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Isa Soares Tonight

Rare Mass Protests Rage Across China; Iranian State Media Call For Team USA To Be Kicked Out Of The World Cup; Ukrainian Official Cite Russians Might Leave Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant; Russian Mothers Launch Petition To Bring Soldiers Home; Investors Concerned Over Anti-Lockdown Protests In China; Ayatollah Khamenei's Niece Urges World To Cut Ties With Iran. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired November 28, 2022 - 14:00   ET



CHRISTINA MACFARLANE, HOST, ISA SOARES TONIGHT: A very warm welcome to the show, everyone, I'm Christina Macfarlane in for Isa Soares. Tonight, mass

protests break out across China in an incredibly rare act of defiance against the government. We'll have all the details. Then more controversy

at Qatar's World Cup as Iranian state media call for team USA to be kicked out of the tournament. We'll tell you, why?

Plus, are the Russians really set to leave Zaporizhzhia's nuclear power plant? We'll have all the details from the region. We begin in China.




MACFARLANE: Mass protests are sweeping the country on a scale not seen in decades. Thousands have taken to the streets, demanding an end to the

government's strict zero COVID policy. And in some places, even calling for leader Xi Jinping to step down.




MACFARLANE: These demonstrations have been taking place in cities across China. CNN's Selina Wang went down to one of the streets in the capital,



SELINA WANG, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): So, I'm in the middle of the protests that's happening in Beijing. It's just past 1:00

a.m., there's a crowd of mostly young people that have gathered here to protest the COVID measures in China. They've been chanting, "no to COVID

tests, yes, to freedom".

And this is happening in Chaoyang District, this is where the center of the COVID outbreak is in Beijing where they've urged all residents to stay at

home. So it's really unprecedented that we're seeing such a large crowd of people here. A lot of the folks as well, you can see they're holding these

white pieces of paper.

This is a symbol of anti-censorship, and we also saw a protest in Shanghai. We saw protesters also hold these white pieces of paper. Now, in this

district as well, around here, there are many foreign embassies, including the American Embassy over there. So notable that they chose this site for

these protests. Now, this protest has been going on already for several hours.

It's very late, you can see the policeman right now is telling me to move back a little bit. But there's a large police presence here. Actually, on

this whole row, a whole row of police men, but it is a peaceful protest so far. You could hear the cheering, the chanting, cars are also driving by

frequently, they're honking in solidarity. The folks here don't look like they're going anywhere any time soon.


MACFARLANE: As you saw there with Selina in Beijing. The police have obviously been out in force, and there's been even greater showing in other

cities as authorities scramble to crack down on the growing demonstrations. This video from Shanghai shows police dragging protesters away and loading

them into vans. A "BBC" journalist was among those arrested. You can see him here being dragged to the ground by officers.

A Swiss TV correspondent and a journalist for "Reuters" were also detained. All have since been released. Well, a deadly fire in an apartment building

is thought to be the catalyst for these mass demonstrations. Ten people were killed last week in China's Xinjiang province. And many suspect the

government's anti-COVID measures prevented firefighters getting to the scene in time.

Tributes to the dead and frustration at the Chinese government's zero COVID policy hasn't just been seen in mainland China. In Hong Kong, dozens

gathered to pay their respects and stand in solidarity with the protesters. CNN's Ivan Watson went to the vigil.


IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): The white sheets of paper that have become a symbol of the protests in mainland China has

spread here to Hong Kong, where you can see small groups of demonstrators have gathered for a vigil for what they say are the victims of China's zero

COVID policy.

Now, we've heard these groups separating into groups of 12. And the reason is because in Hong Kong's own COVID regulations, groups of more than 12

gathering are banned right now. Now, this gathering is being closely watched by police, who are urging people to move on, who are trying to

create a space for this.

Opposition protests, opposition political parties, independent news media have largely been crushed in this city in the last several years.


So a gathering like this is very rare. And it gives you a sense of how potent the demonstrations are right now in mainland China and how they seem

to be inspiring reactions in other territories.


MACFARLANE: Well, Dan Mattingly is an assistant professor of political science at Yale University specializing in China and authoritarian regimes.

His latest book is the art of political control in China. Dan, welcome, thank you so much for your time this evening. Dan, first of all, what do

you make of the scale of these protests and the way that some of it is being directed at Xi Jinping and the central government?

DAN MATTINGLY, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL SCIENCE AT YALE UNIVERSITY: Well, it's absolutely extraordinary. I think first, to see protests that

are happening across, you know, dozens of cities in China, across, you know, over a dozen provinces. It's something we haven't seen at this scale

since 1989, at least, protests directed against the government.

So that's one thing that's extraordinary. And the second thing is you see protesters making -- at least, some subset of protesters making openly

political calls. And as your viewers saw, calling for Xi Jinping to step down, calling for freedom. And that's something else we haven't seen since

1989. So this is extraordinary, even if it doesn't yet reach the levels of the 1989 protests.

MACFARLANE: You know, the timing of this is extraordinary as well, because it's worth remembering that Xi Jinping just consolidated power for a third

time, what? About two months ago, now. So, what do you expect will be the government's next move now?

MATTINGLY: Well, I think it is. It's important that this happened just a few weeks after the leadership transfer. I think that there was some hope

that after the 20th party congress in October, that the party would change course on COVID policy, and obviously, they haven't. And I think that in

addition to, you know, the tragedy in Ruchi(ph) and the fact that the color policies haven't changed, I think is going to continue to put pressure on

the government to change course.

But I think that we should expect to see one, you know, continued efforts by the government to control and repress protests until I think the

government is really in a bind in terms of actually changing policy when it comes to the -- when it comes to actually lifting some of the zero COVID


MACFARLANE: Yes, they are in a bind, because COVID cases are rising as they're calling for lockdowns, these severe lockdowns to be lifted. And we

know that China has had some of the toughest COVID lockdowns in the world. So why is it that we're seeing COVID cases rising so fast?

MATTINGLY: Well, it's a problem for the government. Because the COVID -- the zero COVID policy, which tries to eradicate all COVID cases was in the

beginning of the COVID epidemic, kind of a key pillar of support for the Chinese Communist Party. The fact that they're able to reduce deaths and

reduce illnesses.

But what that means is you don't have the same kind of herd immunity, and you also have relatively low levels of immunization, particularly among the

older population in China. So this means that if they open up now, it has the potential to, you know, crush the public health system and lead to --

and lead to a lot of deaths.

And that really -- if the party wants to change course on the policy, that creates a problem. There's also, of course, a big fundamental, political

problem, which is the zero COVID policy so closely identified with Xi Jinping that I think he's going to have a hard time politically changing


MACFARLANE: Yes, do you see -- or what do you see then as being a path out of the COVID virus right now? I mean, one of the things that has been

suggested, of course, is that they could look to overseas for effective vaccination. But from what you're saying, it sounds unlikely they would

still look to do something like that.

MATTINGLY: Well, I think you're right. So, I think that in order to get out of this, they'd have to -- the party would have to think about, you

know, ramping up the hospital systems so they can deal with an increase of cases. They'd have to think too about importing more MRNA vaccines probably

from outside o China.

There's no signs yet that they're going to do this. But I think in order for the party to make progress on COVID, they're going to need to do those

two things. So, I think those are two signs that I would look for --


MATTINGLY: If they're going to change path.

MACFARLANE: And Dan, it's been reported that the site of thousands of unmasked fans at the World Cup has in particular been causing anger among

Chinese people, despite the government's attempts to alter the coverage of those crowd shots. In your view, is this censorship machine in China that

has been so effective? Is that no longer the case? Is it slipping?

MATTINGLY: I'm not sure that the censorship machine is slipping, but I think that they were caught by surprise. So, first, I think that you're

right, when it comes to the World Cup, that probably played a role.

I'm not sure how big of a role, but seeing, you know, thousands, tens of thousands of fans from around the world celebrating, gathering, you know,

playing soccer, I think had to -- you know, made an impact on people who were stuck, locked inside their apartments under the zero COVID policy. And

you know, I think at the -- and so, yes, I do think that probably made an impact.


MACFARLANE: Well, Dan, it's been great to have your analysis, thank you so much for joining us this evening.

MATTINGLY: Great, thank you.

MACFARLANE: And while people in China protest strict COVID restrictions, one of the world's biggest unmasked events as we've been saying is taking

place in Qatar with hundreds of thousands of fans streaming in to watch the World Cup. But the tournament has had plenty of controversy of its own.

Politics have been front and center from LGBT rights to Iran. To show solidarity with Iranian protesters, the U.S. Soccer Federation altered the

Iranian flag online. The now deleted image showed the flag without the emblem of the Islamic Republic, and Iran isn't happy. With the country's

state media calling for the Americans to be kicked out of the tournament.

And this is all happening ahead of Tuesday, where the two teams will face off on the pitch. Well, joining me now to discuss is CNN's Kylie Atwood

from Washington and Don Riddell is at the World Cup in Qatar. Don, first to you, because we understand that press conferences with both teams have been

happening in the past few hours in Qatar.

It was obviously a controversial move by U.S. soccer. So what did you make of U.S. soccer manager Gregg Berhalter saying in the press conference that

he and his players had no idea that this was going to happen?

DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hey Christina, well, I think we have to take him at his word, although he and the players say that they do

stand for human rights, and in particular the point that was emphasized over the last 24 hours is for women's rights, as well. The U.S. Soccer

Federation's director of communications came out and said it was just supposed to be a moment.

A moment where they expressed their support for the brave protesters in Iran. But that moment has kind of mushroomed into a huge issue, which is

going to dominate the build-up to this game, and which is going to last 48 hours. It's been really interesting to hear from both players and managers

of both sides. The Iranian team are really milking this situation.

As you say, asking for the United States to be kicked out of the tournament, suspended for ten games. This is what the coach, Carlos Queiroz

had to say.


CARLOS QUEIROZ, HEAD COACH, IRAN'S MEN'S NATIONAL SOCCER TEAM: We have our solidarity with all human, humanitarian causes. But we are in solidarity

with the military causes all over the world, wherever they are, who they are. Either if we talk about human rights, racism, kids that die in schools

with shootings. We have solidarity with all those causes. But here, our mission is bring the smiles for the -- for the people, at least for 90

minutes. That's our mission.


RIDDELL: So, it's a very clever move by Carlos Queiroz there, and that is typical of what you would expect the Iranian government to do. We're all

friends, we're all in this together, but very clearly throwing shade at what goes on in the United States highlighting their problems when it comes

to school shootings and racism. Basically saying, you know, we sympathize with you as well -- by the way, you're not perfect, either.

MACFARLANE: Yes and Don, just a quick follow here. Because we have this conversation so often during international sporting events. Often when

there's politics involved. But is it right that the players and the coaches on both sides have been left so publicly to front this issue as we saw

there? And how do you expect this is going to play out on the pitch tomorrow?

RIDDELL: Well, of course, Christina, they used to say that sports and politics don't mix. That ship sailed a very long time ago. It is

interesting to see the players all now involved in this kind of cauldron of intensity. I think the Iranian players will handle it pretty well, from a

very young age when you're an athlete in Iran and you travel internationally, you are involved in this stuff.

You travel with morality police and minders. And that is very much a part of your world. The American players probably won't really be used to it.

They're used to speaking about human rights, they're used to speaking about Black Lives Matter, but they were in that press conference today and hardly

any questions were about the game.

A lot of them were political in nature. One Iranian journalist asked the young American captain, Tyler Adams, a question and he kind of introduced

it by saying, by the way, can you please just pronounce our name right? In the United States, you call it i-ran. It's Iran. So, Adams had to begin his

response with an apology about that before he could answer his question. Have a listen.


TYLER ADAMS, CAPTAIN, U.S. MEN'S NATIONAL SOCCER TEAM: My apologies on the mispronunciation of your country. Yes, that being said, you know, there's

discrimination everywhere you go.


You know, one thing that I've learnt especially from living abroad in the past years and having to fit in, in different cultures and kind of

assimilate into different cultures, is that in the U.S., we're continuing to make progress every single day.


RIDDELL: This is, of course, a huge game for both countries. It is a must- win game. The Americans definitely have to win or they're out. And it is a repeat, by the way, of an epic clash in 1998 World Cup, Iran won that game

2-1 and knocked the USA out. Christina?

MACFARLANE: Yes, so much on the line. Don, thank you for now. Let's switch to our Kylie Atwood who is in Washington there this evening. Kylie, do we

know if there was any coordination between the U.S. State Department and U.S. Soccer over this decision? And have the U.S. State Department had

anything to say about this?

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, well, the State Department said last night that there was no coordination between U.S.

Soccer going ahead with this replacement of Iran's flags for a period of time and the U.S. government. They also said that they are looking forward

to the match tomorrow, which they expect to be competitive and peaceful.

But they also went on to say that the United States has found ways to support -- to support and will continue finding ways to support the Iranian

protesters. So, what the U.S. was not doing with this statement was condemning the move by U.S. Soccer. They were very clearly saying that

there was no coordination, but they weren't coming out and saying it was the wrong thing to do.

Which is significant, because Secretary of State Antony Blinken was critical of FIFA just last week when they said that they were going to be

issuing yellow cards for players who were wearing that "one love" wristband, which is -- which some players were thinking about wearing to

advocate for diversity and inclusion, with the Secretary of State saying that the players shouldn't have to pick between values and playing the

sport that they're playing on the field.

So it's interesting that the State Department hasn't come out and, you know, said anything more on this, but of course, they're watching for that

match tomorrow where of course, politics and soccer are coming to the fore together.

MACFARLANE: Yes, all eyes on that match, tomorrow. So much of it on the line. Kylie Atwood, Don Riddell, thank you both very much. And Don will be

back a little later on the show to give us an update on all the action on the pitch. But right now, I think Portugal is taking on Uruguay, and we'll

have more on that match in around 40 minutes time.

All right, still to come tonight, Ukraine's biggest nuclear power plant has been under Russian control for months. Now Ukrainian forces say that might

be changing. We'll bring you the latest, next.



MACFARLANE: It's just past 9:00 p.m. in Ukraine. The start of another miserable night for millions of people who are suffering emergency power

cuts. Ukraine's national energy company says they're unable to meet 25 percent of the country's power needs, thanks to heavy damage from Russian


In Kyiv, people are getting electricity in 2 to 3-hour chunks of time. The mayor of Mykolaiv in southern Ukraine says they've lost their water supply

after a Russia strike on a pumping station in neighboring Kherson. Meanwhile, Ukraine says Russian forces may be about to withdraw from the

Zaporizhzhian nuclear power plant. But Russia is pushing back on that. Our Sam Kiley brings us the latest.


SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): The head of Ukraine's atomic energy industry has said that Russia, he believes, is

planning to leave the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant which it captured back in March. Now, his allegations have got very little substance behind

them other than, he says, information he's picked up on the internet and indications from people on the ground in the city nearby that the Russians

appear to be preparing to make some kind of move.

But this should be seen, really, in the context of the ongoing psychological war between the two countries who are also, of course,

involved in a physical war because Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station is a major strategic asset for the Russians. At its peak, it supplies 20 percent

of the power of the electrical power into the Ukrainian energy structures.

Those very structures that have been under relentless attack by Russian cruise missiles for the last month, resulting, for example in the city of

Kyiv, the capital, having to reduce its energy consumption they hope by 60 percent, just to keep the essential services functioning. So it's very

unlikely that the Russians would give that up.

On top of that, it is an important military base for them. They've been using it and its environment to shell against Ukrainian positions,

Ukrainian civilian towns on the other side of the Dnipro River. And if they were to evacuate it, it would become a bridgehead for any kind of future

Ukrainian operations to try to recapture more of the southern territory, with the ultimate eye on the Crimean peninsula, which of course, Russia

illegally annexed back in 2014, 2015.

But this is all coming at a time when the Ukrainian government has also announced that 32,000 civilian targets have been deliberately hit by

Russia. They're saying that outside of the frontline, only 3 percent of the targets struck by Russia could be described as military. Now, of course,

this is again a Ukrainian-claim that would have been hotly refuted by Russia. Sam Kiley, CNN, Zaporizhzhia.


MACFARLANE: All right, let's talk now about the state of the war in Ukraine with CNN military analyst Lieutenant General Mark Hertling. He's

the former commanding general of the U.S. Army in Europe and the Seventh Army. He joins me now from Florida. Welcome, General. I would like to get

your view, first, on Zaporizhzhia.

We heard Sam Kiley saying there that Zaporizhzhia power plant is considered a major strategic asset. So a move from Russia to leave the plant would be

considered a big change on a frontline that hasn't shifted for months. What do you make of these claims?

MARK HERTLING, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, that frontline is shifting, Christina, and it's important to note, too, that whereas the head of the

power plant is saying that Russia is stealing as much equipment as they can from the plant, which has been a precursor to many other activities that

they've done in other places.

The Russian government is saying they're not going anywhere, they're staying there. Truthfully, what I'd have to say having dealt with the

Russians on many occasions, you always have to be critical of what the Russians say, officially.

You never really know what they're going to do. But having said that, what I'd say is, with the recent actions by the Ukrainian forces in the western

side of Kherson Oblast and the potential for them to -- an eventual river crossing into the eastern side of that Oblast and into Zaporizhzhia.

I'm sure that the Russians are re-positioning their forces in better defensive positions, because they can't afford another overwhelming attack

by the Ukrainian forces like they've experienced over the last several weeks.

MACFARLANE: Certainly can't afford another loss, but maybe we see another retreat, as you say, General. Switching to fighting on another frontline in

the Bakhmut area of the region in Donetsk. Ukraine are denying Russian claims that they have -- that Russia have surrounded the city. Can you just

remind us why Bakhmut is so strategically important and how grim and entrenched the fighting has become there in recent months?


HERTLING: You know, it's interesting, Christina, it's a great question, because truthfully, the city of Bakhmut is not strategically important. It

is psychologically important. Because it is the objective that Mr. Prigozhin of the Wagner Group wants to take to prove to Mr. Putin that his

army is better than the rest of the Russian military. There has been a lot of fighting going on around that area and, in fact today, just recently,

Ukrainian army announced that they were able to hold Bakhmut today under some very intense shelling by the Russian military.

But there are several other cities and towns close to Bakhmut which basically oversee key road intersections, key bridges over rivers in that

eastern part of the country, that Russia has also attempted to attack. The reports by Ukraine saying that Russian forces have been able to secure one

of those cities, but Ukrainian forces have fought back.

What -- you have to really imagine in this fighting in the eastern part of the country, it is a lot like the World War I trenched battlefield that we

-- that historians look at. And it's going to go back and forth based on the shelling and the unbelievable disaster that's being caused by artillery

tools between Russia and the Ukraine.

So Bakhmut is critically important from a psychological perspective, and Ukraine has said they will hold it. And they have been doing a great job in

doing just that over the last three or four weeks.

MACFARLANE: Really interesting, and set to get worse, of course, as we enter the Winter months. As we look to Winter, we have already seen a shift

in strategy from the Russians targeting energy infrastructure. We've been seeing day-on-day now. What else is going to shift and change during the

Winter? What changes in strategy are we going to see more from both sides?

HERTLING: Well, what you're going to see first of all, Winter, a any soldier will tell you, plays the same role on both sides. On both the enemy

side and the friendly side. But the difference is going to be, Russia is attempting to insert a bunch of the so-called mobilized, recently mobilized

soldiers into their frontlines which have been decimated over the last couple of months.

They have suffered morale problems, they are without food, without clothing, without warm clothing particularly. They continue to fire

artillery, but that's about it. Ukraine on the other hand seems to have exceedingly high morale after a couple of their recent victories. They have

been receiving Winter clothes from most of NATO forces, Canada, is an example, gave close to 500,000 suits of warm weather clothing to the


They continue to have support, not only in clothing and food and ammunition, but also in modernizing their weapon systems. Russia does not

have that. They -- if they're worried about food and clothing, that tells me they're not worried about getting weapons to the frontline. And that

could be certainly problematic for the Russian forces.

The key in any kind of Winter fight, Christina, is the discipline of the force. And in my view, I give high marks to the Ukrainians for having a

much more solid leadership, greater will, greater discipline. The Russians so far in the nine months of this war have not shown any of those things.

MACFARLANE: General, it's great to speak with you again. I appreciate your thoughts and I know we'll speak again as I say, we continue through these

Winter months. Thank you.

HERTLING: Thank you.

MACFARLANE: Well, mothers of Russian soldiers are putting pressure on the Kremlin to bring their sons home from Ukraine. On Sunday, which is Mother's

Day in Russia, a group of mothers and anti-war activists launched a petition on

It's calling for an end to President Putin's special military operation, saying it's brought nothing but destruction, grief and tears. So far, it's

gained more than 21,000 signatures. Fred Pleitgen tells us more.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Christina. Well, the soldiers' mothers certainly do carry a lot of sway

here in Russia. And you know, Vladimir Putin has really shown that he understands that he needs to take their concerns very seriously and also be

publicly seen to take their concerns very seriously.

And if you look at this new petition, it certainly is a fairly large one, and one that does cover a lot of ground. They call on Russia to leave

Ukraine, the Russian military. But they also talk about some of the poor conditions that they say that the newly mobilized are in. Like, for

instance, in some cases, having to buy their own food, poor housing, and the like.

Now, Vladimir Putin has already reacted to all this. In fact, last Friday, he met with soldiers mothers. There was some criticism of that meeting with

some larger organization, also representing the wives and mothers of soldiers, saying, look he is talking to a hand-picked group of people


There are others that have much wider criticism of Russia's mobilization efforts for Ukraine. And they feel that they're not really being heard. And

nevertheless, in some cases, there has been cases where differences have been made.

In fact, there were some mothers groups that, for instance, have called on some students to be allowed to go back home and continue their studies. And

apparently, in some cases, that has actually happened.

However, at that meeting last Friday, which was widely played here on Russian media, Vladimir Putin also made very clear that while he

appreciates the sacrifices that the mothers are making, that he will also not be deterred from his course.

He, for instance, said that he believed that the annexation of Donbas is something that should have happened a lot earlier, the reunification with

Russia, as he called it, and he also said that he believes that Russia is not fighting against Ukraine, but is fighting against those who are arming

and bankrolling Ukraine. Obviously with that, talking about the west so Vladimir Putin clearly making a very, very clear that he believes that this

is a wider conflict and certainly showing no signs of backing down, Christina.

MACFARLANE: Well, thanks to Fred for that. All right. Still to come tonight, how the protests against COVID 19 restrictions in China are

affecting the economy at home and abroad.


MACFARLANE: Welcome back. I want to take a closer look now at our top story. The protests in China, unprecedented during Xi Jinping's presidency.

We didn't see any new protests in Beijing or Shanghai Monday now that police have been deployed where crowds gathered this weekend. But the

government's response is shaking global markets. U.S. stocks are pulling back right now. Well, all prices hit their lowest level in almost a year in

China. The Shanghai Composite fell as the one plunged against the U.S. dollar.

And I want to bring in CNN's Marc Stewart is live for us from New York tonight. Good to see you, Mark. So tell us, how are these protests and

COVID unrest really shaping the minds of investors right now?


MARC STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. Hi, Christina. It's good to see you look where you are in London where you are, or New York where I am, the one

thing that traders around the world crave is both stability and certainty. And the images that we are seeing from China does not exude any of that.

And that is why we are seeing some pretty dramatic drops in markets around the world. Hong Kong, for example, its benchmark index, the Hang Seng, it's

a very big decline overnight, it made up some lost ground, but these images certainly do not add any kind of stability or calmness to the situation.

I was talking to a money manager earlier today. And he brought up a point that right now, traders around the world are trying to figure out a

narrative earlier this year in recent weeks, I should say, the Chinese government made some overtures that perhaps this zero-COVID policy would

start to loosen up a bit and people could start moving around a little bit more freely. Now we have these protests. And now there are indications that

the zero-COVID policy may stay in place for a little bit longer. Right now, there is no clear roadmap, and that's why traders are having such a tough,

tough time and that's why markets are feeling a little bit rough right now.

MACFARLANE: And, Marc, I know also there's been a lot of concern around Apple. We saw protests by Apple's manufacturer happening at Foxconn last

week. How much concern is there that what is playing out with technology with Apple could, to an effect, supply as we head into the Christmas spirit

and, of course, on Cyber Monday, which is today.

STEWART: Right. And if you ask people, what are they buying a big purchase, especially for Americans, are iPhones. And where are they made? At that

Foxconn plant in central China. We got some data from the financial firm Jefferies. In fact, its analysts predict that the COVID disruptions are

costing Apple anywhere around about a billion dollars in losses per week that these disruptions take place at the plant. So, it's very important for

that to be stabilized. So Apple is feeling this hard. In fact, Apple's stock today has seen some pretty significant declines.

And that's important, not only here in the United States, but around the world, many retirement plans depend on Apple to generate some savings for

retirement accounts. And that stock in particular is seeing a tough time. So, it is important, at least for -- from Apple's standpoint, that this be

stabilized because lack of product and loss of potential revenue.

MACFARLANE: Yes, all of this being felt globally, including in the oil markets as well, of course, which we'll perhaps discuss another time. Marc,

thanks very much for now.

STEWART: Take care.

MACFARLANE: Well, Black Friday has come and gone and the kickoff to the holiday shopping season in the U.S. broke a record and probably some bank

accounts, too. According to the Adobe Analytics, Americans spent more than $9 billion during the weekend on holiday sales despite inflation. Today's

Cyber Monday is expected to be the biggest online shopping day of the year. A lot of items on the list, electronics, toys, and smart home and exercise


Well, CNN reporter Matt Egan joins us from what some considered to be the epicenter of holiday shopping, New York City. Matt, these strong numbers,

Black Friday numbers, indicate perhaps that the consumer has been quite resilient to the inflationary pressures we're seeing at the moment. So do

we expect the same for Cyber Monday?

MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: Hey, Christina. We do expect the same, which, in some ways, is kind of surprising. I mean, it would be easy to bet against

American consumers right now. Consumer confidence is low, inflation is high and people are worried about a potential recession around the corner. But

history shows it's never really a good idea to bet against Americans' willingness to shop, especially around the holidays. And so Adobe Analytics

does project another $11.6 billion will be spent online today alone for Cyber Monday. That would be an 8 percent increase from a year ago. And that

would be on top of Black Friday, where we saw an online shopping record $9.1 billion spent, that was up 2 percent from a year ago.

Now it's worth noting that these numbers are not adjusted for inflation. But Adobe says that online prices have actually been falling. So if you do

adjust for inflation, this does appear to be real growth. I think this is good news for the economy because consumer spending remains the main engine

of this economy. And as long as people keep spending money, then this recovery can keep going.

I think the bad news is how they're spending this money. Industry experts, they say the consumers are going to have to lean on credit cards, dip into

savings this holiday season. Neither of those things are sustainable, but shoppers are being lowered by these deep discounts.


Adobe says that there should be record discounts this holiday season, including on computers. As far as what people are buying, well, not

surprisingly, right, Santa is bringing toys, a lot of toys, up 383 percent this weekend in terms of online spending versus the daily average in

October. Also apparel, jewelry, sporting goods, those have also been very popular.

So if you zoom out, this does appear to be good news for the economy, but I think we need to watch for potential signs that consumers are being

stretched a little thin here.

MACFARLANE: Yes, I intend to get in on the exercise equipment myself later today. But for now, Matt, thanks very much. OK. Still to come tonight, why

this rights activist is calling for action against her uncle's regime.


MACFARLANE: A niece of Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, has message for the world. Stop any dealings with this regime. She's calling on

foreign governments to cut all ties with Tehran, which she calls a child killing regime. She said this in a video that her brother shared after she

was arrested last week. Our Jomana Karadsheh is standing by for us in Istanbul. Jomana, on the face of it, this was an extremely brave thing to

do. What more do we know about Farideh Moradkhani and the video posted by her brother?

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christina, Farideh Moradkhani is known for her -- she's an opposition to the -- her opposition to the

regime. She's an outspoken critic of the Iranian regime. She's from a branch of the family that cut ties with the Supreme Leader a long time ago.

Her father was a well known opposition figure.

Now according to Iranian activists, as well as her brother, she was arrested on Wednesday, Christina, after she reported to court there had

been an ongoing case that had been going on for a few months. We don't know the details of that case, but she was arrested, according to activists, to

serve a 15-year sentence. And then two days after that, her brother posted that video on social media. A seven-plus minute really powerful message

slamming the Iranian regime for oppressing its people and really criticizing the international community and the United Nations saying they

haven't been doing enough to support "the brave people of Iran."


And she was calling on what she described as the free people of the world to pressure their governments, to push their governments to cut ties with

the regime that she described as a murderous regime, child-killing regime that -- and she said the time to act is right now said. She doesn't want to

see a repeat of what happened in 2019 during the crackdown on the other protest move during that year, where hundreds of people are believed to

have been killed within the span of a few days during that crackdown. And she said the world just watched that happen, and she said they should act

now, cut times -- ties with the regime because sanctions, she said, are laughable.

She likened her uncle to Hitler, Mussolini, Gaddafi, and Saddam Hussein and others. And she ended that video, Christina, with the slogan of the

protest, "Woman, Life, Freedom" showing her support for the ongoing demonstrations and the protest movement in the country. So really looking

at her background, it's not surprising that you would hear her saying this, but, of course, extremely courageous for someone to come out and say

something like that while still inside Iran.

MACFARLANE: Absolutely. I know you'll continue to follow this particular story. Jomana Karadsheh for us live there in Istanbul. Thank you.

All right. A grim look now at one of the world's most intractable conflicts. CNN analysis shows this has been the deadliest year for

Palestinians outside Gaza and Israelis in almost a generation. Hadas Gold takes us behind the numbers of what has been a tragic year for families on

both sides.


HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: These have become frequent images this year across Israel and the Palestinian territories. Funerals last week in Nablus

for 16-year-old Ahmed Amjad Shehadeh and in Jerusalem for 15-year-old Canadian Israeli Aryeh Schupak, both killed on Wednesday on their way to

school. In another world, they might have been classmates. But here, they are the latest victims of a decades old conflict that is rearing its head

to new heights.

With a month left to go, 2022 is already the deadliest year for Palestinians and Israelis across Israel and the West Bank since the early

2000s according to a CNN analysis of official numbers from both Israel and the Palestinian authority, setting off alarm across the world.


POPE FRANCIS, HEAD OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH (through translator): I hope that Israeli and Palestinian authorities take this search for dialogue to heart

in a greater way, building reciprocal trust, without which there will never be a solution for peace in the Holy Land.


GOLD: 150 Palestinian combatants and civilians have been killed so far this year in the occupied West Bank in Israel, according to the Palestinian

Ministry of Health, as Israel conducts regular military raids in response to a wave of Palestinian attacks. While Israel says most of the

Palestinians killed were militants or engaging violently with their soldiers, human rights groups say dozens of unarmed civilians have been

caught up as well.

The Israeli government says 31 Israelis and foreigners have been killed in Palestinian attacks, a number that includes soldiers and civilians during

shootings, stabbings, and rammings. And then last Wednesday, twin bombings killed two in Jerusalem, a type of attack not seen in years, immediately

bringing to mind the Second Intifada or Palestinian uprising when Palestinian suicide bombings and Israeli military raids became the norm.

One has to go back to those final years of that conflict, 2004 and 2005, for death count higher than this year's. The U.N.'s Middle East envoy

warning that the situation is running out of control.


TOR WENNESLAND, U.N. MIDDLE EAST ENVOY: Mounting hopelessness, anger, and tension have once again erupted into a deadly cycle of violence that is

increasingly difficult to contain.


GOLD: That hopelessness partly a result of a politics on both sides that seem as far apart as ever, an increasingly unpopular Palestinian Authority.

Its aging leader, Mahmoud Abbas, recently pilloried for attending the World Cup while new militant groups rise up at home, claiming to be the true

representatives of the Palestinian Street.

And in Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu soon to take power once again. But this time, with a sharp turn to the right alongside coalition partners like

Itamar Ben-Gvir, and other far right settlers who have called for an even stronger response to Palestinian attacks, and are vehemently opposed to the

two-state solution as the violence on the ground continues with no end in sight. Hadas gold, CNN, Jerusalem.


MACFARLANE: All right. Still to come tonight, goals, injuries, and bitter rivalries, as Portugal take on Uruguay, we'll have the latest World Cup

action live from Qatar up next.



MACFARLANE: Welcome back. It's been an action packed day at the football at the World Cup in Qatar. Cameroon drew 3-3 with Serbia. Ghana, the youngest

team in the tournament, beat South Korea 3-2 in a pretty nail-biting game. And Brazil best of Switzerland 1-nil with one of their star players,

Neymar, unavailable due to injury. And as we speak, Portugal are going head to head with Uruguay. Our Don Riddell is following all the action from us

in Qatar. Don, I believe that Portugal-Uruguay game right now in halftime with no goals in the back of the net just yet. So, which side have had the

more chances so far?

DON RIDDELL, CNN WORLD SPORT: It's been pretty tight, to be honest, Christina. Portugal have had more of the possession, but in terms of

chances on goal, it's been fairly even. So Portugal, knowing that if they win this game, they will be through to the knockout round, so they would

obviously like to do that and get the game out of the way. But currently, as you say, goalless.

It's been a really, really exciting day here. And Brazil's attempt to win a sixth world title and their first since 2002 is going pretty well so far.

Remember, they beat Serbia in their opening game. Today, they beat Switzerland, the winning goal coming late, 83rd-minute Casemiro, terrific

finish there. And it means that Brazil are through to the knockout round with a game to spare. They haven't conceded a goal yet, so they'll be

really, really thrilled with that.

And, you know, a bit of an Achilles' heel for Brazil over the last 20 or so years has been European teams. Well, they've already played two European

teams in this group and they didn't slip on those banana skins, they won them both.

MACFARLANE: And also, Don, it has been a successful day for African nations as well. We saw earlier Cameroon held 2-3 all draw, Serbia held to a 3-all

draw by Cameroon. And Ghana, as we've been saying the youngest side in the World Cup, a stunning 3-2 win over South Korea. Just how big a win was that

for them?

RIDDELL: Yes. I mean, both those games, massive results, highly entertaining games, back and forth action. I mean, let's start with --

let's show you the Cameroon game first because, you know, they were ahead in that game and then kind of they completely unraveled around the halftime

interval. And their opponents ended up taking a 3-1 lead. Serbia's Aleksandar Mitrovic putting them at 3-1 ahead.

And at that point, you kind of really feared for Cameroon. It seemed as though they'd kind of -- they had their moment and they'd blown it, but the

Cameroonians hit back through Aboubakar and then Choupo-Moting to seal a really, really impressive 3-all draw.


So they were absolutely thrilled with that. Great game as well involving Ghana. They were 2-nil up on South Korea, but then Korea quickly got it

back to 2-0 with a thundering head of their -- from Korea but Ghana won at the end with 3-2 so really great day for the African teams, of course. It's

been a long time since an African team has done well at the World Cup. They don't tend to every year. We wonder if this is going to be the year. Well,

today, it was a great day for them.

MACFARLANE: Yes. And 11 goals in those two games alone. Brilliant stuff there, Don. Thank you very much for today.

And finally, pop star Dua Lipa has been granted Albanian citizenship. The singer's parents are from the region, but fled in 1992 due to instability.

Three-time Grammy winner was born in London, but says she's proud of her roots. Albanian President Bajram Begaj bestowed the honor on Lipa in a

touching ceremony on Sunday, talking about the starlet. He said she is "A great artist, a simple girl whose fame is known all over the world. She has

given us the greatest pride, the Albanian Nation, Albanians, Kosovo Albanians, wherever they live, and work." Congratulations to Dua Lipa.

And that is it for this evening. Thank you so much for watching. Stay with us for "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is coming up just after the break.