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Connect the World

Ukraine's Army Commander Writes Op-Ed for CNN; Biden Faces Challenges to Forge Coalitions in Key States; School Shooter's Mom to Return to Stand to Face Prosecutors; Candidate Targeted by Deepfakes has AI Warning for U.S.; Bans on Russian Diamonds an Opportunity for Lab-Grown Gems; Tracy Chapman & Luke Combs to Sing "Fast Car" at Grammy's. Aired 9- 10a ET

Aired February 02, 2024 - 09:00   ET




MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR, CONNECT THE WORLD: Hello and welcome to "Connect the World". I'm Max foster in for my colleague Becky Anderson. Coming up

this hour, Ukraine's Army Commander in Chief says it's time to rethink its war strategy in an exclusive op-ed for CNN.

A truck explosion in Nairobi kills three and puts hundreds in hospital. We're live at the scene. And for the first time in the United States, the

mother of a school shooter is on trial for involuntary manslaughter. Prosecutors are cross examining Jennifer Crumbley today.

In an exclusive op-ed for CNN Ukraine's embattled Army Chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi is calling for a wholesale redesign of battlefield operations if

it's to win its war against Russia. He writes that Ukraine must focus more strongly on technology.

And he writes, we must contend with a reduction in military support from key allies grappling with their own political tensions this perhaps an

indirect reference the failure of the U.S. to agree on a new military aid package for Ukraine.

The general's article made no reference to his rocky relationship with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Nor to reports from sources that Mr.

Zelenskyy is about to fire him after four years on the job. Let's bring in CNN's Fred Pleitgen in Kyiv. Fred, just take us through what he says in

this report and why he's putting out in this way.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDET: Yeah, first of all, it's a really interesting essay. And I think really something that

sums up all of his experiences Valerii Zaluzhnyi of course has been the commanding general, the Commander in Chief of Ukrainian military since

Russia started its invasion of Ukraine.

So he's really seen all facets of this war, and especially the way the technology that many people thought was just made for consumers at the

beginning, when all of this started, has really become a staple of the battlefield and something that can turn the tide in certain situations as


I think there are two things that he's sort of coming to terms with or realization that he's coming to terms with, on the one hand Max, it is that

Ukraine is outgunned and will remain outgunned. And also that Ukraine is outmanned, and at least for the foreseeable future, will probably continue

to be outmanned.

One of the things of course, that we've seen, as we've been going along the frontlines here in this country is really a shortage of especially 155

millimeter artillery ammunition for the Ukrainians. And Valerii Zaluzhnyi you know, he has no illusions about the fact that that is going to stay

that way.

You know, that that one quote from the essay where he says that some of the countries that are supporting Ukraine face their own political challenges,

and therefore, they should not bank on getting a lot of weapons in the long term future from these countries.

Now, he's saying that the way to mitigate that is to rely more on unmanned systems as he puts it, both on land in the sea and in the air. And I just

want to read you one quote from he says, attack operations can have psychological objectives. And here, technology boasts an undoubted

superiority over tradition. The remote control of these assets means fewer soldiers in harm's way, thus reducing the level of human losses and


In other words, he's speaking about the use of, for instance, a first person view drones on the battlefield where you have the operators of those

drones maybe a couple of miles back from the battlefield, directing all of this not as many troops in harm's way, of course, very important for the

Ukrainians as they have a lot fewer troops than the Russians have right now in the area of operations pretty much on all front lines.

He says that all of this needs to become part of the Ukrainian military, this needs to be integrated. And this needs to be put into the doctrine

into the administration of the Ukrainian military. There's one really interesting quote that I want to read to you as well.

He says it is to create a completely new state system of technological rearmament. We think the creation of systems -- such a system could be

achieved in five months. Now it's unclear how exactly he would want to do that?

Of course there are still a lot of very traditional heavy weapon elements of the Ukrainian military. Also, it's -- in its command and control

structure. But certainly he seems to outline the -- outline that he believes that in light of some of the shortages that he believes the

Ukrainian military will continue to face that that is the way to go forward if they are to have a chance in the long In terms of the battlefield.


I have to say, this is definitely an extremely interesting essay for those of us who have witnessed this war unfold over the past almost two years and

the role that these modern technologies have played and I highly recommend anybody or everybody who's watching this to read that report on our website

and on our app as well. It certainly is a fascinating one, Max.

FOSTER: Thank you so much Fred. A reminder, you can read the op-ed by the Commander of the Ukrainian Army on CNN's digital platforms. He writes at

length about why he believes it's crucial for Ukraine to adapt to a reduction in aid from his allies as Fred was saying and to focus more on

technology in the war with Russia. His op-ed is an exclusive for CNN.

We are following a developing story out of Nairobi, Kenya too about a gas explosion that's left at these three people dead and 280 others injured.

The Deputy Police Commander or Deputy Police Inspector General rather says the incident happened on Thursday by a truck.

And according to a Kenyan government spokesman, a huge ball of fire was caused by a gas that the truck was carrying. Although it wasn't immediately

clear what kind it was carrying, it apparently exploded at a cookery gas plant around 11 pm Nairobi time. For more on the story and an insight to

the widespread damage Larry Madowo is there at the scene hi, Larry?

LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Max. This is where the fire originated. This is liquefied petroleum gas storage and filling plant. But

it's a dramatic one because the government, the regulator in charge of this industry says the construction permit for this place. They applied three

times and were denied three times in March in June, and in July of last year.

But somehow it still continued to be here, operating in an area which is densely populated. These are homes all around here. And so when that

explosion happened last night, there are people who were wounded and injured all around here because this should not be happening here in the

first place.

But that's just one aspect of it. The petroleum industry of East Africa, which represents other dealers of similar places, says this space will

demolish at least twice before because it's unlicensed, it's illegal. It should not be here, but it was here anyway.

In fact in 2020 there was a criminal case against the owner of this place. He should have gone to jail for five years. But somehow, despite the law,

he only went to jail for a year. And he was allowed to keep some of the tankers. One of the tankers is those that exploded here last night.

But look at this. There's a work permit and risk assessment board here. So this supposed to look official, but obviously it didn't work last night.

There's even a fire assembly point here. And it says that in Swahili, you have to make sure that when you come in here, don't bring anything

incendiary like a matchstick, and make sure you leave your phone by the security there.

And make sure you're wearing PPE, all the rules that were not followed, which led to this tragedy. So many people injured and at least three people

dead. Listen to this one survivor.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The fire caught up with me from almost one kilometer away as I was escaping. The flames from the explosion knocked me down burnt

me on my neck and back as you can see. I decided to use my own means and take myself to the hospital that -- where I got first aid. They injected me

to prevent tetanus and alleviate the pain.


MADOWO: Horrific burns. And the full accounting of why this is allowed to go on for so long will continue for a while. We spoke to one of the

neighbors who say for a few days before the explosion, they could smell gas in the air. And that could explain why the blast radius went so far.

The reason why the construction permit was rejected is because for safety reasons. They're supposed to be some calculations about how far a blast can

go. And they're supposed to calculate that and present it to the regulators and the regulators rejected because there's just too close.

That's why for instance, last night during the explosion, there's a car that came from here, flew several 100 yards away and landed on the rooftop

of a sixth floor building on the other side parts of the car strewn all around here. So when the full accounting is done, there'll be a lot of

answering for the regulators that allowed this to happen and for the administrators that didn't do anything to stop it and maybe save the lives

that could have been saved here, Max.

FOSTER: OK. Larry, thank you so much for that extraordinary scene there. After weeks of pressuring Israel to scale back its military tactics in Gaza

the U.S. is now turning its attention to the West Bank. The Biden Administration has issued sanctions against four Israeli men. It says

carried out violent acts in the West Bank.

The move is aimed at stopping growing settler violence against Palestinians. The State Department says one of the men named initiated of

riots with cars and buildings set on fire resulting in the death of a Palestinian civilian. Jeremy Diamond is in Tel Aviv for us. What do you

make of this move and the impact it'll have Jeremy?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: Well, the United States is clearly trying to bring some accountability to an area where they feel

there has not been enough.


And that is as it relates to Israeli settlers in the West Bank carrying out acts of violence or threats against Palestinians living in that same area.

This executive order will give the United States new tools to cut off some of those settlers from the U.S. financial system to freeze any assets that

they have in the United States and to prevent them from traveling to the U.S. or doing business with Americans.

And then its first swipe at this, the United States is acting against four of those settlers, including one who you just mentioned, has been accused

by the State Department of initiating and leading that riot in Huwara in the West Bank, which resulted in the death of at least one Palestinian


The United Nations has said that since October 7th, there has been a staggering rise in acts of settler violence against Palestinians as well as

Israeli activists who try and advocate on behalf of those Palestinians, with eight Palestinians killed in the West Bank since October 7th.

The Israeli government for its part is effectively saying that they view this as wholly unnecessary. In a statement Prime Minister Benjamin

Netanyahu's office says quote, the overwhelming majority of residents in Judea and Samaria, which is another word for the West Bank, are law abiding

citizens, many of whom are currently fighting to defend Israel.

Israel acts against all Israelis who break the law everywhere. Therefore, exceptional measures are unnecessary. But when you actually look at these

four individuals who have now been sanctioned by the United States, only one of them has actually ever been convicted of a crime based on our search

of Israeli records.

That individual was David -- who initiated and led that right in Huwara. But his conviction actually didn't stem from that act. It stems from a

separate assault back in 2017, when he was convicted three other individuals here do not appear to have ever been convicted of crimes.

But what they have been accused of is assaulting Palestinians in the West Bank, assaulting some of those Israeli activists and also carrying out

threats against Palestinians, forcing or pushing many of them to be displaced from their homes in the West Bank is some of the settlers trying

to expand these Israeli settlements there.

Bezalel Smotrich Israel's Finance Minister, a settler himself has called this an anti-Semitic smear to argue that there is some kind of a settler

violence campaign in the West Bank, despite the fact that it has been well documented. And he is also vowing to continue to advocate for these kinds

of settlements, saying that he will be undeterred and if he himself is sanctioned, then that is simply a price that he is willing to pay, Max.

FOSTER: Jeremy, thank you. Days after a powerful Iran-backed militia in Iraq said it would pause attacks on U.S. forces another is promising that

its attacks will continue. The proxy group -- said it will keep targeting U.S. troops until they withdraw from Iraq and Israeli operations cease in


In the news conference yesterday, the U.S. Defense Secretary addressed the recent attack that killed three American service members in Jordan. He said

a multi-tiered response is in the works.


LLOYD AUSTIN, U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: This particular attack was egregious and that you know the attack was on the sleeping area of one of our base,

it's time to take away even more capability than we've taken in the past.


FOSTER: Well ahead on "Connect the World", new poll numbers in the U.S. show a tight race between presidential front runners and reveal the

challenges that Joe Biden faces in forging a winning coalition. And will this new headset be the Apple -- will ask if Apple's new device is a game




FOSTER: Two new polls are casting uncertainty over the U.S. presidential race. The latest CNN polling shows in a hypothetical general election

matchup, Former President Donald Trump leads President Joe Biden 49 percent to 45 percent. That lead for Trump is slightly outside the poll's margin of


But a poll taken by Quinnipiac University showed President Biden with a six percentage point lead over Trump, more than double the margin of error. The

new CNN poll also has revealing numbers on how Americans view President Biden's response to the Israel Hamas war. Less than 40 percent of

respondents think U.S. assistance to Israel, in the nearly four month old war is right where it should be.

That's roughly matching the proportion of people who approve of how Mr. Biden is handling the war. But if you look closely, the percentage of young

people who fall into that camp is much less. And that highlights a problem for Mr. Biden in battleground states. That was aside the election one of

the biggest is Michigan. Jeff Zeleny explains the difficulties the president faces unfortunately coalition to repeat his 2020 victory there.


REV. CHARLES WILLIAMS, SENIOR PASTOR, KING SOLOMON BAPIST CHURCH: It's like two old -- just the two old white guys -- it out.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF U.S. NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Reverend Charles Williams is bracing for a rematch between Joe Biden and

Donald Trump exhausted at the notion of a nine month battle for the White House.

WILLIAMS: Some may feel I don't have any hope in a Donald Trump or I don't have a hope in a Joe Biden.

ZELENY (voice-over): As pastor of King Solomon Baptist Church in Detroit, Williams was on the front lines of soaring turnout among black voters four

years ago. He believes Biden can't win reelection through fear of Trump alone.

WILLIAMS: It's almost like your big brother and big sister saying the boogeyman is under the bed, the boogeyman is under the bed. Soon or later

you figure you know, is it really a boogie man, you realize, maybe this guy is the boogey man.

ZELENY (voice-over): One of the biggest tests facing the president is piecing together a vast frame coalition, particularly in Michigan. Trump

carried the state in 2016, along with Wisconsin in Pennsylvania, but Biden flipped all three in 2020, a blue wall that led to victory.

His challenges are complicated by anger among Muslims and Arab Americans over the Israel Hamas war made clear by relentless protests. Including

this, the president visited Michigan.

ADAM ABUSALAH, CAMPAIGNED FOR BIDEN IN 2020: He's just not somebody that I can trust.

ZELENY (voice-over): Adam Abusalah worked as a field organizer for the Biden campaign four years ago. He said he will not vote for the president

and again, seeing him as complicit in deaths of innocent Palestinians.

ZELENY: By taking this stand, do you wonder if it will help elect Donald Trump?

ABUSALAH: It probably will. We have seen four years of Trump, we have seen for years of Biden, and people don't really see a difference between their


ZELENY (voice-over): It was nearly four years ago when Biden pointedly presented himself as a bridge to the future.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Look, I view myself as a bridge, not as anything else. There's an entire generation of leaders

you saw stand behind me. They are the future of this country. They're the people --.

ZELENY (voice-over): Those cheers rang out in the gymnasium of Detroit's Renaissance high where the students are now following the presidential


EMANI WILLIAMS, MICHIGAN VOTER: I don't feel like he represents the young voter demographic at all.

ZELENY (voice-over): It's the first time Emani Williams and her friends can vote. Dante Parker said vote for Biden is hardly guaranteed.

DANTE PARKER, MICHIGAN VOTER: Even stuck in the system for far too long. Maybe we need to venture outside of it to really make some pots and

progress now.

ZELENY (voice-over): Well, the Biden campaign tells CNN it will draw sharp distinctions with Trump and earn the support of voters concerned about

their rights, their pocketbooks and our democracy.

NORMAN CLEMENT, FOUNDER, DETROIT CHANGE INITIATIVE: We are not happy with Biden, but we understand that the other option is not an option that's

favorable to us.

ZELENY (voice-over): Norman Clement said voters are eager to hear what Biden would do in a second term, not simply what he's done or tried to do.


ZELENY: Are you more worried about people voting for Trump or more worried about young voters and others not voting at all?

CLEMENT: I'm worried about the protest -- vote. My messages to them are that, we did that in 2016. We held our vote, which folks didn't come out.


ZELENY (on camera): So for the next nine months, there will be a heavy focus on Michigan and those other blue wall states like Wisconsin and

Pennsylvania. But before that, the primary comes here, that is February 27th. That Biden campaign is working to increase their support. They're

worried that any protests could show up in the primary on that day.

Now, the bigger challenge, of course, is rebuilding that coalition that led him to the White House in 2020. The roadmap is there. The question, these

are the voters. Jeff Zeleny, CNN, Detroit.

FOSTER: The Biden White House will be poring over the latest U.S. employment numbers not to mention the Federal Reserve. That's because the

U.S. economy has started 2024 with a bang, adding 353,000 jobs in January alone, that's much better than expected and the unemployment rate remains

at 3.7 percent. It's the 24th consecutive month that the nation's jobless rate has been under 4 percent.

Shoppers have lined up in New York to get their hands on Apple's first new product in years. It's the Vision Pro Headset and it doesn't come cheap.

The Mixed Reality Headset retails for nearly $3,500 in U.S. stores. Some observers are calling it a major milestone for lovers of virtual or

augmented reality. But is it a tech gain Game Changer, Game Changer? Let's bring in CNN's Clare Duffy, who is outside an Apple store in New York.

I mean, we were you know, for the people that really don't understand the product, you just explain what's special about it? What makes it different

from similar versions we've seen before.

CLARE DUFFY, CNN BUSINESS WRITER: Right, Max. So what's special about this headset is that you know, it brings Apples magic, this headset it looks

better, it works better than earlier versions of these VR headsets. And look what this headset is, as you put it on and you'll see digital images

superimposed over the real world. We talked to customers inside this morning who said the experience is amazing.

We talked to one person who said he was seeing me and he was seeing Mount Hood in Oregon at the same time. But the question is how many customers are

going to be willing to shell out $3,500 for this device? It's still a really unproven market, this VR headset market. But from the looks of it

this morning, there's lots of excitement, we saw about 200 people lined up outside of the store ready to get their hands on one of these devices.

CEO Tim Cook was shaking hands with customers as they walked into the store. We were hearing cheers from customers and employees. So whether this

excitement continues, I think is still a big question, but a strong start for Apple for this Vision Pro launch, Max.

FOSTER: I quite like the idea of sitting at a desk with it on and that process. When you organize yourself at a desk, you might put it on, you can

have all those multiple screens, harder to imagine wearing it around the house or out and about.

DUFFY: I think that's the big question. This device is launching with about 600 apps that are custom built for this device. It's got Disney Plus, it

has ESPN, it has Microsoft 365. And so I think it's easy to imagine people watching movies on this device. As you said, sitting at your desk, maybe

working on a spreadsheet that's able to be much bigger than your computer screen in front of you.

But I think the question is will customers be willing to wear this around in their daily lives? How often are people going to want this kind of

clunky headset computers in front of their eyes? I don't know about you, Max, but for me often I'm wanting less screen time rather than more. And so

I think that's the big question for Apple. And what Apple has to prove here is just how many things are people going to be able to use this device for?

FOSTER: I guess you could use it for imagining it's not raining and you're on a beach. Thank you so much for joining us from New York. We've got a

developing story there at the State of Michigan. Court is back in session and the child of Jennifer Crumbley, she is the mother of the convicted

school shooter Ethan Crumbley, who killed four classmates back in 2021.

Probably spent several hours testifying in her own defense on Thursday she and her husband are accused of ignoring warning signs before the Rampage

today as the prosecutions turn to ask the questions. Jean Casarez is following all of this from New York. And you know, really emotional

testimony yesterday and it's going to get tough, isn't it today?

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh, it's going to be extremely aggressive the other way by the prosecutor, you know, you talk about which is so

important. Were there warning signs? And there is something that we have seen really from the preliminary hearing about these texts that Ethan sent

his mother beginning in March and April, and it's where she -- he said that the house is haunted, the bowls are coming in, there's the demon here.

And she really didn't respond to him. And so you've said wow, she didn't even respond to her son, she had an answer for that in court yesterday.

Take a listen.



JENNIFER CRUMBLEY, MOTHER OF SCHOOL SHOOTER ETHAN CRUMBLEY: He's been convinced our house has been haunted since 2015. It was built in 1920.

Around that timeframe, him and his friend would go down to the basement and play an Ouija board. So they thought we had a house ghost. So it was around

that time when he would mess with us that things are going on in the house. So when I was flying across the room, doors were slamming.


CASAREZ: His friends are trying to show a text is one moment in time, you don't know what happened before after or surrounding it. And that's what

they tried to bring out. I think we're really close to this cross examination which I think will take the most of the day and it will be

scathing, trust me by the prosecution any moment.

FOSTER: OK, Jean, thank you so much, we're back with you when that happens. Just ahead on "Connect the World" what Eastern Europe can teach the U.S.

about deep fakes and election disruption as America's critical election year that gains momentum.


FOSTER: Welcome back. I'm Max Foster in London in for Becky; you are watching "Connect the World", a new warning for the U.S. about deep fakes

and the potential for more AI driven election disruption last year, just days before a pivotal vote in Slovakia. A fake audio clip went viral

damaging an opposition candidate. CNN's Donie O'Sullivan reports on how that translates into the wider election picture.


DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Do you think this does this sound like you?

MICHAL SIMECKA, LEADER, PROGRESSIVE SLOVAKIA: It does sound like it sounds like me.

O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): It sounds like him but it isn't him. This is Michal Simecka. He is the leader of the main opposition party here in

Slovakia. And on the eve of this country's elections last year, he was the target of a deep fake.

SIMECKA: My party was advocating a strong pro-Western pro-European course to help itself and off the Russian aggression.

O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): Just two days before voting began in that high stakes election this audio tape began circulating online. It purported to

be a recording of a conversation in which Simecka talks about stealing the election.


SIMECKA: So this didn't come out of the blue. It came against the backdrop of a narrative that the elections were to be legitimate to be rigged.

O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): His party progressive Slovakia went on to lose the election by a few points.

O'SULLIVAN: Do you think this could have changed the results of the election?

SIMECKA: No way of knowing. We have stats that on Facebook alone, you know, it had 100,000 views, but it probably had some effect.

O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): Slovakia is a country of some five and a half million people and it's bordered by Poland and Ukraine.

O'SULLIVAN: So a lot of experts say American should be paying closer attention to what is happening here in Eastern Europe as it could be a sign

of what is to come in the United States.

DANIEL MILO, FORMER DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR COUNTERING HYBRID THREATS: My warning is brace yourself for upcoming barrage of deep fakes. We will be

targeting presidential candidates in the U.S.

O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): Daniel Milo ran a government agency in Slovakia that countered disinformation.

MILO: In my professional capacity, I do believe that this depraved was part of a wider influence campaign by Russia to interfere into Slovak elections.

O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): On the same day to deep fake emerged. The Russian SVR foreign intelligence agency published a press release that pushed a

similar conspiracy theory that the U.S. government and Simecka were working to rig Slovakia's elections. The director of said the deep

fake and that Russian statement simultaneously correspond to each other and promote the same false narrative.

O'SULLIVAN: So you don't think the SVR statements and the deep fake the fact that they came out almost at the same time. You don't think that's a


MILO: No, I don't think that's a coincidence, although it's much more likely explanation, to me at least, is that this is all part of a wider

operation that was aimed to disrupt the outcome of the election system.

O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): One of the earliest posts of this deep fake came from a pro-Russian politician in Slovakia, who also pushed election

conspiracy theories on Russian TV.

O'SULLIVAN: Some of the first people to share it on social media here seem to be pretty Russia-friendly politicians.

SIMECKA: They are, they are Russia-friendly politicians, it can't be definitively proven that this has some Russian origin. But of course, a

loss for progressive Slovakia and a win for the other side would does serve Russian interests that are for sure.

O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): Kremlin officials did not reply to requests for comment.

O'SULLIVAN: But even today, months after the elections here in Slovakia, there are still versions of that deep fake circulating on social media,

including on Facebook.

MILO: Facebook reaction was very inconsistent and incoherent. In some cases, they just put a label that you know; this is most likely this

information. Other cases they removed the audio recording, but yet in other cases, they left the video untouched.

O'SULLIVAN: What's your message to Facebook?

MILO: Well, guys put your house in order.

O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): Asked about AI misinformation, Facebook's parent company told CNN, we label it and down rank it in feed, so fewer people see

us. But CNN found multiple instances where the company did not label this deep fake and their statement did not explain why. Regardless, once a deep

fake spreads, the damage can be done. Even some Simecka's own supporters were confused.

SIMECKA: People who are educated follow politics. They understand what's at stake, but still were confused by it.



O'SULLIVAN: Wow. So people who are politically engaged supporters of you?

SIMECKA: Absolutely. So I think this might be the year when we see you know, deep fake boom in election campaigns all across the world.

O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): Donie O'Sullivan, CNN in Bratislava, Slovakia.


FOSTER: Now ahead in sports is a done deal, details on Lewis Hamilton's shock move to Ferrari next year and how it's shaking up Formula One racing.



FOSTER: The backlash against Russia for its war in Ukraine is starting to hit the Russian diamond industry. The EU and the G7 slapped bands on

Russian diamond imports squeezing the supply of something that's already famously rare. Luckily, the lab grown diamonds are becoming more possible

and more accepted. Our Big -- looks at how the industry is emerging in the UAE.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): To source diamonds, miners have to dig deep, forming some of the world's largest manmade pits or there's this.

MOHAMED SABEG, CO-CEO, 2DOT4 DIAMONDS: To access the diamond, we just need to open the chamber, that's the beauty.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Mohamed Sabeg Co-Founded 2DOT4 Diamonds in 2022. They're the first to produce cut and polish lab grown diamonds in

the United Arab Emirates. The country is home to one of the world's most important trading hubs for diamonds. And now it's stepping into production.

SABEG: Our idea was to bring the mine to the consumer of the diamond will be produced, made locally and sold locally to the market. What else can be

better than opening this kind of facility in Dubai?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): UAE was the world's largest importer and third largest exporter of diamonds in 2022 according to the World Bank. For

those who witnessed the opening of Dubai's Diamond Exchange 20 years ago, this is an unexpected feat.

AHMED SULTAN BIN SULAYEM, CEO, DUBAI MULTI COMMODITIES CENTRE: Dubai was already coffee market, is a tea market, a golden industry. But for

diamonds, it was seen as an impossible situation. We can't replicate what works for Botswana, which sits on so many mines of South Africa. It took

some infrastructures that took a tax free environment.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): China, the United States and India are currently the largest producers of lab-grown diamonds according to expert

rankings. The UAE's diamond production doesn't compare to these major players, but as companies like to dock for set up shop in the United Arab


SABEG: And you can look have a look inside; you will see how it's beautiful.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): The question remains will the country transcend diamond trading to become a key player in production?

SULAYEM: And maybe in 20, 30 years, a lot of these mines would have run out, most likely go for the lab run. And there's a market for that. 60

years ago, it tells someone this is a synthetic or a Lebron diamond, they won't even look at it, it has to be natural. Millennials, Generation Z and

Alpha, it's a whole different thing. So the industry has to adapt.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): 2DOT4 says it had a total output of 10 carats in 2023, but expects production to be five times higher this year.

For Mohamed, the beauty of making the hardest object on Earth lies in its fluidity.

SABEG: The beauty of this industry is a mix of technology and art. The diamond is something amazing with something beautiful.


FOSTER: Singer Tracy Chapman is heading back to the Grammy stage 35 years after, would you believe she carried off her very own Grammy for the

monster hit that you're about to hear. "Fast Car" which tells the tale of a woman dreaming of driving her way out of hard times was also nominated for

the -- for record and Song of the Year back in 1989, "Making me feel old".

Country singer Luke Combs wasn't even born then. But he covered it last year, making "Fast Car" a hit again and is now nominated for Best Country

Solo Performance. I'll sing the song together on the Grammy Show on Sunday, Chapman says, she's grateful new fans have embraced her song.


And to think that they think -- I think it's new probably. And here's something you don't see every day. Police in Australia were called to help

Buster toddler out of a claw machine, he was able to crawl into, absolute genius. Well, authorities say three-year-old Ethan climb through the

machines dispenser to get his hands on a prize.

He seemed to be having the time of his life playing with all the stuffed animals. But Queensland Police officers asked him to move to the back of

the bin, so they could -- or he had to cover his eyes, so they could break in and the glass didn't get anywhere near him. Thankfully, Ethan is free.

And back in the arms of his family, as you can see, there's no word if he was able to get a prize. He deserves all of them. What do you say, Amanda?

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: I think definitely -- I know you haven't even said why I'm sitting here. We're about to talk Formula One.

FOSTER: That's why we report in the fast projects, you already did that.

DAVIES: If anything says, how hard it is to get those toys out of those boxes is the fact they had to break the glass to get the child out.


DAVIES: I mean, that many a person would be --

FOSTER: It can't be a close that you're not allowed to go through. I think it's a legitimate win -- from a sporting perspective.

DAVIES. I would take it, I would definitely take it.

FOSTER: Let's talk about seven time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton, I know that winner. He'll be joining Ferrari in 2025 and a 12 year

association with -- move, nothing less than a shocker when it came out yesterday.

DAVIES: Yeah, I mean, the speculation he was mounting then created absolute shock waves when it was confirmed in early evening UK time yesterday. And

the fallout really is continuing. The Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has been addressing the media for the first time this morning, admitting he

only was told about the move on Wednesday. We've got some sound from him coming up in just a couple of minutes in "World Sports".

FOSTER: Yeah, well, you got to keep these deals on the wraps presumably, and there was lots of jiggery pokery behind the scenes of Joe. Back with

Amanda then in just a moment.