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Connect the World

Israelis Press Netanyahu Government to Bring Hostages Home; Workers Pull Crocodile from Australia Floodwaters; Voters Reject New Draft to Replace Pinochet-Era Constitution; Taliban Claim Suicides have Dropped Since they Took Over; Oil Giant BP Suspends Shipping Through Red Sea; Rolling Stones' Guitarist Keith Richards is 80 Today. Aired 9-10a ET

Aired December 18, 2023 - 09:00   ET




JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: It's 9 am here in New York. I'm Julia Chatterley, and this is "Connect the World". U.S. Defense

Secretary Lloyd Austin is in Tel Aviv as the U.S. toughens its tone on Israel's war with Hamas, the latest on his talks with top Israeli


Plus Pro-democracy Activist and Former Media Tycoon Jimmy Lai goes on trial in Hong Kong why he could spend the rest of his life in prison. And a major

storm battering the U.S. North East what it might mean for holiday travel.

And this hour, some thorny issues being tackled in Israel, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is there meeting with top officials including his

Israeli counterpart and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The U.S. is looking for a detailed plan on when and how the Israeli military will shift

towards a more precise intelligence driven campaign against Hamas militants and away from the sweeping offensive that's caused so much death and

destruction inside Gaza.

The Hamas controlled health ministry there telling CNN more than 100 people were killed in Israeli attacks on Jabalya in Northern Gaza just in the past

24 hours. And inside Israel thousands gathered over the weekend to demand the government bring home those still being held captive by Hamas. And

anger persists over the accidental killing of three hostages by the IDF.

Jeremy Diamond joins us live from Tel Aviv and we have Natasha Bertrand, who is at the Pentagon for us too. Jeremy, I want to come to you first. I

think there's clear devastation, and also outrage over the three Israeli hostages that were killed by the IDF, including as we get more details of

how they were trying to tell people that they were there and they need to be rescued.

What more can you tell us about those details and the pressure that's being applied particularly by the United States to engage in more truce talks and

release more of those hostages?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, absolutely devastating news on Friday that really sparked a kind of spontaneous, you know,

protests in Tel Aviv over the weekend as thousands of people went to the Curia, which is the defense and military headquarters of Israel, to kind of

demand that a deal be made to free the remaining hostages.

There is a real sense particularly among the families of those hostages, but also more broadly in Israel that the government is simply not focused

enough on getting those hostages who remain over 100 of them, who are still believed to be held captive in Gaza out and that instead, the government is

too focused on this military campaign against Hamas.

And we saw those two really collide. Because while the Israeli Prime Minister has been claiming for months now that he believes the military

pressure on Hamas is what is driving them to the negotiating table. We also saw the pitfalls of that military operation, as an Israeli soldier

mistakenly killed three hostages, believing them to be a threat.

We now have new images released by the Israeli military showing that these three hostages appear to have taken remaining food and written help three

hostages on the building where they were staying. This was just next to the area where they were actually killed by that Israeli soldier.

And so we are seeing mounting pressure from the families. But also from some recently freed hostages who are also beginning to give interviews to

the Israeli media, all of them feeling like the government is simply not doing enough. There's no question that that is a part of the conversations

that U.S. officials are having with their Israeli counterparts, as they really try and bring Israel and Hamas back to that metaphorical negotiating


We know that the U.S. in the past week has been looking for ways to restart those negotiations, giving -- talking over ideas with the Israelis, giving

those to the Qataris and hoping that the Qataris can bring Hamas back to the negotiating table as well. It's unclear how the current status of those

military operations is playing into Hamas's decision to engage or not engage in the negotiations.

The Israelis believe that it is driving Hamas back to the table. So far, there's no evidence of that. But we do know that over the weekend, Israel's

Intelligence Chief or the Head of the Mossad, David Barnea was in Qatar to meet with the Qatari Prime Minister. And so at least there does appear to

be some movement, but it's certainly not happening fast enough for those who still have loved ones in Gaza.

CHATTERLEY: No, certainly not. And that's also going to be part of the message and the conversations that are taking place between U.S. officials

and the Israelis today. Natasha, let's talk about Lloyd Austin and what he hopes to achieve. The United States has now for many days been saying the

hope was that by January there'd be a transition to a more localized operation in Gaza in order to tackle Hamas. What are they hoping to achieve

from these talks and perhaps concrete details to from the Israelis?


NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: Well, Secretary Austin will be seeking really an assessment from the Israeli Defense Minister as

well as Israel's war cabinet about the next phase of this campaign. And the timeline for winding down this very high intensity, high tempo operation in

Gaza against Hamas more towards a lower intensity more localized, more targeted focus on seeking out the Hamas -- leadership in Gaza, rather than

continuing with this campaign, very heavy airstrikes that are resulting in a large amount of civilian casualties, thousands and thousands of civilian


And so the Secretary is going to be urging his counterparts to start thinking about moving towards that next phase of this conflict. And we have

actually reported over recent weeks that the U.S. writ large U.S. Biden Administration officials have been urging Israel to move into this new

phase. Because they say they're losing rapidly international support for their war in Gaza, because of the high number of civilians who are being

killed as part of the operation.

So Secretary Austin will be trying to get a sense for what the next phase of that operation will look like. And importantly, when it is going to take

place, because the administration really wants to see this kind of wrap up by the end of this year, early next year and move more into this more

targeted phase that will not pose such a big threat to civilians.

Now, importantly, going off of what Jeremy was just saying earlier, Secretary Austin will also be in Qatar. And he will be meeting with his

counterparts there to discuss issues related to hostages. The Defense Department has been flying into reconnaissance drones over Gaza to try to

help Israel find the hostages.

They have also been in discussions with Israel about this plan that the Israelis have to potentially flood the tunnels in Gaza. They have begun

doing so on a very limited basis consulting, we are told with the U.S. ensuring them that they are not targeting tunnels that are believed to have

hostages inside of them, so all of this will be at the top of Austin's agenda.

But in addition to that, he will be trying to figure out a way forward with regard to all of the attacks that are being leveled against U.S. forces in

the region in Iraq and Syria by these Iran backed groups, as well, of course, is in the Red Sea, which is really impacting international shipping

and commerce there. So it's a really heavy week for the Secretary of Defense hoping to find a solution to all these huge, huge problems, Julia.

CHATTERLEY: Natasha, you mentioned the Red Sea and I wanted to ask you about the deteriorating security situation. Now we've had a number of

companies even this morning come out and say, look, we're going to suspend shipping bps, one of them in particular because they're concerned about

keeping their transit vehicles and vessels safe in that area. What more can be done? What's the hope there?

BERTRAND: Well, Secretary Austin is hoping to garner support for this multinational naval task force that will basically bolster security for

these vessels operating in the Red Sea that have been targeted in multiple drone rocket and missile attacks by the Iran backed Houthi rebels out of

Yemen in recent weeks. Just over the weekend, the USS Carney responded to a drone attack by the Houthis. They launched 14 drones in the vicinity of the

Carney and some of them were shot down.

And then this morning, we learned that according to U.S. military official, additional projectiles were shot towards yet another vessel operating in

the Red Sea. This has caused at least four major companies including BP to pause all of their operations in the Red Sea. Clearly a major impediment

here to international commerce, oil shipping. And it's going to be a huge priority for the U.S. to figure out.

CHATTERLEY: Yeah, we're talking about 30 percent of global container trade passing through the Suez Canal. So this could have monumental impact on to

your point global trade and beyond economics, Natasha, thank you for now. Natasha Bertrand is there at the Pentagon, Jeremy Diamond in Tel Aviv for


Now an employee of the French Consulate in Gaza has died from injuries he sustained during Israeli air strike in Rafah, that's according to French

officials. In a statement, the French Foreign Ministry condemned Wednesday's bombing of a residential building, which caused the death of

the staffer and other civilians. France is also demanding that Israeli officials "Shed full light on the circumstances surrounding the attack".

The IDF has not responded to CNN's request for comment. Pope Francis condemned the death of a mother and daughter who was sheltering inside the

Catholic Church in Gaza. The Latin portray to Jerusalem says the women were killed by an Israeli sniper. The Pope described it as "Terrorism" during an

address on Sunday. And lamented that unarmed civilians and targets for bombs and gunfire. The Catholic Church in Gaza say seven other people are

also shot and wounded inside the holy family perished during Saturday's attack.


The IDF again is not responding to CNN's requests for comment at this time. Now the court is adjourned for the day in the trial of jailed Hong Kong

Media Tycoon Jimmy Lai. He's been tried under Hong Kong sweeping National Security Law facing charges linked to Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement

and his now shuttered pro-democracy newspaper.

China's Foreign Ministry Spokesperson described the proceedings as "Fair, reasonable and lawful". And hours before the trial started, the U.S. and UK

issued statements calling for Lai's immediate release. Kristie Lu Stout has more on a case that's drawing global attention.


KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Considered by many as a father figure to Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement, Jimmy Lai always knew

his actions might attract the ire of authorities, but he didn't let it faze him.

JIMMY LAI, FORMER CHAIRMAN & FOUNDER, NEXT DIGITAL: I think it's a good idea, anytime, any situation that you are in to fight for your freedom,

because without freedom, you have nothing left.

STOUT (voice-over): In a recent media briefing, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, not holding back in their criticism of Lai, calling him "One of

the most notorious anti-China elements bent on destabilizing Hong Kong". After numerous delays, the former media mogul returning to court to finally

face trial under Hong Kong sweeping National Security Law.

Since that legislation was imposed by Beijing in response to massive social unrest and anti-government protests, authorities have cracked down on

dissent. Today, most of Hong Kong's political opposition are either in prison like Lai, or have fled the territory. As the Founder of the "Apple

Daily", once Hong Kong's largest pro-democracy newspaper, which regularly challenged the government, Lai is the most high profile critic of Beijing

charged under the National Security Law.

He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison on multiple counts of colluding with foreign forces to endanger national security, as well as a

single charge of sedition under a law that dates back to Hong Kong's colonial past. 76-year-old Lai has been in custody for the last three

years. And his son is concerned that incarceration is taking its toll.

SEBASTIEN LAI, JIMMY LAI'S SON: I think psychologically he is very strong, but there is there always is that element there's nobody escapes the

gravity of age. And at his age, he is at a tremendous amount of risk being in maximum security.

STOUT (voice-over): For its part, the Hong Kong government says that all cases concerning offenses that endanger national security, including Lai's

are handled in a fair and timely manner. In his statement to CNN a spokesperson said "Without commenting on individual cases, the Hong Kong

SAR law enforcement agencies have been taking law enforcement actions based on evidence and strictly in accordance with the law in respect of the acts

of the persons or entities concerned".

Lai was a fixture at the student led pro-democracy and anti-government demonstrations that brought central Hong Kong to a standstill in 2014. When

millions of people took to the streets in 2019 Lai was there once again. Just months later, Lai was marched out of his own newsroom when more than

200 police officers raided the "Apple Daily's" headquarters.

A year on, Lai's printing presses fell silent as the paper shuttered, a blow to media freedom in Hong Kong. Lai's legal challenges have mounted

ever since, his lengthy rap sheet worn as a badge of honor after a lifetime of demanding democratic reform. Kristie Lu Stout, CNN, Hong Kong.


CHATTERLEY: And people in Northern Australia are seeing the heaviest rain in decades. Tropical cyclone Jasper made landfall last week, but its

remnants are still causing flooding that left several families stranded on rooftops overnight. Rescue has saved an estimated 300 people in and around

the City of Cairns, and in one town a crocodile swept in with the floods. Michael Holmes has more.


MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The toothy smile of a saltwater crocodile perhaps more comfortable than most beneath rushing

floodwaters. The two and a half meter long reptiles is spotted by children in a park Monday in a rain drenched Australian town of Ingham. Rangers were

quick to capture the croc and hold it safely out of the public space. Australia's Public Broadcaster "The ABC" quickly named the animal Jasper

after the ex-tropical cyclone which made landfall last week and has since dumped on Australia's tropical far north.


For days and nights, heavy rains and flash flooding have forced rescues like this. As of Monday, first responders were averaging more than 40

rescues an hour. Australia's Bureau of Meteorology downgraded its rain warnings Monday, but major flood warnings remained in place.

Help couldn't depart from the tarmac at Cannes airport on Monday, the biggest town in the region, a tourist hotspot now almost entirely cut off.

The extent of the damage is hidden beneath the water, where more crocodiles may lurk. Michael Holmes, CNN.


CHATTERLEY: And right now a coastal storm is battering the U.S. Northeast. The storm system from the Gulf of Mexico bought heavy rain and severe

weather to Florida on Sunday. And now it's sprinting up the eastern seaboard, causing power outages, flooding roads and forcing bridges to


CNN Meteorologist Derek Van Dam is tracking the wild weather and he joins us live from Atlanta. Derek, I have seen around 300,000 people now across

New Jersey, New York and Connecticut without power. What more can we expect?

DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, that's number has just been updated to 400,000 plus.


DAM: This is the combination; this is what you get when you combine strong winds, heavy rain in a densely populated area. And you're talking about

hundreds of thousands of people without power because of a strengthening storm system. Now, this is a live look. This is the Hudson River. There's

the New York City skyline kind of dramatic with the clouds in the background.

But I wanted to show this because it's the first time we've seen the sun shine for several hours because it was socked in earlier with heavy

rainfall, which has now lifted a little bit to the north across New England into the Hudson Valley. There are 40 million Americans under flood alerts

as we speak, but the flood warnings exist across much of Connecticut, the Hudson Valley into New Jersey.

You can see even for Essex, Hudson and Union Counties a population of roughly 2 million people under a flood warning right now valid through the

next couple of hours. This is the storm system you can see the clearing skies near New York City in particular, but the heaviest rainfall has

shifted just to the north. So it's impacting places like Massachusetts, including Boston and just to the west.

Now when we look back at how much rain has fallen from this system, it has been impressive along the entire eastern seaboard causing all kinds of

trouble headaches, but we focus in on South Carolina because it was Florida and the Carolinas this weekend that got hit the hardest. Some rainfall

totals in Georgetown exceeded 300 millimeters in a 48 hour period that caused localized flooding.

So the other factor to this storm system is the winds. It's been gusting tropical storm force for many locations along the coast, including Florida.

This is what it looked like in Orlando yesterday. But now as the storm system transitions to the northeast, this is where we're experiencing those

Tropical Storm force gusts.

And even some hurricane force gusts in the Blue Hill observatory just west of Boston had 100 plus kilometer per hour wind gusts reported just a few

hours ago, you can see that suddenly component to the wind here that is causing that problem. Also impacting the temperatures as well as we briefly

warm up.

And Julia, I'll end with this, this flooding in Charleston, South Carolina is not only from the heavy rainfall that happened inland, it's also because

of the storm surge component to this low pressure as it moved in. It actually brought in some of the highest recorded tidal surge in Charleston

Harbor from a non-tropical storm. And so that's impressive because both of those working together to raise the water levels within the city. And it

caused the flooding you saw a moment ago.

CHATTERLEY: Wow, we wish everybody safe all for just a few days before Christmas as well.

DAM: Yeah.

CHATTERLEY: Yeah, and we really felt the winds here in New York and the building was creaking this morning when they came in.

DAM: Right, now a couple of hours of that.

CHATTERLEY: Yeah -- fingers crossed. Derek Van Dam there in Atlanta, thank you. OK, you're watching "Connect the World". For a second straight year

voters in Chile rejected a proposed new constitution, why the country keeps trying and failing to replace the constitution written during a

dictatorship ahead, stay with us.



CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to "Connect the World". Voters in Chile have rejected a new draft constitution to replace the existing one, a holdover

from the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. Electoral officials say that with nearly 100 percent of the votes counted more than 55 percent opposed

the change. Around 44 percent voted in favor.

Chile has already rejected a proposed constitution last year written by a left leaning convention. The new proposal was even more conservative than

the existing constitution. Chile's President says there will be no third vote.


GABRIEL BORIC, CHILEAN PRESIDENT: Our country will keep its current constitution because after two referendums on two constitution drafts, none

of them was able to represent or unite Chile's beautiful diversity. The country was polarized, it was divided and in on the sidelines of this clear

result, the constitutional process did not channel the hopes of having a new constitution that was written for everyone.


CHATTERLEY: Critics say the latest proposal would have limited women's reproductive rights and enabled the expulsion of many immigrants. Now to a

deeply troubling story from Afghanistan, where young girls once full of dreams and ambitions are struggling to find the will to live after the

Taliban draconian crackdown on women's rights and access to education. Anna Coren brings us the story of just one of those Afghan girls.


ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In a small, dimly lit room in the outer suburbs of Karachi, Pakistan a 15-year-old girl Wakul Arzo (ph)

lays on a cot. With eyes closed, she slowly inhales. Her skeletal frame raises slightly, an action causing pain and an enormous amount of effort.

Don't worry, you'll be fine, says her brother kissing her hand. We are with you always. Her older siblings who asked not to be identified for security

reasons smuggled her in from neighboring Afghanistan five months ago following a series of events that would irrevocably change the course of

their lives.

We don't try to force her to remember what happened, he says. But once I asked her and she replied crying that she was tired and had given up all

hope. But Arzo didn't always feel this way, seen here in pink dancing on cell phone footage, the teenager was happy, studious and had big dreams to

one day become a doctor.

But that all changed in August 2021 when the Taliban re-took control of Afghanistan after the U.S. withdrawal following its 20 year war. And one of

the first edicts the Taliban enforced was a ban on female secondary education. She would say I hope we move from this place explains her

sister. I don't want to be here. There is no education.

Over the following months her mood darkened, but nothing that alarmed her family until one day in July this year. She came into the room and I saw

her eyes were abnormal she says. I asked her what had happened and she said she drunk acid. I didn't believe her so I put my fingers in her mouth and

she vomited up blood.

Arzo's sister says she had drunk battery acid in their home in an attempted suicide, a trend that is spiking amongst teenage girls across Afghanistan

according to health professionals and human rights groups.


An Afghan doctor who spoke to us anonymously fearing retribution from the Taliban, tells CNN he's seen a 50 percent rise in the number of mental

health cases among girls at his clinic, who have considered suicide in the past two years. Of these cases at least 10 percent have taken their own

lives drinking chemicals, overdosing on pain medication, even consuming rat poison. He believes this is the direct result of the education ban and

other draconian restrictions that have been placed on girls.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We try to give them hope that education will start again. But I don't see any good future for anyone in this country.

Everything is in a very dark situation.

COREN (voice-over): From her home in a remote Afghan province Arzo was rushed to a clinic, the doctor said there was nothing they could do. So in

a desperate attempt to save her life her family decided to smuggle her into Pakistan. Arzo has since had three operations at a private hospital in

Karachi as doctors tried to repair her severely damaged esophagus and stomach. But so far, it's not working.

Weighing a mere 25 kilograms or 55 pounds Arzo is slowly wasting away. She's fed a nutritional drink and separately juice four times a day via

tube in her stomach. But she's not gaining weight which may jeopardize her next operation scheduled in a matter of weeks. Adding to the family's

worries is Pakistan's recent decision to expel Afghans living illegally in their country.

Their siblings fear if they're forced to return to Afghanistan, Arzo moved out. I don't cry in front of her, but when I kiss her at night while she's

sleeping I will cry he says. I'm so worried for her future, her treatment and if she will be able to survive. A daily anguish for these siblings

doing everything they can with what little means they have to keep their sister alive. Anna Coren, CNN.




CHATTERLEY: And there you go the last full trading week of the year is underway on Wall Street. You heard the opening bell there at the New York

Stock Exchange. And the good news is the DOW is trading at a fresh record high all the major indices expected to open in the green and you can see

that movement there.

Wall Street of course coming off an exuberant week last week, the Federal Reserve's signaling it could cut interest rates three times next year. Just

to be clear the market is pricing double that oh dear, but the Presidents of the Atlanta, Chicago and New York Fed are all urging caution as you

would expect, all saying it's simply too early to stop thinking about interest rate cuts.

What else is going on in the world? Well, take a look at this. This is Brent and WTI in the United States crude prices all higher as more tanker

operators say they're suspending shipments through the Red Sea. More details on that very shortly. Welcome back. I'm Julia Chatterley in New

York and you're watching "Connect the World".

Let me bring you up to speed with some of the headlines this hour. U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is meeting with top Israeli officials in Tel

Aviv today. His visit comes as the United States grows increasingly vocal about the mounting casualties in Gaza. The Biden Administration is urging

Israel to move to a new phase of its war against Hamas one that's more targeted and less harmful to civilians.

The trial of jailed Hong Kong Media Tycoon Jimmy Lai is underway. Lai is being tried under Hong Kong sweeping national security law facing charges

linked to Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement and his now shuttered pro- democracy newspaper. China's Foreign Ministry says the case is being handled in partially. Lai faces possible life in prison if convicted.

And in Northern Australia, the heaviest rains in decades have left the City of Cannes virtually cut off. Storm Jasper which made landfall last week

triggered floods and forced hundreds of people out of their homes. The Premier of Queensland say some people spent the night stranded on their

rooftops. And in one town rangers rounded up a two and a half meter crocodile that got swept up in the floods.

Now Oil Giant BP is the latest company to temporarily suspend shipping through the Red Sea. Iranian backed Houthi rebels from Yemen have been

attacking ships moving through the Red Sea claiming they're doing it to pressure Israel to send aid into Gaza.

A U.S. Navy warship responded to an attack earlier Monday after shooting down 14 drones over the weekend. U.S. defense officials say the continued

attacks threaten free commerce. Anna Stewart joins us now from London.

And Anna, we're already seeing companies saying look they have to suspend operations. Let's just take a step back give us the perspective of just why

this area and particularly the Suez Canal is so important to global commerce?

ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's a really critical route. And so any risk around it obviously raises things like insurance costs. There's also

the risk to life. And then there's the risk of what happens if you try and avoid the Suez Canal route because ultimately this is a very lucrative

shortcut linking Europe to Asia for shipping.

It accounts around 12 percent of global trade as much as 30 percent when it comes to container shipping traffic. So it's really sizeable when you look

at that. Now the cost for all of these companies which have decided they will pause at least for now going through the Suez Canal to avoid all these

risks. They're looking at a very long route round. We have a map for you just to show you what that means.

To avoid it they go right around the West Coast of Africa around the Cape of Good Hope. Now that adds a significant amount of time to any given route

as much as one or even two weeks depending of course on the weather, that means more fuel costs. It means obviously more stuff on board.

And it delays of course, all those products getting to where they need to be. It puts pressure on the capacity of shipping around the world. And

ultimately, if this is sustained it could of course play absolute habit when it comes to supply chains which we're all familiar with right from the

pandemic. So this is what we're looking at in terms of the knock on impacts from what we're seeing here.

CHATTERLEY: Yeah, keep watching those freight costs. As you quite rightly said, we've got a lot of history and understanding what goes on here. And

of course it's having an impact on energy prices as I just mentioned up more than 2 percent whether that's Brent crude obviously for Europe or WTI

in the United States.

STEWART: Yeah, look at that. Oil prices up nearly 3 percent for Brent Crude right now and gas price is up earlier today as well. BP saying they've

halted all oil and gas shipments through the Red Sea saying there is a deteriorating safe security situation. Now they're calling it a

precautionary pause under ongoing review which I believe will probably mean that they're going to look at what the security situation is and what the

response will be from Naval ship.

Of course we've had a big response from the U.S. also the UK warships over the weekend. But looking forward it's how much of an impact will this be?

How sustained is this risk?


Now on that oil price it's interesting because we are well off the highs we saw for instance in September when oil prices were nearly at $100 a barrel.

So while it is higher today compared to this year it's actually not quite as high as it was. And that is because currently we do have an ample supply

of oil. And all those pledges from OPEC Plus including Russia people question whether or not they will actually fulfill those oil cuts.

So that will probably keep a bit of a lid on the reaction we'll see. But again it depends how long a risk the Suez Canal is for these ships whether

it's containers or tankers.

CHATTERLEY: Yeah. And it gives you a sense of the disquiet I think, the potential uncertainty and the risk surrounding this. We'll see what some of

the United States and allies conversations can come up with some kind of task force as we were discussing earlier on the show to police this. Anna,

great to have you thank you, Anna Stewart there from London.

Now the United States is condemning North Korea's recent missile launches. The South Korean military says a long range ballistic missile was fired

Monday from the Pyongyang area with a flight range of about 1000 kilometers. Now Japan's Coast Guard believes the missile fell into waters

west of Okushiri Island in the Hokkaido region.

Just a day earlier North Korea fired a short range ballistic missile that flew about 570 kilometers before falling into the water. Pyongyang says

their launch was partly in response to a U.S. nuclear powered submarine arriving in North Korea.

Now turning to the war in Ukraine, Russia has been using fleets of drones to attack targets on a near daily basis. Ukrainian officials say they took

down at least 20 drones on Sunday. They say one of them crashed into a neighborhood in Odessa, destroying homes and killing at least one person.

This is the third Russian air assault on the Odessa region this week.

And the official results are yet to come in. But Serbia's President is claiming a party victory in the snap parliamentary elections. President

Aleksandar Vucic declared victory for the Serbian Progressive Party in Sunday's election. Polls looked like they were in favor of the President's

party though he wasn't on the ballot himself. It will allow the party to expand their reach in Parliament after failing to take a majority in 2022.

The vote comes after a difficult year in Serbia with back to back mass shootings spoiling anti-government protests. Parliament must meet within

two weeks of the official results being announced with just 60 days to form a new government.

OK, coming up here on "Connect the World" Manchester City conquered all in the Champions League last year, but who will they be facing in this

season's first knockout round? World Sports is after this short break.


CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to "Connect the World". New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art says it will return more than a dozen ancient artworks to

Cambodia and Thailand.


One of the artifacts is a 10th century sandstone statue of a goddess from Cambodia. Another is a statue of a Buddhist head from the seventh century

that will be returned to Thailand. The works were linked to a British art dealer accused of trafficking artifacts looted from South Asia. And he's

the Stones' Legendary Axe Man, a living rock and roll legend adored by generations of fans.

Of course he's Keith Richards, and he's 80-years-old today. Born during World War II, he may have transformed from menace to society into an elder

statesman of rock, but there are some signs that he's slowing down.

So he is 80 the new 60 or even 50 after all, creativity still very much with Richards and the Stones'. This is from their new album "Happy

Diamonds" which has blown critics away, rock on, Keith Richards and a very Happy Birthday, sir.

Now football fans eagerly awaited today's UEFA Champions League draw to see who their teams will be pitted against in the knockouts and as usual with

this competition some interesting ties have come out of the hat. Amanda Davies joins us now to walk us through those highly anticipated fixtures.

What more can you tell us?

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Well, I've got to say Julia if you have been casting your eye over social media fans are not excited --


DAVIES: -- about this draw. And how the names have come out of the hat? Some have called it the worst ever European Champions League draw in

history. To be honest the teams really won't mind because at this point this is where it gets serious. It's the first knockout rounds. The rounds

of 60 the match is taking place in February.

And this is where all eyes properly focus, turned towards the final which is taking place on June 1st here in London at Wembley. They don't care how

they get there. They just want to get there for the chance to get their hands on the trophy. It's not all bad. We've got the Spanish champions up

against the Italian Barcelona up against Napoli.

Manchester City, the defending champions pretty happy you have to say with their tie against the lowest ranked side left in the competition,

Copenhagen. Fascinating encounter between Arsenal and Porto a rematch of one just a few years ago. But we're running the rule over all of them and

what to expect in just a couple of minutes in "World Sports".

CHATTERLEY: And we look forward to it.

DAVIES: We will make it. We will make it exciting.

CHATTERLEY: I know, I did have a look on social media and some of the commentary was impolite which is why I left it to you. Amanda, we look

forward to hearing more about that. World Sports of course is after the break. And I'll be back at the top of the hour with more "Connect the

World", stay with CNN.