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Isa Soares Tonight
Russia Hits Kramatorsk As Ukraine Warns of New Offensive; U.S. to Gain Expanded Access to Philippine Military Bases; Record Profits for Shell Oil Spark Backlash; Israeli-Palestinian Conflict; Double Amputee Killed By California Police; AI To Disrupt 85 Million Jobs By 2025. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired February 02, 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 very warm welcome to the show, everyone, I'm Isa Soares. Tonight, Kramatorsk targeted. It is the latest
Russian strike inside Ukraine, and Ukraine is warning that a new, even more intense Russian offensive is right around the corner.
The U.S. Defense Secretary is in the Philippines announcing new military footholds in the region, and China is already reacting. And record profits
for the energy giant Shell have inspired this green peace protests. We'll look at the massive numbers and the global backlash.
But first, this hour, as Russia fires more missiles on Ukrainian cities, President Vladimir Putin is threatening the western nations providing
defensive weapons to Kyiv. Mr. Putin is saying those who sent tanks are dragging themselves into a new war with Russia. He says it will not end
with the use of armored vehicles or tanks, but with something which he left unspecified.
Although, he has made vague threats of nuclear retaliation in the past. He spoke his Russian forces waged another brutal day of war in Ukraine's soil.
The battle for the city of Bakhmut continues. And earlier on Thursday, Russia fired a barrage of missiles on the city of Kramatorsk, wounding five
people and damaging several buildings, you can see there, including a children's clinic and a school. Frederik Pleitgen and his team saw the
attack unfold, and he tells us what they witnessed.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): We were going basically to the scene of where that missile strike took place
last night, on that residential building that killed several people, because of course, there is still a big rescue operation going on there.
And we had just arrived at the scene, left our vehicle, when the house in front of which our vehicle was parked was hit by a missile strike. It was a
really heavy explosion, very close by. I would say maybe 40 or 50 yards from our location. So, we then went -- trying to go into shelter, trying to
go into a sheltered building, and as we were doing that, I turned around and you could see the second missile hitting the exact same area.
We already know that there were people who were severely wounded on the ground there, it's unclear if and how many people were killed. Of course,
right now, there's a big rescue operation going on there, but I think it's important for our viewers to understand that this area that this was in, it
was an active search and rescue operation in a residential area, and today, the Russians targeted exactly the same area with two very heavy missiles.
And this was -- as there were a lot of civilians there on the street, we didn't see anybody in the way of military on the streets or any sort of
military installations. It was right in the heart of the town of Kramatorsk. And then, of course, we then decided to leave that area as fast
as possible after we realized the coast was clear.
SOARES: Fred Pleitgen there. Well, let's talk about the trajectory really of the war with Neil Melvin; he is the director of International Security
Studies for the British Defense and Security think-tank, RUSI. A well-known face on the show. Welcome, Neil. Let me pick up really where we had Fred,
where he is right now, he's currently -- he was there as he filed that report in Prymorsk.
But he's been around Donetsk, and then in Kramatorsk in particular, all the last 48 if not longer. And what we're seeing today, the shelling that we've
seen today in Kramatorsk is quite telling, perhaps of what we can expect to see in the coming months. What -- your thoughts on what we have seen today
NEIL MELVIN, DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL SECURITY STUDIES, RUSI: Yes, well, I mean, I think the focus on the conflict now is really in this area, around
Bakhmut and Kramatorsk, much of the frontline is relatively stable, there's still some shelling going on, particularly on Kherson in the south.
SOARES: Let's take a closer look --
MELVIN: But this is where we see the most movement at the moment. And Bakhmut, which has become symbolically very important, both for the
Russians and the Ukrainians. Ukrainians call it fortress, Bakhmut, they don't want to give it up. But the Russians now are starting to close in, in
a pincer movement around the town the Ukrainians --
SOARES: So --
MELVIN: Are finding difficult to hold back --
SOARES: Around this area. And we'll talk about Bakhmut, but what I heard from there, we're using six S-300 missiles which I believe are not very
accurate. Tell us about that.
MELVIN: I mean, these are really Soviet-era anti-aircraft missiles. The Russians have been using them in the war before, but what they show is that
they're keeping their best missiles, most accurate ones back and using these ones to hit civilian targets. They can hit a town without much
And this is why we see apartment blocks been hit by these missiles and civilians being killed by them.
SOARES: Let's focus then on Bakhmut, because you and I have spoken about Bakhmut for months now. And I remember you telling me the last time, Neil,
there's not much strategic importance to Bakhmut. So why so much intense fighting in Bakhmut?
And I want to show our viewers in particular this highway, this highway in Bakhmut. There seems to be both sides fighting for this highway. This is
Google -- fighting for this highway. Why is this so important?
MELVIN: Well, this has been the terrain really since 2014 where much of the conflict has been happening since the invasion last year. First of all,
the Russians came over and they got pushed back. But now, the Russians are trying to push back against Bakhmut. It was the private security company
SOARES: Of course --
MELVIN: This is the Prigozhin, Yevgeny Prigozhin, one of these oligarchs who's close to Putin, it's his private security company that was leading on
this. And I think in the first interpretation was that, this was because it was part of a struggle to show that you could still make progress in this
war while the rest of the Russian army wasn't making progress.
Now, we've seen a change. We've got the new Russian military commander, Gerasimov coming. He's doubled down on Bakhmut. So I think now what we're
looking at is the potential is, is this the beginning of the long-awaited Russian attempt to push back? They've got hundreds of thousands of troops
in this part of Ukraine, now perhaps up to 300,000 or more, another 200,000 in reserve in Russia.
They've been building them up during the Winter, so the feeling is that this may be perhaps the springboard to try to take Kramatorsk, which is
what their main target will be.
SOARES: And that is the fear. I mean, losing -- if Ukraine loses this, I mean, symbolism of this, and what that would do to morale, I'm guessing, it
would be huge here.
MELVIN: Exactly, because, I mean, since really this -- the late Spring of last year, the Ukrainians, it's all been success, they've been pushing
forward, pushing the Russians back. And the Russians start to creep back, even sort of symbolically, territory, that's going to be tough politically
for Zelenskyy. Up until now, he's been able to -- he's been hero of the war --
SOARES: Of course --
MELVIN: He's resisted the Russians, and then he's done the counteroffensives. And now, the politics of the war start to come in, it's
not just about the military, who is going to be able to capitalize on any progress that happens on the battlefield.
SOARES: All those -- although, we have heard from the allies, telling Ukraine, you know, forget Bakhmut, let's focus on the south. But that
doesn't seem to be the case for now. We have heard though, from Kyiv official in the last 24 hours, Neil, saying that really they're gearing up
for maximum escalation by Russia.
What we have seen is the Russian-Belarusian training that we've seen, military training, air training, I think, Air Force training we've seen.
That has ended today. So if we were talking about an attack on Spring offensive. What will that, do you think, look like? You know, bring them up
back here. What will that look like do you think?
MELVIN: Well, no, you see Ukraine has a very large periphery. It means a huge territory. What the Russians are trying to do is keep them guessing.
Where are they going to come from?
SOARES: Yes --
MELVIN: Is it going to be Belarus? Then the Ukrainians have to have troops up here to defend. Is it going to be something from Russia here again? So
they need troops here, or is it going to be actually where the troops are inside Ukraine. The most likely area, I think is going to be probably, the
Donbas. This is symbolically the core of the Russian war aims.
SOARES: This area, here.
MELVIN: And President Putin, he's repeatedly said that, that is what he wants to take. You know, the Russian authorities in September last year
declared that these are going to annex territories now coming into Russia. So, if he could actually take up to this area here, then I think the
Russians might be able to make a claim that this is a victory. That they've actually taken the territory they wanted to.
SOARES: Very quickly. Do we know how many Russian troops are in this area right now?
MELVIN: Well, Ukrainian --
SOARES: A rough estimate --
MELVIN: Intelligence saying up to 320,000 Russian troops in Ukraine now. Which is double the number that invaded in February of last year. So
they're really building up now for something very large in the next couple of months.
SOARES: Neil, appreciate it as always --
MELVIN: Thank you so much --
SOARES: Great to see you, thank you very much. While the U.S. military will soon gain access to four more bases in the Philippines, Defense
Secretary Lloyd Austin made the announcement in Manila. Washington is ramping up its presence in the region, China's Navy has now surpassed the
U.S. Navy in fleet size.
And we've reported that the Pentagon wants to be ready for a potential conflict, especially over Taiwan, which is right near the Philippines. Here
is what Austin said about this deal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LLOYD AUSTIN, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE, UNITED STATES: We discussed concrete actions to address destabilizing activities in the waters surrounding the
Philippines including the West Philippines Sea. And we remain committed to strengthening our mutual capacities to resist armed attacks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: While the expansion is getting a strong response, you can imagine from China. CNN's Marc Stewart is in Hong Kong for you.
MARC STEWART, CNN REPORTER (on camera): China's reaction is strong, it is pointed. And it's reflected in what we're hearing from the government. A
foreign ministry spokesperson warned that this move has quote, "escalated tension in the region, and endangers regional peace and stability."
Some quick context. The U.S. has had an agreement with the Philippines since 2014. This new deal is further expansion of it. While we don't know
exactly where this increased American presence could take place, it could potentially place U.S. Armed Forces fewer than 200 miles south of Taiwan,
and falls in line with what we've seen in recent months with the U.S. beefing up security in that part of the world because of concerns over
China's posturing in the region.
For example, plans to deploy new U.S. marine units to Japanese islands. The U.S. Marine Corps also opened a new base in Guam last week. The U.S.
Secretary of State will soon be heading to China on a diplomatic mission, it will be interesting to see if this tension comes up in the conversation.
Marc Stewart, CNN, Hong Kong.
SOARES: We shall see indeed. Let's go to our Pentagon correspondent Oren Liebermann for more. So, Oren, how significant is this? I mean, do we know
-- to start off with, where these bases will be, because clearly, this is rattling China?
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Isa, they haven't said where these bases will be, neither the U.S. nor the Philippines. So whether
that's still being worked out or whether they're being cautious about this, that remains to be seen. But a few months ago, a Philippine military
official did say that the U.S. was interested in a number of different areas, some of those in the northern Philippines.
And that's what puts them so close to Taiwan, that's part of what's raised China ire here. And that's where you get the statement that we just heard
from Mark, accusing the U.S. of having a selfish agenda here. More importantly -- and this is perhaps from the broader perspective.
The previous Philippine administration under former Presidents Duterte moved Manila in the direction of Beijing. He even threatened to kick U.S.
forces out of the Philippines. So, although, the current Philippines administration is still being very careful vis-a-vis China, and trying to
thread that line carefully, it is also clearly a realignment in the U.S., and the Philippines moving back towards the U.S.
So that's another larger context, reason of why you see such an angry reaction from China. And this, on top of the beefing up of the security in
Okinawa, on top of the Marine Corps base in Guam, all of that means that China is not at all pleased about what's happening, as the U.S. very
clearly continues that shift to focus on the Indo-Pacific and on China.
SOARES: Yes, on that, we have seen, haven't we, as of late, the U.S. step up efforts to expand security in the region. So, Oren, how do you interpret
these moves? Is it a sign of things to come? And what are your sources telling you here?
LIEBERMANN: Yes, there will be more moves of this nature, which is the U.S. growing closer to its allies there, particularly, you think of Japan,
South Korea and others. But you also see countries in that region moving towards the U.S., which is part of the broader plan of sort of rebuilding
the alliances there, and making sure they are strong here.
As not only the U.S., but other countries as well. Look at what China is doing, and viewing that as aggressive action. For example, when it comes to
the Philippines, just a couple of months ago, there was an incident where what was suspected to be Chinese rocket debris landed in Philippine waters.
The Philippine Navy was going to retrieve it when a Chinese coast guard basically cut them off and forcefully retrieved it themselves. It's those
kinds of actions that have alarmed not only in the U.S., but in this case, the Philippines as well. And that's what the U.S. is looking at as it tries
to broaden an opportunity, a system capable of containing and deterring Beijing.
SOARES: Important context there from our Oren Liebermann at the Pentagon. Thanks very much Oren, great to see you. Now in a year of war, energy
crisis, layoffs and inflation, some companies were out there making bank. Shell, the British energy giant just posted record profits for the 2022
financial year, making just shy as you can see on your screen, a $40 billion.
That is more than double what it made in 2021. And its earnings were no doubt held by soaring oil and gas prices after Russia invaded Ukraine.
Climate activists are speaking out, saying Shell isn't doing enough to move away from fossil fuels. Greenpeace activist staged a protest this week,
temporarily boarding a Shell contracted vessel, as you can see there, in the Atlantic Ocean.
CNN's chief climate correspondent Bill Weir joins me now from New York. And Bill, look, these numbers are truly eye-watering. And I've covered business
news for many years, but it is important to point out here that much of this is off the back of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which of course, saw
gas prices or prices surge. Your take on what we've seen to what we've seen today from Shell.
BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT: It's an interesting moments in terms of social license. That the modern world is built by these fuels, but
now the science is just overwhelming that the same forces are now coming back to haunt us. And the company is now -- that are making these
staggering profits are emitting as much.
BP on their futures report, just came out a couple of days ago, basically says peak oil is behind us, it's time to wind it down. But like St.
Augustine's prayer, you know, Lord, make me celibate, but not right now." A lot of the activists would, say they're not rigid enough in winding down
their business practices.
And so, you'll see four activists from Greenpeace, four different countries, they put up banners on their platform, stop drilling, start
This is part of a call now in the public for reparations, for years of sort of false advertising, selling a product that they knew internally would do
exactly what it's doing now. We've seen that documents come out. And so the public sentiment around this is as electrification becomes more affordable
for many in the West, it's starting to shift right now.
And so, we'll see. There's been 2,000 lawsuits against big oil companies trying to hold them accountable, a quarter of those within the last couple
of years, none has given any sort of awards to anybody or ordered the oil company to pay, although, Shell was ordered to reduce their emissions by 45
percent by a Dutch court, they're appealing that.
But you're seeing this play out there, but you're right, it is eye- watering, the profits. ExxonMobil, $56 billion in one year, Shell's double what they made last year, and a lot of folks may or may not be plugged into
what Putin is doing in Ukraine, but they remember the really insane high gas prices that happened to come down just after the election in the United
States. So, you're seeing both record profits and sort of record activism at the same time.
SOARES: Yes, I mean, exactly, on that point, I can tell you here in the U.K., there's a lot of outrage because, of course, we're in a time where
people are struggling, Bill, with the cost of living crisis, we've got high, soaring inflation, high interest rates, and yet, you're seeing these
companies with these eye-watering results.
But you know, talk to us about those climate activists that say, look, they're profiteering from climate destruction. What -- do they have even a
green credential here?
WEIR: Well, I mean, they're just trying to make the case that there's the poorest countries that are paying the most. Those with the smallest carbon
footprints. Meanwhile, we're seeing these staggering profits at the other end of the spectrum. That's a moral argument that could be made by anybody.
Whether it's a Greenpeace, you know, or on a zodiac raft in the Atlantic or someone who just -- you know, reading the headlines right now.
The question is, you know, what to do about that. The power of voters, the power of consumers. How fast the modern world can unshackle itself from
petrol fuels in the face of all this resistance from those who are making massive profits. It's really the story of our age.
SOARES: Yes, and some may say, look, this is how capitalism works. It's a risky business, sometimes it works, sometimes some years are not great, but
some here in the U.K., look, they're not paying enough windfall tax. But that's a conversation for another day. But you're right, In terms of --
WEIR: Right --
SOARES: What can be done at a social level, kind of pressure we can put on these companies, right, Bill?
WEIR: Yes, they admit after years of really fighting the science publicly that their product -- their very business model is making this sort of
monster-made of carbon. This 2-trillion ton Godzilla in the sky that's ruining everything we love, you know, from our fish to our farms. They now
agree that that's part of the problem.
And so, to what account are they responsible for ramping up carbon removal? Not just as a fig leaf to keep drilling this as usual, but to really, you
know, spend within our carbon budget. That means --
SOARES: Yes --
WEIR: A livable planet that we all really are fond of.
SOARES: Corporate responsibility, that's what it gets down to as well. Bill Weir, great to see you, thanks very much, Bill. And still to come
tonight, anger, frustration and disappointment. Sports fans are reeling after reports that Saudi Arabia will sponsor this year's FIFA Women's
Football World Cup. And then later, new cross-border attacks between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza, despite renewed U.S. calls for calm.
SOARES: Reports that Saudi Arabia will sponsor this year's FIFA Women's Football World Cup are sparking anger in the sporting community and beyond.
Hosts, Australia and New Zealand say they're shocked and disappointed by the news. And humanitarian groups are accusing FIFA of facilitating
CNN sports analyst, Christine Brennan is joining me now. Christine, great to see you and here we are again. I mean, this is a pretty uneasy corporate
marriage. What do you make of this sponsorship? Are you surprised at all, Christine?
CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS ANALYST: Isa, I guess I'm not surprised that FIFA would do anything for money. This is the Women's World Cup we're
talking about. It's all about equality for women. Back a generation ago, Sepp Blatter; the previous FIFA president, said, the future of football is
Whether he meant it or not, obviously it's your growth industry, it's your opportunity to make money, it's your opportunity to attract the other half
of the population of the world. And instead, what they're doing is of course, they're in business, they're in bed with the worst of the worst,
the Saudis, and their repressive, awful record of human rights for women, the way they treat women in that country, of course, LGBTQ rights, lack
thereof, none. The terrible things that can happen in Saudi Arabia.
We know, obviously, some of the women who will be competing in the World Cup probably are gay. You throw that in the mix, LGBTQ, whatever the
situation might be with the World Cup itself with those participants. So, it's awful. It's embarrassing, but it is just so FIFA, isn't it? And here
we go again, as you said.
SOARES: Yes, it's embarrassing, and look, if the reports are true, Christine, it seems like Australia and New Zee-land(ph) -- New Zealand,
pardon me, were kind of blindsided by the news. At least, not consulted. And it puts the co-host, does it not? In quite a difficult position.
BRENNAN: Well, it does. I will say it's also a breath of fresh air. Isn't it great to see people fighting back against the sportswashing, as you
said? As they taking the money from repressive, awful regimes. With Qatar, which, of course, just hosted the men's World Cup that we talked about it,
of course --
SOARES: Yes --
BRENNAN: A month and a half ago, there was pushback, I mean, from us. But, you know, it just was business as usual and a country, again, with this
terrible human rights record. So here, we see what happens when you put big sporting events in western democracies. In this case, not one, but two.
Both Australia and New Zealand, and thank goodness they're fighting back. I'm guessing this will be a storyline that will go all the way through to
the competition, if this keeps up. And good for them and I'm glad we're seeing the other side of this issue.
SOARES: Yes, and from what I've been reading, tickets have been flying. There's a lot of demand and athletes, like you pointed, as well, as
visitors may find this very uncomfortable because Australia's home, from what I understand to some of the largest LGBTQ pride events in the world.
One statement I heard today, Craig Foster; he was a former captain, Christine, of Australia's men's football team, said, Saudi Arabia
sponsoring a global women sporting event is like Exxon sponsoring COP28. Do you think we'll see more of Saudi Arabia on the world stage, at least, in
sporting world stage, do you think?
BRENNAN: We're certainly seeing it with live golf. But again, it is not --
SOARES: Yes --
BRENNAN: Only brought them whatever they think they want in terms of sportswashing, the millions and millions of dollars are pointing to
golfers, top golfers like Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson. But it's also brought the scrutiny that they hate. And we have been writing and talking
about these issues.
I'm sure many sports fans and others had forgotten that 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 were Saudis. I'm sure they've forgotten about Jamal
Khashoggi and of course, the murder, dismemberment of that journalist from "The Washington Post" and masterminded, as many groups have said, including
the United Nations, by Mohammad bin Salman; who is the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.
So, we're bringing these issues up. They're getting a spotlight now put on them that they probably don't like, and this will continue. I do believe
what I hope happens is that FIFA pulls back, and New Zealand and Australia, and women's soccer -- women's football wins in terms of getting this
sponsorship out of the Women's World Cup. That's what I hope the end result is, and let's hope New Zealand and Australia continue to push for that.
SOARES: Christine, always great to get your perspective and insights. So refreshing. Thanks very much, Christine, great to see you.
BRENNAN: It's OK --
SOARES: And still ahead tonight, Benjamin Netanyahu's interview with CNN and Palestinian response. Why a diplomat says, Israel's policies are meant
to continue the, quote, "subjugation of the Palestinian people." That's next.
SOARES: Welcome back, everyone. New cross-border attacks between Israel and Palestinian militants are shaking the region already on edge. Israel
says it launched airstrikes on Gaza today after intercepting Palestinian rocket fire. It says it targeted rocket and weapons production sites used
A Palestinian news agency says several sites were hit, including agricultural land. France says it stands with Israel in the face of
terrorism, while stressing that both Israelis and Palestinians must avoid fueling a cycle of violence. French President Emmanuel Macron, is
delivering that message in person to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
They're having a working dinner in Paris tonight. Iran's nuclear program tops Mr. Netanyahu's list of priorities, but a surge in Israeli-Palestinian
violence is overshadowing his trip. Well, the U.S. Secretary of State visited the Middle East this week, insisting a two-state solution is the
only way forward, where Palestinians and Israelis would enjoy equal measures of freedom as well as security.
But that goal seems more remote than ever. Benjamin Netanyahu spoke exclusively to CNN to Jake Tapper after Antony Blinken's visit.
He told him that people shouldn't get hung up on the traditional formula for peace. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: What are you willing to give?
Are you willing to let people in the West Bank vote?
Are you willing to let the 300,000 Arabs who have residency in East Jerusalem vote?
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL: Well, I'm certainly willing to have them have all the powers that they need to govern themselves but
none of the powers that can threaten us.
And this means that Israel should have the overriding security responsibility.
TAPPER: Is it a two-state solution?
NETANYAHU: I wouldn't call it necessarily that because I don't think that -- you know, I had a discussion with my friend of 40 years. I'm not just
saying that, friend of 40 years, Joe Biden. I mean that, a friend -- a personal friend of 40 years and a friend of Israel. A real champion of
Israel and of Zionism.
And I told him what I just told you.
I said, look, any final agreement between Israel and the Palestinians would have Israel controlling security -- overriding security responsibility in
the area west of the Jordan.
That is -- that includes both the Palestinian areas and the Jewish areas, the Israeli areas, which is, by the way, the size of the Washington Beltway
-- the width of the Washington Beltway.
I said, you can't divide who controls the airspace. You have to cross it. It takes two minutes for an airplane to cross it.
So, what, one minute Israel controls it and the other minute the Palestinians?
Of course, it's not workable.
Now, I think we can get hung up on this, and we have in the past. People said, you know, unless you resolve this issue and unless you have peace
with the Palestinians, you're not going to have a broader peace with the Arab world.
People are -- said you have to work your way outside in, first -- inside out, first, peace with the Palestinians, peace with the Arab world. I think
realistically it's got to be the other way around.
If we make peace with Saudi Arabia -- it depends on the Saudi leadership -- and bring, effectively, the Arab-Israeli conflict to an end, I think we
will circle back to the Palestinians and get a workable peace with the Palestinians. I think that's possible. And I think that's the way to go.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Well, as the peace process languishes, Israel continues to change the reality on the ground, pressing ahead with settlements on occupied
land. I spoke earlier about Mr. Netanyahu's remarks with Husam Zomlot, the head of the Palestinian mission to the U.K.
HUSAM ZOMLOT, HEAD, PALESTINIAN MISSION TO THE U.K.: That was a classic Netanyahu textbook historical denialism, negationism, really, a distortion
of the historic facts as he has been doing for 40 years.
He even manages to rewrite his own historic record. He mentions that the occupied territories are disputed.
Disputed by whose accounts, exactly?
There's a global consensus about the legal status of the occupied territories. He goes on to say that, in any final agreement, the overall
security would have to be returned to Israel; i.e. the continuation of the military occupation and the subjugation and the control of the Palestinian
SOARES: The status quo?
ZOMLOT: -- people -- yes.
SOARES: We heard what Netanyahu said but one thing that he said that struck me. He said, don't get hung up on peace with Palestinians first.
I mean, his methodology seems to be that he believes that he can forge ties with the Arab world. So part of obviously the Abraham accords, hoping the
Saudis get on board as well. And then before he even talks about peace with the Palestinians.
What do you make of that?
ZOMLOT: Skipping forward and, abracadabra, and being a politician who wants to be populist and be sure that he's elected for the sixth time but
not a statesman who wants to make sure that the future of his people and our people are different than what we have seen over the last 100 years,
somebody who's calculating all the time.
Peace can only be achieved with the party that's really you have the issue is. And you don't have the issue with Emiratis. You know, Israel does not
colonize or occupy the Emirates or Bahrain, for that matter, or any other country. The issue Israel has is whether 7 million Palestinians in the
occupied territories and in the historic land of Palestine, 7 million outside the refugee camps denied the right to return.
This is the real issue. And as long as you want to turn around it and try to say that we make peace first and we turn around the back of the
Palestinians, go to the World Cup and see what happened the last couple of months.
And see the real depth of feeling of the Arab world and the Arab people. So a few strikes and deals with regimes and governments, you know, that's not
the real peace we seek.
SOARES: Let's talk about the rising, concerning levels of violence on both sides. I should point out. What's being done by the Palestinian Authority
to stop the violence?
This is, I mean, in terms of from what you understand, what is being done to try and put a hold on the violence, to bring back peace?
ZOMLOT: This is the establishment of the Palestinian Authority.
ZOMLOT: There's been a huge amount of investment that this authority would be the nucleus of the state to come. That was the Oslo accords, that in
five years, it will turn into a sovereign, independent state.
We have accepted and we have adhered to all the provisions of the agreements and international resolution.
Yet, as I took that as a source of comfort to maintain and manage the status quo, what we meant by establishing national institutions, including
the PA, it's a tool for the Palestinian people to back-roll occupation. It's a tool to end it, rather than to sustain it.
And therefore, Mr. Netanyahu and anybody engaged in this and the U.S. administration need to understand, that this is the main function of the
Palestinian national institutions.
SOARES: And this -- clearly I hear from your tone, disillusion from what we heard from Secretary Blinken. But there seem, from what I gathered as
well, from our teams on the ground in Ramallah, in the last 48 hours, 24-48 hours, is that there seemed to be disillusionment with the current
I want to play a little clip of what they heard on the streets of Ramallah. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HANAN ASHRAWI, PALESTINIAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGNER: We have had a leadership that's not just syriatic (ph) but has held on to positions of power and has
failed, in many ways, to deliver to the people, even its own policies, and has lost its credibility and respect by the people who see it as acting
only to protect Israel's security, as acting only to maintain itself in positions of power, rather than really take a stand consistent with the
rights of the Palestinian people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do we -- how do we say the --
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): "Our leadership is incapable of delivering what we want," 18-year-old Nihad (ph)
"I don't see a two-state solution," he says.
"Maybe between us and the Jewish people but with the Israeli occupiers?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: How much support does the Palestinian Authority have right now, given what we've heard on the streets of Ramallah?
ZOMLOT: I'm here presenting the PLO, my -- our office in London is recognized by the U.K. (ph) government as a PLO office. In Washington,
where I headed before, was the PLO. We have that national umbrella that has all Palestinian factions.
And, yes, we need to renew our democracy. And, yes, we need to offer our people the ability to cast their vote and choose their leaders and --
SOARES: That recognition, then, that you are losing -- ?
ZOMLOT: No, no; this has been happening regularly of late. There have been severe obstacles that did not allow us to do so.
SOARES: Such as?
ZOMLOT: Such as Israel's prevention and veto for us to convene elections in Jerusalem. We have 300,000 Palestinians and we will not allow for a
national democratic process to opt out that very important process.
SOARES: You say Israel but some may say that, you know, Hamas and Islamic Jihad have had an agenda. They've been undermining Abbas.
Would you say that's fair?
ZOMLOT: That's an internal Palestinian to Palestinian discussion --
SOARES: But it's undermining him, is it not?
ZOMLOT: -- but Palestinians, Isa, Palestinians have one representation, one flag. They are united as a nation --
SOARES: That might be the case but what we're hearing on the streets does not resonate with what you are telling me.
ZOMLOT: And President Abbas has spent his life trying to actually pursue the path of peace, of popular, nonviolent resistance, of utilizing all
international organs. If there's a person who can actually make a final peace deal with Israel, it would be President Abbas --
SOARES: Are you disappointed by the U.S., by the U.S. response or lack thereof?
Because up to now, this administration's focused very much on Ukraine and on China.
Are you disappointed that they haven't really focused that much?
ZOMLOT: -- I am disappointed, very much, especially by the Biden administration. They could've done so much. Their base, the inspiring
change that's happening in the U.S., the youth of the U.S., even the Jewish community and what's happening there, the progressive voices and the
churches, what have you.
The Black Lives Matter movement, that was a moment when the Biden administration would pick from the ruins of the Trump administration and
bring back life to the peace process and really provide leadership.
Instead, you know, international law just did not want it to apply to --
ZOMLOT: -- it's tested when you apply it on your friend and ally. And, I'm sorry, the U.S. has failed all along and will continue to fail because it
continues to consider Israel above the law, the exception of the law.
And because Israel is our ally and friend and because we have the shared values with Israel, we will not apply the same rules in Israel.
SOARES: Let's talk about security cooperation.
Are we -- is that going to go back?
How realistic is that?
ZOMLOT: Well, all the agreements and the cooperation and all that was said as part of a process that was meant to lead in one direction and one
direction only, the end of Israel's occupation, the establishment of a sovereign state of Palestine.
ZOMLOT: In the lack of that and in the lack of U.S. leadership and international, clear policy, we have to reassess all this because our only
interest is to actually end this illegality, to actually have a new Palestinian generation born without occupation and colonization, apartheid,
without racism and without the killing and the murder.
And I think, I think we have got to reconsider what has happened over the last three decades. And we have got to focus with our international
partners on the equal application of international rules and international law.
SOARES: Two state solution, how far away are we from that?
ZOMLOT: Well, the current Israeli government -- and I'm afraid with a lack of international will -- we are not very close to it. But there are good
news and sources of hope.
The most significant of all is the ability of the Palestinian people to withstand and survive, and self-defense and build, grow and inspire people
outside the growing solidarity movement that I encounter everywhere I see.
And I see the real beginning of a South African moment for Palestine. And I see the masses here in London, tens of thousands last year. Wherever I go,
the outpouring of emotions, I see the world, the citizens of the world overcoming their governments, bypassing their governments.
You know what?
In South Africa, the U.K. government and the U.S. government lagged behind. It was very late in the game. It was the people who actually decided. And
I'm optimistic about the people in America and Europe but everywhere.
SOARES: Let's leave with hope, I think that's a good way to end. Great to have you on the show, thank you very much.
SOARES: It was a romantic moment captured on camera in Iran with a devastating result. A young engaged couple posted a video of themselves
dancing in the capital. In the background, you can see Tehran's famous freedom tower.
As you can see, the women's notably not wearing a head scarf. But what would be innocent elsewhere in the world is viewed through a different lens
by Iran's authoritarian government.
The two social media influencers were charged with spreading corruption after posting the video online. And a judge has given them 10-year prison
And still to come tonight in the U.S., controversy is brewing again, as the spotlight is on another police-involved shooting. This time, a wheelchair
bound man was killed. We will bring you that story next.
SOARES: Police in southern California are embroiled in a controversy over the use of force after they shot and killed a double amputee they suspected
in a stabbing.
But his relatives say his physical condition meant he could never have posed a threat. This comes as tensions run high over the brutal police
beating and death of Tyre Nichols in Memphis. CNN's Stephanie Elam reports now from Los Angeles.
YATOYA TOY, ANTHONY LOWE'S SISTER: This is a man, a father, a son, a brother who was gunned down by the police.
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A double amputee out of his wheelchair. Huntington Park police officers pursuing the man as he
Bystander videos on social media purportedly capturing the moments before police shot that man to death, sparking renewed concerns about the
excessive use of force by law enforcement.
JONATHAN LONGMIRE, ANTHONY LOWE'S COUSIN: If you guys are here to protect and serve us, protect us, serve us.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Protect us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Serve us.
LONGMIRE: don't kill us.
ELAM (voice-over): His family confirming to CNN the man in the videos is 36-year-old Anthony Lowe.
CLIFF SMITH, ORGANIZER, COALITION FOR COMMUNITY CONTROL OVER THE POLICE: There could be absolutely no justification for the use of lethal force. No
justification for shooting Anthony.
ELAM (voice-over): In one video, two officers are seen pointing weapons at Lowe who moves away from them with something shiny in his hand. The
officers walk after him but then a police cruiser arrives blocking that vantage point.
From a different video on social media, another officer joins the other two following after Lowe. As another cruiser arrives the three officers reach
for their weapons.
From this angle, the moment is seen when the officers open fire.
In a statement, Huntington Park Police said they were responding to a stabbing class last Thursday afternoon where the victim said a man
dismounted the wheelchair, ran to the victim without provocation and stabbed him in the side of the chest with a 12-inch butcher knife before
fleeing the scene on the wheelchair. The department said two Tasers were ineffective in subduing the man as the suspect ignored their verbal
commands and threatened to advance or throw the knife at the officers.
ELAM: Would it change the way you would approach somebody if they were a double-amputee?
CHERYL DORSEY, RETIRED LAPD SERGEANT: There are times, certainly, when deadly force is necessary. Given the fact that this guy was a double
amputee and could only move so swiftly, my mindset would have been to try to corral him but I did not see imminent threat of deadly injury to the
officers or anyone else.
ELAM (voice-over): Officials said Lowe was pronounced dead at the scene and the police officers involved are on paid administrative leave while the
Huntington Park Police Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's homicide bureau investigate.
The county's district attorney's office told CNN it will investigate once LAPD completes its investigation, saying, "Los Angeles County deserves to
know how and why these incidents have occurred."
Ebonique Simon, the mother of Lowe's 15-year-old son, telling CNN he had been dealing with a lot of depression after losing his legs in an incident
that happened about a year ago.
EBONIQUE SIMON, MOTHER OF LOWE'S SON: I just want justice and the truth for my son.
ELAM (voice-over): Lowe's mother distraught and in disbelief.
DOROTHY LOWE, ANTHONY'S MOTHER: They murdered my son, in a wheelchair, with no legs.
ELAM (voice-over): Stephanie Elam, CNN, Los Angeles.
SOARES: And still to come tonight, artificial intelligence is stepping up its skill set. Why that's making some workers in the creative industries
rather nervous. That's next.
SOARES: The World Economic Forum estimates 85 million jobs will be disrupted because of artificial intelligence. That's only by 2025. That's
not necessarily bad news. CNN's Vanessa Yurkevich puts the spotlight on automation and your future AI team members.
VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: Which jobs is AI coming after first?
SHELLY PALMER, PROFESSOR OF ADVANCED MEDIA, SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY: If you're a middle manager, you're doomed. Any kind of commodity salesperson, report
writers and journalists, accountants and bookkeepers and oddly enough, doctors who are looking - who specialize in things like drug interactions.
YURKEVICH: Do you mean out of a job -
YURKEVICH: Or you mean that part of your job --
PALMER: That part.
YURKEVICH (voice-over): That's the relief a lot of Americans are looking for right now. The explosion of ChatGPT, an AI platform, showed us it could
do a lot of what we humans do at work and faster.
YURKEVICH: Will it take my job?
PALMER: Yes and no. It's not going to replace you. Someone who knows how to use it well is going to take your job. And that's a guarantee.
YURKEVICH (voice-over): By 2025, the World Economic Forum predicts that 85 million jobs will be displaced by automation and technology but it will
also create 97 million new roles. We've seen it before in the auto industry.
PALMER: While the auto worker may be displaced because they are not as good at welding or as painting than the robot, there's probably 35 people
that have to be involved in the creation and maintenance of that device that welds better than a person.
YURKEVICH: And that's what happened at Carbon Robotic. Former auto workers now building an AI laser weeder in Detroit for farms.
PAUL MIKESELL, FOUNDER AND CEO, CARBON ROBOTICS: It's a direct result of the history of auto manufacturing that we have that skill set available to
us all in one place.
YURKEVICH: The laser weeder, still operated by a human but run by AI, can do the work of between 40 to 80 people, says the CEO, filling roles that
are hard to find humans for.
MIKESELL: Labor is harder and harder to find every year, particularly farm labor. And an AI system like ours that can do that job automatically saves
a lot of time, money, effort.
YURKEVICH: This music is composed solely by artificial intelligence called Ava. It even has an album you can stream.
AI music is more affordable. There's no producer, composer or artist to pay.
KARL FOWLKES, ENTERTAINMENT AND BUSINESS ATTORNEY, THE FOWLKES FIRM: It's taken away opportunity from songwriters, producers and artists, right?
So the people that are trying to feed them -- their families.
YURKEVICH: Something similar is happening in the art world, leaving artist Karla Ortiz and two others to file a class-action lawsuit against three AI
art companies for copyright infringement. Ortiz claims they're using her name and art to train the AI.
KARLA ORTIZ, ARTIST: It's feast and famine for most of us. We go job by job. And what happens when there's a little bit less work to go around?
YURKEVICH: Stability AI, one of the companies named, says the suit misunderstands how AI and copyright law work, adding it intends to, quote,
defend ourselves and the vast potential generative AI has to expand the creative power of humanity. The two other companies did not respond.
ORTIZ: I never thought we'd be here. It's like straight out of a sci-fi movie.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My father tried to teach me human emotions.
PALMER: There's a wonderful scene in the movie "I, Robot." Detective Spooner hates robots. And he says --
WILL SMITH, ACTOR, "I, ROBOT": Can a robot write a symphony?
Can a robot turn a canvas into a beautiful masterpiece?
PALMER: And the robot looks up and goes --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you?
PALMER: Every one of us is not Mozart or Rembrandt or Picasso or choose your super famous, amazing artist or artisan. We're just people. This is
not coming to kill us, it's coming to help us.
YURKEVICH (voice-over): Vanessa Yurkevich, CNN New York.
SOARES: Just fascinating.
SOARES: Now forget AI because she's one of a kind. That's Beyonce and she's ready for a new world tour.
But is Ticketmaster?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES (voice-over): Queen Bey announcing her "Renaissance World Tour," more than 40 shows. It's Beyonce's first solo tour in more than six years.
Some fans already worried about the rush for tickets after, of course, the Taylor Swift/Ticketmaster fiasco, which, of course, we brought you here on
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Finally tonight, a celebration of love; 80 years of it, just to be exact. Belgium has marked its first oak wedding anniversary, as Edward 99's
over there and Angeline, as you can see here. She's 97, celebrate eight decades together.
The couple married as teenagers in 1943, of course, under while Belgium was under Nazi occupation. Angeline now lives in a care home where Edward
actually visits her every day. Their anniversary is a national first. The king and queen of Belgium are even gifting the two a box of chocolates to
And it's their words, really, that we have led to highlight today.
Angeline says this, "After all these years, we still haven't finished talking." That is a wonderful sign.
Thanks very much for your company. Do stay right here, "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is next and I will be hosting it. See you in a bit, bye-bye.