Return to Transcripts main page

First Move with Julia Chatterley

Predictions Pound could Drop to Parity with the Dollar; Threat of Attack Remains in Kupiansk after Russian Threat; Pound Plummets to Record Low against Dollar; Right-Wing Coalition set to win Parliamentary Election; Protests Hits 10th Day as Fury Intensifies over Woman's Death; NASA to Crash Spacecraft into Asteroid as Defense Test. Aired 9-10a ET

Aired September 26, 2022 - 09:00   ET




ZAIN ASHER, CNN HOST, FIRST MOVE: I'm coming to you live from New York. I'm Zain Asher and my colleague Julia Chatterley. Welcome to "First Move".

Italy set to have its most far right government since World War II the leader of the country's ultra conservative party, claiming victory in a

general election our live report from Rome in just a moment.

Meantime in Russia growing protests over Vladimir Putin's mobilization order an independent monitoring group saying that more than 2300

demonstrators have been detained since last week.

On Wall Street U.S. stock futures are down right now following a Friday sell off the DOW is at its lowest levels since November 2020.

Investors very concerned very worried about more rate hikes and also a potential recession as well in Asia. The NIKKEI share to 2.7 percent whiles

the Seoul KOSPI, lost 3 percent. In the season, Hong Kong and Shanghai both closed in the red as well.

Meantime, the British pound fell to a record low against the dollar after the U.K. announced major tax cuts. Since clawed back a little bit of those

losses, the government is planning to issue large amounts of bonds to help fund its spending plans. Let's bring in Anna Stewart joining us live now

from London.

So Anna, there's huge concern here huge concern about the health and the state of the U.K. government's finances, especially when you're combining

tax cuts with large amounts of spending, just walk us through the reasons behind this decline in the pound.

ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: Essentially, what we're seeing here is a credibility gap really, I think on the markets between what the U.K.

Government and EU government wants to do in terms of those huge tax cuts, huge spending, and what the market believes is actually sustainable in

terms of borrowing and Investors just don't look to be that confidence. On Friday, we saw a huge sell off in U.K. government bonds; it was actually

the worst performance for the 5-year gilt since 1985. Let that sink in worse even than Black Wednesday.

And today, I'm not sure if we have the gilt for you. But the 10 years performing particularly badly hit a highest level for in terms of the yield

since 2010. And look at the pattern. Now this has actually come back what you're seeing here now.

In the Asian session much earlier this morning, it was around $1.03. That is another multi decade low at this stage now. Fallings worth Zain, I have

to say because it was the Asian session, and we are looking at a very strong dollar. As of with a currency, there are two sides, really of the

coin. And we're seeing lots of currencies down against the dollar today, but not the sort of losses we're seeing here on the pound, which is also

down against, for instance, the euro.

Now the problem here is this is a lack of confidence from investors and the U.K. Government needs confidence, it runs a huge current account deficit;

it would need to borrow a huge amount from foreign Investors, even without these latest plans from the government. And of course, boring costs are

only getting higher. So what are the options here? There are two really; the U.K. Government could rollback its big plans.

So it could sort of - speak the markets, if you will, I think that's very unlikely, or the Bank of England, but could perhaps step in and try and

stave these huge losses. But that not might not be that effective. But at this stage Investors need something to happen so that we don't see the

pound falling to potentially parity against the dollar, Zain.

ASHER: Well, let's just talk about one of those options that you pointed out the Bank of England, possibly stepping in? I mean, how likely is it at

this point, the Bank of England is going to raise interest rates by let's say 1 percent sooner than expected. Do you think?

STEWART: Well, that's certainly what I think looking at economist comments today is possibly the most expected action we would see. But we've not seen

anything at this stage. Just to bring you some of those expectations. Samuel Tombs, Chief Economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, he tweeted today

markets are pricing in a three quarters of a percent increase in the rate before the end of this week. He continued to say sterling will weaken

further if Governor Bailey doesn't act there. He does add as you'll see that I expect he'll do that.

But let's see, there are two things the Bank of England could do on there. They could always follow the sort of typical Central Bank guidance, forward

guidance, tell the market you're going to act aggressively come November, or it could act as an emergency as soon as this week.

And that seems to be generally the expectation I'm reading today economists for instance, a capital economic say they think emergency action could be

the most effective and they see perhaps a rate hike of 1 to 1.5 percent as soon as today.

They do make the point though, that higher interest rates will make the sustainability of the government's big spending plans even more

unsustainable. So the Bank of England not for the first time it's very much between a rock and a hard place, Zain.

ASHER: All right, Anna Stewart live for us there. Thank you so much we appreciate it.


ASHER: All right, Italy's far right looks at to form a country's next government after Sunday's election. The biggest winner could be Giorgia

Meloni the leader of the brothers of Italy party. She's widely expected to be the country's first female Prime Minister. Barbie Nadeau joins us live

now from Rome.

So Barbie, it's interesting because Miss Meloni's rhetoric was very fiery during the campaign, but in the past sort of 24 to 48 hours, she seems to

have struck a much more conciliatory tone. Just walk us through that.

BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, know, she really did sort of change things in those final days before the vote yesterday. A lot of that was

because she got a lot of bad International Press. A lot of people were warning that a Giorgia Meloni government was going to be bad for Italy and

bad for Europe.

She is probably the least Euroskeptic for her center right coalition, Matteo Salvini. The other partner in her coalition and Silvio Berlusconi of

the fort's Italia 3-time Prime Minister of this country are also very worrying for the greater European Investors.

One of the big issues and questions is going to be how they're going to be on Russian sanctions. Both Salvini and Berlusconi have indicated they're

sort of soft on it. Meloni who's got the power in this trio says she wants to continue support for Ukrainian wants to continue sanctions.

So we're going to see some infighting in that coalition. But ultimately, she won the most votes; she's going to have the most power in that zone.

ASHER: And just speaking of a coalition, you find out the sort of discrepancies between Salvini between Berlusconi and also Meloni who we're

seeing on the screen right now. Especially when it comes to Ukraine, which he just touched on this idea that she's an ardent supporter of Ukraine in

this war. Whereas, you know, the other two members of the coalition seem to have supported Putin a little bit more in the past. And given that kind of

discrepancy right now, how fragile is this coalition? Do you think?

NADEAU: Well, you know, she has 26 percent, according to the polls right now. And so we don't have the final numbers for a couple of hours yet of

the vote. And that coalition and the other two coalition members each cuts 8 to 9 percent. So she really does have the power, but fractures can happen

because you have to look at the total Parliament call a parliamentary vote everything could fall apart.

Italian politics are very complicated and coalitions by their very nature are always going to be fragile. You've also got very strong opposition in

this election, even though they didn't do as well as she did. Some of them the center left party did get almost as many votes as she got alone in her


It's really all complicated in Italy, you know, last election 2018, the Italian voters voted overwhelmingly for the anti-establishment 5-star

movement. That crumbled entirely there were two governments since that last vote. There have been 67 governments in the last 75 years in this country

led by just 30 Prime Ministers, you know, it's a complicated place to be a politician, complicated country to run and to govern. And Giorgia Meloni

has her work cut out for her.

ASHER: Yes, it does sort of seem that, you know, political parties there in Italy sort of rise in the poll and are super successful and popular one

minute and the next day, everything's comes crashing down. Barbie Nadeau live for us there. Thank you so much for being with us.

All right, heated protests continue in Russia over Moscow is partial mobilization in order to draft 300,000 more troops for its war in Ukraine.

Over the weekend, protests erupted in some of the country's ethnic minority regions and Russians are still trying to flee the country look of that

hundreds of cars waiting for hours in line near the border with Georgia. Meantime, the U.S. is now responding to President Putin's threat to U.S.

nuclear weapons.


JAKE SULLIVAN, U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: If Russia crosses this line, there will be catastrophic consequences for Russia, the United States will

respond decisively. Now in private channels, we have spelled out in greater detail exactly what that would mean.


ASHER: Clare Sebastian joins us live now. So Clare, in addition to a lot of people, significant number of people actually trying to flee Russia, you've

got a lot of violent protests happening in the country right now.

People simply do not want to be called up to fight in this war. And Zelenskyy, meantime, in Ukraine, adding fuel to the fire saying an "Russian

commanders", this is the message to Russians. Russian commanders do not care about the lives of Russians; they just need to replenish the empty

spaces left by the dead. The wounded, those who fled or the Russian soldiers that were captured certainly a chilling message to the young men

of Russia, Clare.

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and I think it's fair to say that the mobilization which was already a gamble for President Putin isn't

exactly going to plan. The Kremlin even vaguely admitted as much today in their regular call with the press of a spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that

there were mistakes.

In terms of the mobilization we've seen multiple reports of people who did not fit the official criteria announced by the President last week being

mobilized he said he hopes those mistakes would be corrected.


SEBASTIAN: But much more than that, as you say, or these Protests which while still relatively small, in terms of numbers are significant in the

climate of a crackdown on freedom of speech on an intensified crackdown in terms of legal punishments for things like avoiding the draft, and

desertion, which in effect signed into law amendments to the Criminal Code act to that effect over the weekend, they are significant. And they are not

just now in the big cities; they are in the regions as well as like Dagestan.

This morning, there was actually a shooting at a Military recruitment office in the central Siberian region of Yakutsk, a sort of an official

involved in the recruitment was shot and a 25-year old was arrested. So there is a real climate of unrest that seems to be spreading.

And we are seeing queues growing at the borders of the border with Georgia, in particular long lines. And the Finnish border guy said that over the

weekend, they saw more than 16,000 people close to 17,000 people crossed from Russia independent the number on Sunday was more than 8000, which was

double the number of the previous Sunday last week.

So an exodus of people intensifying protests, I will just clarify that the numbers are still quite small. But in the climate of fear and sort of

repression that we're seeing in Russia, they are very significant.

ASHER: Yes, and I'm glad you pointed out that the numbers are small, because some people have questioned Look, when you're seeing these kinds of

protests and people being so angry and fearful about this idea of being called up to fight and also playing people literally fleeing the country.

Somebody will ask well, what does this mean for Putin's hold on power, but it's important to note that he has such a tight control over the military

and the Police in that country that this is unlikely to sort of be a threat to his grip on power.

SEBASTIAN: I mean, at this stage, it doesn't seem like it Zain. But it is a see change that we're seeing in Russia, because up until now, during this

war, which of course Putin still calls a special Military operation, it did not touch the everyday lives of Russian citizens.

Yes, we saw inflation going up; it has actually come down slightly from its peak. In Russia, yes, there were cost of living issues. But mostly this was

a ward that in the words of someone I spoke too, in Moscow last week that they could abstract from their lives.

Now it is knocking on their doors, there are people, everyone knows someone who fits the bill, the official criteria for this mobilization not only

that, but people are worried that the mobilization could go further than those official criteria and actually extends to the rest of the population.

So that isn't a real sense that this is now a conflict that many, many people are going to have to go and fight in.

And the information while there is a very tight control of information in Russia, they are being fed a diet on state media of the sort of violence

perpetrated by Ukraine against Russian ethnic minorities in Ukraine. There are still ways for people to get this information and when it knocks at

your door when it's your relatives going to fight there. There does seem to be a sort of sense of cracks appearing in the war machine that the Kremlin

has kept such tight control over so far.

ASHER: I see, so things are sort of changing slowly. It does appear that way. Clare Sebastian, live for us there. Thank you so much, appreciate it.

Right, while the political conflict continues between Washington and Moscow fighting on the ground in Ukraine rolls on despite. Ukrainian shrinks

reclaiming some territory, many residents face daily shelling, our Ben Wedeman has more.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Where a few loaves of bread, the residents of Kupiansk risk their lives. Ukrainian

forces retook the city about two weeks ago, but the fighting is far from over. Yulya (ph) describes it in one word intense. That's the echo of

cluster bombs falling not far away.

Sometimes I'm scared says Danylo (ph) over the sound of nearby shelling sometimes I don't care.

WEDEMAN (on camera): These are the few people left in Kupiansk this city even though theoretically, the Russians have left the Russians are just

across the river. And in fact, according to the soldiers here, there are still Russians inside the Ukrainian controlled part of the city.

WEDEMAN (voice over): Russian forces took control of Kupiansk with little fighting in the first days of the war, it served as the administrative

center for the Russian occupied part of the Kharkiv region. Pro-Russian sympathies linger on here. The Russians paid salaries and pensions, and the

recent Ukrainian counter offensive turned the city into a war zone, sparking resentment against both sides.

They're one in the same, says Yevgenyi (ph). The mood of the population is shocked. It's too early and too dangerous to begin clearing away the

rubble. Wreckage still scattered in the streets.


WEDEMAN (on camera): OK, basically there's a fairly constant incoming and outgoing artillery and rocket fire here.

WEDEMAN (voice over): An hour's drive away in the town of Izium, no shelling, but shell shock still shows on the faces of people waiting for

food. The fighting has moved on. The scars it left deep. They hit my home says Lyudmila. War spares no one adds Katarina (ph).

The local fire station has become a warehouse for supplies donated by a town near Kyiv. In her grandfather's arms, Alina recalls intense bombing.

It killed her dog and hit the roof we were hiding in the basement, she says. Back in Kupiansk, tank rumbles toward the front. The battle rages on

Ben Wedeman, CNN Kupiansk, Ukraine.


ASHER: Alright, still to come here on the "First Move" more on Italy's historic election what a first female Prime Minister and her right wing

coalition could mean for the country and relations in the EU and later, NASA's latest mission to save the planet details and its plans to crash

into an asteroid on purpose in the name of protecting the earth in the future. Stay with us.


ASHER: All right, welcome back to "First Move" the U.K. pound dropped to a record low against the dollar after the British government announced

biggest tax cuts in 50 years last week some economists calling for the Bank of England to raise interest rates to help try to increase the value of the

currency. On Friday, Prime Minister Liz Truss defended her government's fiscal policy aimed at saving the economy. CNN's Jake Tapper sat down with

her in this exclusive interview. Take a listen.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Your government just unveiled a new tax proposal this week. That would reverse plans to raise

the corporate tax rate. You've also proposed lifting the cap on bonuses for bank executives in the U.S. President Biden is taking a very different

approach and obviously he has a different view on economic measures such as the one you're proposing. He tweeted this week "I am sick and tired of

trickle-down economics. It has never worked.


TAPPER: We're building an economy from the bottom up and middle out. And so President Biden is in essence saying that he thinks your approach doesn't

work the opposition. In Parliament says you're running recklessly running up the deficit and turning your back on so called compassionate


LIZ TRUSS, PRIME MINISTER OF BRITISH: I did, I don't really accept the premise of the question at all, the U.K. has one of the lowest levels of

debt in the G7. But we have one of the highest levels of taxes. Currently, we have a 70 year high in our tax rates. And what I am determined to do as

Prime Minister and what the Chancellor is determined to do, is make sure we are incentivizing businesses to invest.

And we're also helping ordinary people with their taxes. And that's why I don't feel its right to have higher National Insurance and higher

corporation tax. Because that will make it harder for us to attract the investment we need in the U.K., it will be harder to generate those new


And I want the U.S. economy to be successful as well. I want the European economy to be successful as well. I want free freedom loving democracies to

succeed. And one of the things that we're doing here in the U.K. is moving forward on our infrastructure programs, road building, broadband, mobile,

telephones. And I know that is what the administration in the U.S. is doing as well.

But of course, we all need to decide what the tax rates are in our own country. But my view is we absolutely need to be incentivizing growth at

what is a very, very difficult time for the global economy. And we've also put in place a package of measures to support consumers with energy prices.

To make sure that nobody is having to pay more than 2500 pounds on their bills, which is very important as well.


ASHER: A U.K. government spokesperson said they would not be commenting on today's market moves. Our next guest says the U.K. has now entered a

currency crisis that CNN's Vasileios Gkionakis is the head of European FX Strategy at Citi. Thank you so much for being with us.

Sir you heard Prime Minister Liz Truss, just talk about the importance from her perspective of prioritizing growth. But when you combine these historic

tax cuts with a huge amount of borrowing, just walk us through what that means for inflation in the U.K., and also government debt as well.

VASILEIOS GKIONAKIS, HEAD OF EUROPEAN FX STRATEGY, CITI: Sure, well, one of the issues that personally I think a lot of other economists are taking

with these announcements is the fact that they are based on the assumption that a government can actually target and achieve that growth rate.

And there's really zero empirical as well as theoretical evidence to back this up.

It's the notion that governments can actually target a specific growth rate and then be able to fulfill that promise has not been proven empirically

article. Now, the problem is that we have a fiscal package, which is sizable, on the face of already high inflation.

And we do have a precedent for that back around half a century ago, in 1972. We still have had significant tax cuts, which actually amplified

inflation pressures, and led to a significant depreciation in Sterling.

And the other thing right now is that we have one an already large U.K. debt, we have the Bank of England, who will actually be offloading its

stock of government bond purchases, much like the Fed did first started doing.

And this will be happening in parallel with the Treasury actually flooding the market with government bonds. So the risks here, is that inflation goes

higher, even higher than it would have been without the package.

And secondly, that the Bank of England monetary policy becomes even tighter, and therefore, it suffocates the economy. And basically, the

market reaction is telling you this, there is a revolution of confidence here. And that's why you think Sterling depreciating, and our views they

will keep on depreciating further.

ASHER: Sir, in your view, I mean, yes, you point out, it's the sort of inflationary environment, it's the environment in which these tax cuts and

this sort of large amount of spending is that's how it's happening is part of the issue here, the inflationary environment.

So what is the Bank of England's next move to combat inflation at this point? Is it likely that the Bank of England will raise interest rates even

higher than previously anticipated? And in order to combat inflation here?


GKIONAKIS: Yes, very much so. It's extremely likely and I would really expect the Bank of England to go ahead with an unscheduled interest rate

hike potentially even today or over the next few days. The depreciation swelling an increase in government bond yields is definitely an element

that is putting a lot of upside pressure both on inflation on one hand through the depreciation of Sterling, but also through tighter, stricter

financial conditions. So basically, borrowing becomes far more difficult.

The issue, however, is not whether they're going to do it, but whether it's going to be effective. And my concern here is that will prove to be only

temporary, effectively will just give a temporary relief to Sterling. But again, the big picture, the picture about further pressures on inflation,

as well as tightening suffocating the economy are going to remain front and center to investors. And that's why I think U.K. assets will remain under


ASHER: Yes, there's also the lag time that there's a sort of lag time between when the Bank of England raises interest rates. And when you

actually see inflation actually coming down, I want to talk about something that the U.K. Chancellor the Exchequer, Kwasi Kwarteng said in response to

how the markets were faring.

He said markets move all the time, it's very important to keep calm and focus on the longer term strategy. From his perspective, it's not about the

short term in terms of what the stock market does. It's much more about the long term. What do you make of that? Does he have a point here?

GKIONAKIS: I'm afraid not. And it is actually, I think that the results of that strategy will be felt in the short term, yes, there is likely to be

boosting growth over the short term.

But it's the medium term implications that actually bother me, in the sense that we know from previous experience, even in the U.K., as well, from

empirical research, that these fiscal packages, which again, is important, we're talking about a sizable tax cuts, as well as finance through

borrowing are going to lead to higher medium term inflation that should be taken as given.

And equally at the same time, as I said at the beginning, there is no precedent; there is no backing to support the claim that a government can

actually deliver a promise target growth. So I think medium term result is going to be I think pain as far as the real economy is concerned, I think

it's going to be higher inflation.

ASHER: Yes, it's interesting because Kwasi Kwarteng also intimated that more tax cuts were on the way in addition to these ones, so we'll see what

happens. Vasileios Gkionakis, thank you so much head of European FX Strategy at Citi appreciate you being on the show.

Alright, more "First Move" after the short break don't go away.



ASHER: Welcome back to "First Move". U.S. stocks opening lower as the UK economic turmoil fuels anxiety about a global recession. Investors also

worried about additional rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve as well.

Shares of casino operator Las Vegas Sands jumping as Macau plans to allow tour groups from Mainland China. Meantime Lyft is falling after UBS

downgraded the stock citing a survey that indicates drivers prefer rival Uber.

Right, back to one of our top stories at this hour, the Italian election which is shaking Europe, Italy is set to get its most right wing government

since World War Two.

After a triumph for a coalition led by the brothers of Italy party, we expect the final results from that election later on today. It's an outcome

no doubt, causing consternation in Europe as leaders of that coalition have long held Euroskeptic views.

Joining me live now is Wolfango Piccoli. He's the CO-President and Director of Research at Teneo. Wolfango thank you so much for being with us. So

based on what Meloni has said in the past, she's clearly somewhat of a Euro skeptic. What does this mean for the cohesion of the European Union, this

idea that the brothers of Italy are now getting power?

WOLFANGO PICCOLI, CO-PRESIDENT & DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH, TENEO: Well, first of all, I would, I like that the Euro skepticism of Meloni and their allies

as changed a lot since the pandemic, meaning nobody's talking about euro exit or things like that. It is a much softer Euro skepticism.

And also, I would also ally that Europe was not an issue at all in the election campaign. The election campaign was largely driven by economic

factors first.

So in terms of what is next between Italy and Europe, it's it depends meaning that I believe that in the short term, Meloni will not rock the

boat, she's inheriting a very difficult agenda, especially on the economic front.

She might like to play the Euro skeptic cards later on when she's going to see her popularity going down. And it will also depend on the European

reaction on in terms of how they're going to deal with their with their government ear. So it's still all to be seen. But I'd say before European

is not a big play in terms of explaining the outcome yesterday.

ASHER: And as you mentioned, the Euro skepticism we're seeing is much softer than what we've seen in the past. Giorgia has, Giorgia Meloni has a

lot on her plate right now, just in terms of a looming energy crisis.

Obviously inflation is a key issue, possibly even a recession. What does she need to do to navigate all of that, especially given that she has very

little government experience?

PICCOLI: Not only very little government experience, as you correctly say, but also she has got two very difficult partners. I think, plenty of time,

she's going to devote plenty of time on managing Matteo Salvini, who just got a huge beating yesterday in the election.

And also Silvio Berlusconi, which is the longest running Prime Minister in Italy so with plenty of experience. Meloni needs to look at the economy

first. So the first priority I think is going to be the energy story, trying to contain the damage the cost of the energy crisis.

To the Italian basically voters, there is a budget that needs to be put together before the end of the year. And also need to accomplish the

reforms and then reach the benchmark required by the recovery fund to make sure that Italy will succeed in receiving the next loan tranche from


So that is plenty already is going to keep her busy until the end of the spring else will come later.

ASHER: She also needs to manage Italy's debt load. That's also a big issue for her as well.


PICCOLI: Well, the debt load is a big issue for anybody who is more than 150 percent of GDP is not a concern right now, frankly, interest rates are

still low. There is an ECB put that it's keeping Investors kind of a tease.

Italy managed to extend the maturity of its debt over the last few years. So certainly that is not the priority. The question here is how to tackle

that, and specifically whether Meloni will be able to inject growth into the economy.

That is a real challenge. This account has not seen meaningful growth for more than 20 years. And that is going to be the biggest challenge for

Meloni and their partners.

ASHER: During the campaign her rhetoric was quite fiery. Over the past few days, we've seen her walk a lot of that back, tone her rhetoric down as she

looks at to win this election.

What does she need to say at this point, though, to actually calm Investors because some Investors are nervous about the possibility of her being

elected, which it looks likely to happen.

PICCOLI: I mean, if they are nervous, certainly haven't really manifested itself, if we look at the spread in Italy has not increased substantially

and so on. I think Maloney has been very skillful in the last few weeks of the Russian campaign in terms of trying to reassure Brussels, trying to

reassure Washington and those investors.

Now what the investor will be looking at next is a cabinet formation, specifically looking at who's going to take the finance and the economy

minister job. Then the second one will be the budget, whether Italy will put together a budget that is credible with the budget deficit that is

under control, and these needs to be done before the end of the year.

So these will be the first two indicators here, leaving aside then the values kind of rhetoric that can be employed by anybody at this point.

ASHER: Politically speaking, how concerned should sort of people watching this election be about the health of this coalition? As you point out, she

has to manage Salvini she has to manage Berlusconi, there's clearly fractures and divisions between these three individuals. What do you make

of how fragile this coalition actually is?

PICCOLI: Well, being in power is a very important and meaningful kind of glue. It helps to keep people with different interests, aims and

personalities together. So here, first of all, Meloni I think will try to help our allies when we stand to form the cabinet.

So we will see position given to both the Lagos and - Talia. The Lagos very simply does not have an alternative year after - Curie 9 percent of the

vote, which is basically 50 percent less than that they got four years ago, they don't really have not much elsewhere to go at this point.

So it's more about noise is more about containing the damage the Berlusconi - will do when they open their mouth. They're naturally real policies,

because when they look at the policies, there are not significant differences here.

ASHER: But as you mentioned, one of the biggest decisions just from an economic perspective, one of the biggest decisions she's set to make is

really who she's going to choose as finance minister.

As I pointed out, Italy's going through a lot in terms of energy crisis, in terms of inflation, obviously, a possible recession, which she picks for

that role is crucial as investors looked at Italy right now, who's on the shortlist? And who is she likely to choose based on experience, do you


PICCOLI: Frankly, based on the experience that we've seen in the past is impossible to say, the problem that she has from our own party, there are

no really any particular credible figure.

So if she decides to send a positive message to investors, Brussels, she would have to pick somebody from outside the party. There have been some

names floated around.

Frankly, I wouldn't put a penny on each one of them is far too early to say. We need first of all, to see the final result of this election; we

need to see the balance of power within the new ruling coalition.

And after that, we can start looking the cabinet and the cabinet will not be announced for the next 25, 30 days. So meanwhile, everybody will be

speculating here. But also then - I understand that there is important who takes the finance minister's job, but let's make very clear that the shots

are called by the Prime Minister, in this case, Giorgia Meloni and not by the finance minister.

ASHER: Right. That is, that's a good point to make. That's an important distinction. Thank you so much, Wolfango, I appreciate you being with us.

PICCOLI: Pleasure.

ASHER: Co President and Director of Research at Teneo, thank you. Alright, its damn warning from Iran's government didn't keep people off the streets.

We'll look at what's next after days of protests over the death of a young 22 year old woman by the morality police.



ASHER: Anti-government protests in Iran show no signs of stopping at this point in time this despite a government crackdown. This protest video was

obtained by CNN via the pro-reform activist outlet to run via.

Some 1200 people have reportedly been arrested and more than two dozen killed however, CNN cannot verify those numbers. The protests were sparked

by the death of Mahsa Amini who died in police custody after being arrested for allegedly violating Iran's conservative dress code.

Jomana Karadsheh joins us live now with the details. So Jomana, the president at this point is warning that protesters will be dealt with

decisively, what's been the overall reaction to that threat?

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Zain, there's a lot of concern. Those who know Iran really well are watching what's been going on

over the past few days. And they say that we have seen this all before.

The concern is we are seeing the signs of a crackdown that is ongoing and potentially is going to intensify. You've got the warning, as you mentioned

from President Raisi on Saturday, saying that they're going to deal decisively with the protesters.

You've had statements coming out from the army and the powerful Revolutionary Guard Corps saying that they are ready to intervene to stop

these protests. And on Sunday, we saw these mass rallies taking place in Tehran and other cities.

The government mobilizing its supporters, they say in this show of unity against those who they described as rioters. And again the government,

really through its state media dismissing what we have been seeing over the past days in Iran, all those protests, the women taking to the streets,

those defiant acts.

They're dismissing that all as a foreign conspiracy to try and destabilize Iran. And they're making it very clear that they are going to use

everything they've got to stop the so called foreign conspiracy. And the fear is Zain is that they haven't really unleashed the full force of the

Islamic Republic yet to try and suppress these protests as we have seen happen with previous protest movements.


KARADSHEH: As you mentioned, there are estimates in the dozens of people who have been killed so far. You've got Amnesty International saying that

protesters are being shot at deliberately, with live rounds.

And then you've got the numbers of more than thousand people who've been rounded up and detained, according to the government's own figures that are

coming out. So there's a lot of concern about where this is all headed.

And then you've got the issue that makes it very difficult for us to know what is really going on, on the ground in real time, and that is the

government really disrupting the internet.

We're seeing disruptions not seen on this level since the 2019 protest. Some of the most severe restrictions is shutting down the network in many

different parts of the country.

You've got social media platforms that have been blocked, making it very difficult for us to communicate with people on the ground, making it very

difficult for activists and protesters to get video and images out information about what is going on, on the ground.

But still, on Saturday night we - sorry, on Sunday night last night, we started receiving some video that shows protesters are still out, they're

still in the streets, they're still defiant. We've also heard from eyewitnesses.

One neighborhood of Tehran, for example, that hasn't seen protests in the past. Protesters were out and they were chanting defiantly death to the

dictator. But again, with these internet disruptions, having very hard time reaching people on the ground to know what is really going on.

It's very difficult for us to assess right now how widespread and how big these protests are Zain.

ASHER: Right, so the lack of transparency is a huge issue when it comes to really reporting out the storage. Jomana Karadsheh live for us there. Thank

you so much for all the work that you've done here. All right, still to come here. On "First Move" a cosmic collision 11 million kilometers from

home more on NASA's plan to deliberately crash a spacecraft into an asteroid. We'll explain why after the break.


ASHER: Elon Musk is set to answer questions from Twitter's lawyers soon about his contested $44 billion purchase of the company. The deposition is

taking place ahead of a trial next month.

Donie O'Sullivan is joining us live now from here in New York.

So Donie, what sort of questions could Elon Musk's be asked here? And how is it likely to pan out especially given that Musk is somebody who

certainly speaks his mind? Certainly has, at times very little filter. How is this likely to go?

DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, pretty much no filter. Look what we've seen on Twitter itself, the platform that Musk was going to buy for

$44 billion. Now he's trying to back out of that deal. That's what this case is all about.

You know, we've seen him tweet off lots of different claims about Twitter particularly about all of these talk about how many bots are on the

platform. That is why he is saying he was trying to back out of this deal.


O'SULLIVAN: But look, it's one thing. It's one thing to tweet something; it's another to make those claims while being deposed under oath. So it's

going to be very interesting to see when we eventually get to see this nonpublic we won't be learning today, what came of that. But I'm sure that

Twitter's lawyers will be pushing Musk on the claims that he has made publicly.

ASHER: And how much will Elon Musk rely on that sort of testimony in the form of the words of Peiter Zatko, that was the Head of Security, Former

Head of Security at Twitter, who talks very openly about some of the lax security policies at the company?

O'SULLIVAN: Yes, Peiter Zatko, the cyber security legend, who was the Head of Security at Twitter, he came out in interviews with CNN and the

Washington Post in August, saying just how bad the security situation is at Twitter.

But also saying directly into disclosure that has been made to multiple U.S. law enforcement agencies that Twitter has lied to Musk, about how many

bots are on his platform.

Now, much coming out, Zatko coming out was quite fortuitous timing from us because it seemed to play directly into the case he is making against

Twitter. And we asked the whistleblower about that timing, have a listen.


PEITER "MUDGE" ZATKO, TWITTER WHISTLEBLOWER: This isn't about one person. This is about something that everybody should care about with large

companies, which is, you know, the honesty and the truthfulness of the data that's being presented, publicly represented the national security

implications and whether users can trust their data with these organizations.


O'SULLIVAN: So those explosive claims that Zatko made going to play a huge role in this public trial, which is going to be happening. Beginning three

weeks from today, it's expected to last a week in Delaware, Zain.

ASHER: Donie O'Sullivan live for us there, thank you so much. All right now to another issue that is on Elon Musk's radar space, NASA is getting ready

to crash a spacecraft into an asteroid.

Yes, like a scene straight out of a science fiction movie, NASA is focused on the big picture, saving humanity. The mission is to test whether

deflecting a giant space rock could protect Earth from a catastrophic collision in the future. Kristin Fisher has more.


KRISTIN FISHER, CNN SPACE AND DEFENSE CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Hollywood's been scheming up ways to save the world from Killer comets or

asteroids for decades. But instead of bringing in Bruce Willis, NASA has a different idea. And it's about to test it for the very first time.

ELENA ADAMS, DART MISSION SYSTEMS ENGINEER: It's kind of what we all fear, right? What if there was an asteroid that was coming toward Earth? Can you

really stop it? Can you really do something about it? And for the first time, our technology allows us to actually do something about it.

FISHER (voice over): NASA is planning to ram a refrigerator sized spacecraft called DART into an asteroid named Dimorphos, which is roughly

the size of the Pyramid of Giza and poses no threat to planet Earth.

The goal is to see if the impact will push Dimorphos slightly off course. If it works, it means that this technique could be used to deflect a future

killer asteroid that is headed for Earth.

BOBBY BRAUN, JOHNS HOPKINS APPLIED PHYSICS LABORATORY: This inaugural planetary defense test mission marks a major moment in human history. For

the first time ever, we will measurably change the orbit of a celestial body in the universe.

FISHER (voice over): Mission control is inside the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Maryland.

FISHER (on camera): What is this place going to be like, on impact day or impact night, I should say?

ADAMS: Oh, my goodness, it's going to be filled to the brink with people. There's going to be people in every single seat in the whole Mission

Operation Center, but 44 people in here alone.

FISHER (voice over): And there'll be able to watch the impact live as will everyone on Earth, thanks to a camera that's mounted on the spacecraft.

ADAMS: These are live images.

FISHER (on camera): Live images from DART right now.

FISHER (voice over): One of the tensest moments for the team will happen at 50 minutes to impact. When the spacecraft will switch its sights from a

bigger asteroid, it's pointed at now to a smaller second asteroid, which is the real target.

EVAN SMITH, DART DEPUTY MISSION SYSTEMS ENGINEER: That's a very, very sweaty time for us. So we have a lot of contingencies built right around

that 50 minute transition. We're going to be watching the telemetry like hawks, very scared, but excited.

ADAMS: Then we're going to have it get closer and closer in or build the field of view of our imager, then we're going to have.

FISHER (voice over): It's a moment this team has been training for months, but even the rehearsals have been tense.

ADAMS: We're just oh, one by one stood up with all over our headsets. And all of us were intently watching the screens, just watching the asteroid

get bigger and bigger.


ADAMS: And my heart was actually palpitating because I was like, this is not normal, right? It's just the rehearsal. But yet you really felt that

you were about to hit that asteroid for the first time.

FISHER (on camera): You're really testing.

ADAMS: We're testing.

FISHER (on camera): This technology that could potentially save all of humankind down the road.

ADAMS: Down the road right.


FISHER: Now, we should know almost immediately on Monday night if the DART spacecraft successfully hit its target. But NASA says it's going to take a

few weeks to determine if DART was successfully able to move that asteroid just a little bit off its current orbit. Kristin Fisher, CNN, Washington.

ASHER: And finally, when it comes to the Superbowl halftime show next year, she is the only girl in the world. Pop icon Rihanna will headline the show,

the nine times Grammy Award winner made the announcement with this image of her hand holding an NFL football.

Alright my friends, that is it for the show. "Connect the World" with Becky Anderson is up next. You're watching CNN.