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Anti-Putin Russians Claim Attack on Border Region of Belgorod; Fighting for Bakhmut Continues; Biden and McCarthy Meeting "Productive" but No Deal Reached; New Tip, New Search for Madeleine McCann; Fake Image of Explosion near Pentagon; Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez Are Engaged. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired May 23, 2023 - 10:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST (voice-over): I'm Becky Anderson, live from Abu Dhabi, at 6:00 pm here. This is CONNECT THE WORLD.

Coming up this hour, anti-Putin Russians aligned with the Ukrainian army, claiming responsibility for an attack on Belgorod.

U.S. journalist Evan Gershkovich, detained in Russia, back in a Moscow port.

U.S. debt ceiling negotiations continue, as a default deadline looms.

And a proud moment for Newcastle United, back in next season's Champions League.


ANDERSON: We begin with reaction from Moscow this hour, after a rare and brazen attack on its own soil. It claims at least 70 fighters, who crossed

into Russia's Belgorod region and carried out an attack on Monday, have been killed. The rest it says, have been pushed back into Ukrainian

territory, Moscow refers to the attack as Ukrainian.

Those two groups of anti-Putin Russian nationals are claiming responsibility. Ukrainian officials acknowledge the attack but deny any

direct involvement. About 100 civilians have been evacuated from the affected areas. CNN's Fred Pleitgen is in Kyiv. He joins us now.

Let's just step back for a moment, where's Belgorod and why is this attack so significant?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think it's extremely significant. Belgorod is in the western part of Russia,

southwestern part of Russia. It's literally right at the border with Ukraine.

In fact, I was in Belgorod when Russia's big war against Ukraine started. You know, to get down to close to the border area, it really doesn't take

very long at all.

The other big thing that's very significant about that place, as well, Becky, is the fact that Belgorod is a hub for the Russian military. Not

just in general, for its military bases and a lot of heavy equipment. But also for the war in Ukraine as well.

That's where large portions of the invasion also started, at the beginning of last year. So certainly, this is maybe not a huge military blow to the

Kremlin. But it certainly is something that they are having a lot of trouble dealing with. Certainly something that does not sit well them,

simply because that territory is right on the border with Ukraine.

Also, there are so many military areas, military bases in that area, as well. We are seeing that I think play out. Some of the things we're hearing

from the Russian military, from the Kremlin, as you mentioned, saying they have struck back hard.

They liquidated, as they put, it 70 people. Whereas the Russians who say that they cross the border, for a very long time, say they still have

people on the ground. The Russians were not able to oust them.

This whole back and forth, were the Ukrainians responsible?

The Ukrainians, of course, are denying, that while the Russians are saying they do hold Kyiv accountable. Here's what we're learning.


PLEITGEN (voice-over): A rude awakening for Russians in the border area with Ukraine, gunfire and explosions as two groups known as the Free Russia

Legion and the Russian Volunteer Corps. Russians fighting for Ukraine so they captured one village and entered another in the Belgorod region.

Today, it's time for everyone to take responsibility for their future, one of the leaders says. It's time to put an end to the Kremlin's dictatorship.

Kyiv acknowledges the Free Russia Legion are part of Ukraine's security forces but says Ukraine has nothing to do with the incursion into Russia,

Putin's spokesman irate.

The purpose of the Ukrainian sabotage in the Belgorod region is to divert attention from the situation in the Bakhmut direction, he said.

The raid spoils what was supposed to be Russia's big victory lap. Flanked by his mercenaries Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin claiming to have taken all

of Bakhmut this weekend.

Today at noon at 12:00, Bakhmut has been fully captured, he said.

Shortly after Russian social media channeled filling with pro Wagner propaganda, Mercenaries screaming victory and celebrating with champagne


But Ukraine's Deputy Defense Minister quick to deny the Russian claims.


HANNA MALIAR, UKRAINIAN DEPUTY DEFENSE MINISTER (through translator): The Ukrainian Armed Forces retained control of certain industrial facilities

and private houses in the southwestern area.

PLEITGEN (voice-over): From the air and from the ground, Bakhmut looks apocalyptic. Any strategic value the town may have had for the Kremlin laid

to waste.

Ukraine's forces already fighting back, making what they say have been significant gains. North and south of Bakhmut taking swathes of land back


Bakhmut was supposed to be both strategic and symbolic for Russia in its fight for control of East Ukraine. But Wagner says their forces will

withdraw on May 25th after months of ferocious fighting and countless dead.

The city will be placed under Russian military control whose commanders have done more withdrawing than advancing recently.


PLEITGEN: Becky, earlier today I was able to speak to Ukrainian national security adviser, he once again denied those claims by the Russians that

all of Bakhmut is under Russian control. He says there are still Ukrainians inside the territory. They do continue to hold parts of Bakhmut and intend

to stay there and try to defend the territory.

He also said, from a Ukrainian perspective, despite the fact that this was such a tough fight and continues to be such a tough fight with great

losses, of course, on the Ukrainian side, they believe this has been a success for them.

They believe they've been able to draw on large parts of the Russian military not just Wagner but other units as well, destroy a lot of arms,

kill a lot of Russians. They think that has helped them as well prepare for the big counteroffensive that, of course, so many are waiting for and have

been waiting for, for such a long time.

ANDERSON: Thank you.

From Russia, modern echoes of the Cold War. A Moscow hearing is expected to get underway soon to decide whether detained American journalist Evan

Gershkovich stays behind bars until his trial. We are watching for the latest pictures from that.

"The Wall Street Journal" reporter, was being held in the notorious Lefortovo prison, charged with espionage. The paper says the charges are

baseless, U.S. has declared him wrongfully detained. I want to bring in CNN's U.S. security correspondent, Kylie Atwood.

Gershkovich's parents have just arrived, as I'm understanding.

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, some interesting details, on the ground there, Becky, that Gershkovich's parents both

arrived to the court. They were accompanied by his Russian lawyer, Evan's Russian lawyer. We will have to see what more we can learn about their

decision to go over there and be there in person.

For this hearing today, as you said, it focuses on extending his pretrial detention. Of course, it comes on the heels of the Russians denying U.S.

diplomats consular access to Evan Gershkovich over the course of the last few weeks here, two times.

They also denied what was an appeal from Gershkovich's side, to try and serve this pretrial tension time on house arrest instead of in a jail.

Because they rejected that, he is serving this time in jail.

We'll watch to see what kind of images we get, of Evan leaving the courtroom and entering the courtroom. The other thing, just because he has

been denied this consular access twice, by U.S. diplomats, we'll be watching if U.S. diplomats are allowed into the courtroom.

You'll recall the last time we had appearing, the U.S. ambassador to Moscow, Lynn Tracy, was in the courtroom. She was able to exchange some

words with Evan. And she said he looked like he was in good health.

It's important, for U.S. diplomats on the ground to be able to see him and they continue to push for access to him while he is in jail, not just

during these court appearances.

ANDERSON: Absolutely, thank you.

A much anticipated meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and the House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has come and gone and still no deal on raising what

is the U.S. debt ceiling. Both the president and McCarthy said Monday's talks were, quote, "productive" but it does nothing for a looming default

that could happen a number of days.

U.S. Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, warns, if America runs out of cash, the U.S. and other world economies could face an economic catastrophe.

Let's bring in CNN's Arlette Saenz at the White House, Manu Raju from Capitol Hill.

Manu, what is Kevin McCarthy wanting at this stage?

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The talks, he is demanding a series of spending cuts to -- as a condition to raise the

national debt limit. Right now the White House is simply not on the same page as McCarthy.


RAJU: Remember, for so long, the White House has indicated they want a clean debt ceiling, no conditions whatsoever. Now they have had


One of the things that is a major sticking point right now, it's whether or not to actually decrease spending below last year's level, pass to a debt

ceiling increase. Republicans do not want to go that far. They want to free spending at this year's level.

That is not good enough for McCarthy. Just talking to a number of Republicans coming out of a closed-door meeting right now, it's clear talks

are not going very well. There's a lot of concerns that they can actually get the deal to avoid the debt default.

Republicans are urging the Speaker not to give in too much to the White House, not to get off their position, that they have approved in a House

bill in April. Liberals are pushing back also, contending the White House is giving too much to McCarthy. Listen.


REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA): I think there would be a huge backlash from our entire House Democratic Caucus, certainly the progressives, but also in

the streets.

You know, I mean, I think that this is -- it's important that we don't take steps back from the very strong agenda that the president himself

shepherded and led over the last two years.



RAJU: If the president agrees to spending caps or if he agrees to work requirements on certain social safety net programs.

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): It would be a problem. We do not legislate through the debt ceiling for this very reason.



REP. SCOTT PERRY (R-): What we're willing to accept is what we passed last month. That's why we passed it. They haven't passed anything, yet you keep

asking us what we want to do.

What will it take?

What it will take is what we passed.

REP. BOB GOOD, (R-): And our position has not changed. The Senate needs to pass the House bill.


RAJU: So that is that last comment from the conservatives, saying that simply passing the House bill. There it shows you the challenges.

First they get an agreement, then they need to sell it to the broader House, caucuses on the Republican side and the Democratic side, get it

through the Senate and try to move it through the legislative process.

That can take a week, up to two weeks to get done. All before the deadline of June 1st to avoid the nation's first ever debt to fault, which is why

there are just so many concerns right now that Congress might not be able to get there with the White House.

Talks will continue today but whether they can actually make any progress is a major question at this point.

ANDERSON: Yes, and for those of us who've been around long enough, Manu, it feels like it's been a "Groundhog Day."

But this is really serious stuff. Arlette -- thank you, Manu.

Arlette, Janet Yellen warning no deal would be a catastrophe. We've just heard from Manu, from the Republican and liberal sides.

What is the White House having to say about this?

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Becky, the White House really has those same concerns that you heard Manu express there from lawmakers up on

Capitol Hill. One of the key sticking points in these negotiations has been around those spending levels.

Now the White House, both the president and McCarthy called their meeting yesterday productive but they emerged from that meeting without any deal in

sight. Late last night, negotiators came to the table once again up on Capitol Hill and we're told that negotiators will be sitting down again

later this morning, roughly about an hour as they're looking to try and hammer out some of these final differences that remain between the two


From the White House's side, the president has said he is open to spending cuts but he wants to see additional revenues included in any type of

agreement. He has called for higher taxes on corporations and the wealthy.

But Republicans have said that is simply a nonstarter. One thing that you really have heard, the president and White House officials hammer over the

course of the past few days, is this idea that this needs to be a bipartisan compromise.

Yesterday, in his meeting with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, the president said, in the end, they need to sell this agreement to both sides, Democrats

and Republicans. You heard him just a few days ago really try to stress to Republicans that they need to compromise in these negotiations.

Democrats argue that they have been flexible in these negotiations, pointing to the fact that the president was even willing to free spending

at current year levels, which Republicans have said is unacceptable. They point too items like that as indicators of where Republicans also need to

come to the negotiation table, to compromise on.

But look, they are really running hard against this very tough deadline of June 1st as Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has once again doubled down,

that the U.S. could default on its debts as early as June 1st.

Of course, it takes time, to get things moving up on Capitol Hill. So the White House and Republican negotiators at this moment are working with a

real sense of urgency but there really is no clear resolution to this agreement in sight.


ANDERSON: Fascinating. We continue to watch and, wait thank you.

An investigation is underway, after a moving truck crashed into a security barrier near that White House. Take a look at this video posted on Twitter.

The Secret Service said this happened on Monday night, across the street from the White House.

No personnel were injured and the driver has been charged. Joining us with more, CNN's correspondent Brian Todd.

Lots of questions.

What do we know at this point?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Becky, we do have some information on the suspect. The U.S. Park Police has named him as Sai Varshith Kandula, 19

years old, from Chesterfield, Missouri.

According to law enforcement sources who spoke to John Miller and Evan Perez at the scene last, the suspect did make threats regarding the White

House. That's new information they're getting from law enforcement sources.

The suspect identified as Sai Varshith Kandula, 19 years old, from Chesterfield, Missouri. According to sources, he made threats at the scene

regarding the White House. We're only about 200 yards from the White House. According to police, the suspect crashed a U-Haul into these barriers

multiple times.

There is some oil absorbent and sand down there, where there's an oil spill from the truck. There's a scuff mark over here to my right. But again, you

can see the proximity to the White House. He crashed it multiple times at the scene.

Initially there were concerns that there might be explosives in the truck. For that reason, they evacuated that hotel, the famous Hay Adams hotel.

They briefly evacuated the hotel when they thought that there might be explosives inside the truck but the FBI searched the vehicle and found no

explosives in the truck.

What they did find, we're told, is a flag that appeared to have a swastika on, a black backpack and a roll of duct tape. There was a witness who did

see this incident occur at 10 am Eastern time last night, Alexander Garcia. Here's what he had to say.


ALEXANDER GARCIA, WITNESS: It's a U-Haul truck coming onto H Street and then he tried running to the White House. And then he tried the first time

and then went to the second time and now he's right over there, right in front of the White House.


TODD: According to that witness, multiple attempts, at least two, made to crash through that barrier by the suspect, again identified as Sai Varshith

Kandula. We're told by police and the Secret Service that the president was never in any danger.

But the Secret Service is not giving information as to whether they took any specific protective measures to protect President Biden last night

while he was in the White House.

The suspect is being charged with threatening to kill, kidnap or harm the president and vice president with assault with a dangerous weapon,

destruction of federal property and other charges. He is expected to appear in court later today. Becky.

ANDERSON: Thank you, sir.

You are watching CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. It is just before 20 past 6:00 here, in Abu Dhabi.

A new search in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. Why police have returned to a site near a Portuguese reservoir. More on that after this.





ANDERSON: Sixteen years on and police are looking for new evidence in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. German authorities tell CNN that police

are combing a site in Portugal after receiving a tip.

The toddler vanished in a resort area in 2007, in an area about 50 kilometers from here during a family vacation. Scott McLean has more on the

latest chapter in what has been a long running investigation.


SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Madeleine McCann would've turned 20 this month. Her family last saw her when she was three. She disappeared into

2007 during a family holiday in the Algarve region of Portugal.

She was with her younger twin sibling while her parents were dining with friends nearby in the resort of Praia de Luz. The mystery of her

disappearance gripped many across the U.K., Portugal and Germany.

On Tuesday, Portuguese police at the request of German authorities, will search a reservoir near the Portuguese city of Silves, around 50 kilometers

from Praia de Luz.

Over the past 16 years police did search numerous wells and properties in the area, including this one which was searched in 2008. It is unclear

whether it is connected to Christian Bruckner, the German suspect first named in the case in 2020.

Bruckner, a convicted sex offender, lived in the Algarve between 1995 and 2007 in an apartment about a mile away from the resort where the McCanns

were staying.

He's in prison in Germany for the rape and murder of a 72 year old woman committed in Portugal at the same resort. He has not been charged in

McCann's disappearance and denies any involvement.

But one German prosecutor said he believes she was killed by Bruckner.

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What makes you so certain that Madeleine McCann is dead?

HANS CHRISTIAN WOLTERS, GERMAN PROSECUTOR: We have some evidence for this. We have no forensic evidence but we have other evidence.

MCLEAN: Her family cling on to the hope that she could still be alive.

GERRY MCCANN, MADELEINE'S FATHER: No parent is going to give up on their child unless they know for certain that the child is dead. They just don't

have any evidence.


ANDERSON: Scott McLean joins me now, from London.

Is it clear, at this stage whether authorities are working on specific intelligence?

What's going on here?

MCLEAN: This is the big question here, Becky. What we know from Portuguese police sources is they are looking for activities or evidence of

activities, potential activities I should say of, the suspect in this case, a man in his mid 40s, Christian Bruckner.

This area though, look at the pictures. It is vast, it is mountainous, we're talking about scrubland, a huge reservoir there as well. On the

surface it looks like a needle in the haystack.

The reservoir itself has already been searched, back in 2008, as well. That search turned up a bunch of bones that turned out to be animal bones. In

this case, there are boats there are divers that are on the site. But it seems from we can tell that most of the searching is actually happening on


What they are searching for or what they expect to find and how good that intelligence might be that they're going off, we don't know. The German

prosecutor won't say but he insists it is not in vain, listen.


WOLTERS (through translator): The measures in Portugal are related to the Madeleine McCann case. This means that we are investigating there in

Portugal on the basis of certain identifications.

I cannot disclose the background at the moment, why we are searching there and what we hope to find. That is to remain our secret for the moment.


MCLEAN: So if you compile what we know already about this case, it appears as if the prosecutor has some circumstantial evidence related to Christian

Bruckner's cell phone being in the area of that resort, relating to the fact that he tried to reregister his car just a day after the crime took


His story has also changed as well. He was actually interviewed back in 2013 as a witness. He said he wasn't in the country and then later his

story shifted, saying he was with his girlfriend that night.

But the prosecution has not been able to find any woman to actually support that potential alibi. Under German law though, prosecutors have to be able

to convince a judge --


MCLEAN: -- that they could actually secure a conviction with the evidence they have. Clearly they are short of that bar thus far. And the clock is

ticking here, Bruckner is in jail right now. He's in prison, serving a seven year sentence for the rape of American woman. But he is already more

than halfway through that prison term -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Scott McLean on the story for you, more than that as we get it, of course.

At least 19 children have died and several others are badly hurt after a fire at a school dormitory in Guyana. An initial investigation found the

blaze may have been deliberately set. More from Stefano Pozzebon.


STEFANO POZZEBON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): (INAUDIBLE) has declared three days of national mourning on Monday, after at least 19 people,

including 18 girls, died in a fire at a film school dormitory in the central city of Mahdia.

The president finally said that Monday was one of the saddest days in his presidency. He offered all public support to the families of the victims as

well as the survivors; 56 students were in the dorms at the time of the blaze.

According to the department of public information and at least seven had to be flown to the country's capital, Georgetown, to receive treatment. He

announced the creation of two task forces to investigate the fire.

They spokesperson of the Guyanese fire department said the fire was maliciously set, according to an initial investigation. One little boy, who

was also sleeping the dormitory, at the time of the blaze, also lost his life, the president said. The president urged the nation to pray for the

children and their families in this time of pain -- for CNN, this is Stefano Pozzebon, Bogota.


ANDERSON: You are watching CONNECT THE WORLD, with me, Becky Anderson. Still to come, CNN takes you to the front lines of Eastern Ukraine, where

the relentless shelling is taking its toll on troop morale.

And a fake photo of an explosion at the Pentagon gets attention around the globe. Details on the chaos that this image caused from social media to

Wall Street. That is after this.




ANDERSON (voice-over): Welcome back, I'm Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. These are your headlines this hour.

U.S. President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy have not yet reached an agreement on how to raise the nation's debt ceiling.


ANDERSON: The two vowed to keep talking, called their meeting on Monday productive. There are only nine days left, before some officials warn a

fiscal catastrophe could play out in Washington.

We are watching developments from a Moscow hearing just underway this hour. It will decide whether to obtain American journalist Evan Gershkovich, who

remains behind bars until his trial. "The Wall Street Journal" reporter is being held in Russia, on spying charges, which he denies.

Moscow says the fighters who crossed into Russia's Belgorod region, carrying out a brazen attack on Monday, have been pushed back into

Ukrainian territory. A group of anti-Putin Russian nationals claiming responsibility for that attack.

The regional governor says about 100 civilians will be affected. Settlements are being evacuated.

ANDERSON: Fresh off his trip abroad to lock in more Western support for his troops, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy has paid them a visit

on the eastern front lines. This was part of the Day of Marines in Ukraine, an annual holiday celebrating the country's Navy.

Mr. Zelenskyy handed out awards to fighters for courage in battle and the troops fighting in the Donetsk region might benefit from a bit of a morale

boost. The constant shelling is taking its toll.

Ukrainian forces saying Bakhmut is still the epicenter of fighting. CNN's Nic Robertson and his team visited with Ukrainian forces near those front

lines and this is his report.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): Barely out of the armored troop carrier, incoming artillery.

ROBERTSON: We're just going to wait in this little basement until the shelling is over. Then they think it will be safe to move forward in the

front positions.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): A few minutes later, safe to come out of this army outpost a few miles from Bakhmut. Last night was hard, a lot of shelling.

Call sign Gambit tells us the soldier is still shell-shocked from an anti- tank rocket attack.

ROBERTSON: We're going to get back in the vehicle, try to get a little closer to the front lines.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Ten days ago, these troops pushed the Russians back around Bakhmut. But their advance is slowing and harder. We get to a

small HQ. Call sign Fox, a former farmer, is readying his troops for their coming shift on the front line, stopping the Russians in Bakhmut from


ROBERTSON: How hard is that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language)

ROBERTSON (voice-over): "It's impossible to describe these feelings," he says. "You can only experience it. No words can express it. They shell a


As we talk, it is clear this war is taking its toll.

ROBERTSON: You only have to look at the soldiers' faces here to know how tough this battle is. They all look worn. They say morale is high but their

faces are telling a different story.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): We move on toward other positions and stop as the shelling increases.

ROBERTSON: We've just been told the place that we were going to is under heavy shelling, so we're going to pull back to here, go somewhere else.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): In the battalion bunker, the commander tells us the Russians have ramped up their shelling on his troops since they


"Tons of ammo, shrapnel, tanks firing. Everything."

His unit's drones recorded their recent successes but now the Russians have regrouped. And in a moment of candor following losses the previous night,

admits morale is flagging.

"Let's be honest," he says. "We are fighting heavily for more than a year. My soldiers went through many battles and two rotations near Bakhmut.

Troops are exhausted but we endure."

ROBERTSON: Bakhmut, which is just over the hill in that direction, has become an object lesson in how Russia's wealth in men and I munition can

prevail and that the less Ukraine gets the modern weaponry support from its allies, it's going to struggle to tip the balance.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Call sign Fox and his unit load up for their hard miles at the front. An end of war, getting back to their families: what

drives them into the shelling -- Nic Robertson, CNN, Eastern Ukraine.


ANDERSON: CNN reporting from the front lines for. You


ANDERSON: A fake image, likely generated by AI, artificial intelligence, made the rounds on social media on Monday, showing what appeared to be an

explosion near the Pentagon in Washington.

This is the fake image posted on Twitter. Despite what you see, there was no explosion and the building shown is not the Pentagon. But it was enough

to fool multiple accounts, even some media outlets, into sharing it.

Earlier CNN's Donie O'Sullivan spoke with CNN's Anderson Cooper about the potential danger of AI and online misinformation.


DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN TECH CORRESPONDENT: Firstly, the image itself, which you can see there, it purported to be the Pentagon.

If you look closely, it doesn't actually look anything like the Pentagon but it was put out there. And experts we've spoken to say that that image

was created using artificial intelligence technology.

You can type -- you know, there are systems out there where you can just type explosion near a building and it will generate multiple images within


The second part of this --



O'SULLIVAN: -- so that's number one. The second part of this is the blue check fiasco on Twitter. People might remember that a few months ago, Elon

Musk took away the blue check marks from a lot of organizations and journalists and basically gave them to anybody who was willing to pay for


Now as a result of that, a lot of folks have set up fake accounts. And in this case, this image was first shared by a fake account that had a blue

check mark. So it looked verified, pretending that it was linked to Bloomberg News. It had nothing to do with Bloomberg News.

But it does seem that there has been some coordination here in the pushing of this. A lot of accounts pushed it all at once. It eventually then ended

up on television in India. Russian state media also shared this. And as you mentioned, the stock market dipped.


ANDERSON: Experts say photos by AI also play a threat to the world of politics, which can be especially harmful in the U.S. presidential election

next year. We've discussed that here on the show.

Still to come on CONNECT THE WORLD, the world's richest bachelor may be getting ready to tie the knot. Details on that.

And plus, not so long ago, Newcastle United battled relegation in the English Premier League. Now their sights are set on Europe's premier

football competition.

What changed?

We will discuss that, up next.




ANDERSON: Right. The Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, will soon be hearing wedding bells again. A source tells CNN that the billionaire is now engaged

to the former broadcast journalist turned philanthropist, Lauren Sanchez. My colleague, Chloe Melas, shares a glimpse into the power couple's




CHLOE MELAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER (voice-over): Billionaire Jeff Bezos is engaged. A source close to the couple says the Amazon founder and

his partner, Lauren Sanchez, plan to tie the knot. Though no details about the proposal or any wedding plans have yet been made public.

Sanchez, a philanthropist and former award-winning journalist and Bezos first revealed their relationship in 2019.

JEFF BEZOS, EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN, AMAZON: Lauren is the most generous, most big-hearted person that you would ever meet.

MELAS: Last year, I interviewed the couple at their Washington, D.C., home for their first-ever joint interview, revealing details of their lives

together that previously hadn't been shared by the private couple.

MELAS: I'd love to know, what does a typical Saturday night look like for Jeff and Lauren?

LAUREN SANCHEZ, PHILANTHROPIST: We can be kind of boring.


BEZOS: You're never boring.

SANCHEZ: (INAUDIBLE) look at me a little --

BEZOS: That's not true. I can be boring.

SANCHEZ: But it's -- I mean -- it's really -- I would say normal, we have dinner with the kids. That's always fun.

MELAS (voice-over): Bezos has four children from his previous marriage with McKenzie Scott. And Sanchez has three children from previous


SANCHEZ: There's seven between us. So there's a lot of -- a lot of discussion. And then we watch a movie. And with --

BEZOS: Typical Saturday night, probably a movie.

SANCHEZ: By committee. It takes a long time to find that movie, wouldn't you say?

BEZOS: Yes. We probably spend more time picking the movie than we do watching it.

SANCHEZ: But I think that's the fun part.

BEZOS: It's fun.

MELAS: As the founder of space company Blue Origin, Bezos was aboard a2021 flight into space and back on Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket. Sanchez,

also a helicopter pilot, said she's ready to head to space one day.

BEZOS: She wants to go.

SANCHEZ: I'm ready.

MELAS: Together?

SANCHEZ: No, he's already been.

BEZOS: We'll see. She -- I think she has some ideas about who she wants to go with. We'll see.

SANCHEZ: I think it will be a great group of females.

MELAS (voice-over): A source familiar with the making of Bezos' mega yacht says the billionaire had a figurehead at the bow of the ship made in the

likeness of the Norse goddess Freya with a striking resemblance to Sanchez. A grand gesture that may hint at a grand wedding to come -- Chloe Melas,