Return to Transcripts main page

Connect the World

Israel Rejects Claims IDF Troops Committed Rape, Atrocities; U.S. Proposes Temporary Cease-Fire in U.N. Draft Resolution; Russia Holding Navalny's Body for Two Weeks; Ukraine Repels Russian Attacks in Zaporizhzhya Overnight; U.K. Hearing on WikiLeaks Founder's Request to Appeal; Dorm Shooting Suspect to Appear in Court Soon; Spanish Police Searching for Missing American Woman; U.S. Vetoes Arab-Sponsored Resolution on Humanitarian Cease-Fire in Gaza; Space Junk Circling the Globe. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired February 20, 2024 - 10:00   ET




ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Abu Dhabi, this is CONNECT THE WORLD with Becky Anderson.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST (voice-over): Welcome to the second hour of CONNECT THE WORLD.

The U.N. Security Council set to vote on a draft proposal, calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. The U.S. is planning a veto but we'll tell you about

that counter offer. That's coming up.

Alexei Navalny's mother makes a direct appeal to the Russian president, even as her other son, Oleg, is named a wanted man.

Pressure growing on U.S. Republicans to pass an aid package for Ukraine. We're live in Washington for the latest on that debate.

And in Kherson for battlefield developments.

And this week, spanning the Atlantic after an American woman goes missing in Spain. We're live in Madrid for that investigation.

And the cutting-edge of artificial intelligence and health care. My conversation with the managing director and group CEO of M42.


ANDERSON: Well, Israel is forcefully rejecting disturbing allegations of its forces killing, imprisoning and raping Palestinian women and girls,

saying the allegations are motivated by hatred for Israel.

U.N. experts are calling for an independent investigation. And the unique toll on women in this conflict cannot be ignored. Statistics from the U.N.

show that two mothers are killed in Gaza every hour and that around 70 percent of those killed are estimated to be women and children.

Meantime, this hour, the U.N. Security Council set to vote on an Algerian draft proposal calling for an immediate ceasefire. The U.S. has already

said it will veto that draft, instead proposing its own, calling for a temporary cease-fire.

But a vote on that this week is unlikely. A U.S. official tells CNN all this as, Hamas' political leader returned to Cairo on Tuesday. Hamas'

statement says he's set to continue talks with Egyptian officials on ways to, quote, "end the aggression and to provide relief to citizens in Gaza."

You're up to date. Let's get you our international diplomatic editor, Nic Robertson, who is live in Tel Aviv, and senior United Nations

correspondent, Richard Roth, who is at the United Nations.

I want to start there, Richard, just to clear up a little bit of confusion that our viewers might have. We have two competing narratives going on at

the U.N. as we speak.

Algeria, which holds the revolving membership of the United Nations Security Council, sort of on behalf of the Arab bloc, with a draft

resolution, which is quite similar has to be said to them those that have come before that have been vetoed or warnings of vetoes by the United

States, calling for an immediate ceasefire.

It seems the U.S. is countering with their own resolution. Just explain what's going on here and why this matters.

RICHARD ROTH, CNN SENIOR U.N. CORRESPONDENT: We are waiting for the Security Council to meet shortly for that session you described, where the

U.S. is expected to veto an Algerian Arab-backed resolution.

They may have some last-minute negotiations, which has happened since October 7 on Middle East matters because we don't see diplomats taking

their chairs yet.

But in terms of the two resolutions, it happens before. I mean Russia always has its own Ukraine resolution. But it's all a matter of words when

it comes to the U.N. And a lot of leaders and people take the word seriously, very seriously.

And certainly a U.S. veto harms the United States' reputation in the Middle East but the people in that region where Nic is tend to shrug it off and

keep pushing.

There's no U.S. planned vote on its resolution this week. The Algerian draft resolution calls for that immediate humanitarian ceasefire. The U.S.

believes with its own draft that it's more productive.

The United States officials telling us that they believe that the negotiations for the release of hostages are so sensitive now on the ground

that this resolution will empower Hamas.


The Algerian draft doesn't even mention Hamas. If we can take a listen, a look at one or two of the key lines in the United States' resolution, the

text says it underscores its support for a temporary ceasefire in Gaza as "practical, based on the formula for all hostages being released."

So they don't go the full immediate ceasefire like the Algerians. But the U.S. has been inching somewhat closer to the anti Israel positions. Here's

another line from the draft.

The draft determines that "under current circumstances, a major ground offensive into Rafah would result in further harm to civilians."

We've been through this for months and the U.S. is being dragged a little bit closer to a position in support of the -- certainly on the hostages but

also condemning Israel for military offensives. Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes. We'll explain them and we'll keep an eye on what is going on at the United Nations Security Council, because this is important stuff,

a veto issue, say, by the United Nations should Algeria table this resolution, calling for an immediate ceasefire will certainly be

perceptually quite damaging for the United States --


ANDERSON: Keep an eye on that. Let me bring in Nic Robertson --

ROTH: -- the meeting has started, just to let you know. Sometimes there are speeches before a vote. We'll watch it for you.

ANDERSON: Good stuff. Keep on it. Thank you. Important stuff.

Nic, the U.S. trying to use the United Nations -- and we'll see whether they're successful in doing this -- as an opportunity to specifically tie

their text, their draft text of a resolution to the mediated talks between Israel and Hamas.

At present, we know the -- one of the Hamas leaders is back in Cairo. And this is important because there is a sort of groundswell of motivation and

momentum, for trying to get a hostage deal and a temporary truce at present.

And to also avoid what could be an absolute catastrophe if Israel were to come good on their threat of a ground offensive in Rafah, if indeed these

hostages being held by Hamas are not released by the beginning of Ramadan, which is on or around the 9th or 10th of March at present.

Meantime, the Israelis are knocking back, vehemently knocking back allegations that have been raised against Israeli troops, suggestions of

rape of -- against women, Palestinian women.

What do we know of these allegations, is there any substance to these allegations that we know of?

And what is the U.N. doing in order to get to the bottom of this?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: What we know is what's been put out in a press release by the U.N., saying they have a group of experts

who believe that the reports that they've received -- they don't say whom precisely they've received those reports from.

But those reports they've received are credible allegations of egregious -- that's the word they use -- egregious human rights violations and

specifically to women, including rape and sexual abuse and being kept in incredibly harsh conditions.

Israel, as you say, has responded. They so far, as far as we're aware, these U.N. experts have not offered Israel any evidence, at least if they

have done it, they haven't done it publicly and we haven't seen the evidence, either yet ourselves as proposed by these U.N. experts.

But Israelis saying, if there is such evidence, then bring it to us and we will investigate it. I think it's a particularly raw subject here for many

Israelis, quite simply, Becky, because they feel that the U.N. ignored their allegations of sexual abuse and rape by Hamas on October 7th, things

that they say have continued subsequent to that.

So it is a raw nerve. And the IDF here have said, you know, their troops abide by international humanitarian law in the fight in Gaza. But this is

an incredibly emotive subject, the abuse of women by either side in a conflict that has seen such a high number of women and children, the

victims here.


It is something that's emotively felt by both sides. So these credible allegations, as the U.N. experts say, are something that's going to get a

huge amount of scrutiny.

Nic Robertson, on the story, now in Tel Aviv in Israel. Thank you, Nic.

Patients are still being evacuated from the Nasser medical complex in Khan Yunis. That's due to what the World Health Organization called "an acute

shortage of food, water and medical supplies" there.

Nasser had been Gaza's largest functioning hospital until last week. We're also hearing from a witness that Israeli troops forced Nasser doctors and

other medical staff to leave the hospital, strip down to their underwear and wait in the cold for hours.

The Israeli military says some militants have been posing as doctors. Well, Dr. Ahmad Moghrabi is the head of reconstructive surgery at Nasser

hospital. He's been speaking out about the anguish he feels and the suffering he sees around him.


DR. AHMAD MOGHRABI, HEAD OF PLASTIC AND RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGERY, NASSER HOSPITAL: During the siege over the hospital, the hospital was besieged

three weeks, I couldn't offer anything to my children. We used to eat only, you know, only bread.

My children, they want some sweets. I couldn't provide some sweets for my children. My little girl, 3 years old, she used to ask me many things but I

couldn't provide my little girl that. So we used to eat only once a day.

Where is the humanity?

Why does this happen to us? Why?

I don't know. I don't know.

How many, I don't know how long this will continue.

For how long?

For how long?

For how long?

I don't know how many of us have to die.

How many of us have to die, just to listen to us, to stop these crimes?


ANDERSON: We are getting word of more Houthi attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. France says two of its

warships beset and destroyed two drones in the area coming from Yemen.

The Yemeni rebel group also says it targeted two American vessels in the Gulf on Monday, causing what it describes as accurate and direct

casualties. The rebels say the attack was in support of the Palestinian people. Well, Houthis also say they targeted a British ship.

U.K. officials say a vessel did sustain superficial damage after being attacked by a drone in the Red Sea.

Well, Moscow has added Oleg Navalny to its wanted list, according to Russian state media. He is the brother of the Kremlin opposition leader,

Alexei Navalny, who died last week. It is not clear at this point why Russia is searching for Oleg.

Meantime, Alexei Navalny's mother is pleading with Vladimir Putin to immediately hand over her son's body. Russia has had control of his remains

since he died in an Arctic penal colony on Friday.


LUDMILA IVANOVNA NAVALNAYA, ALEXEI NAVALNY'S MOTHER: Behind me is the IK-3 Polar Wolf colony, where my son, Alexei Navalny, died on February 16th. I

haven't been able to see him for five days. They won't give me his body. They don't even tell me where he is.

I'm addressing you, Vladimir Putin. The solution to the issue depends only on you. Let me finally see my son. I demand that Alexei's body be

immediately handed over so that I can bury him humanely.


ANDERSON: Well, CNN's Melissa Bell joins us from London.

Let's start with what we know about the Russian authorities holding onto Navalny's body.

Have they said why?

And how long at this point it's going to take?

MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: What we'd heard, we'd heard yesterday, Becky, from a spokesman for Alexei Navalny's team, saying that

the Russian authorities had said they would only be handing back the body in about 14 days and that it would, according to the spokesman, be

undergoing some kind of chemical examination.

Now, what we've also been hearing -- and in a remarkable series of events again this morning, you mentioned there the remarkable video posted by

Lyudmila Navalnaya, his mother, Alexei Navalny's mother, who's traveled, of course, to that penal colony in Russia's far north.

It's showing tremendous courage, frankly, when you consider the extent to which any expression of grief has been quickly stamped out by authorities

over the course of the weekend. This is a very touchy subject in Russia. The video that she made really remarkable in its defiance. Now it was

posted to Alexei Navalny's widow.


Now the account -- her account on Twitter, on X rather, just after it was rehabilitated. This is an account that rather mysteriously was suspended

this morning.

We'd seen it disappear shortly after it was created yesterday, posting that nine minute video she made yesterday, really suggesting for the first time

that she intended to follow in her husband's footsteps and certainly to continue calling on Russians to stand firm against the regime of Vladimir


That was the first thing that she tweeted out. Again, we'd heard another tweet this morning in response to the Kremlin's comments this morning,

accusing Dmitry Peskov of having twisted her words, again calling for the release of her husband's corpse. And shortly afterwards, the account


Now we've heard from X. They've now posted that this was a mistake. It was the mechanisms they have to safeguard from spams (sic) and manipulation

that was triggered by this account and that it's now been put back up.

But still now that we have Yulia Navalnaya's account up and running, that strong message from his mother again this morning, the suggestion is,

Becky, that these two rather formidable women are going to continue.

One from outside Russia, one from inside Russia, making as much noise as they can about Alexei Navalny's death and calling not just for answers but,

at this stage, just his body.

ANDERSON: Melissa, thank you.

Melissa Bell on the story for you

Well, the fighting intensifies on the front lines in Ukraine, where the army says it had a difficult night, repelling Russian attacks.

And he is -- well, he's avoided facing charges in the U.S. for more than a decade. Now a British court hearing could beat Julian Assange's last

chance. Both those stories, are coming up.




ANDERSON: Just days after withdrawing from the eastern city Avdiivka and Kyiv says it has propelled a round of Russian attacks in the Zaporizhzhya

region. Now Ukraine's military says it was a difficult night, as their troops were attacked by two Russian missiles and 23 drones.

The Ukrainian air force says all of the Russian drones were shot down. Now this comes as Ukraine today marks a day of remembrance for the "heavenly

100" as they are known, those who lost their lives in the 2014 Maidan Square protests in Kyiv. CNN's Nick Paton Walsh joining us now from Kherson

-- Nick.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Becky, startling to think back 10 years ago on the Maidan Square, we were

witnessing how riot police there opened fire on peaceful protests.

As you never really imagine from that moment to hear all the extraordinary things Ukraine has been put through.


And now it appears that key towns in the east are under distinct pressure, simply because Ukraine is running, it seems, out of ammunition and aid

because of a holdup by Republican led congressional members.

But it's the scenes around Avdiivka that played out over the weekend of voluntary withdrawal that has many alarmed here. They could be seeing the

beginning of a wider Russian resurgence.


WALSH (voice-over): A sight not seen for a while, a Russian flag going up over Ukraine. But Ukraine's withdrawal announced on Saturday from Avdiivka

means more than the loss of a town bitterly fought over since Russia first invaded a decade ago. It is perhaps the first sign a delay in U.S. aid

spells death and loss here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).

WALSH (voice-over): These images released of their last defenses rushing into support, under fire from a resurgent Russia who President Zelenskyy

says sent seven Russian troops to die for every dead Ukrainian. This is what it was like in the basement, defending down to the last, treating the

injured in the darkness, yet aware their options, their ammo, their chances were ebbing.

"Shelling, endless. It spoiled my drink," this soldier complains.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Speaking foreign language).

WALSH (voice-over): A commander clear Monday why this happened.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).

WALSH (voice-over): "We didn't have enough people," he says. "We didn't have enough shells. We didn't have enough possibilities to throw them


Russia's Ministry of Defense released images of their final onslaught on that coke plant and what they claimed were the casualties inflicted on

Ukrainians as they tried to flee in the dark.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Speaking foreign language).

WALSH (voice-over): Other images and reports emerged Monday in Ukraine of the fate of their wounded, one of whom called home in his last moments.

Allegations that, in the horrifying rubble here, both the wounded were left behind by Ukraine but also shot dead in cold blood by Russian forces.

Russian drone images of their spoils released, again displaying their odd pride over the rubble. Zelenskyy may have to get used to more of this.


WALSH (voice-over): Putting on a brave face as he visited troops in the likely next Russian target, Kupyansk, just outside Kharkiv.

ZELENSKYY: (Speaking foreign language).

WALSH (voice-over): "Although there are different political sentiments in the world," he said, "different flashes of problems that distract

attention, we still, all together, do our utmost to have the world with us, with Ukraine."

Words no longer enough, not in Avdiivka and certainly not in the West, where $60 billion in missing aid now means Putin can slowly edge further

and further west.


WALSH: Now, Becky, a lot of the focus at the moment is around the town of Robotyne, a town -- I should say it's a tiny village really. But it was one

of the key gains of the southern summer counter offensive funded by NATO and prosecuted with not great success by Ukraine.

Russian forces appear to be pressing that hard. And we've had now for two successive nights statements from Ukrainian military officials that they

have tried to repel or repelled Russian attacks there, one of number of places where Russia appears to be using its advantage of more manpower.

And frankly, its callous disregard for the fate of its troops and greater stocks of ammunition to push against Ukraine along the eastern front,

multiple locations near Bakhmut, which Russia took in May last year, their last major victory over a town near Kharkiv, and Kupyansk.

And then potentially around Avdiivka as well. A lot of concerns, the Ukrainian government trying to sound simultaneously worried about the

extent of the issues they're facing along the front line but also project confidence, to keep morale where it is and also I think keep Ukrainians

here alongside.

Now as we enter into the third year of this war, Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes, the end of this week, of course, marks two years since the beginning of this war.

Nick, given where things are at on the ground -- and you've just very eruditely explained -- these are -- these are tiny sort of gains but very

significant losses for Ukraine when they happen.

How much more time do they have, given the ammunition, given the firepower that they have at the moment, given that the American cash is effectively

held up and Congress isn't back to work for a couple of weeks?

They've got -- they've got the offer of support from the European.

But how long do they have, Nick?

WALSH: Impossible to tell.


Some estimates suggested months back late last year when Congress first stuffed up the aid deal. But I think that time is running out fast. And

it's really only moments like Avdiivka, where clearly they save a lone mission.

They lacked the men and the ammunition to continue to hold it and didn't want to waste those precious resources holding a town that ultimately they

felt they would lose to the Russians.

And that's a clock you can hear ticking very loudly across Ukraine. Becky.

ANDERSON: Nick Paton Walsh is on the ground.

Nick, thank you.

As Nick just mentioned, there is growing pressure on the United States to provide Ukraine with more funding. Key supplies of weapons and ammunition

are as, Nick described it, running low.

President Joe Biden has been tearing into Republicans for failing to pass an aid bill, calling that "a big mistake."

The Republican House Speaker, Mike Johnson, reportedly told his conference Republicans during a closed door meeting last week that there is, quote,

"no rush to address the issue." CNN's Melanie Zanona joins us now from Capitol Hill.

Mike Johnson may believe that there is no rush. Tell that to the Ukrainian president and the people of Ukraine.

What's going on?

MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. And Johnson made those comments. We should note last week before the developments we saw over the weekend

with the death of Alexei Navalny and with a Ukrainian city falling to Russian forces over the weekend.

So as global leaders gathered at the Munich Security Conference, the pressure has started to grow and the international criticism on Johnson has

started to grow, not only Democrats here in Washington who are warning about what would happen if United States does not provide more Ukraine aid.

But also we're hearing from people all around the world who are making those warners (sic) and really trying to keep the heat on speaker Mike

Johnson. Now, he has not said how he plans to handle Ukraine aid.

On the one hand, he is dealing with a number of hardline members on the far right, who don't -- who don't support any more Ukraine aid. And you have

Donald Trump who has come out, injected himself into the debate and urging Republicans to vote against any form of foreign funding for Ukraine and

other allies.

And some of those members have also threatened Mike Johnson's job if he were to put the Senate passed bill on the House floor. But on the other

hand, there is a healthy contingent of House Republicans who do support additional funding for Ukraine.

And Johnson himself has privately signaled that he wants to address the issue somehow. The question is whether he can find a compromise that

appeases everyone. That remains to be seen and no decisions have been made.

ANDERSON: Yes. Yes, it's interesting, isn't it?

I mean, you said there isn't just pressure domestically on Mike Johnson but international. I just wonder whether he cares two hoots about that

international pressure. I mean, it's the pressure from the Republicans, who he relies on for that job, that he cares about.

Thank you. We will continue to check in with you. It's extremely important.

Well, a two day hearing in London underway to consider whether or not to allow the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, to appeal an extradition

audit. It's one of his last options to avoid facing charges in the United States.

The alleged offenses include conspiracy to commit computer intrusion, which can carry a five-year prison sentence, along with 17 charges under the

Espionage Act, each of which has a maximum 10 year sentence.

Now these relate back to the 2010 WikiLeaks publication of classified military documents and diplomatic cables. Max Foster joins me from London.

It seems remarkable to be even speaking to the fact that this goes back to 2010, 14 years on. Let's just have a look at the U.S. charges against


Max, he is accused of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion, which can carry a five-year sentence. On top of that, 17 charges under the Espionage

Act, which each carry a maximum 10 year sentence.

What happens at this stage,?

Just walk us through where we are at, at this point.

MAX FOSTER, CNN LONDON CORRESPONDENT: So for him to go on trial in the U.S., he needs to be extradited from the U.K. That has been a years-long

process. And it's gone through the entire legal system, through the high court to the Supreme Court, right up to the home office and then home

office secretary.

Home secretary Priti Patel signing off on it. What this two day hearing is whether or not that was legitimate, that signing off, Assange suggesting

that it was politically motivated. He's just -- he was just a journalist doing his job. This is a politically motivated move against journalism



More and more arguments coming out today, speaking to the fact that he has a mental health issue and there's a threat he could take his own life if he

went to the U.S. He didn't turn up to court today because he said he was unwell.

But we've just heard from his legal team in court, making quite extraordinary claims against the U.S., saying there is compelling evidence

of a CIA plot to kidnap or assassinate Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy.

Remember, Becky, he was holed out there for many years. He was there from 2012 to 2018. So this is what the lawyer said.

"There is compelling evidence now in existence that senior CIA and U.S. administration officials requested detailed plans and drawings of the


He continued to claim that the U.S. president at the time, Donald Trump himself, requested options. And sketches were even drawn. So obviously we

need to dig into this further.

Why did they want a layout of the Ecuadorian embassy, if indeed they did?

It may have just been to work -- figure out how he was living, not necessarily an assassination plot. But they say they have compelling

evidence that there was one against him, all building toward the case that it's a danger for the U.K. to send Assange to the U.S. It would break his

human rights, you know, his human rights.

ANDERSON: Max Foster is on the case.

Thank you, sir.

FOSTER: Thanks, Becky.

ANDERSON: Still to come, police in Spain investigating the disappearance of an American woman after someone allegedly painted over the lenses of two

security cameras around the time that she went missing. That's coming up.




ANDERSON: Welcome back. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. And wherever you are watching, you are more than welcome.

Students at the University of Colorado in the United States are holding a solidarity march today. This is to remember two youngsters who were gunned

down inside a campus dorm on Friday. Police arrested 25 year-old Nicholas Jordan of Michigan on Monday, shortly after he was found in a vehicle.


Police have not yet said anything about a motive. CNN's Lucy Kafanov has more.


LUCY KAFANOV, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No word yet on the why, the motive. But the University of Colorado/Colorado Springs, has confirmed to CNN that the

suspect was a fellow student.

Police identified him as 25-year-old Nicholas Jordan, originally from Detroit, Michigan. They believe that he was responsible for Friday's fatal

shooting of two people, a young man and a young woman, inside that dorm on campus.

He was arrested shortly after being found inside a vehicle on Monday and was taken into custody without incident. Authorities indicated that the

suspect and the victims knew one another.

They said, quote, "This was not a random attack against the school or other students at this university."

Authorities did not go into how they were able to identify him so quickly. But they did say that they obtained the arrest warrant for two counts of

first degree murder on Friday evening, the same day that all of this unfolded.

That means the suspect was effectively on the loose for two days before he was apprehended. There were growing questions about why authorities didn't

release more information about him earlier. Here is how the Colorado Springs chief of police described the situation.


CHIEF ADRIAN VASQUEZ, COLORADO SPRINGS POLICE: I have to really balance what we provide to the community with public interest and public trust and

the safety of the public. And I fully understand that. But the investigation has to be able to move forward and our goal is -- well,

ensuring that public safety.


KAFANOV: And as for those victims, both were found with gunshot wounds when authorities arrived on the scene. The female identified as 26 year-old

Celie Rain Montgomery of Pueblo, Colorado. She was not a student.

The male, 24 year-old Samuel Knopp of Parker, Colorado, he was a registered student at UCCS. The school describing Sam as a senior, studying music. He

was a beloved member, they say, of the Visual and Performing Arts Department. He was also an accomplished guitar player and an extremely

talented musician.

Friends described him as kind and outgoing. Now this is still very much being described by police as an active investigation, with authorities

asking any witnesses, anyone who has any information, to step forward -- Lucy Kafanov, CNN, Denver.


ANDERSON: The Roman Arch catholic Diocese (sic) of New York is condemning the funeral of a trans activist. Cecilia Gentili's funeral was held last

week at St. Patrick's Cathedral with more than 1,000 people filling the pews. And the archdiocese called the service, quote, "scandalous behavior."

Gentili, who died on February the 6th, was an important part of New York's trans community. Funeral organizers say they believe Gentili was the first

trans person to have a funeral at the cathedral.

Once news reports and videos of the funeral were made public, there was a backlash from some Catholics and conservative groups. An archdiocese senior

leader said that the cathedral was deceived into hosting the service, which organizers deny. The New York archdiocese has not responded to CNN's

request for comment.

Well, police in Spain are investigating the disappearance of an American woman who has been missing now for more than two weeks. The 40-year old

from Florida was reported missing on February the 2nd. Her brother told CNN she had planned to take a train from Madrid to Barcelona but never showed

up at the train station.

Journalist Al Goodman, following this in Madrid and he joins us.

What more do we know at this point?

AL GOODMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Becky, we know that Ana Maria was renting an apartment just down this street since last January 5th for a

month and then she asked to extend it, according to sources, talking to CNN.

Someone, as you mentioned, spray painted the security cameras at that building about the time that she went missing. The camera on the outside of

the front door and also inside by the elevator. That's according to the building superintendent, talking to CNN.

On this trip to Barcelona, it's her brother who says that she was supposed to go to Barcelona with a friend but she never showed up to the station. So

that day, February 5th, is when the missing persons report was filed.

Becky, that had a lot of police information about her, that she stands 1.45 meters or 4'8", that she's slender, if she requires medication. It has a

picture of her face and these posters have gone up around the Spanish capital.

A Swedish girlfriend telling (INAUDIBLE) told CNN that she got that "what's up" from her around the time that she went missing, where it says that Ana

Maria says she had met somebody.


GOODMAN: She was going out to this man's country home near Madrid and she would call when she got back.

She said that the man had approached her the day before while she was walking around Madrid. She said it was an amazing connection. Ana Maria's

brother and the Swedish friend both told CNN that they separately called Ana Maria's husband.

The couple, she and her husband, have a computer services business in south Florida, according to its website. But they say that the husband said that

he was in Serbia. Now police went to the apartment early last week to search it, according to three sources talking to CNN.

Spanish police are being tight lipped but a Spanish government official tells CNN the police are definitely investigating and have asked police

forces from other countries to provide any relevant information they can on the case.

The U.S. embassy is not commenting, citing privacy concerns but right now but many more questions and answers in this case.

ANDERSON: Al Goodman reporting from Madrid for you.

Thank you, Al.

Well, when we come back, we go behind the gates of Ecuador's prisons and see the inside of the cell of one of the country's most notorious escaped

prisoners. That is after this.




ANDERSON: Let me just get you an update on a story that we were reporting on a little earlier. And this is on the Gaza ceasefire proposal that was up

for a vote at the United Nations.

This is an Algerian-penned resolution, calling for an immediate cease-fire. The United States has just vetoed that resolution, blocking the demand for

an immediate humanitarian ceasefire. Here's the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations just moments ago


LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD, AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: So takes (ph) right now should help, not hinder these sensitive and ongoing negotiations. And we

believe that the resolution on the table right now would, in fact, negatively impact those negotiations.

Demanding an immediate, unconditional ceasefire without an agreement requiring Hamas to release the hostages will not bring about a durable

peace. Instead, it could extend the fighting between Hamas and Israel.


ANDERSON: The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations explaining why it is that the U.S. has just vetoed a U.N. resolution related to Gaza. And this

is the third time that the U.S. has vetoed a resolution on Gaza since the Israel-Hamas war began.

The U.S. is proposing its own, calling for a temporary ceasefire. But a vote on that this week is unlikely, a U.S. official tells CNN.



When was the last time that you had to wait weeks to get an appointment with a doctor?

Well, one company here in the UAE believes generative artificial intelligence could be part of the solution. M42 describes itself as a

technology-enabled healthcare company. It recently launched a large language model called Med42, designed to enable healthcare professionals.

I spoke to managing director and group CEO, Hasan Al Nowais, last week at the World Governments Summit in Dubai. He tells me there are three key

issues facing the health care industry that really need to be addressed. Have a listen.


HASAN AL NOWAIS, CEO, M42: One, the shortage of clinical manpower. And as per the World Health Organization, there will be a shortage of about 10

million clinical professionals by year 2030, which is around the corner.

What do we do about that?

Next is the rising cost of health care expenditure. The world is currently having to deal with a 10 percent increase in terms of health care

expenditure per GDP. The U.S. specifically, 20 percent increase, which is not insignificant. That could break economies if not addressed today.

The third is the environmental challenges. Right?

Today, what we're seeing is if health care wants to be a country, proving the fifth largest contributor to carbon emissions, which is also not


So how do we take these three specific areas and use them to transform and disrupt health care?

It's mainly around precision and preventative care going forward.

ANDERSON: Tell us about your Med42 technology and how you are using AI to revolutionize health care here around this region and beyond.

AL NOWAIS: AI is and will continue to be the enabler of everything we're doing simply because of the data analytics platform that we have launched

as well. And how that helps supplement everything else humans are doing.

So usually question I get is, will AI replace people?

On the contrary, it will complement everything they're doing. Now if we take it one step forward, to Med42, it's the first open-source clinical

large learning model that was born in Abu Dhabi, that got a passing grade of 73 percent on the USMLE, which has bitten every other platform that was


How does that help everything we're doing?

It's helping patients, it's helping doctors with decision making. But it's also freeing them up to create more capacity for patients.

ANDERSON: So let's talk about the role of the doctor.

Are we talking about the possibility of UI interacting with a digital platform to self-diagnose going forward?

Is this the end of the doctor as we know it.

AL NOWAIS: I do not think so personally. What it will do -- again, because everything we're doing n Abu Dhabi, we want to scale and use with the rest

of the world to benefit humanity.

What that will do is to create more capacity; 50 percent of the world's population does not have access to health care. Abu Dhabi has taken that

leap to come in and say, we want to help with that issue.

ANDERSON: We talked M42 and Med42 today.

What does tomorrow look like?

AL NOWAIS: A much better version for sure. And I'll give you an example. We are now looking at a much more advanced multimodal generative model.

We have collated 6 million images within our dataset. And we have a dataset of 100 petabytes of whole genome sequence as well. So that's, again, not


What does that mean?

It means, for a patient, I do not know. I do not need to go see a doctor anymore. I can upload my images on Med42 and for Med42 to be able to give

me the diagnosis. But from a physician perspective, it frees me up to focus on specific diagnostic images as opposed to screening images.


ANDERSON: It's a whole new world out there. We're back after a very quick break, stay with us.





ANDERSON: Outer space increasingly becoming littered with our earthly trash, everything from spatulas to dead satellites.

The question now, how do we get rid of all of this junk floating about up there?

CNN's Bill Weir with this report.


BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We all drop things around the house.

PIERS SELLERS, ASTRONAUT: Guys, I got to tell you, I think my spatula has escaped.

So when astronaut Piers Sellers dropped a spatula while spreading putty on the space shuttle, it was relatable news.

SELLERS: I don't see it on me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, we'll take a look.

WEIR (voice-over): But while a spatula in space was still novel in 2006, it seems quaint now because nearly 70 years after Sputnik, the moon holds

tons of human trash and the final frontier is filthy with rocket fumes and orbiting junk.

Check out this NASA time lapse. Each dot a man-made object bigger than a softball flying 10 times faster than a bullet. The website orbiting now is

tracking over 8,300 satellites, most of them put there by private companies like SpaceX. And over time, they will only add to the 100 million tiny

pieces of man-made debris in orbit.

WEIR: So behind us is the National Air and Space Museum. Do they have an exhibit on space junk?

Is it time we started paying attention?

RON LOPEZ, PRESIDENT OF ASTROSCALE U.S.: There's been discussion about it and it is time that we pay attention to the issue.

WEIR (voice-over): Ron Lopez heads the American branch of Astroscale, a Japanese entry into the growing field of orbital debris removal.

LOPEZ: The interesting metric is that over the next 10 years, we're going to launch three times as much into space as we have launched since Sputnik,

since the beginning of the space age. Three times as much in just the next 10 years.

WEIR (voice-over): While they're a long way from flying garbage trucks, Astroscale just launched a second test mission and funded only by private

investment, recently proved that they can use magnets to catch and potentially extend the lives of dying satellites.

In 2018, a team from the U.K. proved that space junk can be snared with a net, which helps with traffic control up there but does nothing to stop

dead satellites from burning into countless pieces of metal, throwing off remnants that can stay in our skies for years.

WEIR: Launches are almost a weekly or daily occurrence. Is that having an effect on the stratosphere?

TROY THORNBERRY, RESEARCH PHYSICIST, NOAA CHEMICAL SCIENCES LABORATORY: Yes. So as we see this increase in space traffic, we see significantly

increased emissions.

And something we've been talking about is adding a lot of material to the stratosphere that was never there before. All of the sort of the massive

material that we put into space doesn't all just stay there. And when it's deorbited, it basically acts in the same way that a meteorite does.

WEIR (voice-over): With special high flying jets, a team from NOAA recently discovered that 10 percent of the particles in the stratosphere

contain bits of rocket and satellite metal. And in the next few decades, it could be 50 percent, matching the amount created naturally by meteorites.

Scientists worry that this could eventually alter Earth's climate. So this summer, Japan and NASA aim to launch the world's first biodegradable

satellite made mostly from wood.

WEIR: Last year, the U.S. Senate passed the Orbits Act unanimously, has yet to go through the House. This would charge NASA with coming up with new

technology to clean up the mess and puts the whole mess under the responsibility of the Commerce Department.

But of course, the U.S. is just one of many space going nations these days. And we got word this week that Russia may be working on a weapon in space

that could wipe out thousands of those satellites in one attack.

And we've seen here on Earth policing or regulating the high seas is so difficult because no one owns them.


That lesson now moving to outer space -- Bill Weir, CNN, New York.


ANDERSON: Well, an Australian show jumper's Olympic prospects were briefly in jeopardy because of his choice of attire.

During the competition, a G-string bikini, also known as a mankini. Australia's equestrian governing body opened an investigation and

temporarily suspended three-time Olympic medalist Shane Rose. But he was eventually cleared after he apologized. Rose is now on his way to represent

Australia at this summer's Olympics.

Who says there are no new ideas?

Starbucks has added a drink to its menus in China with, well, let's, let's just call it an interesting twist. Wait for it -- braised pork.

How do you ask for it?

How do you do it?

Well, there is a special pork flavored sauce mixed with the espresso and steamed milk. As a bonus, you actually get a meat garnish with it. The

Abundant Year Savory Latte as it's called, will run you just under $US10.

Bet you can't wait for that one. That's it for CONNECT THE WORLD. Stay with CNN. "STATE OF THE RACE WITH KASIE HUNT" up next.