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Isa Soares Tonight
Alec Baldwin to Be Charged with Involuntary Manslaughter; Ukraine Calls on NATO for Tanks; Protests in Peru As the Country Demand New Leaders and a Fresh Start; New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern Announces Resignation; U.S. And German Defense Ministers Meet Amid Ukraine's Call For Tanks; BAFTA Nominees Announced. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired January 19, 2023 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ISA SOARES, HOST, ISA SOARES TONIGHT: A warm welcome to the show, everyone, I'm Isa Soares. Tonight, Alec Baldwin will be charged with
involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of Halyna Hutchins. The district attorney tells CNN exactly what evidence from the "Rust" film set
led to the serious charges. Then --
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SOARES: Ukraine wants the right tools to beat Russia. NATO seems to be listening. Details of massive new military aid packages, and exactly what
they could achieve on the battlefield. Also this hour --
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SOARES: Protests in Peru as the country demands new leaders and a fresh start. We begin this hour though in the U.S. state of New Mexico where
actor Alec Baldwin will be charged with involuntary manslaughter this month over the fatal shooting of a cinematographer on the set of his film "Rust"
Now, that is according to the local district attorney, who is also announcing charges against the film's armorer. Halyna Hutchins, if you
remember, died after being struck by a live round of ammunition fired from a prop gun being held by Baldwin. He maintains he did not pull the trigger.
In a statement just hours ago, Baldwin's attorney called the charges a terrible miscarriage of justice.
And went on to say we will fight these charges, we will win. Well, earlier, CNN's Josh Campbell spoke to the district attorney who he announced these
charges, who condemned the safety standards on the film set.
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MARY CARMACK-ALTWIES, FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT ATTORNEY, NEW MEXICO: There were live rounds on set, they were mixed in with regular dummy rounds.
Nobody was checking those or at least, they weren't checking them consistently. And then they somehow got loaded into a gun, handed off to
Alec Baldwin. He didn't check it.
He didn't do any of the things that he was supposed to do to make sure that he was safe or that anyone around him was safe. And then he pointed the gun
at Halyna Hutchins and he pulled the trigger.
JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You talk about the safety on the set, with -- as part of your investigation, was there one thing that was done or
one thing that was said that sealed it for you, that this should be prosecuted?
CARMACK-ALTWIES: No, actually, I think it was the totality of the circumstances, that this was a really fast and loose set, and that nobody
was doing their job. There were three people, that if they had done their job that day, this tragedy wouldn't have happened. And that's David Halls,
Hannah Gutierrez-Reed and Alec Baldwin. If they had just done their basic duties, this -- we wouldn't be standing here.
CAMPBELL: Can you help our viewers understand. So the state officials did a report, it was signed by the chief medical investigator, saying that
there was no compelling evidence that this was intentional, right?
CARMACK-ALTWIES: Right --
CAMPBELL: So help our viewers understand, if it's an accident, which most people seem to think it is, why is that a crime?
CARMACK-ALTWIES: Because just because it's an accident doesn't mean that it's not criminal. Our involuntary manslaughter statute covers
unintentional killings, unintentional homicides. The rest of our homicide statutes cover intentional. But unintentional means they didn't mean to do
it. They didn't have the intent to kill.
But it happened anyway. And it happened because of more than mere negligence. Because they didn't exercise due caution or circumspection. And
that's what happened here.
CAMPBELL: And what's your response to, you know, there might be people in Baldwin's camp who say that you were overcharging this.
CARMACK-ALTWIES: Well, we disagree. And we're going to be taking that in front of a judge, and allowing the judge to decide on probable cause. But
we think that there's enough there. More than enough there to move forward on these charges, and possibly to get through the preliminary hearing
stage, and on to trial.
CAMPBELL: Can you just break down the specific charges? So, I was reading through your announcement, you say that both Hannah Gutierrez-Reed and Alec
Baldwin, have been charged with two counts --
CARMACK-ALTWIES: Right --
CAMPBELL: Of involuntary manslaughter. Can you unpack that? What was that?
CARMACK-ALTWIES: Well, and there's two counts in the alternative. So when this goes in front of a jury, the jury could find they're guilty on both,
but since they're in the alternative, they will only be sentenced as to one count. The first part of the involuntary that we'll be charging is that
they acted without due caution and circumspection.
Meaning, they weren't just negligent in their duties, but that they were on notice, that they had duties, and that they should have done, were not
done, something that didn't happen on that set. Meaning, they should have checked the bullets, they should have checked the gun.
They shouldn't have even been using a live gun that day, they should have been using a rubber or a plastic gun. All of these things go together, and
show that there was just this complacency, lack of care on that set, and it's more than negligence. And I would say it rises to recklessness.
The other is -- goes hand-in-hand with a misdemeanor, a petty misdemeanor here in New Mexico called Negligent Use of a Deadly Weapon. And that is
that someone handled or used or touched a gun in a negligent manner. And if we -- once we show that, then that can lead to the second alternative
theory of involuntary manslaughter.
CAMPBELL: Does it matter for, you know, an actor, obviously, there's been this discussion about safety on set. The last time I interviewed you, you
even mentioned, like you were surprised to learn that, you know, the sets operate like this in some circumstances. But if you have an actor with what
he/she thinks is a prop gun, not a real gun, is that actual negligence if it turns out that, that gun can actually shoot?
CARMACK-ALTWIES: It's more than that. Every person that handles a gun has a duty to make sure that if they're going to handle that gun, pointed at
someone and pull the trigger, that it is not going to fire a projectile and kill someone. And this is really about justice for Halyna Hutchins.
We've talked to many actors, A-list and otherwise, that have said that they always check their guns or they have someone check it in front of them. So
it's not -- an actor doesn't get a free pass just because they're an actor. And that's what's so important. Is that we're saying here in New Mexico,
everyone is equal under the law, everyone has to follow their duties and do what's right, and take that safety into accounts so that this doesn't ever
CAMPBELL: And is Baldwin being charged as an actor who was holding the gun or as a producer on the set who was negligent about the safety standards?
Can you help describe that?
CARMACK-ALTWIES: He's been charged as both. He was the actor that pulled the trigger. So, certainly, he's charged as an actor. But also, as a
producer, he also had a duty to make sure that the set was safe. And we know from our investigation that there had been accidental misfires prior
to this, that there were people that were complaining about safety on set.
And so, he should have been aware that safety was an issue on set. And then as an actor that day, he should have checked that gun and checked those
CAMPBELL: Just a couple more questions, I know your time is short. Do you expect any type of plea agreement from Baldwin or Gutierrez-Reed? Have
those discussions started?
CARMACK-ALTWIES: That's not something I can comment at this time. It's unethical for a prosecutor to talk about pre-negotiations or a potential
CAMPBELL: Were they given a heads-up that this was coming?
CAMPBELL: They were.
CARMACK-ALTWIES: They were.
CAMPBELL: And how did those discussions go?
CARMACK-ALTWIES: We have been in -- I would say, almost constant communication with the opposing parties' counsel for about the last six
weeks. They didn't know exactly what was coming, but they were aware that we were contemplating charges, and they were aware of what the contemplated
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SOARES: Well, we mentioned Baldwin attorney's statement, he plans to fight on, so does Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, her attorney released this statement,
I'll read it out, "we were expecting the charges, but they're absolutely wrong as to Hannah. We expect that she will be found not guilty by a jury
and she did not commit manslaughter.
She has been emotional about the tragedy, but has committed no crime." Well, let's break this down, the legal complexities of this case. We're
joined now by CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor, Jennifer Rodgers. Jennifer, great to have you on the show. Just explain for our
international viewers here, Jennifer, how the shooting, while being an accident, can be criminal.
JENNIFER RODGERS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, there are some instances in the law where an accidental killing can be -- can cause criminal liability. For
example, texting while driving is an example that is often used in involuntary manslaughter cases. Shooting a gun up into the air, and then
the bullet comes down and kill someone, those are instances where it is an accident.
There's no intentional killing. But the actions of the person are bad enough, negligent or reckless enough, to cause criminal liability. And
that's why Alec Baldwin and Hannah Gutierrez-Reed have been charged with here. That they neglected to do a duty that they owed to Miss Hutchins to
keep her safe on the set with the firearms. And so, the DA says they're charging.
SOARES: And one question we didn't get an answer to, was how a live round got on set. How did it end up, that gun? Will this be a challenge do you
think for prosecutors here, Jennifer?
RODGERS: Well, it's not technically required for them to prove how that live round got on set. You know, they just have to prove that these
defendants owed a duty of care, and they breached that duty of care. But I think it is a problem for them in the sense that, you know, that is a big
question here. And obviously, the fact that live rounds -- and it wasn't just the one that killed Miss Hutchins --
SOARES: Yes --
RODGERS: But some other rounds were found also after the fact. The fact that those ended up on set means that, someone fell down on the job,
clearly. So it's even possible that there was some sabotage or some intentional acts that brought those live bullets to the set. So I think it
is a challenge for prosecutors in the sense that jurors are going to be wondering about that.
How did they get there? Someone else may have really been ultimately responsible here. So I think while not technically a requirement for them
to charge, it is a hole in their case that could present problems for them at trial.
SOARES: Yes, and I think from what you heard just as I read there, Alec Baldwin suggests he will fight on. What are his chances, do you think?
RODGERS: I actually think this is a very aggressive charge. If I am Alec Baldwin's lawyer, of course, you don't want your client charged at all. But
I feel like they have a pretty decent case here. I mean, as an actor, to say that being handed a gun, that he had reasons to believe was safe, that
he's told is a cold gun, he knows he's hired people to make sure that all the guns and all the ammunition are safe.
To say that he then has an additional duty to make sure that, that doesn't misfire seems like a stretch to me. And then on the producer side, you
know, yes, he has a duty to make the set safe. But he's not the only producer. So, you know, you kind of start wondering why he's the one
charged with making sure that every single person on the set is doing their job to the utmost. So, you know, I think the defense lawyers have some
things to work with here.
SOARES: And the district attorney, you would have heard, Jennifer, as well, talked about, you know, negligence, complacency, recklessness. What
impact do you think this will have on the industry?
RODGERS: Well, I think that the DA hopes, and I think we all should hope that it actually has a significant impact on the industry. If we've learned
one thing from this episode, it's that productions need to take more care. I mean, this really should never ever happen. So I do think the industry
needs to self-regulate itself a little bit better.
And you hope that having seen this tragedy unfold, that they will do that. That -- and they'll know that if something does happen on their watch, that
they could be criminally charged with that. I think that's a big incentive to make sure that sets are safe from here on out.
SOARES: Jennifer Rodgers, it's always great to have you on the show, thanks very much and I appreciate it --
RODGERS: Thanks --
SOARES: Now, Ukraine's allies are promising to deliver substantial new military aid. The U.K. is offering to send 600 brimstone missiles, Sweden
is pledging its biggest military package yet, including 50 armored combat vehicles. And sources tell CNN, that the U.S. is set to finalize a package
of $2.5 billion worth of weaponry to Ukraine including striker combat vehicles.
Germany though is under pressure to provide Leopard 2 tanks. Its brand new defense minister meets with NATO allies at the U.S. Ramstein Airbase on
Friday. He hasn't addressed the tanks, but says Germany's support is unwavering. Have a listen.
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BORIS PISTORIUS, DEFENSE MINISTER, GERMANY (through translator): German systems have proven their worth in Ukraine. The self-propelled howitzers,
the Gepard or the state-of-the-art air defense system ESTSLM(ph). Together with our partners, we will continue to support Ukraine and its struggle for
freedom and territorial independence and sovereignty.
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SOARES: Well, let's get more on all this, Alex Marquardt joins me from Washington, Nic Robertson is with me here in London. Alex, good to see you.
Let's start with you. Just talk us through the military aid package that the U.S. is promising. What does it consist of?
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, this will be, it's expected to be one of the largest military aid packages that
the U.S. has sent to Ukraine since the war began, some $2.5 billion we're told. The top line, Isa, in this package is a new system. It's new
weaponry. Those striker combat vehicles that you mentioned.
Those are nimble, fast, lighter armored vehicles than the Bradley fighting vehicles that have already been committed to Ukraine by the U.S. But taken
together, the Bradleys and the strikers really are offering a really new -- a new capacity, mechanized capacity to Ukrainians to claw back territory.
To go on the offensive, particularly at what the U.S. and NATO allies believe is a critical time when the frontline has been relatively stagnant,
and the Ukrainians are warning of a potential spring offensive in the coming weeks and months by the Russians. Isa, we should also note what is
not expected to be in this U.S. package, that is long-range missiles, known as A -- excuse me, ATACMS.
Which have a range of some 300 kilometers. That, it seems like it's a nonstarter. That the Pentagon yesterday saying that we have to agree to
disagree with Ukraine on those because the U.S. sees those as too provocative in the eyes of the Russians. And the U.S. also standing firm on
not sending its own tanks. The M1 Abrams tanks, which U.S. officials say are too big, too complicated, take too much effort to maintain, too
But of course, the U.S. does want more modern, westernized tanks to be sent to Ukraine, to be allowed to be sent to Ukraine. Those Leopard 2 tanks. And
so, the U.S. is really focusing its efforts on pressuring the Germans to allow those Leopard 2s to be sent to Ukraine, and defense officials say
they're optimistic. Isa?
SOARES: OK, so they're optimistic, Nic. I mean, just explain the differences here to our viewers. Because the U.S. said they won't send,
like Alex was saying, the Abrams tanks. Germany is reticent to send the Leopard 2 tanks. Explain why?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, part of it, and I think we got an insight into this today, when Mark Rutte; the Dutch Prime
Minister was speaking with Richard Quest in Davos. He said, look, we really want to work more together. We want to, you know, be honest with President
Zelenskyy, not just one country give you a tank, but we can have better benefit by a number of countries giving you tanks.
And in his view, moving closer to that day actually happening. And of course, the British have already committed the challenge to tank and will
deliver it in the next couple of weeks. But Germany is sensitive about not doing things that it thinks will cross a red line with Russia, whereas, you
know, the Baltic states, for example, some of the Nordic countries, Scandinavian countries, are more forward-leaning.
They perceive a threat and they see the way to defeat that threat as providing such things as tanks. Look, from President Zelenskyy's point of
view, he said today, look, it doesn't matter how courageous our fighters are or how motivated Ukrainians are, we've got to stop Russian tanks coming
into battle with us. And this is the big concern. And I think, you know, as the momentum will build --
SOARES: Yes --
ROBERTSON: Towards this decision to send more tanks, because Ukraine needs them. Because Russia is showing that it can put enough troops in this war
of attrition into playing in the frontlines, and not allow the Ukrainians to push them back. They have to get out of the trenches, and the tanks are
the strongest way to do that along with the armored vehicles.
SOARES: And Alex, didn't Germany say we'll send the Leopard 2 tanks if the U.S. sends its own tanks? Why won't the U.S. send the Abrams tanks, for
example? Just explain that to our viewers.
MARQUARDT: The M1 is a main battlefield tank. And that is what Ukraine has been asking for. In fact, they've been asking for hundreds of these main
battlefield tanks. The Leopard 2 is also one. The U.S. is saying that this is not the best suited tank for the Ukrainian battlefield. First of all,
you have to get these tanks to cross the ocean.
This is a 60 ton tank that consumes a lot of diesel. It has an engine that is literally a jet engine. It is very complicated to maintain. It is
complicated to train troops on. It would take quite some time to get Ukrainian troops trained up. And then for all the reasons I just mentioned,
it could prove relatively complicated to keep going once in the Ukrainian theater.
So those are the arguments that U.S. officials are making. We should keep in mind that the U.S. and NATO allies have supported, and have actually,
sent, you know, Soviet-era tanks into Ukraine. Refurbished Soviet-era tanks to be sent into Ukraine. It hasn't really been a question of whether
Ukrainians should be getting tanks.
They are pretty much on the same level, on the same page when it comes to that. But right now, the question is, which tank should go to Ukraine? The
-- a lot of Europeans, as well as the U.S. making the case that the Leopard 2 is the best suited. And even if Germany themselves don't want to send it,
at the very least, they're saying, have -- get Germany to approve other countries that have Leopards, there are hundreds of them --
SOARES: Yes --
MARQUARDT: All across Europe, to allow those countries to send them to Ukraine.
SOARES: And of course, important to point out that Germany controls the export license, hence, why we're going the back and forth. Where does
Russia say -- what do they have to say on this? Because you know, we heard Zelenskyy yesterday, Nic, talk about the need for speed here on the back of
that worrying of a spring offensive. What is Russia's stand on the talk of tanks?
ROBERTSON: Russia is playing this to its population. And that every step that NATO takes to arm Ukraine, is an action against Russia and a threat to
Russian citizens. You know, Putin's original narrative for invading Ukraine, which he was expecting to be a quick win, was, this is really part
of our country. Well, that's not selling well with the Russian population.
Because they don't all believe it, lots of them are dying at the cost of this. Where he thinks he has a better sell for the cost of the war, the
economic cost and all the soldiers who are being killed, is to say, you, the Russians are under threat. So when NATO gives anti-tank weapons, that's
bad. But now we're at the stage where they're talking about tanks and more --
SOARES: Yes --
ROBERTSON: Fighting vehicles. So that's being sold as a threat to the Russian people to stoke up support for an unpopular war.
SOARES: Nic Robertson, Alex Marquardt, thank you very much. And still to come tonight, why New Zealand's prime minister is bowing out and leaving
office. And in Peru, thousands of protesters are arriving in the capital from rural regions to bring their demands for change directly to the
government. We'll speak with a human rights official about what he saw during his visit to the country.
SOARES: Well, thousands of protesters from Peru's poorest regions are converging on Lima this hour, bringing their grievances directly to the
government, and almost 12,000 police officers are on guard. Now, already, we've seen clashes between demonstrators and police in recent weeks that
have left more than 50 dead.
This confrontation happened on Wednesday, about 300 kilometers southeast of Lima. And we're hearing of violence going on right now in the southern city
of Huancavelica. But now, they're coming in force to the capital to demand the government resign, hold new elections and enact reforms.
All the turmoil began, if you remember, last month, when the legislature impeached President Pedro Castillo who had promised to help Peru's poor.
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SOARES: And that unleashed years of pent-up frustration and a widespread belief that 20 years of democracy has only encouraged corruption among
Peru's elite. The protesters say they won't settle now for anything less than sweeping change. Have a listen.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Well, as I said, there are several urgent needs. But right now, the political situation merits the change of
representatives of government, of the executive and the legislature. That is the immediate thing. Because there are other deeper issues, inflation,
lack of employment, poverty, malnutrition and other historical issues that have not been addressed.
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SOARES: Well, in fact, a recent poll indicated -- you can see there, only 21 percent of Peruvians are satisfied with democratic rule. The least of
any country in fact, in the region with the exception of Haiti. And more than half said they favor military takeover if there were high levels of
corruption. All very troubling indeed.
Joining me now via Skype is Commissioner Joel Hernandez with the Inter- American Commission on Human Rights. He had just returned from a fact- finding trip to Peru. Mr. Hernandez, thank you very much for joining us here on the show. Give our viewers a sense of what you saw while you were
in the country?
JOEL HERNANDEZ, COMMISSIONER, INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS: We saw massive protests, massive social protests, mainly in the south of
the country. But also unfortunately, we also saw the disproportionate use of force by police officers which have led to the death of as you say,
about 51 people.
We also saw people, political crisis between the political parties and between the executive and the legislative on how to come out from this --
from this -- the political crisis.
SOARES: And Mr. Hernandez, what we -- the numbers we have, the latest numbers are 52 people dead, a large portion of those who have died are in
Juliaca in Puno Province. Were you able to get there? Were you able to feel those that say the police have been a bit too heavy-handed?
HERNANDEZ: Yes, a group of the delegations visited Juliaca, that part of the delegation was led by my colleague Commissioner Lauren(ph), he's the
control rapporteur and vice president of the commission. They met with families of the victims and they could sense this deep sorrow and pain they
are going through due to the loss of their relatives.
In what it seems was a severe confrontation between demonstrators and the police officers. That's why we observed lots of pain.
SOARES: And from what you gathered from Estuado Rallon(ph) who visited this part of the country, was there a racial element to the violence?
HERNANDEZ: It is -- this is something that has been present during this crisis. There is a public discourse with stigmatizing people, indigenous
groups and also people from south of the country. That many of the speeches that are stigmatizing people who are demonstrating as terrorists. And this
has a deep connotation in Peru because Peru in the '80s and '90s suffered a problem of terrorism with a shining path, and of course nobody wants to be
associated with terrorism.
So there's an ambience of stigmatization and confrontation which in fact has a racial element.
SOARES: I mean, so, in that case, what can be done here? I mean, Peru is in a state of emergency. We're seeing protests in the country today, we
continue to see these violent scenes, Mr. Hernandez, what needs to be done to avoid being here again in what? in a few months time.
HERNANDEZ: I think three things should be done immediately. First, the police forces have to revisit their protocol in order to resort to non-
lethal force under the principles of legality, necessity and proportionality and as a matter of last resort. Police officers have the
duty to protect people who participate in social protest, but also to protect orders which are not participating.
Second, it's very important to enter into an authentic and genuine political dialogue. Political dialogue that has to be done among key
political actors, but mainly between the executive and the legislative in order to find solutions to the crisis. Third, it's very important that the
government launches a policy of integral reparation to victims.
There's already a commission set up taking care of the victims, but it's very important to take due action to families of people who lost a loved
one. But also to take care of people who have been injured. I have to say that, here we also found that there are police officers who have also been
injured, and that one police officer actually was burnt alive while he was performing his duties. So it's a very complex --
SOARES: Yes --
SOARES: Commissioner Joel Hernandez, really appreciate you taking the time to speak to us. Thank you very much, sir.
HERNANDEZ: I thank you.
SOARES: And if you are in Peru, you're watching in Peru, we would love to get a sense of what is happening on the ground. If you're there, if you're
filming, tweet me some of the videos and we can share it with the world right here on CNN. We are also seeing protests across France in response to
the government's plans to raise the retirement age by two years.
That means people would have to be 64 years old to qualify under this pension reform. Police in Paris were seen firing tear gas at people dressed
in black and wearing masks. The government says the unpopular measure is critical to help the retirement system finally break even.
And still to come tonight, actor Alec Baldwin is facing charges for the accidental death of cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins on the set of the
film, "Rust". We'll talk more about how he plans to fight those charges, next.
ISA SOARES, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Bowing out over burnout; in a shock announcement, New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern says she's
stepping down, saying she no longer has enough in the tank after nearly six years in office. CNN's Kristie Lu Stout takes a closer look at a
KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): New Zealand's youngest female prime minister strove to bring compassion and empathy to
politics. Values tested by a string of once in a generation crisis.
ARDERN: We encountered a major biosecurity incursion, a domestic terror event, a major natural disaster, a global pandemic and an economic crisis.
STOUT (voice-over): In 2019, when the far-right terrorists targeted two mosques in the city of Christchurch, killing 51 people, Ardern embraced the
ARDERN: We are one. They are us.
STOUT (voice-over): Weeks later, her government successfully banned military-style semiautomatic weapons like the one used in the attack.
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: She showed the heart not only of a leader but of a mother.
STOUT (voice-over): Ardern became a mother in 2018 during her first full year in office, taking just six weeks off for maternity leave. A young
unmarried woman from a modest background, Ardern defied norms and earned a global reputation outsized for a leader of just under five million people.
But at home, Ardern won two general elections, including a landslide victory in 2020. But public support dipped in the last of her five.5 years
in office. Tough COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and the economic troubles that followed the virus damaged Ardern politically.
STOUT (voice-over): In December, her Labour Party lost an important by- election to the conservative national party.
BRYCE EDWARDS, POLITICAL SCIENTIST, VICTORIA UNIVERSITY OF WELLINGTON: I think the real Ardern is going is that she has lost popularity. So the
opinion polls here have really plummeted for her government and for her personally and it's going to be a very tough election for her government to
STOUT (voice-over): Ardern admitted Thursday that she doesn't have the energy for that political fight.
ARDERN: I know what this job takes. And I know that I no longer have enough in the tank to do it justice. It is that simple.
STOUT (voice-over): As for what is next, Ardern says she has no professional plans beyond her last day in office.
She says she is looking forward to spending time with their family, to being there for her 4-year-old daughter when she starts school and to
finally get married to her partner, television host Clarke Gayford -- Kristie Lu Stout, CNN, Hong Kong.
SOARES: The world is reacting to the shock resignation, the Greek prime minister had this to say from Davos.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KYRIAKOS MITSOTAKIS, GREEK PRIME MINISTER: I met her a couple times, she's a very welcome woman. I think she served her country. Well but on a
personal, note I think we understand -- probably we understand better than anybody else how difficult this job can be, how taxing it can be.
I mean, we're still people, we're not just robots or machines. It does take a toll, it does take a toll on her, on our families. And you know, stepping
down is a bold decision.
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SOARES: I want to turn now to our top story, the announcement of charges in the 2021 shooting on the set of the film "Rust." The attorney for star
Alec Baldwin and armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed have been quick to issue statements defending their clients.
But the district attorney who's issuing the charges said, if people on the set had done their job, cinematographer Halyna Hutchins would be alive
The family of Halyna Hutchins is speaking out. They say, in part, it's a comfort to the family that, in New Mexico, no one is above the law. CNN's
Chloe Melas has been covering the story since the shooting happened. She joins me now.
Chloe, in case our viewers didn't know, didn't see you interview Baldwin, I think sometime in August, last year. Back there, I remember he maintained
he didn't buy the gun.
What's been his reaction to these charges from the district attorney?
CHLOE MELAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Look, Alec Baldwin's attorney is claiming that they are totally blindsided by these charges. In a statement to CNN
saying that this is a miscarriage of justice, that this distorts Halyna Hutchins' death, going on to say that they will fight these charges.
And what they mean by that is that they'll see this through to a trial, that they are not going to accept a plea deal. Like you saw, Dave Halls was
offered a plea deal and they're going to fight.
That's because Alec Baldwin in his interview with me this summer, has always maintained that this is a tragic accident. He claims that Halyna
Hutchins told him where to point the gun. Alec's attitude is that there was a chain of command on that movie set. There was an armorer, Hannah
Gutierrez Reed. She's also facing the same charges as Alec Baldwin.
And you also have the assistant director, Dave Halls, who's taken a plea deal. So there's three people here. Alec saying, although I was a producer
on the set of the film, it's not my job to know if there live bullets on the set.
I had no idea there were live bullets on the set. Now we have the district attorney telling Josh Campbell at CNN earlier today, she believes Alec
Baldwin pulled that trigger. She believes that Alec Baldwin is and should be held responsible for the death of Halyna Hutchins, that there was
negligence on the set.
I have a little bit of my interview from August with Alec Baldwin, in which he talks to me about how his utmost concern was safety on the set, that he
was not being reckless. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEC BALDWIN, ACTOR: I never once said, never, that the gun went off in my hand automatically. I always said, I pulled the hammer back and I pulled it
back as far as I could. I never took a gun and pointed it at somebody and clicked the thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELAS: Alex says he never pulled that trigger, that he doesn't know how the gun went off. But then you have the district attorney saying today,
based on the FBI report, that there is evidence that he pulled the trigger, that the gun couldn't have just gone off on its own.
But you know, the question on many people's minds is, how did a live bullet get on the set?
How did a live bullet make its way into this prop gun?
And that never should've happened. But shockingly, the district attorney saying today that's a question that we may never have answered. That really
doesn't factor in to the fact that Halyna Hutchins died and that three people that should be held responsible are the ones that have been charged.
SOARES: Chloe Melas, I think it's a story that will continue to talk about. It's just the beginning of this. We really appreciate it, Chloe,
MELAS: Thank you.
SOARES: Still to come tonight, what difference could Western tanks make to Ukraine's efforts on the battlefield?
We'll explore that just after this break.
SOARES: Welcome back, everyone.
The pressure is growing on the West, specifically in Germany, to send Western tanks to Ukraine. President Zelenskyy said that it's a pressing and
very sensitive issue. I'm joined by Neil Melvin, director of international security studies at RUSI.
Dig into what difference these tanks can make. And just to give our viewers the back story here, we discussed at the top of the show, Neil, that what
Zelenskyy is asking for, are tanks and these are perfect tanks for the war in Ukraine. Germany has the exports of these tanks but they prefer not to
send them, right?
They want the U.S. to send their own tanks?
What makes these Leopard 2 tanks so important, so crucial for Ukraine right now?
Talk us through the tanks.
NEIL MELVIN, DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL SECURITY STUDIES, RUSI: It's a key question. The Ukrainians are asking for about 300 Western tanks. They say
it's essential. The reason why they want. Them is because there is growing concern that Russia is preparing itself to do a second round of attacks
against Ukraine in the spring.
So there is a window in which the Ukrainians can try and break through the Russian lines. And to do that, what they need is heavy armor. They need
tanks, they need armor striking vehicles, they need them. Now
So the discussion, is can the West get these tanks to the Ukrainians quickly?
And the Leopard 2 is the best tank that we could send --
MELVIN: It's a number of things. First of all, it's a very good tank. Secondly, it's available in quite large numbers in Europe. Germany has a
lot but many other countries have them. And those countries are willing to send those tanks tomorrow when they meet in Ramstein to discuss this.
Thirdly, compared to other tanks, they have a very good weapon in the 120 millimeter gun. Which they use, which can knock out lots of Russian tanks.
And they're relatively easy to repair compared to the American --
MELVIN: -- exactly. It's very important because it's not just the tank; you have to get the tank, you have to have the tank transporters, you have
to have the training on the tank, you have to have the spares and the shells and so on. So all that's available in Europe, which is why the
Leopard 2 would be the best one for the --
SOARES: And like you said, there is more around. So that makes more sense.
Can we have a look at the map?
I want my team to put up the map.
SOARES: What impact does the Leopard 2, what difference would it make on the front lines as we see right now in Ukraine?
MELVIN: Last time we met, we talked about going into the winter.
MELVIN: Basically what's happened is the front has become largely static as the winter has started. There hasn't been much move since Ukrainians
took Kherson and since Ukrainians took this area just north of Kharkiv.
So fighting is continuing but --
MELVIN: -- small scale compared to what it. So the focus now is on the spring. The Russians are trying to rush new forces in, to mobilize their
economy on the war basis.
What the Ukrainians want to do is try to and before the Russians can do that to break through the lines, probably somewhere around here, and do a
kind a blitzkrieg, where they would move very quickly through the Russian lines with tanks, with armored vehicles and with artillery and try to
overwhelm the Russians very quickly.
SOARES: But on these vehicles, go back to these tanks, how much training - - we're talking about a spring offensive.
How much training do Ukrainian soldiers need?
A question of speed, which Zelenskyy was calling for yesterday at the World Economic Forum.
How much practice do they need?
How much training do they need before these tanks get to the battlefield?
MELVIN: Well, ideally, often the training can be up to a year. But we're in a war situation, so it's going to be compressed. So there are a number
of things, the training, which you can try and -- I think is underway for some --
MELVIN: -- sending some tanks, so the Challenger 2.
You would need at least a couple months, when you need to actually move these tanks physically into Ukraine, which could take quite a bit and all
the logistics and the repair. So the timeframe is very squeezed. It has to be now if they're going to be available by the spring.
SOARES: Let's talk really about Crimea, we heard, if I can get it moving, we heard President Zelenskyy say, I think it was today, and we heard this
several times from him, that they're looking to -- they will reclaim Crimea. He said that time and time again. The reality of that happening,
MELVIN: I think most Western intelligence thinks it can be a very difficult if not impossible for the Ukrainians to actually take back
Crimea, certainly in the near term.
You can't really see it on this map but there's very few access points. It is indeed a peninsula, with only small areas to enter in. The Russians have
heavily fortified the north.
What we've seen I think in recent weeks, as the United States is beginning to shift its own assessment. Up until now they felt that the Ukrainians
shouldn't really attack Crimea. There was a risk of Russian escalation.
Now there's a feeling that the Ukrainians need to be able to at least threaten Crimea as part of the eventual negotiations toward the end of the
war. So quite likely, tomorrow, United States will make available to Ukraine weapons that will at least allow them to hit the north of Crimea,
where all those Russian bases are, and begin to put pressure on the Russians in Crimea for the first time.
SOARES: Where are we? We talked a lot about situation in Bakhmut, it was Bakhmut and Soledar.
Where are we on the push here, because the Russians have really felt the Russians pushing in the last few weeks, haven't we?
MELVIN: As you mentioned, most of the line has been static. But this is an area where there's been intense fighting. And it's really been led by a
particular part of the Russian armed forces, which is this private military, the Wagner group, led by Prigozhin, a very close confidant of
It's felt often that this isn't a very strategic area; it's more about a political struggle within Russia --
MELVIN: -- Prigozhin wants to show that actually Russia needs to do more. He's trying to make a political play, appealing to often Russian
nationalists and military bloggers, who have been critical of Putin, by saying we need to do more, we need to press.
So they've been throwing these Wagner soldiers, often prisoners who volunteered or been press gang. They've been throwing them in waves at
these two towns. Many thousands, possibly tens of thousands have been killed.
Ukrainians are still saying that they're contesting Soledar. But I think it's more about a political struggle within the Russian armed forces where
Prigozhin's been quite critical of the Russian head of defense, Gerasimov, who's now been put in charge of the whole of Ukraine theater.
SOARES: Finally, very quickly, as we look, of course, to the fears of a spring offensive, what's going to be the biggest challenge for Ukraine,
whether they get the tanks or not?
MELVIN: It's now really a race for both sides to rearm and reequip. What the Ukrainians want to do is take back as soon as possible much of this red
area, this 20 percent. The Russians are mobilizing hundreds of thousands of new soldiers.
They're talking about a 2 million man army. Their economy is now going on to war economy. They want to stop that and possibly even counterattack.
There's some discussion that they might try and come into Belarus and do a second attempt on Kyiv.
MELVIN: That's why Ukrainians need to move quickly to stop that. This is going to be a question now in the spring, who's going to come out of this
conflict on top by the early summer.
SOARES: And why the importance of prep being ready --
MELVIN: -- the tanks need to go now really.
SOARES: Neil, great to see you, thank you very much. We appreciate. It and we will be back after this short break.
SOARES: The movie industry got a big surprise today when BAFTA nominations were announced. The German language film adaptation of "All Quiet on the
Western Front" picked up 14 nominations from the British film academy. It's the most nominations for a film in more than a decade.
"The Banshees of Inisherin" and "Everything Everywhere All At Once," two films have got a lot of awards attention this season. Each as you can see
there 10 nominations. The awards will be handed out on February 19th.
While the awards buzz around "All Quiet on the Western Front" comes as Europe is grappling with the first war on its soil in decades. CNN's Nada
Bashir has more on the film and its message.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NADA BASHIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As bloody conflict rages again on European soil, Netflix's "All Quiet on the Western Front" takes us back into the
deafening trenches of World War I.
Vying for nominations this award season, this is the third movie adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque's 1929 novel, considered definitive in its hellish
portrait of the war to end all wars.
It is however, the first time the story's been adapted for the big screen in its native language.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
EDWARD BERGER, FILM DIRECTOR: I feel it's the most important to tell this story from a German perspective. Since Germany brought havoc on the world
in the past century. Two wars started from that country.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BASHIR (voice-over): The film tells the story of young German soldier Paul Baumer, a schoolboy sold the imperial dream, naive and fresh-faced, soon
caked in blood.
It's a story told before, the grim cycle of trench warfare, minor gains and massive losses, fracas leaders making decisions for cannon fodder troops.
BASHIR (voice-over): Director Edward Berger says he believes the world must be reminded of the futility of war. The German national psyche, in his
view, scarred by its own history.
BERGER: Hopefully, it helps understand that nothing good can come from war. We all know it. But we seem to be forgetting it at every turn.
BASHIR (voice-over): Berger's cowritten screenplay captures the senseless loss of life, experienced on the front lines between 1914 and 1918.
ALBRECHT SCHUCH, ACTOR: I'd say the core of the novel is there, whether they survived or not. War just led to devastation and for generations and
generations to come.
BASHIR (voice-over): "All Quiet on the Western Front" is Germany's official contender for Best International Feature Film at the 2023 Academy
Awards. However many awards it brings home, the film serves as a stark reminder of the more than 8 million troops killed in the Great War and why
such horrors should never unfold again -- Nada Bashir, CNN, London.
SOARES: That does it for me, thank you for your company. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next. Live from Davos. I'll see you tomorrow, goodbye.