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Isa Soares Tonight
Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan Hospitalized After An Assassination Attempt; Ukraine Accuses Russia Of Setting A Trap; Netanyahu Wins Israel Election; Magic Mushrooms Could Be Good For Mental Health; CNN Is Hosting A Second Annual Call To Earth Day; CNN Announced The Top 10 CNN Heroes of 2022. Aired 3-4 ET
Aired November 03, 2022 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ISA SOARES, HOST, ISA SOARES TONIGHT: A very warm welcome to the show, everyone, I'm Isa Soares. Tonight, Imran Khan is recovering from an
apparent assassination attempt in Pakistan. Then, Ukraine accuses Russia of setting a trap as both sides prepare for a battle for the city of Kherson.
And a new right-wing government takes shape, as Israel's current prime minister concedes defeat.
But first, tonight, Pakistan's former Prime Minister, Imran Khan is accusing senior government officials of orchestrating an assassination
attempt against him, including current Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, as well as others. But they denied it. Khan was shot in the lower leg and
thigh when the gunman opened fire at a rally on Thursday.
He's listed -- in stable condition. But a party official says pellets are lodged in his leg and the bone is chipped. This video shows Khan, as you
can see there, fleeing the scene. One other person was killed and several others were also injured. I want to go to Sophia Saifi, who is live for us
from Islamabad, Pakistan. Sophia, good to see you. Just bring us up to date on how this all unfolded and how he's doing this hour.
SOPHIA SAIFI, CNN PRODUCER: Isa, this happened in the District of Gujranwala, there is a lot of unease in the country at the moment. They
were protests across the country in response to what's happened to Imran Khan. There's been months of political polarization and unease, leading up
to what happened today. Here's our report on how the events of today unfolded.
SAIFI (voice-over): In the chaotic moments after the shooting, Imran Khan had to be carried out and whisked away from the crowd. A gunman had opened
fire at a rally of tens of thousands of his supporters. His target, Khan party says was the former prime minister himself. Shot in the lower leg,
he was bundled into a bulletproof car and driven two hours to Lahore for surgery.
A party senior leader released a statement from Khan saying, Pakistan's old cricketing hero blamed Prime Minister, Shehbaz Sharif, his Interior
Minister, and a senior Intelligence official for an attempt on his life, calling for their removal from office. It was, the government said, a
grievous accusation. Outside the hospital, people waited desperately for news.
Protests broke out across the country as news of the shooting spread. Six others were injured in the attack and one was killed, according to a
senator from Khan's political party. "Please pray for Imran Khan, for our fellow workers who are injured." This senator says, "and for our party
member who has died." Khan had been on the campaign trail to demand snap elections in Pakistan after he was ousted in a vote of no confidence in
parliament just six months ago.
Accused of bad governance and mismanaging the country's flailing economy.
SAIFI: Isa, there's still a lot of unease in the country at the moment. There have been protests like we just heard in that report. There are calls
for a massive rally by offshoots of Imran Khan's party here in the capital. There is a lot of unease. There's been pushback from the government. This
day is almost like a microcosm of the kind of unease and political polarization that has spread across Pakistan ever since Imran Khan was
He's blamed the military. He's blamed the United States for spouting a conspiracy against him. These are uneasy times in Pakistan, and we'll just
have to wait and see how the day's events, they have an impact over the weekend where people will not be going to work. We are expecting people to
come out in the streets in larger numbers.
They've been coming out in the thousands for Imran Khan. He is an immensely popular politician, a former cricketing superhero. He's a big deal here in
Pakistan, and today's events have reminded Pakistanis of what happened just 15 years ago, when another former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was
assassinated at a similar political rally just here in Rawalpindi.
It's reminded people of how uneasy the political situation continues to be in Pakistan. And we just have to wait and see what happens in the days to
SOARES: And I know you will keep us up-to-date, Sophia, on all the developments. Thanks very much, Sophia Saifi there in Islamabad. I want to
go to Ukraine now because Ukraine believes Russia is setting a trap for its forces in the occupied city of Kherson. That's because Russian appointed
officials say their troops will most likely withdraw to the east bank of the Kherson region, leaving the city empty as the Ukrainians approach.
This social media video shows Russian flag is no longer, as you can see, they're flying at the main administration building, but Ukrainian officials
don't see evidence that Russian troops are actually pulling back. And Ukrainian residents north of the city are reporting large accumulation of
Russian forces as well as equipment, including tanks moving in large numbers at night.
And that leaves Ukraine to believe Russia wants them to walk into an ambush. Nic Robertson joins me now from Kramatorsk in eastern Ukraine. So
Nic, a lot -- it seemed a lot of confusion as to what is unfolding in Kherson. Is it mixed messages or, as we've outlined there, perhaps part of
Russia's power play here?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: And potentially, a sort of a psychological operation as you say --
SOARES: Yes --
ROBERTSON: That would be part of that power play. And both sides have indulged in that in this war. When the Ukrainians launched that very
successful offensive in the north of the country, they spent a long time messaging the Russians indirectly and directly to create the impression
that they were about to launch an offensive in the south.
And what do you know? They went and took a lot of territory in the north. So, I think they're naturally suspicious that Russia is doing a similar
thing right now. They say, while that flag is -- the Russian flag is not on that main government building in the center of Kherson, Ukrainian officials
are pointing out, yes, that the Russian flag is flying on other buildings in Kherson.
You know, the residents of that city on the bus on social media video, being very happy seeing there were no Russians at a checkpoint. Now, CNN
did manage to reach somebody in Kherson, a resident there, talked to them - - we're keeping their identity secret for their safety. But that person told us, yes, in fact, all the Russian checkpoints inside the center of the
city are gone.
And we're not seeing very many heavy military vehicles by day. The sort of Ukrainian official vision of that, of what residents are seeing is slightly
different. They're saying, well, look, we believe that there are Russian soldiers on the streets in Kherson, but actually dressed in civilian
And this resident in other details he gave, backs up what Ukrainian officials think is happening. The resident there said, look, we believe
that a lot of Russian heavy weapons on the edge of the city. So, this is the real question. Ukraine wants it. President Putin, and particularly his
military, doesn't want Russia to be embarrassed because they are going to lose it overtime.
How they lose it is perhaps the question, and can they score some kind of victory over Ukraine, even though, ultimately, they will pull out, as those
officials are suggesting and actually have been suggesting for several weeks now.
SOARES: We shall see, of course, on how this all unfolds in Kherson, situation, of course, we have been monitoring now for weeks. Meanwhile,
Nic, G7 foreign ministers, I believe, will be meeting today in Germany. And I think they were looking at ways to support Kyiv, following those attacks
on energy infrastructure that you, of course, have reported for us on last week. Also what does Ukraine need right now as it continues, of course, to
face this barrage of missiles?
ROBERTSON: It's going to need spare parts, and it's going to need spare parts so that -- though, will be hard for some sort of western European
nations that haven't -- that have, over the years, upgraded their electricity systems to supply their perhaps former, you know, what we will
see is eastern European countries that fell under the Soviet bloc who might have similar electrical capacity and spare so they can -- they can give or
sell to Ukraine.
But the reality is, is the quick fix is going to be money to help the Ukrainians do whatever repairs they can, but bring in large capacity
generators to keep things like hospitals up and running, to keep water facilities able to pump water, which is going to be vital.
And this is an also just sort of support the initiatives that we've heard the mayor of Kyiv is talking about, which is creating hotspots, if you
will, for residents where there is a generator that will support light and heat and warmth, and power-charging for peoples cellular phones. So, I
think getting generators is going to be a big drive.
SOARES: Nic Robertson for us this evening in Kramatorsk, thanks very much, Nic. A new right-wing government is taking shape in Israel as final
election results confirm Benjamin Netanyahu will be returning to power. Current Prime Minister, Yair Lapid, conceded defeat just a short time ago,
calling to congratulate Netanyahu.
The former prime minister will serve an unprecedented sixth term. A far- right alliance helped Netanyahu's coalition win a majority of seats in parliament. Now, those extremist allies want key government roles. Let's
bring in CNN's Hadas Gold in Jerusalem who's been monitoring the story now for days for us. So Hadas, it's official now.
Benjamin Netanyahu back as prime minister. What can we expect to see from him and the positions within his coalition?
HADAS GOLD, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Isa, I should note, Yair Lapid has conceded in a call with prime minister -- or soon to be Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. You have to get used to saying that once again, after kind of getting out of that routine for the last year and a
half or so. Now, he will be back.
Yair Lapid instructing his office to start the transition of power, saying in a statement, the state of Israel comes before any political
consideration, that he wishes Netanyahu success. Now, we did -- we are getting the final numbers in, it does seem as though Netanyahu will have 64
seats for him and his allies in this next parliament.
It's the one less than what we have been talking about, 65. But still far greater than what anybody had expected. Opinion polls placed him and his
allies at only getting 60 to 61 seats. And a lot of where that surge is coming from, as we've been discussing, is the rise of this far-right party.
And that's really the question that everyone has right now, is what is the makeup of his cabinet going to look like?
Well, and you just look at the pictures of the heads of the coalition sitting with him, they're all men, they're all white, and they -- some, I
think three or four of them are -- or even more are religious. So, it's going to be a much different makeup than the last coalition government,
which was the most diverse coalition in terms of political viewpoint in Israeli history.
This is going to swing to essentially the other side, becoming the most far-right coalition potentially in Israeli history. A big question will be,
what positions will these far-right --
SOARES: Yes --
GOLD: Figures have? Will there be key positions like Minister of Defense or Public Security in charge of police? That could really shift how Israel
enacts its policies.
SOARES: Hadas Gold there for us, thanks very much, Hadas, appreciate it. And still to come tonight, Ukraine is pleading for more air defense systems
from its allies. We'll talk to one of Ukraine's key allies to see how they plan to help. Plus, a new round of missile tests is leading to even more
tensions on the Korean peninsula. How the U.S. is reacting, both of those stories after this short break.
SOARES: North Korea launched one of its most powerful ballistic missiles on Thursday morning. That is according to a South Korean government source
who says the test failed. Officials also say, North Korea fired three short-range ballistic missiles a short while ago into the water of its east
coast. This is just a day after Pyongyang fired as many as 23 missiles to the east and west of the Korean peninsula.
Pyongyang, earlier this week, condemned American as well as South Korean joint military drills, which have now been extended. Let's get the view
from Washington with CNN's Alex Marquardt. Alex, great to see you. So, we've heard in the last, what? Two hours or so from U.S. Defense Secretary,
Lloyd Austin. What did he say, Alex, about the repeating -- the repeat as well as the increasing nature of these missile tests?
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR U.S. SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Isa, we heard from Secretary Austin alongside his South Korean counterpart, Lee Jong-Sup
who is in Washington for pre-planned meetings. The two men held a press conference today, and it was really a strong display of bilateral
cooperation. Secretary Austin calling the U.S. support for South Korea, ironclad.
He called on North Korea to end this provocative actions and engage in what he called serious dialogue. Instead, of course, Isa, there's no sign of
that happening any time soon. As you noted, we have seen a real flurry of missile launches from the North Koreans, 30-missile launch events so far
this year. Of course, many more missiles than that launched, 23 as you noted just yesterday.
Several more, including that intercontinental ballistic missile, as well, that if it were to work, could reach the United States. Now, it is believed
to have failed. So, the North Koreans continue to carry out these missile tests, and there is an expectation, Isa, from officials and from observers,
that any day now, at any moment really, North Korea could carry out another nuclear test. An underground nuclear test.
The South Korean defense minister saying today that there's still a curiosity, in his words, as to when that might happen. He warned that if
North Korea were to carry out a nuclear attack, that, that would mean the end of the Kim Jong-un regime. And nuclear tests would lead to the end of
the Kim regime, he said, because of the overwhelming and decisive response of the alliance. Isa.
SOARES: Meanwhile, as we said, Alex, the U.S. and South Korea are extending their combined military drills with Korea, you know, something
that we've all been asking here. Does this not provoke North Korea further? Is there a way, Alex, to actually defuse this situation in the region? I
mean, what would be the deterrent? What would motivate Kim Jong-un to stop at this point?
MARQUARDT: Well, the United States believes that, you know, engaging and speaking with them directly could lead to a calming of the tension. But
short of that, they are intent on deterring this threat. Now you're right. These largest ever military air exercises called Vigilant Storm, they were
due to end tomorrow, having started on October 31st. They have now been extended.
We don't know what the end date will be. North Korea has said that this is an irresponsible decision and has pushed the situation to an uncontrollable
phase. But Secretary Austin did say that the deterrence that they are carrying out has been effective at deterring a North Korean attack on the
south and North Korea from carrying out a nuclear attack. Take a listen to a little bit of what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LLOYD AUSTIN, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE, UNITED STATES: You've seen us recently re-deploy fifth generation fighter aircrafts, you've seen us exercise our
strategic assets from time to time. And again, we -- to answer your question, we don't have a plan to change permanent -- our permanent
positioning or stationing of assets on the peninsula currently.
But you know, what we're doing together, not only on a bilateral basis, but also with our allies in Japan, in each and every case, we'll assess what --
you know, what's going on and we'll work together to ensure that we provide the right kind of deterrent message.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUARDT: So, you hear there, Isa, no more permanent military assets in the region. But Secretary Austin did say that more -- that assets would be
moving in and out on what he called a routine basis, hoping of course that North Korea gets the message. Isa?
SOARES: Alex Marquardt there for us in Washington. Thanks very much, Alex. Want to take you back to Ukraine now because the country's military are
planning to fight in the city of Kherson we told you about 10 minutes or so ago, they're trying to regain control from Russian forces. It is bound to
be one of the most pivotal battles in this war, and Ukraine is hoping for help from its international partners.
I want to speak now to one of Ukraine's allies, Ireland's Foreign Minister and Defense Minister Simon Coveney, he joins me now from Cork, Ireland.
Minister, thank you very much for taking the time to speak to us here on the show. Let me start if I may in the south of Ukraine, in fact, in
Kherson. Because there seems to be some mixed messages or mixed signals as to what the Russians may be up to.
What are you hearing, Minister, from your contacts as to whether Russian forces are in fact withdrawing from Kherson?
SIMON COVENEY, MINISTER OF DEFENSE & FOREIGN AFFAIRS, IRELAND: It's hard to know, to be honest, Isa. I mean, what we know is the -- Ukraine has had
significant success in terms of liberating parts of its own territory that have been temporarily occupied by Russian forces. We also know of some of
the horrors that have unfolded.
Some of those areas have been liberated because of some of the abuses and potential war crimes that are being committed by Russian soldiers. But I
think everybody is cautious now in terms of what's likely to happen or unfold over the next few days as that liberation continues in the Kherson
And I think people don't want to get ahead of themselves in terms of the pace of that military operation. But of course, Ukraine has been so
determined to deliver before the Winter sets in, in the coming months.
SOARES: So, let's leave, then, in that case, let's leave Kherson, leave the frontlines for a bit, and turn our attention to Kyiv if I can, foreign
minister. Because --
COVENEY: Yes --
SOARES: You know, this is a city, of course, that we have seen, believe you've seen it, too, a barrage of Russian strikes. Many hitting those
critical energy infrastructure. As we're heading into what like you said could be an arduous Winter, what help is Ukraine asking, do you think, from
its allies? What have you been hearing?
COVENEY: Well, I mean, look, Ukraine needs help, and it's going to get it from the European Union and from other allies like the U.S. and the U.K.
and many others. Military assistance, I mean, so far, the EU collectively has committed more than 3 billion euros of military assistance, of course,
the U.S., multiples of that.
And Ireland, even though we are a smaller country, we are militarily neutral, we are very much contributing to those efforts, and we are not
neutral on this war. But the Irish contribution towards that military support is primarily non-lethal. In terms of body armor, Winter equipment,
medical supplies, fuel and a whole range of other things because that's where we have capacity.
But the European Union collectively will of course be looking to see how we can financially support Ukraine to the tune of billions of euros, and of
course, what equipment they need right away to respond to these deliberate and targeted attacks on critical infrastructure that Russia have been
targeting for a number of weeks now.
I mean, clearly, the military strategy, because of Ukraine's success on the battlefield, has been for Russia to target with long-range rockets, energy
infrastructure, war infrastructure, transport infrastructure, to make life as impossible as --
SOARES: Yes --
COVENEY: They can for Ukrainian citizens. And of course, the EU and other countries that want to support Ukraine need to assist in responding to
that. One of your earlier guests spoke about the need for diesel generators. I think that is a big ask as well as spare parts for much of
the infrastructure that's been damaged.
Unfortunately, in many European countries, including my own, the equipment may not be suitable in terms of what Ukraine needs. But certainly, quite a
number of the EU countries on the eastern side of the EU will have similar equipment and can provide parts and will be more than willing to do so as
they have been doing for weeks --
SOARES: Yes --
SOARES: Let's talk about these deliberate and targeted attacks that you mentioned, minister. Many of the drones, of course, they have been causing
havoc in the capital in Kyiv, are allegedly Iranian-made and used by Russians. The Iranians deny this. You, I believe, summoned the Iranian
ambassador to Ireland just a few weeks ago. So just clear this up for us, if you could. Is there evidence? Have you seen evidence that these Iranian
-- these are Iranian-supplied drones?
COVENEY: Well, I mean, what I can say is that the European Union, collectively, is satisfied that there's enough evidence to justify the
imposition of targeted sanctions, which has already taken place. So, you know, there are many images of these drones in the air, over Ukrainian
cities. And certainly, EU sources are satisfied that there is sufficient evidence now coming through the Intelligence networks and so on, they're
drones that have been supplied from Iran are unfortunately part of the attacks on Ukraine civilians and citizens.
That's not acceptable, and I think there are consequences for Iran as a result of that. But the European Union has said that it's continuing to
gather evidence so that we can make further decisions on that. But I think it is a -- it is a very poor decision indeed for Iran if they are supplying
Moscow with weapons. But let's not forget, are not targeting military --
SOARES: Yes --
COVENEY: Targets, they're targeting civilian targets.
SOARES: Yes --
COVENEY: Which in itself is a war crime. And I think that, you know, given some of the other discussions that have been taking place with Iran in
relation to the Iranian nuclear deal, the JCPOA, you know, I think that Iran would be very foolish indeed to isolate itself in this way by
attaching itself to war crimes in Ukraine.
SOARES: Very foolish indeed. But why would it do this? I mean, Ireland is an elected member of the U.N. Security Council, you have a key role of
COVENEY: Yes --
SOARES: As you outlined there, and what relates to the JCPOA. You've been to Iran, I believe a couple of times, twice in the past year. What does --
COVENEY: Yes --
SOARES: Iran get out of this? Being involved in this war. What is it looking to achieve here, Minister?
COVENEY: Well, I mean, look, let me be clear. First of all, the Iranian position is that they are absolutely not supplying drones to Russia linked
to the Ukrainian war. So, that is the position that has been said to me very directly by the Iranian foreign minister, as well as by the Iranian
ambassador in Dublin.
And I have it in writing as well from them, in terms of the Iranian position. So, they are saying very clearly and very publicly that they are
not involved in supplying drones to Russia, linked to the Ukrainian war. But, you know, increasingly, the evidence contradicts that statement. And
that is why I certainly hope that Iran will be able to clarify these issues sooner rather than later.
Because, otherwise I think they're going to continue to be isolated in the way that has already begun in terms of targeted sanctions.
SOARES: Yes, but --
COVENEY: So, I mean, we have raised this issue as have others in the Security Council and will continue to do so.
SOARES: Yes, it just begs the question, we've all seen the evidence, what is there left to clarify? Foreign Minister --
COVENEY: Well --
SOARES: Really appreciate it --
COVENEY: Exactly --
SOARES: Go ahead. Go ahead.
COVENEY: No, look, you know, I mean, it's the evidence is what matters.
SOARES: Yes --
COVENEY: Not what said. And you know, if we're clearly seeing drones that have been manufactured and made, and some evidence also suggests that there
has been an Iranian presence in terms of training --
SOARES: Yes --
COVENEY: In the use of these drones. That is -- that is not a good development. And we will make decisions on the basis of the evidence that's
there. But certainly, the European Union, so far, has been very clear that, in our view, Iranian-made drones have been part of the targeting of
civilian infrastructure in Ukraine. And that is something that I think will result in further consequences, if it doesn't end.
SOARES: Foreign Minister, really appreciate you taking the time to speak to us. Thank, you sir.
COVENEY: Any time, thank you.
SOARES: Thank you. Well, I also sat down with the Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares, he's confirmed that Spain is sending air defense
missiles to Ukraine and was adamant that Putin's war will not be successful. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSE MANUEL ALBARES BUENO, FOREIGN MINISTER, SPAIN: It's impossible for him to win this war. This is already happening, and I think that this
newest strategy, it's a way of showing that he tries through terrible ways. That implies heavy civilian casualties, to achieve what he cannot achieve
on the ground by military means. And there are two things, winter will be very tough and I'm sure that many Ukrainian civilians will suffer but this
is not going to change the cause of the war.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: And we'll bring in that full interview with Spanish Foreign Minister tomorrow. We're taking a short break. I'll see you from the other
SOARES: Welcome back, everyone. Magic mushrooms could be the key to good mental health. A new study shows that the fungi's mind-altering substance,
psilocybin, could help people with depression.
I'm joined now by the co-author of the study, consultant psychologist from King's College London, Dr. James Rucker. Doctor, thank you very much for
coming in and discussing exactly what we have, what you have uncovered. Just talk us through, explain to our viewers what the study found and,
critically, the impact on the brain here.
JAMES RUCKER, CONSULTANT PSYCHIATRIST, KING'S COLLEGE LONDON: So, the study found, it was in 233 participants with depression that doesn't get
better with the usual treatments. And we gave everyone psychological support but divided people into three groups. They either received a very
low those of psilocybin and intermediate dose of psilocybin or a high dose of psilocybin.
And we found that people's depression symptoms in the 25-milligram group were much improved at three weeks compared to those in the 1-milligram
group. So, to put a figure on that, two-thirds of people in that group had felt their depression significantly lift and a half of those no longer
qualified for a diagnosis of depression at all.
SOARES: And how long did that effect last?
RUCKER: Statistically, the effect lasted for six weeks but you could still see on the graphs that there was an improvement even at 12 weeks between
groups. So it's -- it's an interesting effect from just one dose of a drug.
SOARES: So, just explain to our viewers around the world how significant this is because I know scientists have been studying the effects, of
course, of psilocybin on mental health disorder for years. So, how promising is this, doctor?
RUCKER: I'd say this is the first really good, solid evidence that makes clinician sit up and take notice, the reason being that this was a study
done in 22 centers in 10 countries around the world. So, we're seeing an effect across centers, showing us that psilocybin is working. That's the
significance of the study. We still need to do more work and we need to do even larger studies and even more centers around the world but those
studies could lead to a marketing application and that could lead to psilocybin therapy being a treatment, a medical treatment.
SOARES: It's a very good start indeed. Dr. James Rucker, really appreciate you taking time to speak with us. Thank you, sir.
RUCKER: Thank you.
SOARES: And still to come Tonight, what with the earth's oceans under threat, CNN is hosting our second annual Call To Earth Day. That is next.
SOARES: Our oceans, of course, are key to the success of all life on earth. They feed us, they regulate our climate and generate, of course, most of
the oxygen we breathe but they are in danger like never before. Whether it's form (Ph) of a fishing, pollution or even climate change, human
actions threatens to habitats. Around the world inspiring people are working to reverse the damage.
Today, CNN is hosting our second annual Call to Earth Day, focusing on those efforts and aiming to inspire change. First, let's begin our coverage
in Atlanta, where experts are working to save coral in the Florida Keys. Lynda Kinkade joins me now from Georgia, from the Georgia Aquarium. So
Linda, of course, coral around the world is being lost due to bleaching, due to disease, what is the Georgia Aquarium doing to turn the tide here?
LYNDA KINKADE, CNN ANCHOR: Isa, we are in a bio secure lab. This is essentially the Noah's Ark for critically endangered coral. And for the
last decade, the Georgia Aquarium has been working to restore and do research on coral around the world. But in the last few years, the key area
they've been looking at is the Florida Keys, so these two tanks have coral from the Florida Keys.
In the last four years, 98 percent of coral in that region has been decimated. The key threats, of course, being climate change, warming oceans
but also a disease called the stony coral tissue loss disease which essentially strips coral of its color and then essentially its life. Now
the person overseeing this lab is Steve Hartter. He's going to talk to us a little bit about what he's doing to help save this coral.
So four years ago, Steve, you were told, can you look after this coral for us until the disease passes. That they wanted, what, two to four years but
yours -- you still have that coral, what's the situation?
STEVE HARTTER, ASSOC. CURATOR, FISH & INVERTEBRATES, GEORGIA AQUARIUM: Yes, the disease outbreak is still occurring. So, we expect to hold these
just for a few years. A typical disease outbreak will last only about one to three years. Unfortunately, we're seeing this disease last about eight
years now and it's decimating the coral population throughout the Florida Keys.
KINKADE: And talk to us about that coral you have here and your efforts to propagate it.
HARTTER: Yes, so what we're doing here is we're holding these corals but we oftentimes can use different propagation methods. Corals propagate,
although they're animals, much in the same way that plants propagate. And we can actually break off a piece of the coral and it will turn into a
clone of the mother colony. So, this is a brain coral that we have here that is part of this rescue effort and is being held safe under optimal
lighting and water flow in chemistry. And it -- it's safe here from the disease because we collected these corals prior to the disease outbreak
hitting these areas that they were collected from.
KINKADE: And this disease, which is wiping out this coral in the Florida Keys, its mortality rate is much higher than even coral bleaching, right?
HARTTER: Yes. This -- this disease has up to about 100 percent coral mortality in it. As you mentioned, it strips them of their tissue and it
affects about half of all reef-building species. So, most diseases are concentrated on one or two species while this one is very widespread and
very devastating to these reefs.
KINKADE: Right. So, it's a -- coral is obviously essential to having healthy oceans. It helps to protect and look after (Ph) about 25 percent of
SOARES: Lynda Kincade there. Thanks very much, Lynda, appreciate it. I'm going to take you now to India and the country's most sacred river, that's
the Ganges, the vital water source but also it's polluted. CNN Vedika Sud meets an entrepreneur working to reverse the damage.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VEDIKA SUD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Dusk in Varanasi, the sacred city located on the banks of India's holiest river, The Ganges.
Every evening here, an age-old Hindu ritual. Pilgrims seeking salvation and blessings from the River Goddess, Ganga. With a dip in the water and
flowers, millions get released in the river each year. A daily offering that is now choking this vital waterway and not just with rotting stems and
petals but toxins from the chemicals they're often covered with.
ANKIT AGARWAL, FOUNDER PHOOL. CO: Every year, we Indians put in about 8 million tons of waste flowers. Flowers that are loaded with pesticides,
flowers that rot, flowers that create havoc in the fragile ecosystem of the water body causing irreversible damage.
SUD: That damage affects the water source for some 400 million Indians. Making matters worse, temples dumped even more floral waste into the river,
sometimes in large quantities. But Ankit Agarwal says he has a solution, collecting those old flowers from the temples before they are discarded.
He's from Kanpur, some 300 kilometers to the northwest, one of the most polluted stretches of the river.
AGARWAL: So in my hometown, Kanpur, we collect roughly 2.8 to 3.5 tons of flowers every single day. And on festive days, it goes up to 7 tons.
SUD: That waste is then taken to his factory where it's cleaned, dried, and pulverized into thick dough like paste mixed with water.
What are they doing out here?
AGARWAL: So over here, they are rolling the incense, which is completely carbon-free.
SUD: The resulting product can then be sold. It all starts with floral waste being converted into eco-friendly products such as this,incense
cones, and it doesn't stop here.
Agarwal's company called Phool or flower also makes an eco-friendly alternative to leather. They called it fleather and the byproduct is much
more sustainable than a traditional tannery he says.
AGARWAL: This material is actually like animal leather in terms of (inaudible) elasticity.
SUD: Agarwal started Phool backed by mostly Indian investors in 2017. Upcycling is very profitable he says but the 31-year old's real goal is to
keep this clean.
AGARWAL: The ultimate dream will be that one day anyone can take a glass and drink the water of River Ganges across the country.
SUD: Doing that now is not advisable. The Ganges is one of the most polluted waterways in the world, clogged with human, animal, and industrial
waste. The river along with Mekong contributes about 200,000 tons of plastic into our oceans each year according to the UN. But Agarwal says
history proves that change is possible.
AGARWAL: At a certain point in time, the River Thames was dirtier than water of The Ganges (Ph) is within the (inaudible) was. And the British
were able to clean it, same with the Paris, the River Seine. Why can't we do it in here?
SUD: Especially for the country's most sacred body of water.
Vedika Sud, CNN, along The Ganges River.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Fascinating piece there from our Vedika Sud. Finally, we head to Merida, Mexico and an Oceans Educational Affair. CNN en Espanol Anchor and
Correspondent Gabriela Frias is there. Gabriela, give us a sense of what is happening where you are.
GABRIELA FRIAS, CNN EN ESPANOL ANCHOR-CORRESPONDENT: Thank you, Isa, good afternoon. Well, welcome first of all to Juna (Ph) Park. This is a natural
reserve in the city of Merida in the Yucatan Peninsula. Children come here to learn about nature, conservation, and at the same time teach other
children. What you see behind me are a number of pavilions. There are a couple of them that are related to oceans which is the topic of these 2022
Global Initiative in CNN. And we have some instructors, teachers, who talked about nature and conservancy. Hello. Ola.
UNKNOWN: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
FRIAS: David, 14 years old, instructor.
UNKNOWN: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
FRIAS: Seventeen years old, instructor.
UNKNOWN: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
FRIAS: Ola Pedra, hello Pedra and let's give an example of what they teach to other kids. (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
UNKNOWN: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
FRIAS: Mathias (Ph), go for it. (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
UNKNOWN: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
FRIAS: Only 3 percent of water that exists in the planet is freshwater. This is just a very tiny, brief example of the way children looked at this
concept, conservancy and in oceans, it's the same way. Isa, the interesting part of this experience is that children tell us that adults looked at this
in a very tragic way, while they look at the problem or the challenge in the most constructive way, giving or thinking about solutions rather than
looking at it tragically, their own words.
It is important to note that we're coming to you live from Merida but in Latin America, 25 percent of the population depend on everything that's
related to oceans, coastal areas from food to transportation, to energy, among other things. So, this is the way we're celebrating, we're marking
and we're joining this day, Call to Earth Day from Merida, Mexico. And is the way children want us look at the challenges that we face.
SOARES: And they're doing so. They're learning as you can see there in a really fun way as well too, Gabriela. I hope this is something that the
curriculum perhaps can continue as a way to inspire them.
FRIAS: And you know what? Also, it's so interesting, they tell us there are schools for children who want to become dancers or football players,
but there are not really many schools that teach children who want to learn from very early on what it means to conserve the planet.
SOARES: Gabriela Frias for us there in Merida, Mexico. Thanks very much, Gabriela, good to see you. And if you want to help, go online to CNN.com/
CallToEarthDay. You see there all the global action that we've been showing you throughout the day today. Do stay right here with CNN. We will be back
after this short break.
SOARES: Well, here at CNN, we salute the people who are doing their part to make the world a better place. We call them CNN Heroes. Today we are
announcing the top 10 CNN Heroes of 2022. Here's our Anderson Cooper.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Anderson Cooper. All your long, we have been introducing you to inspiring individuals making the world a better
place. And in a time when we all could use more kindness and courage, we're thrilled to announce the top 10 CNN Heroes of 2022.
From California, when elderly dog owners can no longer care for their pets, Carie Broecker helps them stay together or find these beloved family
members new forever homes. From Nashville, Richard Casper uses art to heal the wounds of war. He is helping fellow veterans share their stories
visually and vocally. Nelly Cheboi is bringing technology to young people in her native Kenya. Recycling old computers, she provides the tools in
education for brighter futures.
North Carolina, innovator Nora El-Khouri Spencer is training women for well-paying careers in construction while also helping seniors age safely
at home. From South Philadelphia, after spending five years in prison on drug charges, Tyrique Glasgow is now providing his neighborhood long
challenged by poverty and gun violence, with safety and opportunity. Alaska nurse, Teresa Gray, leads volunteer medics into global hotspots, delivering
vital care and support to those in need.
Meymuna Hussein-Cattan is helping refugees and immigrants transition to lives (Ph) in the U.S. with critical resources and support, while also
sharing their culture with the L.A. community. Aidan Reilly brought together a nationwide network of young volunteers, tackled food waste and
insecurity. They're rescuing tons of excess produce from farms to feed the hungry.
From Chicago, Debra Vines, struggle to find supportive resources when her son, Jason, was diagnosed with autism. Now, she's providing services and
education to African American families and first responders. And Atlanta's Bobby Wilson who is feeding and healing his urban community by teaching
thousands of people how to plant, grow and prepare their own healthy food.
Congratulations to the top 10 CNN Heroes of 2022. Now, it is time for you to help decide who will be this year's CNN Hero of the year and receive
$100,000 to continue their life-changing work. Go to CNNHeroes.com right now to vote, and be sure to watch CNN Heroes, an all-star tribute as we
announced the winner and celebrate all of this year's honorees, live, Sunday, December 11th.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: And as you just saw there, 10 amazing individuals and they all prove that one person can make a difference. Now, you can get to help
decide which one, of course, of them will be the Cnn Hero of the Year. You heard Anderson say there, go to CNNHeroes.com and vote up to 10 times every
day for the heroes who inspire you the most.
And be sure, of course, to watch live, Sunday, December 11th. And we are getting insight now into the mind of U2 frontman, Bono. First from his new
memoir, "Surrender", as you can see here, and now from "The New York Times", the paper asked the musician as well as author about his literary
influences, they included heroes of the Beat Generation like Kerouac and Bukowski. And some way off the written page, Bono had this to say. "I had
so much coffee. I imagine I saw Tom Waits playing pool with Francis Ford Coppola with opera on the jukebox."
Just imagine that scene. I wouldn't mind being part of it, perhaps anyone that Bono, of course, could paint. It did (Ph) make us pause for thought
Tonight. Thanks very much for your company. Do stay right here with CNN. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next but I shall see you tomorrow. Have a
wonderful day. Bye-bye.