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Connect the World

Russia Arrests U.S. Journalist on Suspicion of "Espionage"; Shifting Ties in the Middle East; Former President back in Brazil after Self-Imposed Exile; Vatican: Health of Pope Francis "Improving"; U.S. Army Official: 9 Killed in Kentucky Blackhawk Crashes; Prince Harry Attends Final Day of Pre-Trial Hearing. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired March 30, 2023 - 11:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNNI HOST: After a series of major diplomatic moves across the Middle East in the past few weeks this hour, we'll do a deep dive on

the implications for the region and beyond, as China muscles in on traditional U.S. territory.

First up though, an American journalist is arrested in Russia and accused of espionage. The Kremlin says he was caught red handed while "The Wall

Street Journal" says it is deeply concerned for his safety.

Well, security on high alert in Brazil's capital as Former President Jair Bolsonaro returned to the country after three months in the United States.

Supporters are gathering outside his party's headquarters.

The Vatican says Pope Francis is improving after spending the night in the hospital with a respiratory infection. CNN is live outside that hospital in

Rome. And Prince Harry returns to court for a case about the Daily Mail's news gathering methods. Harry says he feels duty bound to expose what he

calls a cover up while the tabloids publisher denies any wrongdoing.

Well, you are with us for the second hour of "Connect the World". I'm Becky Anderson. Let's start with that developing story. More details on the

American journalist from "The Wall Street Journal" arrested in Russia and accused of espionage. It is a claim that the newspaper vehemently denies.

Let's get you to CNN's Matthew Chance who is in Moscow. What's the Kremlin saying at this point, Matthew?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the Kremlin does not really want to be drawn into this. They're saying this is in the

hands of the security services but Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin Spokesperson, saying that as far as he understood, Evan Gershkovich had been caught red

handed in the act of espionage.

And so Russian officials seem pretty convinced that they have a compelling case against this individual. In terms of what the official charges are

against them well, the FSB, the successor organization to the KGB have issued a statement saying that they apprehended Evan Gershkovich in the

City of Yekaterinburg, about 1100 miles 1800 kilometers or so, from Moscow.

After when he was engaged in trying to obtain secret information about Russia's military industrial complex there was no more details than that.

Since then, within the past few hours, the 30-year-old American reporter has appeared at a court in Central Moscow, where he's been arraigned, he's

been kept in custody for waiting, here's the start of his trial for one month and 29 days until March the 29th so a long period of waiting in a

Russian prison. He is also been emerged from the court that he has not pleaded guilty to these charges of espionage.

ANDERSON: Does he have any representation?

CHANCE: He does, yes. In fact, his lawyer was at the court when that arraignment proceeding was underway. But he came out afterwards and said,

look, I haven't been permitted access to the process because this case has been designated top secret even his own lawyers aren't allowed to oversee

the proceedings.

ANDERSON: Matthew is in Moscow. Let's get you thanks, Matt to Natasha Bertrand, who is covering the story from Washington. What are U.S.

officials saying at this point?

NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they haven't weighed in publicly yet. And but what we're hearing is that State Department officials actually

did first learn about this arrest yesterday afternoon, before this news broke publicly and again, they are not speaking about this. They're still

trying to gather more information.

We are told that the White House has also been in touch with "The Wall Street Journal" unclear whether the White House has been in touch with

Gershkovich's family at this point. But what we're told is that the administration essentially is trying to play catch up here and figure out

what exactly happened?

Now, Russia actually just came out and said that the United States government has not formally approached them to inquire directly about the

arrest of this journalist. But of course, you know, we have to take everything that the Russian government at this point is saying with a grain

of salt.

We are told from our sources here that the U.S. government is very focused on this issue, and they're trying to get as much information about it as

they can. Now, we do have Congressmen here who are weighing in publicly members of Congress who are saying that this amounts to a hostage situation

that the journalist has essentially been detained by the Russians as part of what Russia is seeking for leverage really in future hostage swaps

prisoner negotiations.


Of course, we have seen that the Russians have in the past, tried to use detainees Americans that they have detained to swap with the Russians in

other countries custody, particularly in U.S. custody that they have wanted back. We saw that just a few months ago with the Basketball Star Brittney

Griner and of course, the Russian Arms Dealer Viktor Bout who were swapped in that prisoner exchange.

So that is what lawmakers here are saying just on the very early reports of what has happened here and we are going to wait and see what the White

House and the State Department come out and say publicly about this as they collect more information, Becky?

ANDERSON: This is a story that reeks of the Cold War espionage charges against a U.S. journalist. Thank you. More on it as we get it, of course.

Well, a top U.S. General has said increased partnership between Russia, China, and Iran will make them problematic for years.

The words of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Miley speaking before the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday. He said the three

countries are working more closely together. Well, that closeness between Iran and China at the heart of what we have seen recently here in the

Middle East Beijing, brokering a landmark agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran that could see tensions decrease across this region.

Well, my next guest says the convergence of the broader strategic interests of China, Iran, and Saudi Arabia here suggests that Beijing's breakthrough

with Iran and the Kingdom is likely to serve as the foundation of a new geopolitical reality in the Middle East.

This transformation represents an historic challenge for the United States. No longer can Washington simply demand that its Arab allies decoupled from

China and unite behind its leadership to combat Iran. Well, tonight then we ask what the new geopolitical reality in the Middle East is.

Those were the words of Vali Nasr, Professor of International Middle East Studies at Johns Hopkins University. He joins us now via Skype from Paris

this evening. Vali, it's good to have you! I thought the conceit of your piece is well worth exploring. What are the consequences for this region of

the moves that we've seen of late?

VALI NASR, PROFESSOR, MIDDLE EAST STUDIES, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY: Well, the most immediate consequences obviously positive. In other words, if Iran

and Saudi Arabia have found a way through Beijing, to bury the hatchet to reduce tensions between them potentially end the war in Yemen, that

generally is good for the region is good for the Gulf, which is also been very nervous about military conflict, that could damage its economy and put

it in danger.

However, more broadly, the most interesting piece of this is not the Iran piece. It's the China Saudi Arabia piece. So first of all, we're seeing a

China that has gone beyond its usual only business to get into security matters. And he's also building a relationship of trust with Saudi Arabia.

I think it's a big deal that Saudi Arabia is trusting China to deliver Iran and to monitor an agreement. But even more interesting is that how Saudi

Arabia is strategically shifting? How we're seeing a very deft foreign policy that is deliberately moving Saudi Arabia away from the United

States, position it as in the middle of the great powers that Saudi Arabia no longer wants to be a vassal and outposts of the United States.

He wants to have equal relations with China, with Russia and with the United States. And also regionally, Saudi Arabia does not want to be

pursuing a policy that is based on polarization of its relations with its enemies. It wants to build bridges with everybody, talk with everybody, it

mended fences with Turkey, after several years, it's mending fences with Iran is opening relations with Syria now.

So we're seeing a very different Saudi Arabia who really wants to be treated as a great power in its own rights, and to be a big player in West

Asia sitting between the world's superpowers.

ANDERSON: And it's important to point out that you have just used the term West Asia because from the perspective of the other part of the world and

the perspective from Beijing is that this region that I am in is West Asia, of course, it is only through the lens of Washington and the West, that

this is, of course, the Middle East. How is this being viewed in Washington?

NASR: I think Washington tried to put the best face on this namely saying that they welcome the reduction of tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia

that they originally actually encourage Saudi Arabia to start a dialogue with Iran back in 2021.


But deep down, I think they've been taken by surprise about how quickly and how, how extensively they basically lost Saudi Arabia? In other words, yes,

they're an ally, but they're no longer under our thumb. It's not just that they're talking to Iran are now becoming a part of at some level parts of

the Shanghai Cooperation Council.

But there's a lot more on the table. I mean, China and Saudi Arabia are building an economic ties, there are worries about the degree to which

Chinese technology will be in Saudi Arabia at a time when the United States is encouraging all of its allies to decouple from China, the Saudis are

basically saying not only we will not decouple, but we're actually adding to our coupling with China.

So in some ways, the United States basically has to rethink its Middle East policy, because it's been based on a very different conception of Saudi

Arabia. And also that the way in which we thought about China is that all of our rivalry with China is in is in Asia.

Now, the United States has to realize that it has to compete with China for Saudi Arabia's attention and loyalty. And that competition in in East Asia

is now coming to Western region; nothing in U.S. policy has prepared it for this.

ANDERSON: Yes, I do want to talk about what you think the consequences are of or just the implications of becoming a member of the SCO the Shanghai

Cooperation Organization for the likes of Saudi Arabia, and let's face it; other countries around this region will be we can talk about that


But I just want to sit with the Washington perspective here. Because it would be, I think, going one step too far, way too far to suggest that

Riyadh is by any means turning its back on Washington at present. And indeed, it is quite clear that Washington - that Riyadh still has important

bilateral needs from the U.S. not least in terms of security guarantees.

And we know, for example, in support of its nuclear program, so let's be quite clear about this. You're not for a moment suggesting this is the

Kingdom moving away from Washington completely are you?

NASR: The case--

ANDERSON: Leverage is somebody has suggested?

NASR: Well, that's possible - always part of global politics. Leverage is always part of it. But I think in reality is that Saudi Arabia acknowledges

that it needs the United States for its security, its military, its intelligence, or based on American military hardware.

Where it's changing is that it's not going to follow American policy blindly. It's saying that I have my own interest. My interest also dictates

that I don't decouple from China that I actually build ties with Iran. Yes, I'm your partner on military matters. Yes, I'm an ally.

But I don't also support some of your policies. I don't want war with Iran. I don't want escalation. It's damages vision 2030, at some level, if there

is war in the Gulf, and also I am thinking about China very differently than you in Washington are thinking about it.

And that degree of independence of foreign policymaking is just new. I mean, nothing in previous conversations about Saudi Arabia and Washington,

suggested that we thought that the Saudis would basically assert this degree of independence.

Now for the United States this is glass half, half full, of course. But it doesn't mean that the Saudis are turning against the United States. They

just basically saying we don't want to play the game of a polarized game of you, us versus them, you're either with us or you're against us. We want to

sit in the middle in the gray area, because that's where our interest is.

ANDERSON: Vali, you have very eloquently just laid out a scene which we are really seeing develop across this region at present. And if it has caught

Washington by surprise, perhaps understandably so although I know that you know enough about this region and travel here often enough to have seen the

seeds of this being sown some time ago.

And for those who perhaps didn't see that more for them, I think let's talk about Iran because you brought up Iran that it's really important. Iran

certainly eager to end its international isolation and you write and I quote Tehran, welcomes China's deepening role in the Middle East because it

weakens U.S. in influence in the region and undermines the U.S. led sanctions regime that has crippled Iran's economy.


To that end better ties with GCC countries will lessen the threat posed by the Trump Administration brokered Abraham Accords, many call those Abraham

Accords the normalization of relations between Israel and a number of Arab States as Washington's key pillar for Middle East policy, and they may just

have over stretched on that. Does this strengthen Tehran to your mind?

NASR: Yes, it does to a great deal because Iran has - obviously, the nuclear deal isn't going anywhere. Its relationships with Europe have

declined significantly as a consequence of the protests and Iran support for Russia and Ukraine. And Iran desperately needs to an outlet.

And ironically, it's the hardliners in Iran who don't believe in dealing with the West that have been most interested in opening to their Arab

neighbors. So this is a gain for them. But it also, I think it's beneficial to Iran that Abraham Accords now to them looks like it will be bilateral

relations between Israel and a number of Arab countries and potentially Saudi Arabia around technologies intelligence and economy.

But it will not be an alliance of war against Iran, led by Israel with Arab States basically playing as junior partners in that, because you know, both

UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia normalizing with Iran is basically saying they don't want to go down that path.

So if the United States looked at Abraham Accords as a kind of a NATO for the Middle East, to go after Iran, that's not in the works. Right now, if

the United States looked at Abraham Accords, as the great way in which to integrate Israel into the region and build the basis of peace, then - it's

still a win, and it's going to continue and those relations will continue on--

ANDERSON: Vali, I've got 60 seconds any chance of improving relations between Washington and Tehran following this agreement? And what does all

of this mean for the JCPOA?

NASR: I mean the immediate aftermath was a clash in Syria, which wasn't a good thing. But I think the very first thing they need to achieve in tandem

with what you said about Russia is the prisoner exchange. There are three Americans in Iran. There's a deal on the table, the Qataris have been

negotiating. If that moves forward, then we can talk about bigger things.

ANDERSON: You are super to have on as ever good friend of this show. Thank you for making your time. Your insights are so important as we really do -

we often talk about the tectonic shifting plates don't we have geopolitics, not least in this region, but we genuinely have those moves happening at

present. It couldn't be more interesting, but also more important not just to the region, but to the wider world. Vali Nasr in the house thank you

very much indeed!

You can read a lot more of Vali's article online. It is fascinating. He walks readers through the ins and outs of the shifting dynamics of the

Middle East. That is foreign you will see it on the home page.

Right coming up, Brazil is ousted Former President makes a return after a three month self-imposed exile. What Jair Bolsonaro is telling his

supporters? Pope Francis in the hospital with a respiratory infection, what the Vatican is saying today about his condition both of those stories, top

stories coming up.



ANDERSON: Brazil's former President Jair Bolsonaro has returned to the country after three months in self-imposed exile loyal supporters wearing

the country's colors gathered to greet him at the airport. The far-right politician had been in Florida. In the U.S. since December, he left after

he failed to win re-election last year.

We'll have a reception hosted by his political party Bolsonaro push back against the current government's mandate. He has recently said his mission

in Brazil is not over. Let's get you Stefano Pozzebon joining us from the Capital, Brasilia. His support is out in force, he says his job is not

over. What's the latest way you are?

STEFANO POZZEBON, CNN JOURNALIST: The latest here from the ground in Brasilia Becky, is that about I would say about 50 to 100 of Bolsonaro

supporters are still here, outside the headquarters of the Liberal Party, which is Bolsonaro's party where he just accepted; he's now the honorary

president of the party. Most of these supporters are still here to try get a glimpse off of Bolsonaro himself.

He landed at about 6 a.m. local time here in Brasilia. And since that moment, we have barely seen him. He was seen greeting his fans and

supporters when he arrived at these locations, but just very, very briefly and of course he did not speak with them.

So, they're still here trying to see if Bolsonaro will make an appearance if you will make a statement to them to their supporters. And that sort of

like translates these moments of expectations of great guessing on how these Bolsonaro not a precedent anymore will look like for this country

because just as you said, yes.

He says that he's, he does not intend to lead the opposition to the current President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva. But at the same time this morning he

told his policy conference that he very much intends to keep the government in place in check, take a listen.


JAIR BOLSONARO, FORMER BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT: They won't do whatever they want with the future of our nation. Today, I love being here with you. I'm

sure you will drive Brazil to a safe harbor. And it's with immense pride that I return.


POZZEBON: The people that we spoke with here in Brasilia this morning, Becky, which include Bolsonaro's unsewn Eduardo Bolsonaro. And many of his

supporters are saying that this is a great day for Brazil because they finally see that the leader has come back because the opposition to the

government of this Inacio Lula da Silva had been a bit lost in the last few months.

They still understand what the strategy will be. And now Bolsonaro being back and having the largest number of congress, people in congress, they

think they have a chance to do opposition. And who knows. It's going to be very interesting, Becky, to understand how this country is going to move

now that this former president is out of power, but in the country. Becky?

ANDERSON: Yes, absolutely. Stefano, always a pleasure thank you, sir! Stefano is in Brasilia in Brazil. Pope Francis expressing gratitude to all

those wishing him a speedy recovery the 86-year-old pontiff spent the night in hospital for a respiratory infection. Well, the Vatican said his health

is now improving.

Francis also suffers from diverticulitis, a common condition that can cause inflammation or infection of the colon. Well, this latest illness comes

just a week and a half before Easter. Vatican Correspondent Delia Gallagher is back with us this hour, Delia?

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky certainly reassuring news compared to the uncertainty of yesterday today from the

Vatican, the Pope slept well overnight. They said the clinical picture is progressively improving, that's what we needed to hear for this respiratory

illness. He will however remain the next few days to continue the medical therapy, they say.


His rooms Becky are just behind me the five windows on the top floor there with the white shutters pulled down. Those are the apartments as I say

where the Pope stays when he's at the hospital. The Vatican said this morning, he had breakfast, he was able to read the newspapers and even do

some work.

You mentioned he sent out a tweet so, all reassuring signs, Becky, for this 86-year-old pontiff. You mentioned the diverticulitis, which was in the

summer of 2021. He was here for 10 days at that time, but also importantly, when he was 21 years old, he had part of his lung removed for a respiratory

problem. So obviously he is vulnerable to this kind of an issue. Hopefully his stay this time won't be as long as the one in 2021. Becky.

ANDERSON: keeping across the story for you there in Rome, thank you very much indeed. Let's get you up to speed on some of the other stories are on

our radar right now. And India has announced the birth of four cheetahs, the Cubs parents are two cheetahs spot over from Namibia as part of a

program to reintroduce 50.

In the coming years the species was officially declared extinct in India more than 70 years ago. Well, Indonesia's president says his country must

accept FIFA's decision to revoke hosting duties for the under 20 Men's World Cup. FIFA acted after the Governor of Bali called for Israel to be

banned from any football matches taking part there.

FIFA says a new host nation will be announced as soon as possible. The UAE's President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan appointed his son

Sheikh Khalid as Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. The position has been empty since Sheikh Mohammed assumed the role of president after his

half-brother Sheikh Khalifa passed away last night.

But it's been a busy period for news here in the Middle East. To learn more about what is happening in the region and how it can affect, you scan the

QR code that you see on the screen and sign up for our Meanwhile in the Middle East News newsletter.

It's written here in Abu Dhabi and around the region, it's got in-depth analysis and insight all events here changing the region and the world. All

right just up, fleeing her home in the dead of life and ending up on Moscow's most wanted list why speaking your mind in Russia is so dangerous

plus no survivors in a military helicopter crash in Kentucky, the pool is still unclear. We'll have a live report to sort out what we do know and

what we don't know just ahead.



ANDERSON: Welcome back, you're watching "Connect the World" with me Becky Anderson from our Middle East programming hub here in Abu Dhabi where the

time is half past seven in the evening. Your headlines this hour, the Vatican says the health of Pope Francis is improving. 86-year-old pontiff

spent the night in hospital after experiencing respiratory difficulties.

The Vatican says that he will remain there for a few days. Well, Francis sent a tweet expressing gratitude to well-wishers, his illness happening of

course just days ahead of Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday, the week after. Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro returned to the country on a

tight scrutiny earlier today. He indicated to his supporters that he is re- joining the political scene after a three-month self-imposed exile in Florida.

Turkey's parliament is set to approve Finland's membership into NATO. This is the last NATO state do so and ratification will move Finland

significantly closer to joining our lives. Finland along with Sweden applied for membership last year after Russia invaded Ukraine. Turkey and

Hungary are currently holding up Sweden's bid.

Well more now on our top story. An American reporter appeared in the Russian courtroom earlier today and was ordered held until May the 29th.

Evan Gershkovich, she was arrested on a charge of suspicion of espionage. The Kremlin says he was trying to get secrets about the Russian military

industrial complex to, "The American side".

The Wall Street Journal vehemently denies the charge and has called for his release. While a young student also faces severe charges after going on

social media to criticize Moscow's war. She managed to flee Russia and now has a chance to speak her mind but at what cost? CNN's Melissa Bell brings

us her story.


MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): She's now a wanted fugitive escaping the law. But Olesya Krivtsova was a teenager like any other.

Olesya Krivtsova is now on Moscow's most wanted list but enjoying the streets and the freedoms of the European Union. For the safety of those who

helped her to get here, we've agreed not to give too much away about how she escaped.

OLESYA KRIVTSOVA, EXILED RUSSIAN STUDENT: No one expected that the case would grow so much that the resonance would be huge.

BELL (voice over): Krivtsova's social media was typical of her age. But some of her social posts criticizing the war in Ukraine were brought to the

attention of authorities by fellow students, one of them distinguishing between snitching and patriotic denunciation.

KRIVTSOVA: The only difference is that in Stalin's time, people disappeared for good and it wasn't clear where. Now because of social media, almost the

same thing is happening except its very public.

BELL (voice over): From the start, Krivtsova was made an example of, most of the many hundreds prosecuted for anti-war activity and Russia have been

charged with disseminating false information. Krivtsova was charged with terrorism instead.

BELL (on camera): Why are you so scary to them?

KRIVTSOVA: Because I'm not the first and I won't be the last. In the era of the information war between propaganda and reality, words can get through

to someone. That is why the authorities are afraid because words are the most terrible weapon.

BELL (voice over): Krivtsova had been on her way to meeting her husband for coffee. When she was arrested for the second time, she was placed under

house arrest on trumped up charges. So, in February as she turned 20, she made her decision to go taking very little.

BELL (on camera): Do you regret the posts?

KRIVTSOVA: It's a difficult question. I lost a lot and went through a lot, my mother's tears faced with the situation. I lost my husband, grandfather

and grandmother. This is a huge price for anyone.

BELL (voice over): But Krivtsova would not be silenced, even as Big Brother watched, or Wells "tattooed above an image of Vladimir Putin as a spider".

KRIVTSOVA: I think it's now my daily job to discredit the Russian army because the Russian army is committing crimes on the territory of Ukraine.

BELL (on camera): Tell me about this place how it's been.

KRIVTSOVA: Yes, the stairwell looks very Russian, because the building was constructed in the USSR, it's only my second day here. I haven't had a

chance yet to tidy up my new place properly or to get my bearings around the courtyard and the surrounding area.


BELL (voice over): But Krivtsova has already set up a new Instagram channel, a Girl Interrupted on her way to getting coffee, now in Lithuania,

freer, and intending to be louder than ever. Melissa Bell, CNN Vilnius.


ANDERSON: Well, an angry Beijing says a U.S. stop over by Taiwan's president violates China's sovereignty. Taiwan's leader was given a big

welcome here in New York on Wednesday where she announced Taipei's relationship with Washington, in her words never been closer. Well, Beijing

furious because it claims democratic Taiwan as its territory. CNN Marc Stewart has the view for you from Asia.

MARC STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Even though Taiwanese and U.S. officials are describing the presence of Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen in the

United States, as stopovers it's still drawing sharp criticism from Beijing. President Tsai is using the United States as a transit point for

her upcoming visits to Central America landing in New York.

The United States acknowledges China's position that Taiwan is part of China. But House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has said he wouldn't be with her

although there has been no formal announcement.

Well, in New York, President Tsai said Taiwan's relationship with the United States has "never been closer". Yet Beijing warned her visit could

lead to "serious confrontation" between China and the U.S. Here are some recent remarks from China's foreign ministry.


MAO NING, SPOKESPERSON, CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY: The United States and Taiwan colluded with each other, and arrange what Tsai Ing-wen to engage in

political activities in the United States under the guise of transit, in an attempt to enhance official exchanges and substantive relations between the

United States and Taiwan. This seriously violated the one China principle and the provisions of the three Sino-U.S. joint communique and seriously

damaged China's sovereignty.


STEWART: President Tsai is expected to remain in New York until Friday with visits then planned to Belize and Guatemala. She is then expected to stop

in California on her way home. Marc Stewart, CNN, Tokyo.

ANDERSON: Well, the U.S. army official now says that nine U.S. service members were killed when two helicopters crashed in the state of Kentucky.

Adding there were no survivors on an earlier army statement said two Blackhawks crashed during routine training on Wednesday.

And these photos from the crash site were obtained by WKDZ Radio. The helicopters were with the 101 or 100 and first Airborne Division. Let's get

you to Dianne Gallagher who is at Fort Campbell in Kentucky. I mean, this is a truly devastating story. What are the details as we understand them so


DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN U.S. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So, Becky, we do have a safety team coming up from Fort Rucker, Alabama right now to investigate

and determine the cause of this crash. But what we know now coming from the Brigadier General here says that there were two helicopters one aircraft

with five service members, the other with four service members on it when they crashed our Wednesday night around 10 p.m. local time here.

All of the service members in both of those helicopters tragically died in that crash. The helicopters were designed for medical evaluations. And they

had been flying in what the general described as a multi ship formation with night vision goggles in a training exercise. Now, they told me that

there were no signals or alerts for help or assistance before the crash happened.

There were witnesses who say that they heard a pop before the helicopters fell from the sky. The general confirming this was and it happened in air

while they were flying. There are computers on board that are very similar to the black box, we hear about sometimes on airplanes after crashes.

They're hoping to discern additional information from that data that is on board to determine what happened to Becky, nine service members, I'm a

military brat myself. Their families are all over the world. And they said they began the next akin notifications early in the morning.

But they were continuing as of this morning because some of those service members that are next akin is across the country and in some cases also

outside of the country. And so that will continue as the investigation into what caused this crash is now ongoing.

ANDERSON: Yes, absolutely. Thank you. Well, U.S. First Lady Jill Biden honoring victims of the Nashville school shooting she attended a packed

vigil on Wednesday evening alongside a community, which is frankly and you can understand it in mourning. Three children three adults killed in the

elementary school during a 14-minute rampage by shooter Audrey Hale.


Police are still working to uncover the motives of the attacker. Carlos Suarez tells us what they are learning.


CARLOS SUAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The motive for why 28-year- old Audrey Hale shot and killed six people at the covenant school is still unclear. Nashville Police Chief John Drake spoke to CNN about the


CHIEF JOHN DRAKE, METRO NASHVILLE POLICE: What we know is the suspect actually went to that school. And as I said once before that there may be

some resentment. But we haven't been able to confirm that.

SUAREZ (voice over): The Chief said detectives are still going over a notebook that Hale left behind with writings inside. Authorities believe

Hale had weapons training and may have stopped somewhere between leaving home and arriving at the school. According to the Chief Hale did not have

problems at the school, while a student?

DRAKE: The suspect was under doctor's care for an emotional disorder of some type. As of right now we don't have any indication that there were any

problems at the school or at home.

SUAREZ (voice over): The Chief said detectives believe the parents did not know about the seven weapons Hale legally owned.

DRAKE: The parents felt like she should not own any weapons. She did have one weapon that they encouraged her to sail which severe, so they thought

she didn't have any more.

SUAREZ (voice over): An art instructor who taught Hale for two semesters in 2017 at Nossi College of Art told CNN, Hale had an emotional outburst on

the first day of class.

MARIA COLOMY, TAUGHT HALE IN 2017: During the creation of the password where it asks you for a non-alphanumeric character meaning a special

character. She didn't know what it was asking for and she got really flustered and she's like turned red, started crying.

SUAREZ (voice over): Maria Colomy said that was the only outburst Hale ever exhibited in class.

COLOMY: I just think that Audrey had easier access to guns and rage than she did to compassion or proper mental health care.

SUAREZ (voice over): We're also learning more details about the six victims. Tennessee Governor Bill Lee released a video statement saying his

wife Maria had a close relationship with one of the victims, Cynthia Peak.

BILL LEE, TENNESSEE GOVERNOR: Maria woke up this morning with that one of her best friends, Cindy Peak. Cindy and Maria and Katherine Koonce were all

teachers at the same school and have been family friends for decades.

SUAREZ (voice over): However, Governor Lee said right now is not the time to discuss and debate policy.

LEE: There will be a time to talk about the legislation and the budget proposals that we brought forth even this year, and clearly there is more

work to do.

SUAREZ (voice over): A city council member tells CNN that the Head of school a 60-year-old Katherine Koonce may have died protecting the

children. The city officials said that a witness said that Koonce was on a zoom call when the shooting began, and that Koonce left that call.

Now according to police, where Koonce's body was found, leads them to believe that Koonce encountered the shooter in a hallway Carlos Suarez,

CNN, Nashville, Tennessee.


ANDERSON: Still ahead, Prince Harry back in London's High Court today calls out the Daily Mail's publisher. What happened on this the last day of

pretrial hearings is after this.



ANDERSON: Well, throughout this week, our series "Call to Earth" is looking at Mexico and the conservationists working to protect the rich marine eco

system there. Well, today's part of the Rolex perpetual planet initiative, guess that it is Paul Nicklen and Cristina Mittermeier introduces to a

father and daughter who are on a mission to save whales. Have a look at this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice over): Former U.S. tennis pro termed conservation biologist, Michael Fishbach is the Co-Founder of The Great

Whale Conservancy, an organization dedicated to protecting the whale population.

MICHAEL FISHBACH, CO-FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, GREAT WHALE CONSERVANCY: Anthropogenic climate disruption is really what climate change is, where 90

percent of the warming happened and the ocean has.

CRISTINA MITTERMEIER, CONSERVATION PHOTOGRAPHER: I love working with people that are passionate, that are experts at what they do and that our little

Maverick, you know, not afraid of doing things their own way.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice over): His daughter, Delphi Waters is also part of the team. She's been coming out here on the boat since she was six

months old. And about 10 years ago started conducting research as well.

PAUL NICKLEN, CONSERVATION PHOTOGRAPHER: You know everything we have learned about the blue whales of the lower rattle region are from Michael

and Delphi.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice over): But it's not so much the animal itself they're looking for this morning, rather something it's hopefully left


MITTERMEIER: Well, Bob, I see it, Oh, my goodness, that's like a whale break.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice over): Finding and collecting feces is just one part of their daily routine.

FISHBACH: When it's in the photic zone, it has phosphorus, iron and nitrogen in it. And that mixes with the nutrients that are on the bottom of

the ocean that are upwelling, and that blooms phytoplankton. So that fertilizes phytoplankton, so this is literally the stuff of life in the


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice over): Michael is referring to a process called the whale pump. Or put more simply.

MITTERMEIER: Everywhere I go and talk about the poop loop.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice over): Whales excrete nutrient rich feces, which feeds phytoplankton, tiny plant like organisms that help combat climate

change by absorbing large amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, whilst simultaneously producing at least half of the oxygen on Earth.

In turn, the phytoplankton feed the krill and the whales then eat the krill up to four tons of it a day. And the cycle continues. The samples they

collect will be sent to a lab where tests will measure the amounts of micro plastics in the feces, as well as get a general idea of the animal's


FISHBACH: The thing about whales is that, especially blue whales, they consciously migrate to an area that they know historically is going to have

a productive upwelling. I mean whales are a critical component and a conscious component. That's what's different about them.

MITTERMEIER: In our daily lives we're not thinking about animals like whales or elephants. And yet these animals provide ecological services that

are important for humans to survive on planet Earth.


ANDERSON: And do watch the special half hour program "Call to Earth" protectors of the sea airing Saturday and Sunday here on CNN. We're going

to take a very short break. "Connect the World" will be back just after this.



ANDERSON: Mexican officials have announced that they will issue arrest warrants over the deadly fire at a migrant Detention Center near the U.S.

border. Now outrage growing after video emerged from that facility. And a warning video that you are about to see is graphic, so we'll give you a

moment just to turn away if needs be.

Authorities say none of the public workers or private security officers made any attempt to open the door to the migrants who were locked inside

this burning building. At least 39 people died in that disaster on Monday night.

Well protesters are demanding justice for the victims and accountability from the government. They gathered outside, the interior ministry in Mexico

City held banners saying the migrants didn't die. They were killed.

Prince Harry making another appearance in London's High Court today for what is the final day of a pre-trial hearing against the Daily Mail's

publisher the Duke of Sussex along with several high-profile celebrities, including Elton John, are battling Associated Newspapers over what they

claim are illegal methods of gathering information like phone hacking.

Prince Harry says he feels duty bound to expose what he calls the cover up of criminal methods to obtain stories about him.

Well, Scott McLean has been following this hearing. And he joins us now from London. Its four days this is the pre-trial hearing. What went on in

court? What did we glean over these past four days?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Becky. Yes, I mean, Prince Harry often complains about unfair press coverage. But this he says wasn't just

unfair. This was criminal. And so, the case here, as you mentioned, this was a pre-trial hearing.

So, this wasn't to determine whether or not Associated Newspapers, the owner of The Mail on Sunday, the Daily Mail was guilty of what they're

being accused of, which is wiretapping and other illegal forms of spying, like putting listening devices and houses and cars, things like that.

The central question here is simply whether or not this case can actually be allowed to move to trial, because the claims being made here are so, so

old. In Prince Harry's case, the time period covered is between 2001 and 2013 for some of the other claimants, the claims go back to 1993.

And one of the central pieces of evidence that Harry and his lawyers are using in this case is a witness statement made two years ago in 2021, which

is why they say that the claims couldn't have been made until now from a private investigator named Gavin Burrows.

And in that witness statement, he goes on to detail in very granular detail how he wiretapped and used other illegal spying method on a whole range of

targets at the service of the Mail on Sunday. But Associated Newspapers says that a more recent witness statement from Gavin Burrows says that he

denies doing any of this at the service of Associated Newspaper groups or any of their titles.

Of course, Prince Harry said that, at the time that he suspected friends, he suspected close contacts of selling them out to the press; he never

suspected that any of this could have been a result of spying until that witness statement from Gavin Burrows was actually released.

He also said this in his witness statement, Becky, he said the evidence I have seen shows that associated as journalists are criminals with

journalistic powers which should concern every single one of us. The British public deserves to know the full extent of this cover up. And I

feel it is my duty to expose it.

Associated Newspapers says that it profoundly regrets Prince Harry's untrue inflammatory and deeply offensive remarks about the male's journalists. If

they were repeated outside the court, they would be highly defamatory.

Should also point out that the judge's decision court is just wrapping up now or maybe it has already wrapped up. The judge's decision though won't

be made until later date. And they didn't give us a timeline as to when exactly that would be.


ANDERSON: And what's the reaction to Prince Harry being in court, just very briefly got 45 seconds.

MCLEAN: Yes, I was in court. Earlier, Prince Harry was there for about an hour and a half block in the early afternoon. He didn't show up this

morning. And he left before the, before things wrapped up. And he essentially sat two rows behind his lawyers. And he had a pretty blank look

on his face.

He looked attentive from what I could tell you had a little black notebook in front of him on the desk, but I didn't see him taking any kind of notes.

So he's obviously interested in this case, but he looked like frankly, any other person in that courtroom. He was paying attention, but not really

doing anything remarkable.

ANDERSON: Scott, good to have you on, man. Thank you very much indeed. You've been watching "Connect the World" with me, Becky Anderson. The time

here is just before eight o'clock in the evening in Abu Dhabi. From our Middle East Programming Hub, it is a very good evening stay with CNN. Now,

of course, our programming continues after this.