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Inside Ukraine's Fight to Liberate Town in Donetsk Region; Giuliani Appeals to Trump to pay Legal Bills; The Future of Saudi-Israeli Relations; Rudy Giuliani asked Trump to help Pay his Legal Bills; Artificial Intelligence could help Reduce Plane Emissions; Blockbuster Film Opens in Saudi Arabia to Wide Acclaim. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired August 17, 2023 - 11:00   ET



BECKY ANDERSON, CNNI HOST: What is believed to be one of the most violent incidents in Darfur's history showing evidence of a massacre in large

scale? The U.S. citizen held prisoner in Russia has been told to keep hope alive that message coming in a phone call between Paul Whelan and U.S.

Secretary of State the details on that are just ahead.

And finally, Barbie fever hits the Gulf and it shows a big reversal for Saudi Arabia. Less than 10 years ago, Saudis had to travel to neighboring

countries go to the cinema but now fans heading in the opposite direction.

Well, we start our second hour with what has so far been an incident free journey of cargo ship left Odessa heading to its final destination in

Turkey. It has now moved beyond what was a potential danger zone in the Black Sea and into Romanian waters.

This ship, as we've been reporting on this program, was the first to leave the port of Odessa since Russia pulled out of the grain deal last month and

threatened to attack Ukrainian shipping interests in the Black Sea.

Well, it's happening as Ukraine's military announces it will not get delivery of American F-16 fighter jets this year. Ukraine says it

desperately needs those jets to counter Russian missile and drone attacks. Nick Paton Walsh back with us this hour from Dnipro. Let's just start with

that news that there are no expectations at least on the Ukrainian side that they'll be getting F-16s any time soon. Why is that significant?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean important put in the context that the ambition to get those complex jets

and Ukrainians trained on flying them, servicing them with a huge amount of service time they need was ambitious, but it was so desperately urgent.

Firstly, to defend ordinary civilians like those around me here we just had air raid sirens from Russian attack, but more importantly for the counter

offensive on the front line to give Ukraine a chance of knocking back the Russian air superiority that makes it so hard for their troops to advance.

They could get a half a metric ton bomb dropped on them at any moment.

And in the place we went to yesterday, one of the first villages captured for weeks by Ukraine Urozhaine this is a place where that air superiority

is clearly in Russia's favor. And today, we're learning that the troops who advanced there are still under Russian attack. This is a slow grind

forward, but it's one that Ukraine says is so far in their favor.


WALSH (voice over): There may be ruin around them but that direction is forwards. We're with the 35th Ukrainian Marines. The first report is to get

to the outskirts of Urozhaine. Yet another village announced liberated Wednesday. The victories may be small.

But a constant so just down here Urozhaine yet another town taken as the counter offensive does move forward. We were just seeing the neighboring

village taken last week, but they keep moving.

WALSH: That much incoming were getting out of here as quick as we can while they control Urozhaine, the Russians do everything they can to make it a

nightmare, the Ukrainians to be there.

The unit showed us the intense fight captured by drone. This their tank advancing, dropping a string of anti-mine explosives behind it they said

which then once it turned detonated. The unit released a video of them in the town Wednesday of how they turned their firepower on what was once a

Russian stronghold that shelled them.

The company commander recalls many more Russians hidden there than he expected. Very many died he says especially when they started to run and

when they held houses. Lots of them died there. But they were caught as they fled the smoke around Russians likely made by cluster munitions.

Ukraine has said it is already using some rounds controversially supplied by the United States. We could not confirm if these fight here with new

American cluster bombs. But the losses suffered were clear. And they say their use is less of an ethical dilemma when you're in this brutal fight.

I don't understand it he says. That site is using whatever they want. Our people are dying from all this and it's, OK when the other site die it's

not I don't understand. His footage shows how young some in the assault were. He has no time for Western analysts who say this should be moving



I would say they can always come to me as a guest and fight with me he says. If someone believes that you can fly over the minefield on a broom,

like in Harry Potter, it doesn't happen in a real fight. If you don't understand that, you can sit in your armchair and eat your popcorn.

Yes, it's out here. The last month of advances fill both empty and grueling, littered now with Russian dead. They haven't moved perhaps as far

as it has felt.

WALSH: These just empty farm fields in which many have died to take each kilometer.

WALSH (voice over): The Russians mind so hard here. They use this machine to do it. So much damage done, it's hard to imagine what plans Moscow had

for here at all, had they kept it.


WALSH (on camera): Becky, just to give you context as to what these villages really mean. Urozhaine was the place from which we essentially

heard that the Ukrainians were being shelled heavily when they advanced a couple of weeks ago, into the village across the river, called


Now they have moved forward and taken that obstacle out of the way. Yes, each time they move forwards the Russians shell them heavily from their

rear positions. But there is essentially a clock ticking here. And some hope within the Ukrainians that eventually they will push the Russians back

past their more fortified positions and into the open space, as you can see there, where they might begin to lose some of their structure. But it's

exceptionally hard going, as you can see there, Becky.

ANDERSON: And Nick, that soldier very eloquently talking about and defending the pace of this counter offensive at this point. When you talk

to active soldiers on the ground involved in this fight, do they feel that they continue to get the support of their allies in the West? Is there

concern about a sense of fatigue that we know that there is to a certain extent in the U.S. and in Europe? And does that worry them long term?

WALSH: But only sort of three ways of looking at this really the first is yes, I think most Ukrainians except that they might be living on the full

Russian occupation if they hadn't have that investment from the United States and its allies of support politically, in terms of weapons

financially as well.

So that's a given when you then go on to say, well, yes, some of the weapons that have been sent by NATO, we've heard complaints on the front

lines about how they haven't performed in the way that they'd hoped or they simply weren't up to scratch when up to NATO standards, when they were


And of course, you heard there when it comes to how fast are you moving? Well, if you're talking to a soldier who's been up all night, hearing their

friends die on the radio, and then they don't really have much truck with somebody in an armchair on the other side of the planet telling them they

should be going faster.

Is there a fear of fatigue? Yes, certainly, absolutely. But it's a secondary concern here. There are sirens in major cities. The frontline

fight is exceptionally brutal. And the Ukrainians are losing money, day by day, but they're doing it in order to prevent the Russians who've made it

quite clear in occupied territories how brutal, their continued presence here can be, don't occupy their daily lives.

And I think that's part of what's lost in international dialogue about whether Ukraine should go to the peace tables, or how they should function.

Russia has made it clear; it's in this for the long term. It's pushing exceptionally hard and its population to keep its troop levels up to

continue military manufactures cars. There's a war against all of NATO.

There's no suggestion that Putin is about to turn down the volume on this, but instead, it's Ukraine who are coming under intermittent background sort

of chatter as it were pressure to think about what sacrifices they might be willing to make territorially. But for ordinary Ukrainians that does seem

frankly about asking them to live on their occupation here eventually Becky.

ANDERSON: Thank you, Nick. Nick Paton Walsh reporting on the ground, superb reporting from Nick and I know that Nick again will applaud the fact that

the there is a team working with them, and their work is superb.

1000 people killed in one single day. That is what aid workers are reporting from West Darfur State in Sudan as the country's war between

government forces and the paramilitary RSF is now in its fifth month. In a CNN exclusive Nima Elbagir and her team piece together videos satellite

imagery and testimony from a massacre there in June.

It was one of the bloodiest in the region's very bloody history and it ended with bodies littering the streets and eventually being buried in mass

graves. Now I've got to warn you some of the images that you are about to see are graphic, and Nima's report includes distressing descriptions of




NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The streets of El Geneina in Sudan's Darfur region are eerily quiet,

filmed at great risk by survivors. The video shows racist graffiti defacing walls and corpses littering the streets seen here in their own propaganda.

Sudan's paramilitary Rapid Support Forces RSF occupied Geneina in June after a heavy shelling campaign and fighting in their war for dominance

over Sudan's army. A CNN investigation has now uncovered some of the cost of the RSF victory here in Geneina. Survivors aid workers and body

collectors described to CNN how.

Together with their allies, the RSF gunned down hundreds of civilians in and around Geneina on June 15, in one of the most violent massacres to date

in the recent history of this genocide-scarred Sudanese region. Using satellite images, eyewitness testimony and geo locating what few videos

have made it through the telecommunications blackout, cutting Darfur off from the world.

JAMAL KHAMISS, HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYER & EYEWITNESS: I lost 8 members of my family that day during the escape from El Geneina to Chad.

ELBAGIR (voice over): This man says he buried hundreds of victims in Darfur since April. But on that day, he couldn't even reach his slain relatives.

The RSF troops are drawn from Darfuri Arab tribes and together with its leader Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, aka him a deep are implicated in the year's

long genocide in the region against African tribal groupings.

It's unsurprising then that the war between the RSF and Sudan's military for control of the country, took an even more sinister turn here in Darfur.

Mirroring the RSF previous tactics, forcing civilians to flee many were arriving in Geneina. That is until June 14 when the West Darfur Governor

seen here at his arrest by the RSF was executed.

The RSF blamed for the killing denies responsibility. As hundreds attempted to flee they were harassed and threatened. Even children joined in, a lucky

few made it to Chad.

SABRY MOHAMED, FORMER EL GENEINA RESIDENT & EYEWITNESS: They were going into houses killing people. Snipers were everywhere.

ELBAGIR (voice over): Bringing with them stories of ethnic targeting.

MOHAMED: On the road out of the city, we were stopped and searched. They took our phones. Men were separated from the women so they could kill us.

We ran but they shot some of us.

ELBAGIR (voice over): Evidence shows much of the killing occurred here outside the main hospital in Geneina. Then fleeing civilians were ambushed

again in Wadi Kaja. Satellite images show the river which is usually shallow enough for cars to cross had water running high that day.

Scores struggled in the water some shot as they drowned. Survivors say they had gunfire from all directions.

KHAMISS: I saw 17 kids who were shot dead then thrown into the water. This was one of the most surreal scenes I've witnessed.

ELBAGIR (voice over): Even as they fled Geneina for Adre. Across the border in Chad, our evidence shows men, women and children were shot as they fled.

At the MSF hospital in Chad, survivors arrived with gunshot wounds in the back legs and buttocks.

The lead doctor told CNN all injuries consistent with being shot from the back. Over 850 people flooded the hospital in Adre between June 15th and

17th according to MSF. More than any other period since fighting began in April. Body collectors say according to their count, around 1000 people

were killed on the day of June 15th, buried in dozens of mass graves.

Survivors say the RSF is replicating these same tactics across the region. Even as they're supposed to celebrate in the aftermath of mass killings and

the sweep of escalating ethnically targeted attacks. Nima Elbagir, CNN, London.


ANDERSON: Well, the United Nations just a short time ago said it was alarmed by the allegations of widespread violence by the RSF in Sudan, the

UN referred to claims of sexual violence and the killing of humanitarian workers.

It says 17 aid workers were killed in Sudan this year alone calling this "One of the grimmest chapters in the country's history" where you can read

a lot more about the conflict in Sudan online. We have more of Nima's reporting on that bloody day when one local humanitarian worker said "The

dead became uncountable". You will find our complete investigation on our app or


Well, four and a half million Sudanese people have fled their homes since fighting began between the army and paramilitary forces in April more than

3 million are internally displaced and close to a million escaped to neighboring countries, all of them need help.

You can scan this QR code to get money to aid agencies on the ground there that are providing food, medicine, and temporary housing or you can go to You're watching "Connect the World" with me Becky Anderson.

Still to come, a high profile meeting between Iran and Saudi Arabia we'll tell you what came out of it and what it could mean for the region and the

world? Plus Donald Trump's Former Attorney Rudy Giuliani struggling to pay his legal bills and asking the Former U.S. President to help.


ANDERSON: 17 minutes past four in London. I'm Becky Anderson. You're watching "Connect the World". Iran's Foreign Minister is in Saudi Arabia.

And this marks his first visit to the country after seven years of hostility between the two nations. Hossein Amir-Abdollahian meeting with

his counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan in the Capital City of Riyadh. Now the Iranian Foreign Minister says his President has accepted an invitation

by Saudi Arabia to visit the Kingdom.


HOSSEIN AMIR-ABDOLLAHIAN, IRANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: The President Ayatollah Raisi has therefore accepted the invite. And he will be going to visit at

an appropriate time.


ANDERSON: For more of this significance of this meeting, and how these developments may impact not just the region that is crucially important,

but the wider world. I want to bring in a good friend of the show Vali Nasr. He's a Professor of International Affairs and Middle East Studies at

the Johns Hopkins University. Good to have you sir.

It's been a couple of months now that these longtime rivals agreed to restore diplomatic relations. But we also knew that this was going to be

sort of fraught with complications to a certain extent. Are we seeing the fruits of that landmark deal now playing out? And what do we understand to

have been gotten from this visit and the expected visit of the President?


complications that were initially anticipated. In other words, both sides have steadily moved to implement what they agreed to in Beijing.

And the visible parts of this agreement is that the Iranians have apparently stopped supplying the Houthis with weapons and the Houthis have

not attacked Saudi Arabia with missiles, which was part of what the Saudis had asked.

What the Iranians asked was, this -- was the restoration of the pilgrimage to Hajj, which happened a month ago and then the opening of Saudi

diplomatic missions in Iran.


And a fortnight ago, both Saudi embassy in Tehran and its consulate in Mashhad formally opened. And in the meantime, this Saudi Foreign Minister

had visited Iran.

And in fact that much, perhaps more significantly, recently, a senior Iranian general and the Deputy Minister of Defense of Saudi Arabia met in

Moscow when they were both there on invitation of the Russian Defense Ministry. So you know these meetings basically are taking the process

forward one step at a time.

And I think that the fact that they are happening on an ongoing basis is the most significant outcome as opposed to expecting some big new agreement

coming out of the meetings.

ANDERSON: Yes, its momentum, isn't it? And that's what's important at this point. We've just seen a deal between Washington and Tehran, with Iran

agreeing to release for dual citizens from prison to house arrest. U.S. says this is not related to the Iran talk. So let's introduce the U.S. into

this picture.

Where are we with the stalled JCPOA talks? How do, how does this repression between Saudi and Iran fit into that narrative? And what is the story

between Tehran and Washington at this point with regard relations?

NASR: I think what we can, what we can surmise from what's been happening between U.S. and Iran, are that both sides have come to this to an

understanding that they cannot have a nuclear deal in the short term, the gap between them is too wide. But they don't also want escalation.

The United States really does not want to be dealing with a major Iran nuclear crisis until after the presidential elections. And the Iranians

also want to see de-escalation in the region, they want to be able to sell oil, access some of their funds, and build on what on this opening with

Saudi Arabia, but also with UAE.

Now, the fact that the prisoner exchange happened, and the fact that we have not seen an escalation on Iran's nuclear file, suggests that that kind

of an understanding between de-escalation understanding between Washington and Tehran is afoot. And the Saudi Iranian deal both supports this and

feeds on this, because it's an important part of, of a U.S. Iran understanding is that tensions in the Gulf would abate, that the price of

oil would not hike that Iran and Saudi Arabia will find a way to arrive at a cold piece.

And we're seeing this happen. And another big thing that is also on the table is this talk of a long term Saudi security deal with the United

States and its normalization with Israel. And one could say that the visit of the Iranian foreign minister to Saudi Arabia announcing that Iranian

president will be going there, shows that the Saudis want to make clear that their deal with the United States and possible normalization with

Israel is not creating, again, access against Iran, that they will obviously want to separate these two things out.

They want that deal and normalization with Israel at the right price. But they want to continue on this process with Iran as well. They want to be

standing much more in that gray area. For now, this is fine with Washington, because Washington really does not want any drama in the Middle

East for until after the presidential elections.

And so the more the Saudis and Iranians talk, the more that what they agree to grows roots, the more calm there is in the Gulf is actually suits what

U.S. is also trying to achieve with Iran, which is some kind of a de- escalation.

ANDERSON: This is fascinating. Just briefly, do you see Saudi Israeli normalization anytime soon?

NASR: I think it's difficult at multiple fronts. First of all, it's difficult because what Saudi Arabia is asking for is going to be difficult

for the United States to deliver. And I'm sure that the United States will also ask some things from Saudi Arabia, which the Saudis will find

difficult to deliver in return as well.

And then you add the access of Israel to this. Israel has its own agenda in the region, which is obviously normalization with the Arabs, which is much

more aggressive policies with Iran than the Saudis are currently eager on. But there's also the Palestinian issue.

The Saudis will want the Israelis to make some major concessions on the Palestinian issue, put the two state back solutions on the table, how the

settlements, in other words for the Netanyahu government to basically make a drastic shift from where it is.

And that's not an easy thing for Israel to do right now. And so, yes, the intention for normalization is there. But there are some serious obstacles

that have to be worked through.


What is significant at this moment is not that we're going to have a deal in the short term, but that some kind of a serious conversation about this

has started. And I think that is quite significant.

ANDERSON: Back to the JCPOA talks, because clearly, you know, we had got such momentum. Well, we certainly saw such momentum around those until sort

of what may last year and then things slow down and completely petered out. As far as sort of, you know, the man on the street could tell when the

protests started in Iran, against the killing of Masha Amini in September of last year.

And of course, the anniversary of her death is, is coming up. The key stakeholder in those JCPOA talks, former U.S. Special Envoy to Iran, Rob

Malley, he was put on leave loads of speculation as to why what's your take out of interest?

NASR: I mean I know no more than what the news media, including CNN have reported. But what I can say is that first of all, the talks petered out,

even before the Mahsa Amini protest in Iran started, essentially in August when Iran was not willing to sign the deal, where it had arrived.

And then, you know, a lot of time lapsed, and the closer we got to the elections in the United States, the more difficult it was for the Biden

Administration to do a major event with Iran, which does not have bipartisan support in the United States during a presidential election.

But the current de-escalation talks with Iran, this prisoner exchange suggests that, that the United States still has the mechanisms to manage

this and to manage this very directly, except it's not done with Rob Malley since he's on leave. It's done now much more directly through the White


We know that the main person in charge of the Middle East in the White House spread -- visited Oman, as these some of these understandings were

being worked out that the Omanis and the Qataris are playing a very active role. They obviously are working with the United States, and then you're

working on the other side with the Iranians.

So, on the U.S. side, if you would, I would say that the personalities have changed since Rob is on leave. But the United States determination to

actually have a Middle East policy between Iran, Saudi Arabia, Israel, that gives the United States the ability to focus on China and Ukraine and not

deal with Iran or any other Middle East crisis, at least for another year, is very much effort.

ANDERSON: Yes, it's fascinating that you and I were in in Doha in March of 2022. I interviewed Rob Malley on the stage there, you'll remember that.

And at that stage, it certainly looked as if there was quite some momentum on those JCPOA talks, as you rightly point out by August that momentum had

sort of slowed down.

And once the protests started around Mahsa Amini's death in September, of course, there was a real sort of freezing of relations. If despite the fact

there were no sort of direct talks going on anyway. It's good to have you sir, it's always good to have your insight and analysis, as I always say,

is hugely important. Thank you very much. Indeed.

NASR: Thank you for having me.

ANDERSON: We've been discussing with the valley a deal is reportedly in the works to secure the release of five detained Americans in Iran. But one man

says the U.S. is forgetting about his father and he wants Washington to do more to get him freed.

Plus an American being held in Russia for more than four years got an important phone call from a top U.S. official, coming up, what was said and

what it means to that man's family.



ANDERSON: Welcome back. You're with "Connect the World", I'm Becky Anderson. Half past four in London. That is where we are broadcasting from

this week back in the UAE next week. Coming up this hour, authorities in Pakistan arrested more than 100 people after 17 churches in Punjab province

were vandalized and attacked on Wednesday.

The incidents took place after a Christian man was accused of committing blasphemy and desecrating the Koran. Pakistan's caretaker prime minister

strongly condemned the attacks. Well, Israel's military says its forces killed a Palestinian militant and arrested two other suspects in the West


It happened during the incursion in Jenin. Israel says soldiers responded with live fire after militants hurled explosive devices at them. Witnesses

say Israeli forces blew up the house belonging to the dead militant's family damaging a bakery in the process. Well, at least 92 people are

presumed dead after a migrant boat disaster of the Cape Verde Islands west of Africa.

That's according to a Spanish human rights group which says 130 people were on board. We are told the boat left Senegal over a month ago though it's

not clear where it was heading or what happened to it. Well, former U.S. President Donald Trump's attorneys are still negotiating the terms of his

surrender in the U.S. state of Georgia.

Trump and 18 others remember were indicted later on Monday for a scheme to overturn the 2020 election results there. We'll have until next Friday to

turn themselves over to authorities in Atlanta. The sheriff there has said previously that Trump will be treated like any other defendant, which means

being fingerprinted and having his mug shot taken.

Meantime, CNN has taught that Trump's former lawyer Rudy Giuliani went to see the former president at Mar-a-Lago in April to make a desperate appeal

to pay his seven figure legal bills. CNN's Brian Todd has more.


RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: I know crimes, I can smell them.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The man once known as America's mayor, lauded for his integrity and leadership during and after 911 is now

out of cash and under a mountain of legal bills and sanctions.

KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: I don't think we're grasping how significant the bills are for Rudy Giuliani.

TODD (voice over): CNNs Katelyn Polantz and Jeremy Herb citing court records report Rudy Giuliani faces fees of $15,000 or more for a search of

his records $20,000 a month to accompany to host his electronic records, a $57,000 judgment against his company for unpaid phone bills, and a fine of

$89,000 from a judge in a defamation case. And all of that is separate from the legal fees Giuliani owes.

POLANTZ: The amount of money it costs to fight a lawsuit, let alone almost a dozen lawsuits over the last two years, couple years is, it is really

mind boggling those numbers.

TODD (voice over): In court, Giuliani's attorney said he's facing 11 lawsuits and investigations. He's also been criminally indicted in Georgia

related to the efforts by him, Donald Trump and others to overturn the 2020 election results in that state. He could face criminal charges in the

Special Counsels federal election interference case. And he's facing disbarment in New York and Washington.


MICHAEL MOORE, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: He's attacked both in his professional arena. He's attacked in the civil court and now in the criminal court as

well. And that's a heavy load to carry.

TODD (voice over): And Giuliani admits he's not carrying it, at least not financially. His lawyer telling a judge, "These are a lot of bills that

he's not paying. I think this is very humbling for Mr. Giuliani". To deal with the money crunch, Giuliani appears to be selling his three bedroom

Manhattan apartment for $6.5 million. And he's offering to record video greetings for strangers for $325 a pop on the website cameo.

GIULIANI: I can do a happy birthday greeting.

JOHN AVION, FORMER CHIEF SPEECHWRITER FOR MAYOR RUDY GIULIANI: You know, he's always loved opera. But this is a tragic opera make no mistake and

it's self-inflicted at this stage. It's heartbreaking to see.

TODD (voice over): The man who as a prosecutor took down the New York Mafia, who turned around New York City's fortunes as mayor and who did at

one time hold considerable personal wealth seems to have squandered it all for one man.

AVION: He's destroyed his reputation and his independent financial foundation, all to help Donald Trump lie about an election. He threw it all


TODD (on camera): Following the statements in court by his attorneys regarding his finances, Rudy Giuliani's lawyers have not provided

additional comment to CNN. Giuliani has called his criminal indictment in the Georgia case, an affront to American democracy. In the civil lawsuits

against him, Giuliani has in at least one of them conceded in court that he made false and defamatory statements, but he's still involved in litigating

those cases. Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


ANDERSON: Keep the faith, we are doing everything we can to bring you home as soon as possible. That is what U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken

said to Paul Whelan according to a source. Whelan who is a U.S. citizen has been held prisoner in Russia for more than four years.

He was convicted of spying in Russia in 2019. The U.S. says he has been wrongfully detained. Well, for more on this, let's bring in CNN's Kylie

Atwood at the U.S. State Department. And of course, he is not the only U.S. citizen being wrongfully detained as far as Washington is concerned. Kylie?

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN U.S. SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right. We know Evan Gershkovich, who is the Wall Street Journal reporter who was detained

while he was reporting in Russia in late March of this year, is also someone that U.S. officials are really working to try and get home. These

two men wrongfully detained in the country are folks that the Russians really haven't engaged substantively with the U.S. on efforts to actually

secure their release.

That's according to U.S. officials that we have spoken with. That makes it an incredible challenge to try and figure out what the U.S. can do to get

them home. But it is hugely significant that the Secretary of State was able to get on the phone, have a conversation with Paul Whelan, who has

been wrongfully detained in Russia for more than four years. Now, while he's at a prison camp in Russia.

Obviously, there were probably quite a few logistics that went into that we don't know exactly, you know how that looked to stand up. But we should

also note that there are other Americans around the world, other legal permanent residents of the U.S. who also want attention from the State


And typically they don't get that kind of concerted attention from this building until they are actually formally deemed wrongfully detained. And

one of those folks that we have focused on recording on recently is Shahab Dalili. He is a six year old Iranian citizen who's also a legal permanent

resident of the United States.

And his family is incredibly frustrated because we know that there's this deal underway right now, a potential deal to secure the release of five

Americans who are wrongfully detained in Iran. And Shahab is in Iranian prison right now. He hasn't been deemed wrongfully detained and his family

is saying it doesn't look like he's part of that deal. Listen to what his son told us when we spoke with him protesting outside of the State

Department earlier this week.


ATWOOD (voice over): Shahab Dalili planned to come back to the U.S. in 2016 after visiting Iran for his father's funeral. But on the way to the airport

he was detained. When news reports broke last week about a brewing deal between the U.S. and Iran to secure the release of five American detainees,

two of whom are still unknown to the public, his son Darian thought his father might be headed home.

DARIAN DALILI, SON OF U.S. RESIDENT IMPRISONED IN IRAN: We were getting somewhat hopeful and to have that all basically get crushed. Last week

Thursday, that was heartbreaking.

ATWOOD (voice over): Shahab was charged with aiding and abetting a hostile nation. It's the same charge that Siamak Namazi faces. Namazi is one of the

five Americans who U.S. officials are hoping will be home by next month. But when top U.S. officials said the group of detainees they were working

to release were all deemed wrongfully detained.


It quickly became apparent that the 60-year-old behind bars at Evin Prison was not in the mix. Shahab has not been formally labeled as such by the

State Department. Darian quickly emailed the State Department last week in protest.

DALILI: I included this line on the bottom, you are leaving my father there to die. And I think that got a reaction.

ATWOOD (voice over): He got a call from a top State Department official, but still no answers as to specific efforts underway to secure his father's


VEDANT PATEL, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON: We assess the circumstances of detentions and look for indicators of wrongful detention.

And when appropriate, we will make a determination.

ATWOOD (voice over): Shahab is an Iranian citizen and a legal permanent resident of the U.S. He was a trading ship captain in Iran before he

retired in the U.S. with his wife and his two children.

DALILI: My emotion is just exhaustion. I have been in contact with so many people over the past seven years trying to tell my father's story.

ATWOOD (voice over): This week Darian is protesting outside the State Department even though he's clear-eyed about the near term possibility of

his father's release.

DALILI: The prospect of getting him on that same plane as everyone else, that's unlikely, that's getting lower every day. It's not zero. I'll never

say zero until that plane lifts off.


ATWOOD: Now, Shahab Dalili, of course, is someone that the State Department, you know, is aware of his detention in Iran. But right now,

they aren't declaring him wrongfully detained. We shouldn't know that earlier this week, he and his son went on a multi-day hunger strike to try

and garner more attention from the U.S. government.

ANDERSON: Appreciate it. Thank you very much indeed. Well, climate change and how to mitigate its effects, a huge talking point for us on this show,

and rightly so. Well, now Artificial Intelligence has come into the mix, and it may just pave way forward for a cleaner aviation industry. How? Well

that is up next.



ZACHARY BOGUE, CO-FOUNDER AND CO-MANAGING DIRECTOR, DCVC: Think of AI is just an incredible tool to help humans make sense of massive amounts of

data that they can't otherwise understand. I get really excited when we started applying this to doing simulations the massive scale simulations

that's required to bring new types of energy online.


ANDERSON: That was Zachary Bogue, the Co-founder of DCVCA venture capital fund backing startups using AI to address issues related to climate. Now

his enthusiasm for how the technology can help mitigate the harmful effects of emissions is obvious.

One such example is using AI to mitigate the harmful contrails from airplanes as you see here. These are these white streaks that you see

behind jets. Now those can have a big effect on our environment.


In fact, contrails account for around 35 percent of the aviation industry's impact on global warming. The team at Google is now teamed up with American

Airlines and breakthrough energy to help pilots reduce their contrail emissions. This project brings together a whole host of information points

from satellite images to flight path and weather data to theoretically reduce the harmful emissions by more than half.

Joining us now live from Seattle is Juliet Rothberg. Rothenberg, I'm sorry, Juliet, a climate AI Product Manager at Google. That's a mouthful. But it's

good to have you. Just explain Juliet, if you will. First, why it is that contrails are so dangerous and how your AI models or yours or others, going

forward can help mitigate their effects on the environment?

JULIET ROTHENBERG, CLIMATE AI PRODUCT MANAGER, GOOGLE: So contrails are warming because they trap heat into the Earth's atmosphere that otherwise

would escape out into space, especially at night. This is surprising for a lot of people that these tiny little clouds can be responsible for so much

warming. But as you said, the science is clear.

The intergovernmental panel on climate change, and others are all seeing that this is responsible for over a third of the warming impact of

aviation. And what's so exciting now is that we have the first data points that we can do something about this that AI can help predict where

contrails will form. And that we've shown on live flights that they can be avoided, in a way that straightforward and in a way that's really cost



ROTHENBERG: So what we did is we use AI to predict where contrails will form. And then we gave those insights to a set of American Airlines pilots

to put on their iPads, and then try to avoid them in flights. After the flights, we looked at satellite images. And we saw that the flights were

the pilots were attempting to avoid contrails did reduce contrails by over half compared to flights where they weren't, trying to attempting to avoid


ANDERSON: So point being taking different routes to avoid creating contrails is an important part of this. This is what you found out, but

surely, that would mean burning more aviation fuel, wouldn't it, if it's not the most efficient path?

ROTHENBERG: Yes, when we first heard about this project, that was all of our concern, right. Wait a minute. There are these different factors that

lead to climate change. How do we balance these across? What we saw in our flights with American Airlines is that using the numbers from the

intergovernmental panel on climate change, the climate benefit of avoiding contrails was 20 times the co2 impact of the additional fuel burn.

So it's a really good tradeoff for the climate. And pilots and everyone were very surprised by just how little additional fuel there was, really

0.3 percent as we look at across an airline's fleet.

ANDERSON: I think many of our viewers will be really, I hope, enthusiastic to hear that an organization like yours. And the role that you have, in

translating AI research into sort of real world impact is sort of thriving, as it were, this is real stuff that's going on. Tell me a little bit more

about how you're doing that.

ROTHENBERG: So within our climate AI teams within Google research, our goal is to look for our massive AI challenges that can meet big climate

opportunities. And we look across different sources to come up with new ideas. We have over 20 projects in our portfolio across mitigation and

adaptation, everything from contrails, which we've been talking about here today, to things like eco-friendly routing and Google Maps.

So if you're getting driving directions from Google Maps, you can see not only the fastest route, but also the most fuel efficient route in cases

where that isn't the fastest. Or situations where we're helping, for example, consumers understand the cost savings that they can have of going

solar, which we're doing for much geography around the world.

We also have a number of projects and adaptation. Because as we're seeing from, for example, the wildfires in Maui or the extreme heat that we've

seen in much of the U.S. recently, it's critical that we're starting to address our climate challenges now.

And we're providing insights to help individuals understand climate hazards that are reaching them now. For example, forecasting floods in much

geography worldwide, as well as providing wildfire boundaries and Google Maps. These are just a handful of the examples in our portfolio and we

really believe we need a lot of solutions to tackle the -- crisis.

ANDERSON: Yes. That's absolutely fascinating. We are hearing from prominent industry leaders every day about the dangers associated with the rapid

advancement of AI.


Obviously AI is at the heart of what Google does. And it's really, it's really good to have a discussion about AI for good and how AI can be sort

of embedded in this sort of solutions based narrative that we all need when we talk about climate crisis. Good to have you. Thank you. Coming up --


JAMAL MOUSSA, EGYPTIAN LIVING IN SAUDI ARABIA: I asked people coming out of the screening, they told me it is an excellent film. It is a romantic film,

The Barbie movie, it has a compelling story.


ANDERSON: Barbie turns Saudi pink what the blockbusters release says about changing norms in the Gulf kingdom.


ANDERSON: Well, pink is a new color in Riyadh. Fans of the Barbie film have throng to cinemas across the city, the global blockbuster opened in Saudi

Arabia this week to popular acclaim. It's an ironic twist for Saudi Arabia where until only a few years ago, cinemas were banned altogether.

This is a sign of the kingdom swift strides into liberalization, while Barbie faces bands and criticism elsewhere in the region. Have a look at



ANDERSON (voice over): Scenes like these were unthinkable just a few years back, Saudi women packing cinemas to watch Barbie and empowering movie with

feminist themes. But Barbie mania is alive in the kingdom, which only ended its decade's long ban on cinemas in 2017 as part of Crown Prince Mohammed

bin Salman has plans to transform the country.

MOUSSA: I asked people coming out of the screening. They told me it is an excellent film. It is a romantic film, The Barbie movie. It is a compelling

story. So I thought to book for me and the children to watch it. And they were happy about it and advancements we are witnessing every day. We can

now see movies and a lot of things that we didn't see here before.

ANDERSON (voice over): However, the film will not be delighting audiences in every nation across the region. Despite showing Barbie at cinemas for

several weeks, Algeria took the decision to remove the blockbuster from screens for promoting homosexuality.

Oil rich Kuwait also banned Barbie to preserve public ethics and social traditions. Social media awash with Kuwaitis joking about driving to Saudi

Arabia to see the film and some even posting guides on the theatres closest to the border.

The irony of the reversal in cultural norms, not lost on Kuwaitis who've been used to Saudis making that journey in the past. And in Lebanon, a

country generally regarded as being more progressive towards the LGBTQ community. But Culture Minister moved in to ban the movie from theaters

saying it "Promotes homosexuality".

JEAN CLAUDE BOULOS, LEBANESE FILMMAKER: The movie is being shown in Saudi Arabia and in the Arab world, while we here are banning it. It started with

all of us postponing it. But at the end they chose to run the movie and we decided to ban it. This shows that we want to stay still, we don't want to



ANDERSON (voice over): While Saudi Arabia's socio-economic liberalization is moving at pace, there was still criticism, certain facets of that

transformation. Former Head of Human Rights Watch Kenneth Roth tweeting the Saudi women find much to admire in Barbie. They still need guardian's

permission to marry and there is yet no appetite for activism in the country.

Despite the progress still to be made, that this film is being shown in Saudi Arabia, a nation traditionally reinforced by the patriarchy is a sign

that bin Salma's vision is rapidly changing the country.


ANDERSON: Thank you for joining us. CNN continues after this short break.