Return to Transcripts main page

Connect the World

Suspected Chinese Spy Balloon Over the U.S.; Kherson Perseveres in the Face of Heavy Artillery Strikes; Palestinian Family's Home Used in Israeli Military Raid; Pope Francis Arrives in South Sudan for Historic Visit; Mafia Boss Arrested in France. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired February 03, 2023 - 10:00   ET



ELENI GIOKOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Is the controversy over this balloon a lot of hot air. The Pentagon is tracking it. And some suspect it

could be part of Chinese surveillance.

As fighting rages in eastern Ukraine, the president of the European Union is in Ukraine for some of Kyiv's requests for membership in the E.U. is top

of the agenda.

And who knew that mafia and mozzarella go together? An infamous mob boss on the run is hiding in plain sight as a pizza chef. We are live in Rome for


I'm Eleni Giokos. Hello, and welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD. We are live in Dubai.

Right now the U.S. and Canada are tracking a suspected Chinese spy balloon as it hovers above the northern U.S. And you can see it here in video

filmed in Montana. The Pentagon says the balloon is the size of three buses and is drifting at an altitude above commercial air traffic. According to

U.S. Defense officials, it does not pose a threat to anyone on the ground. But they have decided not to shoot it down. The Chinese Foreign Ministry

says the balloon is a civilian airship which deviated far from its planned course.

CNN's Marc Stewart is joining me now from Hong Kong, and we've got Natasha Bertrand joining us from Washington.

Good to see you both. We are watching these spectacular images that are coming through of this balloon. We've just heard from Chinese authorities

that it could be a civilian air ship that deviated off its course.

Marc, I want to start with you on this. I want you to tell me what the Chinese reaction has been as this balloon is being tracked right now.

MARC STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Indeed, Eleni. It is late in the evening here in Hong Kong. And we are receiving word from Beijing of a slightly

different storyline. The Chinese government is claiming that the suspected spy ship, if you will, is actually a weather balloon that veered off

course. We have a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that I want to refer to, and in it, it refers to this civilian air ship as

something that is used for research mainly meteorological purposes, saying that it was affected by the westerlies and that it deviated far from its

planned course.

The Chinese side offers regret, calling this a case of forced majeure, the French phrase meaning unforeseen, uncontrollable circumstance. So while

this narrative is still being digested globally, the response that we have seen from the United States and China does show the elevated tension

between these two nations especially as Secretary of State Antony Blinken plans his first trip to China as secretary of State sometime in the very

near future -- Eleni.

GIOKOS: Yes. I mean, really good point. And that meeting is going to be absolutely pivotal. And frankly, there has been a lot of uneasiness,

Natasha, between the two nations. We saw China's response to more military bases in the Philippines, for example, and now we have the big issue of

this balloon.

There are many briefings underway right now about this as the U.S. government is tracking it. I want you to take me through how this could be

viewed as something that could spark even more uneasiness between China and the United States.

NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Eleni. Well, it's clear that the Chinese now are trying to pull this all back and try to cool

down the rhetoric and try to solve this diplomatically. Right? But on the other side is the Republican Congress in the United States and they are

being extremely hawkish about this. They are taking this as an opportunity to slam the Biden administration over its handling of China writ large. And

so while the Chinese are trying to cool tensions a bit, the House Republicans and Senate Republicans that have come out and commented about

this balloon are calling it a violation of American airspace.

They are calling on the Biden ministration to shoot down the balloon. And of course, we're told that the State Department is considering at this

point whether or not to postpone Antony Blinken's trip to China. So right now everything is kind of up in the air. Kind of admiring the problem at

this point because it is so odd, right? This is not the first time that a balloon like this has flown over the United States.


We are told that it has happened before in Hawaii and Guam. But the length of time that this balloon has been spotted over the continental United

States has concerned some U.S. officials. Now it is not clear whether the U.S. believes at this point that the balloon actually poses a significant

counter intelligence risk of course to the United States because the Chinese also have satellites that are capable of collecting information at

a much greater and deeper, more sophisticated scaled than a balloon like this.

But right now what we are watching to see is whether all of this pressure by Congress on the Biden ministration to do something really decisive about

this balloon comes to the fore. Right now it seems like the administration is more inclined to solve this diplomatically, saying that they did not

want to shoot down the balloon because of the risk that it could pose to civilians on the ground. But also of course because they are trying at this

point to still manage the conflict with China. And that is precisely why Anthony Blinken was going to go in the first place -- Eleni.

GIOKOS: It's a complicated situation. And it's interesting to see their response, holding back on shooting this down because it complicates things

on many fronts.

Marc, it's interesting to see how China has had a very measured response to this and almost warning -- sort of wait and see as they try and figure out

what actually happened here.

STEWART: Right. In, fact the initial response from China to this was very guarded, it was almost diplomatic. Phrases like cool minded approach were

used, in an earlier statement. So there was definitely a diplomatic push.

I want like to relate this, though, to the upcoming visit of Secretary Blinken. I was talking to an analyst about this. Right now the lines of

communication between the U.S. and China are so fractured, it is very difficult to maintain any kind of diplomatic dialogue. One goal of this

upcoming visit maybe to establish a process where, if something like this happens, Secretary Blinken can without thought, without question, without

hesitation, be able to reach his counterpart in China.

That's relationship that we just don't see information right now. And that is perhaps a goal. So if there is an incident like this and there isn't

perhaps a nefarious narrative to it, it can be quelled right away. So that's why for many reasons this upcoming visit is so important. This case

may stress that.

GIOKOS: All right. Marc Stewart, Natasha Bertrand, thank you so much for that.

Analysis will be tracking and watching very closely the latest lines on those balloon. All right, moving on. Air raid sirens and deadly strikes.

The backdrop for a new push by Europe to help Ukraine. European officials now in Kyiv say they mix sanctions with target components found in Russian

drones. How the E.U. commission president Ursula von der Leyen warning not so fast when it comes to Ukraine joining the European Union.

The meeting comes amid fears the war could take an even bloodier turn. The Ukrainian intelligence officials now say Vladimir Putin is hoping to

capture the entire Donbas by March. Now that could mean more intense fighting in the weeks ahead.

Here are images from Kherson in the meantime. A liberated city and a constant bombardment. Kherson was hit by a fresh barrage, killing two more

people into destroying this supermarket. Kherson is only separated by a river from Russian positions.

Sam Kiley gives us a firsthand look.


SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): Twelve weeks ago, Ukrainian celebrated the liberation of Kherson from months of Russian

occupation. This is the scene today.

(On-camera): The Russians continuing to fire with direct fire from tanks across the river which is just a few hundred meters in that direction. And

on top of that, locals are telling us that it's being regularly shelled with Grads, the multiple rocket-launching systems, completely


(Voice-over): Homes have been blown up, hospitals torn by high explosives in weeks of an ever-intensifying bombardment. Local authorities here talk

of scores of artillery attacks from Russian positions just across the Dnipro River every day. Firefighters and emergency workers keep their base

location secret, their prime targets for Russia's guns.

Two people were killed around the city overnight. A missile landed very close to here recently, adding urgency to this food distribution to people

who are still here because they're trapped by poverty.

Grad rockets flew in during the day at half past 3:00 right here. Our guard was standing there. The guard got hit, they said.


(On-camera): And why do you think the Russians are doing this?

(Voice-over): Revenge probably, she said. Probably revenge because they ran away.

This underpass is a brief refuge taken by desperate civilians seeking help and food.

Most of the houses are destroyed, he said. People are staying without electricity, water, and gas. And there's constant shelling. We're on the

contact line. We live near the bridge.

Anatoli (PH) will take what help he can get from the local government. A Russian strike against City Hall five days ago means that this plastic

sheeting can be put to better use.

(On-camera): What are you going to do with that?

(Voice-over): I'll board up the windows. The window's out, no glass.

He'll have to walk home. No one will drive to his neighborhood. It looks out across the river at the Russians.

Sam Kiley, CNN, in Kherson.


GIOKOS: I want to bring in CNN's Scott McLean, who's been following the developments from London for us. And he joins us for some analysis.

Now, Scott, great to see you. I just want to talk about this E.U. summit. In the meantime, Ukraine has launched a wave of anticorruption raids. And

it's an important signal for a country who has E.U. candidacy but needs to commit to structural reforms. How these efforts working to shift the

position of Ukraine into becoming a viable E.U. member?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. So, as you said, it is already a candidate state for E.U. membership. But Ukraine has a heck of a long way

to go to actually officially join the bloc. It has long held the reputation as one of the most corrupt countries in Europe. And in the last few weeks,

as you sad, you know, we've seen the heads of institutions fired. In fact, the entire management team of the customs agency of Ukraine was let go in

one fell swoop.

We've had investigations into embezzlement, fraud, theft, you name it. Even just today, the police announced that there were charges being laid against

the heads of two companies for defrauding the Ministry of Defense out of more than $3 million. So there is a lot of this kind of announcements

coming out of Ukraine. But it's really a systemic very deep change that the E.U. is looking for evidence that Ukraine is able to do.

And it's made all of the more tough by the fact that they are at war right now. And so President Zelenskyy in his remarks earlier today said Ukraine

is completing the recommendations of the European Commission and they expect the commission's assessment to come this spring on their progress.

And in the joint statement that just came out, Eleni, the E.U. and Ukraine, you know, made sure to point out in that that they acknowledge the progress

that Ukraine has made. But, look, there are countries who are E.U. candidates for a decade or even more without actually joining the club and

so nothing happens quickly on this front.

GIOKOS: Yes. I want to talk about the weapons package specifically out of the U.S. In fact, it's been, you know, a topic of conversation over the

past few weeks. It includes longer range missiles than we've actually seen before. Would you say this is a shift for the U.S. since we've seen from

the start of the war where there's been this hesitancy to send a certain type of missile to Ukraine?

MCLEAN: Yes. It seems to me like it's a bit of a compromise here. Because there's a lot in it. It's $2.2 billion but it's not -- what's not in it,

though, is what Ukraine has been asking for precisely lately which is fighter jets, Western fighter jets, and also long range missiles that can

fire up to 300 kilometers. That's the range that the Ukrainians have given. And obviously, the fears from the West, from the U.S. is that that kind of

a range would make it much easier for the Ukrainians to actually strike Russian territory. Not Russian held territory, but Russia itself,

potentially escalating this conflict.

Yesterday, the minister of Defense, the Ukrainian minister of Defense, tried to make his case and tried to tamp down this kind of Russian fears,

and he said this. He said, "If we have the opportunity to strike at a range of 300 kilometers, 200 miles, the Russian army would not be able to

maintain defenses and would be forced to lose. Ukraine is ready to provide any guarantees that your weapons will not be involved in attacks on Russian


So what the U.S. has offered is something called ground launched small diameter bombs. These are guided missiles. They have little engines inside

of them. They have little wings that shoot, that come out after they're actually launched which allow them to fly 90 miles, 150 kilometers or so.

And conveniently they work with the HIMAR system that the U.S. has already provided to Ukraine, doubling the distance that they can actually fire, but

that's still only about half the distance that the Ukrainians were hoping to get.


So they're getting more than they had before but certainly not what they're asking for precisely -- Eleni.

GIOKOS: As you say a compromise. Scott McLean, thank you so much.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. And still ahead, caught in the middle of an Israeli military raid in the West Bank, the terrifying moments one man

says his family experienced after Israeli forces took over their apartment. And later, a story that could be straight from a mobster movie. One of

Italy's most wanted men was finally arrested after working undercover as a pizza chef.


GIOKOS: Israel's prime minister is in France on a trip happening in the wake of deadly Middle East violence. Benjamin Netanyahu met French

President Emmanuel Macron in Paris Thursday for a working dinner, and they focused on ways to deter Iran's nuclear program. Mr. Macron also stressed

solidarity with Israel in fighting terrorism after an attack that killed seven people at a synagogue in east Jerusalem. And he voiced France's

opposition to, quote, "the continuation of colonization that undermines the prospect of a future Palestinian state."

The synagogue attack followed a daily Israeli raid in the West Bank city of Jenin. Nic Robertson talked to one man whose family was caught in the

middle of a gun battle during that raid and who now face lingering trauma.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (on camera): So the soldiers came onto the roof of your house here.

(Voice-over): From the roof of his Jenin apartment Mohammed Abu al-Jaiza (PH) shows me where Israeli troops fought a three-hour battle with

Palestinian gunmen. Just a few feet away.

(On-camera): So the whole house here was surrounded by Israeli troops.

(Voice-over): It was Thursday last week. The raid killed 10 people, seven of them Palestinian gunmen. One of the deadliest such West Bank operations

in years. Mohammed thought he and his family might die, too, because Israeli troops took over his apartment to fight the gunman. He shows where

he says two soldiers shot from his window.

(On-camera): You can see all the bullet holes along the wall there.

(Voice-over): They spent bullet casings he says testimony to the ferocity of the firefight. He says the soldiers tied his hands behind his back,

ordered him and his wife to get on the floor. Cover their two daughters' ears.


(On-camera): This is one of the bullets that came into your room right here.

(Voice-over): The gunman began firing back at the Israeli soldiers. Hitting the wall and the door while he, his wife and his 2-year-old and 1-year-old

daughters lay terrified on the floor. He thinks at least one soldier was hit.

(On-camera): So they cut this out here? And there they're looking right over the house. This is the house they targeted.

(Voice-over): In his, bedroom he shows where he says the soldiers cut the bars of his window.

(On-camera): And they fired the rocket from here. And that blast back here?

(Voice-over): The whole place shook, he says. There were three rockets. It was so loud we were terrified.

(On-camera): The Israeli military say it was an urgent mission that when they arrived here their troops came under heavy fire, that they returned

fire. They say the suspect barricaded themselves in the house here so they fired a shoulder launch anti-tank missile at them.

(Voice-over): The buildings so damaged local officials had it bulldozed. Using apartments like Mohammed's to give covering fire is standard

operating procedure, an Israeli military spokesman told CNN, so that the action can be more precise. U.N. officials say the incident breaches

international law.

In the ground floor apartment beneath Mohammed's, Ziyad (PH) says he saw the firefight, saw an Israel soldier hide behind his car, shoot one of the

gunmen. This is the worst I've seen it, much worse than the 2002 raids, he says. There are lots more gunmen on the streets now. It's a younger

generation. They were born into it.

Upstairs Mohammed is close to tears when I asked him how safe he feels. We are not safe, not safe for a moment after what happens, he says. If they

had killed me, no one would hold them accountable. You have to be very cautious.

Despite the battle scars, it might look as if some kind of normality is returning. But in people's hearts here there is fear the worst is yet to



GIOKOS: Nic Robertson joins me now from Jerusalem.

Nic, thank you so much for that report. It shows us a glimpse of what the cycle of violence is doing to people on the ground and the impact. Is there

anything that signals away out of this? We've had so many diplomatic conversations and visits that have occurred over the past week that have

frankly coincided with increased tensions.

ROBERTSON: You know, what was really interesting talking to the older gentleman there, Ziyad. He's a carpenter, 63 years old. His parents moved

into that which was a tented refugee camp. That's the refugee camp that we're in back in 1948. So the family has been displaced since then. He's

grown up there. His children have grown up. His grandchildren are going up there.

And that point that he makes that there are more gunmen walking the streets of Jenin these days and inside that refugee camp is a reflection that the

situation has become more extreme. More polarized. Israelis live in fear of Palestinians, Palestinians live in fear of Israelis. The polarization is

growing greater. And this sense that with a really right-wing government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this could be one of the things that

helps make this situation, given the more gunmen as well even more prime to, if you will, sort of go off the rails before you could begin to get

into meaningful talks.

But because the talks aren't happening, because that process is essentially stalled, this is what raises that level of concern. And Ziyad's comments

about this is just so much worse than he's seen before, so many people feel that. It's generational on all sides here.

GIOKOS: Yes. It's a fascinating insight because it gives you a sense of what people are thinking and feeling. And as you said the conversations

between the two sides not happening. Antony Blinken, though, saying, you know, a two-state solution conversation should be happening. On the other

end, you had Macron saying, and I quote, "The continuation of colonization that undermines the prospect of a future Palestinian state." His opposition

to this.

It's interesting the conversations are happening on sort of the macro diplomatic front but not between the two sides.

ROBERTSON: Yes. And that's partly because Prime Minister Netanyahu doesn't feel that he has a good partner in the Palestinian Authority leadership,

Mahmoud Abbas, and there's a real sense among Palestinians that Abbas and his leadership, and the leaderships before him, have not taken the

opportunities that have arisen before.


Opportunities for peace. But there is, you know, a sense from Prime Minister Netanyahu that it's no good talking with the Palestinians. They'd

rather talk with the regional powers and through them make peace with the Arab region. And he says that would find a way to making peace with

Palestinians. And that's not what Secretary Blinken thinks. And Israel sort of has a choice now. And this was essentially the choice likely that the

French president will be putting. That it was a contrast that Secretary Blinken spoke about when he was here.

Then Israel has a choice. You know, if it believes that the two-state solution is dead, that you can't have two states side by side, that leaves

a one-state solution. But you cannot have a one-state solution where Palestinians have less rights than Israelis because that would be

apartheid. So what's the option here? Israel would have to absorb into a single state, that would lose its Jewish identity, and have a marginalized

population that it would need to give rights, voting rights, and those voting rights would not allow for a government that exists in Israel today.

These are the conundrums. And they're massive. And the issues that have gone into them have been running for generations.

GIOKOS: Nic, a lot of diplomatic issues I want you to comment on. I'm going to ask you to stay with me. I'm going to go back to our top story. And we'd

like for your reaction.

The Chinese balloon that has been hovering over the northern U.S. state of Montana, we're just hearing the U.S. secretary of State is postponing his

planned trip to China. He was due to meet with his Chinese counterpart in Beijing after years of frayed relations between their two countries.

That suspected surveillance balloon, you're seeing it right now on your screen, has been flying over the northern United States for days now. Right

now U.S. officials say it poses no threat to anyone on the ground. The Chinese Foreign Ministry claimed Friday that the suspected Chinese high-

altitude surveillance balloon flying over the continental United States is a civilian air ship used mainly for weather research that deviated from its

planned course. Nevertheless, Antony Blinken is postponing that trip for now.

Nic, this is playing out right now in the U.S. We're watching this balloon hovering over parts of the United States. Antony Blinken saying he is going

to hold off on visiting Beijing and just highlighting the uneasiness between the two countries. This, of course, creating more issues and

tensions potentially.

ROBERTSON: Absolutely. And I think we get an understanding of why Secretary Blinken wanted to make the trip. I think U.S. officials have been quite

clear about this. That there is a need to have this diplomatic reengagement with China. Relations have been on the downward slide for a number of years

now. And I think the concept was that Secretary Blinken's visit would help, you know, bridge that growing golf between the United States and the rising

superpower, China, and its regional aspirations.

We've seen the U.S. secretary of Defense in Indonesia, in the Philippines, recently. We've seen him in South Korea, Japan. A big U.S. diplomatic

outreach to firm up its military footing in Asia. And Secretary Blinken's visit to China, and there was rumor that he might have met with President

Xi Jinping as well, would have been to try to sort of bring a better diplomatic understanding between the U.S. and China. But this balloon, and

the contentious nature of what it's doing, and the concerns it's raised in the U.S., it's not clear if the administration, the White House yet

believes what China is saying, that this is -- you know, that this is merely a mistake, and it's not spying on the United States at all, although

some U.S. officials, military officials, have said very clearly that this is malfeasance by China.

So in light of that, this balloon and the issue around it would wholly detract from a trip that might have been hoped -- that was hoped to at

least bring better understanding and essentially would have off tracked those talks.

GIOKOS: And perhaps ironing out some of the issues plaguing the two sides.

Nic Robertson, thank you very much for jumping on that story for us. And just to reiterate that U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken postponing

his trip to Beijing as we are tracking that balloon which that the U.S. says could be a surveillance balloon.

All right. Well, just ahead Pope Francis arrives in South Sudan for a visit unlike any in papal history. We'll tell you who is joining him on this trip

when we come back.



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

Just a short time ago, Pope Francis arrived in South Sudan for a papal visit unlike any in history. Joining him will be the archbishop of

Canterbury, the leader of the Anglican Church, and the head of the Church of Scotland. Together the three leaders will call for peace in South Sudan,

a new country that has been torn by civil war and famine since it was formed just over a decade ago.

CNN's Larry Madowo is tracking the papal trip, and joins us now live.

Incredible trip here, I want to take us back to what we saw when the Pope visited in 2019 when he implored South Sudan's leadership to end violence.

And his presence seems to have hit home there, what is the message this time around?

LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think this trip builds on that work that the Pope has been doing when he hosted this spiritual retreat for the

political and religious leaders of South Sudan back in April of 2019 in Rome. I think the most incredible moment was when the Pope went down the

street. He's a frail man in his 80s but he knelt and kissed the feet of the leaders of South Sudan, most notably President Salva Kiir and Vice

President Riek Machar.

And in the time since, I think that was a really symbolic moment, the head of the Catholic Church begging these leaders to work together, to find a

way to bring peace to the country that's been mired in violence and conflict for about a decade. And so in 2018, there's all the peace

agreement signed to bring these two forces allied to these two men together. That has now been fully implemented, and that is why Pope

Francis, Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, and Iain Greenshields, the moderator of the Church of Scotland, are together for the first time

ever in a foreign trip in South Sudan to try and build on that work, to encourage the leaders in South Sudan to finally find a way to implement

this peace agreement in full, so that the country can reach its full potential because in the time since it broke off from Sudan in 2011, it

only knew two years of peace before this all fell apart.

And 400,000 people are believed to have died in that conflict. About four million people have been displaced. Some of them are in the country, some

of them are displaced in other neighboring countries, or resettled elsewhere. And so for many people there's so much. South Sudan is the third

largest humanitarian refugee crisis in the world right now. And it's often forgotten because Ukraine is obviously sucking all the oxygen. And the Pope

and these religious leaders also hope to draw attention to that.


They're calling it, Eleni, a pilgrimage of peace, and if we see anything from the way the Pope has been received from these other religious leaders

I think the whole world, the people of South Sudan will be paying attention.

GIOKOS: Larry Madowo, I think the world is paying attention to this interesting messaging. Thank you so much for that update.

All right, let's get you up to seed on some other stories that are on our radar right now.

One of Iran's most influential filmmakers Jafar Panahi is reportedly on hunger strike in Tehran's Evin Prison. Panahi, a Cannes Film Festival award

winner, is protesting his ongoing detention, and that's according to his wife. He was arrested last summer. Reuters says Iranian authorities decided

to reactivate an old sentence against Panahi on charges of making anti- government propaganda.

In the next 24 hours an arctic blast bringing dangerous frigid temperatures is set to move into northeastern U.S. and parts of Canada. Places like New

York, New Jersey, and New Hampshire could see the coldest windchills in decades. The air feeling as cold as negative 35 degrees Celsius across much

of the region.

And still ahead, Gareth Bale has proved many times that he is good with a ball, but this ball is so much smaller. What's going on here? And a

convicted killer on the run working undercover as a pizza chef has finally been arrested. We'll have more on the downfall of one of Italy's most

wanted men.


GIOKOS: After 16 years on the run police have finally arrested a convicted Italian mafia boss in France. Police arrested 63-year-old Edgardo Greco in

Saint-Etienne where he was hiding in plain sight as a pizza chef and was even featured in local media after opening up an Italian restaurant. Greco

was part of one of the most powerful Italian criminal networks in the world. He was wanted for murdering two brothers from a rival gang in the


Let's go to Barbie Nadeau who's in Rome for us.

In plain sight as a pizza chef. What an incredible story. How did they catch him?

BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, you know, they captured him after he was very much present on social media. This is a man who was going under an

alias, he was using a false name. He was working in this pizza restaurant, which we're told he eventually owned, he bought it. It's close now. We

tried to call, no one seems to answer. And, you know, this is one of those stories again where we had just two weeks ago one of the big mafia bosses,

Matteo Messina Denaro, captured after 30 years. This man captured after 16 years. In both of these cases these are men who really let their ego get in

the way.


They were going out as if they haven't been on the run. That they had done nothing wrong. In this particular case he's part of the Calabria

'Ndrangheta mafia. This is one of the most powerful deadly mafia organizations in the world right now. And he was basically essentially a

hitman for them. He had been convicted in absentia of double homicide that you mentioned, of two brothers that he beat to death with iron bars and

then dissolved their bodies in acid, as we're told by the court that convicted him.

And he was also convicted of several attempted murders. Now he'll be brought back to Italy and he will face justice. But there are still four

other big bosses, big mafia men that are out there, that the authorities are continuing to look for. So these two are in, but they've still got four

more they're looking for -- Eleni.

GIOKOS: Yes, I mean, an incredible turn of events. We've had this conversation just I think a week ago as you say, another mafia boss was

caught. But these men wanted for serious crimes. Is there a sense that there is a bigger effort to try and capture these wanted men?

NADEAU: Well you, know that's a good question because we're looking at how long these things take to unravel. These men they started really honing in

on him, Edgardo Greco, in 2019. And so it's taken that long to basically arrest people around and to break down that protective network that he had

protecting him, and to start sequestering assets that were keeping him protected. We saw the same thing with Messina Denaro when they were

arresting so many people that they knew were protecting him, and it finally led him to him.

But these things don't happen overnight. Again this is 2019, they started really honing in on him. And so, you know, the other men that they're

searching for, and there are many lesser people that they're searching for, you know these things take a lot of time, and they really do use now social

media, you know, to try to find some of these people, to try to break down their networks. And the work is not over yet by any means -- Eleni.

GIOKOS: I have to say, Barbie, I'm still wondering what kind of pizza he made. But thank you so much for the update. Good to see you as always.

Barbie Nadeau, for us, over there.

All right. It was a football career that spanned 17 years. So, yes, Gareth Bale has proved his skill with a ball hundreds of time. But here is the

former Welsh captain in a rather different environment. A golf course. It has grass, of course, but that's where the similarities end. And I think

I'll let Amanda Davies tell you the rest of the story.

Why is Gareth on the green? Please explain.

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN WORLDSPORT ANCHOR: Well, I don't think -- you know, it's not a surprise to see retired footballers playing a bit of golf. But Gareth

Bale is somebody who actually got a fair amount of criticism when he was playing in Spain and Real Madrid about the amount of time as a professional

footballer he was still spending playing golf. But it seems to have paid off. Less than a month since announcing his retirement to the world, he's

taken place in this pro-am, which means a professional plays with an amateur.

Bale is an amateur in this, but he's a flipping good amateur I think it's fair to say. He surprised a few people. The former world number one Jon

Rahm has said it's just unfair that somebody can be quite so good at two sports. He finished 10th out of 156 amateurs after his first round. But the

good news for us mere mortals is he did admit despite his experience, despite his five Champions League titles, he was really nervous when he

stepped up and hit that ball on the first tee.

GIOKOS: Yes. Gotta say, it is unfair to be so multitalented. But he's got a good swing. It's really impressive.

Amanda Davies, we'll see right after this short break. More sports coming up and I'll be back at the top of the hour. Stay with CNN.