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Ukrainian Attack on Russian Barracks Kills 89 Soldiers; U.S. House Paralyzed as McCarthy Faces Hardline GOP Revolt; WHO Asks China for "Rapid, Regular and Reliable" Data; Thousands of Rohingyas Fleeing Desperate Conditions in Refugee Camps; University of Idaho Murder Suspect Waives Extradition, Faces Charges in Idaho; NFL's Damar Hamlin Remains in Critical Condition; January Heat Records Smashed across Europe. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired January 04, 2023 - 10:00   ET





UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This would represent one of the worst Russian losses in a single episode of war.

ELENI GIOKOS, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Anger intensifies in Moscow as Ukraine claims another devastating hit on Russian troops. We

are live in Kyiv. Plus --



REP. MATT GAETZ (R-FL): If you want to drain the swamp, you cannot put the biggest alligator in charge of the exercise.

GIOKOS (voice-over): A Republican leader, Kevin McCarthy, wants to be U.S. House Speaker. But some of his colleagues are blocking his attempts. What

will happen next on Capitol Hill. Also --



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).

GIOKOS (voice-over): Drifting at sea without food or water for a month. Many Rohingya refugees died on this boat. CNN talks to one survivor about a

tragedy that could have been avoided.



GIOKOS: I'm Eleni Giokos, hello and welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD. We are live from Dubai.

Russia is now upping the death toll and casting blame in what the Kremlin says is the deadliest single attack on its forces during its war in

Ukraine. Russia's defense ministry now says 89 soldiers were killed in the New Year's on a military barracks in a Russian occupied region of Donetsk.

The military says Ukraine was able to trace the location of the barracks, due to quote, "mass use of cell phones by soldiers."

Ukraine says the death toll from that attack was much higher. Scott McLean is connecting us this hour from the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.

Scott, look, despite the Kremlin's death toll being remarkably lower than what we are hearing from the Ukrainians, this is the biggest, deadliest

attack that Russian officials have confirmed. Also interesting that there is a big blame game happening by Russians and how the Ukrainians found this


SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Eleni, look it is pretty remarkable to blame Russian soldiers for their own deaths, especially when they haven't

even been buried yet or, in many cases, very likely haven't even been pulled out of the rubble of this destruction of this vocational school or

perhaps haven't even been properly identified.

Yet the Russian ministry of defense put up the statement, saying there will be an investigation but the conclusion is already pretty clear. It was the

mass use of cell phones, despite a ban on soldiers using them that close to the front line, that allowed the Ukrainians to easily track their precise


The Ukrainian military says the cell phones during the front line are generally a bad idea, they said that wasn't what led them to this position.

They say it was ultimately the Russians' inability to covertly deploy some of their conscripts to the front lines.

Russia says officers who allowed this to happen will be held accountable. But frankly, that may not be possible for all of them. Russia has already

conceded that a deputy commander was among those killed.



MCLEAN (voice-over): Digging through the debris of one of the deadliest strikes so far, dozens of Russian conscripts were stationed in the school

that once stood here. They were killed just moments into the new year in an apparent Ukrainian attack using U.S. made HIMAR rocket launchers.

Now diggers sift through what little remains of their barracks while anger in some quarters of Russia grows. One lawmaker claimed the military hadn't

given the soldiers, quote, the proper level of security. Individuals should be held criminally liable, Sergey Mironov said.

Russian officials say 63 soldiers died at Makiivka, an occupied city in Ukraine's eastern Donbas region. Even this would represent one of the worst

Russian losses in a single episode in the war. But the Ukrainians and now one top Russian military blogger suggests the figure could be higher.


MCLEAN (voice-over): Earlier on Tuesday, Semen Pegov of WarGonzo cast doubt on the official death toll. Despite the official statement of the

ministry of defense, he said, the exact number of casualties is still unknown.

Some of the dead came from Russia's southwest Samara region, state media reported. It showed mourners laying flowers for the victims. Meanwhile,

Russia continues its air assault on Ukraine.

This strike Monday night while a French reporter was on air was part of a barrage of strikes in Druzhkivka near Kramatorsk. One of the strikes hit a

hockey rink, causing extensive damage inside. Russia may be down but they're not out.


MCLEAN: That prominent military blogger Semen Pegov said it was not very convincing, the explanation, that this had simply been caused by the use of

a cell phone or mass use of cell phones I, should say.

He called that a deliberate attempt to smear blame and said this could have easily been Ukrainian drone surveillance that picked up their location or

even an informant. This also may have been a bit of a wakeup call about the weapon Russia says was used, the U.S. supplied HIMARS artillery system.

It is a mobile artillery system that allows the Ukrainians to fire much deeper behind enemy lines. And there are questions about whether the

Russian military really understands the capability of it.

One other prominent military blogger inside of Russia says it is now undeniable that the Ukrainians are using this weapon not only to target

supply lines and other bits of infrastructure but they are also deliberately using it to target barracks and other concentration of Russian

troops. Eleni.

GIOKOS: All right, Scott McLean for us. Thank you.

Russia has increasingly used Iranian made drones to target Ukrainians. Now a Ukrainian intelligence assessment obtained exclusively by CNN reveals an

Iranian drone downed in Ukraine last fall contained parts from more than a dozen U.S. and Western companies.

Natasha Bertrand joins me from Washington with the details.

And really fascinating here. The very Iranian drones that Russia has been using to terrorize Ukraine includes U.S. and Western made parts.

What more details do we have?

NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Eleni, this intelligence assessment illustrates in a very stark way just how many of these U.S. and

Western components the Iranians are still able to get their hands, on despite these very tough U.S. sanctions.

What we've learned is that, out of the 52 components Ukrainians took apart, took out of this drone when they took it apart late last year, 40 were

actually made by American companies, by about 13 different American companies.

This is, of, course not a singularly American issue. This is also a global problem. When the Ukrainians examined the rest of those components, they

found they came from places like Canada, Taiwan, Japan, China and Switzerland.

So this is really a big issue now that is confronting the Biden administration, as well as the U.S.' allies, because the Ukrainians

actually shared this intelligence assessment with the U.S. late last year, to tell them, look, this needs to be addressed.

As long as the Iranians are able to manufacture these drones, of course, Russia is going to continue to use them with devastating effect inside


Something Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy actually warned about on Monday, saying they have intelligence that the Russians are using these

exact drones, the Shahed drones, the ones that Ukrainians examined in the assessment I obtained, in order to exhaust civilians and infrastructure

targets inside Ukraine.

So there's no evidence, we should, note the companies are running afoul of any export laws, any sanctions laws.

But the fact is that these parts on the global market is going to be a big challenge for the U.S. and Europe to address the fact that the Iranians are

using front companies, shell companies, distributors, retailers, to get their hands on these very small components that are, of course, very

important to the functioning of these drones. Eleni.

GIOKOS: Yes, let me repeat what you said, 40 parts from 13 companies.

How did they get into Iran past the sanctions that are in place?

Natasha Bertrand, thank you for much for your reporting.

In just about two hours from now, the U.S. House will convene for a second day to determine who will be the Speaker. On Tuesday, a band of

conservative hardliners blocked Republican Kevin McCarthy from getting his dream job. After three rounds of voting. Lauren Fox looks back at the day

of drama and chaos. Kevin McCarthy.


LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The newly elected Republican majority on Capitol Hill at a stalemate, with no speaker elected.


REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA), MINORITY LEADER: This is a healthy debate. It might not happen the way we wanted but it's happening.

FOX (voice-over): Republican leader Kevin McCarthy still fighting for the leadership role, even after losing three rounds of votes on Tuesday.

Congress adjourned after the third vote, when 20 GOP members voted against McCarthy. All voting instead for representative Jim Jordan.

Jordan, for his, part does not want the job, voting three times for McCarthy. The so-called never cabinet Republicans working the phones well

into the night, trying to grow their opposition to McCarthy.

REP. CHIP ROY (R-TX): We need the leadership and the tools to stop the swamp from running over and stepping all over the American people. Right

now, I'm holding the line. We need this place to operate differently.

FOX (voice-over): The California Republican remaining confident, telling reporters Tuesday night he only needs 11 more votes, suggesting some

members of Congress may vote present to lower the threshold he needs to cross the finish line.

McCarthy We've got to find a way we all work together, so I don't know who else could actually put that together. I don't think there's enough.

FOX (voice-over): Although the GOP infighting races on, with representative Matt Gaetz in a letter to the architect of the Capitol

questioning why McCarthy is allowed to occupy the Speaker's office.

Writing, "How long will he remain there before he is considered a squatter?"

GAETZ: If you want to drain the swamp, you cannot put the biggest alligator in charge of the exercise.

FOX (voice-over): McCarthy supporters feel it was a mistake to adjourn Congress Tuesday and are frustrated the party is being held hostage by 2

percent of its members.

REP. BLAKE MOORE (R-UT): The support is still very strong for Kevin McCarthy and no one is now saying, we want to find a consensus candidate.

FOX (voice-over): It was conversations like this one between Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Paul Gosar, where some in the

GOP feared Democrats were planning to leave the floor or vote present so McCarthy could have a lower threshold to become the Speaker.

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): It is unlikely but there is always a possibility. I do believe that, in some of those conversations, there are

things that are happening on the floor. These machinations are happening on the floor.


GIOKOS: CNN's Jessica Dean joins me live from Capitol Hill, with more on the infighting in the Republican Party and where it could likely be another

day of chaos.

Look, listening to Lauren Fox's reporting, there you just get the sense that Republican Party divided, you are seeing allegations of blackmail as

well. This scenario of no consensus on the House Speaker hasn't happened in 100 years.

What options are we looking at?

JESSICA DEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There are so many different ways this could go and that is the million dollar question.

What will happen when they go back into session in a couple of hours?

I was in the chamber yesterday for all three of those votes. And what was absolutely clear is these hardliners, these 20 members that are just

adamantly opposed to McCarthy, are not moving. They are not wavering.

And this is a staring contest, each side daring the other to blink and nobody is blinking. McCarthy is saying, I won't give in. I will keep

running as long as I have one person supporting me.

And as Lauren brought out in that story what that does is really bring everything to a screeching halt. We have 435 members that haven't even been

sworn in. They can't set up committees. It is really stalling everything and certainly undermining Republicans' agenda.

They, of course were very excited to take back the House in this Congress.

What happens now?

Well, when they come together at noon, they can do another vote. What I think we could all safely say is McCarthy won't have the votes then. We

know negotiations continued overnight between McCarthy allies and some of these hardliners.

They are trying to pick them off one by one. But there's no indication, Eleni, at this point, that anything has moved enough to get somebody to

that magic number of 218.

GIOKOS: Yes, as you said, this is definitely going to be causing delays and going to have consequences in terms of priority items on the agenda. It

was interesting to see that some voters for Jim Jordan, who says, look, I don't want this job.

What is the plan B?

Is there a plan B?

DEAN: Well, I think they are kind of making it up. They're flying an airplane that they are building at the same time. Jim Jordan does not want

this. He wants to be head of House Judiciary. They will be in charge of all this oversight for the Biden administration, which is what he wants to be


At the same time, you start looking to other members of leadership, so someone like Steve Scalise, the House majority whip, if this leadership

team stayed in place. That's the name that keeps bubbling up.

We had another congressman on CNN this morning earlier today, who had flipped his vote, who had voted for McCarthy and on the third round, voted

for Jim Jordan. He says they are talking about a potential candidate that could be a consensus candidate in a way.


DEAN: Who going to that be?

If you are Steve Scalise, if you are starting to make moves, you want to make it look like you don't really want it because you are still ostensibly

supporting McCarthy, so there's a tremendous amount of politics right now.

And it's about Republicans finding someone who can move forward and attempt to govern, because right now there is absolutely none of that happening.

GIOKOS: Yes, look. It's a day full of drama. And we are waiting for the plot twist. Jessica, thank you so much for that update.

The new year is bringing new concerns about COVID-19 and whether it is being carried from China. Ahead, we are live from the region, with more on

travel restrictions and what the WHO has to say.

And a heartbreaking story of survival as a Rohingya refugee speaks to CNN about her month long ordeal at sea with no food or water. We will speak to

a senior U.N. official about the plight of the Rohingya Muslims.




GIOKOS: The World Health Organization repeating its call for, quote, "rapid, regular and reliable" COVID data from China, with cases surging,

the director general says it's understandable other countries want to protect their people.

Many countries have been clamping down on travelers from China. The European Union is deciding on restrictions, while New Zealand says China's

outbreak doesn't justify new mandates. A global airline trade group calls restrictions "knee-jerk and unjustified."

CNN's Ivan Watson has been following the new restrictions as they come down, as well as the backlash.

The WHO is reiterating what many countries have been voicing, we need more data.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and this is an echo of some of the criticism that was lobbed against China back at the

start of the pandemic, way back at the end of 2019, when the COVID-19 virus was first detected in China in the city of Wuhan.

It wasn't being forthcoming enough and now, three years later, as China is ready to release its citizens to travel around the world, to end self

imposed isolation, again, there is this criticism coming.

The German foreign minister on camera saying today that China currently, quote, "releases hardly any information," calling for more cooperation with

the European Union and the WHO. The head of the WHO spoke moments ago a little bit more diplomatically but getting at the same point. Take a



DR. TEDROS ADHANOM GHEBREYESUS, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: We continue to ask China for more rapid, regular, reliable data on hospitalizations and



GHEBREYESUS: As well as more comprehensive real-time biosequencing. The WHO is concerned about the risk to life in China and has reiterated the

importance of vaccination.


WATSON: Other things the WHO official said, they want more information about deaths due to COVID currently in China. They say the official

definition of a death due to the virus is too narrow. They want geographic data, data on admission to hospitals and intensive care units. That's the

kind of stuff they want more. Of

They are saying they are getting more cooperation from China within the last couple of days and weeks but it's still not good enough.

In the meantime, what we're seeing is a growing number of countries creating restrictions on travel from China. Let's take a look at this map

that shows that growing list. The European Union has said they are considering imposing preflight testing on flights from China, on testing

wastewater as well, for the virus, as it comes out.

But one sector of the global economy that does not like this is, no surprise, the aviation industry, which has taken a walloping over the last

couple of years due to the pandemic.

Look at a statement coming from the head of the International Air Transport Association, calling this extremely disappointing to see this knee-jerk

reinstatement of measures that proved ineffective over the last three years.

He goes on to say governments must base their decisions on scientific facts rather than science politics. You have a spectrum of some countries, like

the U.S., saying you need preflight testing to get on a plane to fly to the U.S., prove you don't have COVID, if you are coming from China.

Other countries, like Morocco, completely stopping travel, all travel, whatsoever. China, of course, saying that this is not the time for

restrictions and insisting it is cooperating with organizations like the WHO. Eleni.

GIOKOS: Ivan Watson, thank you very much. Of course, a question on data is going to be a key theme when it comes to China for the foreseeable future.

Good to see you.

All right, we are now hearing from one of the Rohingya Muslims who spent more than one month drifting at sea in a broken down boat with no food,

water or medicine. In all about 200 refugees fled their camps in Bangladesh in late November, in a search for a better life.

More than 2 dozen did not survive. CNN's Paula Hancocks has our report -- and a warning, some of these images you are about to see are graphic.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Despair and misery etched on every single face, one by one they collapse. Emaciated

bodies clutching small children, others motionless, seemingly unconscious on an Indonesian beach.

They are the Rohingya refugees left adrift on a boat on the open sea, forgotten and ignored. A human tragedy that keeps repeating itself.

Fahat Monesa (ph) and her five-year-old daughter Uma Salima (ph) were among the 174 to reach Aceh province after one month surviving on just three days

supply of food and water. She has almost unrecognizable.

HANCOCKS: What happened when you got on the boat?

UNIDENTIFIED FEFMALE (through translator): She tells me there was no food, no medicine, no water for all of those days. Only when it rains could we

drink rainwater.

HANCOCKS: A few days into the journey, she says the engine broke down. They were stranded in the Andaman Sea. Fahat Monesa (ph) remembers watching

a baby girl die after drinking salt water. She says the boat driver jumped overboard in desperation from thirst and hunger and died leaving his

desperate human cargo to drift helplessly hoping for rescue.

On December 18th, more than three weeks after setting sail, Fahat Monesa's (ph) brother back in Bangladesh managed to contact the boat trying to

organize a rescue from a local boat in Indonesia.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (from captions): We are dying here. We haven't eaten anything for eight to 10 days. We are starving. Three people have died.

HANCOCKS: Fahat Monesa (ph) says, I thought I would die. I thought I would die on that boat.

United Nations Refugee Agency says 26 people died before the boat was rescued by Indonesian fishermen and local authorities. The agency says

several countries turned a blind eye.

BABAR BALOCH, ASIA PACIFIC SPOKESPERSON, UNHCR: We as UNHCR are reaching out from state to state in the region wherever we were getting reported

this is either close to one country or another. No one acted on those requests and appeals.

HANCOCKS: Stateless and persecuted, these Rohingya refugees have known little peace having fled once for their lives five years ago in Myanmar

after a brutal campaign of killing and arson by the military to Bangladesh and in a sprawling refugee camp Cox's Bazar with little hope of a life.


HANCOCKS (voice-over): Just survival.

MUHAMMAD TAHER, ROHINGYA REFUGEE (through translator): In Bangladesh our life was difficult. We were banned from going out to look for work. The

children could not go to school.

HANCOCKS: This year threatens to become one of the most deadly for the Rohingya in the Southeast Asian waters. UNHCR says at least three boats

were rescued in December, one by the Sri Lankan Navy, two ended up in Indonesia. But one boat carrying 180 people have not been heard from since

the beginning of December. Its passengers feared loss.

BALOCH: These are literally death traps, that once you get into those, you end up losing your life and this is done by the merciless human smugglers

and traffickers who don't care about human lives.

HANCOCKS: For Fahat Monesa (ph), it cost around $1,000 for a false promise of a seven-day trip to Malaysia. A price so high she had to leave her

seven-year-old daughter behind with her mother in Bangladesh, assuming she would join later.

They must bring my other daughter to me, she says. My heart is burning for her. All I ever wanted was to get an education for my children. She now

faces the torment of living apart from one child while dealing with the trauma of another -- Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.


GIOKOS: Let's get you up to speed on some of the stories that are on our radar right now.

The third and final day of public viewing is now underway at the Vatican, where former Pope Benedict XVI is lying in state. The Vatican says tens of

thousands of people have paid their respects inside St. Peter's Basilica. The former pontiff's funeral will take place on Thursday.

Philippines and China are promising to cooperate on wind and solar energy. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is meeting top officials, including the

Chinese president, during his three-day visit to Beijing.

Xi Jinping says China is ready to resume oil and gas talks and manage maritime issues quarterly (ph).

Growing up, Walter Cunningham didn't even know astronauts existed. He became one and, in 1968, Cunningham and two Apollo 7 crewmates were the

first humans to return to space after a deadly fire on an earlier mission.

Cunningham, on the left, died Tuesday at 90, the last surviving member of that groundbreaking NASA mission.

When CONNECT THE WORLD continues, new details about just how serious things got when an NFL player suffered cardiac arrest during a Monday night

football game.

And still to come, the suspect in the murder of four Idaho university students appears in court. We'll have details on that hearing, up next.





GIOKOS: Welcome back, I'm Eleni Giokos. You are watching CONNECT THE WORLD.

The suspect in the killing of four Idaho university students has waived extradition from his home state of Pennsylvania. Bryan Kohberger will now

face first degree murder charges in Idaho. Police say arrangements are being made to transfer him to the Idaho -- to Idaho. But they haven't given

an exact timeline.

Kohberger is accused of fatally stabbing four students at their home in November. Veronica Miracle has more.


VERONICA MIRACLE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Bryan Kohberger, cuffed, shackled, wearing a prison jumpsuit, arriving at a Pennsylvania courthouse

just days after being charged with murdering four University of Idaho students in mid-November.

Kohberger was escorted from a holding cell into the courtroom, confirming he's waiving extradition, has no mental health issues that would affect a

transfer and agreeing to be transported to Idaho.

Kohberger's family in the courtroom crying as he turned several times and made eye contact with them. He faces four counts of first-degree murder and

one count of felony burglary in the stabbing deaths of Ethan Chapin, Xana Kernodle, Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves.

COL. ROBERT EVANCHICK, COMMISSIONER, PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE: Arrangements currently are being made to deliver Kohberger back to Idaho

where he can have continued due process and face these charges.

MIRACLE (voice-over): And where he can access information about the evidence against him. Idaho does not release the documents supporting an

arrest warrant until a defendant returns to the state.

MIKE MANCUSO, FIRST ASST. DISTRICT ATTORNEY, MONROE COUNTY, PA: I definitely believe that one of the main reasons the defendant chose to

waive extradition and hurry his return back to Idaho was the need to know what was in those documents.

JASON LABAR, PUBLIC DEFENDER, MONROE COUNTY, PA: He said it, I mean, this is not him. He believes he's going to be exonerated. That's what he

believes. Those were his words.

MIRACLE (voice-over): University of Idaho assistant law professor Samuel Newton tells CNN there is still a long road to trial.

SAMUEL NEWTON, ASST. PROFESSOR OF LAW, UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO: The government has to put on evidence to support its charge to show that there's enough --

there was probable cause to arrest and charge him with those crimes.

MIRACLE (voice-over): Kaylee's father says he plans to be in court at some point when Kohberger returns to Idaho.

STEVEN GONCALVES, FATHER OF VICTIM: We're going to definitely look this guy and look him in his eyes. He is going to have to deal with us and he

has been dealing with this for seven weeks. It's not about to end.

MIRACLE (voice-over): It will be up to the local prosecutor to decide whether Kohberger will face the death penalty.

NEWTON: The victims were blameless, sleeping in a vulnerable position, the crime was particularly brutal, multiple victims. So I think there are many

bases for a prosecutor to say I can charge this as aggravated murder.

MIRACLE (voice-over): A death penalty case adds additional procedures to a murder prosecution. That could take decades. For many living in the

communities at both the University of Idaho and Washington State University, there is some relief a suspect is now in custody.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Imagine living in this, it's been like living in a murder mystery, right in the middle of it.

MIRACLE (voice-over): A mystery that is far from over.

MIRACLE: Now that Kohberger is clear for extradition, police say they have 10 days to get him back here. Once he is back in the state of Idaho, that

is when that probable cause affidavit should be unsealed which will tell us exactly why Kohberger was arrested -- Veronica Miracle, CNN, Moscow, Idaho.


GIOKOS: So U.S. President Joe Biden spoke a short time ago about the gridlock in Congress, with Republicans locked in a standoff over approving

a new House Speaker. Mr. Biden called the political chaos on Capitol Hill embarrassing. Take a listen.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I -- that's not my problem. It's an embarrassment that it's taken so long the way they're (INAUDIBLE)

with one another. And the rest of the world looking at (INAUDIBLE) get our act together.


GIOKOS: Moving on now and the chilling report about that NFL player who collapsed during a game and how perilous his medical condition was Monday


Damar Hamlin's uncle tells CNN that's Damar's heart had to be restarted twice, once on the field and again when he got to the hospital. Hamlin is

still sedated and on a ventilator. Doctors are hoping to get him back to breathing on his own.

Hamlin's uncle does say the doctors think his condition is trending upwards in a positive way. Let's bring in CNN's Coy Wire. In addition to being a

CNN "WORLD SPORT" anchor, he is also a former NFL player who played for the Buffalo Bills, Damar Hamlin's team.


GIOKOS: He joins us now from Buffalo.

Coy, thank you so much for joining us. You get a sense of the urgency and the panic that must have occurred on the field as we get more details about

what Damar's state was like. You're in Buffalo right now. There's been an overwhelming support that is coming through from where you are.

Could you take us through what you're seeing and hearing at the moment?

COY WIRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, first to touch on the overwhelming support of which you speak. It is truly overwhelming. We had prayer

services not just here in Buffalo, where the community came out to show support, but also in Cincinnati, where this event occurred.

The opposing team, team city, prayer services for this young man. There's been this rally of people to support his foundation, where he aimed to

raise just $2,500 to buy some toys for kids.

That GoFundMe page has hit nearly $6 million, I believe, at last check. And you can see people really are trying to rally and show strength and


The team is going to need it themselves. They today, we just learned, they are going to try to get back to work and they will be doing so,

understandably, with heavy hearts. They are going to hold team meetings.

But there will only be a walk through today. Eleni, typically, today would be one of the most intense practices of the week. You really start to prep

up for this game they have to play this weekend, the final regular season game against their rivals, the Patriots.

Their playoff implications on the line and this team is trying to still process everything that's been going on. There will be no media

availability today, as typically would be. Their teammate is in the hospital fighting for his life. So they are really struggling right now.

I do want to point out that there was a powerful moment in that Monday night football game, between the Bills and the Bengals, the decision to

stop that game in progress. It is going to have a profound effect. It already is on the players.

They are recognizing how powerful that moment was, because, 10 years ago, five years ago an ambulance comes on to the field, players are surrounding

their teammate on bended knee, with tears coming down their face.

In the past, that game would have gone on. The coaches would have said, all right, fellas, buckle up. Get back on that field, it's time to focus. We've

got to play on.

And so we can't overstate how impactful it was for those head coaches of both of those teams from the league decision-makers to end that game in

progress. It was a powerful moment, Eleni. And I think it will have ripple- down (sic) effects right now that we don't quite understand how powerful it was.

GIOKOS: Yes, powerful moment, I. Think we've all been able to witness, watching this play out and, Coy, your reporting on this has been absolutely

vital in understanding the significance. We thank. You

Coy Wire there for. Us

Just ahead on CONNECT THE WORLD, two-time Oscar nominee, Jeremy Renner, is speaking out on social media for the first time since being badly injured

by his snowplow.





GIOKOS: Welcome back.

Unseasonably warm temperatures this week kept taking some of the pressure off Europe's energy crisis but it's alarming climatologists. Just four days

into the new year and Europe has already broken a number of heat records on New Year's Day. One town in the Czech Republic reached 19 degrees Celsius.

And if you are looking for a spot for skiing, forget about it. Have a look at these slopes from Switzerland to Austria. All you can see is a lot of

green. But not much white.

So how about a hike instead, perhaps?


Two-time Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner is making positive progress. That's according to a spokesperson who said that "The Avengers" star is in

critical but stable condition. Authorities say Renner was run over by his snowplow on Sunday outside his home in Reno, Nevada.

CNN's Chloe Melas joins us live from New York.

Chloe, good to see you, happy to see that selfie. It speaks volumes. We're happy to have some context. Give me a sense of what we know right now about

his state.

CHLOE MELAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This was unexpected. He posts a selfie from the intensive care unit, telling everyone, I can't type right now, I'm

too messed up -- I think he means from all of the different medicines and things that he's on -- but that he's appreciative for all the kind words.

I was checking and there were over 1 million likes in I think maybe 30 seconds or, I don't know, 30 seconds or 30 minutes. But is a lot of likes

in a short amount of time. And this came right around the same time as a press conference that the sheriff's office in Washoe County in Nevada gave

about the details of what happened.

And we finally learned exactly what took place that caused this accident. So he was using a snowplow called a Sno-Cat, it's 14,000 pounds, the

sheriff said. It's not that that's on the screen but it's something similar that removes snow.

He has this home in Lake Tahoe, very similar to something like that on the screen right now. He was moving a car in his driveway that a family member

was using that got stuck in the snow.

There had been unprecedented snowfall, about three feet, and they had lost power. He successfully moves the car, tows in his driveway, he's clearing

snow. And then he gets off the Sno-Cat to talk to his family member and that's when it starts to roll.

So he attempts to jump back on the Sno-Cat to put it in park to stop it. But it looks like he fell off and then that's when it crushed him.

Thankfully, he's alive this morning. The sheriff appeared on "CNN THIS MORNING" and talked about what Jeremy means to the washout County and

Nevada community.


SHERIFF DARIN BALAAM, WASHOE COUNTY, NEVADA: He's one of our honorary deputies here at the sheriff's office. That's one of our non-profits that

members in our community and they help us do Shop with a Sheriff, where they spend $50,000 in donate it. He's one of those members.

He does a lot for the community. He came in when I took office in 2019. He showed up for Shop with a Sheriff and you should see the kids and the

parents. And he took the time out of his days to do autographs, shop with kids.

So he does a lot in our community. And what I truly enjoy about Mr. Renner is, a lot of times he does it and no one knows.


MELAS: A beloved member of the community. You heard that from the sheriff. And look, Jeremy was lucky that he had family members and neighbors who saw

what happened and rushed to his aid and called 9-1-1.

But because of the snowfall in the area, it took over 30 minutes for them to even reach him. So again, he's lucky to be on the road to recovery.

GIOKOS: Yes, scary, it sounds scary, that accident. Chloe, good to see you.

We've got "WORLD SPORT" with Andy Scholes up next, stay with CNN.