Return to Transcripts main page
Connect the World
Brazilians Bid Farewell To Pele With A 24-Hour Wake; Newly Inaugurated President Lula Will Attend Pele's Wake; Body Of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI Lies In State At Vatican; Apparent Ukrainian Strike On Russian Military In Donetsk; Ukrainians In Bucha Hope The Conflict Will End In 2023; Growing Number Of Countries Restrict Travelers From China. Aired 10- 11a ET
Aired January 02, 2023 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ELENI GIOKOS, CNN ANCHOR: Saying goodbye to a football legend, 24-hour wake begins in Pele's hometown one day before the funeral.
The late Pope Benedict XVI is lying in space at the Vatican for mourners to pay their last respect.
And as COVID infections surge in China, more countries impose restrictions and tests on Chinese travelers. We are live in Hong Kong.
I'm Eleni Giokos. Hello and welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD. We're live from Dubai. Now, Brazilians and the world are bidding farewell to a football
legend who transcended his sport. A 24-hour public wake for Pele is underway in Santos, Brazil, ahead of his funeral tomorrow. The coffin
bearing Pele's body is at the center of the pitch in the stadium where he shot to football stardom, captivating a nation and becoming a global
Pele was just 17, where he helped lead Brazil to the first of what would be three World Cup titles during his playing career. Brazil's newly sworn in
president will attend Pele's wake, though it's not clear he will be there for later today or for Tuesday. We are monitoring that.
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva took the oath of office for a third term as President Sunday after defeating Jair Bolsonaro in the October presidential
election. We've been covering Pele's wake with Stefano Pozzebon inside the stadium in Santos and Brazil's leadership change with Julia Vargas Jones
outside the stadium.
Stefano, I want to come to you first. I mean, a final goodbye to Pele and we're seeing fans lining the streets. And his Hearst will be in the very
stadium where he scored some of the most memorable goals. What are we seeing ahead of the funeral?
STEFANO POZZEBON, CNN JOURNALIST: Yes, Eleni. I let Julia talk a little bit more about what Pele have represented for Brazilian and for the Brazilian
people she is outside with. Here in the stadium, we really are witnessing this striking moment, Eleni, where the final farewell, the final goodbye is
happening in a place where he gave so much joy to his fans. He scored the vast majority of his 1,281 professional goals in the stadium.
It's still quite an old stadium. It's not one of the right new ones that we have seen, for example, for the World Cup. This is a stadium that you feel
witness history. It's definitely as old as Pele himself. And it's striking to be here inside where everything is quiet, everything is really
There is just a low samba on the background and the fans lining up one by one to pay their respect. And we're also seeing a few of the VIPs who are
expected throughout today and tomorrow to say goodbye. The first one that we could see was the FIFA President, Gianni Infantino, who arrived straight
after the doors of the stadium opened at 10:00 a. m. local time.
But really, I think my reflection on this moment is the two dimensions of Pele that you can probably see them, there are two tents behind my back.
And on one side, you see the general public coming in and that's regular people from Santos, from Brazil saying goodbye to their star.
And on the other side, from the further side, from where I am, it's another tent that is for authorities and VIP. So that is sort of this double
dimension of this funeral. A state -- almost like a state funeral with authorities from all over the world and the head of state coming in to pay
And on the other side, the people from Santos, the people who knew Pele, the people who grew up watching Pele's matches and scoring so many goals
and giving so much joy.
And I'm sure Julia can talk a little bit more about what it meant to have these global icon of the game as she grew up in Brazil. Eleni?
GIOKOS: Yes. Stefano, I mean, I'm seeing those banners. We're seeing the lines, the cues of people trying to get in, celebrating a giant of a man,
someone that certainly transcended sports.
We do have Julia standing by for us. And I just want to touch on the fact that the new president just sworn in, Lula da Silva. He has paid tribute to
Pele. But importantly, some of the messaging has been interesting, right, in terms of wanting to overturn some of the policies of his predecessor,
whether it's climate change, whether it's the social element as well.
And it's coming at a really pivotal moment while Brazilians are focused on the legacy of Pele and what he stood for, it feels like a sea change of
things coming. Could you tell me what you're hearing and what, you know, the big message has been from the newly sworn in president?
JULIA VARGAS JONES, CNN PRODUCER: Yes, Eleni, for sure. It's been a very busy few days for Brazil. Think about this. On Thursday, we lost Pele. On
Friday, former President Jair Bolsonaro fled the country -- left the country, I should say, without really explaining why. And then on Saturday,
big New Year's Eve celebration here.
And then on Sunday, a new president is sworn in. And today, we have the wake of Pele. It's just been nonstop. So you're right, the attention has
been divided among all these different topics. But Lula got to work quite quickly today. He already reverted some of the policies from President Jair
Bolsonaro. He enacted tougher gun control laws and making harder to buy and carry guns in this country.
He's also reversed some of the policies that will protect the Amazon, making it easier for Brazilian environmental authorities to pursue
environmental crimes. It's something that Jair Bolsonaro had tried to move away from. And most importantly, he -- Lula is returning to his battle
against poverty and hunger.
This is a topic very dear to his heart, and it's what he tried to do when he was in office up until 2010. Now, of course, he's coming into a very
different Brazil than he left -- when he left office in 2010. It's a country that has much higher levels of poverty, extremely high inequality,
and in a sluggish economy.
Now, moving on to today, he is expected to come to the wake. We're not sure if that will be today or if that will be tomorrow. Lula is meeting with
various world leaders again, bringing Brazil back into the world stage. But also, he will need to stay with his people.
This is Lula's state. He built his political career in the state of Sao Paulo, and this is where Pele is from as well. They are both heroes of the
state. I want to show you a little bit of this line. It doesn't stop. There have been people coming in and it's moving. It hasn't stopped moving.
People are coming in and we're talking to them. They're telling us, you know, I saw Pele play in the stadium with my dad. I want to introduce you
to this man, 68 years old. This is Pedro. He is from 2,000 kilometers away from the city of Salvador. And he's here today because he tells me it's
just -- he couldn't miss it.
(Speaking Foreign Language)
PEDRO: (Speaking Foreign Language)
JONES: So he's -- basically, he had -- he felt the obligation to come, to pay his respects because of everything that Pele made not just for the game
and for Brazil, but for the world. Like, there is no other way. He's saying he had to be here today, had to be present in this moment.
(Speaking Foreign Language)
You said there was a little bit of sadness earlier. (Speaking Foreign Language).
PEDRO: (Speaking Foreign Language)
JONES: So he's saying there is -- this insane sadness of his loss, of his not being here. And it's sad to see him laying in a casket and not playing
in the stadium. He told me everybody is feeling the same sadness and this is the feeling that is contagious around here, not just the sadness as well
as the joy for his legacy. Eleni?
GIOKOS: Well, he transcended sports, he just transcended borders, touched so many people's lives. Thank you very much, Julia Vargas Jones and Stefano
Pozzebon for that update.
Mourners are also lining up to pay their respects to former Pope Benedict XVI. He's lying-in-state began earlier in St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican
City. The Vatican says Benedict died on Saturday at the age of 95. He was the first pontiff in almost 600 years to resign his position, instead of
holding office for life.
Benedict's funeral will be led by his successor, Pope Francis, on Thursday. We're live in Rome from St. Peter's Square with CNN's Fred Pleitgen. Fred,
what is the latest and how are people characterizing the Pope's legacy?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Eleni. Well, I was -- I've been saying throughout the day that thousands of people
have been coming by and paying their respects to the Pope Emeritus, to Benedict XVI. And I've actually now learned that it's tens of thousands of
people who have come by.
The Vatican has just come out with numbers saying that as of 02:00 p.m. local time here in Rome, and of course, the Vatican as well, which is about
two hours ago, they sort of give regular updates on this. 40,000 people have gone past here and then gone inside St. Peter's Basilica to then pay
their final respects to Pope Benedict XVI.
So as you can see, there is a great outpouring here in Rome. We're seeing a lot of folks here from Rome itself and from Italy coming here, but also
some folks who've seem from Germany as well. Obviously, the Pope was a German national, someone who was also very much attached to his homeland in
And I think if you look back at the legacy of Pope Benedict XVI, obviously, the one big thing that he will be remembered for is the fact that he
decided to take that step, to step down, to resign, because he felt that he was not strong enough anymore, both his body and his mind. To leave the
church in times when it was, of course, very troubled.
And we had a lot of these scandals surrounding abuse, for instance. And there are a lot of critics who said that Pope Benedict did not do enough to
address a lot of those cases, not just when he was Pope, but also in the time before that, when he was, of course, one of the most powerful people
inside the Vatican here since the early 80s.
But he also acknowledged in the final months of his life that mistakes were made when he was the Archbishop of Munich in the late 70s and early 80s as
well. And it was quite interesting because he put out -- or a letter that he wrote was released after his death, where he begged for forgiveness for
all of those that he had wrong. So he acknowledged that he had made mistakes in his life.
It was -- it's very hard to say whether or not he was speaking just about that segment of abuse, but whether or not he was speaking about other
things as well. He didn't further elaborate on that, but certainly, so that he realized that he had committed sins, that he was not a complete person
and he did beg for forgiveness for that.
So right now, people that you're seeing here in Rome, many of them just say they want to pay their respect. But I think one thing that we have to keep
in mind, Eleni, is that he was one of the most important figures inside the Vatican for decades. Not just as Pope, but before that as well. And so,
certainly, inside the walls that you see behind me there, a big era is coming to an end.
GIOKOS: Yes, indeed. Fred Pleitgen, thank you.
Ukraine's New Year began as the same way the previous one ended, with a wave of Russian missile and drone attacks. The Ukrainian military says
dozens of drones were shot down overnight. The shelling damaged critical infrastructure, causing power outages and disrupting some heat supplies.
Kyiv authorities are urging residents to reduce their electricity use. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy used his first address of the year to
underline the sense of unity in Ukraine. He said Russia is united only by fear.
We're also getting reports of a Ukrainian strike in the Russian occupied Donetsk region. It appears to have killed a large number of Russian troops.
CNN's Ben Wedeman joins me now live from the Ukrainian capital. Ben, good to see you. Look, the New Year Eve bombardment on Ukraine, it's notable
because it has been absolutely relentless in the lead up to the New Year. Could you give me a sense of the latest news and specifically the targets?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the targets, according to Ukrainian officials, have included energy infrastructure here
in Kyiv. Basically, out of the last five days, four have seen fairly significant strikes, many of them using these Iranian made Shahed 135
drones that explode upon impact.
Two people have been killed over the weekend from the strikes on New Year's Eve. Dozens have been wounded. But, of course, now everybody has their eyes
on reports of this strike on Makiivka which is in the Russian controlled part of the Donetsk region.
Now, according to the -- to Russian sources, including the Task News Agency, as many as 63 Russian soldiers were killed in that strike on a
vocational school. Ukrainian officials say as many as 300 Russian soldiers were killed and 400 wounded.
According to Russian military bloggers who are reporting on this incident, one of the reasons for the high casualty numbers is because the vocational
school where these soldiers were being billeted was also where a large amount of ammunition was being stored. Eleni?
GIOKOS: Yes. Ben, you've been covering some of the stories of resilience through this entire period of bombardment and relentless shelling. How are
Ukrainians feeling now? It is notable, of course, that President Zelenskyy says Ukrainians must remain united. I want you to tell me about some of the
stories you've been hearing.
WEDEMAN: I mean, I can tell you, Eleni, yesterday we were strolling around Kyiv and this was just hours after yet another strike on the capital. And
the streets were full of people. Restaurants and cafes were full of people. In the parks, we saw families strolling around, children playing.
It's amazing just how resilient people are given these circumstances. And we went to Bucha, the site of some, what it by all accounts, were war
crimes. And we saw one small group of people who are trying to make a difference in their own way.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): The daily bread has a special meaning in this Bucha bakery. No machines here. Yaroslav (ph) kneads the dough by hand. Outside,
Andri (ph) chops firewood for the oven at a time when waves of Russian strikes have crippled Ukraine's power grid.
The old ways are proving to be handy. Yuri used to pass his days glued to a screen at his I.T. job, war has brought him back to what matters most.
YURI BOYKO, BAKER: What's happened right now in Ukraine it's affecting all the world and people becoming more conscious and more grateful for
everything they have right now in their lives.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): Bucha outside Kyiv suffered through a brutal Russian occupation and was the scene of what investigators say were war crimes.
Vyacheslav, a regular customer appreciates the bread and the spirit of those who make it.
VYACHESLAV, BUCHA RESIDENT: They are nice guys. Nice small business. I remember right after liberation of Bucha, they started baking bread and
even providing this bread for free to those in need.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): They also provide bread and traditional pastries for those far from home and in harm's way.
(on-camera): Some of these loaves are destined for soldiers, a little something extra that will make their New Year's Eve that much more special.
(voice-over): Simple reminders of the holiday season hang over their work. The memories of recent nightmares are still fresh and the specter of more
Russian attacks loom large. Celebrations will be muted.
In other parts of the world, people can count on comfort in waiting for nice fireworks, Yaroslav (ph) tells me. We're worried about fireworks from
our neighbors. Irina's (ph) wish for the new year is simple. We hope it will be better, she says. We hope the war will end.
One cannot live on bread alone. Hope is also needed.
WEDEMAN: And Eleni, if you get a chance, I do suggest you go visit that bakery in Bucha.
GIOKOS: Well, Ben, I have to say that we were admiring how good that bread looks. Hopefully, someday we can all get there during peaceful times. Ben
Wedeman, thank you so very much for your story. And thank you for covering this important story over New Year's Eve. You and your team, much
appreciated for the work you're doing.
All right, China is trying to get back to normal after ending its zero- COVID policy. But the abrupt change could mean 1 million deaths. How the world is responding to the outbreak.
And later, a powerful storm moves into the central U.S. after causing widespread flooding in California.
GIOKOS: Welcome back. Now, the list of nations clamping down on travelers from China is growing. Starting Tuesday, Qatar will require a 48-hour
negative PCR test. The Gulf states announcement comes a day after Morocco said it will ban all visitors from China, regardless of their nationality.
The U.S., England, France, Australia, South Korea, Japan and other nations require travelers from China to show proof of a negative COVID test. This
is all in response to China's biggest surge in infections since the abrupt end of its zero-COVID policy.
CNN's Ivan Watson is tracking the story from Hong Kong and the list, of course, of countries imposing these travel restrictions growing, Ivan. And
China also being offered assistance. Could you give me a sense of what we know about the surge in cases and also how the government is dealing with
the current situation?
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Sure. Well, the COVID is tearing through the country right now. According to some Chinese
experts, the peak has been passed in places like Shanghai. But just anecdotally, we're hearing from our friends and our colleagues in places
like Beijing and Shanghai that they've been sick with COVID in the last couple of weeks.
And everybody they know has also been sick, to the extent that one person described it being very common to walkdown the street in Shanghai and see
people coughing or to go to a movie to see Avatar too and hear people coughing all throughout the movie. The suggestion being that everybody
seems to be getting over this bug.
On the one hand, there's new found freedom. After all, the lockdowns of the past years have been lifted. People got to party on New Year's Eve. On the
flip side, there are severe illnesses as well that are overwhelming some hospitals.
Look at this footage from a lobby at one Shanghai hospital. Anecdotally, we're hearing about crematoriums being overwhelmed, funeral homes being
overwhelmed as well. And the experts are saying that the peak has not yet hit the less well served rural parts of China yet. And the lunar New Year
holiday is coming up.
There are concerns about transparency and sharing of vital data by the Chinese government and that's been raised by the World Health Organization,
which said that its representatives met with high level Chinese health officials on Friday.
And the WHO put out this statement saying that they again asked for regular sharing of specific and real-time data on the epidemiological situation.
They want more genetic sequencing data, more data on the disease impact, including hospitalizations, ICU admissions and deaths, and data on
vaccinations delivered and vaccination status.
The worry is that as the virus continues to rip through the world's most populous country with tens of millions of infections daily, potentially,
that you could have new variants evolve that could threaten global health. And that brings us to the growing list of governments that are demanding
negative COVID tests from travelers from China.
China has been in self-imposed isolation for years now. On the 8th of this month, the Chinese government says it's no longer going to demand
quarantines for inbound travel. But now, outbound travelers are seeing that a growing list of countries are saying, hey, you've got to test negative
for COVID before you come to our territory. And one country, Morocco, is saying no travelers from China are allowed in for the time being. Eleni?
GIOKOS: Wow. Ivan, yes, really interesting. I think the rest of the world had been through these surges, right? So, it's a big unknown, as you say, a
population, the size of China, what that could mean globally. Thank you very much for that update.
All right, coming up, a major development in a murder case that has gripped --
WATSON: Thank you.
GIOKOS: -- the U.S. for weeks. A suspect in the killings of four university students arrested, thousands of kilometers away, could face charges within
And after devastating California, this powerful storm is threatening millions of Americans in other states. We'll have more on the severe
weather coming up.
GIOKOS: Welcome back. I'm Eleni Giokos in Dubai, and you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.
A man suspected of stabbing four university students to death in the U.S. is expected to be taken back to Idaho this week, where the killings took
place. Brian Kohberger is facing four counts of first-degree murder. Authorities arrested him Friday in his home state of Pennsylvania more than
six weeks after the fatal stabbing.
CNN's Veronica Miracle has been following this case for us. She now joins us from Moscow, Idaho. Veronica, what do we know about the suspect? And
also, we've heard from the family as well.
What is the latest?
VERONICA MIRACLE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Eleni, we know that the suspect was a Washington State University graduate student. We're here at the
University of Idaho and Washington State University is just about 20 minutes from here, so it's very close in proximity.
He's a 28-year-old who's currently being held in Pennsylvania. And through his public defender, his family has now released a statement saying, in
part, that they support the legal process, they support their son and brother, and that they say, "we have fully cooperated with law enforcement
agencies in an attempt to seek the truth and promote his presumption of innocence rather than judge unknown facts and make erroneous assumptions."
They also say that they are praying for the four families who have lost their loved ones. So in Pennsylvania, a very difficult time for one family.
Here in Moscow, Idaho, the community, though, is feeling such incredible relief. It was nearly seven weeks this investigation took place.
And throughout the entire time, the Moscow police department, it is a very small police department in this small, rural college town here, they've
received a lot of criticism because they did not release a lot of information, actually nearly any information throughout the investigation,
the entire time they said they were doing it to protect the integrity of the investigation.
And now the police chief says that he is receiving calls from people apologizing for criticizing them, for doubting them throughout this
process. He says he would do it all over again in the exact same way because they have achieved an arrest.
Now, the next step that they're looking for is a conviction, which is why they have kept their tip line open. They want to speak to anyone who has
had contact with the suspect, Bryan Kohberger, here in this community and even across the country, anybody who knows him, so they can get -- paint a
better picture of exactly who this person is.
Here's what the police chief had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES FRY, MOSCOW, IDAHO POLICE CHIEF: Now we're at a new point. Now we know who we're looking at. We want information on that individual. We want
that updated information so that we can start building that picture now. Every tip matters. Everything -- every piece matters. So we just want, you
know, our community and the nation to continue to send us that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MIRACLE: And Eleni, the Moscow police chief said this exact same thing at the press conference on Friday when they had announced that arrest. And
within one hour of that press conference, he tells me they received 400 calls into their tip lines specifically about Bryan Kohberger. Eleni?
GIOKOS: Yes. Veronica Miracle, thank you very much for that update.
Well, a storm system that's causing life-threatening flooding in the western U.S. is moving east, putting more than 15 million people under
winter weather alerts. At least two people were killed by flooding in parts of California over the weekend. Camila Bernal has more.
CAMILA BERNAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Record breaking rain across California, leaving at least two dead and many stranded.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The water kept getting deeper and deeper.
BERNAL (voice-over): In Sacramento County, an estimated 40 people rescued from their cars, according to a local fire official. Here's a view from
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's amazing how strong it is, how strong the flowing water is.
BERNAL (voice-over): Others were told to evacuate or shelter in place.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've been here about six years, and that's the deep -- that's worst and it's ever been.
BERNAL (voice-over): The storm system causing significant flooding in urban areas and leaving creeks and rivers in Northern California overflowing.
GABRIEL COKE, WATSONVILLE, CALIFORNIA RESIDENT: When you see the water moving this quick and rising like this, it's a little unsettling.
BERNAL (voice-over): On Saturday, 4.75 inches of rain fell in a 24-hour period in Oakland, the wettest day on record. Roads were so impacted that
the National Weather Service said closures were too many to count.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I opened one of my gates, there was so much water, it was gushing in. It knocked me over.
BERNAL (voice-over): Thousands were also left without power Saturday and Sunday. And while crews worked to restore power, the overall cleanup could
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is crazy. I've never seen it so deep here.
GIOKOS: All right, thank you to Camila Bernal for that report.
And still to come, fame is a fickle friend, as Novak Djokovic found out last year. But it hasn't stopped the tennis star who wants a rematch down
And kids love to prank their parents. But some say one new trend has gotten completely out of hand. Details on that story when we come back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS: Well done to the team for that mashup. Those are musical legends. You were just listening to three of the top voices from Rolling Stones new
list of the 200 best singers of all time. Topping the list Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Sam Cooke, Billie Holiday and Mariah Carey.
Not on the list anywhere, Celine Dion, though Ozzy Osbourne made it at 112, Celine's fans were obviously outraged and wondered why the Canadian singer
was snubbed. But the magazine says it ranked the greatest singers, not necessarily the greatest voices, with Beyonce ranked at number eight.
The criteria used by the Rolling Stones was originality, influenced, depth of their catalog, and breadth of their musical legacy. With Prince and
Elvis Presley in the top 20. Of course, there's plenty of room for debate on that. I'm trying to figure out what metrics they used, especially if you
are a fan of Taylor Swift, who is at number 102. Maybe she should be higher. Who knows?
All right, so you can tell me what you think. You can tweet me, at EleniGiokos is my handle. Let me know your favorite singer of all time.
Take a look at the 200 list and what you think. I'd love to hear from you.
All right, so a new string of viral videos is drawing a lot of criticism. The popular posts on TikTok show kids pranking their parents by pretending
a famous celebrity has died. Have a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Holy -- Allison Janney dead at 63.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. No. Oh, my God.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: George Clooney dead at 61.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. Don't tell it to me like that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You all.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kris Jenner dead at 67.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh men.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS: Well, actress Angela Bassett fell victim when her son told her that her Black Panther co-star Michael B. Jordan died.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SLATER VANCE, ANGELA BASSETT'S SON: Wait, mom, dad, did you hear this? Michael B. Jordan dead at 35? 35. 35.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're playing.
ANGELA BASSETT, ACTRESS: What? What, what, what?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS: Bassett's son later posted an apology video calling the trend disrespectful and saying he hopes his mistake. Will be a lesson to other
would-be pranksters. CNN Entertainment Reporter Chloe Melas is following the story for us.
Of all the trends I've seen on TikTok, this has to be one of the most depressing and it was bound to go wrong at some point.
CHLOE MELAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER: Well, look, I mean, a lot of TikTok trend friends have gone wrong last year and we're kicking off the
New Year with one that really has the internet divided. Hundreds of millions of views on TikToks with this celebrity death prank, with kids of
all ages trying to elicit reactions from their loved ones, like you said, by saying that their favorite celebrity had passed away.
And Angela Bassett's son Slater, who is only 16 years old, he did post an apology, which you mentioned, and we have a little bit of that. Take a
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VANCE: I apologize to Michael B. Jordan's entire family, his extending family and him directly, as he is an idol of mine. And taking part in a
trend like this is completely disrespectful. And I hope this can be a teaching lesson to anyone else who uses social media as a tool and a source
of entertainment to truly understand that your actions can have consequences that extend beyond you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELAS: No one should be joking about deaths of anyone, you know? And, of course, you know, some of the reactions, they're, you know, sometimes funny
to see. And that's what a lot of people are saying of the camp that is supporting this. Other saying, it's just a TikTok trend, what's the harm?
But really, it is serious.
And some people are saying that TikTok should be posting disclaimers and warning people about the content before they watch these videos. I was
reading this morning on Newsweek saying that these videos have been viewed billions of times, although the hashtag shows about 200 million views with
the hashtag celebrity death prank.
But, you know, look, I'm definitely at the camp of not supporting it.
GIOKOS: Yes. I mean, as you say, death is not something to joke about. I want to talk about Jeremy Renner because he had a snowplow accident. Could
you tell me how he's doing? Do we have any news on that? What's the latest?
MELAS: Yes. So we've just heard from Jeremy's representative who says that he is in critical but stable condition. He's surrounded by his family and
getting excellent care right now. Here is what we know. We know that over the weekend, medical professionals were called to his home for an
emergency. His representative said it has something to do with an accident involving a snow plow.
He lives in Nevada. He's known to own snow plows. He's constantly posting videos of himself at his home, you know, plowing his driveway, plowing
driveways and streets of neighbors nearby. There's been unprecedented snowfall in the area, but we don't know exactly what led to the accident.
We don't know exactly how or where he was injured, but we do know that he's in stable condition.
We're hoping to get more details, but we do know from authorities, a press release that came out that he was actually airlifted from his home to a
hospital to receive medical attention. So the story is developing. Really scary, but, you know, glad to hear that he is stable and that he should
make it through this.
GIOKOS: Yes. All right, Chloe Melas, good to see you. Thank you so much for that update.
MELAS: Thank you.
GIOKOS: We are going to a very short break. We've got the sports updates after this. Stay with CNN.