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First Move with Julia Chatterley
CNN Speaks to Quake Survivor in Iskenderun, Turkey; Zelenskyy Delivers Emotional Address to European Parliament; Military Sources: Initial Report wasn't Flagged as Urgent; Rescuers Pull Newborn Baby from Rubble in Syria; Massive Military Parade; Disney Plus Subscription Numbers Fall Last Quarter. Aired 9-10a ET
Aired February 09, 2023 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RAHEL SOLOMON, CNN HOST, FIRST MOVE: Welcome to CNN, I'm Rahel Solomon and we continue to follow two major stories this hour. The death toll topping
17,000 in Turkey and Syria after this week's massive earthquake growing fears that time is running out to find survivors.
The suffering only getting worse for the scores of people without shelter or supplies and both nations with Officials now warning of a deadly
secondary disaster. All of this as Turkey's President defends his country's quick response our other top story Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in Brussels for a
historic EU meeting.
Ukrainian President urging Europe to send new arms including fighter jets, and saying that his country deserves quick EU membership we are live in
Brussels just ahead. But first, the bitter cold further endangering survivors and also complicating rescue efforts as rescuers race against the
clock to try to clear the rubble from collapse buildings like this survivors waiting for any signs of good news. Jomana Karadsheh reports from
the Southern Turkish City of Adana.
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): A five-year-old emerges from underneath the rubble in Turkey's hard hit her tie. One of the
youngest of thousands of life saved. But for too many it was too late. In the town of Karaman they mourn one of the many who have not made it out
alive with the death toll rising by the hour.
This is a race against time. How many are buried under the wreckage of this massive quake zone, no one really knows estimates in the tens of thousands.
Here in Adana, search and rescue crews work tirelessly around the clock, digging through what used to be a 14 storey residential building, where
families lay asleep when the monstrous earthquake hit.
Survivors have gathered at the site of the rescue mission, their shelter and hot meals. And in the bitter cold, they huddle around these fires,
everyone with a story of the horror they've survived. The shock, the trauma, the pain visible on every face parents doing what they can to try
and make their little ones forget many here are anxiously awaiting views of their loved ones and friends buried under what's left at their homes.
KARADSHEH (on camera): Get down they're asking us to get down and we believe this is because they're scanning the building wreckage. This is a
very, very careful and delicate operation that's going on to try and see if they can locate any survivors because so far they haven't been able to.
KARADSHEH (voice over): No survivors yet, only lifeless bodies pulled. It's been three days. Why can't they get my son out this father, Wales? Is night
falls the rest of the family we desperately for any news of 25-year-old --. They've been out here for three long nights.
DENIZ, EARTHQUAKE SURVIVOR: It's so bad, because all this night. We are thinking my family, my relatives, my cousin's dad, he is crying so much. He
is wondering where his son is.
KARADSHEH (on camera): Your cousin's dad, we saw him earlier he was crying.
DENIZ Yes, we all cry. That's why I don't know what to say. We should pray to God.
KARADSHEH (voice over): And that is all day and countless others can do right now.
SOLOMON: And moments ago Jomana also spoke to another Turkish resident about what they're facing. Listen.
KARADSHEH (on camera): We are in the City of Iskenderun that is a part of Hatay province, one of the hardest hit provinces by this earthquake. And as
we are driving into the city, you can see extensive damage all over the city center and right here were pulled this was an 11 storey building and
it was a newly built structure.
There were only a few people who were inside the time and we have a server here who is with us. He's been out here waiting for news about your
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, my relative --. He's my partner in work. We've been waiting here for four days now. And it's really hard to get him. Today, I
think we are going to get news about him, hear, good news about him.
KARADSHEH (on camera): And you've been out here for the past 3 days.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, 4 days yes.
KARADSHEH (on camera): And I mean have you seen any survivors coming out?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: First day 3 people got out alive.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The second day 3 people got out dead. The third day two people and now there is only one person left. So we are waiting to hear
news about him. As you see this is a two-year-old building and as the one of the survivors say, as the hurt earthquake begin the building just
destroyed. Didn't they even make for any seconds as it started it just vanished.
KARADSHEH (on camera): And how are you feeling? I mean, not knowing what's happened to your friends.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm confused I don't know how to view senseless.
KARADSHEH (on camera): Yes, it is really very hard, right?
Yes, it is hard. Not for me, it's hard for the city. There are many people without a home, without electricity, without water. It's really hard for
KARADSHEH (on camera): Do you have hope that --?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: First day I was really hopeful because this building looks just fine. But this is the fourth day I'm getting out of hope.
SOLOMON: Jomana Karadsheh reporting there. And a massive effort is underway to get critical aid to survivors. Turkey's Foreign Minister said Thursday
of the country has received offers of assistance from 95 countries and 16 international organizations.
Salma Abdelaziz joins me now from Istanbul. And Salma, as I understand it, you spend some time at a distribution center at an aid distribution center,
what more can you tell us about the status of aid?
SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Look, there's absolutely such an enormous, such a tremendous need on the ground that no matter how much help
the poor is in, it's never going to be enough. I mean, you think about these numbers, you think about these figures that we're discussing, they're
Tens of thousands of people wounded, over 16,000 people killed, countless people now, of course, made homeless. It's really, really difficult to
comprehend the scope and scale, especially when you're looking at entering now the fourth day of this crisis, and that hope that we saw previously
that we might find people alive under the rubble that's slowly fading and what's coming into its place is anger and grief.
You heard that there from our colleague, Jomana Karadsheh and her peace, the stories of people on the ground who are wondering why their government
wasn't there. And I just want to break down for you a little bit this frustration that is not just felt in the earthquake zone is really felt
First of all, it's about the response. This question is being asked as to whether or not the Turkish government acted quickly enough, we saw in more
remote areas in that southern region that helped seemed to take forever for those families to come that some of them could hear their loved ones under
the rubble but didn't have any assistance or rescue workers or equipment to be able to actually pull them out.
And that we also know that many families spent several days without food, water, any assistance in not freezing cold. But again, the scope and scale
and magnitude of an earthquake one of the strongest seen in this region in a century, it's possible to argue that no government could have fully
prepared even one like Turkey, which has expected earthquakes sitting on a major fault line.
But the second question, and you also kind of saw that there in our colleague Jomana's peace again, from that I witness on the ground is the
question about building codes. Why were buildings not stable enough to withstand this? And the reason this is being asked is because Turkey had a
very particular system after the earthquake in 1999.
Building codes were updated, there were supposed to be more earthquake resistant rules when it comes to building these huge apartment blocks that
you're seeing. But at the same time, we are looking on the ground and we are seeing these buildings that were built in recent years, you heard that
again in the story that have been pancaked completely collapse.
That is raising questions were the codes met could live have been saved. President Erdogan, of course, was chased with these questions, essentially,
when he visited the region. And I will point out one last thing that might just point out that the Turkish government is aware of this frustration and
trying to clamp down on it.
Access to Twitter yesterday, as President Erdogan was touring that area, access to Twitter was limited. Signs there that they're trying to silence
the concerns, but these families, they're going to keep demanding answers.
SOLOMON: And I think look, it'll be an interesting question. When this was all said and done, how many of these buildings that fell were new
construction to your point? And how many of them were old construction because if they were new construction and question certainly remain about,
were they up to code and shouldn't they have been?
Salma Abdelaziz, we will leave it here, thank you. I do want to point your attention for our viewers around the world to those live pictures that you
were just looking at those were rescued efforts in the City of Gaziantep.
SOLOMON: Here as we see people continuing with their hands trying as this crisis now stretches into the fourth day, trying to see if they can find
any survivors trying to recover any bodies. We know that as this crisis continues to stretch on; the likelihood of finding people alive is growing
more and more them, but the search and the hope, as we heard from that Turkish resident, remains.
To our other top story this morning Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in Brussels meeting with leaders of the European Union earlier
today, he's delivered an emotional address to the European Parliament.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE: This is how Europe, these are our rules. This is our way of life. And for Ukraine, it's a wild help.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOLOMON: Now this comes a day after Mr. Zelenskyy met with the British Prime Minister in London and the leaders of France and Germany, which we're
reviewing here in Paris. Nic Robertson is live in Brussels with the latest. Nic, you know, there is the longer term goal, of course of EU membership,
but there is the more immediate need a fighter jets. From your perspective, what appear to be the larger priority here for Zelenskyy?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: The fighter jets and the longer range missiles, there was a question from the audience in the
press conference a few minutes ago, and he said, look, I can't go back empty handed. I can't afford not to push this debate on this issue forward.
He said I did he did think that he got some support from the U.K. on longer range missiles. And he also said very critically and of course, we know
that this happens. There are conversations that happen in private or not and the outcome is not made public.
But he said, essentially, rest assured what the assurances that I'm getting in these conversations that I'm not going to report about that I'm not
going to talk about, he said, a positive. So it is his priority. And I think part of that is and this is something that seems to be shared by the
leaders here, that the coming weeks and months are really important.
There's a real urgency and the future of the war. And what happens to Ukraine can really be pivotal in the very, very near future. And I think
that's shared and understood. But of course, he did get the congratulations from the European Council President about how much Ukraine has done despite
the war to actually move towards readying itself crossing some of the hurdles in terms of judiciary, in terms of major reforms, other reforms to
be able to join the European Union in the future.
And to that he said to a question asked in that press conference, when was he hoping it would happen? Well, this year he said, turning to Sharm el-
Sheikh and Ursula von der Leyen standing side by side with him. And I think that's another thing about Zelenskyy's visit here.
He is had more time in sort of more public forums with a number of leaders, in his meeting very shortly with one on one with the Italian Prime Minister
Giorgia Meloni, but it also Roberta Metsola sorry, the European Parliament precedent, we had time with her. We've seen a side of Zelenskyy, perhaps a
little bit more relaxed.
We've seen his humor - how he connects with these leaders. And that's another narrative that's emerged over the past 24, 36 hours is how much
this one man, this President of Ukraine can influence. Are other politicians to do what they would otherwise not want today, which gets to
your point, the fighter jets and the longer range missiles and he does seem to be having some progress.
SOLOMON: And up to that point in terms of how persuasive he is managing to be he also talked about in terms of the emotional, more moments of the
speech. He also talked about how Ukraine shares European values, and Russia does not.
ROBERTSON: Yes, so and that was really when he began that speech, actually, he seemed quite emotional, because there was such a round of applause. And
this was where he was, I think, one of those moments where he was trying to connect through these 705 European members of parliament there connect to
the people that voted for them.
Connect to the people of Europe, thanking them for their support for the refugees. Thanking them for coming out in their squares in support in their
village squares, town squares in support of Ukraine. And I think that way of connecting saying we are you, we share your values. We don't share the
things that Russia wants, the shutting down of the press, the curtailing of human rights.
ROBERTSON: All of those things, he said we share Ukraine's values and this is a substantial and important message to make sure that Ukraine can
continue to have the support that it's getting at the moment from the ground up.
Not just from leaders, but from the population writ large, because they're the ones that give the political space for these politicians to make the
big financial and diplomatic commitments that keep Ukraine alive and sustained in the fight and as everyone here has said, ultimately, to win
that fight with Russia.
SOLOMON: To win that fight, and so won the public support as you point out. Nic Robertson, thank you. And for more on this, Bruno Lete joins me he is a
Senior Fellow at the think tank, German Marshall Fund. Bruno, good to have you on the program today, thank you.
BRUNO LETE, SENIOR FELLOW AT GERMAN MARSHALL FUND: Hello, good afternoon.
SOLOMON: We just heard Nic there say that Zelenskyy essentially said I cannot go home empty handed will he, is he?
LETE: Well, you know, for Europe, this is, of course, a highly symbolic visit. But for Ukraine, there really is a real stake at the table. Really,
there are three things that Zelenskyy wants to bring home. First of all, its weapons, more weapons and faster deliveries Ukraine actually think that
Europe could do a better job in this regard.
So weapons to it are about sanctions. The European Union is now negotiating a tense package of sanctions against Russia to be agreed, normally around
the 24th of February. So the President of Ukraine really wants to make sure that those sanctions move forwards. And number three, of course, is the
whole issue around Ukraine's EU membership.
There is still unclear whether Ukraine will have an accelerated membership process are not? Of course, Ukrainians hope they do. But those are really
the three issues where Mr. Zelenskyy needed some deliverables, and also some good news.
SOLOMON: And to that point, I mean, as you point out, it is no secret that Zelenskyy in Ukraine would like a more accelerated process in order to join
the EU. But what do you think is a more realistic timeline in terms of how quickly they can get these reforms instituted?
LETE: Well, we see there's still some disagreement inside the EU what to do with this. The European Commission itself is a big fan of moving these
process fast forwards. But we see there are some capitals that are more hesitant, and that actually already argue that this process will take a
I mean, you know, bringing in Ukraine, it's a big country, 14 million people. So if Ukraine becomes a member of the EU, there will be some
structural changes happening inside the European Union. And this, of course, is a concern to certain capitals. So it is still unclear now, what
will be the outcome? The European Commission wants to go fast. Some EU member states already put the foot on the brake.
SOLOMON: Bruno, as you point out, it's a big country, but it is still a new country, and it's still a relatively new democracy. So in what areas does
Ukraine still need to do the most work in terms of supporting and advocating for itself to join the EU and proving that it is the right
candidate to join the EU?
LETE: Well, you know, I think we have to be fair here; we need to admit that Ukraine has done a tremendous job in transforming itself. The Ukraine
that we know today is no longer or five or six years ago, there have been reforms going on. The corruption is being tackled. So many laws are being
So we see that from a technical perspective. Ukraine is actually moving fast forward and European Commission has also recognized that the European
Commission has written reports actually applauding Ukraine's performance. Visa --, becoming a more EU fitted country. But of course, becoming an EU
member is also a political decision.
It's not only about technical indicators. And yes, the political decision ultimately will define whether or not Ukraine will become a member. That of
course is still unclear. There's no political agreement yet among all the EU member states.
SOLOMON: The visit no, nonetheless, still symbolic and practical in nature. Nonetheless, Bruno Lete, I will leave it here, thank you. He's a Senior
Fellow at the German Marshall Fund.
LETE: Thank you.
SOLOMON: And straight ahead, what did the U.S. know about China's spy balloon and when did it know it? We have no reporting after this.
SOLOMON: Military sources tell CNN that U.S. Officials knew ahead of time that a Chinese balloon was about to enter U.S. airspace. A day beforehand,
Defense Department's sent out an internal report known as a tipper through classified channels. But at the time, it wasn't flagged as urgent.
Now it's become a political flashpoint with some Republicans who are criticizing the Biden administration. Meantime, U.S. intelligence insisting
that China did intend to use the balloon for spying take a listen to this from the Pentagon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PATRICK RYDER, PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY: I can assure you this was not for civilian purposes. That is, we are 100 percent clear about that, based on
what we know and have observed about this balloon. It is a surveillance balloon. It was an intelligence collection capability. You know, a question
I would ask myself is if in fact, it was a civilian balloon, a weather balloon and it was approaching a sovereign nation about to enter their
A responsible nation would have put out some kind of public statement saying, hey, heads up; this is heading your way. We just want to watch you
now. The PRC did not do that. They didn't respond until after they were called out. Just leave it at that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOLOMON: Alright, let's get the latest now with our Natasha Bertrand who has new details from Washington. Natasha, what more are you learning about
the timeline about all of this and how this all unfolded?
NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes, Rahel, so we're learning that on January 27, about one day before the balloon actually entered U.S.
airspace over Alaska. The Defense Intelligence Agency, which is the intelligence arm of the Pentagon, sent out a classified report a short
report, basically flagging that a foreign object was headed towards U.S. airspace.
Now, these kinds of reports are available to anyone who wants to read them. But it was not flagged to the highest levels of the U.S. government because
it was not deemed as an urgent threat. The U.S. had seen these kinds of balloons before and but previously, they had not posed any kind of military
or national security risk to the United States.
So U.S. Officials believed that the best course of action, even after receiving this DIA report would simply be to monitor the balloon as it
crossed over Canada and potentially left American airspace but that is not what happened. Instead, the balloon actually took a sharp downward turn
south, from Alaska over Canada and into Montana.
And that is when you as Officials started getting very concerned because that is a path that balloons like this have not actually taken before. So
at that point, we are told that the U.S. actually sent jets up to do a positive identification of this balloon, see what they can learn about it.
And at that point, they believed that it was headed towards Montana, and then it could potentially be gathering intelligence about sensitive
military installations there. So around January 31, a couple days later, that is when President Biden was officially briefed on this.
BERTRAND: And of course, the U.S. still felt at that point like it would not be beneficial to shoot it down right away, because shooting it down
over water as we have been told would pose the lesser risk to civilians on the ground. And also importantly, it would allow the United States to
better collect intelligence about the balloon over the course of the several days that it transited over the continental U.S.
So this shifts the timeline back by about a day. But U.S. Officials tell us look, we still did not view this as urgent enough to take kinetic action
against it. We wanted to see what more we can learn about it. But that of course, the calculation started to change once it actually hit the
continental United States and appeared to be behaving a little differently than what they had seen before, Rahel.
SOLOMON: Natasha Bertrand, thank you joining us there from Washington. And China is pushing back against assessments like that. The Chinese Foreign
Ministry denying U.S. allegations that the spy balloon was part of a fleet around the world and also accusing the U.S. of being the world's "Largest
surveillance and reconnaissance country" our Selina Wang has the details from Beijing.
SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Beijing is hitting back at Washington statements about the suspected spy balloon. The Pentagon said on Tuesday
that China refused a conversation with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin following the downing of the balloon. Well, now China's Defense Ministry is
saying they rejected that call, because the conditions were not right, given the U.S. is "irresponsible and seriously wrong approach".
We've seen Beijing's rhetoric harden significantly after the U.S. Military shot on the balloon after initially expressing regret for what they claim
as a weather balloon that flew of course. Beijing is now accusing the U.S. of overreacting and violating international practice.
The contrast between what Beijing and Washington are claiming is only getting Starker. You have China on one hand, doubling down on its claim
this was a civilian balloon that took an unplanned course that was out of their control. On the other hand, the Pentagon has said it has 100 percent
certainty that the down Chinese balloon was not being used for civilian purposes.
CNN has reported that U.S. Intelligence Officials believe the balloon is part of an extensive military run surveillance program that involves a
fleet of balloons spanning five continents. China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that claim is "likely part of the U.S. information and public
opinion warfare" and accused the U.S. of being the world's largest surveillance reconnaissance country.
The Pentagon has said that maintaining open lines of communication with China are particularly important in moments like this. The question still
remains as to whether this balloon incident will lead to long term damage to the relationship between the U.S. and China that is already extremely
tense. Selina Wang, CNN, Beijing.
SOLOMON: And coming up the desperate task of getting food and supplies to quake survivors the job especially difficult and war torn Syria. We will
hear from a U.N. Refugee Official, coming up next.
SOLOMON: And welcome back to CNN! We return to Turkey and Syria and some good news we are just getting in. 78 hours after the devastating
earthquake, a mother and her two boys have been rescued alive near the quake's epicenter. Rescue workers heard a voice and worked all night to
free the family.
But these are the lucky ones. The death toll now has soared past 17,000 people the race against time only intensifying. Temperatures in the
disaster zone staying below zero at night before warming to about five degrees Celsius during the day and it's expected to stay that way for the
next several days.
The World Health Organization is now warning of a secondary disaster if humanitarian aid is not sped up. And with each passing day rescue workers
are pulling fewer survivors and more victims from the debris. As the day's drag on frustrations also grow over the state's response to the deadly
disaster. CNN's Nick Paton Walsh has the story.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (on camera): To see the devastation in a city of this size is just utterly
remarkable. Some streets one building fine, it seems untouched standing. The next utterly flattened, and some streets indeed with the bottom three
floors of an apartment block crushed on each other and the rest of the building standing upright.
It wasn't even one of those where we saw a glimmer of hope rescue workers running towards.
And you can see them running behind me here as well. Running towards the scene where they thought they had found an 18-year-old girl alive sadly in
front of her mother, she was brought out and seem to have perished in there.
But down here at this wreckage, continued bids, to respond to the noises they hear to respond to what they hope will be people being brought out
alive and anger too that we hear from bystanders. Looking in one case at the now destroyed home of their sister and her entire child family anger at
How some buildings are upright through building regulations being followed and some are crumbled down to rubble. And a culture really of where
construction is so part of the money here so some accused of being riddled with corruption and how that made them angry too the government culture
that would permit that to occur.
But still now the urgent task responding to the noise that they hear inside the rubble calls for silence or pause in work and then sadly, as we've seen
over here, some bodies that have been brought out, it is a grim and constant job that we are hearing and seeing from the rescue workers here
and in no case over there, some of those bodies marked with owner suggesting that they have been identified that somebody may be there to
collect them soon. And others left with those questions still unanswered. Nick Paton Walsh, Turkey.
SOLOMON: And the group "The White Helmets" is leading rescue operations and rebel held areas of Northern Syria. Their heroism has been well documented
during nearly 12 years of civil war more now from CNN's Salma Abdelaziz.
ABDELAZIZ (voice over): This is no way to come into the world birth during an earthquake thrust into a war zone, orphaned and alone. This newborn girl
was found alive her umbilical cord still attached to her dead mother's body buried under the rubble of their home.
This video shows the moments after rescue workers pulled her out of the ruins. We found the parents bodies lying next to each other. Then we heard
the sound he says. We dug we cleared the dust and found the baby still tied by her umbilical cord. So we cut it off and sent her to hospital. The rest
of Baby John Doe's immediate family lies in the back of this pickup truck all dead before they even knew she was alive.
ABDELAZIZ (on camera): An entire generation of Syrians has been born in toward now those traumatized children face yet another catastrophe.
Diplomatic efforts are underway to open a humanitarian corridor. But already there are concerns access is being politicized. The Damascus
government heavily sanctioned by the West insists it should be the sole coordinator.
BASSAM SABBAGH, SYRIAN AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: So if it's happened to your country or to his country, it will be the same without the control of the
government, without permission of the government, without approval from the government this is violation very simple.
ABDELAZIZ (voice over): But few in rebel held areas, places bombarded for years by President Bashar Al-Assad believed the government that once level
their neighborhoods would care to save them now. And the clock is ticking to find any survivors under hundreds of collapse buildings.
Like Median (ph) this social media video shows her more than 36 hours after the quake. Susan her little brother - please she says to the rescue workers
please help us. I'll do anything if you could just help us. Siblings are eventually extracted and brought safely to their terrified parents.
In another rare moment of triumph, an entire family is retrieved by emergency responders. Just watch the crowd's reaction as they bring them
out one by one, dad, daughter and son. In Syria, just surviving is a victory. Salma Abdelaziz, CNN, Istanbul.
SOLOMON: Now let's get more now on these rescue efforts. Joining me now is Rula Amin; she is the Spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner
for Refugees. The agency is coordinating the emergency response to the earthquake.
Rula, good to have you on the program today! I wish under better circumstances. But we know this earthquake hit both sides of the border.
But it doesn't appear that aid is equally getting to both sides of the border. What more can you tell us about the status of aid?
RULA AMIN, UNHCR SPOKESPERSON: Yes. Of course, you know, first it's - who is coordinating all the response UNHCR is part of this response. And what's
happening is that as you know, Syria has been in a crisis for 12 years, and the situation on the ground is very complicated.
So aid is not coming in as we wish as needed and as fast as possible. That's why our urge is we need access. And we need resources, because the
needs that have emerged as a result of this earthquake - of this earthquake are just immense. People are desperate for rescue, to for someone to take
them out from under the rubble. They are desperate for shelters. They need food. They need medicine. They need blankets. They need mattresses.
And even on the long run this will have a lot of consequences on people's lives. That's why we say we need to put politics aside and we need all
efforts to be focused on bringing relief to these people as soon as possible and as much as possible.
SOLOMON: What's the bigger concern right now getting aid into Syria? Is it the access or is it the resources?
AMIN: It's both. For now, most of the UN organizations are using their pre- position stocks. So every organization likes UNHCR, we have like 20,000 tents inside Syria, and we had hundreds and thousands of items also inside
And we are using this to distribute to those who needed. But there are so much needs. The needs are increasing by the day. And that's why we need to
bring in more relief items, more tents, more blankets, and that's why we need more resources. We're not waiting, but we need these resources.
At the same time you know, one issue is that even the aftermath of the earthquake, there is a number of buildings that collapsed but many of these
people who had been hit by this earthquake had been displaced from their homes for years.
They have been living in tents, flimsy shelters, partially destroyed buildings, and its all weak structures so even if it had not collapsed, the
earthquake had weakened it and it became unsafe to stay and so the number of people who had to flee and cannot go back to their homes is huge.
And that's why the shelter - the need to help them either with tents plastic sheeting. There are shelters being opened like school using
schools, mosque, but these are temporary solutions, though, so we will need a lot of resources to help these people restart again.
SOLOMON: Rula, we got some news this morning that for the first time a UN aid convoy has crossed into the border into Syria for the first time for
that region. Can you tell us a bit more about how large the aid was, and what exactly it entails?
AMIN: Yes, of course. It's a bit complicated the setup there on how it comes in. But basically, in Northwest Syria, which is under the control of
the opposition forces. You know the United Nations Security Council have authorized the United Nations humanitarian agencies like UNHCR, to bring in
aid through this border crossing from Turkey, into Northwest Syria.
And this has been happening for years. More than 4 million people are dependent on this aid to survive, because 3 million of them almost are
displaced anyway. And so their needs are huge. And that's why throughout the - we have been sending in relief items, food supplies, everything
through. It's been distributed on the ground by local NGOs, mostly Syrians who know and they have a huge network to distribute.
Now, when the earthquake happened, not only it destroyed people's homes and lives, it also destroyed the infrastructure, including a main road that led
into Northwestern Syria, and it took two days to fix this road for aid to start going back in.
Now, as I said, it's not like in the past two days, there was no aid being delivered. Because we had - we all had stocks of items inside and our
partners on the ground were using it to reach a lot of people. But it's not enough. And we need so much more.
Even if we get trucks in for the next 10 days, it is not enough. The needs are huge, because people anyway, were in need of this aid. They need so
much to survive. They need so much to protect their families.
And we have to remember, for 12 years, this crisis has been going on and people have started to feel that the world has forgotten about them. It's
12 years of crisis of war, of economic inflation, it's COVID. So they had been feeling alone. And now with this happening, they are really hopeless.
And it's time for the world to stand by them to renew its commitment to support them that we will not forget about them.
And maybe hopefully, there will be some kind of resolve that their suffering has to end. It's enough 12 years where the civilian population
has paid the highest price for the Syria crisis and now that hit by this strong earthquake, shattering their lives even further.
SOLOMON: Just compounding challenges, compounding problems, as you lay out really well there. I was encouraged to hear you say that that road that
main road has improved enough that aid is actually starting to get in. I do want to ask however, what do you think the biggest challenge moving forward
Is it the Syrian government perhaps being suspicious of outsiders coming into Syria? Is it the rebel held territories? I mean, what is the bigger
challenge? I know, they're both challenges but what's the bigger challenge moving forward?
AMIN: I think we have so many challenges, you know, it's a very highly politicized situation. People and the public is very charged, people are
seeing these images of people stranded under the rubble, and people trying to extract them, whether in Northwest Syria or inside Syria with their own
hands with shovels, and people are frustrated.
So there's some a lot of blame game. People want to see more being done to help these people. They want to see equipment, real equipment, serious
equipment being probed and brought in whether inside Syria where the government controls, or inside Northwest Syria, where the opposition
controls the ground.
So all these things are real needs and it's real families who are stranded in there, desperate for the world to come in and help regardless of any
agenda, regardless of any political issues. But resources is also very important because for humanitarian agencies to reach all these people, not
only with a mattress and a tent today.
But for sustained humanitarian assistance, it's going to take a lot of resources, and we need the international community to commit to that, you
know, even before this earthquake hit across Syria, more than 70 percent of the population was dependent on this humanitarian aid to survive it's day
to be able to put food on the table to be able to send its kids to school.
The hospitals, only half of the hospitals in Syria were functioning due to the 12 years of crisis. So the needs were immense and have they have been
SOLOMON: Well said Amin, I think the resources can certainly be rounded up. I think, moving forward, it would be encouraging if the access would also
be there too to actually get the resources to where they're needed. Rula Amin, we'll have to leave it here. But thank you for being on the program
AMIN: Thank you.
SOLOMON: She was a Senior Communications Adviser for UNHCR. And coming up, Kim Jong-Un showcasing North Korea's new missile power as he also shares
the spotlight with his young daughter, we have a live report from Seoul coming up next.
SOLOMON: Welcome back! To North Korea now where the nation is showing off a record number of advanced intercontinental ballistic missiles and a
nighttime military parade the massive event marking the 75th Anniversary of the founding of the country's army.
North Korean Leader Kim Jong-Un also putting the spotlight on one of his children. Paula Hancocks is live in Seoul with the details. Paula, this is
what may be the fifth time a handful of times we've seen her since November. It's really sparking speculation that maybe she could be next in
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, every time we see her Rahel, that's certainly fueling the speculation even more that potentially she is
being groomed for an important position, perhaps the top job. But of course, no one knows for sure until North Korea tells us themselves.
But what we saw with this military parade on Wednesday night was a couple of new things. First of all, we've never seen a North Korean Leader take a
child to the military parade before. But we did see Kim Jong-Un taking his daughter.
And she was filmed in front and center watching the missiles roll by. It was also a first for the sheer amount of ICBMs that we saw at this military
parade a significant amount of North Korea's most powerful weapon.
HANCOCKS (voice over): Missile after missile rolls through Pyongyang's main square Wednesday night. Its biggest intercontinental ballistic missile the
Hwasong-17 presumed capable of reaching Mainland United States. No speech from Leader Kim Jong-Un this time, but this many ICBMs are a message in
CHUN IN-BUM, RETIRED SOUTH KOREAN LT. GENERAL: They've now gone into a good production line of this very capable threatening missile system.
HANCOCKS (voice over): And what some experts say maybe a mock-up of a new solid fuel ICBM, which would make it quicker to launch and easier to move.
BUM: If this is the case it gives them more mobility, flexibility, lethality, and so forth.
HANCOCKS (voice over): Kim Jong-Un told the world he wanted a bigger and better nuclear arsenal. And judging from these images provided by state run
media, which seems to be exactly what he's doing. Another first, the military parade was a family affair.
Kim's wife and daughter were watching the missiles roll by. Believed to be called - maybe nine or 10 years old this is the fifth public event for
Kim's daughter since November, the only one of his children to be shown in public, fueling speculation he may be grooming her for succession.
CHEONG SEONG-CHANG, DIRECTOR OF ASIAN COOPERATION CENTER, SEJONG INSTITUTE: In order to seize power in North Korea gaining control of the military and
their loyalty is the most important thing so I think that's why Kim Ju-Ae is mainly accompanying Kim to military related occasions.
HANCOCKS (voice over): Kim Jong-Un's message has been we will strengthen the military and we will be ready for war.
HANCOCKS: And staying with the military theme, Ri Sol-Ju, Kim Jong Un's wife was also seen at a banquet in state media, which aired on Wednesday
wearing a necklace with an ICBM pendant, which has garnered a fair bit of attention over here.
So a fashion nods to the country's most powerful weapon. And looking at the daughter once again, when it comes to how she has been referred to in state
media that has been closely watched as well for any indication of how she should be treated.
And the sorts of words that are used in state where media is beloved and also respected. One expert who watches the family closely that we spoke to
said that could suggest that already there is a sense of adoration and isolation around her already as there is with the rest of the Kim family,
SOLOMON: Fascinating. It'll be interesting to see Paula, if we see more sights of his daughter, as you pointed out in your piece. We've already
seen her handful of times in just the last few months. Paula Hancocks, thank you. Well, coming up, "Disney's Dilemma", its streaming business is
slowing and big job cuts are coming the very latest after the break.
SOLOMON: Welcome back! U.S. stocks up and running on Wall Street. Stocks bouncing NAFTA across the board losses on Wednesday but you can see a
different picture today the DOW, NASDAQ and S&P all higher. We saw some losses yesterday on fresh interest rate uncertainty though. Recent comments
by Fed officials suggest that they could keep raising borrowing costs past with the street is pricing in.
Bob Iger is out with a bold new plan to try to right the ship at Disney. The CEO of the entertainment giant targeting more than $5 billion in cost
savings, including 7000 job cuts all of this as the Disney Plus streaming platform suffers its first ever drops in subscriptions.
Well, take a look at shares they're rallying on this restructuring news up about 4.5 percent as well as worried that Disney could begin paying
dividends again. One of the big questions though it will all of this please activist investors? Paula R LA Monica joins me now. Paula, you know Igor
comes back to Disney at a time when they really have their hands full. They have a slew of challenges ahead of them?
PAULA R LA MONICA, CNN REPORTER: There are definitely many challenges Rahel. You mentioned that there is a bit of a streaming slowdown, maybe an
oversaturation in that part of the media business with all the competition.
Netflix our parent company Warner Brother's Discovery obviously with HBO Max and Discovery Plus, Paramount there is a lot of competition. Iger
recognizes that they need to streamline and cut costs which unfortunately mean those 7000 layoffs.
MONICA: What's very interesting is that the news is just breaking. Nelson Peltz was on CNBC. And he is that activist shareholder you mentioned before
his appearance he - and his firm sent a comment to CNN saying that they were pleased with Disney's news yesterday.
But stopped short of saying that anything new was going to happen, but Peltz just went on CNBC and said the proxy fight is over. He apparently is
no longer seeking a board seat or major changes to shake up Disney. He seems pleased with what Bob Iger has announced.
SOLOMON: Oh, well, that's something that will also make the stock jump because you have Dan Loeb saying essentially that he is pleased and now you
have Nelson Peltz saying that he is pleased so that's some good - you can call that a win I think for Bob Iger?
MONICA: Yes, I mean, there's the sad fact that Iger may never get to retire because Wall Street wants him so much--
MONICA: And if they try this again, unfortunately, with Bob J Peck, I mean, Iger tried to seamlessly lead pass the baton to another Disney insider and
it didn't work. So when is Iger going to leave? He said two years not sure Wall Street believes that.
SOLOMON: We'll see lots of watch. Paula R LA Monica, thank you. And that is it for the show. I'm Rahel Solomon. "Connect the World" is coming up next.