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First Move with Julia Chatterley
China Open key Borders after Three Years of COVID Situation; Goldman Sachs will lay off up to 3,200 Staff this Week; Russia is Greatest Threat to the World, says Eurasia Group; U.S. Stocks Open Higher after Friday's Rally; Bolsonaro Supporters Start to Disband after Brasilia Riots; Countdown to Virgin Orbit's Satellite Launch. Aired 9-10a ET
Aired January 09, 2023 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN HOST: A welcome to "First Move", great to be with you as always. And much it to get to this hour, including echoes of the January
6 U.S. Capitol attacks this time though in Brazil. Hundreds of supporters of Former President Jair Bolsonaro arrested after a mob stormed government
buildings in Brasilia, including the Congress.
It was risk that Eurasia President Ian Bremmer predicted way back in 2021. He's back this hour to discuss events in Brazil, and his hot list of the
key threats coming up in 2023, including a "Rogue Russia" and China's maximalist President Xi Jinping and talking of China too, a final farewell
to COVID restrictions and families being reunited for the first time in years. Take a look at those pictures a live report from Beijing coming up
Also, a senior Chinese official saying the crackdown on some of the Big Tech giants is now drawing to a close that's fuelling part of the positive
sentiment. We're seeing across the Asia session where stocks extended their New Year rally on Monday. The HANG SENG jumped to a six month high, while
shares in Shanghai rose for a six day in a row.
What about for the United States? Well, I can tell you futures are on the rise to begin the week here to looking to add to gains from Friday's
session when all the major indexes jumped more than 2 percent optimism. I think after Friday's big December's jobs report indicated a cooling in wage
growth and perhaps a sign that the Federal Reserve's rate hikes are beginning to bite, lots to come here on "First Move" over the next hour.
And our first look takes us to Brazil barbaric that's how Brazilian President Lula da Silva described Sunday's storming of the country's
Congress and event that's drawing comparisons to the January 6 Insurrection two years ago in Washington D.C. Overnight, officials declaring the riots
are over. Violence broke out in Brasilia when reporters of Former Leader Jair Bolsonaro breached the Presidential palace.
Protesters also occupied Congress and the Supreme Court building, smashing windows and building barricades with furniture. The Regional Governor says
at least 400 people were arrested. The mayhem comes just a week after President Lula was inaugurated.
He said a lack of security had allowed Bolsonaro's "Fascist supporters to breach barriers" and promised everyone responsible for the attack would be
punished. CNN Brazil's Pedro Nogueira has more.
PEDRO NOGUEIRA, CNN BRASIL REPORTER: Hundreds of people are now under arrest after the invasion of the three main government buildings here in
Brasilia, Brazil. Supporters of Former President Jair Bolsonaro broke into the Presidential Palace, the Congressional building, and also the Supreme
Righteous left behind a trail of destruction, huge glass windows were broken everywhere, works of art were damaged or also stolen, and they even
looted weapons at the Presidential palace.
At the Supreme Court the Ministers, chairs were ripped off the building. Supreme Court orders the governor of Brasilia to be temporarily removed.
Justices understand that there was omission in this situation. Local authorities knew beforehand that the demonstration was underway and did
nothing to stop them.
Hundreds of buses with rioters drove to Brasilia during the weekend, and Police did nothing to stop them. President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will
spend the day this Monday meeting with Supreme Court justices and state governors to solve the situation. Pedro Nogueira, Brasilia, CNN, Brazil.
CHATTERLEY: In the meantime, hugs and emotional reunions at Beijing airport after three years of being virtually sealed off from the rest of the world.
China has finally reopened its borders in a major unraveling of its zero COVID policy. And Selina Wang joins us now from Beijing.
Selina great to have you with us and I know you were at that airport and witnessing some of those emotional reunions. How that moment did feels like
because you understand what normally would have happened in the quarantine that these people would have had to go in first before seeing their
families? What were those moments like?
SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Julia, I mean, it was such a poignant and emotional moment. I was in that international arrivals waiting area
talking to a lot of the family members and they were saying I haven't seen my father, my daughter, my mother, my friend for more than a year because
of these harsh border restrictions. And it was amazing to just see them reunite with those big hugs those kisses.
WANG: There's a moment when a grandfather, was appear to be the grandfather with the granddaughter's saying you've grown a lot because they haven't
seen each other in so long. And it was just surreal to be at the Beijing Capital International Airport looking like a normal airport. I've taken so
many trips out of that airport where it was a complete ghost town.
The only people I was seeing around me were workers in hazmat suits, but now it's really starting to come back to life. Not only did January 8
Yesterday, Mark, the first time that people coming off of international planes. They could just walk home, they could go walk and directly meet
their family instead of getting sent to quarantine facilities for as long as three weeks at a time.
It also marked the day where China was going to re allow outbound tourism from Chinese citizens because before then, China had banned non-essential
travel for Chinese citizens. I caught up with the CEO of Trip.com, a large travel booking agency. And this is what they had to say about the pent up
demand from Chinese citizens.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JANE SUN, CEO OF TRIP.COM: We have seen three digit growths in the search volume for almost all the destinations are you Asia, Europe, and in
America. It's a record high since the outbreak of COVID.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WANG: Capacity for these international flights in and out of China still very limited. They're still very expensive when you see both the capacity
of flights and the pricing coming back to pre-pandemic levels.
SUN: Because the demand is exceeding the capacity right now. We expect for the first one or two quarters. It will take airlines and hotels some time
to rehire back their staffs and build up the infrastructure. During the second half of this year, hopefully, the infrastructures are back to
WANG: And the CEO of Trip.com also told me that business travellers are exceptionally eager. All of this change is a huge sigh of relief Julia, for
these global corporations. And these executives who used to be coming to China once every quarter and now they haven't been in the country for more
than three years.
So Jane Sun told me that she's already getting emails from these executives saying, when can I come into China ASAP? I need to go back and see my
operations. But look, China's borders, they still do remain largely close to foreigners except for business or family visits. So we don't know yet
when tourism into China will go back to normal, Julia.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, and that's going to be a huge shift too. Obviously, the relaxation in these COVID restrictions for the most part as you point out,
also means a relaxation in testing requirements and the demand for testing kits and for workers in one testing factory. That means simply no more
work, and they've been protesting? What more can you tell us about this? And specifically, where is it? Where was it?
WANG: So these protests broke out in mega city Chongqing, this is at a COVID 19 testing kit factory. And according to the social media videos that
appear to be a dispute over wages, and if you look at the social media video, you can see this clash between the workers and the Police. Some of
the videos show workers hurling objects at the Police shouting give me my money back.
So what we know from these Chinese social media videos is that the managers had told them to go on vacation early, which effectively terminated their
employment without any prior notice. And those videos, they've now been censored on Chinese social media. Our conversation right now is actually
being censored on airwaves in China. I can see it in the screen.
That's right in front of me showing what the channel looks like here within Mainland, China. What is notable, as you mentioned, is that as China is
dismantling its zero COVID policy that does mean massive upheaval for the whole industry and all of the workers that were supporting the zero COVID
enforcement. So we are seeing this turmoil and this protests fits into that as we see the country un-raveling zero COVID trying to get back to
normalcy, but a lot of pain and bumpiness in that process.
CHATTERLEY: Selina Wang, thank you so much for that report there. And billionaire business magnate Jack Ma is giving up control of Chinese
FinTech giant and group. The move comes after Chinese regulators ordered the company to reorganize its business. Paul R. LA Monica joins us now with
all the details.
Paul, great to have you, with us, Jack Ma, well and truly no longer in control, I think we have to be very clear with the audience here before
this reorganization. He had more than 50 percent control of the company through various different entities now I believe it's just over 8 percent.
So it makes a huge difference. What's happened here?
PAUL R. LA MONICA, CNN REPORTER: Yes, there has been a drastic reduction in the controlling stake or the stake that Jack Ma has, which as you point
out, Julia is no longer a controlling stake. And what's interesting here is that it seems that Ant financial was able to get as part of this agreement.
They were given the green light by Chinese regulators to increase capital for its consumer finance unit that could be good news for Ant.
MONICA: I think Investors are recognizing that China is starting to relax some of the very strict rules and controls that had put into place over
Chinese tech firms over the past few years. So your shares with companies like Alibaba, another obviously, you know, company affiliated with and
financial. They have surged more than 20 percent in the U.S. so far this year.
And you've seen other Chinese Internet stocks like JD.com, Tencent, and Baidu, all of them really soaring. So I think there is this expectation,
Julia, that China's government is going to be a little bit looser with the control that it's had over these tech firms. And that is being viewed as
very good news.
CHATTERLEY: And that was the message as well, from the party Secretary of the people's Bank of China, suggesting that the overhaul that's been going
on within some of these largest tech giants is now coming to a close or at least coming towards the end of that. I just wonder to your point and we
can tie the two things together. Perhaps at a relaxation of the oversight now that's been on these tech giants for many months.
And the idea that perhaps they can raise capital in alternative ways will be free to do so. What does that mean for the Ant-IPO because all of this
came at the same time as the Ant-IPO? And we're talking about what a business's was the size of around $37 billion sort of lost the opportunity
to IPO. What is it for that?
MONICA: I think it still remains to be seen Julia whether or not China's government will give, and the ability to actually go public anytime soon.
The broader question though is, in an environment like this, we had just a miserable year for IPOs. And new stock listings in 2022, obviously, because
of the market turmoil globally, is now even the time to be considering going public, despite the enthusiasm that we've had for Chinese stocks in
the past couple of days.
It's just one week of 2023, thing, it's premature to say that even if China allows it to go public. Would they be able to take advantage of a window
that may not necessarily be fully open for new stocks just yet? I think and even if they had the regulatory approval, they probably wouldn't want to go
public until we see other large global unicorns, particularly in the FinTech space, try and test those waters first.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, and some of the concerns, perhaps from international investors if they're allowed to invest in this lead to because then there's
still huge concern about what investing in these kinds of assets they're fundamentally means. Paul La Monica, always great to have you with us thank
you. More or less in corporate America now this time at Goldman Sachs, the bank will park with as many as 3200 staff this week. That's according to a
person familiar with the plans.
Goldman, like its rivals has been hit by a big slowdown in mergers and acquisitions and in IPO activity. CNN's Chief Business Correspondent
Christine Romans joins us now. Christine, great to have you with us too!
And I think the reason why this has captured people's attention is because it's more perhaps than some of their competitors are doing. I just wondered
to what extent it's tied due to a lack of attrition of workers through the pandemic too because they held on to staff during that period.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Not only held on to they added thousands of jobs during the pandemic. Remember, markets were
doing very, very well. And the company was doing a lot of investment banking activity. So look, they held on to and added a lot of workers and
now they're retrenching here, we're told is 3200, as you said, about a third of those in the firm's trading and banking units.
You're right about IPOs and deals. I mean, when CEOs around the world hear about higher interest rates, global uncertainty. These headwinds in markets
concerns about a global recession, or at least recessions in Europe and elsewhere next year. That makes them less likely to launch IPOs that makes
them less likely to raise capital and makes them less likely to do deals and mergers and acquisitions.
And of course, Goldman Sachs makes a lot of money on those kinds of activities. It had 49,100 employees at the beginning of the third and the
end of the third quarter rather. So that's what this is 3200 out of about 49,000. Interesting as well, I was looking at a chart of the stock and you
know, it was only down, you know, 10 or 12 percent over the past year.
So it has outperformed the rest of the market and certainly the S&P 500 but clearly this is a cautious stance heading into 2023 overall. And it mirrors
cautious stances that we've seen mostly in tech, but also Morgan Stanley has announced some layoffs but Amazon and Salesforce last week, big layoffs
And again, a familiar trend, a different industry, but a familiar kind of pattern. Those are all companies that added a lot of jobs during the COVID-
19 the height of the COVID-19 pandemic over the past three years and are now reassessing and retrenching.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, it's fascinating, isn't it? I was just doing the math set where you said that I think under the Chief Executive David Solomon
headcount jumped 34 percent from its levels in 2018 to that 49,000 figure that you mentioned in September 30th. So that gives you some perspective as
important as every job is and as it is for everyone involved.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, important context, Christine, thank you.
ROMANS: Nice to see you, happy New Year.
CHATTERLEY: Happy New Year. OK straight ahead a risk report on 2023. Oh, where do we start from a "Rogue Russia", to all-powerful Xi Jinping on-
going protests in Iran and the bite of global inflation to name just a few. Ian Bremmer of the Eurasia group explains all next.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to "First Move" and recapping our top story this morning in Brazil supporters of Former President Jair Bolsonaro have gone
on a rampage. Breaching security barriers breaking into Congress and the Presidential palace the worldwide threat to democracy something our next
guest foresaw. And it's a key element in a list of the biggest risks coming up this year while Putin's Russia tops the table China's challenge.
Social media disruption, global inflation and an isolated Iran also feature plenty to keep you awake at night. Ian Bremmer is President and Founder of
Eurasia group and GZERO media. He's also the Author of "The Power of Crisis", how three threats and our response will change the world.
Ian, happy New Year and great to have you on the show with us let's start by talking about Brazil. You warned about this. I've seen you warned as
early as 2021, that this was a risk that Brazil may face its own Insurrection moment. How significant though, a threat really is this to the
IAN BREMMER, AUTHOR OF "THE POWER OF CRISIS": It's a huge threat, in the sense that in 38 years of democracy, Brazil has never faced anything like
this. You're talking about the direct occupation of the most important buildings of all three branches of government in Brazil, the judiciary, the
legislature and the executive. And with a number of members of the Police, either turning a blind eye or actively helping.
We've been here in the United States years ago. And I talked about this in our top risk document from a few days ago the fact that the United States
which used to be the principal exporter of democracy. Globally, back in 1989, when the wall came down, today is the principal exporter of tools
that destroyed democracy.
BREMMER: And we're seeing this play out in Brazil right now the polarization, the political extremism, all being driven by Conspiracy
theories on social media promoted by populace who use that those tools for their own political benefit. That's exactly what's been played out in
Brazil with the election is rigged. We can't allow the establishment to steal it from us. And you've had thousands of Brazilians, believing that on
the ground and now causing mayhem and damage to the institutions in the country.
CHATTERLEY: Ian, you point out some very important parallels, which is that consistency in the questioning of the legitimacy of the electoral process
in Brazil, as we saw in the United States as well. I think the military is also an important part of this, there is the belief that by and large, the
military do support Bolsonaro has sympathy for him. But that's very different from supporting some form of coup d'etat.
Can we rule that out and what about Bolsonaro coming out here and saying, look, OK, we sort of have to move on, because he could run again, in the
future? He could establish himself as a viable opposition leader and fight again in a few years' time.
BREMMER: Yes, it's too very good questions, Julia. So first of all, in Brazil, even though you see some members of the local Police that are
supporting these demonstrators, the Brazilian Military leadership has come out strongly in favor of democracy and a peaceful transition. They were not
willing to join Bolsonaro in saying that the election was rigged.
And you know that we've had military rule in recent decades in Brazil, they do not want to return to that. And the leaders across the country have made
that clear. So in that regard, very similar, thankfully, to what we also have in the United States.
Now, Bolsonaro himself has not been the ringleader of these latest protests, even though they are his supporters. And they're inspired by him.
In fact, he's had nothing to say over the last couple of weeks. He's been spent January 1 in Mar-a-Lago with Trump ringing in the New Year, and now
he's in Orlando. He was at a Publix recently, is that a Kentucky Fried Chicken hanging out with a very different kinds of Colonel, pin those on
the ground in Brazil?
But I'm sorry to do that to you, Julia. But now the fact is that he has had very little to say and that's precisely because if he were directly
involved in promoting these demonstrations or financing these demonstrations, the judiciary in Brazil, which clearly opposes Bolsonaro.
I wouldn't just call them independent, they have been somewhat politicized would probably stop him from running again. And he clearly wants to be the
leader of the opposition in Brazil, and like Trump intends to throw his hat in once more.
CHATTERLEY: What's the smart move here for him to condemn this?
BREMMER: Smart move is to condemn it. The smart move is to say that these demonstrators have gone way too far. That they should be arrested, those
that have broken the law that he would never support that. He can continue to talk about the election being rigged. He's not happy about the outcome.
He never actually conceded. He forced his chief of staff to do that. But he doesn't want to in any way be directly involved, or seen as supporting a
violent Insurrection on the ground in Brazil. That's the smart move for Bolsonaro.
Lula's approval ratings when he became President this time around in the high 50s about 58. That's pretty good, but it's quite low for a new
President, Lula had been at 90 percent when he was President first time around.
I think what Bolsonaro wants to do is wait Lulu out, as the Brazilian economy becomes more challenging as his approval ratings go down and
maintain support from his base, which could become a much bigger challenge for Lula in two years' time, than it is today.
CHATTERLEY: OK, I want to move on because I could talk about this for another five minutes and not get to top or talk about your top risks. And
you've described this as the most dangerous year since you've been writing this risk report in your words, ageing dictators and tech Bros and the
consequences as a result for geo and social. I think political instability, a vast.
What unites some of the leaders and the countries in your risk report, whether it's Russia, China, even Iran is a consolidation of power but a
vacuum around them of those that question their decisions and perhaps prevent big mistakes? We can start with Russia in this regard. And I think
your concern and fear with Putin that he's now so isolated, that he has seen little risk in further escalation.
BREMMER: That's right and it's also what led him to make the biggest mistake, biggest miscalculation of any major leader on the global stage in
decades by invading Ukraine back last February.
BREMMER: So different from Bolsonaro and Trump who make a lot of mistakes but are prevented from having massive impact in their country or globally
because there are checks and balances. That's not true for Pope, Putin at all. It's increasingly not true for Xi Jinping or for the Iranian supreme
And in Russia, specifically, the possibility that Putin would escalate this war that he cannot win on the ground or in the air in Ukraine, by using
weapons of mass destruction, or by taking the war to asymmetric fight to into NATO itself.
Cyber-attacks, drone strikes, espionage, disinformation, cyber-attacks, pipeline attacks, all the kinds of things that Iran as a rogue state does
to its neighbors in the Middle East. We can increasingly see Putin absolutely deciding to do with no one stopping him inside Russia.
CHATTERLEY: What about outside Russia, because as you say, he's Armageddon averse? So that puts some kind of limit perhaps on the use of nuclear
weapons, if not more sabre rattling throughout this year, but also you point out, there's no way to walk this back for Putin, so somewhere between
BREMMER: That's right. I mean, Armageddon averse is clearly a good thing. And even though there are no domestic constraints, he does understand that
he doesn't want an active hot war, where the West is launching attacks against Russia itself against the Russian homeland. But I'll say a couple
things there. There's a difference between Russia launching ballistic missiles into Paris, and launching cyber-attacks of critical infrastructure
against, say, Poland.
And I think that Putin increasingly is much more willing to do the latter. What about knocking out pipelines and cyber-attacks that could be used to
destroy the European economy? We already know that Nord Stream one and Nord Stream two were completely sabotage.
Now, the West says that was Russia? Well, if we don't have any evidence of that, if it was Russia, that means the Putin can get away with destroying
pipelines, and there's nothing else that we're going to do against them. If it wasn't Russia, it means that NATO destroys pipelines.
And so why wouldn't Putin? I mean, either way, Julia, you can see how this escalates. And so the danger here is that there's no path back to February
23, at least with the Cuban Missile Crisis, we all was staring Armageddon in the eye. And then we back down, we back down and achieve the status quo
ante, there's no way for Putin to back down and get back to where he was, before he invaded.
NATO will be expanded, the troops will be forward deployed Ukraine will join the EU and will have much greater military capabilities Russia will be
cut off from energy supply to Europe. I mean, all of those things are unfixable for the foreseeable future, at least as long as Putin is in
power. He's not going anywhere right now, Julia.
CHATTERLEY: And into the mix. The so called no Limits friendship with China self-declared, in the weeks before this invasion channels are dealing with,
as we've discussed, the release or the removal of zero COVID policies as struggling economy and this friendship that puts them further odds, I
think, with other leaders, particularly in the West. What about for what you've called maximalists Xi in 2023? And perhaps the idea that all of
these problems, stunt engagement with the West, for the worse of the world.
BREMMER: All these problems certainly make China much more uncertain, much more volatile and much more dangerous. Now, I mean, the good news is that
both Biden and Xi Jinping really want to avoid a cold war with each other. And we saw that with the three hour meeting they had at Bali of the G20
just a month ago.
But that doesn't mean that Xi Jinping is governing in a stable way. He's surrounded himself with Yes, men, he's not getting good information and
that's why we went from zero COVID to maximum COVID, everybody gets COVID. It's like Oprah, you get COVID. And you get COVID.
And they become the epicenter of COVID once again, globally, that makes China more dangerous. It makes them less appealing as a destination for
capital. It means that even if there's a decent relationship between the U.S. and China, corporations are going to decouple their investments from
China anyway, because they're worried about the stability of their own returns.
And so yes, I do think this is creating much more risk emanating from the world's second largest economy. Now China does know that they don't want to
be in the same position that Putin is globally.
And so that friendship without limits, has not led to the Chinese providing Russia weaponry that's come from Iran. It's come from North Korea, other
rogue states. China has been careful not to do that in part because they don't want secondary sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies.
CHATTERLEY: What I also don't see on your list and I want to bring this in very quickly here is Taiwan because you think - risks of a more dramatic
altercation or incursion in Taiwan is a red herring. You can talk about that. I have about 90 seconds Ian; can you give us any good news to wrap
this up as well please?
BREMMER: The risk report is for 2023 and the reason Taiwan is a red herring is because we're just talking about the next 12 months, not the next 5 or
10 years. And the critical importance of semiconductors and TSMC, the most important strategic company in the world for the U.S. and for China creates
And makes a sudden military attack by China, much less likely. But you want good news; more broad good news is the resilience of the world's major
democracies, even given all of these challenges. As I mentioned before, Trump, Bolsonaro other major Democratic leaders, no matter what you think
of them, you like them, you dislike them.
But if they are constrained from taking sudden and dramatic action, because they do have checks and balances, they do have experts around them. There
is a differential of opinion and the institutions are resilient. That's much more important in this environment.
It's one of the reasons why U.S. democracy is not at the top of the list it's towards the bottom. We're divided. We're dysfunctional, but
fundamentally, we aren't going anywhere. And that does come as a relief as we kick off this New Year.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, none of these challenges and we didn't even mention all of them inflation, energy price shocks, erodes the support at this moment for
Ukraine. And that's a vital point I think to end on. Ian great to have you with us! Thank you. Ian Bremmer there President and Founder of Eurasia
Group, we're back after this.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to "First Move"! And the opening bell has sounded on Wall Street this Monday U.S. stocks are currently up as you can see
there outperformance for the NASDAQ higher by some nine tenths of 1 percent as the investors trying to build on Friday's gains.
CHATTERLEY: A slowdown in U.S. wage growth also is raising hopes that the pace of the Federal Reserve's rate hikes can now also decelerate as pricing
pressures ease. Meanwhile, no respite in the oil market oil prices jumping around 3 percent after China reopened its borders fully for the first time
in three years.
The reverberations from that move, boosting the outlook for oil demand as hopefully China's economy picks up. Alright, let's bring it back to one of
our top stories today. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, hailing the resistance in Ukraine's Eastern cities, he praised the people of Bakhmut
for holding out amid the brutal fighting.
Meanwhile, Kyiv is dismissing Moscow's claims that a Russian strike killed hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers in Kramatorsk last week. And our Ben Wedeman
is there now. Let's get the details. Ben, great to have you with us! What have you found?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we went to several of the locations Julia where those missiles hit just a few minutes
after 11 pm on Saturday. And we saw no evidence of casualties whatsoever. Our crew, just a few hours after these strikes went inside one of the
buildings which were a high school.
The missile landed right in front of it. And the blast shattered all the windows did cause some damage to the facade of the house. But there didn't
seem to have been anybody in that building in the first place. We also went to another location where there's a very big hole in the ground next to a
garage but also there are no signs of any casualties.
Now we are not far from Kramatorsk City morgue. There was neither unusual activity there nor any unusual activity at the city's hospitals. So by all
the evidence we've heard and statements from Ukrainian officials, there doesn't seem to be an iota of truth in the Russian claims that as many as
600 Ukrainian soldiers were killed in these strikes, Julia
CHATTERLEY: Good to know, Ben, and also this weekend, of course, Orthodox Christmas celebrations muted of course, for the people there. What did you
find when you were talking to families? How did they manage to celebrate?
WEDEMAN: Well Julia, we were in the embattled city of Bakhmut, which has been the scene as President Zelenskyy said, of some of the bloodiest
fighting of this war. What we found is that the few residents of Bakhmut who remained in that city tried to have a Merry Christmas, but it was not
at all a very Merry Christmas.
WEDEMAN (voice over): There was no peace no silence in Bakhmut on the eve of Orthodox Christmas. The unilateral Russian ceasefire never materialized.
The guns didn't go silent. And one of the city's shelters, residents gathered around a table laid with food and tokens of the holiday.
Tetiana a volunteer tries to raise spirits. We wish you good health, peace, prosperity and all the best she tells them. She knows it's important to put
on a brave face. Even though it's raining and snowing outside, I'm smiling, says Tatiana I wish people a merry Christmas I tried to show them it comes
from my soul.
She did manage to bring a smile to the only child in the shelter 9-year-old Volodymyr (ph) and his wish on this day I want this war to end and all my
friends to return he says. For the adults the gift under this tree is electricity to charge mobile phones and a wireless router connected to a
satellite link up allowing for a tenuous connection to loved ones.
To reassure them however they can that they're still alive. Not well. And here there's warmth in a city where public utilities were knocked out
months ago. Yet it's hard to feel the holiday spirits says Andriy.
ANDRIY HERIYAK, BAKHMUT RESIDENT: It's so sad day.
WEDEMAN (voice over): As the day progresses snow begins to fall and shelling continues. Christmas Eve dinner is a subdued affair in this
basement home for now to a few of the doctor's still left in Bakhmut. God bless us with strength patient endurance says Dr. Olena Molchanova but here
strength has its limits.
WEDEMAN (voice over): I feel pain she says, because I can't be with my family. I can't sit at the same table with my mother and daughter Christmas
morning any lead up in the shelling.
WEDEMAN (on camera): For months Russian forces have tried to take this city but so far have failed. But in the process according to one local official,
more than 60 percent of Bakhmut has been destroyed.
WEDEMAN (voice over): At the Church of Saints priests hold mass elite relative safety of the crisp. Candles provide the only light and warmth in
this the darkest of times.
WEDEMAN: And we understand that fighting has intensified around Bakhmut in the town nearby of Soledar (ph) that is particularly in Soledar there is
fierce fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces in the center of the town, Julia.
CHATTERLEY: Thank you so much for that report there Ben Wedeman! All right, still to come, boiling point in Brazil supporters of Former President
Bolsonaro storm government buildings in a January 6th style attack but what comes next after this?
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to "First Move"! And we return to our top story democracy under attack in Brazil. New this morning the country's three
branches of government officially denouncing Sunday's riots calling them acts of "Terrorism, vandalism, criminal and coup like" this comes after
supporters of President Jair Bolsonaro have started to leave the capital Brasilia.
Protesters who had camped outside the army headquarters were given 24 hours to leave or face being arrested. Yesterday's rioters stormed and vandalized
Brazil's Congress, Supreme Court and Presidential Palace, insisting Bolsonaro was the victim of a rigged election.
At least 400 people have been arrested President Lula Da Silva promising to bring to justice everyone responsible for the violence condemnation of the
rioters coming from key figures around the world too, including UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, U.S. President Joe Biden and France's
President Emmanuel Macron.
For more joining us now is Gustavo Ribeiro. He's the Founder and Editor-in- Chief of the Brazilian Report. Gustavo great to have you with us! How ordinary Brazilians reacted to the scenes that they saw at the weekend?
What's the general view?
GUSTAVO RIBEIRO, THE FOUNDER AND EDITOR-IN-CHIEF THE BRAZILIAN REPORT: Hello, thanks for having me. Brazilians overwhelmingly disapproved of the
scenes we saw in Brasilia yesterday. And we are seeing also the political establishment, distancing it from what happens.
And it's important to notice, when we talk about the political reaction to these acts that the Supreme Court has acted swiftly. It has suspended the
Governor of Brasilia for failing to address the crisis, and also sending a message to politicians that if they condone, even implicitly, these sorts
of actions, there will be consequences.
CHATTERLEY: Do you think the protests will continue? We've seen clearly not on this scale, but protests building since the election were lost by Jair
Bolsonaro back in October and amid disbelief that perhaps the election was in some way stolen? Do you think that the protesters give up now or what
RIBEIRO: I wouldn't be surprised if this is the last vote, because like you said, this has been building up since the October 30th runoff. And actually
for years because Bolsonaro for years has so distrust in Brazil institutions and has pitted his supporters against democratic institutions
we saw even a bomb plots have been uncovered in Brasilia just days before the inauguration of President Lula.
And what we're seeing is that it will require from authorities a very strong and swift reaction. And while there is absolutely necessary, it will
- you can also have the side effect of strengthening what these homeowners say that they are the victims of persecution by the so called deep state
and Bolsonaro borrows a lot of the playbook from Donald Trump.
So they may use this to reinforce their agenda and try to destabilize the new government. We have seen that they tried - they have blocked federal
highways that are essential to Brazil supply chains in multiple states and try to barricades, oil refineries which they were not successful in doing
that? So I would assume that we're going to see these waves of protests more often, in a way of trying to destabilize the economy and the new
CHATTERLEY: And Bolsonaro himself posted on social media and he pointed to violent protests that have been staged in the past. And 5000 youths
occupying, I believe the Congress building back in 2013, protests that were carried out, what four years later in 2017 clearly, nothing on this kind of
But I guess, in some way, the inferences that this is not about him, perhaps or his supporters, this is about something toxic and corrupt more
broadly, in the political system and then untrustworthiness, perhaps of politicians. Gustavo, do you have any sympathy for that idea that that the
political system there is corrupt?
RIBEIRO: Well, there's certainly a lot of corruption ingrained in Brazil's political system. But Bolsonaro offers as answer, the total denial of
politics and his supporters have for years, tried to, to essentially call for armed forces led coup.
It is important to say that the scenes that we saw yesterday are long in the making, because in September 7th 2021, Brazil's Independence Day,
throngs of Bolsonaro supporters were in Brasilia, and we saw the same. A lot of the elements we saw yesterday, a very few police officers
barricading the three powers square where we have the headquarters of all branches of government.
But at that point, the protesters jumped the gun and actually stormed the barricades on the eve of the scheduled protest. And that forced the
Governor of Brasilia to respond with increased police force. So yesterday they were more disciplined which allow them to do what I believe it was
their intention for a long time now.
So it's impossible to not to take face value what Bolsonaro saying because he's tired these folks for years? So if we are seeing what we're seeing it
is the - President is the first one to be blamed the Former President sorry.
CHATTERLEY: To your point years in the making. Gustavo great to get your insights thank you! Gustavo Ribeiro, the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the
CHATTERLEY: OK, coming up after the break, British ingenuity at its finest Virgin Orbit to set to join SpaceX and others is launching commercial
satellites into space but using a modified passenger jet. Yes, you heard me that story next.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to "First Move"! In a few hours' time Richard Branson's Virgin Orbit will attempt to launch several satellites into space
using a modified jumbo jet. If all goes well, it'll also be the first time a rocket has been launched into space from UK soil.
The Boeing 747 called "Cosmic Girl" will carry the rocket to a height of 35,000 feet and release it into orbit. Tom Foreman is looking forward to
the launch, as are we. I mean, there's a lot to discuss here the fact that, this is happening from the United Kingdom, which is exciting in itself. But
the launch vehicle itself, Tom, and I think we have to begin there?
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it's quite extraordinary what's going on here? This is every space mission is unique. What Virgin Orbit has been
doing for years has been very unique because they've been working toward this model of having a jumbo jet hold us up into the air, let it go, it
drops for about four seconds or angled pretty sharply up at about almost 30 degrees.
It drops for about four seconds, and then suddenly it accelerates to 8000 miles an hour. It's a very risky maneuver in many ways. And this is not
something to be undertaken lightly and can't really be compared with the launching of missiles from airplanes, which has gone on for a long time.
Because it's so much bigger, it's so much more powerful. But here's an interesting point here, Julia, one of the ideas that Virgin Orbit has had
all along was that by using this type of launch platform by launching it from a plane they can turn a lot of nations into space launching nations.
Not just nations that develop satellites and develop plan for them, and then ship them somewhere else to have them launch. Now they can launch them
at home. That's one of the reasons it's so exciting that it's happening where it's happening today, Julia.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, and to your point as well. It opens up all sorts of opportunities around the UK and of course, to your point, other areas
around the world?
FOREMAN: Yes, absolutely. Yes. And it's quite technologically; this is a pretty remarkable piece of equipment out there. You know, what I described
a minute ago, it is not easily done. But if it's done, not only does it allow a lot of nations to get involved in doing this sort of thing, but it
also opens up an ability.
And this is a little bit technical, but it's interesting to put satellites quickly into unusual or eccentric orbits. That's harder to do from ground
based facilities because you have to figure out exactly how you're going to get all the physics working to make your rocket go where you want.
FOREMAN: Well, if you can take a plane up and pointed any direction you want, from anywhere in the world you want, you may be able to have
satellites that respond, especially the small satellites, little cube satellites and things like that.
You may be able to launch them for very specific purposes in a shorter period of time. And that could serve a niche in the market that maybe isn't
served quite so easily right now. That's part of what Virgin Orbit has been going after for a long time.
And I'll tell you, Julia, I know a lot of this in part my daughter, actually, who's an aerospace engineer helped develop this rocket over time.
She no longer works for Virgin Orbit, but we had a lot of discussions about what's happening in space overall. That's one of the ideas behind this
flexibility in space that is harder to achieve from a land based launch platform.
CHATTERLEY: That's fascinating. I have about 30 seconds. What about the relative cost difference? Does it is that the point it's far cheaper to do
it this way perhaps even with the collapsing costs that we've seen? I've got 20 seconds I'm being told off.
FOREMAN: Yes, it's really - the cost thing I hesitate to talk a lot about cost right now because space missions are so unusual and their nation, it
takes one failure one success to change the cost equation dramatically.
CHATTERLEY: Thank you so much. We'll reconvene on this competition and congratulations on having an awesome daughter.
FOREMAN: Thanks Julia.
CHATTERLEY: Thanks, Tom. OK, that's it for the show as always, very good talk. "Connect the World" with Becky Anderson is up next. I'll see you