Return to Transcripts main page
Connect the World
U.N. Chief Refers Gaza Situation to Security Council; Hamas Leader's House Surrounded per Netanyahu; U.K. Foreign Secretary David Cameron Says Most U.S. Lawmakers Support Backing Ukraine; Trump Present for Defense Witness in Fraud Case; Babies, Some Motherless, Recover in Egypt; Death Toll Now 23 after Indonesia Volcano Eruption; Call to Earth: Africa's River Systems; Selling "Sustainable Fashion" to the World. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired December 07, 2023 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Live from CNN Abu Dhabi, this is CONNECT THE WORLD with Becky Anderson.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST (voice-over): This hour, it is two months to the day since the Hamas attack on Israel. And the international community no
closer to finding a resolution. We will be discussing this in detail with our reporters on the ground.
First up, though, former U.S. President Donald Trump is back in court this hour. He is in New York to hear new testimony in his ongoing civil fraud
trial and is expected to take the stand again next week.
Republican candidates clashed in the fourth and final primary debate before the Iowa caucuses. Each of the candidates onstage traded barbs in hopes of
becoming the leading alternative to the front-runner, who is, of course, Donald Trump.
And another mass shooting on a U.S. campus. Police are still searching for a motive at the University of Nevada/Las Vegas where three people are dead
and one person injured after a lone gunman opened fire inside one of the school's main buildings on Wednesday.
ANDERSON: Welcome to our second hour of CONNECT THE WORLD, I'm Becky Anderson, it is December the 7th, two months since Hamas' attack on Israel,
which has triggered a brutal retaliation in Gaza.
The parties involved are no closer to finding a resolution and the international community appears powerless, exemplified by a new
disagreement between the United Nations' chief and Israel.
Antonio Guterres invoked what is a rarely used rule, urging the U.N. Security Council to, and I quote here, "avert a humanitarian catastrophe."
Israel's envoy shot back, saying it is a new moral low and called for Guterres' resignation. Meantime, the United Arab Emirates has submitted a
draft resolution to the Security Council, urging a humanitarian cease-fire.
And they represent the group of 22 Arab states at the U.N. Security Council. With their revolving membership at present, putting pressure on
the United States and its allies to act.
So tonight we ask, what can the international community do to put an end to the fighting?
I want to talk now about that move by Antonio Guterres, the significance and its implications, with CNN's Ben Wedeman, who is in Jerusalem, and
Natasha Bertrand, who is at the Pentagon.
Let me start with you, Ben.
What pressure might or should this decision to invoke what is Article 99, a rarely used rule by the U.N. chief, to exert pressure on Israel?
What can we read into this?
What might be the impact at this point?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think what we can read into it is the mounting concern of so many human agencies and other aid
organizations operating in Gaza at the catastrophic humanitarian situation, where we are seeing that there is hunger and there is disease.
There's homelessness; 85 percent of the population has been displaced. I think that the secretary general of the United Nations is really focusing
on the U.N.'s position as the main diplomatic body in the world, to try to get the world to try to do something to stop what is going on in Gaza.
But I think it also underscores the fact that the U.N. Is largely powerless. The only country that could really stop Israel from what it's
doing now is the United States. And the United States has made it clear that they are willing to allow or agree for Israel to continue with this
They have said some words about avoiding casualties, trying to not repeat in the south of Gaza the level of destruction and death that was seen in
the north. But what we are seeing in terms of death toll and destruction in the south and displacement does not seem much different than what we saw in
So it really does fall at the end of the day upon the United States to do something. But it does not seem to be willing to do more than, for
instance, send aid to Gaza via Egypt to the same people who are being bombed with weapons provided by the United States to Israel. So it is a
WEDEMAN: And at this point, it does not seem like diplomacy is going to end this war anytime soon -- Becky.
ANDERSON: It took six weeks -- thank you, Ben.
Natasha, it took six weeks for the U.N. to finalize a draft resolution, on what was a resolution on urgent and multiple humanitarian pauses. They got
enough votes to get that through and that was the beginning of what we saw, what was this week's worth of truces, effectively, which are now at a end.
Let's be quite clear about this, the Americans abstained from that U.N. resolution on urgent and multiple resolutions. I know that was a resolution
very much backed by the Arab Group, which is led by the UAE where I am here.
But that was all they could get through. That was the wording at that point. Now with this, with this decision to invoke Article 99, let's be
quite clear for our viewers what that is.
It squarely speaks, doesn't it, to the five real powers, the permanent members at the United Nations Security Council, of which the United States
What sort of real pressure does this put the U.S. under at this point?
NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, I think it is another layer of pressure that the U.S. is already getting from the
Because as Ben said, the U.S. is understood to be by global powers the main influencer when it comes to Israel, the main power that can actually exert
some kind of leverage over the Israelis.
But again, there have been no red lines or restrictions placed on the Israelis to date. And so we will see if that U.N. invocation of Article 99
actually changes anything.
However, it is unlikely, because the U.S. has continued to say that, while they want Israel of course to do more to protect civilians in Gaza, they
have not placed any conditions on the kind of aid and the weaponry that they are sending to the Israelis, other than to say that they expect them
to not use those weapons to target civilians.
The United States continues to insist that Israel is not actually doing. They say the target that they aim at in Gaza are legitimate military
So the question now is whether the U.S. is going to succumb to pressure domestically from, of course, more progressive members of the Democratic
Party, who are calling for more conditions on this aid that the U.S. is providing to the Israelis.
And also, internationally from the Arab partners, as you said. But secretary of state Antony Blinken, who was asked about this on CNN last
night, reiterated that Israel does have an obligation to protect civilians. Here is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: They, nonetheless, have an obligation to do everything possible to protect civilians, to distinguish
between terrorists and innocent men, women and children.
GAYLE KING, CNN CO-HOST: And that part doesn't seem to be going so well, Mr. Secretary, about keeping the civilians safe.
BLINKEN: But what we are seeing now is we are seeing some, I think, important steps being taken as they're operating. They're beginning to
operate in the south of Gaza.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERTRAND: We reported, my colleague, Alex Marquardt, and amjuli and I (ph), we reported earlier this week that there was an understanding between
the U.S. and the Israelis that this portion of the ground operation in Gaza is only going to go on for another 3-4 weeks.
And at that, point it will transition to a lower intensity type of operation that will focus more on counterterrorism and more narrow
targeting. But of course, this is Israel's war to fight. And that is the message the U.S. has been sending repeatedly.
And even U.S. officials have acknowledged to us that their influence does have its limits.
And so the big question, I think, is the U.S. ever going to put any kind of conditions on the aid, the weaponry and restrict it in any way as a result
of Israel's actions?
ANDERSON: Let me bring Ben back in.
Natasha, thank you. Natasha reporting there that it will be some 3-4 weeks before Israel apparently reduces the intensity of what is this full-on
assault. That's an assault, of course, is on the south, in the south and right down to the Rafah border crossing at this point.
Ben, just describe the situation inside of Gaza right now.
WEDEMAN: What you have is displacement along the lines that Gaza has never seen. You have people in the north, who are getting by on just the basics;
90 percent of the population, according to the World Food Programme, has instituted sort of a diet that maximizes the amount of food that they have.
WEDEMAN: Because it is not being resupplied, Northern Gaza has not been re-supplied. Central Gaza has not been re-supplied by any aid organization.
And, therefore, hunger is growing. Disease is increasing in Gaza. This is what the representative from the World Health Organization in the Occupied
Territories had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. RICHARD POEPERKORN, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION, WEST BANK AND GAZA: UNRWA shelters are completely overflowing and there are many other
makeshift shelters. We've seen a rise in infectious diseases, one of the 12,000s acute respiratory infections.
We've seen diarrhea cases which are 40-50 times as high as normally. We have seen jaundice cases, jaundice syndrome, which need to be quickly
investigated. We've seen, of course, scabies, lice, et cetera.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WEDEMAN: And, of course, the problem is that perhaps this war will go on at its current intensity for two or three more weeks. But Israel has made
it clear that, after hostilities, in theory, come to an end, it plans to disarm Gaza. So that means a prolonged occupation of some sort as well.
And so it may fall to the Israelis to have to deal with displacement, disease, hunger and starvation. This obviously is not a question of it ends
when the war ends. It's going to go much longer than that -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Ben Wedeman and Natasha Bertrand, thank you.
As this war enters its third month, Israel said troops have surrounded the house of the Hamas leader, Yahya Sinwar, in southern Gaza. Benjamin
Netanyahu made that announcement himself, saying that Sinwar may well escape imminent capture.
The IDF suggests he is hiding in underground tunnels. Israel says that Sinwar is one of the masterminds of October the 7th terror attack. The IDF
says it has breached Hamas defense lines in Khan Yunis. it blurred the faces of its soldiers who targeted Hamas strongholds.
And the IDF today released a photo of a group of senior Hamas officials, circling the ones that it claims to have killed during its military
operation in Gaza. Alex Marquardt back with us this hour from Tel Aviv.
So let's start with that photo.
What do we know at this point?
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, this was a photo that was put out by the IDF. It says that those are 11 men
who are part of the northern Gaza brigade, which the IDF says is the second biggest unit within Hamas.
The 11 men sitting around a table having a meal, you can see fruit and juice and other things on that table. They say that, in this photo, the men
were underground and that they were actually targeted at some point. It's not clear exactly when.
When they were in a tunnel under civilian infrastructure, so you have the five circles around the men there. They are of various rank but essentially
at the brigade or battalion commander level.
In addition to those five, Israel also says that there were four other battalion commanders who were also taken out. So Israel's trying to make
the point here that they are making inroads in terms of eliminating some of these more senior commanders.
But in the bigger picture, Becky, these are mid level commanders. So they're not insignificant. They can be replaced and, of course, this will
have an impact. But at the same time, they are mid level commanders.
In terms of the broader force, Israel claims to have killed several thousand. They have not put an exact number on, it but several thousand
Hamas militants out of the main force of some 25,000 to 30,000. So it is just a fraction of the overall force.
So, Becky, they may have taken out some of these battalion and brigade commanders but at the same, time some of the most senior levels, senior
members of Hamas, including Sinwar, who you mentioned, are still being hunted by Israel now two months into this war, Becky.
ANDERSON: What does Israel say it knows about Sinwar's whereabouts?
MARQUARDT: They say they have now circled his home in Khan Yunis and he is from Khan Yunis originally. So much of the focus is now on Khan Yunis. And
that is why Israel is telling civilians to evacuate, because they do want to target it.
We have seen significant airstrike and assaults. The ground forces there that you showed are engaging in some heavy fighting around there.
The point that Netanyahu was making in saying that they had surrounded Sinwar's home is that essentially that the IDF is everywhere in Gaza. They
can reach anywhere. They breached Hamas' defensive lines.
There's no one who is saying that Sinwar is at home, that he is inside and that he is now encircled. It is a symbolic victory, in the words of Mark
Regev, a top Netanyahu aide.
MARQUARDT: Israel believes that Sinwar is underground. Of course they do believe that there is an extensive network of tunnels in and around Khan
Yunis that they will be going after. And so that is why Khan Yunis is such a focus now.
But again, Becky, this is two months into this war. Sinwar, as well as the top military commanders of the al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of
Hamas, Mohammed Deif and Marwan Issa, they're still out there.
It remains to be seen whether just finding and eliminating those senior members would bring an end to this war. Of course the stated goal by Israel
is to eradicate Hamas. What that means exactly, we don't know.
Israel has not specified what exactly that means. And that has led to some frustration with the U.S. officials who I speak with, who are the biggest
backers of Israel in this conflict -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Alex Marquardt, who has been on the ground close to the border, back in Tel Aviv. Alex, it's good to have you.
It is increasingly tense on the Israel-Lebanon border at this point. Lebanese media report that an Israeli airstrike wounded several students in
one southern town. They were struck by shattered glass.
Hezbollah, meanwhile, says that it targeted an Israeli kibbutz and the town in Israel close to the border. First responders in Israel say an Israeli
man was killed today by an anti tank missile fired from Lebanon. Let's get you to Ivan Watson, connecting us from Beirut.
You've been back and forth from that border now for days. Ivan, there certainly seems to be more signs of what is -- and we have been reporting
on this for weeks -- a very volatile situation along the Israeli-Lebanese border.
How would you describe it at this point?
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is a border conflict, it is terrifying and deeply unsettling for people living in the
border regions. And it is deadly.
As you pointed out, a 60-year-old Israeli man killed today on the Israeli side of the border. Hezbollah today announced that three of its fighters
were killed. We don't know the circumstances of how or where or when that happened. They said that one of their fighters -- announced that he was
The Israeli military expressed regret for a Lebanese soldier who was killed yesterday.
And though there is a lot of deadly weapons being fired back and forth across the border, it is very clear that neither Hezbollah nor the Israeli
military have yet -- they have yet to use their most powerful weapons, the likes of which we would have seen in the much deadlier 2006 month-long war
between these two adversaries.
So what it does suggest is that both sides are holding back, to a certain degree. Hezbollah has indicated.
It has suggested, that part of its main goal with this conflict right now is basically to tie down the Israeli military, to keep a certain amount of
Israeli troops from being able to participate in the ongoing deadly offensive in Gaza with essentially a campaign of harassment along the
But it is now going on two months. The Lebanese ministry of public health says that, according to their statistics, I believe around 96 people have
been killed in this conflict -- 94, rather -- thus far in the Lebanese side of the border, with tens of thousands of people displaced.
So if you are again one of these residents of one of these many villages along the border, hearing perhaps that you are part of a strategy to tie
down the Israeli military and you didn't get a voice, a vote or a voice in this, is not very reassuring -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Ivan Watson is in Beirut for you, OK, covering that story and as we move on, thank you.
The British foreign secretary's in the U.S. capital, where he is talking about support for another war that the world is watching and that is
Russia's war in Ukraine.
As we've been reporting, U.S. Senate Republicans have blocked aid for both Ukraine and Israel from advancing in a key vote. But a short time ago,
David Cameron, the new British foreign secretary, told my colleagues at CNN that he thinks U.S. funds for Kyiv will make their way through the capital,
through Capitol Hill. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID CAMERON, U.K. FOREIGN SECRETARY: Most of the people I met on the Hill yesterday support backing Ukraine because it's the right thing to do.
I mean, if you fundamentally think about, it the countries supporting Ukraine, add up the economies and we outmatch Russia 30:1. We just have got
to make that economic strength show and make it pay. And that is what this is all about.
CAMERON: Obviously, it is complicated about exactly how a bill goes through Congress and what's gets attached to it and I don't want to get
involved in that. But I just absolutely know that this money will make a huge difference to a Ukrainian campaign that actually is in many ways far
more successful than people give them credit for.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
And in a few hours, David Cameron is set to meet his U.S. counterpart in Washington.
China, as you will know from watching the show, has yet to condemn Russia's war against Ukraine. So expectations of a breakthrough on that front are
pretty low, as European leaders meet in Beijing with a list of concerns.
Observers say that the stakes are high, as Chinese president Xi Jinping hosts E.U. leaders for what is a one-day summit. It is the first in-person
E.U.-China summit in four years and could decide whether the two major economies will be able to resolve what are deep trade tensions.
Coming up, Donald Trump is back in New York City in court this hour, this time as an observer, not as a witness. We are live at the courthouse with
the very latest for you.
ANDERSON: Former U.S. President Donald Trump off of the campaign trail and back in court in New York City to hear new testimony in his fraud trial.
Trump, who is the Republican front-runner for the U.S. presidential nomination, arrived in court in Lower Manhattan just moments ago.
These are new pictures of him seated at the defense table. He will hear testimony from an accounting expert called by his defense team. Brynn
Gingras is live at the courthouse with more -- Brynn.
BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, hey, Becky. The former president is at the defense table as a defendant, of course, in the civil fraud trial.
The last final week of full testimony in this trial that has been going on since early October.
We do expect the former president to take the stand in his own defense as the last witness on Monday but today he will be listening in on an expert,
an accounting expert who is a professor at New York University.
Basically backing up the defense's claim in this trial that Trump and the other codefendants did not break any accounting rules or principles when
filling out those financial statements of conditions.
Of course, the New York attorney general in the suit has stated that they inflated their values of their properties in order to get better bank loans
and interest rates. And so the defense is arguing that they were doing everything by the book and how this business works.
So he is in that courtroom to listen to this expert. It's notable that also in the courtroom is his son, Eric Trump, who was expected to testify
yesterday but the defense decided not to call him to sort of streamline this case.
GINGRAS: And not in the courtroom is Letitia James. She usually does come to court, the New York attorney general when the former president is in the
courtroom but she is not in the courtroom as of yet today.
So as I said, he will take the stand on Monday but for today it is just a day of listening. He did talk outside the courtroom, which he tends to
often, using it as a moment almost like a campaign stop. And he reiterated some of the same claims that we have been hearing, his grievances against
the civil trial. That is against him.
And so we will continue to listen in to what he has to say. But again, we expect the trial to be wrapping up next week, guys.
ANDERSON: Thank you.
That is Donald Trump in court, as the other nominations or nominees as it were, those seeking the nomination vie with each other in the latest town
hall last night.
Police are still searching for a motive for the latest mass shooting in the United States at the University of Nevada/Las Vegas. Three people died and
one person was injured after a lone gunman opened fire inside of one of the school's main buildings.
Officials have not identified the gunman, who died on the scene. But sources tell CNN that he was 67-year-old college professor Anthony Polito.
Sources say he may have once sought for a job at the school.
Police carried out a search at the suspect's home Wednesday night in nearby Henderson, Nevada, as they continue their investigation.
Well, you are watching CONNECT THE WORLD, I'm Becky Anderson. Time here in UAE is 25 past 7 in the evening.
Still to come, the border between Egypt and Gaza opens to let a limited number of foreign nationals and dual citizens out of Gaza and limited aid
in. We look at what is moved over that key crossing today.
Plus, some of those fortunate enough to have already been evacuated from the enclave are the very smallest victims here, infants. We see for the
first time that harsh toll that this war has taken on newborn babies and their mothers.
ANDERSON (voice-over): Welcome back, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. Your headlines this hour.
Former U.S. president Donald Trump is back in a New York City courtroom this hour, where he will hear more testimony in his civil fraud trial. His
defense team calling an accounting expert to testify. Trump himself is expected to take the stand again next week.
Sources tell CNN the person responsible for Wednesday's shooting at the University of Nevada/Las Vegas was 67 year old college professor Anthony
Polito. They say he may have once sought a job at the school but was not hired. Three people were killed in the attack and one injured.
As the war between Israel and Hamas enters its third month, the rift between Israel and the United Nations is growing. Israel's ambassador says
Secretary General Antonio Guterres has reached a new moral low after, in a rare move, he referred to the situation in Gaza to the Security Council.
The Israeli envoy says Guterres is biased against Israel and called for his resignation.
ANDERSON: In southern Gaza, meantime, this is the aftermath of one of the latest Israeli strikes in southern Gaza, with children reported among the
casualties. In this video, which I have to warn you is graphic, the body of a child is seen being carried through the streets.
Rafah is as far south as you can go within the Gaza Strip. But that has not spared at all the people there. Many moved from the north on the
instruction of the IDF, the Israel Defense Forces, believing the south to be safer.
Well, Rafah is, of course, where Gaza shares a border with Egypt and it is the crossing that was open today for a limited number of foreign nationals
to get out and a handful of United Nations personnel also expected to get in.
This as the Palestine Red Crescent Society says that 80 trucks with food, water and medical supplies crossed today, Wednesday. That is still well
below what is needed, significantly below.
Meantime, after pressure from the United States, Israel has announced that it will allow a quote, "minimal increase" in the amount of fuel entering
Gaza daily. CNN's Larry Madowo has been reporting from the crossing over the past few weeks. He is now back in Cairo.
Just explain to us what you witnessed at that crossing and why it is that there was such a limited amount of fuel and supplies getting through and
why what is getting through is not enough and what is needed at this point.
LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: All right, Becky, to understand why this is a problem, think of what the Egyptian officials tell CNN. They say that
Rafah border crossing has been open 24/7 since October 7th. But that is only technically true because nothing can just go in from Egypt into the
It has to go through another Israeli checkpoint at the planet (ph) crossing and that the drivers are met at the Rafah crossing borders can take up to
three days. It is a really slow, painstaking process where they verify everything.
There are hundreds of trucks on the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing, waiting to get in, to bring food, medical supplies, to bring water and
winter weather gear as the rainy season has started in the Gaza Strip.
But they cannot get through because this Israeli chokehold really is slowing things down considerably. Yet, every aid organization from the U.N.
to the International Committee of the Red Cross to all other aid agencies there say that they urgently need everything.
Nowhere is safe and people have lost everything. They need, fuel for instance, to run the aid infrastructure, the hospitals, the ambulances, the
water distribution centers, the water desalination plants. Everything runs on fuel.
And if you don't have, it the whole thing is on its knees. The health system in Gaza, the World Health Organization warning, is on its knees. So
that's why it's so critical. And yet only a few people can make it across from the Gaza Strip into Egypt.
Officials say that they are allowing a small amount of people to get across. Foreign nationals and dual nationals, this includes 63 Americans
and that includes a few other nationalities, including the U.K. and Kazakhstan and Ukraine.
But some of the people cannot get across. Often even family members where some people have dual nationality and some do not -- we refer to an Indian
woman who was allowed through because she has dual nationality. But her husband and her kids are stuck on the Gaza side.
There is also increasing number of the wounded who are being transferred across to be treated at Egyptian hospitals. I think that the most famous
was just over two weeks ago. These premature babies at Al-Shifa Hospital that were transported into Egypt. And I went to meet them to see how they
MADOWO (voice-over): Every breath is a miracle for these babies born prematurely during the war in the Gaza Strip. They're here because Israeli
forces ordered the Al Shifa Hospital in the north evacuated, claiming Hamas terrorists operated from there.
Baby formula is the only source of nutrition here. Many of the mothers have not been found yet. Nobody knows if they're alive or dead. Shaimaa Abu
Khater just arrived and is meeting her daughter for the first time since she was born 38 days ago.
Your father says to tell you that he loves you. She tells Baby Kenda, her voice breaking. This is the closest she can get to her own child. She was
incubated as soon as she was born.
SHAIMAA ABU KHATER, MOTHER OF PRETERM BABY (through translator): We were under siege in the north. I didn't know anything about my daughter. We had
no connectivity. When the truce came, I found out that she was in Egypt.
MADOWO (voice-over): Kenda and 11 other preterm babies from Al Shifa came to the New Capital Administrative Hospital in Cairo over two weeks ago.
Nine more have arrived from across Gaza since.
MADOWO: How relieved are you to be able to see your baby finally?
KHATER (through translator): I'm very happy. Thank God. Today I felt like a mother because I've never seen her before. I just want to hold her and
MADOWO: Doctors say she'll be able to hold her daughter soon. All the babies in this neonatal intensive care unit are under six weeks old and yet
they have already been through so much in their short lives.
A war and their risky journey across the border from the Gaza Strip to here in the Egyptian capital. Sawsan Abu Amsha gave birth to twin girls two
months early, just six days after the Israel Hamas war started in the north.
SAWSAN ABU AMSHA, MOTHER OF PRETERM TWINS (through translator): There were airstrikes and heavy bombardment, the dead everywhere. It all weighed down
on me. So I had labor pains and cramps. They took me to Shifa Hospital and I spent a week in the ICU.
MADOWO (voice-over): One of the girls has been discharged from NICU and she can breastfeed her in the nursery but the twin sister remains in an
incubator. Their mother never thought she would see them again.
AMSHA (through translator): Shifa was under siege. Out of despair, I lost hope and I left. I wanted to take my girls with me but the doctor said if I
did, they would die. They said to leave them and God would protect them.
MADOWO (voice-over): Doctors say all the babies are doing better and when they arrived in Cairo.
DR. OSAMA AL KHOLY, PROFESSOR OF PEDIATRICS, ZAGAZIG UNIVERSITY: Most of cases are growing well, increasing in weight, become good general
condition, they tolerate oral feeding. Some problems in some patients but not too much.
MADOWO (voice-over): In fact, eight have made it out of the NICU into this nursery but reuniting them with their parents might be harder than saving
AL KHOLY: We know only the name for the mother but we don't know where is the mother is now.
MADOWO: The babies were only identified by daughter so-and-so or son so- and-so. So the Palestinian embassy here in Egypt has a job of trying to find the parents and reunite them. And so far only two mothers have shown
up. In fact they were there when we were at the (INAUDIBLE) hospital.
I asked one of the mothers who got to see her baby for the first time, what she dreams for him.
And she said, "I want to have a house," because her house was bombed in the north.
"I want to buy him toys and hold him and I want to be free and happy like everybody else."
But there is not just preterm babies at the hospital. There's also a 3 year old infant who was brought in, had both legs amputated, had injuries to the
groin and these are just some of the impossible cases the doctors are seeing there.
And, yet even the lucky ones can get across to Egypt, with the World Health Organization warning that the health system in Gaza is on its knees. There
are thousands of people who need help but who cannot make it across the border crossing into Egypt because Egypt is only accepting a small amount
So far, just about 500 since the beginning of the conflict have been allowed to get through. We saw a woman, for instance, at the Rafah border
crossing, Becky, who had lost her legs. She had to get them amputated because when she was receiving treatment, there were more airstrikes and
more serious injuries.
And the doctors have to leave her aside and deal with the life threatening cases. That is how she ended up losing her legs. But that is the impossible
choices, Becky, the doctors make every day.
ANDERSON: Yes, absolutely. Larry, thank you for your reporting.
ANDERSON (voice-over): Let's get you up to speed on some of the other stories that are on our radar right now.
And in Russia, officials investigating a deadly school shooting. At least two kids were killed and five others injured at a school about 400
kilometers south of Moscow. Officials say the shooting was a 14-year-old female student. The motive not yet known.
The death toll has risen to 23 in Indonesia following the eruption Sunday of the Marapi volcano.
Officials say a hiker believed to be the last person missing was found dead on Wednesday. Authorities were able to safely evacuate 75 people after the
A massive blast at a Seychelles explosive store has injured scores of people and brought the country to a standstill. The president issued a
state of emergency after the explosion caused massive damage in the Providence industrial area. Officials say it looks like a war zone.
Coming up, we see how one man's journey into the Angolan Highlands could help protect one of Africa's largest river systems. That story is coming
ANDERSON: The Kasai River in Angola is Africa's second largest by volume and flows directly into the largest, which is the Congo, supplying tens of
millions of people with fresh water.
But until recent years, huge portions of it had never been documented by science. As part of Rolex's Perpetual Planet Initiative, explorer Steve
Boyes has embarked on a series of expeditions to discover and protect these river systems and the life that depends on them.
STEVE BOYES, EXPLORER, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY (voice-over): The eastern portion of the Angolan Highlands water tower was previously known
as the "terra do fim do mundo," "the land at the end of the earth," by the first Portuguese explorers.
Was the farthest place from anywhere and it is.
All we have is satellite imagery to look at and try and prepare ourselves for what we are going to do that day. But we are the first people to
document these river systems. And when I say document, we are establishing early 21st Century river baselines, ecological and hydrological baselines.
I'm Dr. Steve Boyes. I'm a National Geographic Explorer and the project leader of the Great Spine of Africa series of expeditions.
I've never wanted to be anything else other than an explorer and a conservationist. I gave up writing my master's dissertation and, for the
next decade, my entire world was the Okavango Delta. I couldn't think of anything else. I never wanted to leave.
So I went to all the universities in the states around the world to advocate for the Okavango Delta to become a World Heritage Site, UNESCO.
And that happened. But within three months, we were in Angola. I had kind of broken out of that, you know, it has to become a UNESCO World Heritage
Site. And we went up to the sources.
We were the first group to do so. We were told by all of the top scientists, geologists, psychologists that these were seasonally flooded
wetlands. And when we get there, we find an ancient, crystal-clear, acidic source lake.
We see that that's surrounded and sustained by peatlands. And none of this is known to science. We crossed the entire Okavango River Basin, all the
way into the Kalahari Desert, beyond the Okavango Delta, followed the water to its end, exploring this entire water tower structure.
Now a water tower in this context is not a wooden structure on top of a building in New York. It is a high-altitude, forested watershed, high
rainfall with high water storage capacity due to peatlands. It's like a giant sponge.
Now that sponge is sustained by forests, protecting water or creating rainfall, receiving rainfall and flushing it down into the peatlands that
hold that water for thousands of years.
We've always wondered why Africa has the megafauna, why it has these great grand wildernesses, these great migrations. And it's because of these water
towers. Africa's managed to weather these climatic oscillations that have happened naturally in the past through this water storage capacity that
naturally exists in these high-altitude sources.
So these water towers are a keystone to our future. They're unexplored, unsurveyed, scientifically misunderstood most of the time. And that is what
we are urgently chasing after in the Great Spine of Africa series of expeditions.
This starts with exploration, discovery and science. We need to understand the flows of these rivers. We need to understand the importance of and the
nature of those sources. And then we work with local people who are already our guides, through all of our expeditions, to protect those landscapes
into the future.
This new center of endemism is emerging a large-scale water tower that wasn't known, peatlands that weren't known, source lakes that weren't known
are being documented for the first time in the 21st Century. This is early 21st Century exploration in reality.
ANDERSON: For more from our initiative here on CNN Call to Earth, you can go to cnn.com/calltoearth.
We will be right back.
ANDERSON: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD, I'm Becky Anderson.
As delegates at the U.N. climate summit in Dubai negotiate over the fate of our planet, we have been looking at solutions to the climate crisis. Now
you might not know that the fashion industry accounts for nearly 10 percent of annual global carbon emissions, according to the U.N.
Major fashion brands and companies use cheap materials to pump out clothes quickly, known as fast fashion and that can be very detrimental to the
So is sustainable fashion a viable alternative?
Well, fashion designer Stella McCartney has collaborated with startups to do exactly that, to develop more sustainable clothing.
ANDERSON: And I got an opportunity to catch up with her at COP28 in Dubai to see what she is working on at present. Have a look at this.
STELLA MCCCARTNEY, BRITISH FASHION DESIGNER (voice-over): It's one of the things that drives me, I'm like, this is sexy. This for me is what really
turns me on. I've been a fashion designer for my whole life and I'm not as interested as in what the silhouette is or what the next color is in 2024-
I'm like what is the next couture (ph)?
What's the next solution that we can get to the world to make it a better planet?
ANDERSON (voice-over): This is Stella McCartney's sustainable marketplace at COP28. The fashion industry is one of the most polluting on the planet.
Here in Dubai, Stella McCartney wants world leaders to help change that.
MCCARTNEY (voice-over): Policies have to change. We have to as an industry. We have to have guidelines, we have to have perimeters. All of
the other industries that are killing our planet have tariffs if they don't work in a cleaner way by a certain date. We can have that in fashion. And
it is a criminal offense, really.
ANDERSON: The Stella McCartney brand is in partnership with LVMH, one of the world's biggest luxury fashion conglomerates.
How influential are you and can you be on LVMH going forward with regard to sustainability?
MCCARTNEY: I am Mr. Arnaud's (ph) chief sustainability adviser. I have his ear directly and him taking a minority stake in my business, he does not
really take minority stakes very happily. It gives a massive signal to the industry that he truly is interested and invested in the future of fashion
and finding alternatives.
ANDERSON: You have got a stated goal as a brand to go net zero by 2040.
Just explain, how are you going to go about achieving? That
MCCARTNEY: We are going to do that by using these young, incredible innovators that you're meeting here today. And this is one of ours here.
It's called Creating Evolution. We are literally creating a solution here. We have managed to weave one of the first ever and make one of the first
ever coats out of this incredible technology.
It's taking all waste at Stella McCartney, breaking it down, using enzymes -- it's not a chemical breakdown -- and it's creating an infinitive
recyclable yarn. So we can break that down and make another coat out of it.
ANDERSON (voice-over): Protein evolution is one of the five startups in the marketplace financed in part by a $200 million SOS investment fund
cofounded by Stella.
CONNOR LYNN, CO-FOUNDER AND CBO, PROTEIN EVOLUTION: So today, there's over 90 million tons of polyester being made per year from petroleum. But we are
making it from waste. So the polyester that we can produce through our process is indistinguishable from petroleum-derived polyester.
ANDERSON (voice-over): A few stalls down is Mango Materials. These pellets transform methane, one of the most potent greenhouse gases, to an
alternative for single-use plastics.
MOLLY MORSE, CEO, MANGO MATERIALS: We take that greenhouse gas and we feed it to bacteria. The bacteria, kind of like us, if we eat too much we get
fat. So bacteria eat a lot of this methane gas. They accumulate it inside of their cell wall.
ANDERSON (voice-over): That means that waste is eliminated in the creation of these pellets, which are then melted down to be turned into
biodegradable sunglasses like these.
Would you partner with a oil and gas company if you knew that the methane that was being emitted from their gas production would work for you?
MORSE (voice-over): Yes. And it would.
MCCARTNEY (voice-over): And shouldn't they pay you a load of money to do that?
MORSE: Yes, they should.
MCCARTNEY: My point here.
MORSE: They should open our balance sheet.
MCCARTNEY: They should. And for me, that's one of the big, big conversations to have here at COP, is these bad, ugly businesses are
getting the tax breaks, the incentives. Your business should be getting paid all of that benefit to be making them clean.
And we can't think of that as a dirty word. I think you're not allowed to make money when you're doing good things for the planet. If we don't show
this is a viable business model, it will never work.
ANDERSON: Stella McCartney.
She isn't the only designer who's determined to be ecofriendly. Two sisters here in the UAE share that goal of a greener future in fashion, focused on
accessories. CNN Academy participant Dior Izzadin (ph) has their story.
AMNA ALDAHEL, FOUNDER, WADI D: From this, we created this.
HESA ALDAHEL, FOUNDER, WADI D: And from, this we made this.
DIOR IZZADIN (PH), CNN ACADEMY CORRESPONDENT (through translator): Emirati sisters, Amna and Hesa are creating leather goods from waste.
A. ALDAHEL (voice-over): People did not believe us when we told them these wallets are made from mangoes.
H. ALDAHEL: If it ends up in the landfill, it's going to produce carbon emissions because it is not a very suitable environment for it to compost
A. ALDAHEL: Creating a full on (INAUDIBLE) from mango that was just about to get destroyed somewhere, that was the main reason that we went on and we
picked that -- mango leather.
H. ALDAHEL: When it comes to the cactus leather, it's a desert plant so it essentially it's less water. What we want with (ph) basically leather made
out of fine (ph) material is to be as sustainable as possible, not only to improve (ph) the environmental aspect of it, we're also looking at the
human (ph) part of it.
IZZADIN (PH) (voice-over): This led them to coffee beans.
H. ALDAHEL: The coffee waste is taken from local farmers in Indonesia and local (ph) coffee shops. Cafes no longer need to just throw their waste
into the landfill. They can actually give it to the factory, and they can produce something new.
A. ALDAHEL: Living in the UAE, the government is talking about sustainability but people are not there yet (ph). There's nothing stopping
us from creating our own factory.
H. ALDAHEL: You have the power to create a new drive (ph) and to change how fashion is consumed in the Emirates.
ANDERSON: You've been watching CONNECT THE WORLD from Abu Dhabi.
Stay with CNN. "STATE OF THE RACE WITH KASIE HUNT" is up next.