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Isa Soares Tonight

U.S. Lawmakers Release Trump's Tax Returns; World Remembers Soccer Legend Pele; Suspect Under Arrest In Connection To Idaho College Killings; International Football Legend Pele Dies At 82; Johnny Depp-Amber Heard Trial Grabs Headlines; Chef Bobby Flay Teaches CNN'S Julia Chatterley To Make Latkes. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired December 30, 2022 - 14:00   ET



ISA SOARES, HOST, ISA SOARES TONIGHT: A very warm welcome to the show, everyone, I'm Isa Soares. Tonight, six years of Donald Trump's tax returns

are now public, what we've learned about the former president's finances. Then mourning and celebration. The world is remembering Brazilian soccer

legend, Pele.

Then, an apparent breakthrough in a U.S. murder investigation. A suspect is under arrest in connection with the stabbing death of four students. But

first, he built an entire brand and a political career around the image of being a wealthy business mogul. Yet, newly-released tax returns show Donald

Trump claimed millions of dollars in losses for years.

A U.S. house committee released the documents today after the former president lost a long legal battle to keep them private. They span six

years including 2020, when Trump paid nothing in taxes at all, as you can see on your screen there. He claimed massive business operating deficits

that allowed him to slash his tax liability.

In 2016 and 2017, he paid just -- as you can see on your screen $750. The returns also showed Trump held foreign bank accounts while in office. And

in fact, he paid more in foreign taxes than U.S. taxes in the first year of his presidency. The documents were made public just days before Republicans

regain control of the house, and Trump is claiming a political motivation.

In a statement, this is what he said. "The Democrats should have never done it, the Supreme Court should have never approved it, and it's going to lead

to horrible things for so many people." Let's break all of this down with CNN economics and political commentator, Catherine Rampell, she's a

"Washington Post" opinion columnist.

Catherine, great to see you. A lot for us to get out, do you think. Look, I know CNN is still sifting through the tax returns. You're probably still

sifting through it too. What's does it show you? What stood out from what you have seen so far? I know you're still going -- you're combing through


CATHERINE RAMPELL, CNN ECONOMICS & POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, these are hundreds and hundreds of pages of documents. And I don't pretend that I've

gotten through even a substantial fraction of them. I mean, there are some interesting nuggets here, including things that he said there were

obviously false, like he said that he donated his presidential salary to charity in at least 2020. He didn't donate any money to charity at all.

As you pointed out, there's also some interesting information about foreign bank accounts he had including a Chinese bank account, which was the case

in the earlier years of his tax returns, none in the later years. You can see that he paid foreign taxes to a lot of countries abroad, including

Azerbaijan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, lots of other places.

The thing that we still don't know, that I wish we did, is where he's actually getting his money from --

SOARES: Yes --

RAMPELL: And whom he owes money to? And what I mean by that is, you can see that he says how much income he's getting from different places, but

not, you know, who his customers are, for example. You can see that he's deducting interest, potentially on loans that he owes, but you can't see

whom he is paying that interest to.

And that is not -- I mean, the fact that that's not in the tax returns is not surprising. Most people when they file their tax returns would not

include that information necessarily upfront. But in the course of an audit, the IRS should have been asking for some documentation, so that they

can substantiate, oh, did you actually pay these -- you know, these interest expenses that you deducted?

Can you show us the loan document? Or can you show us the canceled check or whatever? And that has not been released by house Democrats, and I'm not

sure why? There's a question about whether IRS even asked for this documentation in a report last week, that was released by house staffers,

it did look like IRS agents were unusually deferential to Trump's tax attorneys and tax counsel in general.

But -- so we don't know if IRS didn't ask for this material or they asked - -

SOARES: Yes --

RAMPELL: For it and were denied it or they got it. And for some reason, house Democrats decided not to release it to the rest of us.

SOARES: I mean, and Katherine, prosecutors no doubt will also be questioning whether these losses are real.


Because so much of his narrative -- and our viewers will know this, was based on him like we said at the top of the show, being painting himself as

a successful and wealthy businessman. Does this suggest he's not such a great businessman after all?

RAMPELL: Well, to be clear, the fact that a person pays very little or even nothing in taxes does not necessarily tell you anything unfortunately

about how wealthy they are or how successful they are. Our tax code is incredibly complicated, particularly the real estate portion of the tax


And there are plenty of ways to legally minimize your tax obligations that make it look like you're not making much money when in fact you are. So,

the fact that he didn't pay very much in taxes doesn't necessarily mean he was a bad businessman. However, there are a lot of other clues that

indicates he may have been or that he may have engaged in some dodgy tax maneuvering that crossed the line from tax avoidance to tax evasion.

And some of that was summarized last week, you know, some charitable deductions that he took that seems suspicious, some loans to his kids that

may have actually been gifts, which should have been taxable. So we don't know whether he broke the law. We don't actually know how much money he

made unfortunately.

And that's partly because our tax code is so opaque that, you know, these returns actually do --

SOARES: Yes --

RAMPELL: Require auditing to determine whether he was on the right side of the law.

SOARES: Yes, and like you said, there are -- there are still big question marks. One of those, of course, where the interest on loans to his

children, and also was it about the identical amount of company expenses and profits. I mean, is that a red flag would you say? A potential red flag

would you say?

RAMPELL: It very well could be. It does seem again suspicious. I don't want to allege that, you know, this crossed the line on breaking the law,

we don't know. It does seem suspicious that for example, Melania brought in exactly as much modeling income as she says she had in expenses.

So, therefore, you know, modeling revenue as she had an expense, so therefore it nets out to zero, no taxes owed. That seems suspicious to me,

but we don't know, we don't know what happened here. And again, if the IRS were doing its job, they should have required some documentation to say

hey, Melania, this looks a little weird.

These numbers are exactly equal, you know, to the cents. Can you show us what your expenses were? Because if you look at the return, it just says, I

think taxes and licenses, but it doesn't say what they were. So they should have asked for documentation. We don't know if they did. That's -- and it

may not have because, as I said, based on a summary that was released last week, it looks like the IRS wasn't doing all of its due diligence, was very

deferential --

SOARES: Yes --

RAMPELL: To Trump's tax attorneys. And if they did ask, we haven't seen the evidence of it.

SOARES: Well, Trump, our viewers will know this, is the first and only GOP candidate so far who has announced the bid for 2024. I mean, how does the

release of these tax returns impact, do you think his bid or his political sphere among voters? Or would you think we're just going to be hearing from

his base, saying a rich man using loopholes, "quelle surprise".

RAMPELL: You know, I think his supporters are going to stand by him no matter what? They stood by him by -- when there had been far worse things,

documented or alleged, than his potentially cheating Uncle Sam on his taxes. That said, I do think as those of us who are journalists, people who

are accountants or other financial experts go through these materials --

SOARES: Yes --

RAMPELL: I do wonder if we are going to come upon other leads about, you know, money he's been receiving, money he's been paying that suggests that

he had not been governing in the interest of the country. He was governing in his own personal financial interests. And I would hope voters will take

that under advisement if he's running again.

But again, maybe the people who would be persuaded by evidence like that have already made up their minds.

SOARES: Indeed, Catherine, thank you very much, great to see you and happy new year. Thank you.

RAMPELL: Happy new year.

SOARES: Now, a legendary player and master of the game, even a genius. These are just some of the ways people are describing the late Brazilian

footballer Pele after he died Thursday of complications from colon cancer at the age of 82. Brazil is observing three days of national mourning for

him, and tributes as you can imagine are pouring in from around the world.

CNN's Julia Vargas Jones joins us live from Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo where Pele died yesterday. Jul, great to see you. You know, for so

many Brazilians, you being one of them, you know, he was just simply known as the king. How are they remembering him? What are they telling you, Jul?

JULIA VARGAS JONES, CNN PRODUCER: Well, so much more than a footballer, right? He --

SOARES: Yes --

JONES: Transcended his sport, Isa. He went beyond that and he became a symbol of Brazilian excellence.


He showed us what we could aspire to be. And he brought this idea of Brazil being celebrated on the world stage when that wasn't going to be the case.

It's hard to think about a past where that didn't happen where Brazil didn't have this kind of repertoire of great football players. But he was

the first one to really be an outstanding player and get the kind of recognition for us.

And he inspired so many. And most importantly, people from his background, the poor, black children that now had an icon to look up to. And Isa, this

was the mid '60s as he was in his meteoric rise in the football scene. That historical contacts tells you just how incredible he was in the field with

bringing that artistic, football out into the world.

And also being so charismatic and caring and really filling the shoes that we needed him to fill as a legend. That's why he is so beloved in this

country. That's why people are so sad here today. It's that -- that is his true legacy. It's the hope that he gave us all Brazilians to dare to aspire

to something more.

To get that kind of recognition. To get that kind of respect. That's his greatest legacy. And that's why so many people, hundreds or -- sorry, tens

of thousands of people are expected to come to pay his respects at the stadium of Santos FC on Monday where he will have truly the funeral fit for

a king. There will be lines of people coming in through to say his -- their goodbyes and walking through, much like we had with Queen Elizabeth.

And then on Tuesday, his casket will be -- there will be a procession with his casket around the city of Santos, that he was so dedicated to, right?

This was --

SOARES: Yes --

JONES: His team, that was the shirt that he wore until the end. And that's what we're seeing here today, the tributes, the people here draped in the

Santos iconic white and black stripes, coming here to pay their respects and say goodbye to the king.

SOARES: Yes, to the king. A hero. Such warmth. Such humility. And of course, the funeral will be taking place at a time of political change as

well with Bolsonaro leaving, Lula taking over. I mean, what is the mood in the country right now?

JONES: Well, that's very interesting, Isa. That he was always a little bit hesitant to be engaged politically. He said he didn't really understand

much about politics, and yet, again, here he is being a distraction, a very welcome distraction I think. But now Brazil gets to focus on something

positive, celebrating Pele and not necessarily on the division that's been plaguing this country for the past four years.

Precisely more for the last few months, when we had a very difficult electoral period. Well, on Sunday, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will take

place as president, Jair Bolsonaro will no longer be president at the time of Pele's funeral, we don't know yet if Lula will be able to attend. But it

tells you that the tension has kind of dropped here, we're now thinking together as a country, and really just mourning the loss of this man,

instead of feeding into the divisiveness that's --

SOARES: Yes --

JONES: Been the reality here in Brazil, Isa.

SOARES: Yes, mourning is lost, but also celebrating his tremendous life. Julia Vargas Jones live for us in Sao Paulo. Thanks Julia, great to see

you. Take you to Ukraine because its war frowned as Russia is turning to China for more support. Russian President Vladimir Putin held a video

conference with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

According to the Russian state media translation, Mr. Xi said China is ready to quote, "increase political cooperation with Russia." Ben Wedeman

is in Kyiv for us this hour. And Ben, what has been the reaction from Ukraine to the supposed charmingness between Putin and Xi?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's been a muted reaction because even though rhetorically, the Chinese are supportive of

the Russians in their war in Ukraine, in practical terms, they haven't really provided much on the battlefront. The Chinese have not provided the

Russians with ammunition or equipment, even though China is one of the world's biggest weapons producers.

The Russians have had to turn to countries like Iran and North Korea to make up for their deficit in weaponry and ammunition. So, it doesn't really

have an immediate impact. And what we've seen is that, keep in mind that in February of last -- of this year, just before the war began, that these two

leaders met in Uzbekistan in a regional summit.


And they declared that they had a partnership that had no limits. But clearly, it does have limits, and what we heard in this -- in this video

meeting is that the Chinese said that they wanted more political cooperation, but they did not go too far into the question of military-to-

military cooperation, which is something that President Putin explicitly said he wanted to see more of, Isa.

SOARES: And Ben, you hinted that, you know, we're coming up on the four years of this war in February. You've been out of the country as our

viewers would have seen multiple times. Give us a sense, Ben, of the state of play as you see it.

WEDEMAN: Well, the state of play at the moment is lurching towards a stalemate I'd say. What we saw is, for instance in late August and

September, that dramatic Ukrainian offensive in the Kharkiv region, and then in November, Kherson being retaken by the Ukrainians.

At the moment, really, the focus is on the city of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region, where Ukrainian officials today conceded that they are taking heavy

casualties in this, which is probably one of the most vicious battles going on around that city. As the temperatures continue to drop, and the ground

freezes, perhaps there could be a slowdown in the fighting, but certainly it's going to pick up again as the temperatures rise.

So people are resigned to a continuation of this war. And at the moment, there doesn't seem to be any diplomatic initiative afoot. Isa?

SOARES: Ben Wedeman for us there in Kyiv, Ukraine, thanks very much, Ben, appreciate it. Still to come tonight, Romanian authorities obtain

controversial internet personality Andrew Tate. More about their investigation. Plus, Italy urges the EU to follow its lead in bringing

mandatory COVID tests for anyone arriving from China. Both of those stories after a very short break. You are watching CNN.


SOARES: Well, there has now been an arrest in the murders of four U.S. college students last month. Pennsylvania state police and the FBI have

arrested a suspect on a first degree murder warrant in connection with the killings which shook a small town in Idaho.


CNN's Camila Bernal has more details on the investigation. So, Camila, what do we know at this hour about the man that's been arrested?

CAMILA BERNAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the man that was arrested, Isa, is 28-year-old Bryan Christopher Kohberger. He was arrested

as you mentioned on first degree murder charges. And he was arrested in Pennsylvania, some 2,500 miles from Moscow, Idaho, where these crimes were


We know that he was arraigned this morning as well. But we are awaiting a press conference from the Moscow Police Department. They are the ones

leading this investigation. And they had been very tightlipped with information regarding this case. There's been a lot of frustration and a

lot of anger from people in that community, from the families, from the friends, everybody who was upset, who was scared about this case and who

had very little information.

The police only releasing essentially the timeline, saying that Kayla and Maddie had been out on November 12th, they went out on November 12th, and

they were out at a local bar, they then went to a food truck, got home, Xana and Ethan, they had been at a party, all of them getting home at

around 2:00 in the morning on November 13th.

They were believed to have been killed in the early morning hours of the 13th. And authorities saying that it was a brutal murder, they were stabbed

multiple times in their sleep. The big question though remains. Motive. Why were these four students killed? And that's what we're hoping to hear from

authorities in Moscow, Idaho, because they have said that this was a targeted attack.

But they had not explained why they believe this was a targeted attack. So, I think this is going to be one of the biggest questions for Moscow police.

One of the only keys or clues in this case had been a white Hyundai Elantra. Police had been asking the public for information on this car.

They said in total, for this entire case, they received about 20,000 tips from the community interviewed, about 300 people on this case, but again,

they had given us very limited information. I had talked to a lot of people in Moscow and in the Pullman, Washington area, who had told me, we are

terrified, we can't even walk our dogs on our own because of how scared they were.

Of course, the families expressing a lot of frustration, especially Kayla Goncalves' family --

SOARES: Yes --

BERNAL: Just questioning the police department. And it is really important to point out that the families of Kayla and Maddie, they are planning a

memorial service that is expected in a local church in Idaho. So, it just comes at a perfect time as these families really want justice, Isa?

SOARES: Yes, and Camila, look, as you've just outlined, this was a gruesome murder. And it's been a long and frustrated wait, desperate wait

for so many, for these families. I mean, why has it taken so long? It's seven weeks, is it not?

BERNAL: Yes, it will be seven weeks on Sunday. And Moscow PD essentially saying, have patience, we're going over many tips, we have a lot of

information to go over. But of course, the families, the friends, asking, why has this taken so long? And Moscow PD never giving us a reason as to

why it took them so long.

They simply asked for patience. They said, look, we're working on this, we're asking around, we have many tips coming in. So, they believe that

they were on the right track. But of course, there's so much frustration because --

SOARES: Yes --

BERNAL: You don't have that information. And so that's why there were so many people asking why and why it was taking so long, Isa.

SOARES: Yes, and well, hopefully, we'll get some answers, the families, of course, more importantly will get some answers in what? Two hours time or

so, when we get that press conference. Camila Bernal, thank you very much, Camila.

BERNAL: Thank you.

SOARES: Controversial internet personality Andrew Tate has been detained in Romania in connection with a human trafficking and rape investigation.

Tate is a former kickboxer known for his misogynistic behavior, including rants about male dominance as well as advocating violence against women.

CNN's Bianca Nobilo has the details for you.


BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Controversial internet personality and former kickboxer, Andrew Tate and his younger brother,

Tristan Tate have been detained by Romanian authorities according to their defense lawyer. Romanian authorities have launched an investigation into

organized human trafficking and rape, but have not released the names of any of the suspects.

A lawyer for the brothers told CNN that they are not under arrest, but rather being detained by Romanian authorities for 24 hours. And the

attorney didn't discuss any of the allegations. According to a statement from Romanians Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism

released Thursday, police served search warrants at five homes and detained four suspects, including two Brits and two Romanians.


The authorities didn't name any of the four suspects, but did release a grainy, sometimes out-of-focused video of the raids. And in a separate

video released by CNN affiliate "Antenna 3", officers from the authorities can be seen escorting Andrew Tate and his brother, Tristan Tate, into

police vehicles. On Friday, Andrew Tate tweeted from his verified account quote, "the matrix sent their agents."

The authorities allege that the four suspects formed an organized criminal group that stretched from Romania to Britain and the United States, for the

purpose of committing the crime of human trafficking. The authorities alleged that two suspects misled the victims into believing that they

intended to enter a marriage or a co-habitation arrangement while transporting the victims to Romania and later sexually exploiting them with

physical violence and coercion.

Authorities also said that a victim was raped on two different occasions in March 2022, by one of the suspects. At least, six victims have been

identified who were allegedly sexually exploited by the organized criminal group. The four suspects are going to be detained for 24 hours following

their questioning according to the Romanian authorities. Bianca Nobilo, CNN, London.


SOARES: Well, a handful of countries are set to tighten their travel restrictions amid surging COVID cases in China. South Korea will

temporarily restrict travelers from China on Monday. And Malaysian officials will start screening all international arrivals for fever.

Italian officials have brought in mandatory COVID tests for all arrivals from China. Barbie Nadeau is at Rome International Airport for you.


BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR (on camera): Italy is asking other European nations to follow their lead when it comes to China lifting its travel

restrictions. Italy has made COVID testing mandatory for all passengers arriving from China, whether they are Chinese nationals or other foreign


And they're finding a lot of COVID. On one flight into Milan alone, 52 percent of the passengers tested positive. Italian authorities are also

sequencing sampling of the positive tests, to find out if any new variants may be emerging. So far, they say they're finding Omicron. Italy's Prime

Minister Giorgia Meloni says she's relieved.

GIORGIA MELONI, PRIME MINISTER, ITALY (through translator): This measure risk not being completely effective if it's not taken at the European

level, because we know that we can do it for flights arriving directly from China, but not for example, from those arriving via stopovers.

So, I ask Health Minister Speranza who immediately acted in this sense, to write to the European Commissioner responsible for this matter, and ask the

European Union to take measures in this sense.

NADEAU: They're concerned that China has not been transparent about the extent of the current situation there. And they're worried the Chinese

nationals have not been adequately vaccinated. And because Italy was the first epicenter outside of China during the original wave of the pandemic,

they aren't taking any chances. So far though, European leaders have not agreed to further restrictions, despite concerns that another spike could

be on the horizon. Barbie Latza Nadeau, CNN, Rome.


SOARES: And still to come tonight, we take a look back on football great, Pele's life and what it meant to him to be a global icon. That is next.



SOARES: Welcome back, everyone. We now return to one of our top stories, the passing of football great Pele. Years ago, I had the honor of sitting

down with the global sports icon who said there was another career choice on the horizon had it not been for football. Who'd have thought? We spoke

about life and how he turned football into art have a listen.

And he was a good role model warm, humble. Everything that we've talked about at the top of the show. Well, joining us now is Editor-in-Chief of

Americas Quarterly Brian Winter, who wrote a great piece on Pele's cultural legacy. Brian, great to see you. I was reading your piece today. And you

say that he was a genius at more than soccer. What made him such a loved and respected global icon, you think?

BRIAN WINTER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF AMERICAS QUARTERLY: I think that the fact that he was one of the world's most famous people for 60 years and managed

to still be something resembling a normal person is nothing short of a miracle. I spent a couple of months working with him back in 2014, helping

him write a book for the World Cup that Brazil was hosting that year. And I found him pretty simple at the end of the day. This was a person who, as

hokey as it might sound, thought that he was put here on this earth to make people happy. And that being on the soccer field was part of that. But in

his long career after he no longer kicked around a ball, he was able to bring a lot of joy to people as well.

SOARES: Yes. And we saw that throughout every time, you know. When I met him, he was just so happy to talk football. And just so normal, so humble

and so generous with his time. I saw something and I -- it really stood out to me and to my team, actually. It was a comment from the number 10 player

for Brazil, Neymar. I want to bring it out and get your thoughts. He said, "Before Pele, 10 was just a number," he said, "But this sentence beautiful

is incomplete. I will say before Pele, football was just a sport. Pele has changed at all. He turned football into art, into entertainment, gave voice

to the poor, black, and most importantly, gave visibility to Brazil." Talk to us, Brian, about his influence on Brazil and on Brazilians here.

WINTER: Look, part of the story of Pele was that he was just an exceptional athlete at one point, and this is in the book that we wrote together, Why

Soccer Matters, when he was a teenager, the circumference of his thighs was actually bigger than the circumference of his waist. I mean, he was a

physical specimen. There's no doubt about it. But he also played with this infectious joy. And he -- in a way, he was lucky in terms of when he played

because he won the World Cup for the first time at the age of 17. And that was back in 1958. This was an era when television was really first getting


And here was this guy who is not only incredible and did kind of these circus moves on the field.


But he also had that million-dollar smile. And so he ended up being, for a lot of people in the world, literally the first Brazilian they ever saw.

And then when you consider just how famous he was at the peak of his fame, he met every U.S. president, from Lyndon Johnson to Barack Obama, he knew

Queen Elizabeth, he met the Beatles. He once shared a table at Studio 54 in the 1970s, with Rod Stewart, Mick Jagger, Liza Minnelli, and Andy Warhol,

all at the same table. But at the end of the day, he was still this pretty simple guy. And I think that's pretty miraculous.

SOARES: And I think everyone loved that simplicity, right? This day and age. My kids -- I can tell you, my kid when I told my son, this time

yesterday that Pele had died, he's a 6-year-old Brian, I mean, he's never seen Pele play, but he's read his story. He was pretty emotional. And that

transcends, doesn't it, so many generations?

WINTER: I never saw him play. He retired the year that I was born, and I'm 45 years old. But, you know, I've always said that the truly charismatic

magical people in this world, even dogs and babies can sense that. And what your kids saw and knew is absolutely true. It was like that with my kids to

who were very small when we were working on this book together. And he had them in the palm of his hand partly because, again, look, I mean, this was

a real human being, he was not a saint, OK? But he did have this gift, this emotional intelligence, to be able to kind of judge, to be able to decipher

what people wanted, and then the generosity to give it to them.

SOARES: And that point on not being insane, because, you know, despite the love and the respect, he was also criticized by some for becoming kind of a

commercial creature, but that's kind of expected given his upbringing, is it not, Brian?

WINTER: I mean, look, I -- one of the things that I said in the article that I wrote for Americans Quarterly is I cannot personally believe -- I

cannot personally imagine the -- living the life trajectory of the superstar athlete, where you're earning potential peaks in your 20s and

then you have the rest of your life in front of you. He also -- even though he was very well-paid by the standards of the era, for example, when he

signed with the New York Cosmos at the twilight years of his career in 1975 for what was considered an insane amount of money at the time made him the

highest paid athlete in the United States, it was $1 million a year, which, you know, that's great.

But today, when you consider that, even if you adjust for inflation, that was nothing compared to the salaries that even some above-average athletes

are making today. So, yes, he did cash in. He was, in some respects, the first person ever to do so. I mean, some of the tradition when we think

about celebrity athletes cashing in and having their own brand of coffee and shoes and kind of other stuff, Pele was the first to do that. That was

just one of the reasons that he was criticized over the years. And look, a lot of that criticism was genuine. This was not a perfect human. But it was

-- I think it was understandable.

SOARES: Absolutely understandable. And that, you know, that simplicity, I think, together with his roundedness on the football field is what we'll

all remember. Brian Winter, really appreciate you taking the time to speak to us. Thanks, Brian. Happy New Year.

WINTER: Happy New Year to you. Thank you.

SOARES: We'll be back after this short break.



SOARES: We'll show you now a look back at 2022 where they had a lot to offer in terms of entertainment, from blockbuster sequels like Top Gun

Maverick and Avatar to salacious onset drama, and even a few Hollywood romances. Our Stephanie Elam has it all for you.


VECNA: It's time.



STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Stranger Things time travels to the '80s. While Beyonce's Renaissance skyrockets to the top.


TOM CRUISE, AMERICAN ACTOR: This is your captain speaking.


ELAM: In the triumphant return of blockbuster movies, Hollywood forged full steam ahead into 2022 and it was a wild ride from start to finish. Here's a

look at the top entertainment stories of the year. At number 10.


LYNDA KINKADE, CNN ANCHOR: Hollywood stars Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez have finally said I do.


ELAM: Second time's the charm for this love story 20 years in the making. The pair met in 2001 on the set of the rom-com Gigli.


BEN AFFLECK, AMERICAN ACTOR: Hello. I'm sorry, do we know each other?



ELAM: They got engaged one year later, but after a whirlwind romance, they called it quits three years after that. But the couple found their way back

to each other last year and exchanged vows at an intimate ceremony. At number nine.


OLIVIA WILDE, AMERICAN ACTRESS: The one thing they ask of us is to stay here.


ELAM: Drama on the set of Don't Worry Darling. Harry Styles, Chris Pine, and Florence Pugh. The All-Star Cast generated a lot of buzz for its

behind-the-scenes gossip. It started with Shia LaBeouf, the thriller's original male lead, left the project and was replaced by Styles, who was

reportedly in a relationship with director and co-star Olivia Wilde. Then there were tensions between Wilde and lead actress Florence Pugh, and video

seemed to show Styles spitting on Chris Pine during a press tour, which his spokesperson denies. But would the very public off-screen chaos, hinder or

boost the film's numbers at the box office? Turns out there was nothing to worry about. Don't Worry Darling won the box office on opening weekend.

At number eight.


JOSEPH DAVID KEERY, AMERICAN ACTOR: See you on the other side.



ELAM: Small screen hits dominate pop culture. Stranger Things took audiences into a time machine fast forwarding to 1986. The show's fourth

season brought back Kate Bush's Running Up That hill, Metallica's Master of Puppets, and paid homage to '80s trends and style. On ABC, critics credited

breakout series Abbott Elementary for bringing back the TV sitcom.


JANELLE JAMES, AMERICAN ACTRESS: These new keys I made must be too thick.


ELAM: Well, the White Lotus on HBO traveled to exotic locations and brought home 10 Emmy Awards. And over on Netflix, The Addams Family reboot

Wednesday proved to be a huge winter hit, with audiences logging over one billion hours of screen time.

Number seven belongs to the Queen Bee herself. Beyonce smashed records with her seventh studio album Renaissance. Things got off to a rocky start when

the tracks were leaked online. But her fanbase came to her rescue. The BeyHive rally fans on social media to wait for the official release so

everyone could enjoy it together. And that they did. Renaissance blasted to the top of the charts, giving us house music, Afro beats, and nods to jams

of the past.

Number six.


LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: Tom Cruise's new Top Gun Maverick had the biggest Memorial Day opening weekend of all time.


ELAM: Blockbuster movies are back.


CRUISE: This is your captain speaking.


ELAM: This summer blockbuster raked in nearly $1.5 billion worldwide.


GLEN POWELL, AMERICAN ACTOR: We're going into combat on a level no living pilot's ever seen.



ELAM: And Black Panther fans turned out for Wakanda Forever. Marvel's iconic superheroes led the charge at the holiday box office.

But another epic release is nipping at its heels, Avatar The Way Of The Water is set up for the next big wave.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Footlocker is joining the growing list of companies cutting ties with Kanye West.


ELAM: At number five, Kanye's controversies. After making a series of anti- Semitic remarks and wearing a shirt with a slogan linked to the Ku Klux Klan, Ye's business partnerships ended. Balenciaga and GAP also pulled the

plug. And Adidas ended their longtime flagship deal. Meta and Twitter suspended his accounts and Ye announced he would be acquiring conservative

leaning social media platform, Parler, but that deal went bust, too.


ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Isn't it possible they're both guilty? Isn't it possible they both said defamatory things?


ELAM: Number four, Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's courtroom battle.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you find that Mr. Depp has proven that miss her acted with actual malice? Answer, yes.


ELAM: Amber Heard's stoic as the jury find she did defame Johnny Depp in a 2018 op-ed in the Washington Post, the jury awarding debt millions in



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As against Amber Heard, we, the jury, award compensatory damages in the amount of $10 million.


ELAM: As Depp fans cheered outside of the courtroom, another five million in punitive damages was awarded. On Heard's counterclaim, Depp was found

liable for a statement by his lawyer claiming heard setup Depp. The jury awarded her $2 million in damages. In December, heard and Depp reached a

settlement on the defamation case, but heard said this is not an act of concession.

Number three, saying goodbye to Hollywood legends.


UNIDENTIFIED ANCHOR: Actor and comedian Bob Saget has died.


ELAM: It started with a sudden death of one of TV's most beloved stars. And then Olivia Newton-John lost her battle with cancer. And sadly, the list of

entertainers we lost this year grew to include some of our favorites.

Number two Taylor Swift's Ticketmaster fiasco, a concert for The Eras. Millions of fans queued up to buy tickets for Swift's highly anticipated

worldwide tour. As soon as Ticketmaster's presale began, the heavy demand snarled Ticketmaster's website. Thousands of Swifties were in line for

hours and many left empty-handed when Ticketmaster suddenly canceled the presale. Swift blamed Ticketmaster for the snafu saying it's been

excruciating, but nothing stopped her ultra-loyal fans from supporting the pop star. She became the first artist ever to claim all 10 spots on the

Billboard Hot 100 following the release of her latest album, Midnights.

At number one, the slap to the jaw that had jaws dropping, a showdown on stage at the Oscars as Smith confronted Chris Rock for making a joke about

his wife.


CHRIS ROCK, AMERICAN COMEDIAN: Jada, I love you. G.I. Jane 2 can't wait to see you. Oh, wow. Wow. Will Smith just smacked the (BLEEP) out of me.


ELAM: The audience inside the Dolby Theatre and around the world stunned.


WHOOPI GOLDBERG, TELEVISION PERSONALITY: Let me say this, there are consequences.

WANDA SYKES, AMERICAN COMEDIAN: I physically felt ill and I'm still a little traumatized by it.



ELAM: Smith resigned from the Academy, and he was banned from attending any of their events, including the Oscars, for the next 10 years. He apologized

to Rock and is trying to move on. He's currently seeking redemption in Apple TV's Emancipation, already getting some 2023 Oscars buzz.




ELAM: There are big things to come for our newsmakers on our list. Beyonce says Renaissance is at one of three she recorded during the pandemic, and

the cast of Stranger Things is poised to start shooting their fifth and final season. In Los Angeles, I'm Stephanie Elam.




SOARES: Making potato pancakes, or latkes, is a long-held Hanukkah tradition. But the seasonal treat is also great for New Year's

celebrations. Celebrity Chef Bobby Flay shows CNN's Julia Chatterley how to make the perfect potato pancakes.


BOBBY FLAY, CELEBRITY CHEF: It's New Year's Eve and so let's face it, it's about luxury, you know. So we're going to make a potato pancake with some

smoked salmon and some beautiful caviar, some creme fraiche, pickled shallots. I'm going to ask you to peel a potato. And --


FLAY: Yes. So is this -- do you want a lesson on this?

CHATTERLEY: We actually can change my technique because this will help --

FLAY: OK. Yes.

CHATTERLEY: -- at some point in the future. Oh.

FLAY: Yes, exactly. So that looks good. And I'm going to take an onion. I'm going to grate the onion into the bowl.

CHATTERLEY: Only got the --

FLAY: All right. That's perfect. I'm going to take that from you now.


FLAY: Good job.


FLAY: You did.


FLAY: That's A plus-plus, for sure.


FLAY: We're going to grate the potato right over the onion.


FLAY: So we're going to mix these up. And then we're going to put them in - - over a cheesecloth. And we're going to get all the moisture out of it so that they get nice and crispy in the pan later on.

CHATTERLEY: No soggy pancakes.

FLAY: No soggy pancakes.


FLAY: Nobody wants those.

CHATTERLEY: Yes. Oh, wow.

FLAY: Yes. So we have potatoes and onions, that's it. So we're going to take some flour, a little bit of baking powder. Just a pinch, a pinch of

salt. A little bit of pepper. Then we're going to add an egg to this. So it's a little bit, you know, it has a little bit of moisture to it, but not

too much. And then we're going to take this over here. And this is a cast iron pan. A nonstick pan works really well. And it should be about medium

heat. We're going to use, like, the canola oil or avocado oil, vegetable oil, something along those lines. And then we're going to take our potato

mixture, little ball of potatoes, you can see it start to sizzle, and then with the back of your spoon, you push down to potato.

CHATTERLEY: Can I please do one?

FLAY: Yes of course. Please do.

CHATTERLEY: Yes. OK. This is good.

FLAY: Yes.


FLAY So pull it down there. And then with the back of the spoon, kind of push it down.

CHATTERLEY: I'm just trying to make a love heart shape.

FLAY: Oh, wow.

CHATTERLEY: You know? I want to be creative.

FLAY: Your shape is actually better that mine. That looks beautiful.

CHATTERLEY: Look at that.

FLAY: So, Julia, see the edges here?


FLAY: This is sort of a good time to take a peek.


FLAY: And there you go. Kind of peek underneath and see what you think.

CHATTERLEY: I think --

FLAY: Yes, get down there and see. Yes, it looks good. All right. Give it a flip. You know what to do. Perfect. So now at this point, we're going to

turn down the heat a tiny bit, and we'll just let them cook through. And then we'll take them out and put them on a rack. This way, any of the oil

will drip down, we'll let them dry, and then garnish them. That's the fun part. OK. While they're still warm, we're going to take a little sprinkle

of salt. Crush the salt in your fingers first.


FLAY: I'm going to take a little creme fraiche and just put it on the bottom of the plate to kind of glue together the potato pancake. Then I'm

going to take some work from fresh, put it on top of the potato.


Then I'm going to take some smoked salmon.

CHATTERLEY: Smells good.

FLAY: Just a couple of these pickled shallots for some crunch and a little acidity.


FLAY: And also, they are really pretty.


FLAY: And then, of course, nice little dollop of our beautiful caviar. It's starting to feel like New Year's Eve already.


FLAY: Just because we want to make sure it's healthy, a little green. For sure.

CHATTERLEY: Of course.

FLAY: Just like that. And there you are. Beautifully crunchy. Really tender inside. Perfectly garnished. It tastes like New Year's Eve. That's a great


CHATTERLEY: Tastes like New Year's Eve. Cheers.

FLAY: Cheers.

CHATTERLEY: Happy New Year's Eve.

FLAY: Happy New Year.


SOARES: That looks pretty good. I could eat it without the caviar. Celebrate the New Year this weekend with CNN. New Year's Eve Live will

follow celebrations around the world beginning at midnight in Sydney. That is 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time.

And we want to take some -- a moment really to share some wisdom from trailblazing British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood. Westwood died

Thursday, age 81. From dressing the Sex Pistols, to campaigning for climate justice, her legacy is colorful. Long before sustainable clothing was on

trend she highlighted fashion's impact on our planet. We wanted to share words from Westwood that made our team pause for thought. "Buy less, choose

well, make it last."

And thank you for your company for this year. Do stay right here with CNN. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next. I shall see you in 2023. Happy New Year.