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Isa Soares Tonight
Control Of U.S. Congress Hangs In The Balance; Ron DeSantis' Massive Victory In Florida Raises Presidential Questions; John Kerry Addresses Climate Change At COP27; Iranian Actress Appears In Photo Without Headscarf; U.K. Nurses To Strike For Better Conditions And Pay; Chinese President Xi Jinping Tells Military To Prepare For Warfighting. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired November 10, 2022 - 14:00 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, control of the U.S. House and Senate
hangs in the balance as votes are counted. We'll look at the key races yet to be called. And the world is asking if this man, Ron DeSantis, could be
the next president of the United States after his landslide win in that all-important state of Florida.
Plus, trying to tackle climate change at COP27. Why John Kerry says there isn't enough money to actually solve this problem. That CNN interview,
coming up. But first, control of the U.S. Congress hanging in the balance this hour two days after midterm elections, as the final votes are tallied
in some incredibly tight races.
Now, overall, it does appear that Democrats have outperformed expectations, managing to hold off that promised red wave, if you remember, the
Republicans predicted would sweep them back into power. Here's where things stand, first of all if I show you the Senate. The magic number of course
needed to control is 51.
And Republicans, as you can see there, have 49 seats. A razor-thin edge there to 48 seats to Democrats. Races in three states very much still in
limbo. We're going to show you those states. We have Arizona, as you can see there, Nevada still too close to call, meanwhile, in Georgia down here,
the two top candidates must compete in a runoff, and that's expected to happen next month.
And that means, we may not find out who will control the Senate until well after December, once we've got Georgia. Republicans do appear, though, on
the verge of retaking control of the house. Magic number here, 218. If they retake it by a very smaller margin that had been anticipated. They would
need to win somewhat, nine more seats, in fact.
And 34 races still haven't been called. Now, President Joe Biden spoke about the early midterm results on Wednesday, and he called the election a
good day for democracy. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our democracy has been tested in recent years, but with the votes, the American people have spoken and
proven once again that democracy is who we are. The states across the country saw record voter-turnout, and the heart and soul of our democracy,
the voters, the poll workers, the election officials, they did their job and they fulfilled their duty.
And apparently without much interference at all or any interference, it looks like. And that's a testament, I think, to the American people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Well, another big take away from these elections. Donald Trump can no longer rest assured he will be the de facto leader of the Republican
Party. Now, the star of Florida Governor is Ron DeSantis. He's rising rather fast after he crushed his Democratic opponent to win re-election,
and just look at that red wave there in Florida as you can see right there.
And DeSantis may try to ride it all the way, in fact, to the White House. Have a look.
SOARES (voice-over): in his re-election speech Tuesday night, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared victory against the woke.
RON DESANTIS, GOVERNOR-ELECT OF FLORIDA: We fight the woke in the legislature. We fight the woke in the schools. We fight the woke in the
corporations. We will never ever surrender to the woke mob. Florida is where woke goes to die.
SOARES: The governor has embraced his anti-woke brand, using woke as a pejorative term for progressive policies. A term synonymous with political
correctness, provoking fights over how schools teach issues of gender, sexual orientation and race. And staging a stunt to send asylum seekers to
DESANTIS: We are not a sanctuary state, and it's better to be able to go to a sanctuary jurisdiction, and, yes, we will help facilitate that
transport for you to be able to go to greener pastures.
SOARES: DeSantis also made a name for himself throughout the COVID pandemic by backing calls for lockdowns and mask mandates. And most
recently, in March, he opposed COVID vaccines for children.
DESANTIS: You have this lack of trust in the medical establishment and in the CDC, and the politicization of those institutions.
And that's not going to bode well for us as a society going forward.
SOARES: But DeSantis victory on Tuesday has now propelled him to the top of the list of potential Republican candidates for president in 2024.
According to his supporters --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: DeSantis!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: DeSantis for president!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Twenty-twenty four! We're taking over the house!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's clear that Governor Ron DeSantis is the new leader of the GOP.
SOARES: And to some Republican commentators --
DAVID URBAN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Ron DeSantis crushes it in the state of Florida, builds an incredible coalition that can be, you know, if he can
replicate it nationwide, would be -- would be very formidable.
GEOFF DUNCAN, LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR OF GEORGIA: Donald Trump got fired Tuesday night, and the search committee has brought a few names to the top
of the list. And Ron DeSantis is one of them.
SOARES: But Trump himself doesn't believe he's being fired, and is planning to make a big announcement next week in Mar-a-Lago. Trump and
DeSantis were once allies, and Trump endorsed DeSantis in 2018, to help him become governor.
DESANTIS: With me as governor, we will not raise taxes and we will never have an income tax.
SOARES: But lately, Mr. Trump has started taking some shots at the governor. For example, by coining him a nickname.
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're winning big in the Republican Party for the nomination like nobody has ever seen before.
Let's see, there it is, Trump at 71, Ron the Sanctimonious at 10 percent.
SOARES: No one has yet thrown their hat in the ring for 2024. But that's not stopping reporters from asking the question.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We saw Governor Ron DeSantis with a resounding victory in Florida last night. Who do you think would be the tougher
competitor, Ron DeSantis or former President Trump, and how is that factoring into your decision?
BIDEN: It would be fun watching them take on each other.
SOARES: And he's not wrong there. We're joined now by CNN political commentator and Republican campaign adviser, Scott Jennings. He says,
DeSantis has clearly proven that he can do what Donald Trump cannot. And what is that, Scott? Good to see you by the way.
SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good to see you, Isa. And that has put together a coalition capable of winning a national election. I
think one thing Republicans are coming to grips with is that Donald Trump has really been an anvil on the head of the Republican Party. He backed
into the presidency in 2016, losing the popular vote.
We lost the house in 2018, we lost the presidency and the Senate in 2020. And we did not do well in this election because his candidates that he
recruited, and then he endorsed, did not do well, even against Joe Biden, who really isn't all that popular in the United States either.
And so, at this point, the Republican Party I think is looking for someone who can actually win and lead the party in a national election. And if you
look at what DeSantis did in Florida, up and down the state, Hispanics, white voters, working class, white collar, suburbs, rural, he put the whole
The Republicans in the United States have not won the national popular vote in a presidential election since 2004, when my old boss, George W. Bush did
it. He had a broad coalition, that's what DeSantis looks like he can do in Florida.
SOARES: Is this something though, Scott, that you think he can replicate outside of Florida?
JENNINGS: I think so. I think he offers two things. Number one, he gives you all the fight that if you're Republican that you got from Donald Trump,
that was something that attracted you to Trump in the beginning. But he does it without any of the baggage, and any of the backwards-looking
politics. Trump is really all about re-litigating the past, grievances, revenge.
And DeSantis really ran a campaign focused on the future and making Florida the best state it can be. Presidential campaigns are almost always about
the future. If Trump runs in 2024 and tries to re-litigate 2020, it's a sure loser for the Republicans. And so, I'd bet on DeSantis having better
instincts and running a forward-looking campaign.
SOARES: So, do you think that the sheer number of votes that he gained proved that perhaps he is the new face of the GOP? I mean, did this cement
his presidential run here, Scott?
JENNINGS: I hope so, and I do think this. Trump's not been this week since January the 6th. He was politically weak after the disgraced of January
the 6th, and the Republican Party hesitated. They should have moved on and then, they did not. And so, he quickly reconstituted himself and has been
head of the party for the last two years. De facto.
Now, Trump is weak again, everyone realizes he's politically damage. And so, here's a moment where someone could step into the breach. And so, if
DeSantis has never been hotter, Trump's never been weaker, and it's never benefited a single American to put off running for president. You have to
act when the iron is hot, and it is hot right now for Ron DeSantis.
SOARES: And speaking of politically-damaged, I mean, "The New York Post's" front page kind of pointed at that. I think we've got at the humpty-dumpty
picture of Donald Trump there. I mean, where does this lead then, Scott? That Trump announcement, all been expected. What do you think he would be
rattled by DeSantis' success in Florida? Do you think he will actually go ahead with it?
JENNINGS: Oh, I think he will, yes, I do think he's rattled by DeSantis. You know, he's already --
SOARES: Yes --
JENNINGS: Branded him with a nickname, he's starting to take some pot- shots at him. I mean, he's clearly hearing the footsteps. And so, I expect the president to try to do to DeSantis what he did to the field in 2016,
and that's to berate them and insult them.
The difference is this, not a single competitor of Trump's in 2016 had the national reservoir of support and goodwill that DeSantis has from
conservatives, from donors, from grassroots, from the establishment. DeSantis has a foot in many lanes.
And they like what he did during COVID, they love what he's done with Florida, they love what he does taking on the media and the Democrats, he
really has the instincts that cover a lot of bases. Nobody really had all that in 2016. This will be Trump's toughest opponent yet.
SOARES: And I just want to pick on how internationally, how Ron DeSantis is being covered. I think that's fascinated a couple of British newspapers,
had him on its front page. And he is, in many ways, he's in your background, straight out of casting central, as you can see the picture of
him there holding one of his daughters.
You know, he's a native Floridian, working class roots, lover of baseball, a graduate of Yale and Harvard Law School, decorated U.S. Navy veteran,
husband and father, three -- I mean, the image we saw of him is the traditional American family, and I think this is something that's tapping
into the British press here. They grab this. So, do you think he'll get the support from the GOP if it's between Trump and DeSantis here?
JENNINGS: I think in a one-on-one race, he has an excellent chance. And I'll throw in one other attribute that DeSantis has that Trump doesn't.
He's young, he's in his 40s. He's the next generation. We have an old president right now and Trump is old, and I can tell you right here sitting
in the United States of America, the American people are desperate for anything other than a rematch between Trump and Biden.
We'd rather pick two names out of the Peoria phonebook, than run Biden against Trump again. I think Americans are desperate for a younger
generation of leaders -- and I think that for both parties, and right now, DeSantis, young guy, young family, a record of success in Florida.
Republicans could do worse than to bet on the next generation of leaders coming from a big, important state like Florida.
SOARES: Scott, always great to get your insight, really appreciate it. Scott Jennings there.
JENNINGS: Thank you.
SOARES: Now, China and the U.S. really need to cooperate on climate change. That was the appeal of U.S. Climate envoy, John Kerry. He spoke
exclusively with CNN at the COP27 Summit in Egypt. He also said the world needs to raise money to transition to cleaner energy. But that no country
has enough to do it alone.
His comments come as more vulnerable, developing nations, developing countries demand the wealthy polluters help them stem the harsh impacts the
world is already seeing. Our CNN's David McKenzie spoke with Kerry at the summit in Sharm El-Sheikh, and he joins me now.
And David, what did John Kerry tell you? I mean, what more do we know about this new plan that he announced to raise cash for climate action? Because
you know, we've been here before when nations, wealthier nations promised climate financing and then just they don't match the numbers they've been
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the numbers are extraordinary. Talking trillions, and that's trillions with a T, that
is needed in the next few years just to help developing nations, Isa, deal with the climate crisis. Now, that is both for adaptation, helping people
stop the worst effects, and for what is called loss and damage.
And that is to try and help people who have already been impacted by the hurricanes, typhoons, flooding and droughts that we are seeing made worse
by the rising temperatures. I spoke to the climate envoy, he said that the U.S. is ready to help finance those countries, but he doesn't want an open-
ended litigation environment when it comes to loss and damage.
He also said that the proposal by the U.S. government to work with corporations to try and offset carbon is an important one, pushing aside
the criticism of that. And importantly, he said that the U.S. and China, the world's two biggest emitters, need to start talking. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KERRY, U.S. SPECIAL PRESIDENTIAL ENVOY FOR CLIMATE CHANGE: We're not formally negotiating at this point, but our hope is that in a short span of
time, it will become possible for us to really get together again in full measure and do the things we need to be doing as the two leading emitters
in the world and as the two largest economies in the world.
China and the United States really need to cooperate on this, and without China, even if the U.S. is as we are, moving towards 1.5 degree program,
which we are, if we don't have China, nobody else can make to that goal. And we blow through 1.5, and it will cost citizens around the world
trillions of more dollars.
MCKENZIE: Politically, there is a sense that the U.S. and China will be competing in the years ahead, and some hawkish attitudes towards China. Do
you think the cooperation on climate change will be accepted?
KERRY: Well, there's not any competition. It's a pretty normal thing in the world of business. Businesses always compete for market share, for
product line, and so forth. What President Biden has said is, we can compete, but we don't have to be confrontational. We don't have to be in
conflict. And I think that's what is critical here.
Is that we deal with the issues, and there are real differences between our countries, obviously. But climate should not fit into that bilateral
pattern of those issues.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCKENZIE: The deep freeze between the two countries, of course, happened when Nancy Pelosi; the Speaker of the House, visited Taiwan, Isa. I don't
think necessarily you will see a breakthrough here in Sharm El-Sheikh, even with President Biden on his way here shortly. But you do have that proposed
meeting between Xi Jinping and Biden at the G20 next week. And perhaps, that's when they will start talking again, Isa?
SOARES: We shall see. David McKenzie there for us in Sharm El-Sheikh, thanks David, good to see you. Now, Ukrainian forces are advancing on the
frontlines in Kherson, liberating a dozen villages on the way to the region's key capital. They are warning that Russia is trying to turn
Kherson into a city of death.
One official saying Russian forces are mining everything they can, from apartments to sewers, and Ukraine is skeptical that Russia is withdrawing
to east bank -- to the east bank of the Dnipro, which Moscow had announced on Wednesday. U.S. officials, meanwhile, say they do see signs of a Russian
And they estimate that Russia has suffered at least a 100,000 casualties since the invasion in February. Ukraine's President Zelenskyy says his
country's losses are far less, and he explains why? Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, PRESIDENT, UKRAINE (through translator): These planned military actions, they are discussed in a small circle, but they're
executed in silence. And I really want to have an unpleasant surprise for the enemy, and not something they're prepared for.
So, I'd like to apologize, but at any rate, our people and our public need to know that we're working on some very serious steps with a positive
outcome for the citizens of Ukraine. And all those communities that support peace in Ukraine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Let's focus on Kherson. Nic Robertson joins me now from Kryvyi Rih. So Nic, just talk us through how real these signs are, then, that the
Russian retreat from Kherson is actually happening? Because the Russian- appointed leader of the region I read, is vowing to defend all territory.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, and we have seen Russian troops crossing the Dnipro River, leaving. What we're hearing from
civilians inside Kherson, and this is coming from a Ukrainian official in touch with the civilians in the city. She says that the situation is tense
and difficult, that there is no electricity, no water, no gas, no heating in some parts of the city.
No internet across the whole city. When it comes to the Russian troops, she said that there was still a presence of Russian troops there, and the real
difficulty for the people in Kherson at the moment is, they just don't know what is going to happen next. Are the Russians planning to fight when
Ukrainian troops get there?
Are there going to be big battles? What's mind? What's booby trapped? All those are the big concerns. Nevertheless, Ukrainians have been making some
significant gains through the day.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
ROBERTSON (voice-over): Today, the village of Snihurivka is liberated, the soldier announces. His handful of troops claiming a small victory on the
road to Kherson, well received by an apparently appreciative crowd. Elsewhere on Ukraine's cautious advance to liberate the port city, another
tiny band of soldiers celebrate an objective secured.
Since Russia's announced retreat, villages are being taken quickly. In Kalynivka, Russians fled so fast they left their flag, rapidly removed by
the Ukrainians. Meanwhile, Russian troops retreating under orders east across the strategic Dnipro River characterized their ignominious exit as
smart, noting the damage to the bridge that supplied them.
Russia's defense chiefs are also spinning the withdrawal as a smart move to save soldiers' lives. But it's in stark contrast to their callous and
calamitous loss of soldiers in the war so far.
(on camera): What was once the jewel in Putin's conquests this year and illegally declared part of Russia less than six weeks ago Is becoming the
most embarrassing setback for Putin so far.
Failure to spin retreat as smart strategy will undermine his leadership.
(voice-over): Ukrainian officials continue to be skeptical of Putin's motives, questioned whether retreat is also a trap.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): They're simply searching for a way out of a difficult situation. The fact that they so deliberately
announced that they were moving to the left bank did not surprise anyone. But we understand that we will still have to fight.
ROBERTSON: On the battlefield, Ukrainian soldiers appeared to be gaining momentum. Nevertheless, officials warn it could be days, even longer,
before Kherson is safely under their control again.
ROBERTSON: And the real question is, how safe is it going to be? Because the Russian troops are pulling back to just across the river. Are they
going to sit there and shell the city and the Ukrainian troops and the civilians all in it? It really is unclear, Isa.
SOARES: And if it is, if they are in fact retreating, Nic, I mean, how much of a psychological blow then is this for Putin? Because what? Less
than six weeks ago, we saw him say that, you know, he'd annexed the region, we saw the funfair in Red Square, I mean, how -- what would this mean for
Putin here, Nic?
ROBERTSON: And I think it was -- that was the turning point for Putin, where he's wanted to cement his gains that he thought were real gains that
he could lock in, because he was already losing on the battlefield in the north of Ukraine -- in the northeast of Ukraine.
He's losing ground in the east of Ukraine at the moment, so he thought to lock in the gains there. And this just showed him that even when he made
statements like this, it didn't lock anything in. But it showed not just him, it showed the Russian public -- there was the conscription as well, it
all plays into the same thing.
He says more than 300,000 people were conscripted into the army. But almost that same number fled the country and many of those conscripts have
subsequently died very quickly in big numbers in battle. There have been very public criticisms in Russia about it. All that feeds into the
difficulty of Putin's position.
Add in on that, the loss of Kherson and the effort by the military to try to spin this as positive. When you really understand how politically
important it is for Putin that it didn't come to an even worse end, that it wasn't besieged --
SOARES: Yes --
ROBERTSON: That there wasn't an attrition on the troops, that there weren't messages coming back from Kherson, from troops to their families
saying, help us, get us out of here. So, this is damaging. He's tried to limit the damage, but I think it feeds into a bigger erosion about
perception in the past that Putin and his strategic adjustment has been infallible.
This unpicks that narrative, and that's dangerous for him because that means his leadership becomes weaker and his grip on power becomes weaker.
SOARES: Important analysis there from our Nic Robertson in Kryvyi Rih in Ukraine. Thanks very much, Nic, appreciate it. And still to come right here
tonight, a powerful photo and an impassioned promise. A leading Iranian actress vows to stand with the protesters who have defied their hard-line
But first, economic news. Has inflation in the U.S. finally peaked? We'll take a closer look after this.
SOARES: Well, the highest inflation in the U.S. as seen in decades might be starting to cool. The Labor Department releases inflation report for the
month of October just hours ago, and it shows the consumer price as you can see there. One of the biggest concerns for those who voted in the midterms
rose by 7.7 percent, that's compared to a year earlier.
That's less than actually expected, meaning that the battle against inflation may be bearing fruit. Well, here is Wall Street's reaction so
far. Quite positive, as you can see. Dow Jones up 3 percent, I haven't seen these numbers for a long time. I have to say, Nasdaq up more than six,
almost 6.25 percent, and the S&P up more than 4.5 percent.
Matt Egan joins me now. And Matt, I mean it is wonderful to see green arrows in the markets soaring so high. But I'm guessing this is all good
news. How should we interpret? The same way that the markets are?
MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: Well, Isa, yes, I don't know that we've ever seen 7.7 percent inflation in the United States look so good to the markets. But
that's where we are because everyone is so desperate for some sign of improvement. And we did get that today. I mean, we were expecting month-
over-month inflation to get worse. It didn't, it stayed the same.
Core inflation sharply decelerated, that was an encouraging sign. And we sought month-over-month price declines for airfare, for apparel, used cars.
That was a big one, and a big reason why inflation was cooler than expected. And again, 7.7 percent inflation, that is not good, it's not
healthy, it's not normal. But it is a big improvement from the 9 percent- plus inflation that we saw back in June.
And so, markets are celebrating because it is being viewed as some ammo for the Federal Reserve to possibly slow down its interest rate hikes, maybe
even pause early next year. But Isa, we should stress this is just one report. Economists and investors, maybe some business reporters too have
been baked by inflation. They've been baked up by inflation before.
So, we should caution that we have to wait and see what actually happens. But this is a step in the right direction and it feels like a big step in
the right direction.
SOARES: And Matt, I'm not -- I didn't mean to be, you know, bearer of bad news. But every time you give us something good, you always, you know, give
us the negative too. I feel like we should end just on the positive. But look, the markets, as you can see, 3 percent, the Nasdaq also doing well,
S&P as well.
I mean, are they -- is this them interpreting that the Fed, like you said, might pull back, dial back its aggressive rate hike? What are the chances
of perhaps not seeing that much movement in December in their meeting in December, the Fed meeting in December or is that still being considered
EGAN: Well, within minutes or even seconds of this report coming out where we saw stock futures go up, bond --
SOARES: Yes --
EGAN: Yields come down, and futures markets pricing in a less aggressive Federal Reserve. Now, investors are still anticipating the federal raise
interest rates next month. But the risk of a 75-basis point move, the -- what would be the fifth in a row, that has gone down. The thinking is that
maybe this gives the Fed room to just raise interest rates by 50-basis points.
The risk of the Fed continuing to raise interest rates next year, I think that has also come down. I talked to former New York Fed President, Bill
Dudley, and he told me, listen, is a good report. He said, this does raise the likelihood that the Fed slows down the pace of its rate hikes. But he
did stress that this is just one report.
And he said, he would like to see signs that the jobs market has slowed down more than it has already, before he would be ready to say that the Fed
can really stop raising interest rates.
SOARES: We'll keep an eye on further reports of course, to get a sense of the direction the economy is going and whether the Fed will continue with
its hikes. Matt Egan, really appreciate it, thanks, Matt.
SOARES: And still to come tonight, strikes, surging inflation and ever- changing government. We look at how the U.K. is living in a state of permacrisis. But first, as protests rage across Iran, a prominent voice
takes a defiant stand. We will show you how a leading Iranian actress is showing her support.
SOARES: Welcome back, everyone.
A leading Iranian actress is using a powerful image as well as impassioned words in support of the protests that have really rocked the country now
for some eight weeks.
Taraneh Alidoosti posted this photo of herself, as you can see there, on Instagram without the mandatory hijab and holding a sign that, you know,
that we have all been familiar with across social media. It's the slogan of these protests, "Women, life, freedom."
Rights groups say, Iran has arrested thousands of protesters and hundreds have been killed. The actress is vowing to, quote, "stand with families of
the prisoners and the murdered and fight for our homeland."
Well, it is a bold move and comes as the protests show really no sign of abating. CNN's Jomana Karadsheh has been reporting on the demonstrations
since they began. She joins me now in the studio.
Jomana, I mean, she's a well known face at home. I mean, it's incredibly brave as well as dangerous, this move by this actress.
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. She's still inside Iran and she's doing this. She's got 8 million followers on Instagram.
And people woke up this morning to this image of her holding up this sign in Kurdish with the words (speaking foreign language), which is "Women,
life, freedom," as you mentioned, showing her support for the movement and also without the mandatory head scarf. Really bold move.
But she has been, Isa, over the past few days, she has been posting, saying, she's not going to leave Iran. She's going to stay there, she's
going to defend those who are behind bars and those who have lost their lives.
Again, this is not the first high-profile person who's showing their support for the protest movement. We have seen this over the past few
KARADSHEH: You've got athletes, you've got actors who are coming out and showing their support. Of course, the concern is, with more than 14,000
people behind bars and so many of them, of course, are these actors, directors, journalists and others, what is going to happen to her now?
And we're going to have to wait and see.
SOARES: Have we heard from her?
Has any Iranian media interviewed her?
Have we heard anything since that post?
KARADSHEH: We have not, so everyone's waiting to see what happens next. Again, such an incredible brave move for someone who's inside Iran doing
And we see a lot more people doing this, Isa. It's not just these high- profile figures who are doing this. You have women who are walking on the streets every single day in their daily lives without headscarves.
That barrier of fear in Iran has been broken. So no matter what happens now, everyone tells you there's no way it's going to go back to what it was
SOARES: I mean, when you started covering the beginning of this protest, you know, I think week two, week three, we were talking about how far can
these be sustained. And it's still going and it's increasing, despite this climate of repression, of fear, perhaps of torture.
I mean, do you see this continuing despite what we've seen inside the country?
KARADSHEH: This is exactly, Isa, what I've been asking protesters inside Iran. And every single person I've spoken with says, there is no way we are
going to stop. The more they arrest people, the more people are killed, this is only fueling the anger for people.
It's reminding them of what they are doing and why they're doing this because they're just stunned. And I've heard this from young protesters,
who are saying, look, the previous generation has tried to reform this regime. This is a regime that's not going to change.
So the only thing we can do now is to remove the regime and we're going to fight until the end to do this.
SOARES: Tell us about the daughter of a wrestler, I think his name is -- sorry, the sister of the wrestler who died two years ago.
What do we know about her?
KARADSHEH: This was very interesting. Iranian state media saying that they arrested Elham Afkari, who's the sister of Navid Afkari, the wrestler who
was executed two years ago while in custody. There were, you know, at the time, there were lots of serious allegations.
He was tortured in custody and Iranian government at the time said that he killed a security agent during the 2018 protests. They arrested his sister,
saying that she is an agent of Iran International.
This is an opposition news channel that's based here in London. They have been covering the protests nonstop for nearly two months now. In a couple
of days ago, they announced that two other journalists have been threatened, that they've been notified by the Metropolitan Police of
serious threat to their lives and their families here in the U.K.
And we heard from the Iranian regime coming out and saying, Iran International is now basically a terrorist organization and anyone inside
Iran who deals with them will be part of that terrorist domain.
So today they've come out and they've accused Elham Afkari of being an agent, they say and that she has been inciting and she's been organizing
what they described as these rights in the country. Iran International told CNN, they have nothing to do with Elham Afkari. She was not an agent, she's
not a journalist, she doesn't work with them.
And you can only, you know, look at this, Isa, and wonder if this is the government trying to send a very strong message to all the citizen
journalists in the country and people who have been helping Iran International and others, saying that, you know, they will stop them from
SOARES: It's a strong message but like you said, it's not stopping those taking to the streets from continuing to being defiant in the face, really,
of the repression. I think that something that we will continue to see.
KARADSHEH: Absolutely and I think from people we have spoken with, they say that they're not going to stop. I mean, we will have to wait and see.
We've seen this in the past, nothing on this scale, of course. Two months nearly now and it's not stopping.
You're still seeing the protests day and night taking place in different parts of the country, even in some of the most conservative and religious
cities that are considered the power base of the regime. It's truly, you know, something we've never seen before in Iran.
But again, there's always the risk of a real, bloody and brutal crackdown, something we have not seen yet. Hundreds of people have been killed,
thousands have been arrested but it could get much worse. This is what people are worried about.
And they want the United Nations, they want the international community to do more to try and hold the regime accountable.
SOARES: You've been doing a fantastic job, staying on top of all the lines and all your sources, really appreciate it. I know you will continue to do
that. Thank you very much.
Up next right here on the show, as U.K. nurses strike for the first time in over 100 years, I will speak to a nurse who says, well, enough is enough.
That is next.
SOARES: The United Kingdom and its new prime minister is facing a host of domestic challenges. On top of the cost of living crisis, soaring inflation
and heated debate on immigration, the country will soon be in the grip of a historic health care strike.
Britain's largest nursing unit is striking for the first time in its 106- year history. The war counts are happening across the country, as staff demand better working conditions, as well as pay. Members are saying,
quote, enough is enough.
With Britain's numerous problems, it's no wonder that the Collins dictionary word of the year, as we showed you on the show, is permacrisis.
CNN's Scott McLean is in with me to discuss.
Scott, the list of problems, as we said, is huge. And they are piling up. Strikes, NHS, rail, tube, Royal Mail, civil servants today, it is a
permacrisis. Just explain what's happening.
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It sure feels that way. As you mentioned, London Underground workers, they're on strike today. University staff
threatening to go on strike later this month.
You have a record number of migrants crossing the English Channel and now you have the nurses also threatening to walk out as well. This really seems
like a cry for help. They say that they are underpaid and that the system is underfunded to the point where it's actually affecting the safety of
And so, one of the biggest issues right now for the nurses is the fact that inflation is at 10 percent. Nurses are asking for a raise of, well, 17.6
percent. This looks like a lot of money but not when you factor in inflation.
The government would like to give them 4 percent, maybe 5 percent increase. The reason they say that this is fair is, because last year, the nurses and
health staff got a 3 percent raise when everyone else in the public service got, well, they got nothing.
The problem is that they say that this number, if they were to give the nurses this number, that would cost the health system some $US 10 billion
MCLEAN: That's at a time when the government is also trying to fill a huge hole in public spending, in public finances, for some $60 billion. The
prime minister will announce a week from today how exactly the government plans to fill this hole.
But given what's happened in the health care service right now, there is a heck of a lot of pressure for him to pump more money in the health care
system, not less. I will show you exactly why or give you some examples.
This right now is people on waiting list for elective treatments. You can see, even before the pandemic, the trend was broadly going up. Obviously,
the pandemic has made things a heck of a lot worse and there are really no signs that things are getting any better.
Let me give you one other example. So this here is the number of people walking into emergency rooms in England. So this is where we were three
years ago. This is where we were today. The number of people showing up has not really increased. What has increased though is the number of people
waiting more than 12 hours to see a doctor.
This is where we are right now. So this is perhaps why nurses are feeling so underappreciated and underpaid as well, given all of this. The
Conservative Party, I should also note, Isa, look, they are badly behind in the polls right now.
Rishi Sunak, the new prime minister, has another two years in his term. But if he has any hope of lasting any longer than that, he will not only have
to get public finances under control but he will also have to do something about this mess.
SOARES: Well, 12 hours. The numbers and the data really put into perspective the decisions, of course, that so many nurses are making and
how difficult the decisions are, of course, for so many of them. Thanks very much, Scott McLean, really appreciate it.
I'm joined now by Alroi Abrantes, an NHS nurse who actually voted to strike. He joins me now.
ALROI ABRANTES, NURSE, NHS: Thank you for your time to speak to us. I mean, my colleague just really outlined the figures for our audience around
the world to get a sense of why you want to strike. But just explain why you have decided to strike and how hard that decision must have been.
Voting for a strike as a nurse goes against our very own fiber as a nurse. But if we don't do this now, if you're getting five years later why we
didn't do it, if you're still practicing nursing five years later even, patient safety is compromised.
Nursing practice is compromised. The quality of health care we are able to give because of the overwhelming workload that we get is just impossible to
bear with. At the moment, we are managing. But it is not going to get easier.
Winter pressure is coming, we need the staff to stay in this and people here, 17 percent. But what we're trying to say is that we need staffing and
people are in a position to decide if they don't get on compensated well, if they want to stay or leave, we care for people but we have to take care
of ourselves as well.
And we are insistent in our cry for staffing, really. All the one staffing levels Unfortunately, it comes with being compensated fairly.
SOARES: Of course but, like you said, it's not just about pay. Compensation is important.
Do you feel like you are overworked, you are overburdened?
And what impact do you think that might have at work?
Do you feel that you may make mistakes?
ABRANTES: Isa, it's so easy to make a mistake as a nurse. A concrete example is that on a ward of 30 patients, you are supposed to have just six
patients. Just, like, five nurses. What is happening now is that you've got three nurses looking after 30 patients. That's 10 patients each nurse.
That's double the ideal record that you have. So it's easy to make a mistake. It's easy to lose our -- like easy to lose a patient. It is a
lose-lose to everyone. That's why we are going to strike. Honestly, the center of this is the patient safety and nothing else.
SOARES: Do you feel burnout?
ABRANTES: It is a thing, it is a thing.
SOARES: Do your colleagues feel that too?
I mean, what's the consensus among other nurses?
ABRANTES: Everyone's being burned out and everyone's trying to get out of this job. But we love this job and we're trying to stay, so we're fighting
for it, we're fighting for the NHS and patient safety.
It's stress with the nurses, it's just, in general, (INAUDIBLE) now and I've seen people break down and cry. I, myself, have broken down a year
ago. I was working at a different hospital as well. It has just been overwhelming, really. It's unmanageable. Very unsafe for us to practice as
nurses in the wards.
SOARES: It must be so hard as well because your job is to care, to nurture and to look after patients. This decision that you've taken and so many
others have taken must have been so hard because it goes, like you said, against every single fiber of your body.
ABRANTES: It does.
SOARES: Do you understand though why some people are upset by your decision to walk out, that you are leaving so many other people, you know,
ABRANTES: I think they have a misconception that, on the strike, people are just going to go out randomly, out of the wards of the hospital. It
does not work that way.
ABRANTES: Like I said, patient safety is the core of this. And so, it's an organized (INAUDIBLE) strike. So, life extending and life preserving
services. It's just like Christmas or a bank holiday, it is there. So that's what's going to happen.
We don't just walk out. This is not similar to a train strike, where the whole Victoria Station will be closed down for the entire day. We don't --
we cannot do that because it's health care. People literally will die if they do that. So the backbone services will stay there. Like I said,
(INAUDIBLE) will stay.
SOARES: And now do you know other nurses who have quit, who have given up because the problems, the long waiting lists, the quality, you know, the
pay and so forth?
Have people that you know have walked out, have left, quit after years of training?
ABRANTES: Yes, so it might go forth as a badge of (INAUDIBLE). Two of them, there's six of us. So now we're in the U.S. just because they just,
like, treat him as nurses there. People are now doing agency, purely agency nursing because they get paid more, obviously. People are doing different
jobs under different visas as well.
So everyone's trying to get out of this and those who love this job are trying to stay and fight for this. So I hope that people fight with us as
well because this is for the patient safety. This is for you who, in the future, will be needing (INAUDIBLE).
This is for you, who yourself will be needing it, your loved ones, your parents, everyone. But we need to stay and you help to fight for this as
SOARES: Well, I can see it's been a tough decision. I can see how hard the position has been for you and I appreciate you coming here and speaking so
openly about it. Thank you very much, all right, appreciate it.
Still to come tonight, strong words from China's leader. We will tell you what Xi Jinping had say to his country's military. That is next.
SOARES: We just heard that China's president, Xi Jinping, will meet with U.S. President, Joe Biden, on Monday for the first time since Biden took
office. U.S. officials hope Biden can build a foundation with Xi as well as strengthen, of course, the relationship between the world's largest
Well, better relations can't come soon enough. Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, is having his country's military to, quote, devote all its energy to
preparing to fight wars. It's the latest of Beijing's ramped-up rhetoric.
SOARES: Some pointed at reuniting Taiwan with mainline (sic) China. We'll stay on top of that story for you.
Now for something totally different. Braving sharks, dodging shipping containers as well as battling dehydration, against all the odds, a British
endurance swimmer completed the world's first swim across the Red Sea from Saudi Arabia to Egypt.
It took him 16 days to cross 76 miles or 123 kilometers. Congratulations to him. What a feat.
And finally, Black Panther fever is sweeping the globe yet again. Marvel's highly anticipated sequel, "Wakanda Forever," hits theaters tomorrow. And
to celebrate the release, the star studded cast have been taking to the red carpet from London to Nigeria.
Leading lady Lupita Nyong'o has stunned in an array of glamorous gowns. But it's her poignant words which made us pause for thought tonight. She told
CNN, "It's always good to be able to relate to people who do not look like you and to see your humanity in them."
Very well said. And thanks for the company tonight. Do say right here. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next. See you next week, bye-bye.