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Isa Soares Tonight

Russia Reacts To Possible U.S. Patriot Missiles In Ukraine; Harry And Meghan Make New Allegations In New Netflix Episodes; U.K. Nurses Strike For The First Time In 100 Years; Swedish Defense Minister Visits Mykolaiv, Odessa; Peru Declares State Of Emergency; Chinese And Indian Troops Clash In Himalayas; Tornadoes Leave Destruction Across Southern U.S.; Thousands Of Galaxies In New Webb Image. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired December 15, 2022 - 14:00   ET



ISA SOARES, HOST, ISA SOARES TONIGHT: A very warm welcome to the show, everyone, I'm Isa Soares. Tonight, the latest flash point between Russia

and Ukraine, Patriot missiles. Why this particular piece of U.S. hardware could be a game-changer on the battlefield. Then, new episodes from the

Harry and Meghan series drop on Netflix.

We'll unpack the accusations with our royal correspondent. Plus strikes are bringing parts of the U.K. to a standstill, the latest workers to walk out,

nurses. I've spoken to some of them to try and understand why they're striking for the first time in 100 years of the National Health Service


But before we get to all of that, let's have a quick check though of the Dow Jones, you can see there, it's off by 2, just more than 2.5 percent,

nearly 900 points or so this hour. We've seen weak consumer spending numbers, followed by a gloomy outlook, if you remember this time yesterday

from the Federal Reserve chief that obviously cut half a percentage point or so.

We are keeping a hike of -- half a percentage point, we are keeping a close eye, of course, on this story. Markets trying to understand what the Fed

said and really what we can expect, come 2023. Of course, we're getting an update from CNN business editor-in-chief, Richard Quest in about 30 minutes

or so. But of course, we'll keep an eye on the stock markets for you this hour.

I want to go to the Ukraine and Russia, because Russia is giving a stark warning to the White House. Its embassy in Washington is saying, if the

U.S. provides Patriot missiles to Ukraine, there will be unpredictable consequences. Now, Russia's foreign ministry spokesman says, the systems

would become legitimate military targets and would push the U.S. closer to the conflict.

The White House has not yet announced that it is delivering the defense systems to Ukraine. Kyiv has been pleading for the systems, if you

remember, to help fight off Russian air attacks on energy infrastructure and other civilian targets. Earlier, Ukraine's foreign minister spoke to

CNN, a scoffed, really, at the Russian threats. Have a listen.


DMYTRO KULEBA, FOREIGN MINISTER, UKRAINE: Empty words. We've heard these threatening comments so many times before that -- and they never proved to

be a reality. Russia has already crossed all red lines and they do not spare anyone, neither animals nor nature, nor civilians, nor civilian

infrastructure. They destroy everything. So, they bear responsibility for the escalation.


SOARES: Dmytro Kuleba there. Well, Will Ripley joins me now from Kyiv. And Will, it's important to point out to our audience though, we're still, of

course, waiting to hear from the White House about these Patriot missiles. But how much of a game-changer do you think there will be in Ukraine, Will?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, CNN was first to report, and those reports have not yet been officially verified, but the

Kremlin is already responding, saying that --

SOARES: Yes --

RIPLEY: As you said, the embassy in Washington saying there will be unpredictable consequences. The Kremlin saying that they would be a

legitimate target, these Patriot Missile defense batteries. Even though, as we've been pointing out, it's going to take quite some time to get

Ukrainians actually trained to operate these things.

When I interviewed Ukraine's defense minister about a week ago, one of the things that he said was that he was confident these Patriots would be on

the battlefield in Ukraine, but in the next stage. And maybe at that time, clearly, he probably would have been aware of these plans. Obviously, the

Ukrainians, United States, NATO, having lots of back channel conversations that, for obvious reasons, would not be publicly discussed.

One reason that Ukraine believes that they need these systems is to defend against this constant bombardment of the power grid. Because they do have a

type of capability that the Ukrainians don't have. Well, I will give you an example.

The power -- the air raid sirens went off here in Kyiv the other day, and it wasn't because there were incoming missiles, but because there were

Russian bombers spotted in the air somewhere near Ukraine that carried the kind of missiles that Ukraine cannot shoot down. They simply do not have

the capacity to shoot down these Patriot missile defense systems will obviously erase that.


They would be able to shoot down pretty much any incoming, you know, ballistic and cruise missiles, of which the Patriots are, you know, largely

successful in fighting against. They saw them save scores of lives in Israel, for example. Although often operated by U.S. military personnel.

Here in Ukraine, U.S. military personnel operating these Patriots would essentially bring the United States into this war directly with Russia,

which is something that the United States and NATO simply not willing to accept.

But the Ukrainians do need to be trained how to operate these highly complex, very expensive systems to make sure that they operate with the

accuracy that the systems are designed to deliver, as long as the people operating them know what they're doing. Now, the Ukrainians have been

pretty spot-on in their -- you know, air defense -- you know, strategies.

Think about the drone attack on Kyiv, the central Kyiv where I am, just yesterday. Even though, there were explosions, there were holes in

buildings, but the Ukrainians claim they shot down all 13 drones that were launched by Russia. Which is an increase in their success rate from just a

week earlier in the south, you know, near Odessa, where they shot down 10 out of 15 that were launched.

But of course, those five that made it to their targets ended up plunging 1.5 million people into the dark and cold for much of that -- of that last


SOARES: Well, it does seem that, you know, regardless of when they get there, how soon we hear from this announcement that these already rattling

the Russians as we heard from that rhetoric there. Give us a sense of what's happening at the situation on the ground in Donetsk, Will. Because I

believe that we're seeing a large wave of strikes there. What's going on?

RIPLEY: Yes, well clearly, Bakhmut, which is the -- you know, the city that Russia has been trying to reclaim, which the defense minister told me,

they think it's for political reasons only. There's not much strategic value, the Ukrainians say, for the Russians to try and take Bakhmut, other

than they trying to save face.

Large portions of that city have been reduced to rubble, and then Ukrainians have been launching shells and rockets at a pace the Russians

claim, it's the worst attack on Donetsk they've seen since 2014. There is video that is emerging on social media, there are reports from Russian-

backed officials in Donetsk, claiming that essentially the civilian targets are being hit.

They showed an intersection, a main intersection that was on fire. They showed residential and commercial buildings that were -- that were hit.

They showed a cathedral that was hit. And so, the Ukrainians are lobbying the kind of attacks that Russians are saying are attacks on civilians, just

as the Russians have been relentlessly attacking civilian targets on the frontlines In the east and also to the south, particularly Kherson.

As you know, Isa, where just constant Russian bombardment has been taking lives and is essentially disconnected that entire southern city from its

electrical grid and its people there are basically, with these plunging temperatures, just in the dark and in the cold as we speak.

SOARES: Will Ripley for us this hour in Kyiv, Ukraine, thanks very much, Will. Good to see you. Well, in just a few minutes from now, I will be

speaking with the Defense Minister of Sweden on his response to the U.S. sending Patriot missile systems to Ukraine, as well, of course, 10 -- the

10 months of war in Ukraine. We'll have much more on that.

Now, the second installment of Harry and Meghan's Netflix documentary goes much further than the first. Revelations include Harry accusing his brother

of screaming at him over the couple's split from the royal family, and Meghan saying she contemplated suicide during her time in the U.K. Max

Foster takes a look at some of the key moments from the final three episodes. Have a look at this.


MEGHAN MARKLE, DUCHESS OF SUSSEX: And what she said to me was, it's like this fish, it's like swimming perfectly careful, it's on the right current.

And then one day, this organism comes in.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The second installment has landed. Harry and Meghan's Netflix docu-series latest drop could prove

to be a lot more explosive than the last time around.

MARKLE: And the entire thing goes -- what is that? What is it doing here? It doesn't look like us, it doesn't move like us, we don't like it, get it

off of us.

FOSTER: While the piece starts with fond recollections of their wedding, it goes on to accusations that the institution became jealous of the couple

during their triumphant tour of Australia in 2018.

HENRY CHARLES ALBERT DAVID, DUKE OF SUSSEX: The issue is, when someone is marrying in, who should be a supporting -- a supporting act, it's then

stealing the limelight or it's doing his job better than the person who's born to do this. That upsets people. It shifts the balance.

FOSTER: So, Meghan, her claims of jealousy, media intrusion, lack of protection from the palace, even leaking of negative stories was too much.

The stress of the coverage, she says, triggering a miscarriage and even suicidal thoughts.

MARKLE: All of this will stop if I'm not here. And that was the scariest thing about it, is it was such a clear thinking.

DORIA RAGLAND, MOTHER OF MEGHAN MARKLE: I remember her telling me that because she had wanted to take her own life. And that really broke my


DAVID: I was devastated. I knew that she was struggling. We were both struggling.


But I never thought that it would get to that stage, and the fact that it got to that stage, I felt angry and ashamed.

FOSTER: In late 2019, Harry says, conversations were leaked between him and his father about Meghan and Harry taking reduced roles and leaving the

U.K. In early 2020, they issued their own statements, laying out their plans which culminated in a family rile, but the queen sanction(ph) him

estates between Harry, William, Charles, and the queen.

DAVID: It was terrifying to have my brother scream and shout at me, and my father saying things that just simply weren't true. And my grandmother, you

know, quietly sit there and sort of take it all in.

FOSTER: A year later, ahead of their bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, a story leaked that Meghan had bullied her palace staff.

DAVID: To see this institutional gas-lighting that happens is -- and it's extraordinary. And that's why everything that's happened to us was always

going to happen to us because if you speak truth to power, that's how they respond.

FOSTER: Harry speaking out for his wife, but also his mother. Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace say, they won't be responding to the Netflix

series, instead, senior royals will continue with their planned public engagements.


SOARES: Let's dig into all of this with our royal correspondent, Max Foster. And Max, there is a lot for us to talk about. There are some

serious allegations here, do any of these stand-up, from your point of view?

FOSTER: I think, you know, it's their experience, isn't it? And it's their truth. And I think that, you know, they're definitely moments of honesty in

there. And I think that, that bit particularly, the central sort of moment, really, sounding them, when they had that massive family showdown. That

sounds real. I imagine, you know, William was pretty stressed.

And I imagine the queen was sitting in the corner listening and allowing it to continue this conversation, because she had delegated a lot of the

authority to Charles and to William. And it's a big moment. And I'm sure that, that sort of played out in the way that it did. But the problem we've

got here is the whole series is from Harry and Meghan's point of view.

We don't have the other point of views. So --

SOARES: Yes --

FOSTER: It's not a piece of journalism, but then the other side aren't giving their point of view, so --

SOARES: Why? Do you --

FOSTER: This is what we have.

SOARES: Think they will?

FOSTER: I think they feel --

SOARES: And I know they normally don't, right?

FOSTER: They're not explaining why they're not commenting. The only thing they're doing is keeping calm and carrying on, as it were. They've been at

the defense tonight --


SOARES: Yes --

FOSTER: And what you've seen there is the prince and princess of Wales, but also the king and the queen, all out together. And I think that that's

a deliberate show of unity, and not necessarily throwing themselves into this argument, giving it more oxygen, allowing it to not last much longer.

I think they just want it all to go away, and it's not going to go away, is it? They keep countering the claims, but they do risk this narrative just

living in the world's --

SOARES: Yes --

FOSTER: Consciousness unaddressed.

SOARES: And also because we're going to be expecting a book from Harry, are we not in the new year? So --

FOSTER: Yes, currently, there's a book and that will be a lot more detailed --

SOARES: So, this is not going to go any time soon. We're not -- I've only just started watching, to be completely -- to be honest. But one thing that

struck me and probably done unintentionally are the comparisons between her and Princess Diana. Meghan and Princess Diana. And there was one clip where

she talked about, you know, how the royal family didn't stand up to the allegations in the media. Have a listen to this.


DAVID: It was already clear to the media that the palace wasn't going to protect her. Once that happens, the floodgates opened.

MARKLE: And I realized that I wasn't just being thrown to the wolves, I was being fed to the wolves.


SOARES: Being thrown to the wolves. What did you make of that?

FOSTER: Well, you know, on one level, the headlines are about briefing and planting stories --

SOARES: Yes --

FOSTER: In the media, to work against Meghan and Harry. I don't -- I'm not sure it was that. But I think the point they're making, which is

legitimate, is that there are -- the tabloids turned against Meghan. I think there was a point where, you know, there's a very sexist narrative,

which was wives at war. And I don't think -- oversimplify -- and I don't think they were at war, but that was created by the tabloids.

SOARES: That click-bait --

FOSTER: I think --

SOARES: Element --

FOSTER: And that particularly, that turned into, you know, who's goodie, who's the baddie? And Kate wasn't the baddie, she's the more senior royal,

she's going to be queen. So, I think the -- frankly, the tabloids chose Kate to be the goodie and Meghan to be the baddie. Megan's issue is not

only that, it's the fact the palace didn't step in to prevent that.

She felt they allowed it to continue. But I think, the palace, you know, my experience did do as much as they could to prevent -- to support Meghan or

not as much as they could, perhaps they could have done more. Meghan just doesn't feel they did enough, and she wasn't treated like a person. And

they kept on putting the institution first over the relationships.

And that's happened in the past. They said, you know -- you know, they were talking about other male members of the family saying, well, our wives had

to put up with this. So --

SOARES: Yes --


FOSTER: Your wife -- you know, what's special about your girlfriend?

SOARES: But Harry's point was because it happened at the past, that doesn't mean it shouldn't change.

FOSTER: And also the race was involved.

SOARES: Race, mental health aspect of this. This is all very --

FOSTER: Yes --

SOARES: Serious allegations --

FOSTER: You know, you're comparison to Diana is correct, because there's a sense as you watch all of it that he didn't do enough to protect Diana. He

couldn't, he was a kid. But he was not going to allow it again to happen to Meghan. So this is all about addressing not just Meghan's issues, but his

mother's issues, that's -- I think that's the bigger picture.

SOARES: As a royal correspondent, I mean, you've been a royal correspondent for decades. How do you -- I mean, this moment right now that

we're seeing, these allegations, how do you think that will shape the British monarchy? Is it having an impact, you think, inside the walls,

palace walls?

FOSTER: Well, if we look at those image again from tonight, where you see all the four senior royals going out and carrying on, I don't think it's

going to change anything. Because that's how they would respond to any sort of crisis. And I think Harry wants their strategy to change, and they're

showing -- they're saying it hasn't changed.

SOARES: And Harry alluded to that in the Netflix series. What you see behind -- in front of us is not exactly what you see behind those walls --

FOSTER: And also very upsetting for Kate and William to hear all of this, but they are sort of dusting themselves down and carrying on. And Harry's

issue throughout is saying, it kept on being expected to go pretend as if I didn't have any personal issues or my wife didn't have any mental health

issues. But they're saying, well, that is the way it works. And they're demonstrating that with these images from tonight.

SOARES: Fascinating. I know it's not going to be the end of it. Max Foster, appreciate it, thank you, Max. Well, unsafe conditions, working

conditions, years of falling pay and severe staffing shortages. These are just some of the reasons British nurses are giving really for unprecedented

strikes -- are going for unprecedented strikes today.

They are demanding a 19 percent pay rise. But Health Secretary Steve Barclay says that is, quote, "not affordable". A 100,000 are involved in

the industrial action, which is the largest the nursing union has ever seen. Those involved paint a picture of a National Health Service in

crisis. Earlier, I went down to the picket line at Central London hospital to find out more.


SOARES (on camera): It's not often you see scenes like this outside London. Nurses really walking out of hospitals, St. Thomas' Hospital over

here and on to the picket lines. And they are protesting very much what you're hearing, over-worked and under-paid. More than a 100,000 members of

the Royal College of Nursing taking to the streets.

Let's find out why they've decided to do this. Let's talk to some of them. Can I ask you a very quick question?


SOARES: Can I ask you a very quick question? We're CNN. How hard of a decision was this for you to come out here today?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We've actually been derogated, so I'm on my day off, but I need to support the side --

SOARES: Why is this so important?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because people are fed up. It's been 12 years of cuts and not enough, and we're short-staffed, people are exhausted.

SOARES: I want to get some more. Thank you very much. Can I speak to you, ladies? Anyone who wants to talk, clearly, you want to get your message

across. Can I ask you? What are conditions like? I know so many of you have taken to the streets. What are conditions like?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Unsafe, it's just so unsafe. It's tiring coming to work, day in and day out, and there's no staff, there's no one to help.

You're providing a bare minimum of care and it's just not enough and it's not fair. Situations don't --

SOARES: Just explain to our viewers really around the world, you know, what conditions they're really like. This is -- this is a historic strike.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, so we -- the NHS has been in crisis for many years. It's been steadily growing. COVID, Delta is a body blow, and now our

services actually -- I'd say in complete collapse. You know, people are waiting 2 or 3 hours for an ambulance. There's queues of patients outside

A&E, we have our wards are criminally understaffed day in and day out, and we can't provide proper care for patients. So, it's really driven us to

take this drastic action.

SOARES: So, this is not just about pay, this is about a much bigger cause here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, under U.K. law, we were only allowed to strike over pay. But we are fighting for investment in our health service and

better working conditions, in recognition for our profession and all the hard-work and sacrifices we make.


SOARES: And those are just some of the nurses really striking today. There are so many more. Scott McLean is joining me now here in London with more.

And Scott, I think it's important to point out to our viewers right around the world that we're facing a cost of living crisis, soaring inflation. And

they haven't seen wages rise since 2018, I believe. So, a pretty dire picture for them.

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, they say that, look, in recent years, they've been losing money once you factor in inflation. And of

course, inflation right now is a pretty big problem. So, as you pointed out earlier, he said the nurses are asking for a 19 percent increase, which

seems like a big number.

The government is offering 4.3 percent, which the union has already rejected because they say, look, inflation is 10.7 percent. So, 19 percent

doesn't seem all that unreasonable. Also, I think it's important to consider that look, the average nursing salary, monthly after taxes, is

going to net you about $3,000 per month.


That's not bad, except when you consider that if you're one of those nurses that you were talking to earlier and you live in London, you have to

contend with the fact that the average private rental rate in this city is about $1,800 a month. So, it is hard to feel rich when we're talking about

numbers like that. But as you found out, look, this is not all about money necessarily.

They say that the entire system needs somewhat of an overhaul. So this is what we are talking about, when we are talking about people showing up at

A&E as you say in this country or the emergency room. The numbers have stayed relatively steady over the past four years. What has changed though

is the number of people who are waiting 12 plus hours in the emergency department to actually get care.

So they say that something has to change. At the very least, the government ought to be feeling the record number of vacancies that are available right


SOARES: And the majority of people I saw on the street today supported the nurses. That -- this seems to be the mood in the country. Applauding them

for really demanding their rights. But what is the mood with the rest of the country in regards to postal workers striking, train strikes? I can

tell you, I've had a nightmare of a journey for the last two weeks just with strikes on rail. What is going on?

MCLEAN: Yes, surely, there's a lot of empathy out there, considering that everyone is feeling the cost of living crisis, especially if you have a

mortgage. Because in this --

SOARES: Yes --

MCLEAN: Country, you're not necessarily locked in for a 30-year mortgage, that's pretty rare. Usually, you're locked in for 2 or 5 years, and then

after that, you're at the whims of whatever the interest rate is at that time. But as you say, it is not just nurses. We're talking about a heck of

a lot of labor discontent in this country.

So, this is over the past 10 years, the monthly number of working days that have been lost due to labor strikes. So, you can see things sort of peaked

in 2014, and now, they have peaked yet again, surpassing that number from 2014. So, 417,000 working days lost due to labor action in the month of

October. And Isa, frankly, it may get a heck of a lot worse. And here is a good illustration.

The nurses are out today, they're out on Tuesday, the paramedics are out the next following to Wednesday, the Royal Mail is out today, they're also

out just before Christmas. The railways are out these days, plus this one and this one, and I haven't even mentioned the border force which could go

on strike the 23rd.

And well, for who knows how long? I also haven't mentioned baggage handlers, I haven't mentioned teachers, I haven't mentioned bus drivers in

London. And so, this could get a heck of a lot worse when it comes to labor action in this country.

SOARES: Yes, a whole lot of discontent for really the reasons that we've been painting and dire economic picture as well as soaring inflation, cost

of living crisis. Thanks very much, Scott, appreciate it. And still to come tonight, U.S. markets are taking quite a beating tonight, a day after the

Federal Reserve made its latest moves.

You can see they're 2.5 percent, 887 points. Now, we'll have the latest, next.



SOARES: Welcome, back everyone. We turn to our top story this hour. Ukraine and its plea for more military aid from western allies. Swedish

Prime Minister Pal Jonson was in the country earlier this week, he joins me now from Stockholm. Minister, thank you very much for taking the time to

speak to us. Let me first get your reaction, if I may, to CNN reporting really that the White House is finalizing plans to send Patriot Missile

Defense Systems to Ukraine. How much of a game-changer would this be, in your opinion?

PAL JONSON, DEFENSE MINISTER, SWEDEN: Well, it's actually a decision of course, for the United States to do. We are very much aware that the

Ukrainians need various forms of air defense systems, and also Sweden has provided more air defense systems. And that's of course due to the fact on

how Russians right now are conducting the war there.

Conducting strikes with drones and missiles all over Ukraine. They're attacking their electricity grid, another aspect of critical


SOARES: But do you think that this could change the war strategy, you see, in favor of course of, Ukraine here? How do you see it?

JONSON: Yes, I think together also with other various systems that can provide better air defense for Ukrainians, I think that's really important.

It's important in order to alleviate the suffering of the Ukrainian people. Because what the Russians are doing right now is consistently attacking

their electricity grid in order to make the Ukrainian people freeze and suffer.

So, I think all things we can do on air defense is really crucial in order to alleviate the pain and the suffering that the Ukrainian people are going

through right now. And also --

SOARES: Yes --

JONSON: Enhance the resilience of the Ukrainian people.

SOARES: Yes, especially in these very bleak and dark and cold, like you said, Minister, Winter months. We've already heard from the Kremlin, it

seems to be responding to the possible delivery of the Patriot system, saying it can lead to unpredictable consequences. This is according to the

Russian embassy in Washington. How do you interpret those comments? And do you worry this would only further escalate, further rattle the Russians

here, Minister?

JONSON: Well, this is a decision for the United States to make and no one else. But I don't think that Russia should have any with -- over the west

arms delivered to Ukraine. Supporting Ukraine militarily is both the right thing to do and it's the smart thing to do. And it's also core interests

for the whole west, that Ukraine can regain its territorial integrity, its freedom and independents. So this is really crucial. And supporting Ukraine

is really about investing into our own security.

SOARES: So, you don't worry at all about what you're hearing from Russian side in terms of rhetoric on this?

JONSON: Well, yes, once again, I think this is a decision for the United States to make. What kind of armed systems that they're sending. Well, I

think it's crucial list that the Ukrainians get more air defense systems. That's in order to alleviate the suffering from the Ukrainian people.

SOARES: And Minister, I believe you recently returned from Mykolaiv and Odessa. Just give our viewers a sense of what you saw and how urgent,

really, the need is for support.

JONSON: Well, I mean it's really moving. Because what you see is systematic violence and the sheer brutality of the Russian attacks. You see

the Russians attacking things as hospitals, as schools, as universities. And so, that's of course, heartbreaking to see or how the way that the

Russians have conducted the war.

On the other side, of course, it's also very inspiring to talk to representatives of the Ukrainian armed forces, but also Ukrainian

population. What I was struck with is really how well the population and the Ukrainian armed forces are working together. I'm also impressed of the

resilience of the Ukrainian people.

And also some aspects where they work on civil defense, I think it's very important. What you see across Ukraine on balance is that the trains are

going, that the wages are being paid out, the post is -- and the mail is coming and so forth. I think it's very important to also show that

Ukrainians have a functioning society on everyday basis in order to have this kind of resilience against this Russian continuous attacks and the

sheer brutality of the violence that we see from the Russian side.

That we of course, strongly condemn.

SOARES: Was there a moment, Minister, when you were out there that really marked you, that really moved you?

JONSON: Well, I think seeing Mykolaiv and seeing how the Russians have attacked hospitals and schools and universities. Those things, of course,

is mind-boggling. And we see, you know, Russians in occupied forces, occupied areas also deporting Ukrainians to Russia including kids of course

and nothing that is -- something that is really moving.

And you sense that wherever you are going, in a way, because, of course, Odessa, for example, is dark most of the time and so forth. But at the same

time, it's very, very inspiring with the resolve of the Ukrainian population, I must say.

Now you know, we are well over nine months into the war. Russia is on the retreat and as we see, unable to reach any of its military or political

objectives so far. So I think the war is going in the right trajectory for Ukrainians.

SOARES: It's going in the right trajectory, let's talk about Sweden, if I may. As the year, of course, winds down.

Where are we, Minister, on Sweden's accession to NATO?

JONSON: Well, I think we are very pleased that 28 out of 30 allies already ratified their application and we are very glad.

We feel more secure now than before we received that from the United States. We received also reassurances from the United States, United

Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, the other Nordics, Germany and so forth, that we will not be alone in case we would be exposed to an armed attack.

At the same time, we are also eager to become full-fledged members of the alliance so we can contribute to the security of the alliance. Often we

think such things as NATO and air forward presence (ph), NATO air policing, NATO standing maritime forces.

We -- as you know, there are two countries who have to ratify their application yet. It's Hungary and Turkiye. And we have good dialogue with

Hungary and, right now, we have a trilateral and we are between Sweden currently and Finland. And we are working on making progress on that as


SOARES: Minister Pal Jonson, Swedish defense minister, really appreciate you taking the time to speak to us, Minister. Thank you very much.

JONSON: Thank you for having me on.

SOARES: Still to come tonight, a Dow statement from the Fed chair, plus we consumer spending equals this selloff you're looking at right now, almost

green, 2.5 percent lower. The Dow Jones, Richard Quest will explain what is going on today. That's next.





SOARES: Welcome back.

Peru is under a nationwide state of emergency this hour, as authorities try to quell deadly political protests. Supporters of former president, Pedro

Castillo, are demanding his release and early elections, as well as the resignation of Peru's new president.

Castillo, if you remember, was impeached and arrested last week after he tried to dissolve Congress. Today, the supreme court is considering whether

to extend his detention, while congress is discussing a possible date for new elections. Rafael Romo is following all the developments for us from

CNN Center in Atlanta and joins me now.

Rafael, great to see you. Let's talk about the state of emergency first.

Is that going to make any difference?

Because it's not just about Castillo here, is it?

It's much bigger than this now.

RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SR. LATIN AFFAIRS EDITOR: Yes, that's definitely true, Isa. This is the hope of the new president, Dina Boluarte, who is doing

everything she can to try to bring the situation under control because it has been chaotic for the last week or so.

And, Isa, a hearing to determine whether former president Castillo remains behind bars for 18 months started earlier today but was adjourned and it is

now scheduled to resume at 5:00 pm local time.

It's been more than one week since he was impeached and arrested. And the country remains in turmoil, even after the government declared Wednesday a

state of emergency.


ROMO (voice-over): As it has been the case for more than a week in Peru, police once again clashed with protesters. This violent protest in Cuzco

mirrors what has happened across the South American country, including in Lima, the capital.

Defense minister Alberto Otarola declared a state of emergency Wednesday that would be in effect for 30 days. He said, the national police and armed

forces are responding to acts of vandalism, violence and seizure of roads.

Peru's national police has said earlier that highways in at least four regions across the country had been blocked by protesters, demanding the

immediate return to power of former president, Pedro Castillo.

As you may remember, Castillo was impeached and arrested on December 7th after he announced plans to dissolve congress and install an emergency

government. He was apparently trying to get ahead of a congressional vote on his impeachment.

Castillo is accused of conspiracy and rebellion. He denies those allegations.

Dina Boluarte, who was his vice president and succeeded him after his impeachment, said Wednesday, that it is technically possible to call for

new elections by the end of next year, even though Peruvians are not scheduled to go to the polls until 2026.

National police were deployed to Lima's international airport, which, according to a spokeswoman, is operating normally. However, some regional

airports remain closed. This means that many international tourists are stuck without a connecting flight to the capital and must stay in Peru for


Train service between Machu Picchu and Cuzco was disrupted due to deadly protests, leaving dozens of tourists stranded at the Inca citadel. A

political crisis has gripped Peru for years. Boluarte, who took over after the ousting of Pedro Castillo, is Peru's sixth president in less than five



SOARES: And Rafael, a question that really stood out as I was watching that piece is, you know, given the outrage, the anger, why not call

elections sooner?

Why wait longer than this?

ROMO: Yes, that's the very same question that was asked to the new president, Dina Boluarte, who, as you remember, was Castillo's vice

president and what she said is that she had -- she has to stick by the rule of law.

And the law currently says that elections are to be called in 2026. However, she said that, technically, it is possible to do early elections

but it would have to be at the end of next year. So end of 2023.

And this would be elections not only to choose a new president but also to choose a new congress, of which, as you know in Peru, is one probably the

most hated institutions, politically speaking, Isa.

SOARES: Yes, and why so many are also protesting, not just about Castillo but also about that congress, too.


We will see, of course, what happens in the months ahead. Thanks very much, Rafael there.

Now we were telling you about Wall Street and the sell-off is accelerating today. The Dow, down around, as you can see there, 2.5 percent and Nasdaq,

faring worse, 3 percent. S&P down 2.5 percent as well.

Investors are concerned about the Federal Reserve's economic forecast and anticipating the U.S. economy will barely grow in 2023. And the

unemployment rate will jump more than previously expected. Our Richard Quest is here to explain.

And, Richard, I think it's fair to say, as we look at those numbers, there isn't much holiday cheer on Wall Street.

What's going on?

Yesterday, you and I were talking about the rate hike being already priced in.

Why are we seeing this movement on Wall Street?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN HOST: Because the Fed also told us yesterday that rates would go even higher and growth will be lower.

And, you know, although the market knew this, massive inflation numbers -- we've had some minor economic data -- the U.S. is essentially looking at

stagflation next year, where you still have very high inflation and you have almost no economic growth.

And in that environment, it will be difficult for companies to make good profits because consumers, A, will be worried about their jobs, as

unemployment starts to rise. And B, they will have started to use up the savings they built up during the pandemic.

Now I'm not saying it's going to be a catastrophe or a disaster or cataclysmic. But I am saying is not going to be very good. And the market

is now pricing that in.

SOARES: So we've got potentially looking at stagflation scenario but also a recession.

What are you hearing from investors, from CEOs in your show, Richard?

Are they already preparing for this likely scenario for recession in the United States?

QUEST: There's pretty much a consensus now that the U.S. will have a recession in 2023. It will kick in at about second quarter, maybe third

quarter. And that is because of the monetary lag from all these very high interest rate rises back in October, November, now December.

Add nine months on and you start to see where the effects will be. But Isa, what we really need to watch for, in terms of stock markets, is salami

slicing. You can get these days where you're up 1,000 points or whatever and there's a lot of noise and fury about it.

But there is the exception, what is more worrying, dangerous to your wealth is when you get 500 one day, 300 the next, 200 the next. And the cumulative

effect -- you suddenly look around and you see the market has gone.

I think we are looking at that in January. I think the market has had some nasty shocks, it's had a reality call, it's had a cold shower. Choose your

analogy and I think you're going to be looking at a bit of salami slicing.

SOARES: Oh, salami slices, cold showers and I think you mentioned yesterday some harsh medicine. This does not look good for anyone. Richard

Quest, appreciate it. Thanks very much.

And still to come tonight, we will take a rare look at the border dispute between two nuclear armed nations. We will tell you what is behind these

skirmishes in the Himalayas when we return.





SOARES: Now a video circulating online is giving a rare glimpse into a remote dispute between two of the world's biggest powers. CNN's Ivan Watson

tells us why Chinese and Indian soldiers actually came to blows on the Himalayan border.


IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The armies of the world's two most populous countries, which also happen to be nuclear armed,

beating each other with sticks in the Himalayan mountains. That is what a new video that has emerged over the course of the past week demonstrates.


WATSON (voice-over): A battle between Indian and Chinese soldiers, not using firearms but clearly clubbing each other, high in the Himalayan

mountains, which has since been confirmed to CNN by an Indian military officer with knowledge of this particular incident.

It actually took place in September of 2021, September 28th, in an area of Arunachal Pradesh. And at the end of some two minutes filmed of kind of

skirmishing here, the Chinese forces withdraw behind a stone wall. And the Indian soldiers kind of cheer, as if they are victorious.

Now why is this important?

Well, it gives us an insight into incidents that we have been hearing have been taking place in the disputed long border area between China and India

for years now. The tensions have been high there since June of 2020, when one of these skirmishes turned deadly, with at least 20 soldiers killed

from the Indian side and at least four soldiers killed from the Chinese side.

And the relations have deteriorated ever since then between Beijing and Delhi. More recently, just last Friday, there was another incident that

took place in another part of the border, called Tawang, where the Indian defense ministry says, there were some mild injuries on both sides after a


And the defense minister had this further to say.


RAJNATH SINGH, INDIAN DEFENSE MINISTER (through translator): On December 9th, 2022, People's Liberation Army troops tried to transgress the line of

actual control in the Yangtze area of Taiwan sector and unilaterally change the status quo. The Chinese attempt was contested by our troops in a firm

and resolute manner.


WATSON: Meanwhile, the Chinese military has accused Indian troops of crossing into Chinese territory, before both sides agreed to having their

commanders sit down and talk, to try to de-escalate.

But all of this just points to how unpredictable things can get along this very long, contested border between these two Asian giants -- Ivan Watson,

CNN, Hong Kong.


SOARES: And still to come tonight, a tornado in Louisiana caught on camera, as it ate up power lines and demolished buildings. The devastation

ahead, next.





SOARES: Welcome back, everyone.

Extreme weather ripped through several southern U.S. states on Wednesday with deadly results. A tornado watch is currently in effect for areas

around Orlando, Florida.

In Louisiana, though, there was devastation around the city of New Orleans metro area, as you can see there. Roofs were ripped off and homes were

destroyed, as three tornadoes tore a path of utter destruction.

The New Orleans fire department is sharing these images of the carnage. And you can see that one home is leveled and destroyed, while another one is

virtually untouched. CNN's Nick Valencia joins me now.

The mayor says the damage is more devastating than initially expected. Nick, just tell us what you have seen today.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Isa, it is bad here. The devastation is widespread, it's extensive and you can see some of these homes that

suffered the brunt of this tornado as it ripped through this community.

This is Jefferson Parish, just outside of New Orleans, where one person was killed after severe weather tore through here yesterday. And from what

residents tell me, it happened very, very fast, between 20 and 30 seconds.

Before they knew it, they were taking cover and the tornado had basically passed over them. The man who lived in this home just off camera here rode

out the storm in his closet. He thought, he said, it was the end for him. He had his dog on top of him and he thought it was all over.


TRENT THERIOT, TORNADO SURVIVOR: So we got in here and, all of a sudden, about a minute or so after that, just a strong gust of wind comes through

the front door, front of the house, the tornado came through the front. And we in here, locked up in here, me and the dog. And all of a sudden,

everything just blew up like --

VALENCIA: How long?

It blew up like a bomb.

THERIOT: Blew up in about 20 seconds.


VALENCIA: Trent Theriot was actually rescued by a neighbor, who pulled him from the rubble here in his home; his foundation of his home moved about 2

to 3 feet. Residents in this community are already starting to salvage what they can.

You can hear the sound of hammers and drills behind me here, as they start to rebuild. They are expecting the governor to come tour through here, tour

the damage and devastation.

But part of what really caught residents here off-guard is just how rare this large of an outbreak of tornado is, tornadoes are for this time of

year. You know, they certainly feel as though they can't catch a break, Isa.

They've gone through hurricane Ida with some telling me they have just finished repairing their shingles and the roofing from that storm, only to

have their homes destroyed again by this one. Isa.

SOARES: It's so hard. As you are talking, we can see people picking up the pieces already, trying to rebuild again. I'm guessing with, what, two weeks

or so until Christmas, Nick, no power, I'm guessing power is still out.

What's the picture look like for so many there, from now until then?

VALENCIA: That is right. You know, and some communities have been promised power restoration by tomorrow evening. Others say that they've been told

they are going to wait between two and three weeks before their power is restored.

And just really quick, briefly on that note about this happening before Christmas, yesterday I interviewed a 7 year old child. You know, he so

believes in Santa Claus and he was worried that Santa wasn't going to be able to find his home to deliver presents.

You know, so the fixation here on Christmas being around the corner and this happening is not lost on the residents here, who, as you mentioned,

are already starting to rebuild.

SOARES: That's just heartbreaking. Nick Valencia, great to see you, my friend. Thanks very much, appreciate it.

VALENCIA: You too.

SOARES: And finally, we take you to a galaxy far, far away. Well, actually, it should be galaxies, plural here.


The James Webb space telescope has captured an incredible new perspective of the universe. You can see there, including these galaxies they've never

been seen before. Have a look at all of these.

One of the investigators of the program was blown away by what his team found. And it was his words, which we've chosen for today's quote of the

day. This is what they had to say.

"Little did I know, when I selected this field near the North Ecliptic Pole, that it would yield such a treasure trove of distant galaxies."

We will leave you with that tonight. Have a wonderful day, I shall see you tomorrow. Do stay right here on CNN, "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next. Of

course, don't forget, you can catch up on interviews, analysis from the show and live on my Instagram at Isa Soares CNN or my Twitter feed to. I

shall see you tomorrow, bye-bye.