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Police: One Dead In Terror Attacks In Central Israel; United States Shoots Down Anti-Ship Missile Fired By Houthis; Taiwan Condemns China After Former Ally Nauru Severs Ties; Ukraine: Two Russian Aircraft Destroyed Over Azov Sea; Hours Away: Iowans Will Caucus To Pick GOP Presidential Candidate; National Media: Lava Flow Has Decreased; United Kingdom Prime Minister Speaking About Operation Against Houthi Rebels. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired January 15, 2024 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ELENI GIOKOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Welcome back to the second hour of CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Eleni Giokos this hour.
A ramming and stabbing attack in Israel kills at least one person and leaves multiple wounded. The police suspect terrorism.
Republican voters in Iowa are just hours away from officially kicking off the 2024 race for the White House, despite frigid temperatures.
And spectacular scenes in Iceland as the second volcanic eruption spews lava.
The Israel-Hamas war has passed the 100-day mark. Today, on CONNECT THE WORLD, we've been documenting the suffering in Gaza. But I also want to
start this hour with a look at the impact the conflict is having beyond Gaza's borders, and specifically, in and around the Red Sea, where Iranian
backed Houthi rebels from Yemen have been attacking commercial ships.
And just within the past hour, the U.K.'s maritime security agency reports a vessel, about 95 nautical miles from Yemen was hit by a missile. That
comes just days after the U.S. and U.K. attacked Houthi targets in Yemen. Britain's prime minister is expected to talk about the Houthi strikes in
about 30 minutes and we'll listen in.
Meanwhile, in Lebanon, Hezbollah's leader is vowing to continue confrontations with Israeli forces, saying only a ceasefire in Gaza would
open the possibility of an end to the crossfire on the Lebanon Israel border.
In Israel today, police say at least one person was killed and at least 17 wounded in twin terror attacks carried out simultaneously.
Nic Robertson is at the scene of those attacks in Israel. And we've also got Nada Bashir in Beirut for us. Nic, let's start off with you. What are
you seeing on the ground right now?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, it was very confusing for about the first hour after the attacks. Even the police
couldn't understand properly what had happened. Because this is unusual.
Some people calling in even the first time of an incident like this, where there were two attackers attacking simultaneously in the same type of
attack. 17 people were injured one person, a lady in her 70s was killed in the attack.
And these two brothers from about 100 miles away in Hebron, the police say, stole vehicles and then attacked different areas in this middle-class town
at roughly almost precisely the same time. And that's where the confusion came in. And they actually struck three different locations.
This is one of the locations. And you can see the force of the impact on this vehicle. The side of that vehicle, the far side, that's smashed up by
the force of the impact.
But perhaps where most of the casualty is occurred, appear to have been at a bus stop where people were waiting for a bus. One vehicle can -- we're
looking at before had smashed into the side of the road near that bus stop. And it's not the first time that attackers attacking Israelis in their
cities have taken vehicles and try to ram into them at bus stops. But here the confusion because there were two attackers doing it simultaneously,
hitting three different locations.
GIOKOS: All right, Nic Robertson, for us. Thank you very much for bringing that update. It is a story that we are following very closely.
All right, Nada Bashir is standing by as well. Look, 100 days since the start of this war. Give me a sense of what you're seeing right now, in
terms of the confrontation between Hezbollah and Israeli forces.
It's not showing any signs of slowing down at this point. In fact, there's fears of further escalation.
NADA BASHIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL REPORTER: Yes, absolutely. I mean, from the outset of the war, we've been hearing vocal condemnation from Arab leaders,
regional leaders, we've been seeing people taking to the streets.
Now, 100 days on, that we are seeing, all these tensions, escalating real concerns of this conflict in Gaza could spill over more broadly into the
And that is certainly the rhetoric that we have been hearing from some regional leaders, particularly of course, Iran-backed Hezbollah, in
Lebanon. And of course, as you mentioned, Eleni, particularly from the Houthis in Yemen.
Now, just in the last hour, we've had that report from the U.K. maritime security agency, another vessel in the Red Sea, said to have been able be
targeted, struck by a missile from above. We are still waiting to hear more details around that incident.
Authorities are set to be carrying out an investigation. But this follows a round of similar attacks that we have seen being carried out from the
Houthis. More than two dozen attacks being carried out since late November.
And the messaging that we've been hearing, despite the strikes that we've seen carried out by the United States, and the United Kingdom over the last
few days, strikes, which according to officials from both states were focused on downgrading and diminishing the Houthis ability to carry out
Despite that, we are still seeing similar attacks being carried out, there, of course, at a much smaller scale. And we are still hearing that vocal
rhetoric from with the officials of these attacks on the Red Sea will not stop until there is an end to Israel's air strikes on Gaza.
And, of course, that is the messaging that we've been hearing now from Hezbollah. Yesterday, we heard from the Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah,
he gave an address at -- a televised address, in which he focused on the situation in Gaza, and did say that the crossfire attacks that we have been
seeing between Hezbollah forces in southern Lebanon and the Israeli military along that embattled border region. That, that crossfire will not
come to an end until Israel's air strikes on Gaza come to an end.
There will be no question of possibility of even talking about a potential ceasefire along the border until there is a ceasefire in Gaza. And then,
once that is established, it will remain to be seen how Hezbollah would respond, what the next steps would be.
So, there are certainly a lot of questions still around. those next steps are a lot of up in the air. We have been hearing mounting calls for a
humanitarian ceasefire, of course, by many. Not just regional leaders, but also, of course, from humanitarian groups, from aid agencies, from the
United Nations, that death toll continuing to climb.
Gaza said to be facing now a catastrophe. But there is certainly concern that we could see further disasters unfolding around the region. We have
seen a flurry of diplomatic activity in the region over the last few days and weeks.
U.S. officials, E.U. officials as well. Even in here in Lebanon, we've seen Josep Borrell as well as the U.S. special envoy.
So, there is concern, but there are certainly a lot of efforts being put in on the diplomatic front to try and defuse the situation as much as
GIOKOS: Right. Nada Bashir for us. Thank you.
Former senior U.S. officials are reaffirming a rock-solid commitment to Taiwan. Over the weekend, Taiwan's ruling party secured a historic third
consecutive presidential term. At the same time, China is warning that any independence efforts will be severely punished.
Meanwhile, the Pacific Island nation of Nauru, says it's severing diplomatic ties with Taiwan. Senior international correspondent Will Ripley
WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: One of the things that the self-governing democracy of Taiwan has long accused the Communist
leaders in Beijing of doing is trying to isolate them diplomatically on the global stage. And here we are just a matter of days after the Democratic
Progressive Party that the Chinese Communist Party openly loads won a historic third consecutive presidential term, President-elect Lai Ching-te,
Vice President Elect Hsiao Bi-khim, both vilified by the Communist Party in Beijing.
Hated by them, certainly no immediate dialogue possible between these two new Taiwanese leaders and the old guard over in the mainland that
definitely didn't want to see them win.
Well, now, you have an example Taiwan says of that diplomatic isolation playing out in real time, because the small Pacific Island nation of Nauru
announced that it is switching diplomatic ties from Taipei to Beijing.
Now, during the last eight years of President Tsai Ing-wen's administration, a total of 10 of these small countries have switched their
Now, Taiwan only has a dozen remaining formal diplomatic allies left, mostly in the Pacific Ocean and Latin America. The reason that these
countries switch ties often has a lot to do with economics.
Taipei says China can make a bigger offer financially and these countries decided it's in their best interest to switch formal recognition. But what
that does is that it leaves Taiwan with fewer and fewer formal diplomatic allies in places like the United Nations even as they continue to invest in
very warm and fruitful friendships with like-minded democracies around the world, including the United States, which sent a delegation here to Taipei
to congratulate the Democratic Progressive Party leadership.
That delegation included the former national security adviser and the former Deputy Secretary of State here in an unofficial capacity. But
nonetheless, sending a very strong signal to Taiwan, that even though it doesn't have a whole lot of formal diplomatic allies left at the behest of
China around the world, they certainly do have a lot of friends.
Will Ripley, CNN, Taipei.
GIOKOS: Well, North Korea says it has successfully tested a hypersonic missile which could become one of the world's fastest and most accurate
weapons. It also has the potential to one day be fitted with a nuclear warhead.
South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff called the launch a clear provocation that seriously threatens the peace and security of the Korean Peninsula.
The U.K. says it is sending 20,000 troops to take part in upcoming NATO exercises across Europe. There will be some of the alliance's biggest
exercises since the Cold War.
The British Defense Secretary says they will provide vital reassurance after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Meantime, Ukraine is claiming a new victory over Russia. The Ukrainian military says it down to Russian aircraft over the Azov Sea.
CNN's Fred Pleitgen is in eastern Ukraine with the latest for us. Look, at a time where Ukraine saw delays in securing its military aid. You've got
these 20,000 strong NATO-force that is going to be embarking on these exercises. Ukraine also say that it had a victory in the Azov Sea. Give me
a sense of where we stand right now. And importantly, Russia's reaction to all of this.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, there, Eleni.
Well, the Russians so far haven't reacted at all to the news that the Ukrainians put out alleging that they had down these two electronic
surveillance planes. And these are really important planes for the Russians and certainly big victories for the Ukrainians if all of this holds true.
One of these planes called an A-50 Beriev, which is essentially a big cargo plane with a lot of electronics inside, and a big radar dish on top that's
a century, a command-and-control posts, but also an electronic surveillance radar plane as well, which the Ukrainian say, has been helping the Russians
to conduct a lot of their area campaign inside Ukraine. To target areas, but also to lead jets to areas that planes would then target.
Now, so far, the Ukrainians are saying that two planes were destroyed. But it seems as though they're couching that a little bit now because there was
a second plane called an IL- 22, which is essentially a flying command post. It's an older plane, but also one that's full of a lot of
electronics. The Russians don't have a lot of that.
One of the things that we've attained now, Eleni, that is what appears to be an escorting Russian jet fighter talking to a control tower inside
Russia saying that this plane has said that it has trouble and that it needs to make an emergency landing I want to listen into that very quickly.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (text): 72014. The aircraft asked to pass on information immediately. (INAUDIBLE) he was hit, plans to land in Anapa. An ambulance
and fire fighters are urgently needed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PLEITGEN: So, the Russians have since then put out a still image of what appears to be the tail piece of that -- of that airplane. That's something
that was on social media. So far, it's unverified whether or not that is actually that IL-22.
But right now, the Ukrainians are saying that one plane was completely destroyed, but the other one appears to have made an emergency landing. The
Ukrainians believe that, that plane suffered substantial damage, might be beyond repair, but it seems as though it was able to make an emergency
Nevertheless, the Ukrainians are saying that this is hugely significant for them. They are saying this operation took place in the Azov Sea, which
itself is quite remarkable because it's pretty far away from anywhere with the Ukrainians would have any sorts of air defenses.
Again, so far, the Russians not commenting on the matter at all. At the same time, though, you can hear from Kyiv, from senior Ukrainian military
officials, saying this was a successful and very important operation for them, Eleni.
GIOKOS: All right. Fred Pleitgen, always great to see you Thank you. Well, it's dangerously cold in the U.S. state of Iowa. Today, temperatures many
of us can't even imagine, and that's may have an impact on the race for the Republican presidential nomination, and we'll explain right after this.
And a tragedy just increased the stakes in the standoff between the White House and the State of Texas. We are live at the U.S. Mexico border just
GIOKOS: In just hours from now, a milestone at the U.S. presidential race at is begins moving into the voting stage. And we're going to see the Iowa
caucuses, the first contest of the race, and we'll see how much the first results in the Republican field.
Match the polls. One wildcard higher, and you're seeing it on the screen right now. The weather. It's hazardously cold in Iowa, wind chill
temperatures could be as low as negative 37 degrees Celsius.
CNN's Eva McKend is in Iowa's capital city, Des Moines. We are seeing the images of the snow and the freezing cold. Couple of questions here. I mean,
how is this going to affect voter turnout at a time where the stakes are really high?
EVA MCKEND, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER: A wildcard indeed, Eleni. But still, the candidates are voicing optimism going into this evening.
MCKEND: Because Iowans take this process so seriously. They feel so honored that Iowa goes first. that sometimes they have the opportunity to hear from
presidential candidates, multiple times within a year that they will, in fact, turnout this evening to caucus.
MCKEND (voice over): The 2024 presidential race is heating up. Its temperatures are dropping in Iowa.
NIKKI HALEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Get excited!
MCKEND (voice over): Iowans are battling snow and below zero temperatures, as they head out to caucus in the first voting event to determine the
Republican nominee for president.
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: So, brave the weather and go out and save America.
MCKEND (voice over): Iowa's GOP chairman, predicting a robust voter-turnout despite frigid temperatures. The remaining candidates holding their final
campaign events in the Hawkeye State over the weekend.
GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have the ability -- here in Iowa, you have the ability to change the trajectory of American
MCKEND (voice over): And making their final pitches to caucus goers.
VIVEK RAMASWAMY, ENTREPRENEUR & PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: By the way, in this late phase, we have seen a tidal wave hit the last 48 hours. I think we're
with the Iowa caucus.
HALEY: You can be the start of the solution that we have. I promise you, our best days are yet to come.
MCKEND (voice over): Former President Trump who holds a commanding polling lead heading into the caucus spent the weekend campaigning in Iowa.
TRUMP: You can't sit home! If you're sick as a dog, you say, darling, I've got a bad day, even if you vote and then pass away, it's worth it.
MCKEND (voice over): During his rally, he targeted former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who is in a distant fight for second place.
TRUMP: But she is not right to be president. I know it very well. Wrong -- the wrong thought process, the wrong policy, and honestly, she is not tough
HALEY: No one ever questions my toughness. He's saying this because now he knows he's in trouble. Now, he knows this is becoming a two-person race.
So, I know that what -- that he knows the truth, it doesn't bother me at all.
MCKEND (voice over): Trump also picked up important endorsements on the eve of the caucus, including North Dakota governor and former presidential
candidate Doug Burgum, and Florida Senator Marco Rubio.
HALEY: I don't line up a bunch of endorsements. To do that, I want to win the people's vote. Because at the end of the day, they are the ones that
I'm going to be serving.
MCKEND (voice over): Florida Governor Ron DeSantis also faced criticism from Trump. At his final campaign stop in Iowa, he tried to distinguish
himself from the frontrunner.
DESANTIS: He's running a campaign about putting himself and his issues first. That's what he cares about. You can be the most worthless Republican
in America, but if you kiss the ring, he'll say you're wonderful. You deserve a nominee that's going to put you first, not himself first.
MCKEND (on camera): So, both Haley and DeSantis trying to emerge this evening as the clear Trump alternative. Time will tell which ones Iowans
give that necessary momentum going into the next contest in New Hampshire. Eleni?
GIOKOS: Yes. Eva, great to see you. Thank you.
And, of course, you can watch CNN special coverage of the Iowa caucuses, beginning at 4:00 p.m. Eastern. That's 9:00 p.m. in London.
One major issue in the U.S. presidential campaign, the migrant crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border. This came into sharp and tragic focus in recent
days. Three migrants including two children drowning in the Rio Grande not long after the state of Texas blocked the U.S. Border Patrol from accessing
much of the areas.
CNN's. Rosa Flores joins us now live from Eagle Pass in Texas. It is a tragic story. It is about access to this area. But we know there are
efforts to try and get that back, that access back. Where do we stand right now at the courts?
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, right now, there is still no access. And if you take a look behind me, you'll see razor wire. Normally,
the area behind me is used by federal authorities during migrants' surges has a staging area. It allows them to hold large groups of migrants there,
while they figure out transportation assets to transport them to immigration processing facilities.
Now, right now, the federal government does not have access. It is the state of Texas who has control and custody of that area. And it's not just
that area. It's a public park that has the boat ramp that border patrol uses to launch boats into the river to patrol the river. It is miles of the
Rio Grande that border patrol right now does not have access to.
And the way that you really have to think about this is like this. This is a state government, the state of Texas ordering the Border Patrol agents
not to enter this area.
And now, the border area is jurisdiction for federal authorities because this is where they enforce federal immigration laws. This is where they
apprehend migrants, this is where they inspect them and then they transport them to processing facilities.
And this feud between the state of Texas and the Biden administration has been ongoing. There are various legal battles that are going through the
courts right now.
There is the controversial border buoys, there is the razor wire, those are just south of the river from where I am. There's the controversial
immigration law that the state of Texas recently passed. That is also caught in a legal battle.
But this really escalates the situation, Eleni, because there are deaths, there is tragedy. A migrant mom and her two children drowned over the
weekend. And the Department of Homeland Security says that border patrol was not provided access during the distress call that came in from Mexican
Now, the Texas military department denies that. Says that they -- that is inaccurate, that, that is flat out wrong. We are trying to sort out the
details and trying to figure out the timeline of exactly what happened. But that gives you a sense of the escalation here.
The Biden administration for its part has gone to the U.S. Supreme Court has asked the High Court of the land to intervene. The State of Texas has
responded saying that it's working to provide access to that public park, to that boat ramp that I just told you about.
And now, we're learning that the Department of Homeland Security has issued a cease-and-desist letter to the state of Texas, ordering it to give it
access. And Eleni, here is the thing, not just access to all the things that I've already listed, but access to federal property.
This is the federal government take telling a state you got to give us access to our land, to our own property, because right now, according to
this letter sent by DHS, they don't have access to federal land. And the federal government right now giving the state of Texas a deadline of
Wednesday, saying that if they don't get access to the border to the miles of the Rio Grande, to their federal property and if the border barriers are
not removed, that they plan to take the matter to the Justice Department, which is short speak for they plan to file a lawsuit. Eleni?
GIOKOS: Yes. Rosa Flores for us. Thank you.
Well, in Guatemala a new president has taken the reins, Bernardo Arevalo was sworn in after midnight in the country's capital, following a nine-hour
delay. The inauguration ceremony took place after a long debate in the opposition-controlled Congress, whose members needed to be sworn in before
The holdup sparked protests outside Congress as supporters of our Arevalo were seen scuffling with police. Several world leaders and delegates who
travelled to Guatemala for the inauguration voiced their support for the new leader.
Now, just ahead on CONNECT THE WORLD, could Iceland be getting a break, as lava flows from that nation's latest volcanic eruption? We'll bring you
those details in just a moment.
GIOKOS: Welcome back to CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Eleni Giokos in Abu Dhabi. As tensions rise in and around the Red Sea, the U.K. maritime security
agency says it's received a report of a vessel head from above by a missile off the coast of Yemen.
And global maritime risk management firm, Ambrey, says it is aware of an incident where a U.S.-owned cargo ship was reportedly struck. It comes days
after the U.S. and U.K. struck Houthi targets in Yemen.
Earlier, U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said those strikes had been a last resort, but that they were necessary to send a strong message that attacks
on commercial shipping are unacceptable. He is due to speak to the House of Commons on the issue very shortly. We are monitoring those live pictures
Now, the flow of lava in southwest Iceland is decreasing. That is what we're hearing from the country's national broadcaster. This update comes as
people have been rushing to get out of the fishing town of Grindavik, where molten lava has reached their community. a volcanic crack open just north
of the town caused by the second eruption this area has seen in weeks. Lava has been burning houses and the town is under evacuation orders.
I want to bring in Barbie Nadeau. She is standing by for us. We are seeing these dramatic images coming through. We know that the town had to
Officials say that this poses no threat to people and people's lives. But this is a very sad serious issue for this very small town.
BARBIE NADEAU, CNN REPORTER: Yes, you know it is really devastating. And these images that you see are just shocking, seeing those houses go up in
flames. You know, it's interesting is in December -- and December 18th, when the last -- is the last time this volcano or this part of the volcano
erupted, officials there tried to build these retaining walls to try to divert the flow of lava.
And that has, to some extent, save the center of the town. The houses you see burning are on the outskirts of town. And, you know, most of the people
have been evacuated by now. And officials, you know, are worried, of course, about the infrastructure and about livestock and agricultural land,
and things like that.
You know, volcanoes erupt in two different ways. They either shoot up hot ash and rocks into the sky and, you know, cloud the area around it. We've
seen that in Iceland before where they've had to stop air travel over the area.
This is a different type of volcanic eruption. These are these fissures or these cracks that have opened in this area of the volcano that are spewing
And of course, it's not that difficult to get out of the way. It's very slow-moving lava, but it is just devastating for the infrastructure, for
the housing, for the agriculture.
And of course, authorities have no way of predicting, you know, just how long this will last. Now, we've heard that the lava flow has slowed to some
extent. But of course, it could pick up again, there's just no way to predict what Mother Nature has in store. Eleni.
GIOKOS: Indeed, Barbie Nadeau for us. Thank you.
White hearts global problems are sitting front and center in the frosty snow of Davos. The World Economic Forum is wondering if 2024 will be what
it calls a year of permacrises.
As many of the world's richest and most powerful people arrived for the forum's annual gathering, the world is facing big challenges: Two major
wars and the climate emergency looming large.
In the face of so many challenges, the forum's founder Klaus Schwab, tells my colleague Richard Quest, what this week's gathering is a good place to
confront the world's toughest challenges. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KLAUS SCHWAB, CHAIRPERSON, WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM: It's time where you want to meet, or you want to figure out what's really going on. And Davos, of
course, bringing together 50 heads of state, 300 ministers, 1.500 business leaders, all the (INAUDIBLE) representatives of civil society loves young
people and so on.
It creates a kind of pot, which is boiling, and you may get some better knowledge about what's going on.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: So, what's the biggest risk that we face?
SCHWAB: I think the biggest risk we face is that we lose hope and that we lose trust, trust into our institutions, and particularly trust in our
capability to shape a better future.
We have become too much pessimist. Look human kind was driven. So, what's a paradigm see as an additive to take careful for the next generations, to
take care of the neighbors, and we have lost this capability to a certain extent.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RISHI SUNAK, PRIME MINISTER, UNITED KINGDOM: -- 25 illegal and unacceptable attacks on commercial shipping in west --
GIOKOS (voice over): Right. We taking you now to the House of Commons where we're hearing Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, speaking in. Let's listen in.
SUNAK: They fired on our ships and our sailors. It was the biggest attack on the Royal Navy for decades. And so, we acted. We did so in self-defense
consistent with the U.N. Charter, and to uphold freedom of navigation, as Britain has always done.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes!
SUNAK: Alongside the United States with support from Australia, Bahrain, Canada, and the Netherlands, we ordered the RAF to strike two Houthi
military facilities in Yemen. I want to be clear that these were limited strikes. They were carefully targeted at launch sites for drones and
ballistic missiles to discredit -- to degrade the Houthis capacity to make further attacks on international shipping.
I can tell the House today that our initial assessment is that all 13 plan targets were destroyed. At the drone and cruise missile base in Bani, nine
buildings were successfully hit. A further three buildings were hit at Abbs airfield, along with a cruise missile launcher caught in the open. We have
seen no evidence thus far of civilian casualties, which we took great care to avoid.
I know the whole House will join me in paying tribute to the incredible bravery and professionalism of all our servicemen and women.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE).
SUNAK: The need to maximize the security and effectiveness of the operation meant that it was not possible to bring this matter to the House in
advance. But we took care to brief members before the strikes took place, including you, of course, Mr. Speaker and the leader of the opposition, and
I've come to the House at the earliest possible opportunity.
Mr. Speaker, I do not take decisions on the use of force lightly that's why I stressed that this action was taken in self-defense.
It was limited, not escalatory. It was a necessary and proportionate response to a direct threat to U.K. vessels and therefore to the U.K.
And Mr. Speaker, let me be absolutely clear why the Royal Navy is in the Red Sea. They are there as part of Operation Prosperity Guardian,
protecting freedom of navigation as a fundamental tenet of international law.
The Houthis attack on international shipping have put innocent lives at risk. They have held one crew hostage for almost two months, and they are
causing growing economic disruption. Global commerce cannot operate under such conditions. Containers and tankers are having to take a 5,000-mile
detour around the Cape of Good Hope. That pushes up prices and imperils the passage of goods, foods, and medicines that the British people and others
We have attempted to resolve this through diplomacy. Often numerous international calls for the attacks to stop, a coalition of countries gave
the Houthis a clear and unambiguous warning two weeks ago. Last week, the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution condemning the attacks and
highlighting the right of nations to defend their vessels and preserve freedom of navigation. Yet, the Houthis continued on their reckless path.
Mr. Speaker, we shouldn't fall for their malign narrative that this is about Israel and Gaza. They target ships from around the world. We continue
to work towards a sustainable ceasefire in Gaza and to get more aid to civilians. We also continue to support a negotiated settlement in Yemen
Civil War. But I want to be very clear that this action is completely unrelated to those issues.
It is a direct response to the Houthi's attacks on international shipping. And we should also recognize the risks of inaction. It would weaken
international security and the rule of law. Further damage freedom of navigation in the global economy and send a dangerous message that British
vessels and British interests are fair game. And there is another point here, which is often overlooked.
The Houthis attack risks worsening the dire humanitarian situation in Yemen itself. The U.K. helps to feed around 100,000 Yemenis every month, with aid
arriving via the very sea routes that the Houthis have in their sights.
So, Mr. Speaker, the threats to shipping must cease. Illegally detained vessels and crews must be released. And we remain prepared to back our
words with actions.
But Mr. Speaker dealing with this threat does not detract from our other international commitments. Rather, it strengthens our determination to
uphold fundamental U.N. principles. If our adversaries think that they can distract us from helping Ukraine by threatening international security
elsewhere, they could not be more wrong.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, yes.
SUNAK: On Friday, I travel to Kyiv to meet President Zelenskyy and address the Ukrainian parliament. I took a message from this House to the Rada that
we will stand with Ukraine today, tomorrow, and for as long as it takes. If Putin wins in Ukraine, he won't stop there, and other malign actors will be
emboldened. That's why Ukraine security is our security.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, yes.
SUNAK: That's why the U.K. will stay the course. And it's why I'm confident that our partners share our resolve. And so far from our resolve faltering,
our military support to Ukraine will increase this year.
We will provide the single biggest package of defense aid to Ukraine since the war began worth 2-1/2 billion pounds. This will include more air
defense equipment, more anti-tank weapons, more long-range missiles, thousands more rounds of ammunition and artillery shells, training for
thousands more Ukrainian servicemen and women.
And the single largest package of advanced drones given to Ukraine by any nation. All of this is on top of what we have already provided to support
Ukraine. In total since the war began, the United Kingdom will have provided almost 12 billion pounds of aid to Ukraine. We were the first to
train Ukrainian troops. First in Europe to provide lethal weapons, first to commit main battle tanks, first to provide long range missiles, and now, we
are the first to keep the promise made at last year's NATO Summit alongside 30 other countries to provide new bilateral security commitments.
GIOKOS: All right. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak there, speaking at The House of Commons, committing to more aid for Ukraine.
And talking about that if Putin wins, he will not stop there.
But importantly, Rishi Sunak, also took us through the U.S.-led coalition to strike back Houthi assets in Yemen, to try and ease what we've been
seeing over the past few weeks. And frankly, since the war began, between Israel and Gaza, the disruption of trade and vessels -- attacking vessels
by Houthi rebels in the Red Sea.
He says that this was all a part of a defense strategy. And also saying that he couldn't take this decision to the House of Commons because it was
a security risk.
We've got Clare Sebastian, following developments for us from London. Clare, we've been hearing now from Rishi Sunak important messaging coming
through. Also, justifying why the U.K. was involved in this a U.S.-led strike in Yemen, justifying this saying it is important to try and figure
out a way to secure that Red Sea line, and the Royal Navy important parts of that.
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Eleni. I think you've got a measure the delicateness of this action in this operation, and the language
that he used, he stressed that it was limited, that it was proportionate, specifically, saying, not escalatory. This is what the U.S.-led coalition
is grappling with. How to deter and degrade the Houthi's capabilities to continue to attack shipping in the Red Sea, while not creating another
flashpoint, another potential front in the Middle East, which is, of course one of the biggest fears that the West has alongside, of course, the war
between Israel and Gaza.
So, he said that their initial assessment of the U.K. action is that all 13 planned targets were hit. The U.S. has said that they are also still
assessing the effectiveness of what happened last week, how effective it was, integrating the Houthis' actions.
And I think, you know, case in point, just about an hour or so, before Rishi Sunak came out and made that statement, we got reports coming in that
the U.S. Central Command has now confirmed to the -- that a Houthi anti- ship ballistic missiles struck a U.S. owned and operated vessel, just off Aden in Yemen -- in the Gulf of Aden.
That is not adjacent to Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen, but it does fit a pattern, and the U.S. is now attributing that to the Houthis. So, this
continues, it's clear that the operation to try to stop these attacks on shipping in the Red Sea is not yet done. But for Rishi Sunak, an important
moment here. This is the first time he's authorized military action as prime minister, and now standing before his parliament to justify that. He
is likely to get questions on this from M.P.s, Eleni?
GIOKOS: Yes, really good point. I mean, he also said that they did try resolve this diplomatically. Interesting choice of words as you say. Claire
Sebastian there for us in London.
We're going to a short break. I'll be back right after this.
In Iran, two journalists have been temporarily released on bail. That is according to state-run media. Niloufar Hamedi and Elaheh Mohammadi had been
held for their coverage of the death of Mahsa Amini. They are waiting for a verdict on their appeals and have been banned from leaving the country.
Amini's death in 2022, while in the custody of Iran's morality police sparked nationwide protests over the country's treatment of women. We are
following the fallout.
In the meantime, in Turkey, from two Israeli football players who showed support for the hostages taken by Hamas from Israel. The top tier club
Antalyaspor says it's working to terminate the contract of Sagiv Jehezkel and he was detained and released by police after showing his bandaged hand
with a message supporting Israeli hostages that happened on the pitch, Sunday.
Meantime another club says it has launched an investigation into play Eden Karsev for a post on his social media accounts.
That to Istanbul and CNN correspondent Scott McLean joins us now. Of course, this is really big news coming out of the world of sports. This is
where sports and politics collide. Give us a sense of why Turkey and the Turkish Federation are doing that strike now. What is the reasoning?
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. So, let me set the scene for you.
So, this happened last night. This was a game between Antalyaspor and Trabzonspor, two of the biggest clubs in Turkish football. Near the top of
the table, both of them, and so, there were a lot of eyeballs on this when Antalyaspor scored a goal to tie the match. that goal scored by the Israeli
player that you mentioned, Sagiv Jehezkel, and afterwards, he held up his bandaged wrist, and he had written a Star of David on there, and then a
message that said 100 days 7/10. Clearly a message to the -- or in reference to the October 7th terror attack, and the war that has followed
which as of Sunday has lasted 100 days.
This is very controversial in Turkey for two reasons. First, football is intensely political here, way more than most other countries. And second
off, Turkey has made very clear, at least the government has made clear that is squarely on the side of the Palestinians.
The president has even gone as far as saying that Hamas is not a terror group. So, as a result of this, Antalyaspor has booted Jehezkel from the
team. They say they won't tolerate this kind of thing, even if it cost them on the pitch, and it will.
And just 13 games, he scored six goals this year. And the reality though is that, that is sort of the least of his worries. He was also detained and
questioned by police for the crime of publicly inciting the public to hatred and hostility. The justice minister said that this was an ugly
action supporting the massacre committed by Israel in Gaza.
Now, he has left the country as of about an hour and a half ago or so according to the Turkish interior minister. But Jehezkel, at least
according to the statement that he gave police who being reported by TRT, the Turkish broadcaster, seems to indicate that this maybe was all a
He said this, "I did not make anything to incite or provoke anyone. I am not a pro war person. And after all, there are really soldiers captured in
Gaza. I am someone who believes that this 100-day period should end now. I want the war to end that's why I showed this sign."
Obviously, Eleni, this has sparked a lot of outrage in Israel. The defense minister said that Turkey is the executive arm of Hamas, that Israeli
foreign minister said that "Turkey has become a dark dictatorship, working against inhumane values and sports values."
It's also worth noting that Jehezkel actually sat out the initial few games after the October 7th attack and after the war began because he didn't want
to sit through the moment or minute of silence for Palestinians. That was going on at the beginning of those games. Eleni.
GIOKOS: All right. Scott, very quickly. What do we know about a second Israeli player under investigation by the club as well?
MCLEAN: Yes. So, this player is named Eden Karzev. He plays with a team based in the suburbs of Istanbul called the chakra here and he one of his
social media posts has gotten him in hot water. The club says that they violated the club's disciplinary instructions, that contradicts the
sensitivities of our country, according to their statement.
Now, they didn't actually specify the specific post. But TRT reported that he had reposted something that drew
country according to their statement. Now, they didn't actually specify the specific posts, but TRT reported that he had reposted something that drew
attention to the 100 days since the war began since those hostages has been taken with the #bringthemhomenow.
Again, I've reached out to Basaksehir today trying to get clarification on exactly how this may have violated their policy if in fact, that is the
tweet in question, or the social media posting question, this was posted on Instagram, Eleni?
GIOKOS: All right. Scott, thank you so much. I'll be back after the short break. Stay with us.
GIOKOS: Sunday marked a bittersweet, yet historic day in the Kingdom of Denmark where the beloved Queen Margrethe II, formerly abdicated the throne
to the eldest son, the newly crowned King Frederik X. He and his wife Queen Mary have proven to be popular in their own rights.
Michael Holmes has a look at the events of the day.
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: With the stroke of a pen, Queen Margrethe of Denmark ended her reign of more than five decades,
voluntarily giving up her position, so, her son King Frederik could ascend the throne.
Thousands of well wishes cheered as the new king and his wife Queen Mary wave to the crowds who gathered despite the cold weather.
KING FREDERIK HOPES "TO BECOME A UNIFYING KING OF TOMORROW (through translator): Today, the throne is passed on. My hope is to become a
unifying king of tomorrow.
And historic transition even though there was no crowning ceremony. No monarch in Denmark has abdicated in nearly 900 years.
It was little more than two weeks ago, the now former queen set the stunning succession in motion.
QUEEN MARGRETHE II, FORMER QUEEN OF DENMARK (through translator): I will step down as Queen of Denmark. I will hand over the throne to my son, Crown
HOLMES: In royal circles, abdication is rare, but not unheard of. In 2019, Emperor Akihito of Japan abdicated in favor of his son.
Five years earlier, King Juan Carlos of Spain also gave up his crown. He said, it was time for a new era. But he was also plagued by a series of
In 2013, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands stepped down following the tradition of her mother and grandmother, who both abdicated later in life.
Until recently, there was no indication Margrethe would follow suit. She said health issues have made her think twice about the future. Perhaps, not
only for herself, but the country.
LARS HOVBAKKE SORENSON, HISTORIAN: She wants maybe to avoid a British situation where Prince Charles became King Charles when he was more than 70
Frederik is 55 years old.
HOLMES: Denmark's new King Frederik X will be roughly the same age as some of his contemporaries. King Felipe of Spain is 55. King Willem-Alexander of
the Netherlands is 56. All younger than the long serving monarchs like King Harald of Norway who is 86 years old and King Carl Gustaf of Sweden who's
HOLMES: Royal watchers say King Frederik's rain will likely be a more modern one, focused on lifestyle issues, the environment, and social
SORENSON: He is much more interested in sport and in modern music while his mother, Margrethe, has had always an interest in classical music and arts,
in literature, in (INAUDIBLE).
HOLMES: And the people overwhelmingly support him. According to Reuters, a recent survey says 82 percent of Danes expect the new king to do well or
very well in his new role.
His Australian-born wife, Mary faring even better at 86 percent.
GIOKOS: And finally, German farmers are capping off a week of protests with a show of solidarity in Berlin, a crowd of about 10,000 and their tractors
plans to take over the Capitol.
And the demonstrations are planned across the country as well. The farmers are protesting against the government's plans, subsidy cuts of diesel.
Well, that's it for CONNECT THE WORLD. Stay with CNN, I'm Eleni Giokos. "STATE OF THE RACE" with Casey Hunt is up next.