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Isa Soares Tonight
Volodymyr Zelenskyy Warns Of Energy Terrorism As Millions Of Ukrainians Deal With Rolling Blackouts After Russia's Strikes; Pakistan's Former Prime Minister Imran Khan Speaks Out After Being Shot; Mass Layoffs Begin at Twitter After New Boss Elon Musk Announces a Huge Job Call By E- mail; Zelensky: Power Interruptions Hit 4.5 Million Across Ukraine; Fmr. President Trump Hints At New White House Bid; Iranians Mark 40 Days Since Killings Of Prominent Protesters. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired November 04, 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, Volodymyr Zelenskyy warns of energy
terrorism as millions of Ukrainians deal with rolling blackouts after Russia's strikes. Then, Pakistan's former Prime Minister, Imran Khan speaks
out after being shot in an apparent assassination attempt. We'll bring you the latest from Islamabad.
Plus, mass layoffs begin at Twitter after new boss, Elon Musk, announces a huge job call by e-mail. I'll talk with one employee who just lost his job.
But first, tonight, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is accusing Russia of committing energy terrorism with its relentless attacks on
Ukraine's power stations. Mr. Zelenskyy says Moscow is plunging the country in the cold and the dark as a way to break people's will because Russian
forces can't win on the battlefield.
Russian aerial attacks on civilian power stations this week left millions of people without electricity and water for periods of time as you can see
there on your screen. G7 nations meanwhile on Friday say they established a coordination mechanism to help Ukraine restore, repair, as well as defend
its energy infrastructure. Our Christiane Amanpour joins me from Ukraine's capital which is suffering intermittent emergency blackouts.
Christiane, great to see you. Look, for weeks now, we have seen, I think it's fair to say cruel escalation by President Putin, forcing millions of
civilians to be in the cold and in the dark. But just give us a sense of what you've seen on the ground, Christiane, is this breaking their spirits?
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Well, it's not breaking their spirit as I discovered. And by the way, today, the mayor of
this capital city said nearly half a million Ukrainians were in this city alone subject to long periods of blackouts. And these can last many hours
as I found when I visited a home and a business in town.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): Week four of Ukraine's new struggle against the cold and the dark. Rolling blackouts blanket Kyiv, night time is spooky,
and we are entering this high-rise apartment complex to see how the residents are coping with Russia's constant attacks on key infrastructure.
(on-camera): Hello --
(voice-over): Up to the 12th floor, no light in the stairwell, but our cameras, and no elevator. Lulia Mendel meets us hobbling down on crutches
and the foot she fractured by tripping over the steps the first night of the blackouts.
LULIA MENDEL, JOURNALIST: Hi.
AMANPOUR (on camera): Hi --
(voice-over): She's a journalist, and a former press secretary to President Zelenskyy.
(on camera): Hi, how are you?
(voice-over): Together, we visit her neighbor, Nataliya(ph), with her 18- month old daughter, Lena(ph), just one of a whole generation of war traumatized Kyiv kids, especially with the constant air raid sirens.
(on camera): Is she stressed?
MENDEL: She's like oh -- or she's pointing to --
AMANPOUR: Yes --
MENDEL: The window. So that -- she knows that something goes wrong --
AMANPOUR: Yes --
(voice-over): The two of them are recovering from a two-hour ordeal, trapped in their tiny elevator when the power went out. Now, all over Kyiv,
residents are putting small care boxes inside, with water, snacks, and anti-anxiety medicines. By the time we sat down to talk, the power popped
back on again after 9 hours on this day.
(on camera): Do you feel demoralized? Do you feel like OK, all right, enough already, it's time to surrender and negotiate?
MENDEL: No way. Look, we have passed through the hardships of '90s, and we didn't have light, water, heating and everything for hours and hours every
day. And that then was desperate because we didn't -- we knew it was about poverty. Now it's about war, and we know that we must win.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): Winning this phase of the war comes with weapons like these to charge phones, and any other emergency equipment.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's the most important thing here to have in Ukraine. It's a power bank, without it, you don't have any connection. And
it's the most important now to know that your relatives are OK.
AMANPOUR: They tell us generators are almost all sold out, and super expensive now, as well as candles, torches, and head-lamps. Nataliya(ph)
has improvised light from a water bottle and her iPhone. Downtown, it's dire for businesses too. Every beauty salon operates on hairdryers for that
blowout and, of course, water to wash out the shampoo and the dye.
Olena(ph) is taking her chances today.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): After everything is done, I might have to go home to dry it, but it's fine.
AMANPOUR: Just one floor here has power and the others are dark. Before the war, Hairhouse had 150 clients a day, now, it's more like 50, and the
salon has lost 60 percent of its revenue. But as Dmitry, the commercial manager tells me, they keep calm and carry on.
DMITRY MEDVEDEV, COMMERCIAL MANAGER, HAIRHOUSE: We believe that we should work, even without light, even without electricity. We should help our
army. We should help our people, and we will do our job to the end. And we believe that sooner or later, the light will come.
AMANPOUR: Like so many civilians, they say enduring these hardships on the home front is part of their war effort, supporting their troops on the
front lines who are fighting to keep Ukraine independent, fighting for their homeland.
AMANPOUR: So, you see Isa, there's no lack of spirit here, and this crisis, this humanitarian crisis is creating a real bond of new solidarity.
We know that the G7 has announced that they're trying to figure out a framework to get organized help for the infrastructure here. We spoke to
the U.N. Resident Humanitarian coordinator, they are working full tilt to try to get generators and heating pumps, and all the other things that a
humanitarian crisis will require, particularly, of course, as it gets colder and colder, as the Winter progresses. Isa?
SOARES: Yes, and as Russia, Christiane, continues to cause havoc, not just in Kyiv where you are, but beyond. The U.S. is also helping out, stepping
up with their military support package. Do we know what that includes, Christiane?
AMANPOUR: Well, last night, two senators were here and they told me their highest level of air defense equipment is coming now. And today, the U.S.
announced that $400 million which included refurbished tanks, which including the hawk air defense system and other such things. So, this is
required to try to stop the cruise missiles and the kamikaze drones that have been responsible for this attack on the infrastructure.
SOARES: Christiane Amanpour there for us this evening in Kyiv, Ukraine, thanks very much Christiane, I appreciate it. And later in the program,
we'll bring you my interview with the Spanish Foreign Minister, Jose Manuel Albares, he spoke with me after just returning from a trip to Kyiv, that's
coming up in about 20 minutes or so.
Now, former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan is accusing three prominent figures of devising a plot to assassinate him. Khan spoke from his hospital
bed in Lahore, his first public appearance since his convoy came under fire on Thursday as he led a protest match to press for early elections, one
person died in the shooting. Khan's right leg was fractured by bullets. He is vowing to resume his protest match once he's recovered. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
IMRAN KHAN, FORMER PAKISTAN PRIME MINISTER (through translator): As soon as I get better, I'll go back out on the streets. I'll give the call again
once more. I'll go to Islamabad because of this population, if these thieves take control and if we accept this, this is not what Pakistan was
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Well, supporters of Khan demonstrated across the country today against the apparent assassination attempt. These protesters burned tires
outside the governor's house in Lahore. I want to bring in Sophia Saifi for more. She's been following developments tonight for us from Islamabad. And
Sophia, just bring us up-to-date if you will, with what we heard from Imran Khan today, and critically as well, how he's doing?
SOPHIA SAIFI, CNN PRODUCER: Isa, he's doing well. He also had his doctors at the state -- at this press briefing, kind of explaining what happened to
him. We've already mentioned that he had a fracture in his leg, but he's all right, he's of course, recovering. But what's more important is that he
did say, like you said, that he's blaming the prime minister, the interior minister, and also a senior Intelligence official for being behind his
He said he knew that this attack was going to happen against him, and now he's calling for the resignation of these three men. And he's called on all
of his supporters across cities in Pakistan to hold protest tomorrow, calling for the resignation of these three very powerful men in this
And we have -- he hasn't given any evidence for these statements. He also said that the agencies were conspiring and preventing democracy from
functioning in Pakistan. And Imran Khan's statements, have received quite a bit of pushback here tonight in Islamabad. We received a statement from
Pakistan, a very powerful Intelligence agency, ISAI(ph), and they've laid the blame squarely on Imran Khan's own provincial government in the
province of Punjab where the attack took place.
They said that they had already sensitized, I called, the government, the federal government of the threat to Imran Khan. And that the federal
government had relayed that information to the province -- to the provincial government of Punjab, which is under the PTI, which is Imran
Khan's party. And they have also said, the ISAI(ph) in that statement, is that they're calling for calm, and this is not the time to make
Pakistan's Interior Minister, Rana Sanaullah has also called these statements very grievous. And at the same time, Pakistan's Information
Minister has come out and said that he is sowing anarchy and chaos by making these statements. And we're just going to have to wait and see how -
SOARES: Yes --
SAIFI: The protests unfold tomorrow. The relatively calmed out today, so, it's a bit of a can of worms that Imran Khan has opened, and we just have
to wait to see what happens next. Isa?
SOARES: And I know you'll stay on top of this can of worms, should it develop over the weekend. Sophia Saifi for us there in Islamabad, thanks
very much, Sophia, good to see you. Well, tensions between North and South Korea are reaching a fever pitch. The North is demanding the U.S. and South
Korea immediately stop their joint military exercises if they want to avoid a quote, "grave situation".
And that is according to Pyongyang's state-run media quoting the foreign ministry. And it comes as the U.N. Security Council meet to discuss the
North's barrage of missile launches, if you remember this week. South Korea scrambled fighter jets earlier today after its military reported seeing
about 180 or so North Korean military aircrafts near the border.
CNN senior national security correspondent Alex Marquardt joins me now from Washington D.C.. So, Alex, U.N. Security General has strongly condemned
this evening, North Korea's actions. Meanwhile, correct me if I'm wrong, we are waiting to hear from the Security Council. What can we expect to come
out of this?
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR U.S. SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Isa, this was a meeting that was called yesterday by a number of countries, including the
United States, the U.K. and France. As you noted, we've already heard from a spokesman for the Secretary-General today, saying that he's deeply
concerned about the situation on the Korean peninsula.
So that meeting in New York expected to get underway in this hour. The question of what may come out of that meeting, unfortunately, probably not
very much beyond expressions of anger, of concern, of frustration. Of course, calls for North Korea to end what so much of the international
community sees as these provocative actions that we've seen over the course of the past few days.
Now, we've seen an extraordinary number of missile launch events throughout the course of the year. But the biggest one yet was earlier this week on
Wednesday, some 23 missiles were launched by the North. The following day, three more including an intercontinental ballistic missile. Now, when the
North fires ballistic missiles, that is very much in violation of resolutions by the U.N. Security Council.
So that is a big reason, of course, they're holding this meeting today to remind the North Korean's of that. The North Koreans simply don't seem
deterred by that. Earlier -- last night in fact, we saw North Korea fire 80 artillery shells into the buffer zone between North and South Korea. So, we
are getting into a very dangerous escalatory phase beyond just these missile tests. We are expecting officials and experts do expect that really
any day now, we could see yet another nuclear test by North Korea. Isa?
SOARES: And as you were speaking, we're seeing live pictures coming to us from the U.N. Security Council, of course, the meeting that you said was
getting started today, we're seeing it right now. Do we know any more at this stage, Alex, though, about these North Korea warplanes that we
mentioned, their intentions? I mean, how is the U.S. interpreting another further escalation here by North Korea?
MARQUARDT: Yes, right there we're seeing Linda Thomas-Greenfield --
SOARES: Yes --
MARQUARDT: The ambassador for the United States at the United Nations. It is interesting, Isa, the escalation is now going from North Korea, firing
these missiles, and now we're moving into a theater in the air if you will in the sky. We have seen over the course of the past few days, this major,
the largest ever air military drill by the U.S. and South Korea called, Vigilant Storm.
Which in response to these missile launches by North Korea was extended, it was supposed to end today, it has now been extended until tomorrow.
That has included some 240 aircrafts from both those countries, thousands of service members. And then in response, then North Koreans said that they
had -- they had flown some 180 military aircrafts today over the course of 4 hours in the middle of the day, Korean time, near that border with South
Korea. The South Koreans then scrambled at some 80 fighter jets including F-35s.
So the situation is really escalating. At the same time, we have heard not just calls for calm, but the U.S. has repeatedly said, we are trying to
reach out to the North Koreans, to sit down --
SOARES: Yes --
MARQUARDT: With the North Koreans, to have serious dialogue. Of course, the North Koreans have completely rejected that. So, now, the South and the
U.S. are hoping that these displays of force will provide some level of deterrence. Just yesterday, Isa, you and I spoke about the meeting at the
Pentagon between the U.S. Secretary of Defense and his South Korean counterpart.
Some very strong language out of those two men. The U.S. Secretary of Defense saying that the U.S.' commitment to South Korea is ironclad. And
the South Korean defense minister warning that if the North were ever to carry out a nuclear attack, that, that would spell the end of the Kim Jong-
un regime. Isa?
SOARES: We'll keep on top of course of what comes out of the U.N. Security Council meeting. And of course, we're expecting condemnation, but like you
said, not much else to come from that. But as soon as we get more developments, of course, we will bring it to you. Alex Marquardt, really
appreciate it, thank you, Alex.
MARQUARDT: Thank you.
SOARES: And still to come tonight, Twitter's new billionaire boss is making some deep cuts. What some employees are doing to fight back. That is
SOARES: Thousands of Twitter employees wake up Friday morning to find out they had just lost their jobs. Twitter's new owner, Elon Musk, sent out
layoff notices via e-mail this morning, letting his staff of more than 7,000 know if they will stay or if they would go. Musk is looking to axe
about half the workforce, and says the company has seen a massive drop in revenue.
But some Twitter employees are already suing, claiming their layoffs violate California laws. CNN correspondent Donie O'Sullivan joins me now
from New York. Donie, good to see you this evening. Look, this is pretty brutal, I'm not going to lie. Just give us a sense of what you are hearing
from employees or former employees of course, who may have just found out they've been let go?
DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN REPORTER: Yes, I mean, a lot of employees are obviously devastated. We know that many of them are on visas to stay here -
SOARES: Yes --
O'SULLIVAN: In the U.S. Some of them will have to potentially leave the country, but I think others are quite relieved. They saw the direction that
Twitter was going, and under Musk, and I think that they were happy to get out of the company. How this all played out was just over 24 hours -- just
under 24 hours ago, an e-mail went out to all staff at Twitter, saying, by tomorrow -- by today, you would find out if you still have a job here or
If you're fired, they would e-mail your personal e-mail, because you wouldn't have access to your work e-mail, and if you still were at the
company, they'd tell you by your work e-mail. We have seen hundreds -- possibly thousands of Twitter employees tweeting today about leaving the
company. But people are concerned because this -- the timing of this is right before the midterm elections --
SOARES: Yes --
O'SULLIVAN: Here in the U.S. And a lot of the people who were let go today were working on countering misinformation and election misinformation. And
just a few minutes ago, I spoke to Jason Goldman, who is a former Twitter executive and was actually on the founding team of Twitter. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JASON GOLDMAN, FORMER TWITTER EXECUTIVE: A lot of his free speech protestations aren't really about protecting free speech. It's really more
about trying to put his thumb on a scale for a particular type of political preference that he and some of this cohorts have. And I think that's -- I
think that is dangerous.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'SULLIVAN: And you know, we've seen a lot of those concerns. This idea that Musk is putting his finger on the scale. What we probably will see
undoubtedly next week, is lots of viral claims of election fraud, stuff happening at ballot boxes, often times, that turns out to be false. Whether
or not Twitter is going to do anything about those claims, even as -- if they're shown to be false next week, will remain to be seen. But obviously,
they've gotten rid of a lot of their team that's trying to counter this misinformation.
SOARES: And that is troubling in itself. And meanwhile, you know, as Twitter employees lose their jobs, some I think are filing, Donie, class
action lawsuits. What are you hearing about this?
O'SULLIVAN: Yes, that's right. I mean, there's -- Twitter employees have been on a roller-coaster this past year. You know, it's been -- it was back
in the Spring when Musk said he wanted to buy the company, then he said he didn't want to. Then there's the Twitter whistleblower, so I think a lot of
them, what you're seeing, you know, on Twitter now, they are tweeting still, they're saying that they want to take a moment to reflect.
But we have seen that people are talking about organizing these suits. Obviously, this is across many jurisdictions both here in the U.S.,
Twitter's European headquarters is in Dublin, Ireland --
SOARES: Yes --
O'SULLIVAN: So, I think will be hearing and seeing more a lot from these employees in the weeks and months to come.
SOARES: Donie O'Sullivan, thank you very much, Donie, good to see you.
SOARES: Well, Twitter's former Senior Community Manager Simon Balmain joins me now from Birmingham. He was one of the thousands of employees who
found out he lost his job this morning. Simon, first of all, I'm sorry that you got the bad news today. This is a story that we've all been talking
about today. Just give us a sense, the viewers, a sense of how you were informed that you had lost your job?
SIMON BALMAIN, FORMER TWITTER SENIOR COMMUNITY MANAGER: Sure, absolutely. So, for context, I've been primarily working on new products with a lot of
staff in the U.S., particular people on Pacific Times. So I tended to still be online a little bit later than perhaps most British people would be. So
I got the e-mail that everyone got, the one that mentioned if you're at risk, you'll hear from your -- through your personal e-mail, if not, you'll
hear via your work e-mail.
And it was less than an hour after that, in sort of early hours of the morning, U.K. time, that my work laptop was sort of remotely locked and
wiped, and access to slack, which we use for communication was revoked. Access to Gmail, G Suite all revoked. And that's -- yes, that's kind of how
I found out, followed up by an e-mail today talking about sort of further steps in very vague terms. But --
SOARES: So, hold on --
Let me just clarify this, Simon. You were -- you were told just by revoking your access to e-mails, to slack --
BALMAIN: Yes --
SOARES: You weren't formally -- no one communicated, no one e-mailed you, no one called you, no one had a face-to-face or Zoom call, whatever, Skype
call with you --
BALMAIN: Yes --
SOARES: To tell you you've been let go, and why you've been let go.
BALMAIN: That's absolutely correct, yes. In fact, the e-mail to my personal account that followed up from that was probably seven or 8 hours
after all access was revoked. Yes.
SOARES: How did this --
BALMAIN: And still didn't provide any details really, though.
SOARES: So, you still have no idea why you were let go, on what grounds you were let go other than cutting he needs to cut? How did this make you -
BALMAIN: Exactly --
BALMAIN: Yes, it's frustrating. Of course, the sort of waves of annoyance and frustration, and all that stuff are absolutely mitigated by the extreme
solidarity we've seen from --
SOARES: Yes --
BALMAIN: People in the company. People that are in the same position, people that left the company in years gone by. It's like a giant support
network, which has been absolutely amazing. But yes, I'm generally an optimist, I'm a pretty zen guy, I take whatever life throws at me with a
smile, so --
SOARES: Good on you --
BALMAIN: It's a new challenge and how we deal with it, thank you.
SOARES: And Simon, I mean, have you spoken to other colleagues, you know how many more of your colleagues have been let go? What -- how are they
taking -- as they -- are they as optimistic, of course, as you are?
BALMAIN: I don't know an exact number. It's very hard to tell. But there's a -- it's a lot of people for sure. There's already a sort of a slack
instance up for people affected by this and former employees from before as well, and there's huge amount of new people --
SOARES: Yes --
BALMAIN: Joining it from across the business. I think one of the things that people are sort of interested to know is whether there appears to be
any rhyme or reason to it, and as far as I can tell, it's people from everywhere in the business, it's not necessarily, you know, one team more
than another. Which is, yes, been kind of interesting to watch that. Yes --
SOARES: I mean, when you --
BALMAIN: I think as for people being optimistic -- sorry, I forgot to answer that. Yes, I think people are obviously feeling a whole range of
SOARES: Yes --
BALMAIN: But as I said, I think everybody sees this massive sort of support network and solidarity, which is helping everyone.
SOARES: That is really important right now. Because you know, to be honest, the way this is being implemented and expressed has been pretty
brutal. The lack of communication, the lack of humanity in the whole process. Give me a sense, what the mood was like here, Simon, when Musk
took over. What was the mood? What was said behind closed doors when Musk took over? How worried was everyone about what the future may look like
BALMAIN: Well, it's been really a journey since April, since he first made that offer and then he spent most of the Summer trying to, you know, get
out of it. Even today, he said it at the conference, that he tried very hard to get out of it, which I think we all knew, and was, you know,
publicly attacking the company and work that the company was doing during that whole time.
And you know, and ultimately, you know, was -- had to complete this deal or face the, you know, the court case. I think when it finally happened, it
wasn't so much that, that day, you know, him coming in that day or anything like that, but it was the immediate firing of the whole executive team that
I think --
SOARES: Yes --
BALMAIN: Really hit a lot of people. Because you know, these are people's managers or manager's managers, or, you know, people we have very strong
relationships and connections and communications with. You know, communications with a lot of these senior executives was very good. They
were some very incredible people. So, that was definitely, you know, a big shock.
To have that whole sort of layer cut out and no communication from the new management at all in that time was -- yes, it was weird and difficult to
deal with for sure.
SOARES: Yes, and this coming, you know, as Donie was saying, just before you -- just before the U.S. midterms, right? When crucial posts you all
hold and holding those accountable. Really appreciate Simon, you taking the time to speak to us, wishing you --
BALMAIN: Yes --
SOARES: The best of luck on your next --
BALMAIN: Thank you --
SOARES: Career journey. Thank you Simon. And still to come tonight, I speak with Spain's Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares about what his
country is doing to support Ukraine's fight against Putin's war of aggression.
Plus, the former president drops a big hint, we'll explore what a presidential bid by Donald Trump would look like while the Justice
Department has to open investigations. You are watching CNN.
SOARES: Welcome back. We're going to return now to one of our top stories. In Ukraine's capital, almost half a million households have spent parts of
Friday without power. That is according to the city's may. It comes as the country faces Russia's brutal assault on their infrastructure leading to
blackouts, such as these you're looking at. In his Thursday, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russia of committing energy terrorism.
Well, yesterday, I sat down with the Spanish Foreign Minister, Jose Manuel Albares, who has just returned from a trip to Ukraine, where he met with
top government officials including Mr. Zelenskyy. I started by asking him about how his country is supporting Ukraine's war effort. And he confirmed
Spain is sending air defense missiles. Have a listen.
JOSE MANUEL ALBARES, SPANISH FOREIGN MINISTER: I don't like to talk too much about what type of military equipment or weapons we give or when they
arrive and where they are entering because this is a real war. And if we want the war to end and we want to give maximum chances to the Ukrainian
army to defend their civilians, and their sovereignty, and their territorial integrity, it's better not to talk about it. But I can tell you
that we are talking about hops that will participate in the defense of the skies of Ukraine to make Ukraine safer, and that they are able to go
against all these rockets and all these drones that are being used in the last few weeks.
And I could see firsthand yesterday the impact that they have. They will be operational very quickly. And it's one of the things that are more
immediate now for the Defense of Ukraine.
SOARES: Indeed, given the attacks and the missiles we've been seeing, like you said, you saw and you heard the countless rockets being fired. And
they're being fired, Minister, as we've been reporting here on our show now for weeks. On key energy infrastructure, Ukraine says that it's fixing that
infrastructure as quickly as it can, of course, but in some instances, as our reporters have told us on the ground, it's running out of key equipment
to replace. Is Ukraine, asking its allies for help with its energy infrastructure, the fact that's being hit and being targeted?
ALBARES: We are providing it. One of the messages that I got yesterday is that five very big generators will be arriving in the next few days to
Ukraine. They are very big, they are capable to produce energy for a full hospital and fourteen that are smaller will follow, the size to give
electricity to a building.
One of the things I was able to see, but in the very center of Kyiv with buildings that had been targeted by rockets, it's a power plant that had
been hit. And it's one of the main targets right now to try to prevent civilians, Ukrainian civilians, from having heat and electricity in the
winter. And definitely we are supporting Ukraine on that.
SOARES: How do you interpret Putin's show of strength in the skies, that you've just outlined there in terms of -- or the, you know, the firing that
we've seen on the infrastructure? How do you interpret it? Does it distract, do you think, from the reality that we've all been talking about
in the frontlines?
ALBARES: I think that's part of the whole irrationality of his strategy in this war. This shows that we are in front of a new type of war in which it
doesn't matter, civilian or military, civilian targets, or military targets, cities or fronts that are active in the military. Basically, I
think that what he's trying to achieve is to terrorize the population, saying I can hit you anywhere when I want. The truth is, what I saw
yesterday, is that this is not happening. People are very determined to fight for their democracy, their freedom and their sovereignty. And the
message I took is that they will not be alone, and Spain and the government of Spain will be battling.
SOARES: On that point, finally, is terrorizing, as you said, Ukraine is defiant, the government's defiant, the people also incredibly defiant
given, you know, everything that's happening in their country. Do you think, though, Minister, President Putin, do you think he's losing on the
ALBARES: Definitely. 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, but Kyiv what he cannot achieve on the ground by military and
And there are two things, the winter will be very tough. And I'm sure that many Ukrainian civilians will suffer. But this is not going to change the
course of the war. And when we see the votes in the General Assembly of the United Nation, how overwhelmingly, for three times, all countries on earth
almost unanimously vote against this illegal aggression. It's very clear that both on the ground militarily and politically, Vladimir Putin has lost
the war already.
SOARES: Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares, thank you very much, sir, for taking the time to speak to us.
ALBARES: Thank you.
SOARES: Well, we are days away from the U.S. midterm elections, but something former President Donald Trump said last night got the
conservative crowd excited about an election much further in the future. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: In order to make our country successful, and safe and glorious, I will very, very, very probably do it
again. OK? Very, very, very probably.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Well, for more Mr. Trump's big hint of another presidential bid, CNN reporter Gabby Orr joins me now from Washington. And Gabby, good to see
you. Look, the question that everyone wants to know on this side of the Atlantic, is Trump running?
GABBY ORR, CNN REPORTER: I think based on what you heard from him in Iowa last night, and comments that he's previously made out on the campaign
trail during this 2022 midterm cycle, he is going to launch a 2024 presidential campaign. And what our sources are telling us is that that
actually could come sooner rather than later. One of the dates that has been under discussion recently by Trump's team is the -- November 14, or at
least sometime in that third week of November right after next Tuesday's midterm elections.
Now aides have not decided on a firm date for a presidential campaign announcement by Donald Trump. But they are looking at that third week of
November, thinking that that would be an ideal launch point for him to jump into a 2024 Republican presidential primary, because they want him to ride
the wave of momentum that they think they're going to have coming out of the midterm elections.
They feel very confident that the Republican Party will perform well next Tuesday, and that the former President, if he gets in front of a crowd the
following week to announce a presidential campaign, will be able to reasonably take credit for some of those victories that they expect
Republicans to have. So they are looking to ride the coattails of Republican candidates who are victorious in the midterm elections for
Trump's benefit in the 2024 race.
SOARES: And you know, as Donald Trump inches closer, as you're saying, to perhaps launching another run after the midterm election, the DOJ is
mulling a potential Special Counsel. What more can you tell us about this, Gabby?
ORR: Well, the DOJ will find itself in a unusual predicament if Donald Trump does decide to mount a third presidential campaign, deciding whether
or not they do intend to charge a active candidate for the presidency and both a former president.
There has been a traditional quiet period for the last 60 days leading up to the midterm election where the Justice Department investigators have
been going about their business quietly. They have not announced any indictments, but they are certainly continuing to investigate the former
president and many of his associates for potential crimes involving both his potential -- his retention, that is, of classified documents at Mar-a-
Lago, and also his activities leading up to and on January 6th.
But after election day, they expect to really turn up the volume on those investigations. And we could see some indictments of the former president
and his associates, some of which might be handled by a special counsel.
SOARES: A lot may happen in just a period of a week or two after these midterms. Thank you very much. Appreciate it. Gabby Orr there. And still to
come tonight, an Iranian rapper who's lending his voice to the protest movement in this country is now under arrest. We'll explain after this.
SOARES: Iran's hardline president is now lashing out at Joe Biden after the U.S. president promised to "free Iran." Ebrahim Raisi replied that his
country was freed 43 years ago during the Islamic Revolution that "Iran will never be your milking cow." State-sponsored rallies were held on
Friday marking the seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979. Just a day ago, we saw videos of anti-government demonstrations in the Capitol and
at least three other cities. Those were marking 40 days since the killing of Hadis Najafi, a prominent protester shot to death. In September, one of
those gatherings turned violence.
Our Jomana Karadsheh has been following the story from day one, and she's standing by for us in Istanbul. Jomana, you know, these protests are now I
think in their seventh week, even as the crackdown as we've just said there, escalates. What are you hearing from your contacts on the ground?
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Isa, what I think really sums up the situation in Iran right now about a week ago on Saturday, we heard from
the head of the powerful and feared Revolutionary Guard Corps issuing a warning to protesters, telling them that Saturday would be their last day
out on the streets. And the people's response to that ultimatum, more protests. We have seen protests across different parts of the country. We
have seen some large protests. And some of them turning really violent, Isa, as we saw earlier today in the southeastern part of the country in the
system Sistan-Baluchestan province that is home to the country's Baluch minority in a number of cities there.
Violence erupted at these protests. According to Amnesty International, they say that the government forces open fire on peaceful protesters, and
they say that they were shooting at them from the rooftops of government buildings and that they fear that at least 10 people may have been killed,
including children. The government's version of events, they say that it was protesters who attacked these government buildings. They claimed that
protesters were carrying weapons.
Now, we haven't seen anything that supports these claims by the government at this point, Isa, but as we have seen over the past seven weeks now, the
government has been using brutal force, beating and shooting at protesters to try and crush this national uprising.
And so far, it doesn't seem to be working. And some really disturbing information we've gotten this week from a U.N. official saying that at
least 14,000 people have been arrested in this crackdown, many of them facing the death penalty in a country where many would tell you where,
human rights organizations would tell you there's no such thing as free trials, and that includes one very popular dissident rapper.
KARADSHEH (voice-over): These are the lyrics that could cause Toomaj Salehi his life. The Iranian rap artist was arrested last weekend, charged with
crimes punishable by death, including cooperating with foreign governments, forming illegal groups to destabilize the country, and propagandist
activity against the government. But his real crime, his music, calling on Iranians to rise up and remove their repressive regime.
Toomaj has also proudly posted these videos recently, showing him out at the protest meeting the chants for change. Family members say he was
arrested along with two friends in a violent raid on Sunday. His uncle tells CNN they have information he was tortured.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EGHBAL EGHBALI, TOOMAJ'S UNCLE (through translator): We still do not know anything about tomorrow's health or condition. The family tried hard to
even hear his voice. No one has given us any information. We don't know all of Toomaj's friends are alive or not. We want to know what happened to our
boys and what torture has the Islamic government given them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KARADSHEH (voice-over): This short, edited clip released on state media Wednesday claims to show Toomaj expressing remorse. Outraged Iranians say
it's a statement made under duress. His uncle and others believe it's not even Toomaj. The underground rapper has been a rebel for years, fighting
repression through his politically charged lyrics, speaking out against corruption, poverty, and impunity. He was briefly arrested last year, but
this time is different.
The regime struggling to contain the national uprising is unleashing all its brutal tactics. Thousands have been arrested, more than a thousand of
them indicted. Many protesters accused of waging war against God and corruption on earth, facing the death penalty in what human rights groups
say are sham trials. Many fear the ruthless Republic will hand Toomaj others the harshest of sentences to make them an example to those who dare
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EGHBALI (through translator): Toomaj's mother was a political prisoner. She has passed away a long time ago. If my sister was still alive, she would
have become Toomaj's voice, the same as I am Toomaj's voice, the same as many who are on the streets are the voice of Toomaj.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KARADSHEH: (voice-over): A voice they've tried to silence now louder and more powerful than ever.
KARADSHEH (on camera): And, Isa, Toomaj's family, of course, very concerned about his safety. His uncle asking us to send a message to the
international community, urging them, he says, to do something, to save Toomaj and the others.
SOARES: Truly just heartbreaking, another heartbreaking story that you're, you know, that you're bringing us and it's just -- can't think of what this
family, what the uncle and the rest of the family are going through waiting, of course, Jomana, for word on how he's doing, any update really.
Let me ask you though, Jomana, about, you know, and if there's been any reaction the politics run to what we heard from President Biden on the
campaign trail this week when he said, you know, don't worry, we're going to free Iran, they're going to free themselves pretty soon.
What has the reaction been on the ground to those words?
KARADSHEH: Well, the reaction that we have seen from the Iranian President, as you mentioned earlier today, marking the 1979 takeover of the U.S.
embassy, that anniversary every year where you see the pro-government crowds out on the streets in Tehran outside what used to be the U.S.
Embassy, we saw about again with the usual chants of death to Israel and death to America. And you have the Iranian President addressing those
crowds, and he says that he was informed of the comments made by President Biden, to which he said I was informed that the American president absent
mindedly said we will soon for Iran.
We've been freed for 43 years and, again, saying that they will not allow the U.S. and others to turn Iran into another Syria or Libya in his words,
again, Isa, dismissing all that we have been seeing on the streets, the anger of the people, the demands of their own population, as some sort of a
foreign conspiracy, and riots to try and destabilize the country by the U.S. and others, Isa.
KARADSHEH: A powerful one and really important reporting there from Jomana Karadsheh and team in Istanbul. Thanks very much, Jomana. And we'll be back
after this short break.
SOARES: Well, this final story had my show team here in London belting out the anthems of their youth in our editorial team, well, at least half of
them because the others are probably too young. Have a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE PERRY, SINGER: Don't stop believin', hold on to that feeling, streetlight people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: It is catchy. Official Charts Company in the U.K. has released basically a list of the top streamed songs from each year since 1952.
Journey's Don't Stop Believing was the most streamed song from 1981. So even though streaming didn't exist 70 years ago, we now know that Gene
Carrey -- Kelly, apparently, had the most staying power in the U.K. with this 1952 hit, you've probably guessed it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GENE KELLY, SINGER: I'm happy again. I'm singing and dancing in the rain.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Just magical. Well, let's ahead, though, to 1995 the most streamed song comes from the band Oasis. Now this was a song I definitely recognize
from my youth.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NOEL GALLAGHER, SINGER: Because, baby, you're going to be the one that saves me, and after all, you're my wonderwall.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Official Charts Company says that is the most streamed song ever in U.K., not just of 1995. And when the lead singer, the songwriter, Noel
Gallagher, you saw there, heard that, this is what he reportedly said. "Am I surprised to see Wonderwall at the top of this chart? No." May we all
have the rockstar confidence heading into the weekend, including that song that you probably won't be able to forget. Thanks very much for your
company. Do stay right here. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" with Richard Quest is next. I'll see you next week. Have a wonderful weekend. Bye-bye.