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Isa Soares Tonight

World Reacts To Putin's Destabilizing Speech; Biden Rebukes Putin In U.N. Speech; New York Attorney General Sues Trump Family; U.S. Federal Reserve Interest Rate Announcement; Putin Orders More Troops, Makes Veiled Nuclear Threats; Protests Intensify Over Death Of Woman In Morality Police Custody; Florida Governor Sued Over Migrants. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired September 21, 2022 - 14:00   ET



PAULA NEWTON, HOST, ISA SOARES TONIGHT: A warm welcome to the show everyone, I'm Paula Newton in for Isa Soares. Russian President Vladimir

Putin calls up 300,000 more soldiers to try and hold the line in Ukraine. And he makes a not so-veiled nuclear threat. Now, the U.S., Ukraine and the

world are reacting this hour at the U.N.GA.

Plus, Biden took the podium just hours ago and Zelenskyy will speak later in the day. All that on the same day that New York Attorney General slaps

Donald Trump, three of his children and his businesses with a massive lawsuit.

OK, but right now, we are following breaking news. Any moment, the U.S. Federal Reserve will announce a major decision with of course global

implications. Most investors expect the central bank to raise interest rates by 75-basis points to try and fight what has been persistently

stubborn inflation.

Which is what happened the last two meetings they raise 75, but everyone waiting to see whether or not they'd go up by that full percentage point.

We want to bring in our business editor-at-large, Richard Quest, who is at the New York Stock Exchange, and Rahel Solomon, who is standing by in New

York for those all important numbers.

Rahel, first to you, that top line number, we should see it in a few seconds for now. But let's review --


NEWTON: What are -- what were the expectations? And I hear now that it is three-quarters of a percent.

RAHEL SOLOMON, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. Which was largely aligned with expectations. So the federal funds right now coming in at 3 to

three-quarters of a percent, which makes this now the third consecutive rate hike of 75-basis points. Something we have not seen in modern history.

Just to paint some perspective.

We started the year, Paula, at about zero to a quarter percent for that federal benchmark interest rate. We are now at 3 percent, so just sort of

gives you a sense of how steady and how quickly rates have rise. Take a look at the Dow. You can see that's actually lower, which is interesting,

Dow is off about 110 points. This was what the market was expecting.

Certainly, not a surprise here. There were questions, a bit of an outlier projection, but there were questions. Could we see rate rises of even more

perhaps of 4-percentage point, but you could argue the fact that really do the same in terms of its press conference, in terms of its economic

projections, in terms of committing to being hawkish.

But Dow doesn't seem to like all that. You can see it's now sort of paring back some of those losses. But coming in completely in line with what we

are expecting, Paula.

NEWTON: Yes, no surprises on the 1 percent. And as you point out, we are, you know, evening out there on the Dow, at least for the moment. Richard,

that headline number, important, but so too of course are the words of the Fed chair. Right now, a few weeks ago, Powell was blunt. You reported on

how blunt it was. And the pain that he talked about in that U.S. economy. Do we expect that he will stick to that tone?

QUEST: Oh, I think he's going to maintain exactly the same position. And I've got the statement that he brought out. He says -- and the statement

from the Federal Open Markets Committee says "the committee is strongly committed to returning inflation to its 2 percent objective." Now, to do

that, they also say the committee anticipates ongoing increases in the target range of the -- for the Fed funds will be appropriate.

Now, they're not saying how big those future increases are. But we're -- but we are on notice, Paula, that this is just the start or in the middle,

if you will. There are many more rate rises to come. To what -- to reach what we believe is the -- well, the phrases, neutrality, 3 percent, 3.5

percent initially, we thought might be neutrality. But with inflation being so high, most people are now saying, no, it will be more. So look for more

rate rises, and that, I think, is what the market is now telling us.

NEWTON: Yes, as you see, we're again in those losses. Some people really have looked at whether or not this means that the Fed is infinite to really

deal with the stubborn inflation at its bottom range. So, you can take the froth off the top on the inflation, but you can't really get to its core.

And that's what's frightening people. What do you think from what you've seen so far?

QUEST: Well, from what I'm seeing so far. I'm just looking at something known as the dot plot. This is the document that comes out of the same time

as the Fed gives its decision. If we look at where the expectation of monetary policy. The midpoint by the end of 2023, we're looking at 5

percent, 4.75 to 5 percent.

In that 4.5 to 5 percent range is where most participants and the committee believe. Now, what that means is that, we have many more rate rises to



Whether they are three-quarters of a percentage point at a time, unlikely. This is the equivalent of stomping on the brakes, Paula.

NEWTON: Stomping is right. As you point out, some people had expected that, that range to go to 4.5 --

QUEST: Yes --

NEWTON: Not 4.75 to 5. Richard, you will explain so much more of this for us, we are awaiting the Fed chair to speak, and you will be back in the

back half of our show. Looking forward to it. Always love a good dot plot, right, Richard?


We love a good dot plot at the top. Thank you and we'll get back to you just a few moments.

QUEST: Thank you.

NEWTON: Meantime, Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced an immediate partial mobilization of 300,000 reservists to join the war in

Ukraine. It's an enormous escalation of Russia's war footing, and also its fighting power. As its military faces bruising losses right on those front


Ukrainian and western officials meantime say it is a clear sign of Russia's panic, but here, listen to Mr. Putin and what he said.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT, RUSSIA (through translator): I find it necessary to support the proposal of the defense ministry and the general

staff on the partial mobilization in the Russian federation to defend our motherland and its sovereignty and territorial integrity. And to ensure the

safety of our people and the people in the liberated territories.

I repeat, we are talking only about partial mobilization. In other words, only military reservists, primarily those who served in the armed forces

and have specific military occupational specialties and corresponding experience will be called up.


NEWTON: Nick Paton Walsh joins me now from Kramatorsk in eastern Ukraine. Good to have you to weigh in here, Nick. I find it interesting, we just

heard from Putin, right? And he chose to underscore the fact that this was a partial mobilization. As if he too is all too aware of the

vulnerabilities at home. What do you read in that?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: You know, this was a speech that was delayed, frankly, 12 hours from initially been trailed to

have been last night. It happened this morning. And many had felt this might have been about mass mobilization. Essentially saying to the entire

civilian population, predominantly military-aged males, you are going to be forced to go to the front.

That did not happen. And instead, we have this partial mobilization asking reservists, people with combat experience and special skills related to

military work to essentially come and be conscripted. Now, that will take a lot of time. And the number floated by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu,

300,000. I have to say, feels like a bit of a pipe dream.

If you recall, Paula, how much Russia has struggled over the last six months to just equip supply and properly command and strategically deploy

its 150,000 or so troops of its regular army that it's had on the front line here. So, at a moment where frankly they're running out of equipments,

they seem to be losing on multiple fronts.

The idea they can suddenly deploy tens of thousands, not hundreds of thousands of reservists that they haven't yet tapped into as a resource.

Remember, they've been struggling with manpower for a while. And they've probably gone to veterans and reservists already to some degree.

It does seem a little farfetched. But this is backed up by the one thing that a nuclear power does have. And that is its nuclear power. Even if its

conventional military might is failing it. And so, I think the concern in the background here are these nuclear threats, they are sort of portrayed

as a response to non-existent nuclear threats from the West.

But it's very clear that Vladimir Putin wants to remind his opponents and certainly the West and supporters of Ukraine, that this option is available

to him. Although, he does make the circumstance in which he says they will be used quite limited. Which is threatening of Russia's territorial --

NEWTON: Right --

WALSH: Integrity. So a definite change in the rhetoric, but a very ambitious plan which I have to say we're not going to see, I think changing

things on the ground very fast, Paula.

NEWTON: Yes, and let's get to that, though, Nick. It is important really to hear from Putin himself. So, we'll replay what he said about that

nuclear option. Listen.


PUTIN: This is not a bluff. The citizens of Russia can be sure that the territorial integrity of our homeland, our independence and freedom will be

insured. I emphasize this again with all the means at our disposal. And those who try to blackmail us with nuclear weapons should know that the

prevailing winds can turn in their direction.


NEWTON: OK, so he's saying it's not a bluff. We should take him at his word, right, Nick? President Biden at the U.N. called his nuclear threat

irresponsible. But the issue is this. Is it a credible threat?

WALSH: This comes down really to whether or not you think Russia has been acting rationally. Now, rational power would obviously realize that the use

of nuclear weapons is likely to trigger a retaliatory response from another nuclear power. And essentially when the life on this planet significantly

less habitable than it was before, that exchange,

Russia so far, some argue has been acting relatively rationally. They've been acting based on appalling new bad intelligence, an appalling estimates

as to how well their military would function in this war. But based on that, they seem to have done things that are comparatively sane or logical.


You may even argue today's announcement reflects that too. That they've assessed that their local population, the Russians themselves, are not

willing to see their fathers and sons march off to the front line in massive numbers. And so, they're going to begin to try and replenish their

faltering manpower ranks on the frontline by bringing in small numbers of reservists.

Sergei Shoigu suggesting they potentially have 25 million people they could call upon, but they're only going for 300,000. And so, they are, it seems,

acutely aware of the limits of their capabilities in terms of what domestic opinion will allow. Whether or not they're aware of quite how much more

fight their own military has in it at this stage.

Whether or not the frontline commanders are giving an honest picture back to Moscow about how badly it's all going. That's unclear. But it does

weigh into the calculus, are we dealing with the sort of mad man idea of a leader who will frankly do anything to retain power or want the world to

imagine he might do that.

Or is there below all of that fiery rhetoric we heard today. And I should point out, nobody wants in their lifetime to ever if they had the

possibility of nuclear war. I suspect you and Paula were around more than enough to know about the 1980s, where there were threats of annihilation in

a cold war was sort of omnipresent every day.

It's below all of that rhetoric for Moscow today. Essentially, an acknowledgment that this is something that they don't actually want to do.

And it's a hope that it can act as a reinforcement to whatever conventional forces they can pull together in the weeks or months ahead.

NEWTON: Yes, but it has been an open question whether or not he is a rational actor and what he will do next since he invaded Ukraine because

that surprised many. Nick Paton Walsh for us in eastern Ukraine, thanks so much. Now, U.S. President Joe Biden spoke as we were saying at the U.N. a

short time ago. And he blasted Vladimir Putin for his actions in Ukraine.

Mr. Biden told the General Assembly that the Russian president is violating in fact, the U.N. Charter. And he vowed, the U.S. would keep up its support

for its embattled ally. Listen.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Now Russia is calling, calling up more soldiers to join the fight. And the Kremlin is organizing a sham

referendum to try to annex parts of Ukraine and extremely significant violation of the U.N. Charter. This world should see these outrageous acts

for what they are.

Putin claims he had to act because Russia was threatened. But no one threatened Russia. And no one other than Russia sought conflict.


NEWTON: And as you can imagine, the war in Ukraine, top of the agenda, as world leaders gather in New York this week. European Commission President

Ursula von der Leyen acknowledged the high price Europe is paying for its support of Ukraine. But said, the bloc will not bow to blackmail from



URSULA VON DER LEYEN, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN COMMISSION: There is going to be a tough Winter ahead of us, but we know why we have to pay this price. This

is a question of democracy versus autocracy. And I'm deeply convinced democracy will prevail.


NEWTON: CNN's Richard Roth joins me now from the United Nations General Assembly. Richard, good to see you. Right where you need to be for us at

this moment, taking this all in. Give us that bird's-eye view, how are U.N. members reacting to Putin's threats? And more broadly, of course, the

conflict in Ukraine.

RICHARD ROTH, CNN SENIOR U.N. CORRESPONDENT: Well, there is no doubt Ukraine is dominating a lot of these speeches. Without a big war like this,

we wouldn't have it. It's huge for the U.N. The U.N. system to have a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council attacking its neighbor,


And we heard President Biden, we've heard from the leaders of Estonia, Latvia, we've heard from the French President, Macron, yesterday. Strong

denunciation of Russia. This news about a mobilization, a partial mobilization. The EU and Foreign Affairs leader Josep Borrell just saying

seconds ago, he's calling for an emergency meeting tonight of EU members to discuss this.

He says the Security Council of the U.N. will also discuss this. So, it's a big deal, I'm sure time for a day when President Biden was going to speak

to the U.N.

NEWTON: Absolutely. Neither Putin nor Xi though are in New York right now. Of course, both retain those powerful veto on the Security Council. How is

the secretary framing all of this? He has been quite blunt in recent months, and will point out that they did get that food deal in place with


ROTH: Yes, he's found the niche for the U.N. which seems to work whether with public opinion or performance on the ground. Humanitarian aid. He has

gone to the region to see the ships carrying the grain, leaving the Ukraine area the Brave Commander. He cited in his speech yesterday to the General



But he told the countries, we're in big trouble. And laid out a list of horrors facing the members of the General Assembly. A much more pointed

speech than in previous years. He's been talking to Putin last week. He was on the phone with him on Friday, I believe. So, he's trying to gather the

forces and get them together. But I don't -- we're not going to have a Ukraine ceasefire this week. And it looks like we're headed for more

problems on this front.

NEWTON: Yes, absolutely. Especially given those bellicose statements by Putin just a few hours ago. Richard Roth for us, good to have you there at

the U.N. Appreciate it. Now, still to come for us, new legal problems for Donald Trump. The New York Attorney General says he and three of his

children should not be allowed to conduct business in New York State any longer. Details of what she says they did wrong. We'll have that when we

come back.


NEWTON: So New York's Attorney General says no one is above the law, and that includes Donald Trump. Letitia James on Wednesday announced a sweeping

lawsuit against the former U.S. President. Three of his adult children and the Trump Organization itself. Now, she alleges that Trump and his company

engaged in a decade-long financial fraud scheme.

Essentially wildly inflating the value of properties so that Trump could enrich himself. And while this is a civil lawsuit and that's key, we're

going to get to some details about that. James says criminal laws may have been broken as well. CNN senior crime and justice reporter Katelyn Polantz

joins me now.

You've been following this investigation so closely. What in what I believe was a very long brief. What is the attorney general alleging? And what are

the implications for the former president, and also significantly his children?

KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME & JUSTICE REPORTER: Right. Well, Paula, what Letitia James; the attorney general of New York is doing in this

lawsuit is, she's essentially saying that Donald Trump represented he was richer than he was for a period of 10 years, 2011 to 2021. And also he used

that information to get even richer.

And what she boils it down to, it's a tome of a lawsuit. It's 200 pages long. It's a lot of papers to go through. A really sizeable investigation

done here. She boiled it down in her press conference today to these words. She called it the art of the steel. Using that catchphrase of Donald Trump

turning it against him here.

But in these pages, she lays out essentially a scheme where Trump and his companies and his children are allegedly inflating how much cash they had

at any given time.


And also inflating the values of the properties they had. One of them that she said that he was representing in financial statements was double more

than it was actually worth. Is the Trump building a skyscraper on Wall Street in New York City? And with that, all of that representation, that

then allowed Trump to go to banks, the attorney general says.

And also to his accountant and also to lenders, and also to federal authorities and other authorities, getting benefits out of them potentially

dodging taxes. She also outlines that Trump himself was directly involved in this. That he was -- there was approval at the highest levels of the

Trump Organization, of what Letitia James says is fraud.

NEWTON: Yes, and it's important that you say that, because this was part of this investigation, is tying it directly back to the former president,

and not accountants if you will. Can you fill us in though, there's a bit of a tale to this investigation that's ongoing right now. As I understand

it, the attorney general wants to make sure that as of now, that the Trump -- former Trump executives can no longer do business in New York. What is

that all about?

POLANTZ: That's right, there is a lot of things that she's asking for. So, in this lawsuit, some of the things that she's asking for a court to come

in and solidify if she wins the lawsuit, is, she wants them cut off from being able to get new loans. She wants them cut off from being able to get

property in New York to acquire a new real estate.

She wants to block Trump and his children from being directors of companies that would be registered in New York. She also wants to recoup what she

believes are $250 million worth of profits that should not have been gotten by Donald Trump during this. And then you mentioned a long tale. We don't

know how long a tale this will be.

In that it's a lawsuit that will be in court now. It will move ahead there. But Letitia James also announced today that she is making referrals for

possible criminal investigations by the IRS and by federal authorities in New York. Paula?

NEWTON: Yes, that kind of deserves an exclamation mark. The end of that one. Katelyn, thanks so much for sketching it out for us. Appreciated it.

Now, as you can imagine, Trump lashed out at the New York attorney general a short time ago on his social media platform, calling her a fraud. And the

Trump Organization accused her of pursuing quote, "a political vendetta".

Saying in part, "today's filing represents the culmination of nearly three years of persistent, targeted, unethical political harassment by the New

York state attorney general, Letitia James. It is about politics. Pure and simple."

I want to dig into this a little further now with Michael Zeldin, he is a former federal prosecutor and served as a special assistant to Robert

Mueller at the Justice Department. OK, let's weigh in here. This is a civil matter, right? So, how significant is it that as we were just hearing,

James says she believes the conduct violated federal criminal law including false statements and fraud.

MICHAEL ZELDIN, PODCAST HOST: Exactly. So, what we have are two things running in parallel. Part of Letitia James' lawsuit is civil. And as

Katelyn said, they want their money back, $250-plus million. And they want to prevent Trump from doing this or his children from doing this ever

again. On the other hand, she's said to the Manhattan District Attorney's office, and perhaps the U.S. Department of Justice.

As I look at this, because they have no mandate to bring criminal charges. I instruct you to take a look at my evidence, and see whether or not it

violates federal or state criminal fraud false statements, bank fraud, insurance fraud, tax violations. And they will get this referral. And the

IRS and the DOJ and Manhattan District Attorney's office will take a good hard look at her evidence, which was gathered, remember, over a three-year

period of time.

NEWTON: Yes, what's significant here is that this does involve the children and I noticed during the press conference that the attorney

general refused to talk about whether or not there was any deal in the offing or whether they had tried to settle this lawsuits. I want to get to

Trump's reaction. It's always notable, but in terms of an actual defense, they can certainly mount one, and that would keep this case in court

possibly for years, right? I mean, what kind of an impact could that have?

ZELDIN: Well, an impact in many different ways. The first of course is political. Will the pending civil lawsuit or criminal investigation have

any impact on Trump the candidate. And it's hard to sort that out. Sometimes he uses these things to rally his troops, and other times, it

deflates the mainstream voter. But in terms of the civil lawsuit, this will proceed as civil lawsuits do, and that's going to be a year's worth of time

in preparation for the trial and then the trial itself.

And then, after the outcome, a likely appeal. So, yes, this could last a long time before we get final resolution of it.


But over the course of the preparations for the ultimate verdict, we will get a lot of information about what was going on in Trump world and how he

defends against those allegations that Letitia James made.

NEWTON: You know, I don't have a lot of time left. But this took almost three years. She -- the attorney general put out, you know, a lengthy brief

to accompany it. And yet, do you worry that this does open up the New York Attorney General's office to the charges that Trump is pointing out there.

That this is all about politics. And even if that's not what it is, that the optics don't look good.

ZELDIN: You know, it depends on where you sit. If you sit within Trump's orbit, then yes, because he has been telling everybody this for years. That

he is the victim of everything, and he is responsible for nothing. And this is just part and parcel of that. But if you take an objective look at it,

and, you look at the 220 pages of this charging document.

You'll see that this is filled with financial documents which support the allegations. So, this is not the bold testimony of Michael Cohen, which

started this thing in some sense. But rather, this is hard-core financial data which supports her allegations. So, he's going to have to respond in


He's not going to be able to mount a defense that says I'm a victim. What was me? Please not hold me responsible. He's going to have to come up with

an explanation for why it was that he was inflating his assets, and why it was that he was deflating them when it came to taxes? And this is not going

to be a simple defense.

NEWTON: And in the -- less than 30 seconds I have left. It does involve his three children. Do you think that's a game-changer here for him?

ZELDIN: Well, you know, it depends on whether he throws his children under the bus like he's thrown everybody else under the bus. What this lawsuit

seeks is to permanently bar Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump from serving as an officer or director of any company in New York.

That's a bit of a death penalty for them if they continue, you know, on their present business course. And if he wants to protect his children,

he'll try to make a deal. But I haven't seen any evidence that he is intending to protect anyone but himself.

NEWTON: No, there is no evidence that a deal was in offering, whether or not, there was a credible one to be had. We don't know. Michael, certainly

learnt a lot from this conversation. Really appreciate it. Now, still to come for us, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is about to address another

historic policy decision, raising interest rates just a few moments ago by 75-basis points.

We'll bring in -- you see a live picture there as he's about to address and have a press conference. We'll bring you his comments live. That's up next

for us.




NEWTON: So Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell about to give us his take on his latest interest rate rise, let's listen in.


JEROME POWELL, CHAIRMAN, FEDERAL RESERVE: -- strongly committed to bringing inflation back down to our 2 percent goal.

We have both the tools we need and the resolve it will take to restore price stability on behalf of American families and businesses. Price

stability is the responsibility of the Federal Reserve and serves as the bedrock of our economy.

Without price stability, the economy does not work for anyone. In particular, without price stability, we will not achieve a sustained period

of strong labor market conditions that benefit all.

Today, the FOMC raised its policy interest rate by 3-4 percentage points and we anticipate that ongoing increases will be appropriate. We are moving

our policy stance purposefully to a level that will be sufficiently restrictive to return inflation to 2 percent.

In addition, we are continuing the process of significantly reducing the size of our balance sheet. I will have more to say about today's monetary

policy actions after briefly reviewing economic developments.

The U.S. economy has slowed from the historically high growth rates of 2021, which reflected the reopening of the economy following the pandemic

recession. Recent indicators point to modest growth of spending and production.

Growth in consumer spending has slowed from last year's rapid pace; in part, reflecting lower real disposable income and tighter financial

conditions. Activity in the housing sector has weakened significantly; in large part, reflecting higher mortgage rates.

Higher interest rates and slower output growth also appear to be weighing on business fixed investment, while weaker economic growth abroad is

restraining exports.

As shown in our Summary of Economic Projections, since June, FOMC participants have marked down their projections for economic activity, with

the median projection for real GDP growth standing at just 0.2 percent this year and 1.2 percent next year, well below the median estimate of the

longer-run normal growth rate.

NEWTON: That is Jerome Powell, who is now giving a statement about why he chose again to raise interest rates by 0.75 percent. Our Richard Quest is

standing by the New York stock exchange right now.

Richard, look at the, markets again taking this in their stride. It was what they were expecting. 0.75 percent. But filming in on what these words

mean. He says we have the tools and the determination to make sure that they get inflation under control.

QUEST: That I think is a significant part. With the tools of the interest rates and the selling off of bonds, the determination is what he said in

his statement -- or the committee said -- when they said they are committed, strongly committed to returning inflation it to its 2 percent


You've really got to look at the backing documents, the devil being in the detail and the two documents, one is the so-called dot plot. This shows

where the committee thinks that interest rates will be at the end of each year.

And the consensus is between 4.25 percent and 5 percent. So that means we've got another good 1-1.5 percentage points to go in terms of interest

rate increases. And the effect, Paula, because this is -- remember, Powell just then said -- the rates have to rise to be, in his words ,sufficiently

restrictive. That means slow down the economy.

And if you look at the projections for growth, you've got just about zero growth for this year, very little for next year. And you have a starting to

rise (INAUDIBLE) to 4.5 percent.

NEWTON: As you were speaking, the Nasdaq turning even to slightly positive. As I said, the markets are taking this all and it's basically

what they expected.

I want to ask you about the impact of this will have on that U.S. dollar already against certain currencies at a 20-year high. This has real

implications not just obviously in the United States.

But what do you think will happen if that strength continues, 20 years, Richard, you and I remember that. But let's talk about that.


NEWTON: That is saying something.


QUEST: It has several very negative affects. For the U.S., of course, it brings down inflation because it's brought in dollars, more powerful. For

other countries, on exports, it will make U.S. exports much less competitive because they'll be more expensive when bought in foreign


For emerging markets, it creates all sorts of difficulties, because the higher dollar will attract investment flows, monies that could go to other

economies will go to the U.S. and the U.S. becomes again, as it has been, the safe haven, the place where you put your money.

So I think the higher dollar, while it is not a crisis at the moment -- inflation is the crisis -- the higher dollar becomes the worry beads and

the really worrying part in the future.

NEWTON: Richard, that was your primary. You will have an in-depth look at all of this at the top of the hour. That's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. Richard

Quest, thanks so much. You are there -- we will tune in in a little bit.

Going to go back now to our other top story, Ukraine, Russian President Putin says that he will immediately mobilize 300,000 reservists to fight in

Ukraine. It's the first time Russia has done this since World War II. Think about that. My colleague Clare Sebastian takes a look at how this could

play out on the battlefield.


CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ukraine is making it clear that its counteroffensive will continue, even as Russia doubles down. I want to

bring in Neil Melvin, who's director of security studies at the Royal United Services Institute, which is a think tank.

As we look at this map, which shows in the yellow the current areas of Ukrainian control, the red and the striped area Russian control, what does

this tell you about why Putin has made this announcement today?

NEIL MELVIN, ROYAL UNITED SERVICES INSTITUTE: I think the biggest changes that we've seen in the last couple of weeks, this dramatic breakthrough in

this area, which Ukraine's pushed suddenly to the east, broken through around Izyum and begun to challenge Russian control of these core areas.

These are really central to President Putin's narrative about protecting Russians and taking control of this territory, which he is claiming is

historic Russian territory. What he wants to do I think now is to put in place some kind of red lines to try to stop the Ukrainians pushing further

to the east.

SEBASTIAN: We're seeing that with both the mobilization announcement and the referenda as well.

In terms of what we're seeing on the battlefield here, we circled the town of Kharkiv, which was actually never under Russian control since the start

of the conflict. This sort of line of defense down here, talk to me about this area because this yellow section is where we saw that lightning

Ukrainian counter offensive.

What has been happening recently?

MELVIN: At the beginning of the war, everyone thought Kharkiv would fall very quickly. It's never been controlled by the Russians. That's already a

sign I think of how bad things have gone for the Russians.

What we've seen in the last couple of weeks is this breakthrough in this area, where the Ukrainians came through in a very swift move. We saw the

Russian forces really collapse. There was almost a rout in some areas.

The Ukrainians swept across here and then the Russians have tried to create a new front line. The troops retreated, often in complete disorder from

these areas; left a lot of equipment in these towns. They tried to put a new line along this river here, which is a bridging point.

But there's already evidence the Ukrainians are trying to get across the river and push in and begin to challenge this line, which is the region of

Luhansk, which the Russians say they must control that; otherwise the whole operation -- and the critical justification -- begins to be questioned.

SEBASTIAN: These gains here you see in yellow, they've got Putin really worried. We're also seeing Ukrainian gains up here in this area here around


But I want to focus on these areas that have now announced they're going to conduct referenda. Talk to me about these gaps that we're seeing here.

In some of these regions, it's not even completely occupied by Russia, what does this tell you?

MELVIN: Beginning of the war. Russia's ambition was a minimum just to take these territories completely, particularly Donetsk and Luhansk. They

managed to get Luhansk in July when they took the last few towns.

Now the Ukrainian counteroffensive is threatening to push into this area itself -- they may lose complete control of that. But in Donetsk, down here

in Zaporizhzhya and also Kherson, they haven't really gotten full control. And Ukrainians are challenging this.

So the timeframe that Putin wanted to have, to have the referendum a little bit later, these Ukrainian advances have now forced his hand. He has had to

do it much quicker; he wants to do it also because he wants to try and show that this is now Russian territory.

So an attack on these areas, Russia will treat as an attack on Russia itself, not just occupied areas in a neighboring country.

SEBASTIAN: Is this part of the reason why we're seeing -- and we've seen it before from President Putin.


SEBASTIAN: This sort of not at all veiled nuclear threat today, he falsely accused the West of threatening Russia with weapons of mass destruction. He

said that Russia would use all the available resources to protect himself (sic).

Do you think he was bluffing or not?

MELVIN: I think his options are narrowing. We can see that by what this pressure that's going on him and what he's trying to do now is to look for

ways to escalate. They're losing territory. So his options are to try to put these new borders in and say this is Russian territory.

If you come in there here, it's an attack on Russia. And Russia's nuclear doctrine says that an attack on Russia can potentially be met by a nuclear

option. So he's made rather vague threats but, nonetheless, he has put the nuclear question linking it to these territories.

SEBASTIAN: Yes, anyway you look at it, this is an escalation.

MELVIN: Absolutely. So what we have to now do is I think look practically at what he is going to do.

Is he going to begin to move his nuclear forces closer to the border?

Is his language going to become more escalatory as Ukrainians get closer to these territories?

But this is quite a dangerous moment we're entering now.

SEBASTIAN: Thank you very much.


NEWTON: And that was our Clare Sebastian with Neil Melvin from RUSI.

About some protests, the NGO reporting that they have been -- the arrests of some 1,000 protesters now. We can't independently verify that but that

is what the NGOs are saying.

You are looking at video there from the Yekaterinburg, Russia, apparently, what we assume are detentions of those who tried to protest what is the

latest mass mobilization there in Russia.

We will bring you more as soon as we have it, as we continue that breaking news out of Russia. Still to come for us, in Iran as well, women demand

their freedoms. Protests turned violent and the president deflects responsibility.

Ahead, we'll look at the protests spreading across Iran.




NEWTON: Protests spreading rapidly right across Iran and Iranian women are refusing to stay silent.


NEWTON (voice-over): Dramatic footage as you can see; women are cutting their hair, chopping it off, and burning their head scarves, all in

defiance of the country's strict Islamic rule.



NEWTON: Dissent is spreading rapidly across the country, with thousands joining the rallying call, you see the map right there. The unrest was

sparked by the death of a woman in police custody last week.

Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi said at the U.N. General Assembly in New York and hit out at what he says are double standards, listen.


EBRAHIM RAISI, IRANIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): The Islamic Republic of Iran rejects some of the double standards of some governments

vis-a-vis human rights and sees that as the most important factor which has rendered by now the topic of human rights in the eyes of many.


NEWTON: Now as CNN's Jomana Karadsheh reports from Istanbul, it's not other governments but the Iranian people who are out on the streets

demanding their rights.


JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In scenes unprecedented in the Islamic Republic, a woman cuts her hair as the crowd cheers her on,

chanting, "Death to the dictator."

Rare images are trickling out from across Iran, where thousands have taken to the streets in daring acts of defiance, never seen before on this scale.

Women are at the forefront of demonstrations in dozens of cities, from the Kurdish northwest to the capital of Iran or even more conservative cities.

They are risking being jailed or even flogged for defying the country's strict Islamic dress code. But that has not stopped them. Many were

removing and burning their head scarves.

The protests were sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, while in the custody of the morality police. Authorities say she died of a heart

attack, which her parents do not believe. The authorities say an autopsy is being reviewed.

But the protests have snowballed into much more than that with women chanting for life and freedom, freedoms that were taking away from them by

the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Young men and women say enough is enough to decades of tyranny, questioning the very existence of the morality police, a notorious force tasked with

implementing the strict dress code, accused of countless abuses and ill treatment of women.

The repressive violates acts on the rise in recent months, according to the United Nations.

RAVINA SHAMDASANI, OFFICE OF HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS: In recent months, the so-called morality police have expanded street patrols,

subjecting women perceived to be wearing loose hijab to verbal and physical harassment and the rest.

Our office has received numerous, unverified videos of violent treatment of women, including slapping women across the face, beating them with batons

and throwing them into police vans.

The authorities must stop targeting, harassing and detaining women who do not abide by the hijab rules. Nadal Nashif (ph) is calling for the repeal

of all discriminatory laws and regulations that impose mandatory hijab.

KARADSHEH (voice-over): Reunions outside the country are sharing videos like this one on social media, in solidarity with their country men and

women. Many who have fled Iran in recent years are holding onto the hope that this could be a turning point.

SHIMA BABAEI, IRANIAN WOMEN'S RIGHTS ACTIVIST (through translator): Indeed, a movement has started. And I think this is the beginning of

something. Women are protesting on the streets, setting their scarves on fire and eradicating any symbols of the Iranian regime from the streets.

Iranian people clearly know that freedom will only be achieved if they can put an end to this brutal regime. This is the new era for Iran.

KARADSHEH (voice-over): Authorities are cracking down on the countrywide protests. Several people have been killed or injured so far, according to a

human rights group. But the streets have responded with more protests, a generation rising up for freedoms they have never had -- Jomana Karadsheh,

CNN, Istanbul.


NEWTON: In Hong Kong, a man's been arrested on suspicion of sedition after he played a harmonica at a vigil for Queen Elizabeth II, listen.


NEWTON (voice-over): You clearly hear, that's the crowd singing along to the tune of "Glory to Hong Kong." It's a pro democracy anthem popularized

in the 2019 protests. Fast forward to today and mourning the queen has become a form of dissent in the former British colony.

Police say the man has been released on bail.

Hurricane Fiona is turning into a monster storm as it rampages through the Western Caribbean. It's now a category four hurricane with sustained winds

of about 210 kilometers per hour.

The storm is expected to pass just west of Bermuda later this week and then head toward eastern Canada where it could be the strongest storm ever to

make landfall there.

Millions of people are without power in the meantime and fresh water in Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Turks and Caicos after Fiona slammed

into those islands.

Still to come for us tonight, political pawns or sharing the burden?


NEWTON: The latest twist in America's migrant battle is a lawsuit against Florida's governor. Details on that when we come back.

And they're on opposite sides of Russia's war in Ukraine. But apparently there's still one place Americans and Russians are side by side. A

remarkable space mission, next.




NEWTON: Florida's outspoken governor, Ron DeSantis, is facing a lawsuit over migrants. The suit claims he used migrants as political pawns when he

paid to send them from the southern border to Martha's Vineyard, all the way in the northeast of Massachusetts. CNN's Priscilla Alvarez has our



PRISCILLA ALVAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): One week after nearly 50 migrants were flown from Texas to Martha's Vineyard, a legal groups

filed a federal class action lawsuit, seeking damages on behalf of the migrants at a nonprofit migrant advocacy network.

The lawsuit names Florida governor, Ron DeSantis and Florida Department of Transportation and others as defendants, saying that they designed,

executed a premeditated, fraudulent and illegal scheme by allegedly recruiting the migrants from a facility in Texas, with false promises of

jobs, housing and other assistance.

GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): They were hungry, homeless, they had no opportunity at all. The state of Florida, it was volunteer, offered

transport to sanctuary jurisdictions.

ALVAREZ (voice-over): DeSantis responded to the student's statement, taking aim at the Biden administration's border policies and saying that

the migrants left on a voluntary basis.

The local sheriff of San Antonio says his office is opening a criminal investigation into the matter. Without notifying officials, several

Republican governors have sent migrants to more liberal jurisdictions, they call, sanctuaries, in recent weeks. Early Tuesday, officials in Delaware

scrambling after reports of an incoming flight from Texas.

SHERIFF JAVIER SALAZAR, BEXAR COUNTY, TEXAS: We had word this morning that there was going to be a flight leaving, arriving to San Antonio and then

leaving with a planeload of migrants toward Delaware. But my understanding is at the last minute we received word that that flight was postponed.

ALVAREZ (voice-over): Though the flight never arrived, officials in Delaware said that they were prepared just in case.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We've seen the same reports you've seen; we've made those preparations and we're ready.

ALVAREZ (voice-over): President Biden's home state has been mentioned by Florida's governor in the past.

DESANTIS: We're happy to help out in any of that when we can, including not just New York and D.C.; you need to be sending to Delaware as well.


ALVAREZ (voice-over): When asked about sending migrants to Delaware, Biden sent DeSantis a clear invitation.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (from captions): He should come visit.


ALVAREZ (voice-over): Amid the back and forth, some Republicans support the ideas of sending migrants to blue states.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER: I personally thought it was a good idea. If you add it up, all of the illegals taken to Chicago,

Washington, Martha's Vineyard, it would be fewer than people down in Texas have to deal with on a daily basis.


NEWTON: And that was Priscilla Alvarez.

The U.S. and Russia at odds over Ukraine. But the two world powers are not abandoning their partnership in space. That is for now.

American astronaut Frank Rubio joined two Russian cosmonauts on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft that blasted to the International Space Station Wednesday.

They will be there for six months.

To remind, you Russia for now does not plan to leave the space station but it will build its own outpost, it says, in just a few years.

I want to thank you for watching tonight. Stay with CNN. Richard Quest will be up and will let you know what Jay Powell is saying about the interest

rate hike and talk about inflation.