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Connect the World
Israel and Militants Trade Strikes Hours after Deadly Raid; Family Attorney: Tyre Called out for his Mother on Video; Ukraine Pushes for more Military Aid after Russian Strikes; Russian Media Mock Weapon Shipments to Ukraine; Police Reveal What They Found in Matteo Messina Denaro's Home; Young Musicians Bridge U.S-Cuba Divide. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired January 27, 2023 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ELENI GIOKOS, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: I'm Eleni Giokos. Hello and welcome back to the second hour of "Connect the World". Coming up, we'll
bring you the heartbreaking exclusive interview that CNN's Don Lemon did with the parents of Tyre Nichols, who was beaten to death by police in
Plus, the latest on the situation in Ukraine where Russia continues its deadly assault but first, Israel and the Palestinian territories are
heading into a tense weekend following a violent and troubling couple of days.
Palestinians protested today against and especially deadly Israeli raid in the West Bank Thursday. Overnight militants in Gaza send rockets towards
Israel which says most were intercepted. Israel hit back targeting what it says was a Hamas rocket making facility.
Israel Defense Ministry says security forces are preparing in case they have to act until peace is restored now tensions were already rising before
the raid. So how close are the two sides to the edge and what will it take to pull them back?
CNN's Hadas Gold has been working the story for us from Jerusalem. Hadas good to have you on! You know since this raid, we've actually seen a
tensions heightened. I want you to take me through what's ensued in the last 24 hours?
HADAS GOLD, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Eleni. So this started yesterday morning when the Israeli military conducted a rather unusual
broad daylight military right into the Janine refugee camp. Unusual because the Israeli military typically conducts these what they call
counterterrorism operations under the cover of night during the early dawn hours.
And it was also unusual for them to enter the Janine refugee camp itself. Now during this raid there during the ensuing firefight between what the
Israeli military said were militants and the Israeli forces. We know that at least nine Palestinians were killed.
Now some militant groups have started to claim some of those people who were killed. But we also know that bystander a civilian woman in her 60s
was killed. Her daughter telling Reuters that she opened the window to see what's happening and she happened to get struck by a bullet her daughter
The Israeli military says they're looking into the reports of a civilian being killed. And then shortly after a 10th Palestinian was killed during
further clashes that were in response to a demonstration in response to the Jenin raid, something that the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud
Abbas called a massacre.
And then in a drastic move the Palestinian Authority cut off the security cooperation coordination between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. This
is something that Israelis and Americans see as a critical to maintaining security between the two that was cut off. The U.S. State Department saying
that they think that was the wrong move.
And then a few hours later, as night fell, the sirens began sounding in Southern Israel in the communities along the Gaza border. Around seven
total rockets were launched from Gaza towards Israel responding with those airstrikes.
As far as we understand there were no injuries from either in either Gaza or in Southern Israel related to those rockets being fired or the
airstrikes in response. And the tensions have continued today to Friday, there were demonstrations at the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem.
There were further demonstrations and some more minor clashes elsewhere in the West Bank, not nearly to the level of what we saw on Thursday. And as
you noted, the Israeli Security Ministry of Defense said that they are prepared for anything but they would rather prefer if they say things
And this is coming at a critical point. I mean, this week in the coming days, we're expecting U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to meet with
Israeli leaders and Palestinian leaders, very tense moments here.
Everyone is wondering whether this will further spiral out of control, or whether perhaps the presence of the American Secretary of State will
somehow be able to help calm the situation through negotiations or discussions between all the sides Eleni?
GIOKOS: Hadas I want to talk about the security coordination pact. And it seems that that has now been suspended. I guess the question is what does
this mean? Is it going to be enforced? And what are you hearing?
GOLD: Yes, so it's really interesting, the Palestinian Authority and the Israelis have the security coordination and it governs everything from some
civilian matters, like permits to cross borders to actual intelligence over militant groups.
And sometimes you see the Palestinian Authority security forces going in and conducting their own raids in parts of the West Bank to capture
militants so there is a bit of coordination there. And especially people in the Israeli security establishment they really think that this is a very
useful tool to help keep things somewhat calm.
GOLD: But this isn't the first time that the security coordination has been cut off. The Palestinian Authority did so in 2020, they did so in 2017 both
times were ultimately temporary in 2020 it was only about six months or so.
But some experts in the security establishment here in Israel say that in those six months, when the security coordination was cut off the situation,
the security situation deteriorated. And some of them actually say that that helped contribute. That security coordination being cut off for those
six months helped contribute to what we are seeing now the realms we've seen now in the past year or so.
GIOKOS: Hadas Gold, thank you so much. My next guest warns that after the Janine raid, tensions could not boil over. Nour Odeh is a Political Analyst
and Former Spokesperson for the Palestinian Authority. She joins me now. Thank you so much for your time.
I want to start with the security coordination. And as Hadas Gold just said it covers everything from civilian matters to intelligence issues, and has
the potential to see the relationship deteriorate further security matters deteriorate. What are you reading into this and whether this is actually
going to be enforced?
NOUR ODEH, POLITICAL ANALIYST: Well, it's not clear how long this suspension will last. But I have to tell you that this is a very peculiar
aspect of the relationship between the Palestinians and their occupier, Israel.
And it's the only situation I can think of where a people under occupation were required by the international community to guarantee a security of
their occupier and to cooperate with them on securing that, you know, a common piece for the occupier, so to speak, this has nothing to do with the
security of ordinary Palestinians who, as your reporter, was just explaining, have been subjected to a very brutal past few days.
In fact, past few months, really, the 2022 was the most violent year for Palestinians in the West Bank, and in over 15 years, highest number of
Palestinians killed of Palestinian homes demolished of Palestinian families dispossessed by Israel. And 2023 does not look like it's going to be any
More than 30 Palestinians killed, including children in just 27 days. So how long it will last? It's not very clear. But the fact that it did happen
is welcomed by the Palestinian public who view this as a very humiliating aspect of this arrangement with Israel.
GIOKOS: Look, 2022 was deadly for both Palestinians and Israelis as well. And it just goes to show just where we are right now, with a situation. We
also know that this was an unusual rate, because it happened in daylight, and we had Israeli forces going in to the camp which they don't normally
I want you to take me through what this means at a time where you have the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken about to visit as well. And we're
seeing sort of live images. We've seen protests action as well, coming to the fore. How would you define what we're seeing here?
ODEH: Well, it's quite simply and predictably, unfortunately, it was the Israeli government delivering on its promise. The promise that got it into
office to begin with, which is to increase brutality against the Palestinians, to show them whose boss while at the same time denying that
these Palestinians even exist and rejecting any suggestion that they have a right to be free and in a country of their own.
So this was not a surprise. It was very predictable for Palestinians. We've expected this ever since this right wing coalition took office. But I think
what is really peculiar, is the fact that everybody in this whole story keeps being framed in a way that is detached from reality, at least from
the reality that other similar stories are framed in.
Israel is an occupation force in Palestine. It's not a friendly state that is cooperating with the Palestinians to combat terrorism, it is an
occupier. And as such, it is faced with resistance from the people it occupies against their will. If we put that formula and we apply it to
what's happening elsewhere, like say Ukraine?
We'd see that the international reaction was very different a rejection of occupation, support for resistance of occupation support for the right for
self-determination. So the peculiar part of the story really is not the Palestinians don't like being controlled by a foreign military and oppose
ODEH: It is that the world expects a different reaction from them and expects them to cooperate with their occupier and maintain clam.
GIOKOS: So what are you expecting then from Antony Blinken's visit? What do you think is going to be on the agenda? Given the current tense scenarios
there are playing out. Because Hamas launched rockets into Israel yesterday, Israel intercepted those. Israel then responded by launching air
strikes into Gaza today as well.
ODEH: Yes. Look, unfortunately, I personally don't expect much from the Blinken visit. I think the Biden Administration has shown very clearly that
it has no interest on spending political capital on this it will I think, try as much as it can to pressure the Palestinians into going back to
It will ask Netanyahu to kind of rein in the demons if you will, and maintain calm, at least for some time, and not push things over the edge,
because ultimately, things really boil over and we have a full on confrontation. The consequences will be devastating, first and foremost,
for Palestinian, but it will be an international mess the Biden Administration simply doesn't want to deal with at this point.
The only way for this dynamic to change significantly is for the Americans and for the Europeans to treat this government and its agenda the way they
would any other government which is to say that they need to apply pressure on the Netanyahu government to change course, to stop rejecting
international law, to comply with its obligations to stop rejecting the notion of Palestinian statehood and freedom.
The right of Palestinians to be free and to sit and talk about ending that occupation, rather than entrenching it further, barring that, and until
there is enough popular pressure to push governments into that direction I fear that we are looking at very, very tense and volatile few months ahead.
GIOKOS: Nour, very quickly, because we're running out of time. Rumors of protests, general strike action across the West Bank over the weekend, what
are you hearing on the ground? Have you come across any news in terms of what the local reaction will be?
ODEH: There will be protests against the Blinken visit because people have very low expectations they or at least they expect that the pressure will
be applied on Palestinians rather than them receiving support.
But beyond that, I think generally the situation is just volatile. The tension and the friction between Palestinians and Israelis, and the Israeli
army will continue. We have to remember that a reality of occupation is not one of peace.
So when Israel talks about restoring peace, it's talking about its own reality, not that of Palestinians whose movement and access to health and
education and travel are controlled by a foreign military. Maintaining the status quo I think will be very difficult unless and until pressure is
applied to change the dynamics and change policy really, in Tel Aviv.
GIOKOS: Nour, thank you very much for your time. It was good to have you on. Appreciate it.
ODEH: Thank you for having me.
GIOKOS: Well, we have a lot more about how that raid in Janine unfolded in our newsletter "Meanwhile in the Middle East". We take a deeper dive into
important issues affecting the region. For example, Turkey's upcoming election, it could stretch the term of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan into
a third decade. You can find it all at cnn.com/middleeast.
Today, the American public and the entire world will see what happened to 29 year old Tyre Nichols during a violent confrontation with police in
Memphis, Tennessee? The injuries Nichols sustained during the arrest ultimately led to his death three days later. We've learned the video will
be released after 7 pm Eastern Time.
The footage including body cameras has been described as appalling, horrific and inhumane. Five officers have been fired and charged with
several felonies including second degree murder. Tyre Nichols' mother and stepfather sat down a short time ago for an exclusive interview with my
colleague Don Lemon.
It's their first since charges were announced for the police officers involved. Their family attorney Benjamin Crump was with him and he says
some of the last words on the video to be released later, after recalling out to his mother. Take a listen.
(BERGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN CRUMP, ATTORNEY FOR TYRE NICHOLS FAMILY: The last words on that video that America has been here and Ms. Wells he calls out for you three
times. Gut wrenching screams for his mom.
ROWVAUGHN WELLS, TYRE NICHOLS MOTHER: That was my baby. He was a mama's boy, that boy love me to death. Yes, my name debt is over. People don't
know what those black police officers did to our family.
And they really don't know what they did to their own families. They have put their own families in harm's way. They have brought shame to their own
families. They brought shame to the black community. I just feel sorry for them. I really do. I really feel sorry for them.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Why do you say that?
WELLS: Because they didn't have to do this and like I said they brought a lot of shame to their own family. Once you see this video, and I had no I
didn't see it, but from what I hear. It's horrific and the humanity of it all. Where was the humanity? They beat my son like a piano. My son he had
Crohn's disease. He has surgery in 2013.
My son weighed a buck 50. He was six three, and he weighed a buck 50. And those mean if you combine their weights, they are - it was over a thousand
pounds beating and beating 150 pound people to death because that's what they beat. They beat my son to death.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS: Unimaginable pain there. That was Tyre Nichols' mother. Well, the Memphis Police Chief says the amount of aggression she saw on the video of
Tyre Nichols' arrest was in her words unexplainable calling it as bad if not worse than the 1991 beating of Rodney King. Chief Cerelyn Davis likened
her officer's actions to a "Group think mentality". She spoke to CNN just hours ago, in a first interview since Nichols' death.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CERELYN DAVIS, MEMPHIS POLICE CHIEF: That was outraged. I was - it was incomprehensible to me. It was unconscionable. And I felt that I needed to
do something and do something quickly. I don't think I've witnessed anything of that nature my entire career.
You're going to see - defy humanity. You're going to see a disregard for life. Duty of care that we're all sworn to, and a level of physical
interaction that is above and beyond what is required in law enforcement.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS: All right, we're watching for a news conference from the family of Tyre Nichols. They're set to speak in the next hour, one day after five
fired police officers were indicted in the violent death of a 29 year old son. We'll bring it to you live. We'll be back after this quick break stay
GIOKOS: Welcome back. Ukraine's president is urging the West to provide more weapons after the latest round of Russian attacks. Ukraine's military
says it shut down 47 of 17 missiles launched at Ukraine, along with 18 Iranian made drones; at least 11 people were killed.
Missiles that did make it through targeted energy facilities and hit some residential areas substantial damage to the power grid are reported.
Meantime, fighting is intensifying in several cities in the Donetsk region, including Bakhmut. Fred Pleitgen has more on that for us.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Ukraine's tanks taking aim at the invading Russians. Kyiv's forces rallying
to try to halt the massive assault on Bakhmut. The city where there are still some 6000 civilians has become a culture and a fire.
PLEITGEN (on camera): From this vantage point, you can both see and hear just how fierce the fighting is. You can hear impacts from heavy weapons
not just every minute, but literally every second. The Ukrainian says that the Russians are pouring a massive amount of personnel and weapons into
this area because they seem to want to tick Bakhmut at nearly any cost.
PLEITGEN (voice over): There are plenty of regular Russian troops fighting around Bakhmut now. But the Ukrainian say it's still the Wagner private
military company that's leading the charge, with waves of fighters trying to storm Ukrainian positions both north and south of the city, as well as
specialized forces like the snipers claiming to have killed Ukrainian soldier.
PLEITGEN (on camera): All I could see was a curtain window, the sniper says the person who was paired with me saw a thermal outline and I just
determined where to shoot. Wagner's boss Yevgeny Prigogine often touts his malicious successes, but the cost is immense.
This is a Wagner cemetery in the Krasnodar region of southern Russia. Row after row of fresh graves, a disposable force used to take just a few
kilometers of land. Wagner acknowledges recruiting prisoners straight out of jail and throwing them on the battlefield with minimal training and only
slim chances of survival.
That same indifference shown and Russian strikes that kill and maim Ukrainian civilians every day. These folks are cleaning up after a Russian
missile landed in their neighborhood near Bakhmut. We were getting heating from the heating plant which was hit Yuri tells me. Yesterday at three
o'clock it was destroyed. So now we have no electricity, no heating, we have nothing.
And a few miles away one person was killed in another densely populated area. Some of the long-distance drones and missiles that Russia uses to
attack Ukraine come down right near civilian areas. This year is only a few yards away from a kindergarten However, others are used to directly target
Within 50 missiles fired just on Thursday, while many of them were intercepted by Ukrainian air defenses. Some were not brought down adding to
the daily toll of destruction. The missile terror more motivation for Ukraine soldiers around Bakhmut to stand their ground and bring Vladimir
Putin's invasion to a standstill. Fred Pleitgen CNN near Bakhmut, Ukraine.
GIOKOS: Sam Kiley is back with us this hour from Kyiv. We just heard Fred's reports. The incessant bombardment, specifically in Bakhmut and of course,
there's been advice to the Ukrainians focus elsewhere. Could you give me an idea of what is happening on the front lines here, Sam?
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you got an 800- mile front line, at least stretching from the north of this country in a great kind of U shape all the way round to the south. Now the fighting has
been concentrated in the east around Bakhmut, but also towns to the north and south of there in that area, the salient that pushes a furthest into
territory that has already been grabbed by Russia.
KILEY: But there has been an increase in operations by both sides but notably by Russia low level operations on the front in the south in
Zaporizhzhia and continuous almost continuous bombardment of the recently relatively recently liberated city of Kherson across the Dnieper River
where the Russians are on the other side of the river now pounding the civilian city.
The anticipation is, though, that there could be an offensive from the Russians in the spring, if not sooner than that. The Ukrainians are saying
they need more weapons more capability to protect their skies because they want to assault their own conduct; their own assaults regain the momentum
that was so effective in liberating Kherson.
And before that, a large area round kind of Kyiv, not that far from where Fred was reporting there Eleni. And now they're also pointing out that this
latest wave of missile attacks included at least two Kinzel missiles. These are hypersonic, that sort of ultra-supersonic, if you like, missiles
launched from aircraft that evade all of the capabilities that the Ukrainians have in terms of surface to air defenses.
And reinforces from the Ukrainian perspective, according to the Ukrainian Air Force spokesman, the need that they have for patriots and other
sophisticated air defenses, because this very state of the new missiles developed by Russia that the United States is also trying to develop, we
understand are almost impossible to stop because they fly so fast, and they're highly maneuverable.
They're also capable of delivering a warhead of some 500 kilograms, about 1100 pounds of high explosives or ultimately, a nuclear warhead. So, you've
got this very strange situation in which you've got very highly sophisticated 21st century type weapons being used by Russian from time to
And then as Fred was reporting there, these human wave attacks being conducted by conscripts and by semi-conscripted prisoners but under the
Wagner group with reportedly we don't have independent verification this punishment battalions to the rear forcing young Russian soldiers to attack
These Ukrainian defenses are becoming a very ugly and very bloody war at ground level and increasingly dangerous in its sophistication in the air,
GIOKOS: Yes, it's intensifying. And of course, we're seeing damage to critical infrastructure as well. Sam Kiley, thank you so much. And you can
keep up with the latest developments from Ukraine on our website. There's a story on the latest promises of weapons deliveries to Ukraine asking after
tanks will fighter jets be next, why one analyst says if you can does get the jets they won't be effective against Russia.
That's at cnn.com on your computer or through the CNN app on your smartphone. They're meant to protect and serve but in Haiti, some police
officers have joined protests so violence. Special Forces extracted the prime minister from his home for protection.
GIOKOS: Well, we're waiting for a news conference from the family of Tyre Nichols that we've been telling you about. They're set to speak in about 30
minutes. This comes one day after five former police officers were indicted in the violent death of the 29 year old son earlier this month in Memphis,
There's a video of the confrontation and cities across the U.S. are bracing for it to go public in a matter of hours. Tyre's mother and stepfather sat
down a short time ago for an exclusive interview with CNN. Here's what his mom had to say about the video.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WELLS: And I know I didn't see it before when I hear it's horrific and the humanity of it all. Where was the humanity? They beat my son like a piano,
must weigh the buck 50, he was six three, and he weighed a buck 50. And those mean if you combine their weights, they are it was over 1000 pay-outs
beating and beating 150 person to death because that's what beat to death.
LEMON: He cried out for his mom.
WELLS: Yes. Yes, he cried out for me, because I was his mother. And that's what he was trying to get home to safety.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS: Tyre's mother is calling for peaceful protests once the video is released. Russia's propaganda machine is in high gear as the war in Ukraine
nears the one-year mark. Vladimir Putin supporters in state media are making a mockery of Western weapons but not everyone is buying it. CNN's
Nic Robertson reports.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice over): Toothless cats battered Abrams he says, the Russian state media anchor points to a
huge graphic alleging flaws in the NATO tanks. His purpose for propaganda playing down risks the Russian troops in Ukraine does seem to be working.
Sending tanks is going to be bad for the Americans and German, she says. We're going to win regardless; Sergei tells us is just enlarging the
conflict if we pull out the West will put more pressure on us. But not everyone buys the state TV hype.
Putin has killed off independent media, but not independence of mind. This young film student tells our team a friend was drafted and deployed but has
now disappeared. I'm for peace; she says it's very sad. People are dying. I'm on the verge of tears here.
I don't know if it's true or not or what's going on in this war, this lady tells us but I do know people who've been killed. Some of them are friends.
All emotions the Kremlin likes to prey on. Around the Capitol air defense systems have been lofted atop government buildings for less than subtle
message. Russia is under threat.
Its leverage Putin needs to drum up more recruits for the increasingly unpopular meat grinder. That is Ukraine's frontline trenches. In more
primetime Putin propaganda Yevgeni pop off pops upon for the audience tells them the German Leopard 2 tanks will burn very nicely.
Another Putin acolyte, the insanely popular Vladimir Solovyov asked the audience after all, this isn't Berlin, a lawful target. Such is the stitch
up in Russian media, Putin is able to spend almost any message he wants. His TV puppets serve fast and fear in equal measure.
But even that's not going down so well with some. Everyone is listening to --opinion this lady says, but it would be good if the experts started
expressing their real opinions, instead of obeying orders from Putin.
ROBERTSON (voice over): What's real is anyone's guess. And for some that means tuning out. This lady tells us she doesn't know about the tanks when
we asked her opinion. I think that this is a political war and not a war for the people, this lady tells the team. What are we supposed to do, she
says, our opinions mean - squat.
ROBERTSON: Increasingly isolated from outside views and under threat of harsh retribution if they descend, Russians are stuck in a rut in a war
they don't want with a leader they can't remove and the threat of potential recruitment around the corner. They're doing what Russians have
historically done in the face of adversity, focusing on their own survival. Nic Robertson, CNN, London.
GIOKOS: Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry is safe and sound and that's according to his special adviser who tells CNN Special Forces extracted Mr.
Henry from his home Thursday as protesters, including police officers attacked his official residence and the country's main airport in Port-au-
The official went so far as to call it an assassination attempt. Violence erupted in Haitian capital after armed gangs killed at least 10 police
officers in the past week. We've got Patrick Oppmann on the ground for us from nearby Cuba.
Patrick, listening to those officials saying calling it a potential assassination attempt, it reminds us of the assassination of President
Jovenel Moise. This, of course, is fanning the flames of what we've seen the political chaos that has ensued over the past few years. But why police
joining in these protests because you give me a sense of what's playing out.
PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Of course, police are furious because over the last week or so they have lost at least 10 officers, some of these
officers while they've been battling the gangs in Haiti often have better weapons, and they do often have a greater control of the streets than they
And in some cases, the officers that have been slain by the gangs, they've not even been able to recover their bodies yet. So very clearly that the
gangs exert control over the streets in Haiti that is much greater than the police can have often and the confrontations we see the gangs simply are
able to outgun and outmaneuver the police.
So, it is a losing battle between the police and the gangs. And they feel that the government has essentially left them out to drive as set them up
to fail that they do not have the resources they need. And the government of course, has called in international peacekeepers and has asked other
countries to intervene.
But of course, no country at this point appears willing to so it is a situation in Haiti, a security situation that is simply getting out more
and more out of control. You're seeing embassies move their staff; NGOs move their staff out of Haiti because it has become too dangerous.
And even Haitian Prime Minister has had moments over the last several months where he has been unable to travel around Haiti because of the
security situation the fact that the gangs are so powerful. So, it is a very troubling development to see.
The police essentially rebel against their own government against their own Prime Minister and it was a near miss for Ariel Henry. He happened to be
returning from a conference in Argentina when protesters including some police attacked his official residence and then tried to attack him again
at the airport after he arrived and had to be evacuated by those Special Forces troops.
So, while he is safe, at the moment, we don't know where he is. He is essentially in hiding in his own country. It is not safe at this point for
the prime minister of Haiti to announce where he is in his own country.
GIOKOS: All right, Patrick Oppmann, thank you so much. Well, let's get you up to speed on some other stories that are on our radar right now. A state
of emergency has been declared in Auckland, New Zealand where a month's worth of rain fell in just one hour.
Auckland Airport said its terminals and roadways have flooded and that teams are working around the clock to get the airport up and operational as
soon as possible. Closed Circuit video shows a gunman opening fire at the Azerbaijan embassy and Tehran leaving the head of security dead and two
other guards wounded.
Iran says the attack was personal. Azerbaijan's President calling it terrorism. Iran says a suspect is under arrest. This is international
Holocaust Remembrance Day and for the first time in history, LGBTQ victims who were persecuted during World War Two were honored by the German
parliament. Some members of Germany's LGBTQ plus community attended Friday ceremony marking the 78th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.
GIOKOS: Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic says his father has no intention of supporting Russia's war in Ukraine. When he posed for a photo at the
Australian Open video emerged showing him standing next to a man holding a Russian flag with Vladimir Putin's face on it and wearing the t-shirt with
the symbol Z that backs the wall.
Father and son both say the incident was misinterpreted. The UAE says it has killed a senior ISIS leader in Somalia as well as ten other ISIS
members. The operation which took place in the mountainous region of northern Somalia had been months in the planning and was a rare military
operation by the U.S. in Somalia.
Bilal al-Sudani, the ISIS leader killed in the raid was a key part of funding ISIS's terror campaigns around the world. Let's head to CNN's David
McKenzie with more on the story. It was interesting to see that U.S. troops were actually sent on site as opposed to using less risky types, sort of
like drone strikes. Could you tell me how important this raid was for the United States?
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, certainly Eleni, according to U.S. officials that CNN spoke to it was a critical
operation. And as you say, it is relatively rare for U.S. Commandos, Special Operations Forces to be on the ground in this kind of rate. It's
not unheard of. But it is rare.
Just last week, there was in fact, an airstrike on the much more powerful al Shabaab al Qaeda linked group, a defensive strike last weekend,
according to U.S. officials, but this is something different entirely. I think the ISIS Somalia group is not particularly powerful.
But I think it's more about the potential linkages and financial importance of this individual, according to U.S. officials, and the Secretary of
Defense saying that, Bilal al-Sudani and those around him were helping to grow the importance of ISIS in the African context and as far afield as
So this is, in a way it seems striking at the organizational structure at the financial structure of ISIS. You've seen in recent years, affiliates of
ISIS with various degrees of direct links to ISIS central cropping up in parts of Africa, especially in parts of central and eastern Africa. We
recently reported on ISIS in Mozambique, you've also got a large ISIS presence in the Sahel. The last time I saw al-Sudani's name crop up was
late last year.
And that was in relation to the Treasury openly talking about his alleged links with a financial sell, fundraising sells of ISIS, according to the
U.S. Treasury here in South Africa. So, it seems that the U.S. is at pains to stop these financial linkages. This would have been a long-planned
assault. It was approved by the U.S. president given the riskiness of it.
And it is noteworthy Eleni that the U.S. officials are talking about very useful intelligence that was gathered by these commanders something that's
of course, impossible when it comes to an air strike or drone strike. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in terms of the impact of
ISIS on the continent, because that impact is in fact correct, Eleni.
GIOKOS: David McKenzie, thank you so much. A mafia boss is awaiting trial in Italy. We're learning that he was living a fairly regular life even
though he was one of Europe's most ones of men. What we know, next.
GIOKOS: Police in Italy are combing through the apartment where mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro is so to have lived in the months leading up to his
arrest. The apartment building is just a few kilometers away from his hometown. Authorities say Messina Denaro was living a regular life, which
included going to the supermarkets even though he was one of the most wanted men in Europe.
And he was arrested in Sicily earlier this month after 30 years on the run. Barbie Nadeau is in Rome for us. It's extraordinary actually looking at the
story he was hiding in plain sight. His mistake that led to his race was going to a clinic. What have we discovered in this process?
BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, you know, authorities are looking really closely at these hideouts, they found three so far, they're looking
at DNA evidence to make sure he was there and to find out whom else was there. But they've also found some very curious items we took a closer
NADEAU (voice over): Infamous mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro's arrest has taken Italy by storm, every detail of his life in hiding for the last 30
years scrutinized to the nth degree. He may have been hiding from the law, but he certainly wasn't hidden away.
Moments before his arrest on January 16, Messina, Denaro can be seen in police video walking freely and alone into a private health care clinic in
Palermo. Raids of three of the 60 year olds hideouts have turned up a collection of high end sunglasses and other luxury goods.
Journalist Roberto Saviano has been living under police protection since 2006 when he wrote his book about the mafia Camorra. Authority says they
also found a collection of movie memorabilia, including posters from the Joker and the Godfather.
Saviano tells us that the Godfather movie is fundamental in the formation of mafiosi. They see themselves in the portrayals of the inner conflicts.
They live the same realities. But he also knows that the fact that Messina Denaro wasn't handcuffed after his arrest sends a message.
Carabinieri want to show the force is totally collaborative, he tells us. Messina Denaro chose not to attend his first court date last week, which is
his right under Italian law. His next court date is March 9 for the deadly bombings of two anti-mafia judges in Sicily in 1992.
Prior to his arrest the last time Messina Denaro was thought to have been seen in public was in 1993. But it is becoming clear that he led an open
life in a small town in Sicily, where some of his alleged hideouts were found. And that the - the code of silence that protects - also protected
NADEAU: And you know Eleni when you look at that that stuff inside it's not all the investigators are looking at, obviously, the godfather posts or you
know, makes headlines. But they're also really looking at who are in charge now, what commands he gave in those final moments that he was still out
And you know, sort of the future of the Sicilian Mafia, it's a very strong and powerful organization to this day, and just because he's behind bars,
doesn't mean that criminality has stopped Eleni?
GIOKOS: Absolutely. Barbie Nadeau thank you so much, I have to say is that the sunset dusk, behind you in Rome, it never disappoints. It's a really
beautiful image. We're admiring your background. Good to see you. Thank you so much.
GIOKOS: All right ahead, a musical exchange program could be an instrumental step in creating harmony between the U.S. and Cuba.
GIOKOS: Despite frosty relations on a political level music is helping Americans and Cubans make new connections. CNN's Patrick Oppmann talked
with musicians from both countries as they bonded over their art in Havana.
OPPMANN (voice over): It's not the kind of music you typically hear in Cuba. But then this is not a typical group of musicians either. For a week
in January four college age, U.S. musicians and their teachers traveled from freezing Minneapolis to sunny Havana to try their hand it cultural
It changes like this or just restarting after the pandemic, all the closed Cuba to the world. And the Trump Administration once again made it harder
for Americans to travel to the communist run Island. Well, tourism remains off limits for U.S. citizens. In 2022, the Biden Administration eases some
restrictions on Americans visiting Cuba.
These Americans brought musical instruments to donate and say they're coming away with a respect for Cuban musicians' ability to overcome
RENA KRAUT, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CUBAN AMERICAN YOUTH ORCHESTRA: And there's something inspiring about how their lack of the best instrument in the
world does not stop anyone from working and putting out the most beautiful musicianship.
OPPMANN (voice over): For hours each day, musicians from the two countries practice together, carry out workshops and perform in local schools. Their
budding collaboration is overseen by renowned Cuban conductor --Diana Garcia. I think the greatest benefit is spiritual, she says, her culture
that's apparently so different can have the same interests, the same dreams.
Organizers say they are planning on bringing the Cuban students taking part in the exchange to Minneapolis in the spring. So, they can show off their
skills to new audience.
MARIANNA NUNEZ, CUBAN MUSICIAN: That we have the passion, the emotion, the feelings, and the music inside of our blood.
OPPMANN (voice over): At the end of their time in Cuba, the American musicians and their Cuban counterparts play a show with the house of the
head of the U.S. embassy in Havana. This kind of exchange isn't about solving the long running problems between the two countries, governments,
the musicians say.
ROAN FLOER-MARTINEZ, U.S. MUSICIAN: Whatever you may think about, you know, the respective governments of any two countries, you know, it's not about
the government ultimately, it's about the people and it's about getting to know them and getting to connect with them.
OPPMANN (voice over): And when there is that connection, beautiful music is sure to follow. Patrick Oppmann, CNN Havana.
GIOKOS: The director of the FBI says he was appalled by the video of Tyre Nichols confrontation with Memphis police. Christopher Ray joined the U.S.
Attorney General earlier this hour in calling for protests remain peaceful.
GIOKOS: Once video of Nichols arrest is released, we're expecting to see that footage, which includes police body camps after 7 pm eastern today.
We're also watching four news conferences from the family of Tyre Nichols that could get underway in the next few minutes. We'll bring that to you
live when it happens. Thanks so much for watching "Connect the World". I am Eleni Giokos in Dubai.