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Connect the World

New Cases Surge as China Eases COVID Restrictions; Crews Walking to clear Buffalo Roads after Deadly Blizzard; Southwest Airlines Cancels Thousands more Flights; The Difficult Road to Diplomatic Solutions in 2023; U.S. Bans TikTok from Official Devices; Rollerblading Group Zooms Through Abu Dhabi. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired December 28, 2022 - 11:00   ET



BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: Welcome back, I'm Becky Anderson. You're watching "Connect the World". Wherever you are watching as

ever, you are more than welcome. We begin with growing concern I'm afraid around the world is China's sudden decision to dismantle its harsh COVID

restrictions despite a surge of infections.

Italy, the latest country to announce new testing requirements on visitors from China and the United States is considering doing the same. Well, the

U.S. officials say there is a lack of I quote here transparent data in China, raising fears that new variants could emerge unchecked.

But China is undeterred in rolling back its regulations today announced an easing of restrictions on airlines. And Hong Kong now following the

mainland and scrapping mandatory PCR tests for international arrivals. Selina Wang is in Beijing with more.

SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: China is finally dropping quarantine and loosening its borders. Many people here are rejoicing after years of not

being able to leave this country. According to Chinese travel booking website searches for popular destinations jumped 10 times within

half an hour of the announcement. This news also means that many Chinese nationals living abroad can finally go home. It is a bittersweet victory

after so much sacrifice.


WANG (voice over): The world's harshest Quarantine is no more as COVID sweeps through China; the country is scrapping quarantines for inbound

travelers from January 8, and promising to gradually restore outbound tourism. Since the start of the pandemic China has severely limited who can

go in and out of the country, drastically cutting the number of flights and forcing all incoming arrivals into government facilities.

I went through multiple quarantines and China this year lasting as long as 21 days. There is no choice in where you go or what room you get. Once the

door is closed, you can only open them for COVID tests and food pickups. Workers spray disinfected in the hallways every few hours. Food delivery is

not allowed for breakfast, lunch and dinner are part of quarantine fees. All of that is now soon going away. It's a huge relief for Chinese

nationals living overseas like this woman in New York City.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I really want to go back to my home immediately. And right now I'm very emotional. I'm almost in tears right now.

WANG (on camera): When's the last time you went home to China?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Four years before. I lost several of my family members during the pandemic; I lost my beloved golden retriever. I feel like I

missed everything.

WANG (on camera): How is your family doing now in China?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right now almost everyone got COVID and they are suffering. When my grandpa video called me, I cried so badly. At that

moment, I even don't know if I will get a chance to see him, just he got COVID and I hope he will be OK.

WANG (voice over): On Chinese social media people have been sharing everything they've lost during three years of border controls, while they

were stuck out of their home country. One writes, I received the bad news of my father's unexpected death while I was in a quarantine hotel. But I

couldn't go back to see him for the last time. Another writes because of the pandemic, I didn't even know that my grandma passed away and I heard it

from my mother a month later.

This new change finally ends China's ban on non-essential travel for Chinese citizens. I feel like the pandemic is finally over the travel plans

I made three years ago may finally become a reality, she says. It's exciting news for potential travelers but at home, the country is

struggling to grapple with an explosion in COVID cases.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The hospital is just overwhelmed from top to bottom. There was no preparation like nobody knew; you know there was no stockpile

of medications.

WANG (voice over): This viral video with the southern city of Guangzhou shows a man kneeling on the ground at a fever clinic breaking down and

begging the nurse to let him see the doctor after waiting for hours. Fever and cold medicine are nearly impossible to get drug stores across the


Anti-virals are also extremely hard to get but in a major move Beijing has announced it's going to start distributing Paxlovid to community health

centers in the coming days, so there's chaos and confusion, but with zero COVID in the past finally there's light at the end of the tunnel.


WANG: But now as China is finally loosening its borders some countries like Japan and India are increasing restrictions for travelers from China.

They're worried about the spike in cases here. Japan's Prime Minister said travelers from China will be tested for COVID on arrival.


WANG: Those who test positive will have to quarantine for seven days. Japan has also restricted plans to increase flights to and from China. India has

put in place similar COVID testing guidelines. Selina Wang, CNN, Beijing.

ANDERSON: And you can read more about China's handling of the COVID crisis on our website that is Of course on your CNN App we explain how

the government went from overzealous enforcement of regulations that damaged the economy to an abrupt abandonment of its zero COVID policy that

is left a fragile healthcare system struggling to cope, that

Well, the recently liberated Ukrainian city of Kherson is being pounded again by enemy forces. That is, according to Ukraine's military who say

that Russia has launched dozens of artillery strikes on civilian targets in the southern city, including on a hospital as these attacks continue the

effects while they're being felt across Ukraine not least in what is a grim death toll.

The United Nations now reporting that nearly 7000 civilians have died since the invasion began. CNN's Will Ripley joined some Ukrainians who gathered

to pay their respects to a fallen soldier, have a look at this.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): So many tears for yet another victim of Russia's war in Ukraine. Mourners in Kyiv

are paying their final respects to a fallen Ukrainian soldier, a husband, brother and son. He was reportedly killed near Bakhmut. Intense fighting

has the city almost unrecognizable. Debris litters the streets. Buildings are on fire.

OLEKSANDR, BAKHMUT RESIDENT: Our house is destroyed. There's a shop near a building now it's not there anymore.

RIPLEY (voice over): In this besieged city across the country, millions are still living without power. Ukraine accuses Russia of persistently

targeting Ukrainian energy facilities, giving engineers little time to repair the grids before the next strike comes. Ukraine's Energy Minister

describes the situation across his country as really difficult.

Strikes have left Ukraine with a power deficit, unable to meet the basic energy needs of the country. Fears are growing among Ukrainian officials.

Moscow could be planning large strikes around New Year's Day. In this small village near Kherson people are bracing for a bitterly cold winter, a

winter without power, collecting firewood and other supplies to protect against plummeting temperatures.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We will get through the winter because we fix the chimney and now we can heat the house. We will get through it. We do not

have any other option. Where would we go?

RIPLEY (voice over): On top of all this a war of words brewing between Moscow and Kyiv. Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is issuing an

ultimatum. Ukraine must battle Russia's demands; including giving up occupied Ukrainian territories, or else the Russian army will take matters

into its own hands.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says that won't happen. He's vowing to retake all captured Ukrainian ground. Diplomatic negotiations seem just

as gridlocked as the battlefield. Little sign of peace coming this holiday season and a conflict that continues to grind on. Will Ripley, CNN, Lviv,



ANDERSON: There are also questions now surrounding the deaths of a Russian tycoon and his friend on the same trip in India. They are the latest in a

series of unexplained deaths involving Russian tycoon since the start of the Kremlin's invasion of Ukraine. CNN's Clare Sebastian joining us live

from London. Clare?

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Becky this was a man called Pavel Antov, who in 2018 was named by Forbes as the richest civil servant in

Russia and net worth estimated around $140 million. He was a regional lawmaker, a member of United Russia, which is the party most closely allied

to Vladimir Putin made his fortune manufacturing sausages and died in India on Saturday in what police say was a fall from his third floor hotel room


They say the result of suicide suspected and it came just two days after his friend and other Russian businessman died. They say have a heart attack

in the same location. Now interesting thing about this is of course the two deaths coming so close together.

The second is that Pavel Antov posted a post on the Russian Facebook equivalent for - back in the summer disavowing a WhatsApp status, which we

believe was some kind of criticism of the war in Ukraine, saying he's a true patriot, affirming his support for President Putin.


SEBASTIAN: So perhaps there was some criticism of the war in his past. We don't know exactly what the circumstances of this are, but it does fit a

pattern. We can show you not an exhaustive list. But some of the suspicious deaths that we've seen so far this year among Russian businessmen, that

causes range, there are some false there are some suspected suicides, murdered suicides.

These are all people from the business community. We don't know in most cases about whether they were critical of the war in Ukraine, perhaps in

the case of Ravil Maganov, who was the Chairman of Lukoil back in September. That Lukoil had called for an end to the violence at the

beginning of the war. But it is still a very high number of suspicious deaths and does raise questions or they're not answers at this point,


ANDERSON: Clare Sebastian is in London for you. Clare, thank you. Pope Francis urging people to pray for his predecessor, as the Vatican says the

health of Pope Emirates has Benedict is worsening. Benedict the 16th resigned nearly 10 years ago is paving the way for Pope Francis's election.

Well, now 95 years old, he's been living a quiet life in a former convent inside the Vatican. Pope Francis calls for a prayer asking God's console

Benedict until the end. Well Delia Gallagher joins us now live from Rome. And you and I were there for the resignation and the election of Pope

Francis. It does seem an awful long time ago. What else did Pope Francis have to say about Benedict's health at this point?

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, well, you know, Becky, just go back to that in 2013 when the reason that Pope Benedict resigned

was for his frail health and so here we are today, talking about his frail health. Again, the Vatican statement from a few hours ago is saying that it

had deteriorated due to his advanced age. He's 95.

They say he is with his doctors who are monitoring the situation. Pope Francis this morning, as you mentioned was the first to give the news

saying, please pray for him because he is very sick. Let's take a listen to what the Pope had to say.


POPE FRANCIS, CATHOLIC CHURCH HEAD: I want to ask you all for a special prayer for Pope Emeritus Benedict, who sustains the church and his silence.

He is very sick. We asked the Lord to console and sustain him in this witness of love for the church to the very end.


GALLAGHER: The Vatican also said Becky that Pope Francis went to visit the Pope Emeritus after that general audience. And we can say that if they are

being so public about his illness today, we assume that things are serious indeed. We are standing by for any updates and we'll bring them to you when

we have them, Becky.

ANDERSON: Delia Gallagher is in Rome for you folks, thank you very much indeed. You're watching "Connect the World" with me Becky Anderson live

from our broadcasting hub here in the Middle East in Abu Dhabi. Still ahead, Buffalo New York is digging out after a deadly Blizzard. Well, the

mayor there is saying about how and why people perished during that storm.

And their bags are packed. I got nowhere to go Southwest Airlines cancels thousands more flights, passengers angry and frustrated. And so is the U.S.

transportation secretary, hear what he had to say and what happens next after this.



ANDERSON: The impact of what is a massive winter storm that hit the United States over Christmas weekend is still being felt in Buffalo New York.

Roads there finally being cleared and emergency services restored after up to 131 centimeters of snow fell around the city.

At least 34 people died in the area among the 59 storm and cold related deaths across the United States. And now Buffalo is facing a flood threat

as warmer temperatures move in and all that snow begins to melt. Well officials there just gave the press an update last hour CNN's Athena Jones

in Buffalo for us. What did we hear?

ATHENA JONES, CNN U.S. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Becky, I just want to show you the amount of snow we're dealing with. Look behind me you can see

a mountain of snow it is several storey's high. It dwarfs some of the two storey houses that we can see down the street nearby. And we're told that

trucks have been dumping snow there since the snow clearing began.

And that now they're already moving on to a new pile. They're afraid that this one is getting too large. But that just gives you a sense of just the

job ahead. City officials and county officials - every single street in Buffalo has at least one lane clear by tomorrow morning.

And the reason for that is to make sure that emergency services can get to everyone who needs it and that city can begin to return to normal. As you

mentioned, the death toll has raised now 34 people dead. And authority is saying that least three of those people, two men and one woman are on

identified, so they're asking families to call the police if they have a loved one who is missing.

Another thing the National Guard is out they started at 9.30 this morning going door to door in neighborhoods that lost power, even neighborhoods

that may still not have power, though most power has been restored. They're going door to door to check on folks to make sure that they're doing OK.

We also know that authorities are going door to door to do wellness checks of people who called 911, or other EMS emergency services during the height

of the storm and couldn't be reached because the roads were impassable. We know that more than 400 of those calls took place, those calls that went

unanswered. And so that is part of the work that's being done.

Authorities are saying that the driving ban remains in effect here in Buffalo, so that they want people off the streets so that they can do, they

can do this clearing of the roads as much as possible. They're also doing dialysis run. So people who need you know kidney, which have kidney disease

and kidney illnesses, they're making sure that those people can get treatment, they're going to reevaluate the driving ban overnight.

And as you mentioned, one more point to make is that it's already warming up. Its freezing now, which I believe is zero Celsius, and the temperature

is only expected to go higher. It's going to rise by about 20 degrees over the next couple of days. And so authorities are saying that there could be

a rapid melting of the snow that's piled up in some places, it's more than 131 centimeters high, so a meter, a little over a meter high.

They're worried about that causing flooding. And so that is another reason it's so important for them to clear these roads as much as possible and as

quickly as possible, Becky?

ANDERSON: Yes, totally understandable. It's good to have you. Thank you. Well, through the chaos of winter weather in the United States comes a well

a happy ending. A woman in Buffalo, New York, in fact, became a hero. After taking a man stranded in a deadly blizzard, that act of kindness, saved his

life. CNN's Gary Tuchman has a story.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN REPORTER (voice over): The worst of Mother Nature, bringing out the best of human nature. This is Buffalo resident Sha'kyra

Aughtry on Facebook Live.

SHA'KYRA AUGHTRY, RESCUED MAN FROM BLIZZARD: I currently have an older 64 year old white man in my house, I found him yesterday I heard him screaming

for help.


TUCHMAN (voice over): In the midst of Western New York's Blitzer Sha'kyra spotted and heard the man in terrible pain in the frigid cold outside her

house on the morning of Christmas Eve. Her boyfriend carried the man inside, that man is Joey White, seen in this picture, the Toronto Blue Jays

baseball game.

AUGHTRY: He got away from his home that he lives in a group home he told me.

TUCHMAN (voice over): Yvonne's sister says her brother was mentally challenged and does indeed live in a group home. He works at a movie

theater may have gotten scared during the blizzard and tried to walk home from the theater getting lost in the heavy snow outside the mother of

three's house. Sha'kyra did her best to take care of him to comfort him feed him and pleaded for help with phone calls and on Facebook Live.

AUGHTRY: This man is not about to die over here. I want to let - to get this man some help.

TUCHMAN (voice over): But her neighborhood was virtually impossible. Christmas Eve became Christmas Day. Joey was in immense pain with severe

frostbite on his hands.

AUGHTRY: Joey. Listen to Joey. How you feel, Joey? Joe ready to go, he ready to go? He needs to go because he needs medical attention. I had to he

had a ring on his finger. I had to use these to cut the ring off the finger. I'm not no sergeant.

TUCHMAN (voice over): With her three children by your side, Sha'kyra tried to comfort Joey.

AUGHTRY: Joe, you feeling better? You're trying to feel better?


AUGHTRY: No, you're not going to die. We're not talking about death. This how you know he needs help.

TUCHMAN (voice over): And that help was about to come. Good Samaritan is showing up their vehicle that can make it through the snow. Joey was on his

way to the hospital.

AUGHTRY: I'm right here Joey.

TUCHMAN (voice over): And Sha'kyra rode with him.

AUGHTRY: Jessy, I'm right here. You OK?

WHITE: I love you.

AUGHTRY: I love you too, sweetie. You OK.

TUCHMAN (voice over): Joey arrived at the hospital safely.

AUGHTRY: This man could have died. 64 years old could have died outside. I won't letting that happen on my watch and he wasn't going to die in front

of my kids.

TUCHMAN (voice over): Joey has severe frostbite and is in the ICU in the hospital Burn Unit. His sister Yvonne is touching goes whether his hands

can be saved. But overall, he's in stable condition. And she is so grateful for Sha'kyra Aughtry archery.

YVONNE WHITE, SISTER OF RESCUED MAN: This woman did something that an angel would do. OK, to take in a perfectly stranger, a stranger you took him in

your home on Christmas Eve.

TUCHMAN (voice over): Joey White's life was saved by a woman who cared deeply about a man she had never met.

AUGHTRY: Thank you. I'm right here. I'm right here.

TUCHMAN (voice over): Gary Tuchman, CNN Atlanta.


ANDERSON: Well, that winter storm that paralyze Buffalo has done the same to Southwest Airlines leaving hundreds of thousands of passengers angry,

frustrated and wondering if they will ever get to complete their holiday travel. Over the span of a week Southwest has canceled 15,700 flights.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is calling it a complete meltdown of Southwest's flight system and he is vowing to hold the airline

accountable. Adrian Broadus back with us this hour from Chicago's Midway Airport. It's interesting, isn't it?

I know that you've been speaking to people who, who simply didn't believe the airline when they said this was all about weather. I mean, Chicago is

not unfamiliar with cold weather. I know it's been pretty bad this year. But it's not unfamiliar with bad weather this time of year. And now the

real story coming out and an apology and as you know we will do better from the airline now for passengers, how are they taking that?

ADRIENNE BROADDUS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know the apology is hit or miss some people handling all of this with grace. Others call it in their words,

not true. Meanwhile Becky, we are used to seeing scenes that look like this. Travelers waiting for their luggage to fall off the belt onto the

conveyor belt so they can go on to their final destination.

But we have not seen that here at Chicago midway. Instead this has been the scene, a sea of luggage. And at this our crews are working to remove all of

these bags. If travelers did not have midway as their final destination they were unable to take their luggage.

So these teams have been organizing the bags by city, they will rescan them into the system and then the bags will be off to their original final

destination. We did meet up with two travelers who waited in line hours to get their luggage, listen in.


LAURA CROOKS, SOUTHWEST AIRLINES PASSENGER: You find your bag. They let me go on and find myself in a lot. This took me on a band, they found them


BROADDUS: Where was it?


CROOKS: They're just out everywhere. They all, --I had to walk. And as - I noticed him and I got all four bags.


BROADDUS: Four bags that was Laura Crooks who says she was initially stranded in Vegas. Meanwhile, Southwest is offering compensation to

travelers. But some even say that's not enough, they would have preferred transparency and honesty, Becky from the beginning back to you.

ANDERSON: Thank you. Well passengers flying in the U.S. have certain rights when their flights are canceled or delayed. We ask the Transportation

Secretary, what people are entitled to and how the airline should be responding. Have a listen.


PETE BUTTIGIEG, U.S. TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY: Another thing you should know is that when you're in the situation and the airline is responsible,

which is clearly the case right now, and then you can get those kinds of vouchers for hotels, restaurants.

But what I talked about with the southwest CEO is that a passenger shouldn't have to request that, they need to be proactively offering that.

He pledged that they would and again we'll be watching to make sure that they follow through.


ANDERSON: Stay with CNN for more as we continue to update you on these weather issues and this travel chaos. Coming up Putin and his war on

Ukraine, Xi Jinping and tensions over Taiwan this year has tested diplomacy perhaps more than any other year in decades. We're going to take a look

back at some of the biggest challenges.

Plus the migrant crisis at the southern U.S. border what's next for thousands of migrants now that the restrictive policy Title 42 will remain

in effect from now at least.


ANDERSON: I'm Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi. You're watching "Connect the World". Welcome back. Our top story this hour, a change of plans today for

Vladimir Putin, the Russian President's last minute trip to the Pskov region in western Russia had to be canceled due to what the Kremlin calls

flight conditions.

Now it's worth noting that that region is close to the border with Latvia and Estonia. Both were once dominated by the former Soviet Union. Well, in

Ukraine Moscow appears to be intensifying its attacks on Kherson including shelling a hospital after Russian troops were fought out of that southern

city just last month.


ANDERSON: Well, Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine is among the top diplomatic challenges facing the world as we head into the New Year.

Tensions with China, Taiwan, NATO, and the climate crisis are some of the other issues on the list. CNN's International Diplomatic Editor Nic

Robertson takes a look back and has a preview of what we should expect in the days and months ahead.


NIC ROBERTSON CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice over): This year's war in Ukraine, the biggest land war in Europe since 1945, is both a

symptom of diplomacy's limits and a harbinger of potential decay to come. Russian President Vladimir Putin's unprovoked aggression is yet to be tamed

by sanction or reason, despite diplomatic outreach.

OLAF SCHOLZ, GERMAN CHANCELLOR: I believe its right to have constant discussions. There must be a moment where Russia realizes that it needs to

get out of this situation.

ROBERTSON (voice over): China's Xi Jinping who's increasingly bellicose diplomacy defying claims to Taiwan is watching Ukraine. Learning possible

international limits on his own potential land grab Scholz, who is picking up his predecessor, Angela Merkel's peacemaking mantle, use his recent

visit to Beijing to try to shut down Russia's war and head off one over Taiwan.

SCHOLZ: It is important for China to use its influence on Russia it is about principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity.

ROBERTSON (voice over): 2022 has tested diplomacy more than any other year in decades. On the upside, democracies have risen to the challenge,

diplomatic unity in the face of Russian aggression.

EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT: As war returns to European soil we need to become brothers in arms once more.

ROBERTSON (voice over): On the downside, it shown diplomatic words alone won't work; they need to be backed by military muscle.

JENS STOLTENBERG, NATO SECRETARY GENERAL: What happens at the negotiating table depends on what happens on the battlefield? Therefore, the best way

to increase the chances for a peaceful solution is to support Ukraine. We will not back down.

ROBERTSON (voice over): The past year is setting the stage for diplomatic storms to come.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT: We will defend ourselves with all available means at our disposal.

ROBERTSON (voice over): Putin continues to tease the threat of a nuclear strike, potentially taking diplomacy and 2023 to its limits.

FERNANDO ARIAS, ORGANISATION FOR PROHIBITION OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS: It does exacerbate that existing tensions to a point where unity of the

international community cannot be presumed.

ROBERTSON (voice over): Add to this the increasing tensions with China and 2023 is shaping up to be an even greater challenge than 2022.

RISHI SUNAK, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: We recognize China poses a systemic challenge to our values and interests, a challenge that grows more acute as

it moves towards even greater authoritarianism.

ROBERTSON (voice over): Paradoxically, another growing challenge, climate change, perhaps offers a way out of the downward diplomatic spiral and need

to combat global warming together.

JOHN KERRY, U.S. CLIMATE ENVOY: Without China, even if the U.S. is as we are moving towards a 1.5 degree program, which we are, if we don't have

China, nobody else can make to that goal.

ROBERTSON (voice over): As with previous years, 2023 will offer opportunity to develop diplomatic off ramps, perhaps none more poignant than the G7 to

be hosted by Japan in Hiroshima. There'll be another climate summit too.

But as this year's COP 27 in Egypt showed during global economic hardship, domestic politics, Trump collective salvation the G20 in India could be a

place where compromises are made. The war in Ukraine would be in its 19th month, and by then battlefield realities hard to ignore despite Putin's new

threats of a long war.

ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATES: This will end and it will end almost certainly with diplomacy within negotiation. But what I think we

have to see is a just and durable piece. Not a phony piece.


ROBERTSON (voice over): The big diplomatic question for 2023, how to get Putin to agree? The answer may lie in the soaring food and energy costs

triggered by the war. If the global situation worsens, collective pressure for some kind of peace will increase the test of 2023 what to do if Putin

ignores the warnings? Nic Robertson, CNN, London.


ANDERSON: Up to speed on some of the other stories that are on our radar right now. And an Iranian woman has participated in an international chess

tournament without a hijab. Sarah Kadim (ph) played at a tournament in Kazakhstan the hijab mandatory under Iran's dress code, of course, several

other Iranian women have also removed their hijab at recent international events in presumed shows of support for anti-government protests back at

home in Iran.

You're looking at pictures of the latest SpaceX launch in Cape Canaveral in Florida. Today's Falcon Nine Rocket launched at 54 Starlink Satellites into

Earth's lower orbit. Now these satellites will expand the company's ability to provide internet to places where ground based internet isn't available.

And Tennis Star Novak Djokovic is back in Australia almost a year after he was deported for not being vaccinated against COVID-19. The Serbian world

number five is getting ready for a tournament next week in Adelaide as well as next month's big one the Australian Open. Djokovic was allowed back into

the country after the government recently overturned the decision to cancel his visa. Australia's strict COVID policies have since been lifted.


CRAIG TILEY, TENNIS AUSTRALIA CEO: Well, Novak nine time champion we're welcome him back to Australia. I have a great deal of confidence in the

Australian public. I think we have - we're very well educated sporting public, particularly those that comes to tennis.

They love their tennis. They love seeing greatness. They love seeing great athleticism, great matches. And I have a lot of confidence that the fans

will react like we hope they would react and have respect for that.


ANDERSON: Well, Djokovic himself is seeking his 10th Australian Open Title more than anyone else in history. He is also hoping to tie Rafael Nadal's

record 22 Grand Slam wins.

Well, migrants looking to call America home will have to wait after the U.S. Supreme Court kept the restrictive policy Title 42 in place at least

for now. The Trump era policy put in effect during the early days of the pandemic allows border agents to expel migrants to their home countries in

the name of COVID prevention.

Well, the U.S. Supreme Court will allow Title 42 to remain while legal challenges play out. In El Paso, Texas officials have been preparing for a

surge of migrants. CNN's Leyla Santiago joins us from El Paso, where thousands are Leyla, quite frankly, waiting in limbo.

Let's talk about those who you've been speaking to today. We can talk about what the City of El Paso has been doing, to try and cope. But this is a

story about people oftentimes who have traveled thousands and thousands of miles, what are they telling you?

LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you know one family I spoke to said we'd been through nine different countries over three different months to

get to this moment. And now, uncertainty, you know, there's a lack of trust, a lot of fear of what may come in the future.

So let me kind of show you where I am. This is a church that also serves as a shelter with plenty of beds at night for many of the migrants. But

migrants are continuing to come by the hour. I mean, I spoke to one family who said they just got in last night not in time to get into the shelter.

So they along with two year old twins slept on the sidewalk last night and with blankets provided by the Red Cross. You know, when you speak to them,

you can clearly feel the anxiety and really you know, they're seeking understanding they have a hard time understanding what exactly this will

mean for them?

And what they will be able to do with their children over the next few days, weeks or months, many fearing that they could be sent back to Mexico

where they've been sharing some stories that I can only describe as nightmares and their experiences with some of the cartels there on the


So there's a lot of uncertainty, a lot of nuance that they are trying to work through and figure out the details of what this will mean for them in

terms of impact. And that's not far off as you mentioned, Becky, from what the city of El Paso is right now doing trying to read into that fine print

and figure out exactly how they will move forward.


SANTIAGO: Now I can tell you they had a contingency plan before this announcement came through this decision from the Supreme Court. And they

are moving forward with that plan despite the decision that was made and announced yesterday because they still expect to see more migrants coming


Because on the other side of the border, as CNN has reported, there are tens of thousands of migrants waiting in Matamoros and Reynosa and - just

on the other side of El Paso waiting to try to get in.

Another thing that many of the migrants will tell you are that they wanted to come in legally. They wanted to turn themselves in and be processed

legally through the system. But that Title 42 just does not allow that. And for that reason, many of them say they're coming in wherever they can on

the border.

So we continue to see the sidewalks lined with many of the migrants. There is some law enforcement presence here are actually kind of bring you around

to show you. We this - police car just arrived here and you can see some of the migrants kind of moving around wondering what will happen next?

I've got to say I've not seen that yet before. But this adds, again, to the uncertainty, the anxiety. I mean, the city will tell you that NGO shelters

will take and have enough capacity for a lot of the migrants including migrants like this, but they fear getting onto any sort of bus or

transportation because of the uncertainty not knowing where they will end up not knowing where they will go, Becky?

ANDERSON: Leyla Santiago, thank you. Fascinating, and one can only hope that this sort of limbo these men, women and kids, and you can see a lot of

kids there are in we'll close out sometime soon. We'll stay on the story. Thank you.

Up next, Cuba has opened up a new kind of tourist industry underwater. CNN's Patrick Oppmann and his crew goes swimming with sharks. We'll ask

TikTok about the sweat from some U.S. government devices why? Well, we are live in Washington with more on that up next.


ANDERSON: Will start that again. Welcome back firstly! The U.S. House will no longer allow the video app TikTok on any congressional electronic

devices. Users are being asked to remove the software. The memo sent to the house staff calls the Chinese owned app "A high risk to users due to a

number of security risks". Let's get you to CNN's Technology Reporter Brian Fung in Washington what do you make of this Brian?


BRIAN FUNG, CNN'S TECHNOLOGY REPORTER: Well Becky, this is just the latest blow to TikTok. In what we've seen as a number of blows to the company, you

know, as it's tried to negotiate its way into staying operational in the United States.

As you saw this internal notice went to House staff and said it was effective immediately, and anyone who has TikTok on their devices will be

asked to remove it. The House is not the only government organization to do this already the Department of Homeland Security, the military and the

White House has all restricted this app from their services, citing security concerns.

But it also comes as Congress is set to ban TikTok more widely across all U.S. government devices. And that's expected to go in effect within days,

just as soon as President Joe Biden signs the $1.7 trillion omnibus spending package that was passed by Congress last week.

Now what's driving all this? It's the bipartisan security concerns that people have leveled against TikTok. Concerns that the Chinese government

could try to pressure TikTok or its parent company ByteDance into handing over the U.S. user data to the Chinese government.

Which policymakers say could be, you know, a potential security risk because it could allow China to engage in intelligence operations or spread

disinformation on TikTok using its algorithm.

Of course TikTok says these efforts to ban the app from government devices are just political and it doesn't help address the underlying national

security concerns. TikTok has been negotiating with the U.S. government on a potential deal that would allow it to stay operational in the United

States. But of course, we've not seen any significant progress on that front Becky.

ANDERSON: Quarter to 12 nearly midday in Washington, Brian, thank you. Well, from conservation to tourism. Cuba's bull sharks not only beautiful

and essential to the environment, they're also attracting visitors to the country. CNN's Patrick Oppmann heads the Coast of Cuba for a new

perspective on what are these underwater predators?


PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Usually they are the last thing you want to see in the ocean. But sharks are the reason why we have

come here to the waters off eastern Cuba. We're hoping to see the predators up close and with no cage.

Local guides say this is the only place in Cuba perhaps one of only a handful in the world where divers can safely swim alongside bull sharks. We

are taking them at their word, praying the sharks had a big breakfast.

Bull sharks are considered some of the most aggressive in the world. But the ones we see mostly curious, swimming around me for a closer look before

gliding away. Guide - says they want to teach visitors to respect sharks and to protect them. The shark is the perfect machine the perfect predator

he says.

It's inspiring, emotional and satisfying to interact with them. Marine biologists say robust shark populations are necessary to maintain healthy

coral reefs. In 2015, Cuba placed restrictions on shark fishing. What have an increasing number of countries in the Caribbean to realize that sharks

are not only important to the environment, but a way to track visitors?

OPPMANN (on camera): People in the Caribbean used to commonly catch and kill sharks, either for food or because they were considered a nuisance.

But warmer countries in this region are now taking steps to protect sharks. It's not just about conservation. Shark tourism visitors specifically

coming to a country to dive with sharks can generate millions of dollars in revenue.

OPPMANN (voice over): Just before her first dive with sharks, Canadian Tourist Carrie (ph) tells us she's been terrified of them ever since seeing


CARRIE PREVOST, DRIVING WITH SHARKS: I watched the movie very young. And I was even afraid to swimming pools let alone the ocean. So this is a

challenge to overcome.

OPPMANN (voice over): Guide spear fish to attract the sharks but are careful to use the minimum bait necessary. They say they've never had an

attack involving a client or guide. And that people come to dive here gain a new perspective on sharks.

It's the myth of the shark being dangerous a man eater that is aggressive he says. Then you manage to see a shark a meter and a half away from you

and when you come out of the water, they say this is the best dive of my life.

The sharks we swim with are undeniably powerful, and also incredibly beautiful. At the top of the food chain, but never seeming to threaten us.

And they said the shot of adrenaline in your arm they were not kidding nobody admit to being afraid but they're very impressive creatures that

there are now more and more reasons to try and protect Patrick Oppmann, Cuba.



ANDERSON: Well, coming up on a roll in the streets of Abu Dhabi, a look at the twists and turns of the role of - here in the UAE.


ANDERSON: Right. Well, as the countdown to the New Year begins, the New Year's Eve Ball in Times Square is getting a sparkling makeover. Almost 200

New Waterford Crystal Triangles have been added to the Ball each of them cut by hand. This year's theme is cuts on both sides of the panes.


TOM BRENNAN, MASTER ARTISAN, WATERFORD CRYSTAL: Each and every year a brand new theme or brand new cut pattern. And this is actually one of the

triangles here from this ball behind me so I can drop this because it's got to go up right here.

And you can see this intertwining beautiful love hearts on this cut on both sides, designed by Irish craftsmen and this is what's really special about

this. And this is part of this brand new theme greatest gift the gift of love.


ANDERSON: Gorgeous isn't it? And for the first time since before the pandemic revelers in Times Square in the New Year with no COVID

restrictions and a quick programming note from CNN. You will be able to celebrate the New Year this weekend with us. We'll feature special coverage

from across Asia, Middle East Africa, Europe, Latin America, the United States and even the Metaverse as the world welcomes in 2023 with New Year's

Eve live.

Join us as we cover New Year here in Dubai that is 11 pm local time and for our coverage. Well, you can see what it still says Sydney 12 am and then

through the day you can as I say catch me beginning at 11 pm UAE time 2 pm Eastern to being the New Year. Hope to have you with us.

Well, earlier this month, we wrapped up the 2022 CNN Academy here in Abu Dhabi. The Journalism Training Program empowers participants with the tools

of storytelling and gives them a chance to learn from CNN journalists from around the world.

And this year for their final projects students were asked to shoot an engaging story using just their mobile phones. So for tonight's parting

shots, a story from Mohamed Jehad Al Alawi rollerblading here in Abu Dhabi.


JEHAD AL ALAWI: I'm Jehad Al Alawi a resident from Abu Dhabi. Madrollers is a club here in Abu Dhabi. What has just made me love this sport more is Abu

Dhabi which combines its own beauty with the beauty of this as each corner of Abu Dhabi reminds me of my --.



ANDRSON: Superb and shot on a mobile phone. That's it from us. "One World" with Eleni Giokos is up next.