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Connect the World

Russian Defense Ministry: Ukraine is Violating Ceasefire; U.S. Congress in Limbo as House Speaker Fight Drags on; Surviving Roommate saw Killer in Mask leave the House; Ukraine's Economy Contracts 30.4 Percent in 2022; Interpol: Notorious Human Trafficker Tracked down in Sudan; FDA Decision on Experimental Drug Lecanemab Expected soon. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired January 06, 2023 - 11:00   ET




ELENI GIOKOS, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: I'm Eleni Giokos. Hello and welcome to the second hour of "Connect the World". We are live from Dubai.

Russia's 36-hour ceasefire for Orthodox Christmas is being met with widespread skepticism inside Ukraine.

And reports from our CNN crew of artillery fire from both sides around the Eastern City of Bakhmut. Kyiv looking largely normal today air raid siren

sounded in the Capital not long after the start of the ceasefire, which Ukraine dismissed as hypocrisy after it was announced.

Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister is even warning people not to attend orthodox services due to the threat of terrorist attacks in churches.

Here's what Ukraine's President had to say about the ceasefire in his highly anticipated and nightly address.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT: Those who continued the terror against our country and sent all those people of yours to the slaughter?

Rejecting our offers to stop the Russian aggression certainly do not value life and definitely do not seek peace. Now they want to use Christmas as a

cover to at least briefly stop the advance of our guys in the Donbas and bring equipment, ammunition and mobilize men closer to our positions.


GIOKOS: Well, our International Diplomatic Editor Nic Robertson is back with us this hour. He is in London. Ukrainians are questioning the

intention of the ceasefire from the Russian side saying this is a tactic to further terrorize Ukraine. Nic, we've spoken about this, the mistrust is

based on past experience. And since Russia's unilateral ceasefire, there have been reports of strikes, and frankly from both sides?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, Ukraine from the get goes never said that it would sign up to what Russia was putting on the

table? In fact, President Zelenskyy said, look, we offered a truce, a ceasefire back in mid-November that was part of President Zelenskyy's

temporary peace plan.

And he said at that point that we're 82000 Russian fatalities, he said then in the middle of December, we actually offered a truce for Christmas the

25th of December. That was also rejected he said by that point by mid December 95,000 Russians have been killed and he said by now 110,000

Russians have been killed. We can't verify those numbers.

But what Zelenskyy is saying is look; Russia had plenty of opportunity to meet our demand for a ceasefire and a ceasefire that would have been based

on Russia pulling its troops out of all the areas in its annex unoccupied inside of Ukraine. That was always a non-starter for Russia. So this was,

you know, Russia's proposal was something that was never going to be accepted by Ukraine.

Only going to be treated with suspicion because Putin has past form of calling for ceasefire in many different conflicts, not just in Ukraine over

the past almost nine years now, but in Syria and other conflicts and then starting up the fight when he wanted to again and the way that the war is

being fought in some of those intense conflict areas in the East like Bakhmut is a real, you know, not quite hand to hand, but very proximate

battle for tiny gains and losses of meters of territory.

So any chance that Russia had to bring troops or bring material forward to the frontline that was always going to be threatened by concern for

Ukraine. So I think this is no surprise where we're at right now.

GIOKOS: And we must underscore that in the lead up to the New Year, there were aggressive strikes in Ukraine. And Zelenskyy warned about this and

worried about what that could mean, for the festive season frankly. Ukraine is going to be receiving a lot more equipment. What do we understand in

terms of what is required by the Ukrainian side as this war rages on?

ROBERTSON: They need more and better air defense and more ammunition for it because Russia continues to attack them by air as we saw over Christmas and

over New Year, hitting hospitals hitting schools, hitting energy infrastructure hitting hotel in the center of Kyiv hitting government

buildings as well.

So they need the equipment to defeat those airstrikes and the ammunition to keep doing it. And that more of that is going to come Russia is a rather

United States and Germany is both pledged patriot missile systems, but to take back territory on the front line.

And this is what's going to worry Russia, and this is part of the messaging that we've seen, coordinated now across Ukraine's allies. The United

States, Germany, France, all saying that they're going to commit military vehicles armored military vehicles that transport infantry troops through

dangerous areas of the frontline which will allow them to take territory.


ROBERTSON: They don't have many of those vehicles right now. The British have given some they've had a few other donations, but this is what they've

been looking for. And Putin, and part of this also is a message to President Putin, you think you can keep the war going?

But look, this is what you're being given. This is the equipment that's going to Ukraine, and this is what you're going to be up against. So a

Ukrainian military, who's going to be more mobilized more able more capable to make more games and Putin has already lost territory in the east. So of

course, he wanted a ceasefire, because he's losing territory.

GIOKOS: Nic Robertson, always insightful. Thank you very much. The U.S. House of Representatives is set to reconvene less than an hour from now, as

the historic leadership stalemate in Congress drags into its fourth day.

Republican Kevin McCarthy is trying to secure the required numbers of votes to become House Speaker. So far, he's come up short 11 times as a handful

of members in his own party refuse to support him. A short time ago McCarthy sounded optimistic about what's ahead today.

So what can we expect in the minutes and hours ahead? CNN's Jessica Dean joins us now live from Capitol Hill. Eleven votes later 20 holdouts for

McCarthy. We're sitting with an unprecedented scenario. There was a Republican call in the last hour has anything come from that? Do we know

anything more?

JESSICA DEAN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We do know more. We're hearing from sources that McCarthy was talking about this deal. He's trying

to put together with some of these holdouts. And again, they're not there yet. He made it very clear. They don't have it yet. But they're making


Today is really a key day for McCarthy. He needs to show that he can make progress that he can pull some people to his side. This continues to go on

and on and on, as you just lay out. And his supporters want to see him make it to the finish line, but they don't have bottomless patience. They want

to see some progress that he can actually start to move some of these members. So he is, according to him close on that.

But again, there are some questions about just how many? And even if he can bring over say 10 or 12, he still doesn't have the 218 that he needs. So

the question becomes when they meet today at noon, will they immediately go into another vote to try to show some of that progress? Will they have more


Or will they immediately adjourn and try to continue negotiating? The negotiations do continue. They're trying to cross the "T's and dot the

I's". But what I think is important to remember, Eleni in all of this is, this is group isn't coming with two or three specific asks, each of these

members kind of have their own specific asks that they want that are individual to them.

And that is a lot harder to kind of cobble together. So he continues to make concessions and continues to try to do the splits between these

holdouts, and then also the more moderates who honestly are starting to get a little nervous about what's being given to the hardliners. So it's a bit

of the splits.

GIOKOS: Yes, interesting. I mean, when we say 20 holdouts, and you were saying making progress, obviously means moving members, what would progress

look like? What number would actually show that things are moving significantly?

DEAN: I mean, I think at this point to get any number to flip any one of those 20 would be progress. I think they would like to see them move in a

block to see them move 10 or 12. But at this point, moving anyone in their direction would be big.

But I think what you could anticipate is it's not going to be one by one that this kind of group would move as a unit. And then you of course, have

those never Kevin holdouts people like Matt Gaetz and Lauren Boebert. And we think there were at least four or five, maybe six of those. And again,

that math gets very tricky. It just can't get there if all six are holdouts forever.

GIOKOS: Jessica Dean, thank you very much for breaking that down for us. I want to take a deeper dive into this. We've got Republican Strategist and

CNN Political Commentator Alice Stewart. Welcome back Alice, great to see you again!

I worry that I'm going to be welcoming you back on this issue in the days to come. Look, we spoke yesterday helping with - perhaps some kind of shift

or progress 11 failed votes. I want you to tell me how you characterizing what you're seeing playing out?

ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Eleni, it's hard to look at this in any other way, and that it's chaos and confusion. And look, this is

important. This is a significant position. The Speaker of the House here in America is second in line to the President.

So it's a critical appointment, a critical role in our American democracy. The problem is, Republicans worked really hard and campaign really hard in

the midterm elections last November to gain the majority in the House and now they have the majority in the House.


STEWART: And unfortunately, there is a small fringe element of the Republican Party that is dictating the terms of the entire party. Right now

we have 20, or so holdouts that won't support the current leader of the party, Kevin McCarthy.

And I've spoken with many Republican leaders who are on the floor in these conversations that were meeting late into the night and early this morning,

they are still maintaining a level of optimism. They're encouraged that Kevin McCarthy is making progress.

They are concerned somewhat that he's making a lot of concessions, meaning that he is turning over certain rules that normally wouldn't be given to

what is called the House Freedom Caucus, a very conservative or very far right wing of the Republican Caucus.

We've outlined those rules they have asked for a position on the Rules Committee. They've asked for votes on term limits on budgets. They've also

asked for one person to put forth a motion to vacate, which could in essence, mean that Kevin McCarthy could anger and frustrated one person and

they could hold a vote to remove him from that position.

Many are optimistic they will continue to do these votes. Some are frustrated with this faction saying that, unfortunately, the small number

of Republicans conservatives would rather agitate in their minority than legislate with the majority. And that's a frustration I'm seeing within the


GIOKOS: It is. And I mean, the world is watching, right? Is there a growing view that Republicans can't govern and can't get it together?

STEWART: Now, it's a messy process. It's a slow process, but I have confidence in the process. And look, folks, myself included, travel around

the world, I see the headlines in the various newspapers. There's chaos in the House and gridlock in the GOP and American democracy is paralyzed, and

people are taking notice.

But I will say that I have confidence in the GOP leadership, the Republicans currently in charge and understand that look, the ultimately we

need to stop taking the fight to each other. We need to stop fighting amongst Republicans and take our opposition and our message to the

Democratic Party and to President Biden, which is exactly what voters elected them to do in November.

And instead of focusing on what is being done right now, look at what's not being done. They are not talking about the economy. They are not talking

about securing the border. They are not talking about fighting crime. They're not talking about addressing the inflation, and nothing is getting

done without a speaker.

No one is on committees. No one is discussing legislation. And so all of these things they promised their constituents they would do are not getting


GIOKOS: I want to talk a little bit about the holdouts. Almost 20 of them have aligned themselves with the most conservative bloc of the Republican

Party. Not all of them but most. President Trump endorsed Kevin McCarthy. So there are multiple things playing out here. What do you think this tells

you about support for Donald Trump?

STEWART: Well, that's an interesting question, because in a lot of the international coverage, I see Donald Trump has mentioned in much of the

headlines. Unfortunately, his importance and relevance is waning. He is becoming increasingly insignificant every passing day.

While he is the only announced candidate on the GOP side for President in 2024 his endorsements are virtually meaningless. Many of the candidates he

endorsed in the midterm elections did not win. A lot of the proposals that he has put forth are not popular.

His support for Kevin McCarthy has not moved any needle. He has been making calls to these holdouts, and it is not making any progress in terms of

convincing people to sway. So especially Eleni on this day on January 6th, two years after the insurrection at the Capitol which was fully the fault

of Former President Trump, many people are reflecting on his responsibility for that, the implications for that,

And also Kevin McCarthy's handling of that in response, initially, he was critical of the insurrection and President Trump. He later went down to

Mar-a-Lago and broke bread with President Trump and that frustrated a lot of Republicans and a lot of people that coincidentally on the two year

anniversary of that event is one of the factors that is causing a lot of people to have questions about his leadership skills.


GIOKOS: Well, put look Alice I hope the next time I see you, we'll talk about how the House Speaker will be leading as opposed to whether we have a

House Speaker so thank you very much. I hope you have a good weekend.

STEWART: Same to you.

GIOKOS: It seems like it's going to be an interesting one. Much appreciate it. So Wall Street is enjoying what some market watchers are calling a

relief rally. The new December jobs report is out. But investors can't seem to get enough of what U.S. labor officials are saying about wages.

Now wage growth came in less than expected, suggesting it's coming off the boil. But the main headline is the U.S. added 223,000 jobs in December it

beat expectations. That is despite the Federal Reserve's efforts to cool the labor markets.

CNN's Matt Egan standing by live in New York. It's all about the jobs report, right because this was basically fanning inflation. It came in

higher than expected, but it's about what wages are doing and that might be the good news in the greater scheme of things?

MATT EGAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes Eleni, Wall Street is definitely relieved about the fact that these red hot wages appear to be cooling off. Average

hourly earnings up by 4.6 percent year-over-year, in December now that is high historically and it's not consistent with 2 percent inflation, but it

is a step in the right direction, it's actually a 16 month low.

Now, if you're sitting at home, and you're worried about the price of groceries, you know, you're not happy that wage growth is slowing down. I

mean, have you seen egg prices? Egg prices are up by 49 percent year-over- year in November.

But believe it or not, this is actually what the Federal Reserve wants to see? They want to see that wages are cooling off, because it's going to

give them more confidence that inflation is not out of control. It's going to lower the risk of a wage price spiral where the high cost of living

causes workers to demand higher and higher wages, which forces businesses to pass the cost along to consumers, causing them to demand higher wages.

It can become a negative feedback loop and it's exactly what the Fed doesn't want to see. So that's why markets are responding so positively to

the wage number of the fact that payroll growth itself actually slowed down. That is encouraging.

The one part of this report that doesn't look as encouraging from the standpoint of trying to get a Goldilocks jobs report is unemployment,

right? Because unemployment rate actually went down to 3.5 percent, that's tied for the lowest level since 1969.

Big picture, though, right now investors are focusing on this idea that the jobs market is slowing down, and maybe Eleni that means the Fed can pause

this interest rate hiking campaign sometime later this winter or the spring.

GIOKOS: Yes, that's a big question. I have to say I actually saw an entire thread on the price of eggs in the United States. Here it's gone through

the roof. Matt Egan thank you so much, have a great weekend!

EGAN: Thank you.

GIOKOS: All right you're watching "Connect the World" live from Dubai. And still ahead, the clues that led investigators to the suspects in the murder

of four college students in Idaho. How the search or the trash button led to key evidence? And Prince Harry's intensely personal memoir and his media

blitz are causing a stir, what that could mean for the House of Windsor next?



GIOKOS: For more than seven weeks, the gruesome stabbing deaths of four Idaho students have made headlines. Now we're learning what led to the

arrest of Bryan Kohberger as the sole suspect in the case. Veronica Miracle has a detail showing how investigators tracked him down?


VERONICA MIRACLE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Bryan Kohberger clad in an orange jumpsuit appeared in an Idaho courtroom Thursday. The 28-year-old

is charged with the brutal stabbings of four University of Idaho students more than seven weeks ago.

In newly released court documents investigators detail the evidence that led to his eventual arrest. According to the affidavit Kohberger's DNA

profile obtained from the trash at his family's home match DNA on a tan leather knife sheath left behind at the crime scene and was found lying on

the bed of one of the victims.

That same document says one of the surviving roommates says she was awoken around 4 am her crying from Xana Kernodle's room and heard a voice say it's

OK I'm going to help you and that she heard the crying and saw a figure clot and black clothing and a mask.

She describes him as 5.10' or taller male not very muscular but athletically built with bushy eyebrows, saying he walked past her as she

stood in a frozen shock phase. But questions still remain about why no one called 911 until almost eight hours later?

The document also details multiple sightings of a suspect vehicle from surveillance footage showing a white Hyundai were like this one that helped

lead to Kohberger's arrest. About two weeks after the murders police from Washington State University where Kohberger attended school flagged his

vehicle later seen at a traffic stop in mid-December in Indiana while driving with his father to Pennsylvania.

And before the cross country drive and just five days after the murders Kohberger received a new license plate for his car according to Washington

State Licensing Documents. Cell phone records also show that Kohberger's phone was near the victim's residence at least a dozen times since June,

including about five hours after police believe he committed the murders according to court documents.

Kohberger seated with a new court appointed attorney responded to each charge of murder. While no evidence was released that connects Kohberger to

the victims or any indication of motive. The pain for the victim's family is all too real as some sat in the courtroom.

SHANON GRAY, GONALVES FAMILY ATTORNEY: It's obviously an emotional time for the family seeing the defendant for the first time. This is the beginning

of the criminal justice system and the family will be here for the long haul.


GIOKOS: Well, Veronica Miracle big thank you to her for that report. More royal revelations and accusations now as Britain's Prince Harry promote his

new book. The Duke of Sussex says he was in his words probably bigoted before his relationship with Meghan, the now Duchess of Sussex.

That's just one of the new details emerging from his interview with Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes. During his media blitz, the Prince has also

elaborated on the alleged physical assault by his brother Harry tells ITV that after Prince William knocked him down he "Wanted me to hit him back.

But I chose not to".

CNN's Royal Historian Kate Williams joins me now live from London. Thanks so much, Kate, for joining us. The details the information that we're

getting a huge deviation from what we've become accustomed to when it comes to the royal family, what impact do you think this is going to have in the

long term for the monarchy?

KATE WILLIAMS, CNN ROYAL HISTORIAN: Yes, I think it does have an impact. We're used to people in public life writing memoirs, aren't we?

Celebrities, politicians, actors, but we're not used to hearing the inside details in the Royal Family.

And really, in this autobiography in Spare, Harry is not holding back. He tells us about his reaction to the death of Diana. He goes into this

relationship with his father and really goes into the relationship with his brother.

And what he's saying here is it's not a good relationship. It's a relationship in which there's physical fighting, a lot of falling out and

he constantly feels like spare. So really I think what this shows is Royal Family is supposed to be a well-run operation and this really suggests

isn't. So Harry is laying everything bare and is damaging to the Royal Family.


GIOKOS: Yes. I'm just looking through some of the details. You know, one wonders what are the most explosive pieces of information that could

possibly impact this family. It seems to me that the fight that he had with Prince William that turned physical is really making headlines and creating

a lot of sort of questions about generally the relationship how Harry was treated, at least Harry's been talking about that. At some point, do you

believe that the monarchy is going to have to respond to these allegations?

WILLIAMS: Yes Eleni, you know, it really has been that - there's been many headlines all over the world. But really that one about the physical

altercation in which Harry fell to the floor and broke the dog's bowl with the force of the sharp he got from William.

This really seems as if it's being that it's one of the most explosive allegations, it's when we didn't expect we know the brothers argued, but as

to physical fisticuffs between two grown men. I mean, that really is quite shocking. And at the moment, I don't see the Palace answering. At the

moment I think they'll say nothing.

But they will I think you sources to start to say, this maybe isn't correct. Certainly after the Oprah interview, the Royal Family we heard

wanted to give a lengthy rebuttal to some of what Harry and Megan had said, but they didn't. The Queen persuaded them to give a short statement, saying

some recollections may wary.

So we may see I think, other sources, rebutting it. But at the moment, the Palace feel as if they there's so much to rebut that they can't - I think

there were for them to start. But certainly, in terms of the Royal Family is taxpayer funded as a contractor with I think, between the people and the

Royal Family, in which the royal family may not always be perfect, but it has to be well run. And this really suggests that the whole structure isn't

very well run. And for Harry, it was a form of suffering.

GIOKOS: Yes, absolutely and also the just the details about him asking his father not to marry Camilla, for example and just some of the other details

of how he perceived his world and his life? Take me some of those things that stood out for you that that really were insightful and sort of changed

the way we view what I guess a lot of people were suspecting but didn't really have confirmation was happening?

WILLIAMS: Well, Eleni there's so many explosive bombs, you know, so an explosive bombshell, it's hard to know where to start. There are many, many

allegations in here. Many, many points that we didn't know a lot we didn't know.

And I think yes, certainly, when we learn about Harry been told about the death of his mother that Charles couldn't put his arm around him that then

Harry says he recalls, he was in pretty much left alone for the rest of the day to think about himself just a child, it seems so hard.

And then Harry and William begged their father not to marry Camilla. And also Harry and Williams said very clearly that they wanted the

investigation into Diana's death reopen. It didn't go far enough. Harry is actually quite scathing on the findings about Diana's death.

He doesn't think it was an accident. So there are many, many allegations here that I think are really quite shocking, particularly about Diana, but

also about Harry's relationship with William I think people have always hoped that Harry and William were best friends.

They were this wonderful royal twosome. Well, Harry has laid it bare and said that it was a bad and difficult relationship long before Megan came

in. And it was one in which he always felt like the spare and William, he suggests always acted like the heir so it's always been in equal.

GIOKOS: Kate Williams, thank you very much for your time. Good to see you!

WILLIAMS: Good to see you.

GIOKOS: And still ahead, Ukrainian soldiers mark the Orthodox Christmas as Russia says it was going to hold fire. We'll have more reaction from Kyiv

plus a look at Ukraine's economy heading into the New Year. And another step for that NFL player who suffered cardiac arrest during a football

game, we'll have the latest good news on his recovery. Stay with us.



GIOKOS: Welcome back. I'm Eleni Giokos in Dubai and you are watching "Connect the World". CNN has observed artillery fire from both sides in

eastern Ukraine since the start of a temporary ceasefire called by Russia. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says Moscow wants to use Christmas

as a cover to give Russia time to resupply.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the 36 hour unilateral ceasefire Thursday saying it was for Orthodox Christmas. Meanwhile, the war has

battered Ukraine's economy but not as harshly as initially feared. The projected contraction in gross domestic product for 2022 is just over 30

percent. Experts initially forecast it would plunge between 40 to 50 percent.

The Economy Minister says this is still the largest economic downfall since Ukrainian independence in 1991. For more on how the war is impacting

Ukraine's economy, let's bring in Alexander Rodnyansky, he's an Economic Adviser to the Ukrainian President and an Associate Professor of Economics

at the University of Cambridge.

Good to see you, sir. The economy falling less than expected good news, but 30 percent wiped off GDP is significant. Could you describe the economy

right now? And also the new reality of power cuts, which is surely having an impact on being able to operate in Ukraine.

ALEXANDER RODNYANSKY, ECONOMIC ADVISER TO UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT: Yes, well, thanks for bringing me in. Absolutely, so we have this 30 percent

preliminary decline. That's an estimate; we'll see what the final numbers say. But you're right, that this is surprisingly good news, actually, given

everything that we've observed and given the expectations. So first of all, that goes to show how resilient the Ukrainian economy really is.

And we've seen that despite a huge collapse in the industry, in the heavy industry, we've seen all the destruction in the east of Ukraine, there's

been a lot of relocation and even maybe some little amount of growth in the services sector and perhaps in some of the high tech sectors like IT. And

what's also important is that there's been a lot of heterogeneity across Ukraine.

So while certain areas that are very exposed to the, to the combat to the fighting to the actual warfare, they've been really clearly losing up. Some

of the areas of Ukraine have perhaps in certain sectors even gained some of the output because of the relocation that's occurred throughout Ukraine. So

there's, you know, there's a huge amount of heterogeneity differences across regions.

And finally, we've also seen as in the banking sector, so surprisingly, you know, I've been on the Supervisory Board of our biggest bank for nearly two

years. And what we see is a lot of growth in small medium enterprises that come to us asking for working capital loans, for example. And again, that's

mostly in agriculture and some of the services like IT.

So long story short, the Ukrainian economy is resilient. But of course, to a large extent, a lot of this has been possible because we have been

receiving international support. I'm very grateful for that because if we hadn't received international support financial aid, that is, we would have

faced the real currency crisis, and we would have lost our macroeconomic stability so none of that would have been possible.

GIOKOS: Look, I have to say fascinating insights on the relocation of business of manufacturing processing plants and making the delineation

between hearted areas versus areas that have not been attacked as aggressively. You spoke about the banking sector and I'm just curious in

terms of interbank lending and central bank lending, what is the scenario right now?


GIOKOS: And do you have a strong banking sector that is going to be able to sustain this war? Who knows for how long?

RODNYANSKY: Absolutely. So a banking sector has been actually very healthy, surprisingly enough, is this a systemic issue with the banking sector,

there is a very high presence of the state. And we were working on that, we had a strategy of privatization. But right now, the share of the state is

actually rising rather than falling. So it's around 60 perhaps, 60 percent perhaps as, as of total assets.

But that's obviously you know, during more time, so it's not really the primary objective to have it privatized now. But it is very resilient, it's

healthy, because we've run through history of reforms in the banking sector, we've adopted a lot of the Basel regulations, you know, modern

state of the art banking regulations.

And we are working on ensuring that we have a healthy and resilient financial sector that is primarily banking based. So it's not really we

don't have really developed markets or capital markets, you know, bond markets, as in the U.S., but we have a very strong banking sector.

So there's little, you know, not very much bank to bank lending, as you said, there is a fair amount of lending to small medium enterprises. Now

it's actually growing to some extent.

GIOKOS: Which is, of course, encouraging, is going to cost Ukraine, billions, hundreds of billions of dollars for rebuilt. I'm also just

curious in terms of whether you've become a lot more indebted since the start of the war. You spoke about international assistance. Is that in

terms of loans that you've been receiving, you know, in what format? And what are you thinking about debt to GDP right now? And how it's changed

over the past 11 months?

RODNYANSKY: Yes, absolutely. So we are clearly getting more indebted, like you say debt to GDP has increased primarily because GDP has collapsed, as

we've mentioned earlier on. So that is really the primary force. But we're also obviously, you know, building up the amount of debt that we're having.

We're issuing bonds; we're asking for international credits, a lot of international support comes through loans, but mostly through grants,


And of course, we're hoping that, you know, at some point towards the future, when we've been when we will be victorious after the war, perhaps

we'll have some more, you know, reconsideration of how we're going to structure that debt. Or perhaps we're just going to have very strong

economic support and real high economic growth such that we will be able to stem a lot of that debt repayment.

But that's again, secondary right now, although we are monitoring what's happening to the debt to GDP ratio, it's probably around some 100 percent

right now, it used to be around 50 percent before the war.

GIOKOS: Yes, it's crazy how that ratio can change very quickly. Your grain exports that deal was very important, but it's still below where we were on

pre-war levels. Are you optimistic that that could change that you can increase your grain exports? It's good for the farmers and it's good for

the international market as well.

RODNYANSKY: Absolutely, we are exporting we're grateful that we're having this deal. We hope the deal will last this. It is important for the world

at large, obviously, because you remember what happened when Russia was using, you know, essentially the food crisis as a way to bargain for

whatever they need and to extort whatever decisions they wanted internationally and then try to blame us.

We have to say we are very careful with mentioning the numbers that we're making through that grain expert, because again, if the Russia, if Russia

decides that we're benefiting too much read, there is real chance that they will sabotage.

But I will say the numbers are far and few between much smaller than it used to be before the work of course. We have a very open economy used to

have very open economy before the war; about 50 percent of our GDP was exports. Much of that was through the ports of Odessa.

So again, a lot of that was grain, but now it's really it's very little relative to what we used to export, but we're hoping we can keep it

running. And obviously once we're victorious, we can reestablish those supply routes.

GIOKOS: Alexander Rodnyansky, thank you very much for your time and for your insights. I know a lot of Ukrainians are celebrating Christmas, we

wish you all the best. Thank you very much for your time.

RODNYANSKY: Thanks for having me.

GIOKOS: All right. Interpol says a notorious human trafficker has been caught and extradited to the United States. Its United Arab Emirates

pardon, often international manhunt the organization says attract down Kidane Zekarias Habtemariam who's originally from Eritrea in Sudan. He was

once it for allegedly heading a major criminal organization responsible for the kidnapping, extortion and murder of East African migrants.

The FDA is looking into an experimental drug to treat Alzheimer's and could approve it as soon as today. But this potentially groundbreaking therapy is

linked to some concerning side effects, that's coming up.



GIOKOS: I'm so happy to bring you this really good news from a higher doctors treating NFL player Damar Hamlin says, he's feeling better. And he

even spoke to his teammates today via a video chat. Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest during his, this week's Monday night football game.

He remains in critical condition but doctors are extremely encouraged that he appears to be showing no signs of any neurological damage. We have

Adrienne Broaddus outside Hamlin's Hospital in Cincinnati. You've been covering the story the entire week. What a way to end it off with us good

news, take us through what we know.

ADRIENNE BROADDUS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: OK, the bill's telling us Damar Hamlin was able to join the team meeting today. He called in via face time,

he was able to talk to the players and the coaches telling them love you boys. These after physicians here at the University of Cincinnati Medical

Center, who are a part of his care team, say Damar's breathing tube was removed overnight.

And as you mentioned, he still continues to show signs of remarkable improvements. And doctors saying these positive updates that we're sharing

with you and our viewers go back to what happened on the field Monday night. Moments after Damar collapse every second matter doctor saying those

were critical moments.

And really praising the medical staff associated with the bills because they were able to recognize that something was wrong saying something

wasn't right. Moments after he collapsed, we know people were adding his side medical professionals within seconds performing CPR for nearly nine

minutes. We're also hearing from Tee Higgins. He is the player from the other team who was involved in that tackle before Damar collapse. He had

something to share with us too, listen in.


TEE HIGGINS, WIDE RECEIVER, CINCINNATI BENGALS: Obviously, it's been hard, you know, just because you know, I have something to do with the play and

whatnot. But, you know, everybody's been making me feel so whole again, you know, I talk to his mom. And know everything is OK. He's doing good. So, I

mean, I'm in a good place right now.


BROADDUS: Certainly lifting up spirits of all of the players as they head into this weekend. Doctor saying despite this progress, Damar still has a

long road ahead when it comes to his recovery. But everything they've seen so far have been necessary for Damar in terms of moving forward, back to



GIOKOS: Adrienne Broaddus, thank you so very much for keeping us informed the entire week on Damar Hamlin's condition. It's good to see you. Now, a

new Alzheimer's drug could soon be approved by the U.S. Food Drug Administration. The experimental medication has shown potential, but has

also raised safety concerns because of the potential side effects. Dr. Sanjay Gupta breaks it down for us.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): At first, the signs can be subtle, missing your exit on the freeway, forgetting what

you need at the grocery store, misplacing your keys.

JACK DRISCOLL, ALZHEIMER'S TRIAL PATIENT: I'll look at my phone and read the names and a lot of them don't mean anything to me.

DR. GUPTA (voice over): Your life marches on independently, but the markers of memory slowly, surely begin to fade. That's what early Alzheimer's feels

like. When 80 year old Jack Driscoll got his own Alzheimer's diagnosis in 2019, he was doing OK. But he worried what his future would eventually have

in store.

DRISCOLL: I talked to my wife and I talked to my kids and let them know that maybe down the road, I wasn't going to be the same as I was then.

DR. GUPTA (voice over): So in 2021, Jack enrolled in a clinical trial for an experimental drug called Lecanemab. Now pending approval by the FDA,

this drug could help postpone the fate of those with early Alzheimer's, in part by removing amyloid plaques from the brain.

DR. RICHARD ISAACSON, PREVENTIVE NEUROLOGIST: We're finding that this specific type of amyloid when removed actually associates or correlates

with a slowing of cognitive decline.

DR. GUPTA (voice over): Most importantly, clinical trials of the drug found that it slowed cognitive decline in people with early Alzheimer's by 27

percent. What does that mean? According to models by the drug maker, someone who was 80 like Jack could experience a two to three year delay in

progression to worsening of his Alzheimer's disease.

DR. ISAACSON: We've been targeting Alzheimer's disease at the end stage when people have dementia where they can no longer take care of themselves

in the pathology and the plaques and the tangles have built up. And by that time, there's not as much we can do.

DR. GUPTA (voice over): But nothing comes without risks. And the ones that come with this type of drug have raised red flags.

DR. SHARON COHEN, MEDICAL DIRECTOR, TORONTO MEMORY PROGRAM: We have known for many years that with almost all of the drugs in this class, there can

be a side effect of ARIA.

DR. GUPTA (voice over): Dr. Sharon Cohen has been studying Alzheimer's drugs for 30 years and was part of the clinical trial for Lecanemab. What

she is talking about ARIA is amyloid related imaging abnormality. It can look like this, or this. It's brain swelling or brain bleeding. Though

Cohen says these types of side effects were mostly mild in the trial.

DR. COHEN: We do know that Lecanemab has a low rate of causing macro hemorrhage not necessarily fatal, but a low rate less than 1 percent.

DR. GUPTA (voice over): In the phase three clinical trial, there were seven deaths in the placebo group and six deaths in Lecanemab group. According to

the investigators, though, none of the deaths were considered to be due to Lecanemab or ARIA. The New England Journal of Medicine recently published

details of an additional death of a patient on the drug who had been given blood thinners raising additional concerns.

DR. COHEN: It's pretty hard to say Lecanemab caused that when you're giving a drug that itself can cause significant bleeding. However, the combination

gives us pause.

DR. GUPTA (voice over): Neurologist Dr. Richard Isaacson agrees that while this drug shows promise, it must come with caution, for example, avoiding

blood thinners while taking the medication.

DR. ISAACSON: I will prescribe this drug in the right person at the right dose and in a very carefully monitored way. But this drug is not for


DR. GUPTA (voice over): For Jack, the possibility of continuing to live a full life spending quality time with all four children and all nine

grandchildren, even for just a while longer. Well, that is worth the risk.

DRISCOLL: As far as I'm concerned, we're having a great life right now. And things are good. And my wife is a wonderful caretaker. So we get with each

other and we know what, we're living with.


DR. GUPTA: So Eleni, it's not a home run, but it's progress potentially. And for someone like Jack, the rewards clearly outweigh the risks. We're

going to see what the FDA does here in the United States. But I think a couple things that I'll be looking for.

One is how are they going to address these concerns about bleeding? A lot of people of that age are on blood thinners that might be something that

could be a contraindication for this drug. Also cost, I mean, there was another drug that was out there recently - Lecanemab $28,000 a year that's

a lot of money. And if there's a lot of people who qualify for this, how are they going to balance costs in that population as well.


DR. GUPTA: So we'll see that's what I'm going to be looking for, but potentially some good news out there in the world of Alzheimer's, Eleni.

GIOKOS: Yes, potentially some good news, very encouraging, a big thank you to Sanjay Gupta. Alright U.S. lawmakers are gathering for their latest

showdown, will the 12 time work for Kevin McCarthy to gain the house speakership. Still ahead we'll look at back at some of the quirkier moments

in this historic context. Stay with us.


GIOKOS: After nearly one month pause in activity, Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano is spewing lava again it began erupting Thursday inside its summit crater.

Authorities say it's contained within the crater and that there is no danger to residential communities. Those are pictures as you can see of


Right, it's well frowned voting to choose the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives could begin in just a few minutes; Republican Kevin

McCarthy will try again to win the seat. He's been defeated 11 times in three days of voting. The drama in Washington DC over the election is not

really a laughing matter. But leave it to our Jeanne Moos to find some unexpected moments.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Focus the binoculars pop the popcorn the speakership fiasco is Corinne from extremely rowdy to extremely

sleep inducing baby wake up. Democrats chanted their house leaders name like it was a football game. Republican Representative Kat Cammack made

accusations that had Democrats saying, what.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They want us to fight each other that much has been made clear by the popcorn and blankets and alcohol that is coming over


MOOS (voice over): OK, it's true that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The house is not an order.

MOOS (voice over): But no alcohol was being ordered as vote after vote ended with the same words.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A speaker has not been elected.

MOOS (voice over): one of the House Speaker Kevin McCarthy probably didn't appreciate the Select All images with speakers joke. Democratic

Representative Jimmy Gomez was wearing his four month old son as he voted for Hakeem Jeffries. AOC gave the baby a congratulatory belly rub between

speeches members were shooting off their mouths and their fingers gesticulating madly.

It left viewers trying to lip read. And when AOC chatted with arch enemy Republicans and inspired non-sensical bad lip readings.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You heard the pied piper? Well, my dream Pied Piper had toilet paper, one sheet of the cheap kind.


MOOS (voice over): Democrats groan when Matt Gaetz voted for a certain ex- president for Speaker of the House. Even hardcore republicans couldn't keep a straight face and check out the face of the newly elected congressman who

got caught in a web of lies about himself, George Santos.



MOOS (voice over): He didn't recognize his own name during one roll call.


MOOS (voice over): George, who? One commentator wrote the poor house clerk is dangerously close to running out of pencil. And this kid may be old

enough to speak by the time they elect a speaker. Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


GIOKOS: What a story. Best part, the babies, I think they should be a permanent feature in the house. Al l right, so up next is Zain Asher's "One

World". And they will have more of the drama from the U.S. Congress in Washington. From me and the "Connect the World" team, I hope you have a

fantastic weekend. I'm Eleni Giokos in Dubai, you take care.