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Isa Soares Tonight

Department Of Justice Sues Google Over Online Ad Dominance; Pence's Lawyers Discover Classified Documents At His Home In Indiana; U.S. Finalizing Plans To Send Abrams Tanks To Ukraine; Three Back-To-Back Shootings In California; Germany To Send Leopard 2 Tanks To Ukraine; China Detaining Demonstrators After Zero COVID Protests; 2023 Academy Awards. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired January 24, 2023 - 14:00   ET



ISA SOARES, HOST, ISA SOARES TONIGHT: A very warm welcome to the show, everyone, I'm Isa Soares. Tonight, we are following major developments on

three stories. Any moment, we expect the attorney general to speak about the U.S. government's new antitrust lawsuit against Google. We'll bring you

that press conference, you can see there, as soon as it happens.

A top Justice Department official may be asked about yet another famous politician being dragged into the classified document crisis. Mike Pence is

the latest former West Winger to have documents found at his home. Also this hour, and it's a very busy hour, we are learning that U.S. officials

are finalizing plans to send Abrams tanks to Ukraine.

A busy day, but we start in Germany. Because Germany is set to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine according to German newspaper "Der Spiegel". It comes

after weeks of pressure on the government from Ukraine as well as western allies. CNN has learned the White House is also finalizing plans to send

U.S.-made Abrams tanks to Ukraine.

And that is according to three U.S. officials familiar with the deliberations. The announcement could be made as soon as this week. Our

international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson is in London. So, Nic, all this week, and in fact, last week, you and I were talking about, you know,

why the U.S. wouldn't send Abrams tanks and why -- and why Germany was taking so long to agree. According to "Der Spiegel", they now may be

considering it.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: And it does seem to be a remarkable turn about. The U.S. position had been that the Abrams tanks

were just unsuitable for use in Ukraine. They use jet fuel, they weigh 70 tons, they burn through a lot of that jet fuel just to move them at

relatively short distance. They're very difficult to maintain.

They have jet engines just like an aircraft in them, where as the German Leopard 2 tanks, the U.S. said was much more suitable. There was many more

of them available, they're easier to maintain. They can go a greater distance. And therefore, the assessment was, much better suited for

Ukraine's immediate needs.

Germany made a real point of saying -- Olaf Scholz; the German chancellor made a real point of saying, look, I don't want to send my tanks. I don't

want to get in this position without the U.S. sending theirs, without President Biden making a similar constructive move. And that really sort of

put both sides at loggerheads.

And then you had all the other nations in Europe that had the Leopard 2 tanks as well, they had purchased them from Germany. They couldn't re-

export them to Ukraine without Germany say so. So, you have this backlog of countries, Poland was the most vociferous, but the Netherlands was in

there, Norway was in there as well, all getting ready to potentially send their Leopard 2 tanks, but they couldn't without the German authorization.

So there was this real bottleneck, and until really the past hour or so, it appeared that this bottleneck was still a logjam. But this new reporting by

"Der Spiegel" does seem to indicate U.S. deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman saying that at this moment, she now expects in the coming days to

hear from Germany that they will make a move, make a commitment on their tanks. Details of course, we don't have those as yet.

SOARES: Let me bring in Natasha Bertrand, and to you, both of you. We are expecting a press conference from U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, if

we have to interrupt, apologies in advance. So Natasha, as Nic was saying there, for weeks we've been hearing the Abrams tanks is too complicated,

it's expensive, it's got a jet engine, it's hard to train on.

Why are we here now? Oh, actually, pardon, I want to interrupt you both before we go. We've got Merrick Garland about to speak. Let's listen in.

MERRICK GARLAND, ATTORNEY GENERAL, UNITED STATES: Unfortunately, I'm going to begin my remarks today just as I did yesterday, offering my condolences

to the families of the victims of yet another mass shooting in our country. All of us at the Justice Department including the FBI and ATF will continue

to support the Half Moon Bay community in the difficult days ahead.

And as I said yesterday, the Justice Department is committed to doing everything in our power to protect our communities from the gun violence

that is leaving no community in this country untouched. Today, the Department of Justice joined by eight states filed a civil antitrust

lawsuit in the United States district court for the Eastern District of Virginia against Google.


We allege that Google has used anticompetitive, exclusionary and unlawful conduct to eliminate or severely diminish any threat to its dominance over

digital advertising technologies. These technologies, which are known as ad tech, automate advertising sales by website publishers to online


When an internet user opens a web page that has ad space to sell, ad tech tools almost instantly match the website publisher with an advertiser

looking to promote its products or services in the website -- to the website's user. This product and process typically involves the use of an

automated advertising exchange.

This exchange runs a high-speed auction designed to identify the best match between a publisher selling internet ad space and advertisers looking to

buy it. As alleged in our complaint, for 15 years, Google has pursued a course of anticompetitive conduct that has allowed it to halt the rise of

rival technologies, manipulate auction mechanics to insulate itself from competition, and force advertisers and publishers to use its tools.

In so doing, Google has engaged in exclusionary conduct, has severely weakened, if not destroyed competition in the ad tech industry. As detailed

in our complaint, we allege that Google's anticompetitive conduct extends to three significant elements of the digital ad-buying process. First,

Google controls the technology used by nearly every major website publisher to offer advertising space for sale.

Second, Google controls the leading tool used by advertisers to buy that advertising space. And third, Google controls the largest ad-exchange that

matches publishers and advertisers together each time that ad space is sold. As a result of this scheme, website creators earn less and

advertisers pay more. That means that fewer publishers are able to offer internet users content without subscriptions, pay walls or other forms of


Our complaint alleges that Google has violated section two of the Sherman Antitrust Act by monopolizing the market for the technology used by

publishers to offer ads on their websites. Monopolizing or attempting to monopolize the ad-exchange market, and monopolizing the market for the ad-

network technology that advertisers use to buy digital advertising space.

Our complaint also alleges that Google has unlawfully tied its ad-exchange and its publisher ad server in violations of section 1 and 2 of the Sherman

Act. And finally, we allege that the United States as an advertiser has incurred damages by reason of Google's violations of the antitrust laws.

In addition to the declaratory relief, our complaint seeks damages and the divestiture of certain Google ad-tech products. It also seeks an injunction

preventing Google from continuing to engage in the anticompetitive practices described in the complaint, and any other practices with the same

purpose and effect as the challenge practices.

I am grateful to assist Attorney General Jonathan Kanter, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Doha Mekki, and the attorneys and staff of the

Antitrust Division for their tireless work on this case. Monopolies threaten the free and fair markets upon which our economy is based. They

stifle innovation. They hurt producers and workers and they increase costs for consumers.

Today's complaint is only the latest example the department's work to challenge antitrust violations that undermine competition and harm the

American people. No matter the industry and no matter the company, the Justice Department will vigorously enforce our antitrust laws. We will

aggressively protect consumers, safeguard competition and work to ensure economic fairness and opportunity for all. I will now turn the podium over

to Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta.

VANITA GUPTA, ASSOCIATE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you. I want to reiterate the attorney general's thanks to the leadership and

staff of the Antitrust Division for all their work to advance robust competition and to ensure that the American people have equal opportunity

in the marketplace.

I'd like to take a few moments to put this complaint into context. At its core, anti-trust is about economic justice. And today's landmark action

against Google underscores that it is a priority of this Justice Department to fight the abuse of market power.


We know that free and fair competition is essential to economic freedom. And we know that anti-competitive conduct threatens innovation, weakens

workers rights and stifles free expression. When any company, including a big technology company, violates the antitrust laws, our economy and our

democracy suffer.

Today's complaint is a perfect example of why competition matters. Americans rely on the internet for news and for community. And advertising

revenue is essential for publishers to produce and share ideas and writings. But we allege that Google has captured that revenue for its own

profits and punished publishers who sought out alternatives.

Those actions have weakened the free and open internet and increased advertising costs for businesses and for the United States government

including for our military. Today's complaint is just one example of the department's broader efforts to root out anti- competitive behavior

regardless of how --

SOARES: That is Vanita Gupta. Before that, you heard U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland there. And what Garland basically stated was a civil

antitrust lawsuit against Google from the DOJ including eight states. And what he said was that Google has used anti-competitive, exclusionary and

unlawful means to eliminate or severely diminish any threat to its dominance over digital advertising technologies.

So, basically saying that the company -- alleging that the company uses huge market power here to suppress competition. Let's unpack what we've

just heard there, and what this all means. Legal analyst Jeffrey Jacobovitz, and CNN's Anna Stewart join me now. Anna, what stood out to you

from what you heard there, from Attorney General, Merrick Garland?

ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: Oh, it's a great summary of what, 153 pages, which I have yet to get the whole way through, but essentially, this is yet

another antitrust complaint against Google, this time from the DOJ. It's quite similar to one from the EU Commission.

And it's really looking at how Google owns and controls different parts of the digital advertising space. So, essentially, what it is saying, as a

result of Google's control, the DOJ says that website creators end up earning less and advertisers have to pay more, because they say, there is

an unfettered competitive pressure for prices.

Now, they are saying that, on average, Google keeps at least 30 cents, sometimes more, of each advertising dollar that flows from the advertiser

to the website publisher, because it owns little different parts of the space. And they say that Google has gone out of its way to eliminate

competition by acquiring businesses that are also in that space, and putting pressure on lots of businesses to use their technology. So this

isn't necessarily a new complaint, but this is a big case in the pipeline.

SOARES: And Jeffrey, what do you make of what you -- we've just heard today? How big of a deal? I mean, we've seen similar moves here in Europe

in regards to Google. Your view?

JEFFREY JACOBOVITZ, ADJUNCT LAW PROFESSOR, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY: Yes, I would agree that it's a very big case, it's significant -- the allegation

that Google (INAUDIBLE) Department of Justice, and in the end publishes (INAUDIBLE) to be significant. You know, the U.S. government FTP, the

Department of Justice, on the Hill that proposed a legislation (INAUDIBLE) high tech, here's just another example of where high tech is (INAUDIBLE) --

SOARES: And as we were hearing in that presser, we've now got a response from Google, in response to what we've just heard. And I'm just going to

read it out very quickly. "Today's lawsuit from the DOJ attempts to pick winners and losers in the highly competitive advertising technology

sector." This is a Google spokesperson sending the comment to CNN.

"DOJ is doubling down on flawed arguments that would slow innovation, raise advertising fees and make it harder for thousands of small businesses and

publishers to grow." And what we heard from Merrick Garland there, Anna, was that he stated three points, didn't he? They control the technology,

they control the tool to buy the advertising, and they control the largest ad exchange. So really breaking it right down.

STEWART: Yes, the tech used by nearly every major website publisher to offer ad space, he said the tools used by the advertisers to buy that

space, and then also, the largest automated ad exchange that is used to link the two together. So, those are the three major areas they've picked


It was interesting in the actual lawsuit, thumbing through some of the pages, they cite a Google executive who essentially used an analogy for all

of this they own. They said, it was a bit like Goldman or Citibank owned the NYSE --

SOARES: Yes --

STEWART: Which I think is quite helpful way to try and understand how all these pieces can be brought together.

SOARES: And Jeffrey, of course, we heard the antitrust is basically about economic justice and abuse of market power. How is Google -- can Google

fight this in your view?


JACOBOVITZ: Well, certainly Google can fight it. A lot of these cases become battles of economic experts and defining the market, and who has

market power, who doesn't, and how broad is the market? So, certainly they would put up a massive fight. They will not roll over here, and the

government and Google will be in litigation probably for a couple of years.

SOARES: Wasn't there also another case, though, under the Trump administration relating to Google? Just in trying to think back.

JACOBOVITZ: Yes, there was. This is the second Department of Justice case against Google --

SOARES: Yes --

JACOBOVITZ: Both the FTC and the Department of Justice and 30 state attorneys general have been pursuing Google and other high tech companies,

and they will continue to do so.

SOARES: Jeffrey Jacobovitz, Anna Stewart, thank you very much to you both. Thank you. We want to go back to our top story this hour that we had

interrupted, of course, because of breaking news. Major movements, of course, on the tank debate that we've been following all week, in fact, for

last several weeks.

Germany is set to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, and that is according to German newspaper, "Der Spiegel". Three U.S. officials tell CNN that the

White House is also finalizing plans to send Abrams tanks to Ukraine. Now, to another ally, and that is Finland. Just hours ago, Finland's president

visited Ukraine's president in Kyiv to discuss military aid.

Let's talk about that with Pekka Haavisto; Finland's Minister of Foreign Affairs, and he joins me now from Helsinki. Minister, great to have you on

the show. Let me ask you, then, for your reaction to what we're getting, the news we're getting here at CNN that the U.S. is finalizing plans to

send U.S.-made Abrams tanks to Ukraine, and that Germany could be agreeing to send their Leopard tanks, according to "Der Spiegel". Your thoughts?

PEKKA HAAVISTO, FOREIGN MINISTER, FINLAND: Well, of course, these are very good news. Actually, Finland made last week a decision to deliver for $130

million U.S. package, other weapons to Ukraine. So, it's our felt(ph) military package and now, of course, it's a little about two weeks moving,

and at the same time, the Abrams is moving on the U.S. side. Ukraine will get those weapons that they are in need of to defend their territory. A

very good news,

SOARES: What have you heard from the German side? At the moment, we are hearing "Der Spiegel" reporting this. Have you had confirmation from your

side that Germany has, indeed, agreed to send their Leopard tanks to Ukraine? Minister, I just want to double-check that you're still with us,

that your signal hasn't frozen. Unfortunately, he's not.

We're going to try and reconnect with the finance -- with the foreign minister there. Of course, he was saying clearly, very happy about the news

that we have been getting. We'll try and reconnect, tech problem. And of course, we will come back after this short break. And when we come back,

what we know about the classified documents that were discovered at former U.S. Vice President, Mike Pence's home. That story, next.



SOARES: And first on CNN, the discovery of classified documents at Mike Pence's home in Indiana. The former U.S. Vice President had said he did not

have any classified documents in his possession, but multiple sources tell CNN that his lawyer found a dozen files marked as classified, which he

turned over to the FBI.

Pence's former presidential partner, Donald Trump, and current U.S. President Joe Biden, are both under investigation for their handling of

classified documents. The story, of course, we brought to you at this time yesterday. I want to bring in CNN senior legal affairs correspondent, Paula

Reid. So Paula, great to see you. First Trump, then Biden, and now Pence. I mean, how concerning is this?

PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's clearly a systemic problem, but where Pence is on the spectrum of sort of bad

behavior or vis-a-vis classified documents, is far(ph) one end. It appears, based on the facts that we know right now, that these documents were packed

up in boxes, moved to his temporary residence, and then they were moved along to Indiana.

Now, these were not in a secure storage area. That is a problem. But former President Trump and current President Biden, their cases became more

complicated because of what they and their attorneys did after they discovered documents. It appears here that Pence did the search out of an

abundance of caution, and then as soon as they discovered something, they passed it on to the FBI.

We know former President Trump did not cooperate with the Justice Department. He was retaining hundreds of classified documents and allegedly

tried to obstruct the investigation. Now President Biden, they have tried to be much more cooperative after they found classified documents, but

there have been frustrations inside the Justice Department that it took them so long to search his houses.

That they did a search of one of his houses without telling them, and then they weren't fully transparent with the American public. So, while you have

special counsels appointed in both of those cases, if Pence's people are being fully transparent, and this is all that happened, it's unlikely this

is going to prompt a criminal investigation.

But there's clearly a larger problem with how classified information is handled after Presidents and vice presidents leave the White House and the

vice presidents' residence.

SOARES: Yes, I suppose it raises the prospect about what other, Paula, former officials may have at their homes, and whether their oversight is

needed here.

REID: Yes, it's a great question. And we're making calls right now to former presidents or former vice presidents, asking if they too will be

doing any searches or reviews out of an abundance of caution. Those are definitely things that we are asking about right now. And of course,

classified information is not just limited to presidents and vice presidents.

It extends it much more broadly. Of course, former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, was famously investigated for using a private e-mail

server, questions about whether classified information was mishandled there.


SOARES: Paula, I want to interrupt, apologies to interrupt. We've been listening, we want to take you back to Attorney General Merrick Garland,

who is now taking questions perhaps on this point that you're mentioning. Let's listen in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our reporting on the recovery of the documents at Mr. Pence's residence seems to indicate that the Department of Justice was

involved at the very start. Can you give us a sense as to whether or not this incident is being preliminarily investigated with an eye towards

appointing a special counsel or assigning this to an existing special counsel?

And as a follow-up question, just in the broader sense, you do weigh in on issues of policy. In newspaper business, we say that one episode is a story

and three is a trend. Do you think there needs to be a policy change either in a regulatory-sphere or in a statutory-sphere to address what seems to be

this difficulty of presidents and vice presidents retaining classified material?

GARLAND: Well, as you expect, I'm afraid my answer is going to have to be -- if I'm unable to comment on this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right, thank you all.

SOARES: Well, we were hoping to hear some comments from Attorney General Merrick Garland, as to the documents that Paula Reid and I were talking

about, that the U.S. vice president had said he did not have any classified documents. But they have found classified documents at Mike Pence's home in



Reporter asked whether, you know, there will be a special counsel, like the one we have for President Biden and former President Trump or a special or

another current special counselor, but he didn't answer that question. And exactly the question that Paula and I were discussing about whether this

requires policy change here, whether we're looking perhaps, that begs the question whether oversight is needed.

Why all these documents have been found at these homes, at former president's homes, the current president's home and vice president. But as

you heard there, Attorney General Merrick Garland, unable to answer. We'll stay on top of this story for you. Still to come though, tonight, on the

show, Ukraine's government has just experienced its biggest shake-up since the war started. We'll tell you why just ahead.


SOARES: Welcome back. In California, quote, "tragedy upon tragedy". Three mass shootings across the state in as many days have left Americans in

shock, disbelief. In the coastal town of Half Moon Bay, south of San Francisco, police say this 66-year-old man is suspected of opening fire on

Monday at a mushroom farm where he worked, and at a trucking facility, killing at least seven people. The mayor says the community is struggling

to comprehend the carnage. Have a listen.


MAYOR DEBORAH PENROSE, HALF MOON BAY, CALIFORNIA: Our hearts are torn out of our chests for all these individuals and families. Our neighbors, our

friends, the people that work in our community and live in our community. We're a small agricultural coast side town, and we have never experienced

anything like this.


SOARES: Well, to the north in Oakland, a shoot out on the street left one person dead and seven others wounded. And all this follows, if you

remember, of course, Saturdays shooting massacre in the Los Angeles suburb, where an 11th victim has now died from their injuries. We want to take you

now to Half Moon Bay, and CNN's Veronica Miracle joins me now. Veronica, do we have any clear -- an idea of the motive here? What have you been


VERONICA MIRACLE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Isa, authorities here are saying that all evidence now points to the fact that this was likely workplace

violence. They say that 66-year-old Chunli Zhao worked here at Mountain Mushroom Farm and they believe that the victims may have been his


This is the first of two scenes that took place. It happened a little after -- little before, rather -- 2:30 in the afternoon yesterday when that first

call came in to police that there was a shooting with multiple victims down.

When deputies arrived here, they found four victims dead and including an individual who was critically injured at that second location. They found

an additional three bodies, that second location just about five minutes from here.

And you can see behind me, there are some RVs and some mobile homes. That's because this is not only a place where people work but it's also where they

live. And it happened after school hours, so there were children present.

Authorities say that children witnessed this massacre. Absolutely devastating. Authorities still have not released the names of the victims

yet. They're still notifying family members.

And I was at the sheriff's substation this morning and a man came by, frankly, looking for information about his ex-wife. He said, she works at

one of these farms. He has not heard from her all evening or this morning and was trying to confirm if, in fact, she was OK.

So there are a lot of people in this community trying to make sure that their loved ones are safe today. That suspect, 66-year-old Chunli Zhao, was

taken into custody a couple of hours after that first 9-1-1 call came in.

He was discovered in the parking lot of the police substation and was taken into custody relatively without any issues. He's expected to be in court


Meanwhile, today, governor Gavin Newsom is expected to come to this community and take a tour here and, obviously, offer some condolences. This

comes just hours, simply days, after he was offering his condolences at another community in Monterey Park, just south of here in southern

California, for another mass shooting there.

So very difficult time for this state. Isa.

SOARES: I can't even imagine, Veronica, those children having to witness this. You've been speaking, I imagine, to those in that community. They

must have been shaken to their core.

MIRACLE: Absolutely, especially because this is a very small, coastal, agricultural community. It is incredibly tight-knit. And you know, we hate

to use the word "quiet" because it's kind of, you know, it's like, what does that mean?

But it really is just, like, a quiet coastal town, where people come through to go to the beach and people come here to work in fields, in the

agricultural community. So it's very devastating.

And the small department, the sheriff was even saying how grateful they are, all of these outside agencies to come in because they simply are just

overwhelmed by the magnitude of this crime and the magnitude of the lives lost here. Isa.

SOARES: Veronica Miracle, appreciate that. Thanks very much, Veronica.

And while the debate rages in the U.S. over what is shroving (ph) the epidemic of mass shootings, one fact is clear: the U.S. has more privately

owned guns per capita than any other nation on Earth, an estimated 120 firearms for every 100 Americans.

And we define a mass shooting as one in which at least four people are shot. You can see here in your graph, the Gun Violence Archive lists 2021

as the most violent year in the past decade. And there have already been 39 just this month.

Here is where those 39 have been. Look at that. It's just staggering. This is a map of human lives shot down. No region of continental U.S. has been

spared, as you can see there.

I want to take you back to Ukraine. We have connected again with -- at the top of the show we were trying to connect with Pekka Haavisto, Finland's

finance -- minister of foreign affairs. He joins me now from Helsinki.

Minister, great to have you back. You were telling me, you and I were talking about the "Der Spiegel" news that we've been hearing, that Germany

may be sending Leopards. We've also heard from sources telling CNN that the U.S. is thinking of spending Abrams.

Have you heard from Germany yourself that they are, indeed, going to send the Leopards?

PEKKA HAAVISTO, FINNISH FOREIGN MINISTER: Just yesterday, I met with the German minister, Annalena Baerbock, and we discussed this topic. Of course,

from the Finnish side, we have said that if Germany will send (INAUDIBLE) also part of the package with a couple of tanks, service tanks or training

of the pilots for these tanks and so forth.

So definitely it would be good news. But we don't have the (INAUDIBLE).

SOARES: Right, so you don't have the final confirmation.

What does this mean then, Minister, for Finland?

Will Finland be sending Leopards?


SOARES: How many are we talking about here?

HAAVISTO: Actually, on Friday, we made just the decision of US$430 million military support to Ukraine. That was our 12th package and already an

expensive package. Our president is currently visiting Kyiv (INAUDIBLE) minister and definitely we will be part of the (INAUDIBLE) to spend.

Let us see first what is needed. And probably training, probably service, spare parts, whatever. But it's very important that many European countries

are taking part (INAUDIBLE).

SOARES: Would you be able to tell us how many you have currently?

HAAVISTO: Well, we have a couple of hundreds of those. But of course, we are living, we have a long border. We trust (ph) and we have to take care

of also our own defense so let us see what is (INAUDIBLE) will be our share. But definitely (INAUDIBLE).

SOARES: Participate and, of course, at the moment, there is "Der Spiegel" reporting that Germany will send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.

I suspect, if this goes ahead, you would not need to submit a request to Germany, is that right, like Poland did?

HAAVISTO: Well, I think it's the part of the deal, of course, that those who own the tanks have to ask for the manufacturer, the permission and so

forth. But of course, if the green light is there, I'm sure that it's all European countries.

SOARES: And Minister, why has it taken so long for Germany to get here, you think?

HAAVISTO: Well, different to speak on the behalf of Germany. But of course, I think what Ukraine has asked all of us to do in Europe, in the

U.S., to send those arms, those arms and weapons that are immediately available for their immediate defense.

And for example, the Patriot missiles are very important, which have been delivered by U.S. We have been giving also relevant materiel all the time

to Ukraine. But of course, the tanks need a special service chain and the training of the drivers and so forth.

And probably all these bottlenecks are there. Still, if it's not happening in one or two days when the tanks are delivered.

SOARES: Are you surprised to hear that the U.S. is also going to send the Abrams, after we heard that they were not suitable for this sort of


HAAVISTO: Well, I've been talking earlier with Secretary Blinken on these issues and of course, I know all the reservations and hesitations. But I

think it's good news that we get now as much support as possible to Ukraine in the very vulnerable situation that they're fighting very bravely against


SOARES: How much was Germany's decision or move to send Leopards, based on the U.S.' move, waiting for U.S. to react first?

HAAVISTO: There can be a connection between these decisions. But also, I think on the European side, we are using this European peace (INAUDIBLE)

together in the European Union to support countries, to deliver more weapons and deliver more arms to Ukraine.

And (INAUDIBLE) pledged additional funding from either (ph) side to that funds (ph). All these decisions (INAUDIBLE) support but Germany is also now


SOARES: Of course, we were talking earlier in the week about a coalition of tanks from the Polish side. Poland, of course, yourself.

Who else would be part?

Who else do you think within your group, your coalition, would be willing to send, from what you understand?

HAAVISTO: Actually, I don't want to speak on the behalf of other countries. But there are maybe around 10 countries that are in a position

to deliver. And I'm sure that, if Germany makes the final decision, it's becoming easier for the others to do the positive decision as well.

SOARES: And Minister, how quickly would that happen?

How soon can we see these tanks on the ground in Ukraine, given, of course, we're talking about this spring offensive?

And we have President Zelenskyy talking about timing being of the essence here.

HAAVISTO: Well, of course, as soon as possible. But we know that there are some technical issues. The service chain has to be established. The drivers

have to be trained and so forth.

But European Union has already started this (INAUDIBLE) operation for the training of the Ukraine soldiers and I'm sure that this kind of issues can

then be combined for the training mission.

SOARES: Minister, let me get your thoughts, your views on a separate story that we've been following. That is Finland as well as Sweden's joint

membership of NATO.

How were talks going with Turkiye?

HAAVISTO: Well, as you know, there's been some hiccups and protests in Stockholm in Sweden. Some Islamophobic people being in protests and so

forth. Of course, we are living in a very sensitive time.

There is the spring elections in May in Turkiye and Turkiye has, of course, reacted very strongly. We have a plight together (ph) with Sweden, we hope

that we can come into NATO together and we have at least kind of this tripartite working with Turkiye. Now there are probably some delays.

We hope at latest, after the Turkish elections, we can go on and be members of NATO as soon as possible.


SOARES: So they've been put on hold, is that right?

HAAVISTO: There is some kind of delay because of the recent events. Of course, this is not good news because we would like to be also in NATO and

Article 5 apply as soon as possible. But we feel both Finland and Sweden can also give quite a lot to NATO (INAUDIBLE) Nordic areas and other parts

of Europe and the security in the Baltic Sea.

SOARES: But depending, of course, like you said, we don't know how long this will last, given the situation on the ground in Ukraine, would you

consider, would Finland consider going it alone here, Minister?

HAAVISTO: Well, of course, we are waiting both Hungary and Turkiye to deliver. Currently, we are in the same situation with Sweden, we are both

waiting to find out ratification. We have actually 28 NATO countries have ratified us. And we are very grateful to the U.S., for example. That was a

very speedy process in the U.S. Senate.

People tried to go together because when you plan the defense of these areas in Europe and other areas, when you look at the map, actually both

countries are NATO, both Finland and Sweden.

SOARES: But if the situation, Minister, on the ground in Ukraine does escalate with the new offensive and if the NATO application is held up

longer than you expect, because President Erdogan of Turkiye perhaps continues to insist that he wants a clearer stance from Sweden against what

Ankara has been calling, what they see as terrorists.

Would Finland then consider going it alone?

HAAVISTO: We have currently actually very strong security assurances from the U.S. side, from U.K., from Kyiv, European countries. So in that sense,

we are not in a hurry. We have time to go together with Sweden.

And we think that any delay this spring, hopefully will end after the Turkish elections, which are in May. And then we're looking for, of course,

the NATO summit in July, which, hopefully by the NATO summit, we will be already members.

SOARES: The Finnish minister of foreign affairs, Pekka Haavisto. Minister, always great to get your time and your expertise here. And I'm glad we were

able to reconnect after that tech problem we had earlier. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.

Well, as Ukraine fights the physical war against Russia, it's also fighting a war against corruption. We are seeing that play out dramatically in Kyiv

today with president -- Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy firing and then accepting the resignations of several high-level officials.

Ukraine's presidential advisor says the shakeup shows that Mr. Zelenskyy is committed to fighting corruption, which was one of his key campaign


And still to come tonight, after weeks of unrest, hear what Peru's president had to say about the ongoing protests in her country. That is






SOARES: Peru is seeing more of its worst political violence in decades. In Lima last night, protesters were seen throwing objects at police officers

in riot gear. As you can see there. And officers were seen tear gassing protesters.

Many of the protesters are calling for the resignation of president Dina Boluarte. When asked about the ongoing unrest, which we haven't heard for a

while, she said, the protests are not peaceful. Have a listen.


DINA BOLUARTE, PERUVIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): But I think the right to protest cannot come accompanied by violence, destruction and



SOARES: It'll be interesting to see, of course, how protesters interpret her words in the coming days.

Now China looks dramatically different since scrapping its zero COVID-19 measures after public outcry and protests. Some residents say, the

authorities are targeting them from being part of those rallies. CNN's Selina Wang spoke, has this story, in fact.


SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): "If you're seeing this video, that means I've already been taken by the police."

These are the chilling words of a young woman in China who took part in this demonstration in Beijing on November 27th. It was one of dozens of

anti-zero COVID protests that erupted in cities across China.

They're chanting that they don't want COVID tests. They want freedom.

Police mind the streets but the mood was calm and peaceful. Many were there to mourn the lives lost and China's Urumqi city where a deadly fire broke

out in a lockdown building.

This 26-year-old woman, an editor at a publishing house said that is why she and her friends took to the streets. She said they follow the rules and

didn't have any conflict with the police.

Soon after filming this, she was arrested. She knew her time was nearing. CNN has learned from sources that weeks after the protest, police started

rounding up her friends one by one. Most of them also young female professionals.

We tracked down and interviewed one of her friends who's been tirelessly searching for her for not revealing her name or any of the sources we've

spoken to because of concerns of retribution from the Chinese state.

Authorities want to intimidate ordinary people, she said, they want to turn people into emotionless machines. We can't even gather together to grieve.

Police swiftly crackdown on the protesters in some cities violently pushing and dragging the demonstrators but the Beijing protesters peacefully

dispersed. Afterwards, police blanketed protest sites.

In some places, authorities check cell phones for virtual private networks and track down participants with cell phone data.

Soon after, China dropped its zero COVID policy and opened up. In his New Year's Eve address, Chinese leader Xi Jinping said it was "only natural for

different people to have different concerns or hold different views on the same issue." But behind the scenes, their loved ones say the retribution


"She's paying a heavy price. We were born into this land so naturally we would want to make China better. But now I feel there's nothing that we can

do," she says, breaking down into tears.

Authorities have made no official comment about the detention and will likely never know how many people have been detained in connection with the

protests if it's dozens hundreds or more.

As people across China are celebrating the Lunar New Year with their newfound freedom. The young woman says the mothers of her and her friends

want to know why their daughters were taken from them.

In her final words in the video message, she made this call for help.

"Don't let us be taken away or convicted arbitrarily. Don't let us disappear from this world unjustly."

WANG: CNN has asked Beijing authorities for comment on the young woman you saw there along with the other detentions but we have not heard back. We've

learned she's one of eight people who have been quietly detained after the protests.

People who know these women tell us they were confused as to why they were taken, describing them as young female professionals working in publishing,

journalism and education, saying they are socially minded but not dissidents or organizers.

Experts say the police may have been suspicious of young politically aware women. Chinese authorities have a well-documented history of targeting

feminists and at least one of the women detained was questioned during her interrogation about whether she had any involvement in feminist groups --

Selina Wang, CNN, Beijing.






SOARES: Well, the Academy Awards nominations are out and one big favorite has scored big.


SOARES (voice-over): I loved it.

Indie darling "Everything Everywhere All at Once" scored the most nominations with 11, including Best Picture and Best Director. It's

starring Michelle Yeoh, who became the first ever Asian actress to get a best actress nomination. Absolutely thrilled for her.


SOARES: Well, the Oscars sometimes get criticized for paying more attention to critical praise than what audiences think. But among the

nominees, you'll be surprised, for Best Picture this year are two big box office hits. "Top Gun: Maverick" and "Avatar: The Way of Water."

Here to help us break it all down for us is CNN entertainment reporter, Chloe Melas.

So Chloe, does this suggest perhaps that the Academy Awards is shifting a bit, going for blockbusters?

Not something we are used to seeing.

CHLOE MELAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Look, it's hard to say that this is going to stay this way. But it's definitely exciting because we haven't seen, you

know, a really big blockbuster movie win Best Picture in what seems to be decades almost. I mean, when I think of a movie like "Top Gun" winning, you

think of "Titanic," right?

James Cameron's "Titanic." But this is a really big moment but, like you just pointed out, "Everything Everywhere All at Once" is something that

everybody is talking about. It is that indie darling. And when you look at movies that have won in the past at the Oscars, the Academy Awards, you

look at movies like "Coda," right?

These are those indie movies that have these cult-like followings and those are the ones that really win for their artisticness (sic) and, you know,

sometimes unknown actors. But I do want to also point out the Best Director category.

That's something that a lot of people are paying attention to today because the Academy Awards, in true fashion, takes a few steps forward, then a few

steps back.

Remember when Chloe Zhao won for Best Director?

What a big deal that was. Well, this year, no women nominated. And that's something that a lot of people are talking about.

You have Steven Spielberg for "The Fabelmans," you have Martin McDonagh for "The Banshees of Inisherin," Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan, "Everything

Everywhere All at Once" and then you see Todd Field, "Tar," then Ruben Ostlund, "Triangle of Sadness."

But no women. A lot of people are taking to social media with the #OscarsSoMale. Remember a few years ago, there was a lot of, you know,

controversy over the lack of diversity at the Academy Awards and so the #OscarsSoWhite.


MELAS: You know, in terms of snubs, Tom Cruise, I was disappointed to see him not be nominated because, to me, in my opinion, he sort of brought back

movies over the summer with "Top Gun."

But you know, we're not that far away. The Oscars are March 12th. They will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel and I think it's going to be a really, really fun


Obviously, also people are going to be wanting to find out, are they going to mention the Oscars slap that took place last year?

Who's going to talk about it?

And what is going to be said?

SOARES: How can we forget that look?

Another big snub, I will say. We've only got 50 seconds or show till the end of the show. For me, Viola Davis for "The Woman King." I loved it. I

haven't seen "Top Gun." I mean, I tried to watch it twice and I feel asleep, apologies.

But Viola Davis in "The Woman King" was fabulous and I was kind of disappointed she wasn't nominated. Right?

MELAS: I was disappointed about that. You know, some people also feel like a snub was Will Smith, who I just mentioned, for "Emancipation," which was

a movie that was getting a lot of buzz. It would've potentially maybe been his next Oscar nomination.

You know, he won for Best Actor last year but I think that slap probably caused him a lot of problems, when it came to the academy voting.

SOARES: I don't think the academy will forget that anytime soon. Chloe Melas, great to see you. Thanks very much.

MELAS: Thank you.

SOARES: And thank you for watching tonight. Do stay right here, "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next. I shall see you tomorrow, bye-bye.