that

American and other international business people can meet with their Chinese counterparts to have face to face meetings, the importance of that

just cannot be underscored.

Zoom meetings only went so far in this part of the world. And the chance to have a face to face conversation is just so significant. And then as we

look at the reverse Chinese citizens wanting to go to other international destinations in particular here in the United States, New York and Ian

Bremmer pointed out the amount of money that will be coming into the U.S. and other nations, from Chinese tourists, Chinese citizens wanting to visit

their relatives abroad.

That also is another significant economic story. So, Becky, we've been following this China story for the last three years. But I really think

it's safe to say that we are about to see another big chapter about to be written in this very big sequence of events.

ANDERSON: It's fascinating, isn't it Marc? And this part of the world, the Gulf region, will have hugely missed its incoming Chinese tourists relying

as these economies really sort of take-off and evolve, relying on tourism from that part of the world.

So it's going to be interesting to see we know there have been supply chain issues as a result of the country being closed down to the impact of this.

We cannot, as you rightly point out, we cannot understate the impact of this opening up once again, at this Chinese economy. What's been the

reaction in the markets to this news?

STEWART: Right, I was just checking that. So we have seen gains broadly speaking across Asia, the Shanghai Composite was up, the KOSPI in Korea was

up, the NIKKEI was up the HANG SENG was down a little bit.

I am going to be curious at eight o'clock tonight, I made just log on to see how the trading day begins at Asia. I think a particular interest

though, is from the market perspective, I think I want to look at how stocks that handle manufacturing stocks that deal with tech, how those

sectors are going to perform now that China seems to be back open for business, if you will?

China obviously has been a big point of manufacturing and technological development. So it will be interesting to see how some of those particular

sectors how they react, that's something I'm going to be looking for at least.

ANDERSON: Yes, keep an eye on these markets folks. This is an odd week, of course, it being a sort of a holiday week, so the volumes will be pretty

low. So often we see - we see a lot of sort of movement around these markets, perhaps doesn't really reflect investor sentiment outright. It's

good to have you happy holiday seasons to you!

STEWART: Thank you Becky.


ANDERSON: We will speak soon thanks. We first told you about China loosening its COVID travel restrictions back on when was it December the

7th. Now not even three weeks later we are bringing you this reporting that it is dropping its quarantine requirements for international arrivals next


Well, Yanzhong Huang is a Senior Fellow for Global Health at the Council on Foreign Relations and an Expert on the Security and Foreign Policy Aspects

of Health Issues. He joins us live from East Hanover, New Jersey and happy holiday season to you!

What are the risks of opening up so rapidly? I mean, so many people around the world will say rapidly, you know, with three years on, but this is a

very rapid sort of unwinding dismantling of this zero COVID policy, and there are significant impacts aren't there?

YANZHONG HUANG, SENIOR FELLOW FOR GLOBAL HEALTH AT THE COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: Well, I think the main concern here is that where's that policy,

U-turn? We're seeing like the virus basically spreads like the gang buster, and a wire many of those people, you know recover, relatively soon, like

we're seeing here.

But many of the elderly people actually are more likely to develop severe symptoms, and they're going to die. So that is really, I think, a major

concern here, especially given the size of the population there and given the have such a large, immunologically naive population there.

ANDERSON: Yes, let's be quite clear, it is actually quite difficult to get decent data on what is going on in China with regard COVID, particularly

for the most severe of cases. Are you concerned about mutations with the outbreak of cases mixed with the loosening of restrictions that we are

seeing inside China?

HUANG: Well, that is another concern, but we know that the new virus can - variants can emerge in unvaccinated population. And in China even though

officially they have 90 percent of the population vaccinated with two doses of the inactivated vaccines.

But you know, A, you still has a large percentage of the elderly who are not vaccinated. We're talking by about for example 8 million people aged

over 80 are not vaccinated at all, and B that many of those people who is vaccinated did so more than six months ago. So the antibody level already

very low. So we can rule out the possibility that the new variants can indeed emerge in China and then spread to other parts of the world.

ANDERSON: What do you make of the Chinese officially calling this now an infection not anything worse?

HUANG: The infection was indeed unprecedented. You know, we talked about that the according to an internal meeting minutes, you know, they will

already by December 20 within like three weeks by the 20 percent of the population were already infected.

I assume by now, very likely 30 to 40 percent of the populations have been infected. And I have not heard anybody who I know hasn't, either, but they

themselves get infected or their family members get infected.

ANDERSON: Fascinating. All right we're going to leave it there from East Hanover in New Jersey, our guest for you tonight with some analysis and

insight. Thank you.

Well, comfort and joy that's taking on a whole new meaning for the hundreds of millions of people isolated inside China for the past three years.

Separated from their loved ones overseas for more on China's most significant move yet transitioning away from its zero COVID policy, head to We'll find it all on your CNN app.

Well, not so much comfort for many travelers across the United States. A punishing winter storm that has killed dozens of Americans is also causing

widespread flight cancellations. Today more than 2900 flights have been scrapped according to the tracking site Flight Aware. And many others have

been delayed, and the majority of those belong to one carrier Southwest Airlines.

The snowstorm hit Chicago and Denver hard where Southwest has two of its biggest hubs will now thousands of stranded passengers are having a hard

time getting through to Southwest to rebook flights or indeed to find lost baggage.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We had to wait in a line that was four hours and we're still in line. And nobody's giving us any direction on what line to get in?

It's a total you know, what show here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Calling Southwest calling the airlines you're nowhere to be found actually got hung up on multiple times.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The problem is that Southwest, they don't give any answer. They don't answer the phone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's no option to rebook anything online. Oh, I've also been on hold for five hours and 43 minutes.


ANDERSON: Wow! Well, Southwest Pilot Union is blaming the massive disruption on the company's outdated scheduling software.


MICHAEL SANTORO, V.P, SOUTHWEST AIRLINES PILOT ASSOCIATION: What went wrong is that our IT infrastructure for our scheduling software is vastly

outdated. It can't handle the number of pilot's flight attendants that we have in the system with our complex route network.

We don't have the normal hub, you know, hub and spoke like the other major airlines do. We fly point to point network, which can put our crews in the

wrong places without airplanes mismatched, and that's what happened.

And our software can't keep track of it. We've been telling them this for years. We have a meltdown, like once a year for the past five or six years

and every year we go in and do an after action. And as swap the union leadership, we go in and talk to flight ops leadership and we tell them you

know, you guys need to fix your scheduling software, the scheduling systems and how you operate our schedules and to no avail.

They never updated never invest the money and resources they need to. And so we continue to have these issues. Of course, this is the largest

disruption I've ever seen in my 16 years at the airline.


ANDERSON: Well, CNN Correspondent Gabe Cohen now is joining us live from BWI Airport in New York State of Maryland. Another base for Southwest

Airlines and Gabe fascinating isn't it? You got an explanation there of sorts.

Our guests they're suggesting that the airline has been told about its inefficiencies and inadequacies as it were for years now as probably not

going to make anyone who has either lost their baggage can't get on a flight is stuck you know thousands of miles of times away from home.

You know, not going to help them work out what happens next? Is it clear at this point how quickly the airline can sort things out? And with that, we

had a technical issue. Right let's see if we can get Gabe Cohen back a little later for you. He is someone who was desperately trying to get out

of town and head to Florida on Southwest. Take a look and you'll see why?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The front of our house we are buried. I can't make it to the front door. I can't make it to the front door.


ANDERSON: Well, that is Western New York waist high in heavy snow. Officials there are calling it the blizzard of the century. This family was

planning to head for the sunny skies and warmer weather at Fort Lauderdale on Monday but as you can imagine Buffalo's airport is closed at least until

tomorrow. Right let's get you to a very short break back with more after this.



ANDERSON: One Afghan activist says the Taliban are doing whatever they can to make. Let me just bring up my scripts for you here to make women as

powerless as possible. We are having technical issues as you can probably see. So I'll tell you what I'm going to come back to that story.

I want to before I do that, just get you back to Maryland. We were trying to talk to CNN Correspondent Gabe Cohen earlier on from BWI Airport near

the State of Maryland. That is another base for Southwest Airlines, which is really struggling at present. Gabe tell us what you are hearing there?

GABE COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well Becky, this has really been a meltdown for Southwest Airlines over the past few days. And the big issue is it's

not going to get any better at least not for a little while the airline has already canceled 62 percent of its flights today, close to 2500 flights.

And they've already gone ahead and canceled nearly that total for tomorrow. The airline tells me it could be days of this where they're only running

just over 1/3 of their scheduled flights as they try to regroup and the reality for so many travelers.

It seems like the one behind me these rudely long lines as people are trying to reschedule and get on a flight rebook and those who are calling

customer service. Many of them are waiting on hold for hours. I've been trying to call this morning, and I've just been getting a hold delay a hold

signal. And so it has just been brutal for tens of thousands of travelers who are stranded right now.

Now, the airline says that the big issue was the winter storm that it left their flight crew stranded in the wrong cities. And so right now they're

trying to regroup and get people back to the correct locations. But the issue is that Southwest is really the only major U.S. Airline that's

dealing with these mass cancellations.

Yesterday they had more than 10 times the number of cancellations of any other major airline and their Pilots Union a head of it and said this

really isn't an issue about winter weather. This is an issue of outdated processes and outdated IT at the airline.

In fact, the CEO in a transcript that was sent to CNN, CNN obtained, he released a video message to employees on Christmas Day admitting that they

were having operating issues and a part of the problem was the need to modernize the system.

So Becky, a lot of difficulties happening right now at the airline at Southwest but the folks who are dealing with the brunt of it were facing

the biggest issues are these travelers, some of them have been stranded at airports for days.

They're looking at the possibility they won't be able to reschedule a flight until close to New Year's Eve. So it's just a very difficult

situation for so many travelers here in Baltimore and across the United States.

ANDERSON: Yes, absolutely Gabe. And to those who may be watching from somewhere in the world, but in the U.S. or somewhere else where they were

expecting to use one of these Southwest flights at some point this week. What's the advice at this point?

COHEN: Well, the problem is there isn't much at this point, folks are saying to make sure you're monitoring what the airline is saying. And the

reality is, if you're flying Southwest in the next few days, there's a good chance your flight might be canceled.

I've talked to folks who have booked on other airlines, some have booked buses, trains to get where they're going some looking for rental cars, so

there's no easy option here. And the good news is if your flight is canceled, you are entitled to a refund.

But so many people this is going to cost them much more potentially than just the price of an airline ticket. So people have different strategies

right now but the very worst of it some people are literally sleeping at airports feeling like they don't have an option.


ANDERSON: All right. Gabe, we wish those who are stuck the best of luck. Thank you for your reporting.

Well, Ukraine and Russia both are making new overtures about peace talks, but both appearing not to budge on what will be acceptable grounds for any

negotiations. Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov today saying that any peace must include, in his words, the de-militarization and de-

nazification of regime controlled territories and warning if Ukraine doesn't accept Russia's demands, the war will be decided on the


And his comments coming after President Vladimir Putin said he is ready to negotiate "about acceptable solutions". Ukrainian President Volodymyr

Zelenskyy is reaching out to his Indian counterpart Prime Minister Narendra Modi to help implement a peace plan.

Ukraine reportedly saying any talks are contingent on Russia agreeing to face a war crimes tribunal. Well, on top of all of this, the power

situation in Ukraine remains really difficult that is according to the country's energy minister. It's scary in Ukraine when the lights go out,

especially for those who need Power for Life Saving medical devices. CNN's Will Ripley brings us one of their stories, have a look.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Christmas in Ukraine. Even the air raid sirens don't get a break.

RIPLEY (on camera): So when the lights go out, you use this. How does, how do you turn on like that?

RIPLEY (voice over): 12 year old Sebastian has an arsenal of battery powered lights for the blackouts so he can play with his small army of toy

tanks. Unfortunately, this doesn't run on batteries.

RIPLEY (on camera): Oh, you're using it as a weight. So that's how you stay strong.

RIPLEY (voice over): Sebastian has cystic fibrosis, a rare lung disorder. He needs a nebulizer to inhale medicine. It keeps him alive. He could die

without inhalations, we can't miss them, his grandmother says. The first time we had a blackout; we took the machine and ran around looking for a


We found a shop where people charge their phones, we did it there. His grandmother shows us their small portable nebulizer. When the lights go

out, it gets the job done, barely.

RIPLEY (on camera): This is 1319.

RIPLEY (voice over): Patients like him rely on help from Savoy Foundation, a non-profit in Kyiv; they've helped more than 6000 people with breathing

problems, the situation for many dire.

RIPLEY (on camera): What happens to people if the machine doesn't work?


RIPLEY (on camera): They die.


RIPLEY (voice over): When there's no light for 20 or 30 hours, you have to go to the hospital, she says. We have patients who went from the apartment

to the car for two days because they charge their device with a cigarette lighter. The sound of a blackout is even more terrifying than the sound of

sirens for Olena Isayenko.

The sound is like a flat line she says, she's living with respiratory failure on the 15th floor. Blackouts mean no elevator, no way to get to the

bomb shelter downstairs. When you can't cook and there's no heat, you can live with that. But when you can't breathe, it's your life.

Her portable respirator barely lasts two hours; it takes more than an hour to charge. Each blackout puts her life at risk. For so many victims of

Russia's constant cruel bombardment, this is life, if you can call it that. Will Ripley, CNN, Kyiv, Ukraine.


ANDERSON: Well, Russia's war on Ukraine is just entered its 11 month phase 11th month is Europe's biggest conflict since World War Two, reshaping

geopolitics between Russia and the West in ways that, quite frankly, no one could have imagined a year ago. Well, this war is a modern day tragedy.

Thousands of innocent people have been killed or injured in what have been relentless Russian air attacks on civilian targets even as Ukraine's army

wins on the ground. But there is also a sense of resilience from a country that Vladimir Putin and fair to say many others in the world expected to

fold within days.

Our Matthew Chance has reported from Ukraine since the very start of Russia's invasion. He's been reporting from there for years in fact. He now

looks back on some of this was key moments.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: When the invasion first began, I was standing on top of the roof of a hotel in the center of

Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital. Basically on television, I'm having a conversation with a bunch of colleagues about how it was unlikely that

Vladimir Putin, even though he had built up tens of thousands of forces on the borders of Ukraine, to the east, how unlikely it was that he was going

to take that step, cross the Rubicon and launch a full scale invasion is on the hands of the Ukrainians who resist.

I say, well, I just heard a big bang, right here behind me. And it was a really shocking experience. Because, you know, not only was I having to

report on the bombardment of Kyiv. But I also had to radically recalculate what was going on what was happening in this country I've been covering for

so many years.

But there's another. I've got a flak jacket right here. Let me just get on those first hours after the invasion were pretty frenetic, we didn't know

what was really going on. There are all sorts of reports about Russian paratroopers moving into positions around the city. There was one

particularly worrying report that airborne Russian Special Forces had moved into an airbase north of the Ukrainian capital, in an area called Hostomel,

Hostomel that was the Antonov air base.

These troops you can see over here, they are Russian airborne forces. I started chatting to that commander. And in the conversation, I said to him,

so look, give me an idea of what we're seeing here, where, where are the Russians, I said, and he said to me, you know, what do you mean, you look

really confused. So what do you mean, where are the Russians?

And I said, well, I'm going to go live in a minute on CNN, you know, I want to, I want to tell people where the Russian forces have got to. And he

looks at me, and he said, where the Russians, where the Russians. And at that point, we suddenly realized that we had come face to face, we crossed

the front line inadvertently.

And so it just shows us now for the first time, just how close Russian forces have got towards the center of the Ukrainian capitalist. I think

what was most amazing, most surprising, I suppose about those first few days was the level of resistance that we saw that we witnessed by ordinary

Ukrainians as well as the Ukrainian military, of course, but we saw ordinary Ukrainian people pick up weapons, defend their streets, their

buildings, their yards.


YURI, VOLUNTEER FOR TERRITORIAL DEFENSE: I didn't think I would join this unit just two days ago, I thought that, you know, I don't know how to

handle the guns.


CHANCE: And I remember looking down and they had a crate full of petrol bombs, you know bottles with full of gasoline with rags and the top that

they were going to throw at Russian forces as they came in. And I asked one of the guys there, I said, did you make these? They're like, no, we didn't

make them.

It's the old women in the apartment blocks that are making them and then delivering them to us. And it just really rammed home. What a multi-layered

sort of defense that the Russians were confronting. If they thought they were going to walk into the Ukrainian capital and take it over without

fight. I mean, what a massive miscalculation that was.

You know, within a couple of days of the invasion we traveled to just a short distance from the Capitol, a bridge, where there had been a battle

just an hour or two before we got there. Right within the past few hours, there has been a ferocious battle here on the outskirts of Kyiv.

And this is one of those Russian Soviet era vehicles, which is completely burned out. You can see this is a bridge actually is an access point to the

northwest of Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital and the Russian column that has come down here has been absolutely hammered.

So that was a very, very disturbing moment in the conflict. But it was also very profound in the sense that it just showed that Russia's calculation of

sending a light armored column into Ukraine to take the capital to decapitate the Ukrainian government was not working. And it was not just

working, but it was devastating to the Russian Armed Forces.


CHANCE: I think one of the most incredible aspects of this conflict so far has been the dramatic transformation of Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the Ukrainian

President from an actor and comedian turned politician to president turned, you know, iconic war leader. I managed to speak to him; I was one of the

first journalists to speak to him in his bunker in central Kyiv.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT: And it's very important for people in the United States to understand that, despite the fact that the

war is taking place in Ukraine, it's essentially for values in life, for democracy for freedom, therefore, this war is for the entire world. And

that message should be sent far and wide from Ukraine to people in the United States. So they understand what it is like for us here, what we're

fighting for and why support for Ukraine matters.


CHANCE: And it's incredible, that Zelenskyy from very early on knew that he had to make this war much broader in its impact. It wasn't just it couldn't

be just be a war that Ukraine was fighting. It had to be a war that the rest of the world, at least the rest of the West was invested in.

I think 2022 will be remembered as the year that Russia hurled itself into the abyss or was held into the abyss by Vladimir Putin and his

extraordinary war in Ukraine. Not only is the country facing a potentially devastating military defeat, with tens of thousands of dead if not, if not

more, but also its facing economic catastrophe.

ANDERSON: Matthew Chance reflecting on his experiences, reporting on the war in Ukraine and his thoughts about what happens next. Well, ahead on

"Connect the World" the Taliban make another move targeting women in Afghanistan. We're going to talk to the Head of an aide group there about

the impact of what is this latest restriction.


ANDERSON: Well, you're watching "Connect the World". I'm Becky Anderson for you. One Afghan activist says the Taliban are doing whatever they can to

make women as powerless as possible. There's growing outrage of the Taliban's announcement on Saturday that it is banning women from working

for Non-Governmental Organizations.

Following that decision at least half a dozen major aid groups suspended operations in the country. Well the Taliban have been chipping away at

women's rights ever since they re-took power in August of last year.


ANDERSON: Well responding to the ban on working NGOs, the leaders of CARE International Norwegian Refugee Council and Save the Children signed a

joint letter saying and I quote here partly we cannot effectively reach children, women and men in desperate need in Afghanistan without our female

staff. Without women driving our response, we would not have jointly reached millions of Afghans in need since August of 2021.

And let's bring in Reshma Azmi the Deputy Director of CARE in Afghanistan. She joins us now live from Kabul. I know how difficult this must be. Just

do explain just how detrimental this move by the Taliban will be to the work that your group and others do inside Afghanistan.

RESHMA AZMI, DEPUTY COUNTRY DIRECTOR, CARE AFGHANISTAN: Indeed, it is shocking news for all of us. And we are completely heartbroken by this

news. We're trying to push back this decision. There is a joint effort which are made. Definitely it's going to worsen the situation there's a

humanitarian crisis in the country, it's going through its worse crisis ever.

We are saying that in 2023, UN has already estimated 28 million people who will be in the need of humanitarian assistance and without women aid

workers; I don't think we can even reach to half of the population. And we need women aid workers to reach to this most vulnerable group, the women

and girls in the community.

ANDERSON: So what happened is, just I think our viewers need to understand how important work that you do is what happens if that works stops? And how

much hope are you holding out that this decision could be overturned at this point?

AZMI: It has a huge impact. It has a dramatic impact. Like I said there is a huge needs on the ground without women aid workers who will not be able

to reach out to the population who are in actually need of all the services of all the assistance. It's just two days which is passed.

We are making collective efforts through different bodies. We are in discussions with ministries and authorities. And it's too early to say what

will come out of these discussions. But yes, there's a strong push back on the decision made by these authorities.

ANDERSON: Let's just be quite clear the humanitarian situation on the ground is dire. What does the international community need to do? And what

do our viewers need to know to ensure that they can put pressure on those that might be able to make a difference?

AZMI: It is quite clear; it's quite evident that we cannot reach out to the population who are in need of the assistance without women aid workers on

the ground. We heavily depend and rely on the country rely on the NGOs support and the aid and assistance. And without women aid workers it's not

at all possible you know in a country like Afghanistan, which is, which has a deeply rooted social norms or male staff or a male worker cannot engage

with the females.

So it becomes very, very difficult to reach out to the women and girls in the community. So it is only going to worsen the situation. And for the

international community and for all the actors, we expect them to come forward; we expect that everyone comes together.

Make an joined afford to put some pressure and influence the authorities so that our women aid workers can come back to the work and we can actually

reach out to the community who are in need.

ANDERSON: We wish you the very best in the work that you do. Thank you. Well, to Iran now where the family of an Iranian football stars was

prevented from leaving Iran according to an Iranian news agency. A flight that was carrying the wife and daughter of Ali Daei, who is a critic of the

Iranian government, was forced to return to Iran after setting off for Dubai.

Ali Daei is perhaps best known for playing in the 1998 World Cup match when Iran beat the United States. He wants held the record for the most

international goals and refused to attend this year's FIFA World Cup in Qatar in solidarity with Iranian protesters.


ANDERSON: Well, Israeli lawmakers have passed legislation that would allow a convicted ally of incoming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to serve in

the new administration. Ali Daei was convicted of tax fraud earlier this year. But the new legislation clears the way for him and the - party he

leads to serve in Israel's new coalition government.

Benjamin Netanyahu is due to be sworn in as Israel's Prime Minister for a record sixth time. On Thursdays government is expected to be the most right

wing in Israel's history, still to come. Thousands of migrants along the U.S. Mexico border are waiting in limbo to see if a restricted policy known

as Title 42 will come to an end.


ANDERSON: Thousands of migrants along the U.S. Mexico border are waiting to see if America Supreme Court will put an end to the Trump era policy known

as Title 42. Now this was put in place in the early days of the pandemic and allowed the U.S. government to expel migrants to their home country.

Border agents in the El Paso, Texas area continue to see about 60 and 100 migrants every day and see if the restriction is lifted. That number could

be much higher. In fact, right now more than 20,000 migrants are in shelters and makeshift encampments in northern Mexico. CNN's Rosa Flores

joins us from El Paso in Texas.

And I know the weather has been pretty inclement over the last few days. So it's been pretty miserable for those on the ground. You've reported that

some 22,000 migrants are stuck in encampments on the Mexican side of the border. What more are we learning Rosa at this point?

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You're absolutely right. I talked to advocates and officials on the Mexican side of the border. And in three

northern Mexican towns they estimate that about 22,000 migrants are waiting for the lifting of Title 42 There's about 13,000 in the area of Matamoros

and Reynosa which is across the border from the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas and another 9000 in Tijuana, Mexico, which is near San Diego,


Now those are the individuals who are waiting in Mexico for Title 42 to lift. But I want to show you around because many; many are still crossing

the border and taking their chances. I'm at a church here in El Paso and all the people that you see around me you can take a look all of these are



FLORES: And there's a mixture Becky, there's a mixture of migrants who got tired because they were waiting in Mexico for Title 42 to lift and decided

to turn themselves into authorities. Others say that they crossed over illegally because they got so tired. A lot of the people that I've talked

to here are from Venezuela, they describe the harsh and dire economic conditions that they couldn't afford to feed their families in Venezuela.

That's why they made their dangerous track. Now, this is the church at night, it turns into a shelter. But the capacity is only 120 people

preference is given to women with children, families with children, and you see all of the blankets that are along the church, all those blankets are

pulled out.

And a lot of these individuals find a spot in this cold concrete to spend the night. That's when it's really difficult for these families, because

that's when the temperatures really drop, Becky. Now according to a federal law enforcement source, about 1500 to 1600 migrants are still turning

themselves in into immigration authorities every single day in this area that's down for 2500 about two weeks ago, but that's still a very high

number, a very high number.

I remember it during the surge of 2019, thousand encounters every day was a big deal back then. Here they're seen between 1500 and 1600. Before I let

you go, I want to show you here because this is what we see every single day. People from El Paso and these are just residents from this area or

organizations. They drive up. They give water they bring food.

They provide clothing, things like that for the migrants that are here in El Paso as they're trying to figure out how to get out of El Paso because

Becky here's the thing. These migrants don't want to stay here in El Paso. They want to go to different parts of the United States.

A lot of them just don't have money. They don't have transportation, or they don't have family to meet them someplace or to send the money so that

they can get out of the border area. Brenda, I mean, excuse me, Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes, no, no, no worries. Thank you. That is the story there on the border. We are waiting to see what the Supreme Court decision will be.

Let's get you up to speed on some of the other stories that are on our radar right now. And a boat carrying 185 Rohingya refugees is reached

Indonesia from Bangladesh.

The UN Refugee Agency says it had been drifting at sea for nearly a month after its engine died. The UN says another boat carrying 180 refugees is

missing at sea with all onboard, presumed dead. About a million Rohingya are living in camps in Bangladesh after fleeing from Myanmar.

Taiwan is extending the period for its mandatory military service to counter the threat from China; all eligible men will now have to serve a

year instead of four months. The Taiwanese president says that the move is necessary to safeguard the islands democratic way of life. South Korea is

speeding up the launch of its military drone unit to monitor North Korea's military installations.

This comes after five North Korean drones into South Korean airspace on Monday, sold scrambled fighter jets and attack helicopters in response one

aircraft crashed on takeoff. No injuries were reported. Well up next friendly banter and hot cups of tea create a warm atmosphere. Now they all

part of Britain's warm spaces, venues designed to help people cope with high energy bills. We'll explain how these centers work and why after this.



ANDERSON: Well as prices soar and temperatures drop, some in the United Kingdom are turning to warm spaces this winter. These are community centers

that offer a warm place for people struggling to pay high energy bills. My colleague Anna Stewart has more.


ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER (voice over): A hot drink somewhere to sit and chat. The Oasis center in London is one of thousands of organizations

across the UK, now running warm spaces for those struggling to pay their energy bills.

STEVE CHALKE, FOUNDER, OASIS TRUST: Being warm, helps a person relaxed, the more relaxed they are, the more logically they can think about all their

other worries and stresses. There is so many people, though that are cold because given the choice between being warm and eating, you got to eat and

you've got to feed your family. What's happening this year is that more and more people are being caught into that trap.

STEWART (on camera): Some people call these warm banks but you don't use that term.

CHALKE: We think that's really important because it de-stigmatizes all of this. Once you're running a warm bank, if I come into your warm bank, I'm

admitting that I can't heat my house. But if you're running the living room, as we call it at the Oasis center, well, actually you might be a


STEWART (voice over): Charity National Energy Action predicts over 8 million UK households will be in fuel poverty by April, almost double the

number since last year, despite the government spending billions to subsidize rising energy bills.

CHARLOTTE HILTON, OASIS TRUST EMPLOYEE: I spent over 100 pound in a few weeks on gas alone.

STEWART (voice over): Mama for Charlotte Hilton works at the center, but also uses its services to help support her family.

STEWART (on camera): Do you think they'll come a point where you won't be able to meet all of your bills?

HILTON: Yes. Yes, there will be, it will become a point because everything's going up, per wages, benefits, all those things. And it's not

just affecting obviously, lower class people, it's affecting everybody.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We thought what about if the health service just could prescribe people a warm home.

STEWART (voice over): The National Health Service is so worried about the impact of the cold on people's health. It's testing paying for some of the

most vulnerable heating.

DR. ROSE CHARD, FAIR FUTURES PROGRAMME LEAD, ENERGY SYSTEMS CATAPULT: Say there will be thousand homes helped this winter as part of this winters

trial. And they will be people at risk of being admitted during the winter because they live in a cold home.

STEWART (voice over): It's a worrying new reality for so many. The message here is that those who need help mustn't be afraid to ask for it.

CHALKE: People are scared of community. They're scared of being judged by others. I won't go to that warm bank in that church. I won't go along to

these events wherever it is, because I'll be judged. Venture out the world full of wonderful people. You'll meet friends.

STEWART (voice over): Anna Stewart, CNN, London.


ANDERSON: Well, one couple in New York did their part to keep their fellow man warm over the Christmas weekend. They opened their home tweed South

Korean tour group that was stranded after their bus got stuck in the snow near Buffalo.


ALEXANDER CAMPAGNA, HOSTED SOUTH KOREAN TOURISTS DURING BUFFALO BLIZZARD: Early on, when our guests entered our house, there was the belief that

maybe this storm was about to blow over and they would just jump back in their vehicle and get on their way towards Niagara Falls, which is in the

best weather about a 30 minute drive from our home. So with the blizzard, it may as well have been in another galaxy.

So once they kind of came in the house and saw that they might be here for a while, I pulled out from our freezer all of our frozen chicken and a

large pork shoulder that I purchased on special a couple of weeks ago. And all of a sudden that food came in extremely handy.



ANDERSON: Lovely and that couple say they hope to visit their guests in South Korea one day. Look, that's it from us. But just before I go I want

to tell you about a quick programming note celebrate the New Year this weekend with CNN will feature special coverage from across Asia, Africa,

Europe, Latin America, United States.

And this part of the world even the metaverse as the world welcomes in 2023 with New Year's Eve live starting in Asia New Year's Eve live will follow

the sunset as celebrations peak in major cities around the globe beginning at midnight in Sydney 9 p.m. and Hong Kong, eight Eastern Time.

And you can catch me in Dubai beginning 11 p.m. UAE time that's 2 p.m. Eastern. We will be ringing in the New Year together on Saturday. I hope

you can join us for that. Thank you for joining us for this show. I'm Becky Anderson tonight in Abu Dhabi. "One World" is just ahead.