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Isa Soares Tonight

EU Countries Offer More Support To Ukraine As Ukrainians Face More Blackouts As Temperatures Plunge; Iran Beat Wales As Host Nation Qatar Gets Eliminated; Angry Protesters Continue To Swirl Across Iran; Kyiv Sets Up Stations For People To Get Warm, Charge Devices; Ukrainians Face More Blackouts As Temperatures Plunge; China's Zero-COVID Policy Sparking Rare Backlash In China. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired November 25, 2022 - 14:00:00   ET



ISA SOARES, HOST, ISA SOARES TONIGHT: A very warm welcome to the show, everyone, I'm Isa Soares. Tonight, EU countries offer more support to

Ukraine, as officials there race to restore power following Russian strikes. We are live for you in Zaporizhzhia with the very latest. Then,

another dramatic day at the football World Cup as Iran beats Wales and the host nation, Qatar, is eliminated.

Now, all eyes turn to England versus the United States. Plus, I'll be speaking to a former Kurdish freedom fighter as angry protesters continue

to swirl across Iran. But first, Ukraine's European allies are trying to prevent Russia from using Winter as a weapon of war. EU countries are

pledging hundreds of transformers, generators and other equipment to help restore power as well as heat in Ukraine.

Millions of people there are still shivering in the dark after Russian missile strikes devastated critical infrastructure this very week. But

officials have been racing to restore power, and say Kyiv should have normal electricity coverage by this time roughly tomorrow. The Winter, of

course, is just beginning. And these types of attacks almost certainly won't be the last. NATO Secretary-General is slamming Russia's tactics.

This is what he said earlier.


JENS STOLTENBERG, SECRETARY-GENERAL, NATO: Is that President Putin is trying to weaponize Winter and by indiscriminate and deliberate attacks on

cities, on civilian infrastructure. He tries to deprive the Ukrainians of gas, heating, water.


SOARES: Let's get a live update now from Ukraine. Our Sam Kiley joining me now from Zaporizhzhia. And Sam, those words there from Stoltenberg,

weaponizing Winter is very much the picture that you and our teams on the ground have been painting for us for several weeks, making lives pretty

unbearable for Ukrainians. What is the situation as you see it right now?

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think, Isa, here in Zaporizhzhia, there are continuing concerns about the future of the

nuclear power station. Although, frankly, the population here has got used to the fact that this power station is under Russian control is in a state

of permanent threat.

But more widely, what they are enduring here and everywhere else in the country is this Putin attack on the critical national infrastructure,

namely the energy capabilities of the country, not to just to generate the energy, but to distribute the energy overwhelmingly, that's electrical


But also gas installations have been attacked. Now, the NATO Secretary- General there talks about weaponizing war. Well, that's exactly what you would expect anybody involved in a war to do. The weather, you must try to

play to your best advantage. So, it shouldn't surprise anybody that the Russians are going after this critical infrastructure.

What is surprising to the Ukrainians, in their view, is that they haven't been given the sophisticated weaponry that they need to defend themselves

against these attacks. They are saying, they want patriot missiles. They want the various Israeli anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems have been

so effective, particularly around Gaza but elsewhere.

They want the latest technology to balance out this overwhelming power that the Russians are able to bring in these repeated swarm attacks either with

the Iranian-made low tech drones or with their own very high tech cruise missiles. The hope, though, is that in the end, the Russians might run out

certainly of the cruise missiles.

They're expensive bits of equipment, and Russia, of course, is under sanctions and may not be able to replace them. But this is a key aspects of

the war, and from the Ukrainian perspective, some were eye-rolling response from Europe, sending generators rather than the capacity to actually stop

these aircraft and missiles getting through and doing the damage in the first place. Isa?

SOARES: But for quite some time, and correct me if I'm wrong here, Sam, we saw Zelenskyy, President Zelenskyy, calling for further, you know, defense

capability to help stop these missiles. I was under the understanding that some of them were pledged already. Are they not arriving? Is this not

enough? What can you tell me?

KILEY: They have got them. The American systems have proved highly effective. There are other nations that have given sort of tier two or tier

three air defensive.


Not the latest stuff, not the most high tech, certainly not the Israeli style anti-missile missile systems, such as iron dome and the bigger

versions of a similar sorts of technology. Now, Israel has its own reasons for not supplying Ukraine. They've got a very tense relationship indeed

with Russia over what's going on in Syria, in serious support, that a Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad is getting from Russia.

So that's awkward to say the least for Israel. But other countries don't have that problem necessarily, and historically, have just been sort of one

pace behind the running in terms of supplying -- this is the Ukrainian perspective, supplying Ukraine with what they need to prosecute this war.

Incrementally, things have gotten a lot better for the Ukrainians. But since 2014 when they were denied all forms of lethal aid, they were unable

to defend themselves effectively against Russia. They're now much more effective. But they are insisting they need the latest equipment to fight

the latest Russian technology, Isa.

SOARES: Sam Kiley for us there in Zaporizhzhia, 9:05 there, thanks very much, Sam, appreciate it. And then later in the program, I'll be speaking

to Hollywood actor Liev Schreiber, he's recently returned from a trip to Ukraine and has now launched a fundraiser to supply generators for

Ukrainian doctors. That interview coming up in about 21 minutes or so.

Now, Vladimir Putin's war effort depends heavily, of course, on the support of the Russian people. Today, he met with those who've paid a very high

price. Mothers of soldiers killed in the fighting. As Fred Pleitgen reports, some not invited to the gathering, say the Kremlin hand-picked the

audience to weed out Putin's strongest critics.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Russian president meeting those he knows are a backbone of the combat

effort in Ukraine, soldiers mothers, many of whom have lost their sons.

NINA PSHENICHIKINA, MOTHER OF A RUSSIA SOLDIER (through translator): My heart bleeds and my soul freezes. Dark memories cloud my mind. I cry and

cry, and I hear my son saying that we will see each other one day.

PLEITGEN: Putin eager to show empathy.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT, RUSSIA (through translator): I want you to know that I personally -- the entire leadership of the country, we share your

pain. We understand that nothing can replace the loss of a son, a child, especially for a mother.

PLEITGEN: As the war in Ukraine, what Russia calls the special military operation drags on and casualties mount, an increasing number of wives and

mothers are calling on Russia's president to help their husbands and sons. Valentina Melinkova heads the Russian Soldier's Mothers Committee, and says

her group and many others were not invited to meet the president.

VALENTINA MELINKOVA, HEAD OF RUSSIAN SOLDIER'S MOTHERS COMMITTEE (through translator): Why didn't they take these women who recorded the videos? How

many of them are there? Fifty people. Well, bring them to Moscow, put them in a hall not too close to Putin. No, they didn't want to. They wanted to

hand-pick others.

PLEITGEN: The Russian military says it has mobilized more than 300,000 Russians from September to November. But complaints have been mounting from

old, rusty weapons, to a lack of food and poor housing conditions. As this video uploaded to social media purports to show.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): How we live. No command, no offices, nothing. Here, you can see how a guy settled, fixed up the window,

we have no supplies of provisions, no food. They said survive on your own. It's up to you.

MELINKOVA: Well, the logistics turned out to be completely unprepared for what has been happening for nine months. The front line is long. There are

a lot of units. There are a lot of people there, and the army should do this. They should feed, clothe and provide medical care.

PLEITGEN: Russia doesn't regularly update its casualty figures, but it's clear many families are grieving. This, a ceremony for fallen soldiers in

the Irkutsk region.

GOV. IGOR KOBZEV, IRKUTSK REGION (through translator): They are true heroes. They did it in the interest of our state, and interest of all of

us, of our fatherland.

PLEITGEN: And the Russian president knows more mothers and wives will have to sacrifice, as there seems no end in sight to the war in Ukraine. Fred

Pleitgen, CNN, Moscow.


SOARES: I want to leave Ukraine and Russia there for just a moment and turn to the World Cup in Qatar. One of the group stages hotly anticipated

matches has just kicked off. USA versus England. Lots of pride, as you can imagine, on the line, and the Americans are trying to make up ground in

Group B.

The situation in that group got tighter when Iran beat Wales 2-0. A close game broke open when Welsh goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey was sent off for a

reckless challenge. The Iranians scored 2 goals in injury time to win. Before the match, the closely-watched moment, Iran players sang their

anthem after not doing so, if you remember, prior to their first match, a move which was widely interpreted as a show of support for the protesters

back home in Iran.


Patrick Snell is monitoring the action from Atlanta, where they're embedded with fans on both sides of the Atlantic as you can see, Andy Scholes is in

the U.S. and Anna Stewart is with us here in the U.K. Let's start with Patrick. Patrick, we'll talk England and U.S. in just a moment. But first,

let's start with Iran. Strong performance on the pitch and protests off it. What can you tell us?

PATRICK SNELL, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR & CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely, Isa. I want to just set the scene here and make it clear what happened. This was a

truly historic occasion for Iranian football, for the national team, and they now have a real chance of getting out of the group stages of the World

Cup for the first time ever after that famous win over Wales.

I will get to that in a moment. But first, at least, what took place actually before kickoff that is really resonating once again. What took

place before kickoff, that's what's key here. Iran with plenty of support in the stadium including -- look, there's one fan actually holding up a

shirt bearing the name of Mahsa Amini, the 22-year-old who died in police custody, sparking nationwide unrest and protests.

And I also want to point this out as well, really interesting to note that on this occasion, Iran's players as, you said at the top, Isa, did join in

the singing of the national anthem ahead of Friday's match. But we did also, at the same time, we heard boos and some cheers could be heard from

some of the Iranian supporters inside the stadium.

There are some supporters as well even fighting back tears, emotions running very high indeed, and compare that to Monday when before Iran's

opener with England, the Iranian players standing silent in what was widely interpreted -- wasn't it? As a show of solidarity with those protesting

back home amid the ongoing domestic turmoil and upheaval there.

The match itself, we want to get to that, because it's important to reflect on just what they achieved on this day. Nail-biting finish to their second

group game against the Welsh, Friday, the veteran keeper there for Wales, Wayne Hennessey is sent off for a red card, that was 4 minutes from the end

of normal time, and then deep into stoppage time, Iran get the goals.

The deadlock broken on 98 minutes, would you believe, that was 1-0 Iran, and then they get another even after that to make it 2-0 in the end. The

final score, Rouzbeh Cheshmi and Ramin Rezaeian, the goal heroes for Iran, history is made by those players and the result met with sheer delight

amongst their fans. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm excited as here, man. You know, it's a good rematch that we've had, there was a lot of bothers from England the last time we

played, so it's going to be a good game.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, they made it at the 90 minutes, two goals, and that's what the people in Iran now need. A small win. And this is a small

win for us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Iran scored in the last extra time, and I can't believe it. We deserved it. So, we're back in the World Cup, we've got one more

game against the U.S., and we're going to beat them, and we're going to qualify as the second of the group. Let's go!


SNELL: And that game against the United States of America, Isa, on Tuesday. It is massive.

SOARES: Yes, but there is another game before that and everyone is talking about --

SNELL: Yes --

SOARES: And I can tell you, because the office is empty, Patrick. Let's go to Anna Stewart. Anna is it coming home!


ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: Well, I am already, Isa, drenched in beer, and no one's scored a goal, but they nearly scored a goal, and it went flying

through the air. I'm slightly cold(ph) wetting, not getting on this on the show. Not a good look, but it would have saved my hair perhaps. Anyway,

let's say the best, there was so much confidence here. Braun(ph), how are you feeling about today, how confident are you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've got a direct message for America! Ralph Wickam(ph), Tony Hawk, Joe Biden!, your boys are going down! 3-0 England!

Come on!

STEWART: Biden, done, I'm done with you guys. What is it going to be?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three nil, England. Three goals for Declan Rice. Two USA red cards. See you later.

STEWART: See you later. Would you like to do a song for me just to seal it off? Oh, sorry Isa, no time for song, it's getting a little bit tense here.

I'll throw it back to you and perhaps you can see how my friend in Atlanta, USA is feeling right now.

SOARES: Andy, the people with you, those watchers with you as optimistic as the England fans there with Anna?

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Isa, they actually are -- oh! Yes, they just saved another one that was in the box for England. So they're

quite -- there's really about a nervous calm here. I tell you what, though. The fans here are lined up, they've been here 5, 6 hours, there's a line

around the building because they only let 600 people in here to watch the game.

But I tell you what? The fans here, been waiting for this moment for a long time, you know, Isa. The U.S. didn't make the World Cup last time around,

so it's like 8 years of just pent-up frustration. They want a big moment, and the fans I talked to are actually optimistic! Take a listen.


SOARES: Yes, it's -- what is the --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm excited as here, man. You know, it's a good rematch that we've had, there was a lot of bothers from England the last time we

played, so it's going to be a good game. I mean, there's still a lot of -- there's a lot of thrills coming in. There's a lot of thrills coming in for

this game that people aren't expecting. So, I'm already.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's awesome. So excited. They didn't give us a chance in the revolutionary war, and here we are.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They missed out the last time, we're so excited, and just need a result today or really just a win in the last group stage to

make it through.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm seeing 2-1 U.S., I'm going with a 98-minute winner. We've all been there, it's going to be the last 5 minutes, we're going to

get a winner. I promise you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to win 2-1, let's go, USA!




SCHOLES: So, Isa, you heard some of those fans -- some of those fans pointing to the revolutionary war back in 1776, the big upset back in 1950,

for reasons to be confident today. Not sure how well that will work out for them, but hey, The score is still 0-0 right now, as long as that stays the

score, good news for team USA.

SOARES: And Andy, what's your prediction? What's your prediction? What will the score be, you think?

SCHOLES: Well, considering what it is right now, I'm going to go with a 1- 1 tie. That seems to be the theme for team USA so far in this World Cup, I'm going to stick to it.

SOARES: Patrick, let me go back to you because, yes, of course, we're keeping an eye on the game right now. Things weren't looking particularly -

- or not, I should say, looking particularly great for the host nation, Qatar. What can you tell us?

SNELL: Yes, but Isa, you never asked me for my prediction. For the record, I'm going for 2-1 England --

SOARES: I knew where -- I knew where exactly where you stand --

SNELL: Yes --

SOARES: Obviously.

SNELL: Obviously, yes. Yes, you're quite right. Huge disappointment for Qatar, the host nation. They lost their second match-up in this year's

World Cup, losing 3-1 to Senegal, who now get the first win on the board for an African nation at this World Cup, 3-1 Senegal, they were worthy

winners. And Qatar are out because later in the day, later on this Friday, the Netherlands and Ecuador playing out to a 1-1 draw.

So, a point apiece to those two countries. That means Qatar are out. But they can take consolation from this, Isa. Qatar playing in their very first

World Cup, scoring their first ever World Cup goal as well. So, a special bit of history for them. Mohammed Muntari with that all-important goal, but

an unwanted stat as this, Qatar now, this is the earliest that any host nation has ever been eliminated from a FIFA World Cup after two games. Back

to you.

SOARES: Patrick, very -- thank you very much, Patrick. Andy and Anna, if you want to know, gentlemen, how much Anna loves football, just go to her

Instagram page. She can tell you everything there is to --

SNELL: Yes --

SOARES: Know about football. Thank you very much, thank you. We'll keep on top of the score there for you if there's any development, of course,

anyone of course, we shall bring that to you. And still to come tonight, I will be talking to a former Kurdish freedom fighter who's taken up the

fight for women's rights especially in Iran.

And then later, anger in China against zero COVID, but is the policy even working? As cases hit another new high. Both their stories after this short

break. You are watching CNN.



SOARES: Well, there's been singing and cheering over U.N. decision to investigate Iran's deadly crackdown on anti-government protesters.




SOARES: Amnesty International is calling it a landmark move by the U.N. Human Rights Council. And some football stars have also been taking action.

Popular Iranian footballer Voria Ghafouri wasn't part of his country's winning squad in Qatar earlier. He wasn't called up. But now he's

attracting attention back home because he's under arrest after being supportive of the demonstrations that have gripped, of course, the country

since September.




SOARES: Meanwhile, hundreds of people marched in Tehran on Thursday night, where authorities are being accused of committing widespread abuses. CNN's

Jomana Karadsheh joins us now from -- live from Istanbul. And Jomana, what more do we know at this point about this Iranian footballer? What are you


JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Isa, on Thursday, the Iranian regime announced that it had arrested Voria Ghafouri, saying

basically that he was inciting against the regime. That he was spreading propaganda. What we do know is, he was arrested in the past. This is not

the first time, he was detained earlier this year for speaking out against the government during a different protest movement.

And what we know is, in recent days, in recent weeks, he has spoken out in support of the protests. He's shown solidarity with the victims of the

ongoing crackdown. He also is a Kurdish-Iranian footballer. He is from the city of Sanandaj, that has come under intense attack by the regime in

recent weeks as we have reported.

And as we've seen over the past week or so, the entire Kurdish region in the western part of the country has come under what Kurdish right activists

are describing as this brutal assault by the regime that is ongoing right now. And you know, Isa, you and I have discussed this so many times in the

past few weeks, he is the latest in this long list of prominent, high- profile Iranians who have been arrested since the protests began for showing any sort of support or criticizing the government, just for

speaking out.

You've got scores of artists, directors, actors, musicians, who have been arrested for speaking out. They're part of that shocking figure of more

than 14,000 people who have been arrested since September as part of this ongoing government crackdown. And there's a lot of concern, Isa, about what

happens to people after they're arrested.

The government has already announced that they've indicted more than 2,000 people, and we're talking about a country where human rights groups say

there is no such thing as fair trials. Where defendants, in most cases, don't get access to lawyers. And it's a country where in about a week, at

least six protesters this month have been sentenced to death. So, there's a lot of concern when you continue to see and hear the news of these arrests.

SOARES: Very worrying indeed. I know you'll stay on top of the very latest for us, Jomana Karadsheh for us there in Istanbul. Thanks, Jomana. Well, my

next guest spent 12 years as a Kurdish freedom fighter. She wrote a book called "Girl with a Gun", about her early life. Now Diana Nammi fights on

behalf of women as the executive director of the Women and Kurdish Women's Rights Organization.

She joins me now live here in the London newsroom. Diana, thank you very much for taking the time to speak --


SOARES: To us. I mean, I don't know if you could hear what Jomana was saying. Jomana has been on the story from day one, and she has talking

about 14,000 people arrested, 2,000 people indicted. I wonder if you could give me your assessment of what we've been seeing now for several months on

the streets of Tehran. Women, girls, even men taking to the streets making their voices heard.


NAMMI: Yes, it's quite amazing to see all these people coming out, coming to the street, and fighting for their rights, fighting for freedom, for

equality. And especially women, because it started from, of course, the brutal way of arresting Mahsa Amini, and she was dead because they tortured

her. They hit her at the -- in the head, and so she was -- she went into coma and then it happened by the morality police.

When they started actually to be more brutal against women, over the past few months. And the case of Mahsa sparked all over Iran, especially because

she was a Kurdish, because she was new in the city, and she was begging them to not be imprisoned. She was extremely valuable -- vulnerable.

So, this spark Iran and people especially women in Kurdistan came out with the slogan, women's rights, freedom or (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE),

which it has been all about reclaiming women's life that has been jeopardized under this current regime. And they have been oppressed over

the past 43 years, and now, women are leading this demonstration, and men are really supporting them. Which is quite amazing. And this is what we can

see in the street.

SOARES: You are also -- correct me if I'm wrong, Iranian from Kurdistan, right?

NAMMI: Yes, I am --

SOARES: From Kurdistan. What was life like for you at an early age? What memories do you have living under the regime?

NAMMI: But you know, I -- when I was very young, of course, I saw -- I have to say that I saw two regimes, was --

SOARES: Yes --

NAMMI: Shah regime, which in my opinion, it was a dictatorship also, and that's why people demonstrated and turned down that regime. But Khomeini

and Islamic regime come to power, not as a result of the revolution, but as -- for oppression of the revolution. So, when they come to power, the first

thing they have done, they attack women and children.

They forced women to go home, to not work, to cover themselves fully. Even -- and I am talking about, force, they threw acid on women's face when they

were not in hijab, when the hijab were loose, they'd pin women's hijab on their forehead. They cut lips -- their lips when they were using makeup or

lipstick, and they slash them in the streets.

They were not allowed to go out, they had to have a company by a very close family or husband. So this was the situation for women. But especially in

Kurdistan, when the government did a referendum, say yes or no to the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Kurdish people, everyone say no. And it was a reason for government to attack Kurdistan. So what I remember specifically at that time, that was

Kurdistan are, they were in a proper fight against the government because they militarily attacked Kurdistan.

SOARES: What you are painting sounds of truly brutal measures that we are seeing from the regime. Was this a decision for you to become a freedom

fighter? This -- why did you decide to become a freedom fighter?

NAMMI: You know, the situation was really brutal in all Iran, and they executed several thousands of young men and girls --

SOARES: People you knew?

NAMMI: Some of them -- some of them I knew, but not all the few thousand.

SOARES: Yes --

NAMMI: They executed them in prison. So in Kurdistan, when the war started and government took over the cities, they started to arrest all the young

people, and they hurriedly came to Kurdistan, and they just by looking at the faces of young people, they decided to kill or execute some of them.

So, staying there myself personally, I have been persecuted because of my activities against them. A few times, my home was raided by the bastards

and vestiges, and I managed to run away --

SOARES: But this was a way out. Did you see this as a way out for you?

NAMMI: The only way out, I was thinking, was joining the Pershmerga, and - - but at that time, Pershmerga was only men, not women. So, us, women, we joined Pershmerga and we asked Pershmerga to -- for Pershmerga men --

SOARES: Yes --

NAMMI: And the parties for women to be armed equal to men. We can fight for our rights, for our freedom. And it was then, I had no choice rather

than joining Pershmerga. It was another chance for us, first of all, to combat this regime, this brutal government. Secondly, have another chance

for our life.

SOARES: Yes --

NAMMI: And I am proud that I have done it, and I managed to defend my people, to defend their friends, family and everyone that we had in the

country. And I am glad that women's Peshmerga become like an icon around the world now by, you know, fighting against ISIS, by fighting against the

Muslim terrorist groups around the world in Kurdistan and in Middle Eastern, and now, they are fighting against this government regime.

Although they are in this demonstration, they try to be away to not give any excuse to Iranian government to attack Kurdistan.

SOARES: And now we're seeing many young women fighting for their rights as well, taking on very much as well. Diana Nammi, thank you very much for

taking the time to come to the show.

NAMMI: Thank you for having me.

SOARES: Thank you. Thank you very much.

NAMMI: Thank you.

SOARES: And still to come tonight, we'll go back to Ukraine where scheduled power outages are making it extremely difficult for doctors to provide

care. I'll speak to the American actor Liev Schreiber, who's raising money for them. Plus, a new record-high in case numbers is China zero-COVID

policy heads for record low approval, a report from Beijing next. Thank you very much.

NAMMI: Thank you so much.

SOARES: That was --


SOARES: Welcome back, everyone. I want to return to our top story this hour. The race to get power restored in Ukraine as millions deal with

blackouts, freezing temperatures, and more Russian airstrikes. In Kyiv, hundreds of power supply stations have been set up so people can stay warm

and really recharge their phones or have a cup of tea as you can see there. These strikes have hit all sorts of critical infrastructure, including

those involved in medical care. Ukrainian doctors recently had to perform heart surgery on a child in the middle of a power outage. The hospital was

also out of water for several hours.

Actor Liev Schreiber is organizing a fundraiser for Ukrainian doctors. He's recently returned from a trip to Ukraine and he joins me now live.


Liev, thank you very much for taking the time to come on the show. As you and I were discussing before -- on the break, you know, we have been

focusing quite a bit on the show about - on the harsh reality of life right now in Ukraine. Give us a sense of what you've been hearing from your

contacts on the ground and what you're hoping this fundraiser here will achieve.

LIEV SCHREIBER, AMERICAN DOCTOR: Well, as many people know, the difficult thing here is that Russia and Putin are responding to military advances by

attacking civilian infrastructure. It began on October 10th, and probably the most devastating strike was November 22nd, just a couple of days ago.

Over 10 million people are living without power, water, they're in a complete blackout. The biggest issue, which has been ongoing, is the

devastating damage that the -- these airstrikes have caused to the medical infrastructure. They're not really attacking military outposts, they're

attacking civilian infrastructure and medical infrastructure.

So, the problem that we're dealing with are medics, and doctors, and people like this who are working literally in the dark without heat or

electricity. So, we've started a fundraiser for the President's Fund, which is UNITED24 in collaboration with my organization, BlueCheck, to raise

money to buy generators so these doctors can continue their surgeries.

One story that I heard recently from the field is these guys were operating on an infant girl by flashlight. They performed the first heart -- open-

heart surgery in 35 years by flashlight. So, these are incredibly competent professionals. But we just need to make their jobs easier and give them

some generators that they can run the machinery that they need to run and have light.

SOARES: And what you're telling us is very much what we've been showing our viewers, too. Doctors operating with torch lights, I think we just showed

some video, after several hours of blackouts. And maternity ward, if you remember the beginning of this week, Liev, you know, attacked, newborn

killed. And it doesn't seem to be any letup by Russia. You've been to Ukraine recently. Do you think that this resilience spirit can continue

this winter? Because the head of the W.H.O. told me this week, this will be solely about survival.

SCHREIBER: Absolutely. I'm, you know, I think the problem for Putin is that he's making it worse. The Ukrainians are so defiant, and so resilient, and

so steadfast in their resolve to live through this. I -- I've spoken to many of them, and the messages from them as one winter without electricity,

we'll survive. It's better than, you know, for them, it's an existential crisis. And that's the difference really, between the war, you know. For

the Russians, it's nothing really at stake than more territory.

For the Ukrainians, it's existential, it's their lives, it's their homes, it's their ability to exist, to raise their families, to vote for their own

officials to speak their language. So they're incredibly resilient. And as we've seen by their success on the battlefield, they're incredibly capable

and incredibly strong.

SOARES: Yes. And we heard today from NATO, from the NATO Chief Stoltenberg, saying that what Russia's doing is weaponizing winter and that's very much

what we've been hearing from correspondence and what you've been hearing as well from your contacts in the ground. But, look, we are 10 months into

this war. What do you think, besides the medical aspect of this and generators, what else do you think Ukraine needs night -- right now?

SCHREIBER: Well, they need our support from a military perspective, which is something I try not to get too involved with, because my organization is

purely humanitarian aid. Obviously, the surface-to-air missiles that various countries are providing are really essential right now to

protecting their skies. But they need to know that we're with them, that we're thinking of them, that we support them, that we care about them, that

their democracy is in -- is as important to them as ours is to us, and we support them in their quest for it.

So I think that's it. To keep to keep our eyes on what's happening, to not to not forget this, to not let it slip in -- to disappear into the news

cycle I think is the most important for all of us. And for those of us who can donate who are fortunate enough to be in the position to help, we

should, and you can donate to, to the generator fund to get these medics the help they need. There's also a Donorbox site with my name

on it Donorbox Liev Schreiber and that will get your money directly to the generator fund. Or you can also donate to BlueCheck, and that

money will go to the aid organizations that we support that are doing the work on the ground to help the Ukrainians.

SOARES: And Liev, very briefly. I mean, you touched on this there that, you know, we need to make sure that we're constantly talking about it,

constantly supporting Ukraine.


There is some concern that perhaps that support may wane given the fact that the Republicans have just taken control of the house. Is this

something that worries you? U.S. not backing depending how it goes the next few years, not backing and not supporting Ukraine here.

SCHREIBER: You know, I'm hoping that the people who don't support Ukraine don't have as big an influence as people are suggesting they might. I

really believe that across the aisles, Democrats and Republicans in America know how important this is, know how delicate the balance of our democracy

is, not only here in America, but all over the world. How important, how valuable those liberties and freedoms that our ancestors, our grandparents

fought for, are being fought for, again right now, you know.

People used to say never again during the Holocaust, and we can see similar patterns here. It's happening again. And we have to be vigilant, we have to

stay aware. And it's not a partisan issue. It's a -- it's an issue of democracy. It's an issue of freedom.

SOARES: Liev Schreiber, really appreciate you taking the time to speak to us and wish you the very best with, of course, the endeavor and, of course,

we'll make sure that we put the link with on our social media as well for those wants to donate. If they can, please do. Thanks very much, Liev,

appreciate it.

Now, for the second day running, China has recorded its highest number of COVID-19 cases ever. More than 32,000 locally transmitted cases have been

reported by the National Health Commission. And just keep in mind, these numbers are higher than the initial days of the pandemic when many cases

went unreported. Our Selina Wang has the story for you.


SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anger is rising and tragedies are mounting, but China is showing no sign of budging on zero COVID. And for the second

straight day, China reported its highest number of new COVID cases since the start of the pandemic, reporting more than 30,000 new cases and

authorities are responding with more lockdowns, mass testing and quarantine, and people here are getting more and more frustrated.

Adding to that anger is a fire that broke out in the capital of China's far west Xinjiang region on Thursday night. Ten people were killed and nine

injured in a fire at an apartment building. Most parts of Xinjiang have been under lockdown for more than 100 days. The deadly fire sparked

nationwide outrage because widely circulated videos, which have now been censored in China, show that COVID lockdown measures very likely delayed

firefighters from getting to the scene. State media claims that people in the compound were allowed to leave the building.

However, videos show fire trucks unable to get close to the scene because the compound entrance was partially blocked. The video shows it's blocked

with fences, tents, and metal barriers that are normally used as part of COVID measures. The video shows smoke and flames coming from a high floor

of the building, but the water failing to actually reach the fire.

What adds to the tragedy is that those who died in the fire likely spent their last three months largely confined to that building, if not entirely.

This tragedy really struck a chord with the public here because the scenes of suffering and tragedy have played out over and over again since the

start of the pandemic. So many stories of people struggling to get enough food, necessities, and emergency care and locked down.

Three years into these harsh policies, frustrations are more frequently turning into protests, which are normally rare in authoritarian China. So

last week in the southern city of Guangzhou, some residents revolted during lockdown by tearing down barriers and marching through the streets. Then

there were violent clashes at the Foxconn factory in Zhengzhou this week. But still, there is no end in sight to zero-COVID.


SOARES: That's Selina Wang reporting now. We'll be back after this short break. Do stay right here.



SOARES: It is Black Friday in the U.S. a phenomenon that has spread around the world in recent years. But this time around, holiday shoppers are

caught between a rock and a hard place. On one hand, a flood, of course, of online deals and store discounts that are so hard to resist. And on the

other inflation, of course, a cost of living crisis. Retail spending was up in the U.S. last month. That is usually good news when it comes to economic

growth, but many people think a recession could happen soon.

Alison Kosik joins me from the most famous department store in New York City, Macy's. And, of course, the dreaded word that no one wants to hear is

recession. So is that dampening the Black Friday shopping, Alison?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know what the expectations are pretty positive for the holiday shopping season here in the U.S. Discounts and

deals are expected to bring in record numbers of shoppers. Just in this short time period, from Thanksgiving Day to Cyber Monday, 166 million

people are expected to shop. Of those, 115 million are expected to shop just today on Black Friday with more than half. 67 percent shopping in the

store, which is a fun sort of feeling like it's something new since we're all cooped up during the pandemic.

We did learn some new data though, from Adobe Analytics, which tells us that people actually got a jumpstart on the holiday shopping season on

Thanksgiving. So not only were they eating their Thanksgiving turkeys, they were also shopping. A consumer spent a whopping $5.2 billion in one day and

I'm talking, Isa, that was Thanksgiving. Isa.

SOARES: Wow, that is incredible. And I'm guessing, Alison, people are worried about inflation, you know, not just recession, but everything.

supposedly is costing more. So making the most, of course, off these deals.

KOSIK: You're right about that. I mean, inflation is really the elephant in the room. And it's cutting so much of consumer spending power. It's sort of

creating a necessity for consumers to be more strategic, and how they're shopping for those holiday gifts. So, a lot of the shoppers I spoke with,

they told me they're sticking to budgets, they're really looking for deals, and in deciding what, you know, what gifts to get for whom. The idea is, of

course, to try to keep that spirit alive, but to also, you know, not have to, you know, overspend their budget.

But still we're seeing a lot of positivity coming from the National Retail Federation, which expects Americans to spend 8 percent more than last year,

adding up to a total of $940 to $960 billion just for the month of November and December. Isa.

SOARES: And do we know at all, Alison, what is doing what -- well, what is selling better?

KOSIK: You know, I've been trying to check out what's in people's bags. It's hard to see. I -- when I was in Macy's earlier I mean, people were

buying everything I saw from bed sheets to handbags. I saw a lot of toys. There's also a Toys "R" Us inside this fantastic Macy's. People are buying

everything across the board. I see a lot of people carrying multiple bags.

SOARES: Well, I feel like I'm really behind, Alison. My director said he's done all his Christmas shopping --

KOSIK: So do I.

SOARES: -- on this Black Friday. So I really --

KOSIK: Wow. That's impressive.

SOARES: I -- very impressive indeed. It makes me feel terrible. Alison Kosik there for us. Thanks very much, Alison. Great to see you. We'll be

back after this short break.



SOARES: All this week here on the show, we are looking at successful startups and why Abu Dhabi is playing a critical role. One success story

out of the city is a streaming service that went from a startup to the first Arab tech company to be listed on the NASDAQ. Have a look.


ELENI GIOKOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Danny Aridi moved to the UAE from Canada in 2018 to pursue a career in music.


DANNY: I always take the long way home.


GIOKOS: He struggled with the same challenges most young and upcoming artists face.


DANNY ARIDI, MUSICIAN: I think for us musicians, the hardest thing is getting your music out there getting your song heard, and everyone just

wants to be heard in life in general.


GIOKOS: Danny Says he found support in Anghami, a music streaming platform headquartered in Abu Dhabi, which helps artists build up their audience and

gain revenue. Anghami is the brainchild of Eddy Maroun and Elie Habib.


EDDY MAROUN, CO-FOUNDER, ANGHAMI: So, you're using one for lyrics, one for melody.

ELIE HABIB, CO-FOUNDER, ANGHAMI: Yes, but basically --


GIOKOS: The two founders made headlines this year when they listed their startup on the NASDAQ.


MAROUN: It was a great moment, honestly. We felt that we are really bringing with us the whole nation, literally. It was the first Arab tech

company to reach that milestone. It was something.


GIOKOS: In a world where 90 percent of startups fail, taking a company public would be any entrepreneur's dream. But Eddy and Elie say they have

no time to relish in the moment. Now is when the real work begins.


HABIB: It's a bigger challenge. We have something to do. We have something to do and it -- we're not yet at the point where we say, OK, fine, we've

ended or we don't know what to do. We're still empowered every day.

MAROUN Actually, what you want to do is actually making a bigger impact and keep growing, right? That's what keeps us going. And no matter how old you

become, you still have something that, you know, you need a purpose. You need -- you just have something that you're trying to achieve so I don't

think it will differ whether you're a 2, 3-year-old or 10-year-old company.


GIOKOS: Boasting more than 70 million users on their platform, Eddy and Elie say they're now focused on evolving Anghami from streaming music to a

fully integrated entertainment platform.


The company is venturing into concerts and live events. It even recently launched a joint record label with Sony. But the founders say their core

mission remains the same, continue empowering artists like Danny with the tools to be successful.


ARIDI: Spend a little bit more time with you.


GIOKOS: Eleni Giokos, CNN.


SOARES: Now tonight's Pause the Thought, an actor best known for playing a princess says acting awards should become gender neutral. Emma Corrin

played Princess Diana in Season 4 of The Crown on Netflix. Corrin who identifies as non-binary says that categories at events like the BAFTAs and

the Oscars are not inclusive enough. Corrin told this to BBC, "It is difficult for me at the moment trying to justify in my head being non-

binary and being nominated in female categories." And that is tonight's Pause the Thought.

Thanks very much for your company. Do stay right here. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is next and have a wonderful weekend. Bye-bye.