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Isa Soares Tonight

Dozens Still Missing After Deadly Strike in Dnipro; Italy's Most Wanted Mafia Boss Arrested; Deadly Nepal Plane Crash Claims 69; Tehran Faces International Condemnation Over Executions; American Imprisoned In Iran Launches Hunger Strike; Former Female Lawmaker Shot Dead In Kabul Home. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired January 16, 2023 - 14:00   ET



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

are still missing after Russia strike on an apartment building in Dnipro, we are live with the latest on what is now one of the single deadliest

attacks of the war.

Then Italy's most wanted mafia boss is arrested in Sicily after 30 years on the run. We'll have the reaction to his arrest. Plus, three people are

still missing after Sunday's deadly plane crash in Nepal. Why hope for their survival is fading fast. We begin with the grueling search operation

in the Ukrainian city of Dnipro where a Russian missile plowed into an apartment building on Saturday.

At least, 40 people died, dozens are still missing, as rescue missions continue, hope of finding survivors is fading. It's one of the single

deadliest Russian assault on civilians in its war on Ukraine and the deadliest in months. The Kremlin claims the missile was fired by Ukrainian

air defense forces, but offered no evidence to back that up.

Ukraine security service says they will identify -- they identified the wreckage of ammunition as a Russian cruise missile. Fred Pleitgen shows the

devastation it left behind.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The morning brings to light the full extent of the destruction. The

residential building home to dozens of families annihilated down to the foundation. Even though rescue crews still work, the chances of finding

survivors now virtually zero.

All night, residents watched in fear, anger and grief. Olha Nivinchanaya(ph) says she passed by the building only about half an hour

before it was hit. "There are many friends and people close to me here. Many", she says. Elena Loyan(ph) stunned by the scale of the destruction,

curses the Russians.

"I simply hate them. Children, people die here", and then she can't speak anymore. Throughout the night, the death toll continued to jump. On top of

the many killed, Ukrainian authorities say dozens were injured, many of them children. In just this location in Dnipro, one of many sites in

Ukraine Russia targeted with barrages of missiles this weekend.

(on camera): The Ukrainians say the reason why the damage here is so extensive is that, this building was hit with a cruise missile called the

KH22, that's designed to destroy aircraft carrier strike groups, and obviously, when it hit the building, it completely annihilated it, burying

dozens of people underneath.

(voice-over): The Ukrainians called the attack state terrorism, and the president says rescuers will continue to try and save anyone trapped here.

"Let's fight for every person", President Zelenskyy says. "The rescue operation will last as long as there is even the slightest chance to save a

life." But even the slightest hope has now all, but died, and this is essentially a recovery operation.

The crews searching for bodies where so many lives were violently ended in an instant. Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Dnipro, Ukraine.


MACFARLANE: Well, Ben Wedeman joining me now from Kramatorsk in eastern Ukraine. Ben, this horrific attack is one of multiple missile strikes

across Ukraine this weekend. Does what we saw in Dnipro indicate perhaps that Russia is ramping up its attacks on civilians once again after

targeting energy infrastructure for many months?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's still too early to say, because certainly, since the war began, the Russians have

conducted a variety of strikes that have resulted in high civilian death tolls. For instance, on the 8th of April of last year, the train station in

Kramatorsk where I am, was hit, killing dozens of civilians.

But by and large, it seems that the Russians are continuing to concentrate on knocking out Ukraine's ability to generate electricity and to generate

heat, now that it is of course, the dead of Winter, that sort of approach is far more crippling than these unfortunate high casualty events like

we've seen in Dnipro.


And the strike in Dnipro, it's not altogether clear. If there was a specific target, the KH22, this missile that has a 2,000 pound warhead, is

not particularly accurate, so perhaps, this was an attempt by the Russians to terrorize the population. But beyond that, I think their strategic goals

is really to knock out this country's ability to function, particularly its ability to generate electricity. Christine?

MACFARLANE: Ben, also today, we saw joint military drills begin in Belarus, sparking fears Moscow could be preparing to use Belarus to launch

a new offensive. With the anniversary approaching next month, what are people saying? How likely is that offensive soon to come?

WEDEMAN: Well, it's not altogether clear, there is a good deal of doubt that the Belarus since have a military capable of sort of contributing

meaningfully to the Russian war effort. The concern at the moment is that this joint exercise is merely a cover for continued Russian military

operations, particularly, the rocket strikes and airstrikes from the territory of Belarus.

And of course, that's something the Russians have been doing, that is -- since the beginning of this war. They've been -- even though Belarus is not

actually a combatant and official, combatant in the war, the Russians have used their territory to launch ground attacks and air attacks, as well.

So, the concern is that, with a concentration of Russian air power and missile power, there, that there could be additional strikes. In fact, the

Ukrainian government has warned the population, there may be more air raid alarms as a result of these ongoing exercises that began today, and that

was scheduled to run until the 1st of February. Christine?

MACFARLANE: Ben Wedeman there live for us in Kramatorsk there, thanks very much, Ben. Well, several of Ukraine's allies are vowing to send tanks and

modern weapons including Poland, France and the U.K. But it's a difficult concept for a country like Germany, which is grappling with the sensitive

idea of its battle tanks in eastern Europe.

Poland is pushing for Germany to act, it's requesting permission from Berlin to export German-produced Leopard 2 battle tanks. And today,

Poland's prime minister is calling on the German government to supply, quote, "all sorts of weapons to Ukraine." Poland's deputy Foreign Minister,

Pawel Jablonski is joining me now live from Warsaw, thank you for joining us.

Your decision to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine apparently hinges on approval from Berlin. Do you have that approval, and if not, when would you

expect to get it?

PAWEL JABLONSKI, DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER, POLAND: We don't have it yet, but I can't imagine a situation where we would not get such an approval. If

Germany is indeed committed to support Ukraine, if it is indeed committed as a NATO member ally of Ukraine, of Poland, of the U.S., of all the

countries that want peace, that want permanent and stable peace, I can't imagine possibly that there would be any reasons, any sensitivity, will set

the Germans would not agree to transfer tanks from Poland.

And on top of that, it is the only logical solution that they also participate, and they also send their own tanks.

MACFARLANE: Yes, we heard your prime minister call on Germany to supply all sorts of weapons to Ukraine. What else was he referring to there? And

why have Germany been so seemingly reluctant to supply its own heavy armor?

JABLONSKI: This is more and more difficult to understand every day as we speak, as we observed these atrocities in Dnipro on Saturday. But this

wasn't the first crime -- war crime of this nature, of this genocidal nature since 11 months ago when this invasion started. Lots of cities,

civilian infrastructure, residential buildings have been bombed in Kyiv, in Kharkiv, in Odessa.

I think we can't find a Ukrainian city that hasn't been targeted in this way, and we are absolutely guaranteed to have more of such crimes if we

won't do everything in our power to stop Russia, because Russia won't stop itself. This is why we urge all allies to, simply speaking, support with

all they have, with all they can transfer.


There's no more question about waiting or dragging onward with ideas, whether to support this type of equipment and withhold another. This is the

time to definitely change the face of this conflict, to support Ukraine in defeating Russia, because otherwise, we will never have peace in Europe.

MACFARLANE: So Ukraine have been asking for these types of battle tanks for months. Why then has the decision only been taken now to supply them.

What changed in your view?

JABLONSKI: Oh, Poland has already supplied to Ukraine over 300 tanks, 240 tanks precisely, and over 100 -- over 100 armed vehicles. In addition to

that, howitzers, a lot of equipment, and we can't simply urge our partners to support us in that as well, because if we will not be able to do this,

then Russia will be continuously attacking.

There is still reluctance in Germany, mostly, for reasons of historical connections, and this is obviously well-known that Russia has been very

active in corrupting top brass politicians in Germany even after the chancellor, Chancellor Schroder who was given a very luxurious seat in

Russian companies afterward, so he was kind of through Russian policy.

And there are many members of German -- well, political circles also, and other circles, that are simply speaking pro Russian. This needs to change.

Because if we allow Russia to continue as they are doing right now, Europe will never be safe.

MACFARLANE: And as you point out, Poland has obviously supplied a lot of tanks already, but that can't be said for many of your NATO allies. We saw

the United Kingdom move forward on this in the last few days. Do you think there has been a shift in mindset? You know, once these countries were

concerned about crossing what we're seeing as red lines in supplying tanks, do you think there is less reticence, less fear now among your allies to

actually move forward on issues like this?

JABLONSKI: Well, there's less and less fear, and there's a lot of diplomatic work being done by Poland, by other countries, especially from

central Europe that are urging and convincing our partners that we are in a situation where we can no longer withhold our spot. It's not a situation

where there are two equal sides fighting for something.

There's one perpetrator and one victim. It's like we would be watching an aggression of somebody that has been attacked by a criminal, and we are

standing aside, considering whether we should support, maybe a little bit delicately pushing away the perpetrator or maybe we should hand them some

weapons to be able to defend itself.

This is the situation where we actually need to commit to what we have been saying over and over again. If we want Ukraine to win this war, if we want

to have peace in Europe, we no longer can't afford to withhold the support for Ukrainian defense.

MACFARLANE: Deputy foreign minister, great to have your thoughts on this, and we will of course, wait to see if you get that approval from Germany

and the go ahead in the days to come. Thank you very much for now.

JABLONSKI: Thank you very much.

MACFARLANE: Now, three people are still missing following a deadly plane crash near the city of Pokhara in Nepal. Search operations have been

suspended for the night and will pick back up on Tuesday. The French Civil Aviation Safety Agency is sending investigators to help. Officials have

found both the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder, which may help determine what caused the crash.

Nepal is often referred to as one of the riskiest places to fly. This crash is the worst air disaster in the Himalayan nation in 30 years. CNN's Vedika

Sud has more.


VEDIKA SUD, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): A video on social media appears to show the passenger plane banking suddenly moments before the crash in

western Nepal. On Sunday morning, a Yeti Airlines-operated flight embarked on a roughly 30-minute flight from the capital of Kathmandu to Pokhara, the

country's second most populous city.

MEHMOOD KHAN, EYEWITNESS (through translator): We heard a loud, thunderous crash and reached our terrace to see what had happened. We saw a lot of

smoke and realized there was an airline crash, and we rushed to the site.

SUD: The flight was lost in contact with the Pokhara airport about 18 minutes after takeoff before it came crashing down in the nearby Seti River

gorge. It's the deadliest air crash in more than three decades in Nepal. Dozens of bodies have been pulled out of the gorge using cranes. Some are

yet to be identified by family members.

On Monday, rescue teams retrieved the black boxes, the flight data and cockpit voice recorder that could help understand the moments leading up to

the crash. The Himalayan country has a record of air accidents due to its mountainous topography and sudden changes to the weather, but in this case,

officials say it was a clear day.

The Nepal government has set up a panel to probe the air accident, and will hopefully find answers to what led to the third worst aviation accident in

Nepal's history. Vedika Sud, CNN, New Delhi.



MACFARLANE: Well, after 30 years on the run, Italy's most wanted fugitive has finally been captured by police. Matteo Messina Denaro, one of the

bosses of the Cosa Nostra Mafia in Sicily was arrested early Monday in Palermo, Italy. Government officials are celebrating the arrest, Italy's

prime minister calling it a great victory for the state and a hard hit to organized crime.

Barbie Nadeau is in Rome with the latest on this developing story. Barbie, given the scale of atrocities this mafia boss committed, it seems quite

surprising and remarkable, really, that it took them 30 years to track him down. What's the reaction been to this, here?

BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, people are obviously celebrating the arrest, but it does beg the question, why for 30 years this man was allowed

to basically conduct business as usual. What's most astonishing is, he didn't look that different from the age progression images that the police

have been handing out, that were widely distributed across Sicily. But let's take a look at his life of crime.


NADEAU (voice-over): Italy's most wanted mafia kingpin finally arrested after 30 years in hiding.

PASQUALE ANGELOSANTO, POLICE MAYOR GENERAL, CARABINIERI MILITARY (through translator): As a part of investigations coordinated by the Public

Prosecutor's Office of Palermo, we arrested fugitive Matteo Messina Denaro inside a health facility.

NADEAU: Messina Denaro was last seen publicly in 1993 shortly before he went into hiding. After he was convicted in absentia for the assassinations

of anti-mafia prosecutors, Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, both killed in separate targeted bombings in 1992. Police have been searching

for him ever since.

Messina Denaro is thought to have led the Cosa Nostra Mafia in Sicily since the arrest of his predecessor, Bernardo Provenzano who was captured near

the infamous Sicilian town of Corleone in 2006. Messina Denaro has multiple convictions for murder, including the kidnapping and death of a 12-year-old

boy whose body was dissolved in acid. Despite evading police for so long, there was cause for celebration.

MAURIZIO BELLACOSA, LUISS UNIVERSITY: The arrest is very important event, obviously, Mr. Matteo Messina Denaro is the keeper of fundamental secrets

and very delicate matter. For example, the reasons of most serious mafia crimes or the possible connivance between political subjects and mafia


NADEAU: Italy's new Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni was in Palermo to celebrate the spectacular arrest. She said, "the war against the mafia is

not over, but this was a battle that was fundamental to win and it's a hard-hit to organized crime." Now, the so-called boss of bosses will be

held in a high security prison, and authorities fear his replacement is likely already on the job.


NADEAU: And you know, when you look at that, I think police now are looking at two things, who helped protect him all these years? Especially

getting into this clinic in down -- in central Palermo, and who is in charge now, Christina?

MACFARLANE: Yes, still more questions, many questions really to be answered. But for now, Barbie Nadeau, a big day in Italy as you say. Thanks

very much. Now, still to come tonight, the White House is in damage control mode after Joe Biden's attorneys report finding more classified documents

in the president's Delaware home.

And a shocking sexual assault case rocks London's Met police. We'll take a look at how his crimes went unpunished for nearly two decades. That's just

after the break.



MACFARLANE: We're turning now to a truly horrific story in the United Kingdom. A London Metropolitan police officer has admitted to 49 sexual

assault offenses including 24 counts of rape over an 18-year period. Seen here arriving at court today, the Crown Prosecution Service says it's one

of the most shocking cases it has ever seen. The city's Mayor Sadiq Khan says he is actually sickened by the crimes of the officer David Carrick.

Our Nina dos Santos has this report.


NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Whisked into court behind windows obscured, one of Britain's most prolific sex offenders finally

faced justice. For 20 years, David Carrick used his work at London's Metropolitan police as cover to abuse countless women. On Monday, he

pleaded guilty to several offenses, including four counts of rape.

Last month, he admitted to 43 charges against 11 women, including 20 counts of rape. The detective in charge of the case said that he was relieved

Carrick had acknowledged his crimes for the sake of his victims.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It means they won't have to face the ordeal of giving evidence to see justice served.

DOS SANTOS: Yet, why Carrick wasn't stopped before looms large over a force which has pledged to flush out a culture of misogyny, highlighted by

the abduction, rape and murder of a young woman, Sarah Everard at the hands of a Met officer two years ago. Despite allegations being made against

Carrick since as early as the year 2000, British media reported that he had been promoted to the same armed unit where Everard's murderer Wayne Couzens

also served.

A pattern which this group said speaks more loudly than empty promises in a country where many women say, they frequently face sexual harassment.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've experienced sexual harassment, unachieved, in pubs, I went to university in London, so it was something quite pervasive

to my friendship group at least.

DOS SANTOS: London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he was sickened and appalled by Carrick's truly abhorrent crimes. While assistant Met Commissioner Barbara

Gray said the force was committed to rooting out corrupt officers.

BARBARA GRAY, ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER, METROPOLITAN POLICE, LONDON: We are committed and we will continue to do that, to identify as many officers and

staff as we can, and get them before the courts and get them out of this job.

DOS SANTOS: Yet, Carrick's offending only came to light at the last minute, after reporting restrictions were lifted. This month, the Met

conceded 150 of its staff are being investigated over sexual misconduct or racism allegations, according to "The Guardian". Carrick's job was to

enforce the law, but for years he acted with total impunity.

Until the Met can tackle his other offending officers, questions will continue over whether the U.K.'s most powerful police force can command

women's confidence. Nina dos Santos, CNN, London.


MACFARLANE: The White House is now referring all questions over classified documents scandal to a special counsel who is investigating the case.

President Joe Biden's administration is in damage control mode after his lawyers revealed they found five additional pages of classified records at

his home in Delaware last week.


House Republicans are demanding more information including visitor logs of guests. But the White House counsel's office says there are no such logs at

his private home. Let's get more now from CNN White House reporter Kevin Liptak.

Kevin, we heard President Biden speaking in the last couple of hours, to mark Martin Luther King Day, but he did not address these classified

records or indeed the investigation now against him. So continuing to keep his head down over this scandal. But is that really --


MACFARLANE: The best strategy? Given that, you know, these revelations keep coming?

LIPTAK: Well, certainly, when you talk to White House officials, they believe the less they are able to say about this in public for now, the

better, just because they do fear somehow compromising this investigation that is ongoing at the Justice Department. But certainly, the legal, the

political morass for President Biden is growing.

And what's interesting, when you talked to White House officials on Friday, they did express, you know, some muted relief that at least, the drip of

these additional documents had stopped for the moment. But then on Saturday, of course, it kept dripping when the White House said that they

did find those additional five documents at the president's home in Wilmington, Delaware.

We did get that lengthy statement from the president's personal attorney, Bob Bauer sort of laying out the timeline of when he and his associates

found these documents at those three separate locations. And sort of laying out his rationale for why he hasn't been as transparent as some people

have urged the White House to be, saying that everything that they said could potentially jeopardize the investigation that's ongoing at the

special counsel's office.

Any sort of disclosure of witnesses and events could hamper that work that's ongoing there. But that hasn't stopped Republicans from coming out,

criticizing this White House very harshly and demanding more information. We heard the Republican Chairman of the House Oversight Committee James

Comer, he did ask for those logs of the president's home in Wilmington, Delaware.

Just to give you a sense. The White House does maintain visitor-logs for the White House itself, for people who are coming and going to the

executive mansion. But President Biden goes home to Wilmington almost every weekend, so it is very much, as much a workplace as the White House.

But what we heard from the Secret Service is that they don't maintain these independent visitor logs. The White House counsel office says that they

don't maintain them either because that is considered his personal residence. So this is all growing into a very significant legal and

political problem for the president.

But the strategy right now is business as usual, we did see the president earlier today speaking at that Martin Luther King Day event. He does also

have events throughout this week. What he has said over the past week or so is that he does wish he was able to say more. For now, that doesn't seem to

be in the offing, as the White House puts the tamp down on any kind of information about this as this special counsel continues his work.


LIPTAK: Christina?

MACFARLANE: We will wait to see if any more revelations are to come, but for now, Kevin Liptak, thanks very much. Now, still to come tonight,

international outrage over executions in Iran. A look at the new steps taken, next. Plus, recession warnings. Economists predict tough times ahead

as the World Economic Forum kicks off in Davos. CNN's Richard Quest is there, that's next.




CHRISTINA MACFARLANE, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back. The U.K.'s Foreign Secretary says Iran will be held to account for executions, including that

of British Iranian -- of a British Iranian national. Meanwhile, Germany summoned Iran's Ambassador Monday over the executions. The international

community is pressuring Iran, but will it do any good? Salma Abdelaziz reports.


SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A gruesome execution meant to send a chilling public message to Iranians at home and enemies abroad. Alireza

Akbari, Iran's Former Deputy Defense Minister and a dual British Iranian citizen, was hanged by Iran on charges of espionage and corruption

according to state media. Akbari was accused with working as a spy for MI6 and reportedly provided information about dozens of Iranian figures,

including the country's Chief Nuclear Scientists, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who was assassinated in 2020 Iran says.

But the U.K. called The execution of Akbari politically motivated and it took swift diplomatic action, recalling its ambassador from Teheran and

imposing sanctions against Iran's Prosecutor General.


JAMES CLEVERLY, BRITISH FOREIGN MINISTRY: We are sending today a clear message to the Iranian regime that we are watching closely what they do. We

will respond robustly to any actions that they take.


ABDELAZIZ: In an earlier tit-for-tat move, Tehran, Iran had summoned Britain's ambassador over what it called the U.K.'s unconventional

interventions. Akbari is the latest in a string of executions carried out by the Islamic Republic amid an unprecedented protest movement. Amnesty

International has accused Iran's authorities of what it calls a state- sanctioned killing spree.

Reportedly arrested in 2019, Akbari was seen as a reformist figure. Observers say his execution now is meant to send a hard line and

uncompromising message. His nephew living in Europe says he was shocked to hear of his uncle's death.


RAMIN FORGHANI, NEPHEW OF ALIREZA AKBARI: It was a surprise. My uncle was on top of the regime from the beginning of his foundation so that that

person would not wish to any shape or form to jeopardize the regime.


ABDELAZIZ: Escalating tensions further between Iran and the West already exacerbated by its support for the recent protests. But even as the

international community works to further isolate Iran, hardliners are doubling down. Salma Abdelaziz, CNN, London.


MACFARLANE: Well, an American wrongfully detained in Iran is starting a hunger strike and asking for President Joe Biden's help. Siamak Namazi has

been held in Iran since 2015. He was not included in a 2016 prisoner swap involving four Americans. Now he's asking Biden to take notice of Americans

detained in Iran. Kylie Atwood is live at the U.S. State Department in Washington for us. So Kylie, what have the Biden ministration been saying

about this request?

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN U.S. SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, listen, the Biden administration has said that they are working really actively to try and

get Siamak Namazi and the other two Americans who were wrongfully detained in Iran back home. They call it outrageous that the Iranian regime has

detained Americans as part of its efforts to get political leverage.


But, of course, there are questions as to, you know, what the ongoing efforts between the U.S. and any interlocutors with Iran actually look like

because, first of all, the U.S. and Iran obviously don't have diplomatic relations and haven't for decades now. But the backdrop here is that the

U.S.-Iran relationship is in a pretty hostile moment right now, just given the fact that there aren't any active efforts to secure a revival of the

Iran Nuclear Deal. That's -- that effort is on the backburner. Biden administration officials tried, but they weren't successful over the course

of the last year and a half or so.

And then, of course, you've seen the Biden administration be highly critical of the Iranian regime's violent crackdown on protesters in the

country so that is just creating an atmosphere that's really tense between the two countries. Now, of course, Siamak and his family members are

calling on the Biden administration to put all that aside, and just try and secure his release. As you said, he has been detained in Iran. He is now in

Evin Prison, of course, that notorious prison in Iran. He's been there for about seven years now. And so what he's asking President Biden to do is

spend one minute over the course of the next week to think about him and think about the fact that he is detained there. And, of course, try and do

everything that he can to bring him home.

MACFARLANE: Yes. And as you say, Kylie, the U.S. does not have diplomatic relations with the Iranian regime. So what hope is there that they can move

forward with this and, you know, produce any progress on his behalf?

ATWOOD: Well, I think when you talk to family members of Siamak, hope springs eternal, if you will. They often, you know, reflect on the fact

that it has been a incredibly challenging few years for their family, just because there have been prisoner swaps between the U.S. and Iran that have

left Siamak at home. But the flip side of that coin, of course, is that there is a way to secure the release of Americans who are wrongfully

detained in Iran. And there's backchannel diplomacy that can happen, there are things that the U.S. can put on the table to offer Iran that it wants.

And so those are the kinds of things that we'll be watching to see if the U.S. government is pushing for.

MACFARLANE: All right. Kylie Atwood there live for us at the State Department. Thank you.

Now after Afghanistan's government was overthrown by the Taliban, she stayed in Kabul, determined to help her people. But just a year and a half

later, Mursal Nabizada has been shot dead. Afghan police say the former lawmaker and her security guard were killed in her home early Sunday.

Nabizada's brother was wounded in the attack. This is the first time a lawmaker from the previous government has been killed in Kabul since the

Taliban seized power.

Our business leaders and politicians have arrived in Davos, Switzerland for the annual World Economic Forum. It comes as the organization warns that a

global recession is likely this year, according to a majority of chief economists that it surveyed. Well, let's get to CNN's Richard Quest who is

live for us in Davos this hour. Richard, nice to see a bit of snow dusting behind you this year. No doubt climate change is going to be on the agenda

this year. But how much is, you know, the focus really going to be on a global recession, you know, as the world seems to be teetering on the edge

of one here?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS EDITOR-AT-LARGE: CORRESPONDENT: I think that the focus will not be on whether there will be or won't be a global

recession. That's the sort of thing that just, you know, we'll only know about afterwards. And anyway, even if it's not a formal recession, most of

the countries will grow very slowly, and it will feel like a recession. I think the issue here is how to handle it, how to deal with the


And by that, we're talking of poverty, food hunger, starvation in some parts of the world. We're talking about access to medical care, education.

And the one thing that Davos has grown on, if you will, is dealing with all these other issues. There are many, many, many more people from civil

society, NGOs, charities, you name it, who are all concerned with the effects of it, rather than the recession itself. This year, I do not see

economics as being the big talking point at Davos.

MACFARLANE: And Richard, just in your opinion, what should we read into the lack of world leaders attending this year? We just heard this morning that

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has pulled out.


What's going on here? Is this -- is there a concern about, you know, reputational thing to be seen, to be enjoying Davos at a time of a cost of

living crisis?

QUEST: I think that probably plays into some people's decision not to come some leaders, but no, I don't think that's at the heart of it. You want the

honest truth? There's no reason to come here. The fact is, back in May, when they had the spring, Davos, there was a real reason. And they came

because Ukraine, the war was relatively new, and the recession was likely in the future and interest rates were just starting to go up. Now we've got

the war, God forbid it's a year's length, we've got interest rates probably peeking out. And now the medicine just has to work. We have a load of

issues with China reopening, but -- the COVID situation, but there's no imperative for all these leaders to come together, especially when you've

probably got a G7 around the corner.

MACFARLANE: Absolutely. Things kicking off today. Richard will be coming to you all this week with the latest, but for now, thanks very much. Richard

Quest there.

Now, one of the brightest stars of Italy's golden age of film has passed away. Movie legend Gina Lollobrigida died on Monday. She began her career

in the aftermath of World War II. By the 1950's, she was one of Europe's top stars and she made her U.S. debut in 1953, Beat The Devil, alongside

Humphrey Bogart. Later in life, she moved into other fields becoming a successful photojournalist, and then pursuing a career in politics. Gina

Lollobrigida was 95.

And finally, the stars of TV and cinema came out for the Critics' Choice Awards on Sunday. The night saw big wins by the film Everything Everywhere

All At Once, and shows like Better Call Saul and Abbott Elementary. And perhaps the most poignant speech came from the winner, The Best Supporting

Actress in a Comedy Series, Sheryl Lee Ralph. The Abbott elementary actress said, "People don't have to like you, people don't have to love you, people

don't even have to respect you, but when you look in the mirror, you better love what you see." That's a good note to end on. That is our quote of the

day. Thank you for watching tonight. Stay with CNN. "AFRICA AVANT GARDE" is coming up next.