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Hundreds Survive Collision and Plane Fire at Tokyo Airport; Israel's Supreme Court Strikes Down Controversial Change; South Korean Main Opposition Party Leader Stabbed in Busan; List of Jeffrey Epstein Associates Could Be Released Today; Iowa Republican Caucuses Less than Two Weeks Away; Deadly Attacks on Ukraine Kill Five, Injure Scores; Danish Queen Margrethe Announces Abdication. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired January 02, 2024 - 10:00:00   ET




UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Live from CNN London, this is CONNECT THE WORLD with Becky Anderson.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST (voice-over): Yes, it is. This hour, we'll bring you the latest from the fiery collision in Tokyo's Haneda airport.

Rescuers in Japan are racing to reach survivors still trapped in the rubble of the devastating quake that hit Japan's west coast on Monday. More than

100 people are still waiting to be rescued.

As the war with Hamas grinds on, Israel's Supreme Court has struck down a key part of what is the controversial judicial overhaul law. Now that had

limited the court's power to declare government decisions unreasonable. And the ruling has been criticized by supporters of prime minister Benjamin


For more on Ukraine strikes that have left at least five dead and more than 100 others wounded, Kharkiv and Kyiv have been hit hardest.


ANDERSON: In Tokyo, Haneda airport is closed after a collision on the ground. You can see the moment of impact in this video from Japan's public

broadcaster, NHK. A Japan Airlines flight colliding with a Japanese Coast Guard plane.

The commercial aircraft had just landed, carrying some 380 people and the fire spread quickly. Amazingly, those on that commercial flight got out

safely in less than two minutes.

Unfortunately, the same was not true for the Coast Guard plane. Five of the six on that aircraft reportedly killed. The only survivor, the captain, who

is said to be in critical condition. CNN's Will Ripley is at the airport, who filed this report.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Japanese prime minister is sending condolences to the families of those five Coast Guard

crew members, who lost their lives in this fiery runway collision right in the heart of Tokyo. Take a look at this.


RIPLEY (voice-over): This is at Haneda airport before 6:00 pm local time. A massive fireball erupted right down the runway in the middle of this busy

airport when a crowded Japan Airlines jet, with 367 passengers, including eight children under the age of 2 and 12 crew members on board.

Collided with a Coast Guard plane that was taking off to deliver relief supplies to parts of central Japan on the western side that are desperately

in need of aid right now because of the massive earthquake that struck, just hours after the country rang in the new year and began 2024.

After that tragedy and all of the hustle and bustle of the holiday weekend coming to a close, at this very busy airport, Haneda airport, the hub that

serves the Japanese capital along with Narita airport.

Two major airports in town and now only one is operational and because Haneda had to shut down after the collision. And all the questions that are

being raised about how it happened.

But the extraordinary part of this story is that, everybody who was on that plane, in a matter of seconds, was safely evacuated.

Everybody on that passenger plane, including parents with their young children, even as the black smoke was filling in the cabin, even as

passengers said they really thought they were going to die and they can see the fire spreading.

Even as passengers claim that some of the exit doors were not operational, they had to go out through the exits near the front of the aircraft, they

all made it out alive. And half a dozen people on that Coast Guard plane, only one of them survived in critical condition right now at the hospital -

- Will Ripley, CNN, Tokyo.


ANDERSON: A passenger on a different plane at the airport says he saw the whole thing from his window. Here is how he describes what happened on the



GUY MAESTRE, TOURIST: Just as we were trying to get some speed, we heard a big bang and I fell and I saw the flame that was making it crash.

And then we saw the plane that was in flames. By the time with the two planes going like that, I could hear the plane. I made some video which

(INAUDIBLE) a few minutes later, we saw two big fire trucks coming. And I think the fire and then controlling the fire.



ANDERSON: Still, very visibly shocked by what he saw there. John Strickland is an independent aviation analyst. And he joins us now, live.

John, this obviously does not happen often, a plane just combusting like this. You've seen the images.

What do you make of what happened and of the possible reason why this plane just became an absolute fireball?

JOHN STRICKLAND, INDEPENDENT AVIATION ANALYST: Well, it's interesting that when I saw the first images, we saw this blazing wreckage of aircraft. And

now I've seen later videos as part of that conflagration, where the whole aircraft was consumed by fire. Didn't happen immediately.

In fact, looking at footage from the front and right hand side of the aircraft, it was pretty well intact, except the aircraft was down on its

nose because its nose was a bit damaged or collapsed.

You could see, in that footage, there is evidence of possible fire in the engine, of the area of the engine, on the right-hand wing. But of course,

it was a violent impact at high speed.

While I have no information on whether the aircraft had taxied off the runway, was moving or not, certainly the aircraft landing would have been

going, in a ballpark, 150 miles an hour landing.

That didn't cause the aircraft to go up in flames quickly and that is a testament based on the structure. And then the cabin crew traded to get on

the phone after people in emotional space and time, to complete safety.

But the fire then developed. Obviously fuel (INAUDIBLE) began to leak. It's a problem, all the fuel tanks would be ruptured by this accident. Fuel

spreads, there's a lot of heat and ignition sources.

And then the aircraft structure, it's a very modern, state-of-the-art aircraft, the (INAUDIBLE). It is made in significant measure out of carbon

composite material. That's an advanced, durable, lightweight, plastic material.

And, ultimately, while that doesn't easily ignite, once it is burning, my understanding is that it can burn quite vigorously. And that's why we're

seeing the bigger and more prolonged fire at this point.

ANDERSON: Let me explain to our viewers, the video you can see here on the right-hand side, if you're new to this, is the plane actually coming into

contact as it lands with this small coastal plane -- Coast Guard plane.

Sadly, on that plane, of course, five of the six have perished. That was a flight that was loaded with aid on its way out from the airport to deliver

that aid to the earthquake struck area of the west coast of Japan.

John, I'm sure you've still got an awful lot of questions which remain unanswered about what exactly happened and why there was this collision and

what happened at the point of collision and why it is that, as you say, one side of the plane caught fire.

What do you make of the evacuation, the process, what we understand to have happened?

The fact that everybody has got out of this alive, which feels like a near miracle, just talk us through what you understand what is happening.

STRICKLAND: Well, it is pretty remarkable.

We are talking about an aircraft landing at high speed. It is not an emergency that had any degree of warning. There are occasions, where the

pilots, the flight crew are able to brief the cabin crew on an emergency and to prepare the cabin, passengers, whether it's in flight or on the


There was no ability to prewarn with the violence and suddenness of this impact. And the plane was not only very full but this was operating as a

domestic flight. And the relevance of that is that Japan Airlines has a number of large aircraft like this type, with what is called high density


They many more seats on a short economy flight to Japan than you would have on a long haul flight. This aircraft, on a long haul flight, for example,

say British Airways or Virgin Atlantic, might have had about 250 seats. There were well over 350.

So the lack of pre-warning, the large number of people, the crew had to move very quickly to get these passengers off, as they did safely. And I

think it's also complicated. Now you hear from social media.

But obviously, passengers were confused and startled, as the crew was as it happened. But then, you can see the video footage on board, not only was

there confusion but people start to look for bags. They are filming. That may help us now to get some insight.

But at the time, that's absolutely an impediment for the crew aboard to be expediting getting people off.


As their priority should be, get off this aircraft, not to be filming or looking for bags.

ANDERSON: We talked about the fact that you all have a lot of questions still unanswered.

Where does this investigation go?

Tell us what will be happening behind the scenes there.

STRICKLAND: It's a very standardized process of accident investigation worldwide. So the team will be assembled as quickly as possible. That will

be led by the safety authorities of the country, where the accident takes place.

Of course, there's (INAUDIBLE) Japan. So the Japan transport safety board will lead the investigation. The manufacturer of the aircraft, Airbus, will

of course be a party to that. So, too, will Japan Airlines as the operating airline.

And then other interested parties, the airport authorities, the air traffic control authorities are (INAUDIBLE). They have to sift through first of all

data related to this flight, of the collision of these two aircrafts. That data is recordings of the (INAUDIBLE) between air traffic control and the

flight crew up to the moment this happened.

Looking at data in terms of the performance of the aircraft, were they performing, technically as they should've done, had the other equipment

where data was recorded. And that is kept as a sterile environment.

It's only going to lead investigators hoping to give any comment. Now the party, (INAUDIBLE) relevance to this investigation team, is able to give

any commentary, they have to simply get down to work as long as it takes to get the initial understanding of what happened and put them in a report.

ANDERSON: It's good to have you on. Your analysis and insight is so important. As we watch these images that have come into CNN, the last

couple of hours, I have to say, I've been watching these now for a couple of hours.

It does not fail to amaze me still, when you look at these shots, the fact that everybody of this commercial flight, at least, got off alive. You've

got to think of the families of those who've lost their lives on the Coast Guard flight. It is a very sad state of affairs. Good to have, you sir.

Thank you.

While officials investigate that deadly crash in Tokyo, Japanese prime minister says it's a race against time to reach victims buried under the

rubble from Monday's 7.5 magnitude earthquake in central Japan.

The death toll has been rising with at least 48 people now reported dead. Monday's quake triggered fires and damaged buildings and homes, forcing

tens of thousands to take shelter in evacuation centers. CNN's Hanako Montgomery takes us inside one of those centers.


HANAKO MONTGOMERY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm speaking in a slightly quieter voice right now because we are at an emergency shelter where survivors of

that very powerful earthquake on the Western Coast of Japan are taking shelter. There is no heating right now.

So people are sleeping on mats. They're using thick blankets to stay warm. There's also no running water. So the Japanese self-defense forces are just

outside this building, handing out water to locals. Now we know that in Ishikawa Prefecture, which is very close to the epicenter and which is

where, we are now at least 48 people have died.

The Japanese Prime Minister has also said that 120 people are still stuck underneath their homes. Now the Prime Minister has said that they've

dispatched as many forces as possible to get to the survivors to help them out from under their homes. But it's been very difficult A, because Verona

Peninsula, there are only so many ways to get here but also B, because the main road leading into this peninsula has collapsed because of that very

powerful earthquake.

Now people here in the shelter have told us that they're still feeling a lot of aftershocks from that initial very powerful earthquake. Even in the

shelter alone some of the cement pillars have rubble around them, just again from that very powerful quake and the shakes coming afterwards --

Hanako Montgomery, CNN, Nanao City.


ANDERSON: Quarter past 3:00 here in London, just shy of it.

Still ahead, reaction to the unprecedented supreme court ruling in Israel that strikes down part of the government's judicial overhaul there.

Supporters of the Israeli prime minister and what they are saying.

Plus, as soon as today, a list of more than 150 people connected to the late sex offender, Jeffrey Epstein, is set to be made public. Looking at

who could be on that list. That is coming up.





ANDERSON: The Israeli military says it is targeted residents of a Hamas commander in central Gaza, killing dozens of Hamas militants. It's also

secured, it says, Hamas command and control center in Gaza City.

Now the IDF says, in the Gaza City operation, three of its soldiers were killed in close quarter combat. These operations, coming a day after Israel

announced it will start a troop drawdown in Gaza. Some of the forces involved in today's operations are among those being called out, as Israel

prepares for prolonged fighting.

This comes as Israel supreme court strikes down a key part of the government's controversial, judicial overhaul. It had limited their court's

power, to declare government decisions unreasonable.

The 8-7 vote, indicative of the deep divisions of the law on Israel's, supporters for Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized it, the

Likud Party calling, it, quote, "opposite the spirit of unity needed during the ongoing war with Hamas."

Elliott Gotkine is back with us from Tel Aviv, this hour.

And I do wonder how this might affect the war that is ongoing, at present. Possibly too early to tell. Certainly, Benjamin Netanyahu's supporters

suggesting that this decision should not have been handed down at a time when the country needs the unity that it needs.

And perhaps that is no surprise that that is what we would hear.

Just how significant is this ruling and how does it fit into the wider story here?

ELLIOTT GOTKINE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Becky, it's significant on a number of levels. In terms of the fact that it's unprecedented, for the supreme court

to strike down a basic law amendment or basic law itself, which is one of these quasi-constitutional laws.

And I suppose it is also a personal blow against Benjamin Netanyahu. And the whole of 2023, up until October the 7th, was dominated by this

controversial, divisive plan to overhaul the judiciary in Israel.

Every week, tens of thousands of people out on the streets. they were concerned that it could even spill over into civil war. But of course,

since October the 7th, it has not been forgotten but certainly taking a backseat. But perhaps, thanks to that New Year's Day ruling, by the supreme

court, it is back in the limelight.


GOTKINE (voice-over): It was a bombshell. In an eight to seven ruling Israel Supreme Court struck down legislation that removed its powers to

throw out government decisions on the grounds of reasonableness. We rejected the amendment because of the severe and unprecedented blow it

represented to the core characteristic of Israel as a democratic state.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had argued the change was required to restore the balance of power between the executive and the court. The law

was the first of a multipronged government plan to weaken the judiciary to be passed by the Knesset last year. The Supreme Court's decision could now

reopen the deep divisions in Israeli society.


The country convulsed by months of protests and even fears of civil war. With Israel now almost three months into an actual war, after the Hamas led

terrorist attacks of October 7th, those divisions had felt a lifetime away.

Indeed Justice Minister, Yariv Levin, the architect of the government's judicial overhaul plans a sale the timing of the court's decision, saying

it was the opposite of the unity the country now demanded.

Strange as the timing of the Supreme Court's decision may appear, it had no choice to have its justices officially retired three months ago but had

until this month to submit their final ruling. When the reform was introduced last year, massive crowds regularly took to the streets to decry

Prime Minister Netanyahu's plans, which they saw as a serious threat to the country's democracy. In Israel, which has no written constitution, the

Supreme Court served as one of the only checks on the executive and legislative branches of government.

In an interview with CNN in July Netanyahu rejected the notion the overhaul poses threats to democracy but declined to say whether he would abide by a

Supreme Court ruling that went against him.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: Will go into unchartered territory. And I really would like to believe that they won't do that. And

the reason is that, first of all, we're all subject to the rule of law. The Prime Minister is subject to the rule of law. The Knesset or Parliament is

subject to the rule of law. The judges are subject to the law; everybody is subject to the law.

GOTKINE (voice-over): The court's decision marks a major loss for a Prime Minister still facing a corruption trial and outrage for failing to prevent

the Hamas led massacres of October 7th. But with no end in sight to the war in Gaza, Netanyahu has more pressing concerns than another spat with the

Supreme Court. That fight will be for another day.


GOTKINE: And, Becky, we said in that report and also you mentioned, we heard from Netanyahu's Likud Party, criticizing the verdict. We heard from

the justice minister, criticizing the timing.

Of course, understandably, as it is expected, national security minister to the far right, Itamar Ben-Gvir, saying that the judgment was illegal. We

heard from Benny Gantz of the national unity party, he's now in the war cabinet, saying this verdict must be respected.

But there is one missing from this conversation, as you can expect, Becky. And that's the voice of the prime minister himself, Netanyahu, who, at

least up until now is staying (INAUDIBLE).

ANDERSON: Yes, interesting. We will hear from him, I'm sure, at some point soon. It is important that we talk about what is happening on the ground,

in Gaza. We are hearing new information from the Palestine Red Crescent Society, as I understand it.

GOTKINE: That's, right Becky. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society saying that its headquarters in Khan Yunis, in the southern part of the Gaza

Strip, which is where the IDF believes below ground, the senior leadership of Hamas is hiding.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society saying that the headquarters there have been bombed. And that there are several deaths of the 14,000 or so who

sought shelter in the building. Saying it's the 8th floor that was targeted. We have reached out to the IDF for comment but have not gotten

any word back from them on this particular incident.

ANDERSON: Good to have you, sir. Thank you.

It's 22 minutes past 3:00 here in London. We are following the latest in the Red Sea and all around the region in our "Meanwhile in the Middle East"

newsletter. It comes straight to you three times a week. Just use the QR code on the bottom of your screen and click "subscribe" to read it.

That is a newsletter from CNN about the Middle East, on the Middle East, from the Middle East. Such an important region, of course, at present. That

is a great read. Please subscribe.

For the leader of South Korea's main opposition party, he is in hospital after being stabbed in the neck during a brazen attack. He underwent

surgery at the Seoul National University Hospital. A Democratic Party spokesperson said he had vein reconstruction surgery and is now in

intensive care.

Paula Hancocks spent many years in South Korea for CNN, today joining us from her new base in Abu Dhabi.

What do we know at this point about what happened and who the assailant may be?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, what we're being told by police is that this was a man in his 60s, although they have not

ascertained any motive or at least have not publicly given any motive at this point.

But this happened in the middle of the day. It was in daylight. He was surrounded by people and it was also captured on live television. It was

when the opposition leader was touring an area where a new airport is being built. He was speaking to reporters, at that point.


A man in his 60s, as we know, came up to him and asked for an autograph. And you then see him attacking Lee Jae-myung. He fell backwards, collapsed

and then, at that point, the security wrestled the individual to the ground and he was then arrested.

But what we know at this point is that Lee himself is recovering. He is in intensive care still following that vein reconstruction surgery. We

understood at the time, that there was a 1 centimeter laceration to the left-hand side of his neck. And that there was suspected damage to his

jugular vein.

So that was certainly a very surprising and brazen attack. And it comes just a few months before local elections in South Korea, when you will have

a great number of politicians touring the country and getting very close to the electorate, which is what they do.

There is very little security or stringent security around these individuals. So police are now saying they need to step up protection in

the runup to that. They need to find out exactly why this man carried out this attack.

We have seen in recent months a true polarization of politics in South Korea. Lee just narrowly missed the chance to become president last year.

He was just beaten by the president Yoon Suk-yeol, who expressed his deep concern and said that he wants a very swift investigation into exactly

what happened.

And of course, to make sure it does not happen again. But we have seen this before. Crime is relatively low in South Korea. But we have seen some high-

profile attacks. Lee's predecessor last year was attacked with a hammer blow to the head.

We saw, back in 2015, the former U.S. ambassador to South Korea, Mark Lippert, was attacked in a knife attack as well, to his face, as he was

waiting to make a public speech.

So it is not unheard of. But it is certainly of great concern, just a few months before a local election, when many high-profile individuals are

going to be touring the country -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Paula Hancocks on the story. Paula, thank you.

Still to come, the names of dozens of people with ties to accused sex offender Jeffrey Epstein could be made public as early as today.

Why we are just now learning their identities years after Epstein's death by suicide?

And with just 13 days to go until the Iowa caucuses, as they are known, in the fight between the top three Republican candidates is heating up. We

will bring you a look at CNN's upcoming town halls, with two of those candidates.





ANDERSON (voice-over): Welcome, back you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. More headlines this hour.

Japan Airlines says four passengers were transported to hospitals, feeling, quote, "unwell" after a ground collision in Tokyo. They were among nearly

400 people who were evacuated safely after their flight, their plane, collided with a Japanese Coast Guard aircraft.

State broadcaster NHK is reporting five deaths on the Coast Guard plane. While officials investigate that plane crash in Tokyo, rescuers in Japan

are racing to reach survivors still trapped in the rubble of the 7.5 magnitude earthquake that hit Japan's west coast on Monday.

The prime minister says more than 100 people are still waiting to be rescued.

The Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose party is criticizing a supreme court ruling on the government's controversial judicial overhaul,

that restores the court's power to declare government decisions unreasonable. Justice minister calls the decision, quote, "opposite of the

spirit of unity required in the war against Hamas."

Israel's opposition leader praised the ruling.

Dozens of names linked to the late accused child sex trafficker, Jeffrey Epstein, could be made public as soon as today. This comes as a judge

unseals hundreds of documents in a settled case against Epstein's jailed former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell.

The court papers are expected to expose the identities of some of Epstein's alleged associates and victims. Until now, they've only been known as John

and Jane Does. Important to note, inclusion on the list does not mean that the person committed a crime. CNN's Kara Scannell following this from New


The caveat, the important to note, as I just explained.

Given that, what can we expect from the release of these documents, I mean, can you explain what it would mean if your name was on that list?

KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Becky. This is going to be a big release of 150 or so names. And it is going to come out through documents.

So whether it is deposition testimony someone has given or some emails or calendar entries or flight logs. So some of this information might be

information that we already know.

Because there's been so much about Jeffrey Epstein that has already come out through the criminal prosecution of his former girlfriend, Ghislaine

Maxwell, to a number of alleged victims who have spoken out, who filed their own lawsuits against Epstein and his friends.

So in this case, we do expect there to be some prominent names on the list that have already become public, because the accuser, in this case,

Virginia Roberts Giuffre, has been outspoken about this.

She has mentioned former senator George Mitchell, former Texas governor Bill Richardson. They have both denied ever meeting her or having any

sexual encounter with her at all.

And the most famous of the people that she has accused of Prince Andrew. She sued him and he agreed to a settlement. So those are some of the names.

And we are also expected to see some other people that may have worked for Epstein.

What's important to note, as you say, the judge in this case, in knowing that she was going to unseal this, said she was going to unseal it because

a lot of this information is already in the public.

And she said, for some of the individuals, they did not object. For others, their name is included because maybe they worked for Epstein but there is

not a salacious allegation around them. It is just going to give us a fuller picture of the Epstein universe, 20 years or so of material.

Because Giuffre has alleged this abuse went back to 2002. So we will get a sense of his world and some of the people that operated in that. We learned

a lot from the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell. We'll be seeing potentially new information that fills in some blanks.

But just because a name was on the list, does not mean something they did something wrong. We may learn of some people that maybe we didn't know

about before, where there are more serious allegations. We will have to wait to see what the documents say.

But it will, at a baseline, give us a sense of what Giuffre's team has uncovered through their litigation, in this space, depositions from other

accusers, depositions with other people that they believed help recruit some of these victims, as well as people that were working by Epstein's

side -- Becky.

ANDERSON: What consequences could we see, depending on who is on that list?

SCANNELL: I think the main consequence would be potential PR consequence for them. There have been several criminal investigations. The U.S.

attorney's office for the Southern District of New York prosecuted Maxwell.

They looked into whether they could bring charges against some of these other young women, who helped recruit some of the victims of Epstein. But

they never brought charges in that case, in part, because some of these recruiters began as victims themselves.


So it is a tricky line that they found in being able to do that and to actually have enough to prove a case.

There are still a lot of victims who felt shortchanged in having their justice heard when Epstein died by suicide. But there are few others,

unless they can actually show and establish that they had some kind of criminal involvement with Epstein, as far as we are talking about criminal


The U.S. attorney spent hours meeting with numerous accusers after Epstein died, looking to see if they can bring charges against any others. They

ultimately did not bring any charges against anyone else in that case besides Maxwell.

So as far as a criminal exposure here, it seems unlikely that we would see that. But there could potentially be just more bad PR, potential fallout,

if someone is accused in any manner of being part of this sex trafficking ring.

ANDERSON: Understood. Good to have you. Thank you.

A source tells CNN a deadly car crash outside a New Year's concert venue in Rochester, New York, is being investigated as domestic terrorism. Two

people were killed in the incident, another five are injured.

It happened outside the Kodak Center, as people were leaving a concert. Police say a Ford SUV slammed into another car, leaving a nearby parking

lot. The force of the crash sent both vehicles into the crowd, also ignited this fire, that took nearly an hour to extinguish. CNN's Brynn Gingras

joins us from New York.

How much detail do we have about this crash at this point?

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: At this point, again, the JTTF is involved. The FBI. It's possible, domestic terrorism. That's a big

umbrella, Becky.

You have to understand this person who caused this incident, is there some sort of ideology, something on social media, something from parent

interviews that points investigators to look into it in that way.

But what we are getting from authorities is that a 35-year old named Michael Avery, from the Syracuse area of New York, actually drove his own

car to Rochester, New York, where this incident happened.

But he rented a vehicle, filled it up with gas canisters and then stayed in a hotel room and then targeted this concert venue while people were

leaving, really, just an hour into the New Year's Day really. It is New Year's Day we are talking about at 12:50 in the morning.

And at that time, when this collision happened with another car, there was a huge explosion because of all those gas canisters. We know two people,

who this car, driven by Avery, hit were killed.

And we also have since learned Avery has died as a result of injuries sustained as well. So at this point in the investigation, you can see the

aftermath there. There is still a lot of questions. Why this venue was targeted, what the motive is behind Avery.

Of course, he has since passed away. So it is unclear how much police can learn. So these are questions that investigators are trying to answer right


ANDERSON: Good to have you, thank you.

Today, Donald Trump's legal team is expected to appeal against the two decisions to remove him from the primary ballots in Colorado and in Maine,

both of which will be held later this year.

Now Trump will have to appeal the Colorado ruling through the U.S. Supreme Court. In Maine, he will have to appeal the secretary of state's decision

in state court.

In both states, the decisions are on hold, pending appeals. It is less than two weeks ago until the Iowa caucuses, which really are the kickoff for

this 2024 presidential campaign in the United States.

This will be the first formal tally in a U.S. state to determine the Republican candidate for the presidential election in November. Now

Florida's governor, Ron DeSantis, and former South Carolina governor, Nikki Haley, are continuing to dominate airwaves through targeted ads aimed at

the other.

However, all indications are that Donald Trump remains the front-runner, having made four appearances in Iowa before the end of 2023. Joining me now

to discuss the buildup, including CNN town halls with DeSantis and Haley, is Jeff Zeleny, live from Washington.

I want you to give our international audience a real sense of what is coming up in the next few weeks for the U.S. presidential election and why

Iowa is so important at this point.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Becky, 13 days until the voting finally begins in this U.S. presidential primary election.

We talk a lot about these campaigns. It is finally coming to a head.

As you know, elections here in the United States are very long; primary elections, very long. The reason this matters is, the reason Iowa matters,

is because it's the place that leads off the voting.


That is where this race for second place is furiously underway between Nikki Haley, as you said, the former South Carolina governor, and Ron

DeSantis, the current Florida governor. They are trying to catch Donald Trump.

Of course, he is far and away the front-runner of Iowa. The reason it matters is, if he wins big, wins the running away, he could be on his way

to becoming the presumptive Republican nominee.

Of course, Iowa doesn't have the only say; they have the first say. The second vote comes a week later in New Hampshire. But the reality is that if

Republicans want to try and stop him, slow his rise, this is where they have to do it.

It's very much an open question, as we go and talk to voters, there are many Republicans, perhaps half the party or so, that would like to see him

slowed or stopped. They would like to see a new nominee.

Nikki Haley, for example, makes that argument, that I can beat Donald Trump, I can beat Joe Biden in a general election more than Ron DeSantis.

We shall see.

But the reality is that Donald Trump has really sucked out all of the oxygen in this entire race. So what is going to come in 2024 are a rush of

primaries. And we will see how many of them matter. And then the rest are court appearances.

He have things pending at the Supreme Court, in the courts in Georgia, courts here in Washington. So really, we are going to see something we have

never seen before in U.S. politics, this court cases really overlaid with the presidential campaign.

So we do not know how this will turn out. One thing we do know going into all of this, Trump is starting the year as the frontrunner for the

Republican nomination again. We will see if he is in that position a couple months from now.

ANDERSON: Jeff, what do you make of his strategy?

Which has been to not deign these other candidates with even his presence. He's not talking about other candidates, frankly, at this point. I know

he's now an out and out frontrunner at this stage and, as you say, this thing could be wrapped up within weeks, it feels, at this point.

But what do you make of that strategy?

ZELENY: Becky, it's worked pretty well for him so far. He thumbed his nose at all of the debates, he said, I'm not going to be onstage with my rivals,

I am bigger than them, I will not join them.

But he has his eye on both of them. And one of the biggest challenges for him now, his advisers tell me, when you talk to them, is complacency. If

his supporters think he's so far ahead, he doesn't really need them, that is one of his worries.

But look, the town halls that you mentioned are Thursday night, here on CNN, with Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis. Next week is the final Iowa debate.

Donald Trump of course is invited. He has until noon to decide if he's going to show up.

Noon here in the U.S. My guess is he will not. And that has worked well for him by not joining this party, if you will, because he acts like he's above

it all. It's worked for him. But at some point though, the thing we have our eye on, say he doesn't become the nominee.

He will certainly want to debate Joe Biden next fall.

Will that take away the argument, if Donald Trump didn't debate, why should Biden have to?

But that's getting ahead of ourselves. Primary election right now but Donald Trump probably will not attend, because he doesn't want to draw any

more attention, because he doesn't think he has to.

ANDERSON: And he doesn't, frankly. What a year. What a year forthcoming. Let's remind ourselves, the U.S. elections, huge this year in 2024. There

are more than 70 other elections around the world, in what are ostensibly democracies to a larger or lesser extent.

CNN, of course, will be across those, front and center, of course, and it does not matter where you are watching in the world, I don't think anybody

is going to deny us the opportunity to suggest that this really is as consequential as it gets.


ZELENY: -- American foreign policy, as you know, shapes so much more from -- you know, we've never seen a rematch like this before, if that happens.

So buckle up.

ANDERSON: Yes, buckle up, absolutely. Good luck, mate. Happy new year.

Coming up, a violent start to the new year as Russia's war on Ukraine intensifies, with a wave of missile strikes. Details on that are just






ANDERSON: The death toll in Ukraine after a wave of Russia's attacks, includes at least five and more than 100 others hurt. The eastern Kharkiv

and central Kyiv regions hit the hardest.

This comes after Russian president Vladimir Putin vowed to intensify strikes on Ukraine in the new year. CNN's Clare Sebastian joining us now,

live, from London, with the details.

And certainly, it feels like we are seeing a significant intensity in this war. And it is coming from the air.

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, the air was has really stepped up as we head into the new year. This is the second major combination attack

involving drones and missiles in five days.

The death toll from today's attacks much lower, than on Friday, the 29th, where we saw more than 50 were killed. And Ukraine is actually knocking

some of that up to the powers of its air defenses, many of which have been provided by the West.

They were able to shoot down 72 missiles and they say 10 out of 10 of the Kinzhal ballistic missiles. These are some of the most vaunted missiles in

Russia's arsenal, they describe them as hypersonic and unstoppable.

We got a comment from the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian armed forces himself, pretty unusual to hear from him directly on that topic. Take a



GEN. VALERY ZALUZHNYI, COMMANDER IN CHIEF, UKRAINIAN ARMED FORCES (through translator): Today, the air force of Ukraine has shot down 10 of 10 of

Russian X-47M2 Kinzhal air defense missiles, using Patriot surface-to-air missiles. This is a record.

If these missiles had reached their targets, the consequences would've been catastrophic. I thank our service men for their work and I thank our

partners for their air defense systems. There is no reason to believe that the enemy will stop here. That is why we need more systems and ammunition

for them.


ANDERSON: That's fascinating.

SEBASTIAN: That shows two things. It's trying to show that there is a significant dividend from the investment that the U.S. has made, that they

are incredibly effective, these Patriots.

And we've seen before, where Ukraine's used Patriots to shoot down the Kinzhals and are outright saying it is using these attacks that we've seen,

the significant uptick in aerial assaults, to try and convince Ukraine's Western allies to do more.

We've heard that from foreign minister as well today from President Zelenskyy. It is very clear that Russia intends to keep doing this. That's

the pattern that we've seen so far. As you see with every attack, the missiles will be dwindling on Ukraine's side.

ANDERSON: What is the perspective on the Russian side?

SEBASTIAN: The key part of the rhetoric right now is that Russia does not hit civilian targets.

Putin has said that yesterday, we're only hitting military installations and there was a report that said that the damage to civilian buildings that

you see so clearly in these pictures -- and we spoke with eyewitnesses -- it is being blamed on Ukrainian air defense.

So Putin's rhetoric right now, he is heading into election season is he is in control of that situation. We saw him twice on Monday, on the first day

of the year, speaking to wounded servicemen, then speaking to heroes, of the so-called special military operation.

He's trying to project strength, confidence, I think he has the wind in his sails somewhat because of the hesitation we are seeing in Washington and

very much using that to his advantage.


ANDERSON: And for Ukraine, not just hesitation, of course, in Washington. This real question mark as to whether there will be any more funding but

more fractures in Europe as well. So we will watch this space and see how this develops, 22 months in, to remind ourselves, of this assault on


Good to have you.

More developments about Russia's invasion of Ukraine on CNN digital, of course. You can take an inside look at the biggest stories and trends of

this war. Experts across the region discuss the significance of what is at stake in 2024 and what it means for your world.

We are back, after this quick break, stay with us.




ANDERSON: 2024's already proving to be incredibly lucky, for one person, in Michigan. At least a single ticket sold in that U.S. state has matched

all six numbers of the Powerball jackpot worth, get this, an estimated $842 million.

That is the fifth largest Powerball ever won and the 10th largest lottery jackpot recorded in the U.S., according to the company. The winner will

have the option to take home a lump sum payment of around $425 million before taxes.

The queen of Denmark has announced a surprise abdication after 52 years on the throne. Her son will takeover is king about two weeks from now. CNN's

Max Foster has more. Including how the new king's wife will become the first or the world's first Australian born queen.


MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A new year, a new era for Denmark and for one of the world's oldest monarchies. Queen

Margrethe II will end her reign of more than half a century, a shock decision delivered in a live address to the Danish people on New Year's


MARGRETHE II, DANISH QUEEN (through translator): I have decided that now is the right time. On the 14th of January 2024, 52 years after I succeeded

my beloved father, I will step down as Queen of Denmark.

FOSTER: Denmark's ruler became Europe's longest reigning monarch after the death of Britain's Queen Elizabeth in 2022. Queen Margrethe put the

decision down to her fragile health. Recent surgeries on her back have limited her royal duties.

MARGRETHE II: The time takes its toll and the number of ailments increases. One cannot undertake as much as one managed in the past.

FOSTER: That sense of duty won the hearts of the Danish people and drew comparisons to Queen Elizabeth, to whom our greater looked to for some

inspiration. Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen was quick to praise the only monarch that many Danes will ever have known.

"On behalf of the entire population, I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Her Majesty, the Queen, for her lifelong dedication and

tireless efforts for the Kingdom," Fredrickson wrote in a statement.

Like other constitutional monarchies, the Danish sovereign stays above politics. But feathers can be ruffled.

In 2022, the Queen removed the titles of Prince and Princess from the children of her second son, Prince Joachim.


It was an effort to reduce the royal establishment and allow her grandkids more privacy. But Prince Joachim went public with his four children's hurt

feelings and Queen Margrethe later apologized but did not change her decision.

MARGRETHE II: There is more pressure on the young people of today than there was when I was a child.

FOSTER (voice-over): Margrethe's decision to abdicate places the weight of the crown upon her eldest son's head, Prince Frederick, a man equally

faithful to the crown but with a slightly more reserved public persona. Frederick will rule alongside his Australian-born wife, Princess Mary. The

royal couple met at a bar in Sydney during the 2000 Olympics. Mary Donaldson, a marketing executive from Tasmania, swept into a fairy tale.

MARGRETHE II: I really like her very much indeed and she, I hope, knows that and feels that.

FOSTER (voice-over): The new queen won't have far to look for a role model. Max Foster, CNN.