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Kramatorsk under Fire for Second Straight Day; Israel Hits Gaza with Airstrikes; Macron, Netanyahu Meeting in Paris; Couple Sentenced to Prison in Iran after Dancing in Public; Praise and Protests at George Pell Funeral; Pope Rallies DRC Youth; Louis Vuitton and Yayoi Kusama Launch New Campaign. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired February 02, 2023 - 10:00   ET




ELENI GIOKOS, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): CNN is on the front lines near the eastern city of Kramatorsk, in Ukraine, where Russian

strikes have hit civilian buildings. This, as E.U. leaders arrive in Kyiv for a war summit on Friday.

Israel carries out airstrikes in Gaza, while prime minister Netanyahu prepares to meet the French president in Paris.

What is on the diplomatic agenda?

And a message from Pope Francis, say no to corruption. The leader of the Catholic Church is joining huge crowds on his visit to Africa. We are live

in Nairobi.


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

People desperately ran for cover for a second day in the Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk as Russian missiles rained down. Today's attack came after three

people were killed in a strike on apartment buildings on Wednesday.

Searchers are digging for anyone who may be trapped. Kramatorsk is in the eastern Donetsk region, which has been at the center of the fighting. The

new strikes come on the eve of a summit between European Union and Ukrainian leaders in Kyiv. CNN's Fred Pleitgen and his crew were nearby

when one of those strikes happened.

And he gives us this compelling report.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We are going basically to the scene of where that missile strike took place last night

on that residential building that killed several people because there is still a big rescue operation going on there.

We had just arrived at the scene, left our vehicles, when the house in front of which our vehicle was parked, was hit by a missile strike. It was

a really heavy explosion, very close by, I would say maybe 40 or 50 yards from our location.

So we then went, trying to go into shelter. And as we were doing that, I turned around and you could see the second missile hitting the exact same

area. We already know that there were people who were severely wounded on the ground there.

It is unclear if and how many people were killed. Of, course right now there is a big rescue operation going on there. But I think it is important

for our viewers to understand that this area this was in was an active search and rescue operation in a residential area.

And today, the Russians targeted exactly the same area with two very heavy missiles. And this was as there was a lot of civilians on the street. We

didn't see anybody in the way of military on the streets or any sort of military installations. It was right in the heart of the town of


And of course, we then decided to leave that area as fast as possible after we realized the coast was clear.


GIOKOS: All right, we've got CNN's Scott McLean that has been following the developments for us from London. And we will be joined by Fred Pleitgen

a little later from the ground in Ukraine.

Scott, great to have you on, I want to talk about the latest on the rescue operations. We have just seen the images that Fred brought to us. But you

can see the destruction, the devastation, that is happening right now in Kramatorsk.

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and the whole reason that Fred's team had that close call, Eleni, was because of the fact that there is this

ongoing rescue operation taking place.

That last word from officials, we have been told, that there were three people killed, eight wounded, two of them were critically, we have also got

new footage from inside a nearby hospital, where some patients have been taken.

And one woman who spoke to a Reuters group, briefly, from her hospital bed said that she just remembers sort of grooming her cat before she heard this

extremely loud explosion. And then all of a sudden, she felt pain, she says.

And in terms of the rescue operation for those who may be trapped, the local governor there says that there could be two people still trapped

under the rubble. But time here is really of the essence, because we are talking about something that took place now about 20 hours ago.

And if you consider that someone who may still be alive under there is very likely to be hurt, very likely to be dealing with the dust and smoke and

gas from the actual missile strike, not to mention the fact that, overnight, temperatures were below freezing. And today they remain right

around there as well, Eleni.

So it is very difficult for anyone to survive in those kind of conditions.

GIOKOS: Absolutely, and we are seeing those images Kramatorsk, after those missile strikes. It is extraordinary to see.


GIOKOS: This is ahead of the E.U. leaders summit on war in Ukraine. I want to talk about the mixed messaging from Western allies. Biden ruling out

sending F-16s, Macron saying that, by their definition, nothing is off the table.

And Poland also saying that it is a possibility they want to send fighter jets to Ukraine. I want you to give me a sense of what messaging we are

going into the summit with.

MCLEAN: Yes, so the answer always seems to be no before it is yes. And I think tanks are a perfect example of that, Eleni. It was a little over

three weeks ago that there was not a single Western country that was willing to send tanks to Ukraine.

Now there are 12 of them sending an initial round of more than 120 tanks to Ukraine in the coming months. These are complicated machines; they are

expensive machines and they take a heck of a lot of training as well.

And yet, countries that had previously said the answer was no, had slowly come around, all because of the leadership of Poland being the first to

actually commit them. And now you have a situation where the Polish prime minister has told the German newspaper that, look, he is going to go along

with whatever NATO decides on this.

But he went further than the French president, he went further than the Dutch prime minister in saying that if he were making the decision on

behalf of NATO unilaterally, he would want to send fighter jets to Ukraine.

He thinks that they are something that they need and that would be useful on the front lines in, really, allowing Ukraine to make some inroads and

actually pushing the Russians back in a really substantial way, especially ahead of this so-called spring invasion or this spring escalation that the

Ukrainians have been talking about.

And so, as you said, the Americans are no, the Germans are, no but now that the Poles are yes, we will have to see whether or not anyone's tune on this

actually changes.

GIOKOS: The debate rages on. Scott McLean, thank you so much for that insight.

We now have CNN's Fred Pleitgen, standing by. He and his team had just arrived on the scene when the new strikes began.

Fred, we saw your report, we saw some of the images, take me through what you and your team experienced.

PLEITGEN: Hi, there, Eleni. There was a big strike on the city of Kramatorsk last night that hit a residential building. And Ukrainians

obviously say that several people were killed in that, a lot of people were wounded, almost flattening that building entirely.

And right now, there was a search and rescue operation that was still going on there when we reached the town of Kramatorsk. It was a very big search

and rescue operation.

So we parked our car close to where that had happened and we'd just gotten out of the vehicle when a missile struck the building that we had just

parked in front of. Really, right next to where that search and rescue operation was going on.

It was a very big blast, a lot of people went running for cover. I wouldn't say a chaotic situation but certainly people knew that they were in danger.

So we also made our way to a place to seek cover as well.

And as we were going there, we saw a second missile hitting almost the exact location once again, two very powerful blasts. The Ukrainians are

saying that it was S-300 missiles that were used in those strikes. Those are missiles that are normally used to take down airplanes.

They also can be used on a ground to ground configuration. But when that is done, they are very inaccurate. And of course, when that is done to hit a

densely populated urban area, it becomes all the more dangerous.

This took place right in the center of town. And I think one of the things that we need to make clear is that there was a very large, active search

and rescue operation going on in that area. And those missiles targeted that very area where that operation was going on.

So there were rescue crews there; there were still people, the Ukrainians believe, trapped under the rubble there. There were a lot of civilians in

that area. And that is exactly where that second strike took place.

So we obviously had to take cover for a while and then managed to get out of there after that happened. But certainly, these strikes are definitely

something that shook a lot of people there on the ground and definitely something that struck right in the heart of a civilian city. Eleni.

Fred, thank you so much for that update, we will be catching up with you later on in this program as we get more details on those rescue operations.

So thank you so much. We will see you in about 13 minutes or so.

Fred Pleitgen there for us, just outside of Kramatorsk.

Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu will meet French president, Emmanuel Macron, in Paris today for a working dinner. The Elysee Palace

says Mr. Macron will voice solidarity with Israel in the face of terrorism and help push for resumed Israeli-Palestinian dialogue.

Netanyahu will reportedly bring up efforts to stop Iran's nuclear program. That meeting coming as Israel carries out airstrikes in Gaza, that happened

after Israel intercepted a rocket fired from Gaza into Israel.


GIOKOS: Now the Israeli military posted video that it says shows fighter jets targeting a chemical production site and a weapons manufacturing

facility owned by Hamas. A Palestinian news agency says that missiles hit a site in central Gaza, damaging two homes and agricultural land.

There are no reported casualties in Israel or Gaza. Hadas Gold is in Jerusalem for us, with more on those raids, and we also have Melissa Bell,

in Paris, where that working dinner will happen in just a few hours from now.

Hadas, I want to start with you. Take me through the latest on these Israeli strikes in Gaza.

HADAS GOLD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, so this happened just about 24 hours or so after secretary of state Antony Blinken left. There

was a rocket fired from Gaza toward Israel, as far as we understand there were no injuries.

There was some shrapnel that damaged a road. And then Israel, as it has been doing recently in its policy now for quite some time, any rocket that

gets launched from Gaza, even if it doesn't cause any major damage or cause any injuries, they respond some way.

And so they respond at this time with airstrikes. They say that they struck, what they called, a storage facility and weapons manufacturing

site. We don't have any reported injuries from Israel or Gaza.

In Gaza we do have some reports of a fire and some homes damaged and the Palestinian servicing some agricultural sites were targeted as well. This

is actually the second exchange of fire between Gaza militants and the Israeli military just in the past week.

The last round happened on Thursday evening after the Israeli military raid in Jenin in a similar situation outcome, rockets fired and airstrikes, no

reported injuries on either side.

But an interesting development in the last few hours on the diplomatic side of things is that we have heard from Hamas, that their senior leaders are

actually headed to Cairo right now to meet with the Egyptians.

We know that Secretary Blinken had specifically gone to Egypt before coming to Israel on the West Bank and he had requested the Egyptians to get

involved, which they historically have been very much involved in trying to calm the situation between Israelis and Palestinians.

And so it is definitely a sign that the Hamas chief is headed to Cairo. On the other part of the diplomatic activity that is affecting this region,

the Jordanian king is supposed to be having a lunch with President Joe Biden in Washington, D.C.

Jordan, historically, is also very much involved in negotiations here. They're also the traditional custodians of the holy site in Jerusalem, the

Al-Aqsa mosque compound, also known as the Temple Mount.

So I'm sure the Israeli-Palestinian situation is coming up. And as you noted, Benjamin Netanyahu is currently in the air on his way to Paris to

have a working dinner with Emmanuel Macron.

From what we've heard from the Israelis, Benjamin Netanyahu, his top priority is going to be discussing Iran. He didn't even mention the

Palestinians. Macron did mention that in what they plan to focus on.

But for Benjamin Netanyahu, even in this latest round of violence, he is trying to keep the focus on Iran, keep the focus not necessarily on what is

happening internally here. Eleni.

GIOKOS: All right, as you say, many meetings. A lot of dialogue happening between leaders at this stage. Hadas Gold, thank you so much.

We have Melissa Bell standing by for us in Paris.

And look, Hadas just spoke about some of the growing tensions that we've seen between Israelis and Palestinians. Netanyahu in Paris, Macron

expressing his availability to help with dialogue between the two sides.

But what is actually on the agenda?

MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is a working dinner that is very much likely to be focused on Iran, Eleni, after the two

leaders had that phone call on Sunday, at which the invitation was extended to Benjamin Netanyahu.

The communique that came out was all about condolences, of course, for those who lost their lives in the previous days. But also, condemnation of

Iran and its involvement in the killing of civilians in Ukraine. Of, course a clear reference to the growing use of Iranian drones in Russia's arsenal.

And this is an important priority for Europe, for Emmanuel Macron, the shift of position that we have seen from Benjamin Netanyahu, who had kept

Israel had maintained this very careful neutrality over the course of much of the last year.

Bear in mind, that just across the border from the Golan Heights, in Syria, there are Russian troops still present, Russian air defense systems. That

neutrality had been very carefully considered and maintained.

That shift, that we have now heard from Benjamin Netanyahu, is not only talking about aligning himself much more closely with the West but actually

providing weapons to the Ukrainian side, is an important one.

And that is likely to dominate. From the side of the Israeli prime minister, of, course who may be facing some sense of diplomatic isolation,

given the makeup of his latest coalition, this is an important card to play.

So Iran very much at the center of negotiations. Benjamin Netanyahu knows also, that he is coming to speak to the European leader who has probably

been the most vocal when it came to talking about the internal repression going on in Iran, whether or not any sense of the possibility of a military

coalition will come up.


BELL: Or indeed, that could happen, is, of course, far from clear. But Iran very much at the top of both men's minds, as they meet tonight.

And yet, the French president will also be talking about the situation in and around Israel. The French position is that if these tensions have been

flaring up, it is also because the negotiations between Israel and Palestinians have essentially been stopped since 2014.

GIOKOS: Melissa Bell, thank you very much.

Still ahead, they sentenced a lengthy prison term. Their crime?


GIOKOS (voice-over): This video from Tehran should give you some clues. We'll have more in a live report just ahead.

And one of the most controversial figures in the Catholic Church was laid to rest earlier. We'll show you the funeral of cardinal George Pell. That's

all coming up.




GIOKOS: Welcome back.

Now it's another example of Iran's ruthless crackdown on its population. A judge handed down a lengthy prison sentences to a pair of Iranian social

media influencers.

Their crime?

Sharing this video of them dancing in the streets of the capital. You can see Tehran's famous freedom tower in the background. The woman is notably

not wearing a head scarf. CNN's Salma Abdelaziz joins us from London with more on the story.

Salma, good to see you. For most of us watching this video, it's a beautiful display of affection between two people who are about to get


But in Iran, it is a crime. I want you to take me through the judicial process, what sentences they face and also how this has been viewed locally

in Iran.

SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, if you ask human rights groups, if you ask activists, if you ask those who are demonstrating against the

Iranian government on the streets every single day, Eleni, they will tell you there was no due process.

There was no fair trial, that these, this young couple, are subject to essentially what is repression by the judiciary, according to activist

groups. Let's go to their story but I really want to start with that video again. I know we've shown it but I really want to break it down clip by


You're looking at Astiyazh Haghighi and her fiance, Amir Mohammad Ahmadi, both in their early 20s, dancing, twirling, flying through that very

important Azadi Square in the center of Tehran.

You can see his arms around her waist and her hair flying around in a circle. Look, this is more than a dance. This is a statement. This is a

form of demonstration. This is a protest not just against Iran's government but against its ruling establishment, its religious class who set the rules

in Iran.

And it reflects really, what this protest movement is about, Eleni. It's something so much bigger than just the hijab law, scrapping one rule,

requirement to wear the head scarf that that woman is clearly not wearing in the video. It's about shifting the entirety of the country, scrapping

the Islamic religious system.


ABDELAZIZ: And looking at a more progressive future for these young people. The response from the Iranian government to that video, it is

important to, note both of these young people are social media influencers.

They each had about 1 million followers online. After that video was shared, the Iranian government crackdown. They raided their home, they took

both of them into custody, according to rights group, they are given to very little access to lawyers, fair process, due trial as I mentioned.

And eventually they were brought to a judge, a very notorious judge, who has been sanctioned by the U.S., called the judge of death for the very

lengthy, even death penalty sentences he hands out to political prisoners. And that judge handed down the sentence of over a decade, 10.5 years in

prison, for dancing in the streets. Eleni.

GIOKOS: Salma Abdelaziz, thank you for bringing us that story.

We're getting more information about a suicide bombing at a mosque in Pakistan earlier this, week the blast killed more than 80 people in

Peshawar on Monday. Most of them police officers.

A provisional police chief says the attacker was a member of the Pakistani Taliban dressed in a police uniform, which is how he gained access to the

mosque. A spokesperson for the group has denied their involvement.

Meanwhile Pakistan is in the grips of an economic crisis. Inflation is almost 28 percent, with skyrocketing food and energy prices right now. The

country has only enough foreign currency in its reserves for three weeks of imports.

This week, a delegation from the International Monetary Fund is in Pakistan to talk about unlocking a $7 billion bailout. Sophia Saifi has this report.


SOPHIA SAIFI, CNN PRODUCER: Many analysts in Pakistan fear the country's economy is on the brinks of collapse. However there have been some positive

murmurs the country isn't going to default.

Keeping that in, mind there's about $3.7 billion in Pakistan's foreign exchange reserves at the moment, according to information shared by the

country's state bank. That's just enough for about three weeks of imports.

Pakistan's people are going through strong cost of living crisis, regular people, tradesmen we have spoken to, they have told us that just surviving

is becoming difficult in this economy.

The country is not only going through an economic crisis but there's a political crisis brewing. There is the threat of militancy. People are

tired. Three finance ministers within a year. And keeping that in mind, yes, the IMF delegation isn't done. It was supposed to have reviewed the

current program back in November.

But the finance minister has made certain changes, certain strong austerity measures to ensure that this IMF loan does come in. But that is still just

a Band-aid according to some analysts to plaster over Pakistan's wider structural issues when it comes to the economy.

Catastrophic floods over the past summer have ruined Pakistan's agricultural sector. These are big changes, these are big issues that have

happened over successive governments. And it's going to take a lot of strong decision-making by a strong government to ensure that Pakistan can

rise up from this situation -- Sophia Saifi, CNN, Islamabad.


GIOKOS: Praise and protests mark today's funeral for one of the most controversial figures in the Catholic Church, cardinal George Pell was laid

to rest earlier in Australia, he died three weeks ago in Rome, at the age of 81.

Pell remains a divisive figure even in death. Hundreds of his detractors protested outside St. Mary's Cathedral in Sydney. CNN's Anna Coren is

covering this for us from Hong Kong.


ANNA COREN, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: The highly controversial cardinal George Pell was laid to rest during a funeral in Sydney, after his

death last month in Rome after complications from hip surgery.

Mourners filled the cathedral to say goodbye to the 81-year old. However there were some noticeable absentees, such as the Australian prime minister

Anthony Albanese.

The pope sent a message, paying tribute to Pell's commitment to the Catholic church while former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott

described him in a eulogy as a hero and the greatest Catholic Australia has ever produced.

However, outside of the cathedral, hundreds of protesters carrying a giant rainbow flag shouted slogans like, "George Pell go to hell," criticizing

the cardinal for his inaction over the child sex abuse crisis in the Australian Catholic Church.

Pell quickly rose through the ranks of the Catholic Churches as archbishop of Melbourne, then Sydney before becoming a cardinal and moving to Rome,

where he held what many considered the third most senior position at the Vatican.

But that all came to an abrupt halt in 2017, when he returned to Australia to face charges of child sex abuse.


COREN: He was accused of molesting two choirboys in the 1990s. While he maintained his innocence, Pell was found guilty in 2018 and spent 13 months

in prison. In 2020, the high court of Australia quashed the conviction and the cardinal returned to Rome.

While Pell's supporters claim he was exonerated, many believe Pell's real crime was covering up child sex abuse and protecting pedophile priests.

A royal commission into institutional responses to child sex abuse, which began in 2013 and lasted five years, found that Pell personally knew of

pedophile priests sexually abusing children as early as the 1970s and failed to act -- Anna Coren, CNN, Hong Kong.


GIOKOS: Australia is replacing the portrait of Queen Elizabeth on its $5 dollar note, not with King Charles but rather a new design to honor the

culture and history of the First Australians.

The Reserve Bank of Australia says it will first consult with indigenous groups for their input; for now the current banknotes will stay in

circulation and can still be used once the new ones are released.



PLEITGEN: The Ukrainians say the situation here is reminiscent of some of the worst times in World War II, where they're not only fighting a strong

adversary but the elements as well.

GIOKOS (voice-over): We will take you inside the trenches on the Ukraine front lines, where Russian soldiers aren't the only enemy Ukraine fighters

must battle.


GIOKOS (voice-over): Plus, Pope Francis gets a rock star welcome from thousands of young people as he tries to mobilize the youth of the

Democratic Republic of Congo to make lasting change.




GIOKOS: Welcome back, I'm Eleni Giokos, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.

Returning to our top story this hour, civilians are again coming under fire in the eastern city in Ukraine of Kramatorsk. Russian missiles hit the city

center for a second day on Thursday. Wednesday's attack struck several apartment buildings, killing at least three residents.

The attacks came as European Commission chief, Ursula van der Leyen, arrived in Kyiv Thursday. She is leading a team of E.U. commissioners who

will have a summit with Ukrainian leaders on Friday.

CNN's getting a firsthand look at the brutal fighting happening in Eastern Ukraine. Our Fred Pleitgen is alongside Ukrainian soldiers and has this

report from inside the trenches.


PLEITGEN (voice-over): All-out winter warfare on the eastern front.


PLEITGEN (voice-over): We're in a trench with Ukrainian paratroopers. They fire on Russian positions using AKs and a U.S.-supplied Browning heavy

machine gun.

"They're searching for weak spots in our position," says the commander, call sign "Ghost."

"They want to see if we fight back. If we show strong resistance, though, they don't advance. And this is what strong resistance looks like."

The Russians are only about 400 yards away, hidden in the snow and fog but constantly firing at the entrenched Ukrainians.

"The enemy uses all kinds of weapons," Bogdan says, "small arms, heavy machine guns, artillery, mortars, rocket launchers and aviation as well."

But so far, the Ukrainians say they haven't lost an inch of territory here.

The Ukrainians say the situation here is reminiscent of some of the worst times in World War II, where they're not only fighting a strong adversary

but the elements as well.

The snow, the mud and the cold make fighting here even tougher. And Ukraine's leadership believes the Russians will soon escalate even more

after mobilizing hundreds of thousands of men for a likely spring offensive.

But this gunner, who goes by the name "Deputy," says the paratroopers are ready.

"It will be hard," he says, "it will be tough but we will hold because we stand here for our land. If we don't do it, nobody will."

There's a visceral hatred toward Moscow's leaders among these men.

"In Russia, they have a terrorist dictatorial regime," Bogdan says.

"So now the civilized world is fighting against this wild medieval dictatorship."

As we prepare to leave, incoming grenades explode above. This, the men say, is a relatively quiet day. They expect much worse in the months to come.

But their motto is, if not us, who else? -- Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Krasnohorivka, Ukraine.


GIOKOS: Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is no longer allowed to have any human contact in prison. That's according to his daughter. She

spoke to CNN after his transfer to even harsher solitary confinement.

Navalny is serving a nine year sentence on fraud charges, which are widely seen as politically motivated. Here's what's his daughter told CNN's

Anderson Cooper.


DASHA NAVALNAYA, ALEXEI NAVALNY'S DAUGHTER: There are no calls, no visits, no human conditions. He is allowed to write 35 minutes per day with a pen

and paper. He's allowed to have two books. These actions are clearly an open strategy, to destroy my father's physical health and maybe mental,

too, by all means.

And the reason why I called Putin now is because there's absolutely no way the colony will take these drastic measures without having a nudge from the

Moscow government.


GIOKOS: His lawyers say Navalny will be kept in the new solitary confinement for up to six months.

Pope Francis is calling on the next generation to bring about peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo.


GIOKOS (voice-over): Thousands of young people gave the pope an electrifying greeting at a stadium in Kinshasa during his speech. The pope

urged them to keep the Congo out of the grip of corruption, violence and instability.

It comes a day after the pope met with victims of the rampant violence gripping the country's east. The pope said that he was left without words

when they told him about the atrocities that they faced. Larry Madowo joins us live from Nairobi, Kenya.


GIOKOS: Listening to some of what the pope has to say, he has spoken about very sensitive topics, whether exploitation of Congo's mineral wealth,

talking about economic colonialism and now talking about domestic issues on corruption.

What are people reading into what this trip means and what message he's trying to achieve during his trip to the DRC?

LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Eleni, I think the pope has confronted these issues head-on. He's not shied away from them, talking about them in

front of the country's leadership, including the president.

Also I think what has been most extraordinary is how he has connected with the people. At this meeting today, where 65,000 young people came together

in the stadium, he had this extraordinary moment where he talked about somebody who can be smart and clever and still corrupt.

He said, is that person honest?

The people said no.

He got them to all join in attempts to say no to corruption, warning, them not to be manipulated by people who would use them to keep the DRC in the

vise grip of violence and instability. And I think that message is resonating with the people.


MADOWO: I want to hear from two people who spoke to us.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I am very, very, very moved to have a pope in our country after 38 years. My joy is immense.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We hope that his visit to Congo will bring peace. We have this hope.


MADOWO: To be fair, just a visit alone will not bring peace. But he has given the leadership, the regular people of the DRC, a lot to think about.

And that's the work of a religious leader, right?

He is the head of a church which boasts about 40 percent, 45 percent, maybe 50 percent of the population there. And I think, in a phrase, Eleni, he has

made sure to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable in the country.

GIOKOS: All right, Larry Madowo, thank you so much. As you say, not shying away from these issues and perhaps important acknowledgment of some of what

people are facing in the DRC. It's good to see you, thank you so much.

Still to come, a feeling of nostalgia surrounds Manchester United as they prepare for another final. They were here before, facing the same rivals.

And we will explain what happened.

And when old guard meets avant-garde, why Louis Vuitton is hoping its latest creative collaboration connects the dots with customers.




GIOKOS: Pennsylvania's and America's most famous groundhog has made his prediction.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Punxsutawney Phil, ladies and gentlemen.

GIOKOS (voice-over): As the tradition goes, if Phil sees his shadow, we get six more weeks of winter; if not, an early spring.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hear ye, hear ye, now on this February 2nd, Punxsutawney Phil, the seer of seers, was awakened from his wintry nap at

dawn on Gobbler's Knob.

Phil, look to the skies and then, speaking in groundhogese --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No matter how you measure, it's six more weeks of winter weather.

GIOKOS (voice-over): So there it is folks, six more weeks of cold weather in that part of the U.S.


GIOKOS: Scientific predictions dare I say that they're using. But look, it's sunny warm right here in Dubai, I welcome you to visit the UAE.

All, right so Louis Vuitton is playing connect the dots. The luxury brand has launched a creative collaboration with the world famous artist, dubbed

the Princess of Polka Dots by fans. CNN's Kristie Lu Stout shows us the campaign that has shoppers seeing spots.



KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In a world where people are bombarded by ads on TV, social media and billboards, a building

decorated in polka dots by a world renowned artist is hard to ignore.

PRIYANKA BAGOLIA, TOURIST: I stopped by and it did catch my eye you know and I usually like you know, I was just admiring the building and stuff but

when I looked at that, I was like, a, that's very interesting.

STOUT (voice-over): The flagship stores of luxury brand Louis Vuitton in Paris, getting a fresh coat of whimsy as part of its collaboration with

Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. It's part of a promotion for a new collection from the French label featuring Kusama's signature polka dots on its bags,

shoes, clothing and other accessories.

Kusama is considered to be one of the world's most famous contemporary artists, sometimes called the Princess of Polka Dots. And at 93, she's been

creating art for decades, from sculpture to painting and even infinity rooms.

This is her second collaboration with Louis Vuitton, the first more than a decade ago when she explained a constant theme in her work eternity.

YAYOI KUSAMA, JAPANESE ARTIST: I believe the moon is a polka dot. The sun is a polka dots and the universe is polka dots.

STOUT (voice-over): What's also universal is the eye catching marketing campaign. Harrods in London has caught the bug, along with Tokyo, which is

one of many stores featuring a life like robot of the artist. New York's Fifth Avenue a photo stop for visitors captivated by the colorful swatches.

HOLLY PHELEN, TOURIST: I think its great marketing. And I think it just changes the brand for Louis you know, it brings it to a different level.

STOUT (voice-over): The collection is a hit with some celebrities but polka dots aren't for everyone. One loyal Louis fan says she's sticking

with the tried and true.

THAIS FERRAZ, TOURIST: I admire and I love this collab. But I actually I love it so much the classic model of the brand.

STOUT (voice-over): New look or old, it's a cheery way to brighten up a city block and perhaps channel some of Kusama's vibe to try to keep a

classic brand timeless -- Kristie Lu Stout, CNN.