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U.N. Official: Israel is "Destroying" Gaza's Food System; Israel's Spy Chief Proposed Hamas Leaders Leave Gaza as part of Broader Ceasefire Talks; Protester with Mental Disability Executed; Ukrainian Troops Face Critical Supply Shortages; "Barbie", "Oppenheimer", "Killers of the Flower Moon" to do well; Hollywood's Big Early Morning Wake-up: Surprise? Snubs? Aired 9-10a ET

Aired January 23, 2024 - 09:00   ET




ELENI GIOKOS, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: This is the scene in Hampton, New Hampshire as you can see Nikki Haley just casting her votes. And of

course, this is the ballot in the state's primary. A big day, all eyes will be on the show and how she fares against Former President Donald Trump for

the Republican nomination. It is at 9 am there and we're following that story very closely and it is 6 pm here in Abu Dhabi, I'm Eleni Giokos, this

is "Connect the World".

Also happening over the next two hours, Israel's military suffers its biggest single loss of life since the start of the war with Hamas, as the

death toll among Palestinians in Gaza passes 25,000 and the worsening humanitarian crisis will be speaking with the U.N. Special Rapporteur for

the occupied Palestinian territories. And Russia has launched a wave of aerial attacks on cities across Ukraine.

Welcome to the show, and Israel's military is calling it the biggest loss of life since the start of the war with Hamas. The IDF says 21 soldiers

were killed in Central Gaza Monday, when a pair of two storey buildings exploded and collapsed. Now it happened very close to the Israel-Gaza

border just 600 meters from an Israeli kibbutz.

A spokesperson says its likely explosives. The soldiers were lying to demolish the buildings went off after a tank protecting the soldiers was

hit by a rocket propelled grenade. Now that news coming as the IDF says Khan Yunis in Southern Gaza is now surrounded by Israeli troops.

We've got all those lines for you with Jeremy Diamond who is in Tel Aviv. He's got more on both of those stories. Look, we know that Benjamin

Netanyahu is calling the death of those 21 soldiers one of the most difficult days since the start of the conflict. What more do we know?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, I mean, when you think about the scale of this single day, 24 soldiers killed 21 in a single

incident that represents about 10 percent of all of the Israeli soldiers killed in action since the beginning of this war. And so that is having

enormous reverberations here in Israel is such a small country, where nearly everyone has a relative or a friend who is currently serving in the

Israeli military.

What we understand from this single incident in which 21 soldiers were killed, they were about 600 meters away from Israel inside central Gaza,

where they were working to create what the Israeli military is calling a buffer zone, demolishing buildings clearing Hamas infrastructure to try and

make it safer for Israeli civilians living in Israel near the border with Gaza, to make it safer for them to return to their homes.

And what we understand is around 4 pm, yesterday, an RPG was fired towards a tank in that area. And at the same time, there was an explosion in two

storey buildings where those soldiers were operating. We understand that two soldiers were killed inside that tank 19 of them killed inside those

two buildings.

It's not clear exactly whether that RPG caused those explosions in that building. But it is something that the Israeli military is currently

investigating. Now, even as this incident happens, the Israeli military is also undergoing a major offensive right now, in the Southern City of Khan

Yunis in Gaza, where the Israeli military says that it is working to dismantle Hamas's Khan Yunis brigade, one of the most significant brigades

that Hamas operates in Southern Gaza.

They say they've been circled this refugee camp. They say they've killed dozens of militants over the past 24 hours. But we do know that there is

very intense fighting in Khan Yunis between the Israeli military and those Hamas militants, which is really worsening the humanitarian situation in

that area where there are not only several hospitals.

But also the headquarters of the Palestine Red Crescent Society and thousands of displaced Palestinians who have sought shelter at the Al

Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis. The Israeli military has ordered that hospitals evacuation but a doctor at the hospital telling CNN that, that is

very difficult at the moment because of the heavy fighting and because so many of the roads around that hospital are now blocked, Eleni.

GIOKOS: Right, Jeremy Diamond in Tel Aviv for us, thank you. Meantime, one U.N. official says Israel is intentionally destroying Gaza's food system.

In a post on X on Monday, U.N. Special Rapporteur on the right to food said quote, it's unprecedented to make an entire civilian population going to go

hungry this completely and quickly.


Israel is destroying Gaza's food system. Israel is intentionally imposing a high rate of disease prolonged malnutrition, dehydration and starvation by

destroying civilian infrastructure. Now some of those lucky enough to have access to food are forced to burn schoolbooks just to cook the most basic


Others bury their loved ones, using only their bare hands and a lack of clean water is spreading disease. CNN's Ben Wedeman looks at the parts of

Gaza now facing the brunt of Israel's operation.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): By hand they bury the white shrouded body of a young girl on the grounds of the

Nasser hospital in Khan Younis, the soft sand at the hospital, one of the only safe places to put the dead to rest. The girls suffocated they

couldn't save her says her grandmother --

Khan Yunis is now the focus of Israel's offensive in Gaza, where Israel believes some of the hostages as well as some of Hamas's Leaders are

located. But after weeks of intense operations, they found neither. The war is well into its fourth month. Israeli Leaders warn it could go on until

years end. The prospect of an early halt to fighting brushed aside by the White House.

JOHN KIRBY, COORDINATOR FOR STRATEGIC COMMS AT U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL: We have believed a ceasefire is going to be to the benefit of

anybody but Hamas.

WEDEMAN (voice-over): Some in Gaza might beg to differ. Israeli forces have pulled out for now from parts of Central Gaza. And then Nuseirat refugee

camp people search for what's left of their shattered lives for perhaps just scraps of firewood. Hundreds of thousands have taken refugee now

overcrowded U.N. schools.

Officials warned that lack of sanitation, clean water, medicine and proper shelter is leading to the spread of disease. Oh Muhammad fled here with her

family only defined no space. Where's their shelter where we can stay, she asks? We're not the Hamas people they're talking about.

We just want to live like everyone else. By Elbridge camp, at another U.N. shelter schoolbooks keep the fire going to cook a meal. It was a nightmare

here while the fighting raged nearby, a nightmare that for some isn't over. My father's gone. My father the pillar of my life is gone says 11 year old

Khuddam Hussain.

How can I live without him after the war? His father's body and others lies in Gaza's soft sand behind the school. No gravestone just names spray

painted on the wall. Ben Wedeman, CNN reporting from Beirut.


GIOKOS: Some of the very Hamas Leaders behind the October 7th attacks would be able to walk out of Gaza and a proposal by Israel. Sources tell us the

idea was floated by Israel's Intelligence Chief as part of a broader ceasefire proposal. Those leaders would include Yahya Sinwar, who you see

here and who the Israeli Prime Minister has described as a dead man walking.

CNN's exclusive reporting comes from Alex Marquardt. And he joins us now from Washington. I mean, the big question, Alex has always been, you know,

where to find out what is the next proposal? What will be on the table for some kind of ceasefire? And of course, the mediation efforts and what those

are going to look like, tell me what you discovered?

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, and Eleni we're tracking this as best we can the proposals, the counter proposals

between Israel and Hamas. And what was really remarkable about is this is something that we haven't heard before. What we have been hearing from

Israeli officials is that their goal in this war is complete victory over Hamas to eradicate Hamas.

And yet, we have the Israeli Intelligence Chief, I'm told who is raising the possibility of essentially allowing these Hamas Leaders in Gaza to walk

away, to leave which would be incredible, you think about the orchestrators, the planners of the deadliest day in Israeli history,

essentially allowed to leave the Gaza Strip and go elsewhere.

Now, Israel would argue that it would be to their benefit, because it would weaken Hamas in Gaza. It would also allow them to draw these top leaders

out of the tunnels that they're believed to be hiding in, and perhaps target them elsewhere in the world. Israel has made no secret of the fact

that they plan to mount a global operation to take out Hamas Leaders around the world.

But Eleni, I think it really speaks to the enormous pressure that Prime Minister Netanyahu finds himself under right now to get the hostages home

and that will have to come Hamas says along with a ceasefire.


We have a new reporting by our colleague Barak Ravid over at Axios, who says that Israel has proposed a two month ceasefire, a two month pause in

the fighting to get the hostages home. That's the longest period that Israel has proposed so far. I think it also speaks to the fact that Israel

has made relatively little inroads when it comes to destroying Hamas.

You have the top leadership of Hamas in Gaza, you mentioned. Yahya Sinwar the top official. There's also Mohammed Deif, the Head of the Military Wing

and others in that highest echelon, they are still alive and they are still fighting. Also, by Israel's own estimate, some 70 percent of Hamas's

fighting force is still on the battlefield.

So this offer is quite remarkable. It is, however, quite unlikely to be accepted. Officials, who I speak with, say that it is very unlikely that

Sinwar, Deif and others would accept this kind of offer. They are believed to want to stay on the battlefield and essentially fight to the death if

need be against their sworn enemy, Eleni.

GIOKOS: Yeah, really good point. I mean, the question is, you know, how would Hamas respond? And I think you've answered that it's just very

unlikely that they would even consider this. Alex Marquardt, great reporting thank you so much. Well, as Iran has been flexing its power

around the region Tehran is continuing its crackdown at home.

This morning, Iran executed Mohammad Ghobadlou in connection with anti- government protests that occurred following the death of Mahsa Amini in 2022. Iran sentence Ghobadlou to death for killing a police officer and

injuring five others during those protests. Ghobadlou's mother appealed to the victim's family to spare her son from death row.


MASOMEH AHMADI, MOHAMMAD GHOBADLOU MOTHER: Please forgive my son, my sick son, to his veteran father.


GIOKOS: Well, joining me now CNN's Jomana Karadsheh, she has extensively covered Iran's protests. And of course, what we've been seeing in the

aftermath of the protest action, Jomana really sad news. Of course, the execution this morning, you hear the pleas from his mother, and frankly

many images coming through in the lead up to this execution.

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know Eleni, shock and outrage from so many Iranians inside the country, outside the country, as

well as human rights activists and others around the world as the news broke of this execution of this young man, Mohammed Ghobadlou.

He's in his early 20s he had a mental health condition according to Amnesty International. And as you mentioned, there, Ghobadlou was one of many

protesters who were rounded up by the Iranian regime following the 2022 protests that were sparked by the death of Mahsa Jina Amini that became

known as the woman life freedom uprising in Iran.

And you have these trials that were described by human rights organizations as sham trial, speedy trials and the regime accused of using them to

instill fear in people and essentially use them to suppress the protests. In the case of Muhammad Ghobadlou he was convicted of two crimes under

Iranian law.

One was corruption on earth, which many protesters faced as well as intentional murder, accused of running over and killing a police officer

during the protests. Now, it's not just the accusations and the allegations that he was facing, Eleni. That was the issue. It is Iran's judicial

process, the legal process in the country that human rights organizations would tell you are flawed.

Where you have is these trials that have been described as show trials as well. The judge that presided over one of his trials Abolqasem Salavati, a

notorious judge, sanctioned by the United States, known as the judge of death because of the sheer number of death sentences that he's handed down

to protesters over the years.

And Amnesty International over the past more than 12 months has been pushing this campaign to try and stop the executions of many Iranian

protesters, including Ghobadlou. And in his case, they have raised very serious concerns about his mental health condition and about his situation

as well as his trial.

Amnesty International has said that they described his trials both trials of Sham, unfair trials marred by torture, tainted confessions and failure

to order rigorous mental health assessments despite his mental disabilities, and also pointing out that international law and standards

prohibits the use of the death penalty against people with mental disabilities.


And, you know, despite that, this campaign and what we saw last night this really surprising, shocking last minute announcement that came through his

lawyer that he was notified about this imminent execution. There was this real push by Amnesty by members of different European Parliaments and

others to try and stop his execution.

You had his mother would that appeal that you had mentioned there absolutely heartbreaking taking a huge risk over the past year, his mother

speaking out publicly begging the regime to spare her son's life. And then you had the regime, of course, go ahead and carry out this execution,

despite the hopes of many late last night as this news came out.

But the execution was imminent, that somehow the international community could put some pressure on the Iranian regime to try and stop the

execution. It went ahead. And you had the heartbreaking scene outside the gates of that prison outside Tehran, where when the news broke and family

members, including his mother, they're crying, wailing and screaming the family of yet another protester is receiving this devastating news.

GIOKOS: Jomana Karadsheh, thank you so much for staying on top of the story for us. New Hampshire is underway with the first Republican presidential

primary. And you can imagine Donald Trump and Nikki Haley are both expecting victory. We'll have the latest from the polls. Plus, right now,

New Hampshire is conducting a 100. All right, we're going to short break actually, we'll see right after this.


GIOKOS: Welcome back. Right now New Hampshire is conducting a 100 plus year tradition with the first presidential primary of 2024. The polls close

later this evening. And it will be after 8 pm. Before predictions for the candidates are made, Donald Trump and Nikki Haley are looking for a victory

and the Republican race to be the nominee.

For the latest, let's go to CNN's Omar Jimenez. He's in Manchester, New Hampshire with the latest. We actually saw images of Nikki Haley casting

her vote in New Hampshire. What can we expect? How the polls looking so far?

OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they've been busy so far, as you can see, behind me it's been a few hours of this particular poll site open in

Manchester, New Hampshire, and folks have been coming in at a pretty steady pace to give you an idea of how this sort of works.

They come into this initial processing table where they're lined up right now. Then they make their way over to what is a secondary table where their

information is confirmed. And then of course, for the final step, they make their way to one of these privacy booths to actually cast their ballot for

President in this primary election.

And of course, it's a state that Donald Trump has held a huge lead in as far as polls go, but for someone like Nikki Haley, she knows that she has a

lot of work to do and she's hoping that the support that she's gotten in the final few days can make the final difference.



JIMENEZ (voice-over): The New Hampshire primary is officially underway with one lone Republican rival remaining against Donald Trump.

NIKKI HALEY, U.S. REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, we've got a lot on the line here.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): Nikki Haley is making her final pitch to New Hampshire voters hoping to stop Trump's March the Republican nomination.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will you marry me?

HALEY: Are you going to vote for me?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to vote for Trump!

HALEY: Oh --

JIMENEZ (voice-over): Overnight, the first primary ballots were cast in Dixville Notch, providing a very early glimmer of hope for Haley, who

picked up all six votes in the small New Hampshire town.

Trump for his part is trying to rally and consolidate Republican support holding his final campaign rally in the Granite State flanked by Former

Republican Candidates offering their endorsement, including Former Republican Candidate and Senator Tim Scott, who just announced his


DONALD TRUMP, 45TH U.S. PRESIDENT: The biggest story out there, he's engaged to be married. We never thought this was going to happen. What's

going on?

JIMENEZ (voice-over): Trump did target Haley during his rally.

TRUMP: The people behind Nikki Haley are pro amnesty, pro-China, pro open borders, pro war, pro Deep State and pro Biden.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): And Haley is trying to make the case that both Trump and Biden are too old to effectively serve four more years.

HALEY: This really is an option. Do you want more of the same? Or do you want to go for?

JIMENEZ (voice-over): And saying she feels Trump has mentally declined.

HALEY: The more you age, it just does you have declined.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): The Democrats are also heading to the polls today. Congressman Dean Phillips has launched a long shot campaign against

President Biden. Phillips is hoping the fact Biden won't appear on the ballot and is relying on right in support could help his chances.

REP. DEAN PHILLIPS (D-MN): The sad truth is I respect the man but Joe Biden is not able to beat Donald Trump in the next election.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): The New Hampshire Attorney General is also investigating a fake robocall that appears to use an AI voice resembling

Biden's urging voters to stay home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's important that you save your vote for the November election. Voting this Tuesday only enables the Republicans in their quest

to elect Donald Trump again.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): It's unclear who's behind the call. Biden's campaign responded to it writing, spreading disinformation to suppress voting and

deliberately undermine free and fair elections will not stand.


JIMENEZ (on camera): And today is a day that so many voters here in this state had been waiting for the better part of a year. And at least the ones

we've spoken to are excited to finally cast their ballots.

GIOKOS: Yeah, Omar Jimenez great to have you on. Thank you so much. And before we leave U.S. politics, we want to tell you about a tiny little town

in the hills of New Hampshire, Dixville Notch, comprised of six registered voters this year who braved the cold January night to cast the first actual

votes of this presidential race.

If you go to you can read all about how and why these dedicated voters do this as well as why the town moderator says that just because

Haley swept -- much as six votes doesn't mean she's a shoo-in to win the state.

Well, moving on and Russia has launched a wave of aerial attacks on cities across Ukraine including Kyiv and Ukraine's second city Kharkiv. The

Ukrainian army's Commander in Chief says 21 of the 41 missiles launched were shut down.

Officials say in Kharkiv the strikes hit a gas pipeline residential buildings and a school. At least five people were killed nationwide. With

major U.S. funding still stalled in Congress ammunition is running low for Ukrainian forces. CNN's Fred Pleitgen takes a closer look at the desperate

situation on the ground.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Artillery is, key as Ukrainian forces tried to hold off massive Russian

assaults on the Eastern Front. But Kyiv's ammo shortages are getting worse by the day. This U.S. provided M109 Paladin Howitzer near Bakhmut is often

silent because they don't have enough shells to target the Russians, the commander tells.

"SKYBA", GUN COMMANDER OF 93RD MECHANIZED BRIGADE: We cannot fulfill our tasks 100 percent, he says.

PLEITGEN (voice-over): Although we really want to my crew and other crews are just waiting for it and are ready to work around the clock. But it gets

even worse. Finally, resupply does arrive but it's only four rounds and this type of ammo won't hurt the Russians much.

PLEITGEN: This really illustrates the shortage that Ukrainians have to deal with. Four rounds that's all they're going to get right now. And by the

way, they're not even explosive rounds. They're smoke rounds.


PLEITGEN (voice-over): These shells will barely explode on impact. It's almost like firing cannon balls in medieval times. But the commander says

sometimes it's all they can do. Every shell that is suitable for the power that we use, he says, it's better than no shells.

The Russians face no such shortages in this area. Ukrainian military intelligence believes Russia produced around 2 million rounds last year and

acquired around 1 million from North Korea. Massive barrages have laid waste to Bakhmut and much of the surrounding area.

At the headquarters of the 93rd mechanized brigade's artillery division, the frustration is palpable. From their drones they can see the Russians

gathered to continue their assaults in Ukrainian positions but they often can't take them out because they need to conserve ammunition, the commander

tells me. The ratio was about ten to one, he says. Ammunition is very important to us.

Russia is a country that produces ammo. They have strategic reserves. Yes they use old Soviet systems but Soviet systems can still kill. Even without

enough ammo the Ukrainian say they are stopping most Russian assaults here and the M109 crew did manage to fire at Russian positions. But they know

they'll need a lot more firepower to stop Russian advances. Fred Pleitgen CNN, near Bakhmut, Ukraine.


GIOKOS: Alright, we're back after a quick break. Stay with us.


GIOKOS: Well, this is "Connect the World" where Wall Street is just about to get going are a few seconds away from the start of trade in New York.

And that's after blow out Monday with both the DOW and the S&P 500 setting new record highs.

And of course we've been seeing so much happening on the markets front. There we go. There it is. The opening bell in New York and that's -- is

that Wayne Johnson? Is that the Rock? Yes it is. He's opening. The markets today in New York City and quite are open, fantastic.


So here are the futures. Let's take a look. Well, now the market has opened. Let's take a look to see how they're doing. They've actually been

playing between positive and negative in the lead up to opening trade. As you can see, DOW is now sitting above 38,000.

We're slightly to the negative but of course, the S&P and NASDAQ are sitting in positive territory. And of course Wall Street was having a very

topsy-turvy start to the year investors also watching for earnings from Netflix due out after the U.S. closing bell.

Just last week Bank of America crowned at the service quote, the king in streaming. Checking Asia, the HANG SENG and SHANGHAI COMPOSITE both rallied

on reports Beijing could act to boost stocks after a painful start to the year, the bigger picture for Chinese stocks is glum. They've lost some $6

trillion in three years, $6 trillion in three years.

The only person to talk about this with we've got Anna Stewart, who's tracking all of this for us, very exciting times. Look, the U.S. markets

are looking really good. And in fact, we just keep hitting interesting levels on the DOW. Is this sustainable, because it really does hinge on

what the Federal Reserve will be doing with those interest rates down the line?

ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, whether or not we'll see the 75 basis point cut through this year. It remains to be seen quite at the start

of the year. I think this is only the 15th trading session that's just begun here. And we've already had multiple record highs for various


Looking a little bit more mixed today. And as you say, I think this is going to be more earnings driven for this week at least because we're not

getting a Fed meeting this week. We're not getting any U.S. jobs data. Netflix, you mentioned also Tesla, Intel quite a big tech focus for the


It has been a very different start of the year though for Chinese equities, what a pivot? Now year-to-date, the SHANGHAI COMPOSITE is down now about

6.5 percent. And this is really just following on from what has been a very disappointing few years.

I think in the last three years $6 trillion has been wiped off Chinese and Hong Kong equities. But if we can show you some of these indices and how

they're performing today, you're going to see a slightly different story led by the HANG SENG up 2.6 percent.

And this is very much on the back of a report from Bloomberg suggesting that some sort of rescue package is being discussed, at least by Beijing

that will try and help bolster confidence in the Chinese stock market to try and bring prices back up.

Now the biggest part of this includes apparently a 2 trillion Yuan fund that's around $278 billion. This would be the offshore accounts being put

together into a fund from Chinese state owned companies using that to buy into stocks onshore in China by the Hong Kong stock exchange, which I think

is why we're seeing the HANG SENG there leading those games.

Now will that be enough? It's interesting. There are so many different elements to the China story at the moment, whether or not as the ongoing

restructuring of the real estate market? Whether it's debt levels? Whether it's looking at the risk of deflation? The declining birth rates and what

that means for us of shrinking workforce, plenty of issues there.

But also the fact that policies recently have been so ideologically driven in Beijing and that's very much scaring off foreign investors. So I'd say

this is clearly having some moves in the markets right now, whether or not that sustained and really turns the story around for Chinese equities. Will

depend I think, Eleni on whether this is piecemeal or whether this is the beginning of something a bit more consistent.

GIOKOS: Yeah. I mean, one thing China is very good at is rescue packages, bailout packages or, you know flooding the market with a bit of money. I

think this perhaps is the start of it and who knows what the results will be, but Anna Stewart always great to have you on, thank you so much.

And we're going to short break ahead in sports a dramatic draw at the African Cup of Nations sends one of the tournament favorites through to the

next round. And we'll have all the details for you, that's coming up next. And speaking of drama, how could Greta Gerwig not be nominated for Best

Director Oscar for "Barbie", a slew of other "Barbie" nominations, but not for the director, that straight ahead.



GIOKOS: It is Hollywood's big early morning wake up every year when -- find out if they are nominated for the award season's most prestigious film

award "The Oscars". As expected "Barbie" got its share of nods, but shockingly not for Best Actress Margot Robbie and Best Director Greta

Gerwig huge snubs.

And as predicted one of the most critically acclaimed films of 2023 "Oppenheimer" racked up a load of nominations. And most are predicting

Christopher Nolan to take home a Best Director Oscar for it. With all the nominations sure things surprises and snubs, we turn to Entertainment

Journalist Segun Oduolowu. He is the Host of "Boston Globe Today" a very good morning, Segun, great to have you on. You woke up early, I'm sure.


GIOKOS: -- to take a look at all the nominee -- nominations. So tell me what do you think?

ODUOLOWU: Well, I know in Abu Dhabi, the weather is usually hot. Here in Boston its freezing but for Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie in LA it is

freezing arctic cold. To freeze out Greta Gerwig from the best director nomination, I think is honestly blasphemous. But this goes to my whole

thought on the Oscars where you are rating art.

How can you say that Greta Gerwig accomplishment doesn't stack up to Christopher Nolan's in "Oppenheimer" or Martin Scorsese in "Killers of the

Flower Moon"? But since we rate art because that's what we do. We give out awards for performances. I think what we're really looking at these Oscars

is hopefully an ushering in big names with big performances right.

So the usual suspects are there, I mentioned Christopher Nolan for "Oppenheimer". In that movie, you've got Cillian Murphy. For Best Actor,

you've got Robert Downey Jr. for Best Supporting Actor. "Killers of the Flower Moon" directed by Martin Scorsese has Robert De Niro in the Best

Supporting Actor category.

But really what is going to be fascinating, I think is the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, because Lily Gladstone has the opportunity to be

the first Native American actress to win an Oscar. She's the first Native American actress to be nominated for an award. She's been nominated for

"Killers of the Flower Moon".

I think since she won from the Golden Globe, she's got a really great chance to make it a clean sweep at the Oscars, but she's going up against

Carey Mulligan, who was an Oscar favorites. She's going up against Annette Bening, whose Hollywood royalty. So snubs aside, the Oscars should be

interesting to see if some big names and some first timers get their love.

GIOKOS: Yeah, exactly. I mean, you also I know that you said Margot Robbie not nominated for an Oscar is very telling. What do you think of the

"Barbie" nominations?

ODUOLOWU: Well, it shows that Hollywood for all of its talk about, you know, the box office should matter. They look down on blockbuster movies.

"Oppenheimer" and "Barbie" brought everybody to the theaters. But as we saw the Golden Globes created an award for box office success, which "Barbie"

clearly won, right? But the Oscars don't look at it that way.

The Oscars like stuff, rate art and think of itself as a prestigious institution for artists. And I think they're looking down on Barbie's box

office success. They're looking at it as just a throw away okay that was interesting movie. And Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie are being punished

for it.


Their performances brought people to the theater that in itself is a tremendous feat. Is "Oppenheimer" more Mifare? Sure. I didn't play with

"Barbie". That's okay.


ODUOLOWU: My daughter does. There has to be room in the academy for all types of movies and the snubbing of Greta Gerwig. And "Barbie" and Margot

Robbie showed that there really isn't.

GIOKOS: Yeah, it's really true. I mean, there's two extremes, right, "Barbie" and "Oppenheimer". What would you say the biggest surprise was the

really kind of shocked you that you didn't expect?

ODUOLOWU: Well, so there are a few performances that I'm so happy were recognized, all right. Jeffrey Wright in "American Fiction", he's an

actor's active, right. And for him to be nominee, for him to get his due, he probably won't win because that again is a stacked category. You know,

you've got Paul Giamatti, Cillian Murphy, that's stacked but his performance is fantastic.

In Best Supporting Actor just the names alone, Ryan Gosling, Sterling K. Brown, Robert De Niro, Mark Ruffalo, like these categories are stacked with

names we know, even though the movies weren't necessarily watched as heavy as "Barbie" and "Oppenheimer".

So I'm just hoping that there will be more diversity like we saw at the Emmys, right, like we saw at the Golden Globes, I'm hoping that the Oscars

will not get a hash tag in 2024 for not being inclusive. I'm hoping that that won't be the case coming off the strike, that actors and actresses

will finally come together.


ODUOLOWU: But you never know with the academy. So watch your love. We call it X now no longer Twitter. But watch your social media feeds because if it

doesn't go the way I think it's going to go, you could get a lot of hash tags about the Oscars being just a little non-spicy.

GIOKOS: Thank you so much Segun, thanks for injecting a lot of excitement into our show today, great to have you on. Thank you so much. Well, lots of

thrills and late match drama at the Africa Cup of Nations with Egypt advancing into the knockout stage, but it was not easy and the team isn't

missing improvement is needed. Patrick Snell joins me now, lots of drama, just talking about the Oscars. But clearly African Cup of Nations has its

own drama.

PATRICK SNELL, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Oh, it really does Eleni. Yeah, absolutely, Egypt breathing a huge sigh of relief because they advance in

this tournament. What do you believe after three straight draws, they're still reeling from the setback of their star player Mohamed Salah, who's

heading back to Liverpool on Wednesday for treatment after that hamstring injury?

But there was so much drama in that 2-2 draw with Cape Verde or two goals in stoppage time. And because Mozambique came back to score two of their

own in stoppage time against Ghana, it meant Egypt advanced a shocking night as well for the host Ivory Coast who had -- that historical loss to

Equatorial Guinea, so many great talking lines on the AFCON Tournament, back to you.

GIOKOS: All right, I'll see you after the break. And I'll be back at the top of the hour, stay with us.