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Isa Soares Tonight

Blinken Arrives In Turkey For A Start Of His Multi-Nation Visit; Joe Biden Set To Kick Off His Campaign At Valley Forge; Former Olympic Sprinter And Convicted Murderer Oscar Pistorius Released From Prison; French Foreign Minister Speaks With CNN; UNICEF Warns Of Triple Threat To Children In Gaza; Oscar Pistorius Released From Prison In South Africa. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired January 05, 2024 - 14:00   ET



ISA SOARES, HOST, ISA SOARES TONIGHT: A very warm welcome to the show everyone, I'm Isa Soares. Tonight, high stakes diplomacy in the Middle East

as the U.S. Secretary of State arrives in Turkey for the start of his multi-nation visit.

Tonight, I speak to the French Foreign Minister on fears of a wider regional war. Then, in the next hour, U.S. President Joe Biden expected to

make a major speech, unofficially kicking off his 2024 presidential campaign. We'll have much more on that, of course.

Plus, former Olympic sprinter and convicted murderer Oscar Pistorius has been released on parole from prison in South Africa. We take a look back at

the case that drew global attention. But this evening, we begin with two high stakes trips aimed at keeping the Israel-Hamas conflict from spiraling

into an all-out regional war.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Turkey a few hours ago. The first stop on a week-long tour that would also take him to Israel, the

West Bank, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and more. The State Department says it doesn't expect every conversation to be easy, but quote, "it's no one's

interest for the war in Gaza to spread.

Also today on the diplomacy front, the EU Foreign Policy chief is due in Lebanon to discuss the extremely tense situation along the Israeli border.

The EU says Josep Borrell would meet with government as well as military officials, stressing the need to avoid any regional escalation.

Well, meantime, there is no end to the war in Gaza, but heated discussions already underway in Israel about the day after. Two far-right ministers are

openly calling for Palestinians to leave Gaza, drawing accusations they are encouraging ethnic cleansing.

They are at odds with Israel's Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, who has unveiled plans for a post-war administration of the Palestinian territory.

But the disagreements don't stop there. Today, we are learning about more internal divisions within Israel's security cabinet after reports of a

verbal fight were leaked.

Let's get more on all these trends that we've been following. Alex Marquardt is in Washington for us, and Nic Robertson is in Tel Aviv. Good

evening to you both. Alex, let me start with you, this visit, of course, by Secretary Blinken, clearly he's walking into an atmosphere as we just

outlined there, Alex, of heightened tensions and concern that this conflict could expand.

That of course, let's not forget about the continuing dire situation in Gaza. What will the secretary want to walk away with here, Alex?

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: And those are two -- the two main buckets if you will, Isa, to try to prevent this war from

expanding beyond just Gaza, into essentially pressuring Israel. Continuation of U.S. pressure for Israel. I think it's really quite

telling, Isa, that the State Department has not said what they hope to accomplish, what their concrete goals may be, and it is probably because of

what you said.

Those tough conversations, it's unclear whether they will be able to come away with what diplomats call deliverables. But no doubt, the centerpiece

of this trip, which is nine stops, is going to be those conversations with Israeli leaders, and there will be a continuation of what the U.S. has been

pushing for, more of a focus on civilian casualties, which of course are mounting in Gaza by the hour.

More of -- more humanitarian aid getting in, and being able to be distributed across the Gaza Strip, which of course is extremely difficult

because of the war that Israel is fighting against Hamas, and then it is going to be questions that the U.S. will be posing --

SOARES: Yes --

MARQUARDT: About the transition from what we've been calling as high intensity phase to a much lower intensity phase, which the U.S. would like

to see happen quite soon. And then, Isa, when Blinken goes to the other countries in the region, mainly Arab countries, he will of course, be

looking to tamp down the temperature.

When you look at what's happening with Hezbollah, with the Houthis, with those Iran-backed proxies in Iraq and Syria, what they all have in common

is that backing by Iran. So Blinken is going to be trying enlist his counterparts to send messages to Iran to not expand this conflict and

really do what they -- do what they can to make sure that it doesn't get any worse, Isa.


SOARES: Let me bring in Nic, and Nic, Secretary Blinken, as you and I were talking about this yesterday, has been to the region what? Some four times

since October the 7th, and I think it's fair to say that much of that region wants to see a ceasefire as well as they've been calling -- U.S. as

well been calling for a plan for the day after. We are starting to see now, Nic, a plan from the Netanyahu government. But there seems to be internal

division in the cabinet. Just talk us through what those divisions are.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, I think there are sort of two divisions, if you will, that came into focus today. There is

the one that you are speaking about, the Defense Minister put forward a three-page document and he talked about the phase 3 in Gaza in the north

and the south and different military operations.

And then a phase 4, the sort of day after where there would be no terror threats from Hamas, that there would be some kind of unnamed, un-described,

un-detailed Palestinian governments, but actually, there would be effectively an Israeli military presence and an ability to carry out

military operations, you know, Israeli civilian presence inside Gaza, and the main humanitarian rebuilding effort would be coordinated through the

United States regional allies and European partners.

His critics, the Defense Minister's critics in the right wing are saying that actually, this is just like the day before, it's not the day after,

and they're calling for more out-of-the-box thinking, voluntary relocation of some people from Gaza, some Palestinians from Gaza to other countries.

That's something that's been heavily-criticized by the United States. But it does show an emerging fault line in the government and emerging

tensions, and that raises the questions about how long will this unity government last. And I think that's where another one of the fault lines

come into view here.

There was a heated debate last night in the Knesset when the -- there was discussion over the military army chief of staff laying out a plan to

examine the mistakes that led up to October 7th. A military assessment so that they get operational information that would be useful now. But there

were politicians that criticize that, because of course, there's this military political tension over should the military get ahead of it?

Should the -- should the politicians be leading the way on a review of everything that went wrong, because there will be political blame to come.

And it took the defense ministers to come to the support now of the army chief of staff saying its supporters need to be strong.

But the member of the opposition, Benny Gantz who had come into this unity government, and here's the key piece here and come into the unity war

cabinet, said, look, Prime Minister Netanyahu needs to get a grip, he's either going to be involved in politicking, which is essentially how he

described this criticism of the investigation, et cetera, or we're going to have unity and security.

So, you can see these fissures, and there are several of them, and they're all just below the surface, emerging, which brings into question how long

will this government unity hold together.

SOARES: Yes, which is a question that we have been asking for some time. But you know, look, whatever that -- the day-after-plan is, the reality is,

and we've been seeing this on the ground in the past few days -- in the past few months I should say, even we are far away from that day, at least

that's what it seems. We've seen Israel intensifying operations, Nic, in central and southern Gaza.

Some 162 people have died in Gaza in the last what? Twenty four hours. Just talk to what's happening inside Gaza, and the desperate and dire need for

aid to come in.

ROBERTSON: The U.S. says that Israel is falling short, UNICEF; the U.N. body that oversees and tries to support and help children around the world,

describe the situation in Gaza today where diarrhea has had a 50 percent increase among children, that 90 percent of children inside Gaza right now

fall below the poverty -- the food-poverty line.

So the -- it is a very desperate humanitarian picture. The United States point is that not enough aid is getting in, it's not getting in a

coordinated-enough way, it's not getting around the country. We've had the Palestinian Red Crescent there saying today that their medical facility --

there was Israeli artillery strikes close to that, today, the Israelis say they've hit a 100 targets.

They've been targeted in some places by Hamas. It is an ongoing, an active military zone, and the plight of the people is not improving, and that's

where that pressure really lands so substantially on Israel at this time.

SOARES: Nic Robertson for us and Alex Marquardt, thank you to you both. Well, meantime, Iranian officials are promising revenge for Wednesday's

twin explosions in Kerman. President Ebrahim Raisi was among those attending funerals for all the victims. The death toll stands at 89 people,

and ISIS as you remember, has claimed responsibility.


Some Iranian leaders have blamed Israel at first. The Interior Minister tells Iranian state media that multiple suspects have now been arrested.

And while the Israeli military has declined to comment on the killing of a senior Hamas figure in Beirut early this week, a former Israeli ambassador

to the U.N. praised the country's security and Intelligence agencies for the quote, "assassination of Saleh al-Arouri".

Lebanon-based Hezbollah says it is now ramping up pressure on Israeli positions to, quote, "stop the assault on Gaza". While these attacks are

making a risk of a wider conflict in the Middle East, Israel is ever -- France is one of those countries stepping up diplomatic efforts to prevent

that from happening.

Earlier, I spoke with the French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna about the situation. Here's what she told me.


CATHERINE COLONNA, FOREIGN MINISTER, FRANCE (through translator): There is a real risk of area conflagrating. We've been aware of that for a few

weeks. This level of tension is too high and requires all of our effort, all of the actors. We need to remind that nobody will win in the region.

That is the message we say to all the different actors, the same words.

We need to just get on a good track and to avoid escalation, which preoccupies us. We have been speaking with our European and American


SOARES: I believe you spoke to Secretary Blinken, of course, he's arriving in the region today. You both discussed, Foreign Minister, measures it

seems to prevent the conflict from expanding as well as escalating. Talk us through those measures. What needs to be done to prevent this conflict from


COLONNA: There are several subjects which join together which shouldn't be brought together that we can talk about in the Red Sea. We see that since

too many days, the Yemen Houthis are attacking commercial boats, stopping the circulation of boats, and this is an international problem and risks to

destabilize the whole network.

We have -- we have been very preoccupied with it. We are thinking about taking measures. France has deployed a frigate in the region, and we must

intervene against the Houthi drones. We must gain responsibility of the situation, and our objective is to safeguard liberty of circulation,

Maritime liberty of circulation.

But since the beginning, France has said it wants to have its own autonomy in terms of decision-making, but we work in perfect coordination with our

partners. There is also the situation in Iraq where militias -- pro Iranian militias are fighting against American soldiers. Therefore, we must respond

to these attacks, and there is the situation north of Israel and the south of Lebanon.

I have been four times to the region since October, two times in Israel, and two times in Lebanon, to say to both Hezbollah through official

channels, and also in Israel with our colleagues there. Everybody must refrain from all actions that will escalate the situation, and nobody will

benefit from this, so it's better to hold back.

I say one more thing, we must abstain, which will escalate, but we must also try and find every solution. That is why we have clearly condemned the

United States and other partners, the suggestion of two ministers, Israeli ministers about the population of Gaza. These propositions are not


SOARES: Now, France -- from what I have seen, Foreign Minister, has been calling for affirmative steps to de-escalate tensions in the West Bank,

where as you well know, we have seen a wave of violence.


Just in the last year, in fact, was the deadliest for Palestinians in the West Bank. We've seen an increase in settler violence. What can be done to

end the surge in violence? What pressure can the French government put on Prime Minister Netanyahu here?

COLONNA: First, we are speaking to each of the actors, the president of the Republic regularly talks with leaders of the region, has spoken several

times with Netanyahu and other actors, because it's important we say things directly with Israel and the other regional partners.

But and also, the acts of violence by certain settlers are against Israel law. So, we are asking Israel to take the legal measures, so these actions

stop. We also have our own set up, take our own measures against these settlers.

And at the European level, we have had the conversation with the 27, with other European leaders to consider the possibility of adopting sanctions

against few of those extremist settlers that we have properly documented, which we will be doing in February. They must stop, and they stop the

process of peace. They are absolutely unacceptable acts.


SOARES: And still to come tonight, more from that conversation with the French Foreign Minister who tells me the extreme humanitarian situation in

Gaza can only be solved with a ceasefire. Then U.S. President Joe Biden plans to mark the three-year anniversary of the Capitol attacks by framing

this year's election as a fight to save democracy itself. Both those stories after this short break. You are watching CNN.


SOARES: To the U.S. election now. Two of Donald Trump's Republican rivals stepped up their attacks on him in separate CNN town halls. Ron DeSantis

and Nikki Haley ramped up their criticism of Trump on Thursday after being reluctant to do so on the campaign trail.

They are desperately trying to make up massive ground in the polls behind the former president, just ten days before the first Republican

presidential primary contest in Iowa.


Both argue that Republicans can't take back the White House if Donald Trump becomes the nominee. Have a listen.


NIKKI HALEY, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Americans don't want another nail- biter of an election. And that's what we'll get, look at any of the polls. Head-to-head against Joe Biden. Trump, head-to-head with Biden. On a good

day, he might be up by two. I defeat Biden by 17 points. Seventeen points.

GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The Democrats want Trump to be the candidate. They're going to talk about all the legal stuff,

January 6th. That will be what the election will be about.


SOARES: Well, next hour, U.S. President Joe Biden is scheduled to give a high stakes speech, one that will unofficially kick off his re-election

campaign and cast Donald Trump as a threat to democracy, as well as freedom. Biden will make his remarks in the three years to today after pro

Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol.

It will take place near Valley Forge, where George Washington commanded troops during the revolutionary war. CNN White House correspondent Arlette

Saenz joins us from the site of the speech in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. Arlette, talk us through what we can expect from the speech -- from the

Biden speech. And talk to the context as well as the symbolism here.

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, President Biden's advisors tell me that they really view this speech as setting the

foundational argument for the president's re-election campaign. The president is set to warn that democracy is under threat, and that former

President Donald Trump is the major reason why.

They've picked the anniversary of the January 6th insurrection, because they believe that this is an issue that still resonates with voters. And

they believe that it also will be a moment of reckoning heading into the 2024 election. The president is expected to speak in very stark terms about

January 6th.

The political violence that surrounded it, as well as what he sees as the former president's role in that event. But the president is also giving the

speech here against the backdrop of a very historical site in American history. We are just a few miles away from Valley Forge. That is where

George Washington commanded his troops during a very long Winter as they prepared for fighting for this democracy.

And in his remarks, the president is going to really draw from Washington's words and the symbolism of the site. The president is currently there,

touring Valley Forge, taking a look at George Washington's headquarters. And according to some excerpts from the campaign, the president is really

going to draw on a very specific phrase that Washington used to describe the resolve and mission of his troops.

That is describing the pursuit of democracy as a, quote, "sacred cause". Now, President Biden in his remarks is expected to say, quote, "today, we

are here to answer the most important of questions. Is -- apologies -- is democracy still America's sacred cause? This isn't rhetorical, academic or

hypothetical. Whether democracy is still America's secret cause is the most urgent question of our time.

It is what the 2024 election is all about. The Biden campaign really views this issue of democracy as not being a sideline issue, but the central

issue of this campaign. They have been quite eager to start ramping up their attacks, to contrast with the former president at a time when the

Republican primary is about to kick off in just less than two weeks.

And the campaign believes that this is a time when voters will start to be paying a bit more attention. They want to really emphasize this democracy

threat that they see as this campaign is unfolding. And they're really treating this speech today as the opening salvo of that moment.

SOARES: Arlette Saenz for us there in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. Thank you very much, Arlette. So could Biden's speech have a significant, historical

impact, one that goes well beyond what happens, of course, on election day? Joining us now is Larry Sabato; Director at the Center for Politics at the

University of Virginia.

Larry, great to see you once more. So, what would you like to hear? What do you think the President Biden needs to say today? How does he set the stage

for this election and his second term here, Larry?

LARRY SABATO, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR POLITICS, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: Well, President Biden needs to remind people, not just today, not just tomorrow,

which is the actual third-year anniversary, but throughout the campaign, about what happened three years ago at the Capitol.

America has never before, since the civil war, endured a potential overthrow of a government. A potential coup d'etat. That is precisely what

Donald Trump was organizing. And amazingly, Republicans, apparently, are getting ready to re-nominate him. Partly, it's because Trump has been an

amazing propagandist.

And he's managed to sell a good-sized group of Republicans, on the fact that the FBI stimulated January 6th. There isn't a shred of evidence that

the FBI was involved in any way, shape or form. Only 31 percent of Republicans believe that Joe Biden was legitimately elected and is a

legitimate president, three years into his term.


This is really difficult for rational people around the world to grasp. So, President Biden is doing the right thing, emphasizing it now. And I'll tell

you who it really helps, it helps energize Democrats. They have not been energized. Young people have been turned off about the Middle East policy,

and blacks and other minorities are unhappy about some of the administration's policies.

Well, all those things are important. But nothing is more important than democracy. Because if we lose that, we lose everything. That's Biden's


SOARES: And that message is pretty similar, Larry, to the message that Biden hammered repeatedly, of course, ahead of the 2022 Midterms, and it

clearly worked. Now that Biden as well has launched this campaign, a new ad focused on the preservation of American democracy. What you and I were just

talking about. I want to play a little clip for our viewers. Have a look at this.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There's something dangerous happening in America. There's an extremist movement. It does not share the

basic beliefs in our democracy. All of us are being asked right now, what will we do to maintain our democracy? History is watching. The world is

watching. Most importantly, our children and grandchildren will hold us responsible.


SOARES: Will this resonate, Larry, with Americans? How potent is the issue then, of democracy for voters in the U.S. in this election?

SABATO: And that's the central question right there. And so far, the polling research to suggest that it works with almost all Democrats. In

fact, their blood boils when they realize what has happened here in this country. But it also works with a small slice of Republicans. And we're

going to have a close, competitive election. It's obvious, it doesn't -- Nikki Haley is claiming she's going to win by 17 points --

SOARES: Yes --

SABATO: Laughable that she's the general election candidate. It's going to be close and competitive. So, a little slice of Republicans can make a big

difference and independents who are really the swing voters. They're also responding to this message.

SOARES: Yes, look, I'm trying to grapple with, you know, the message from President Biden, which makes sense with given everything we have seen this

year from Donald Trump. The fight for democracy and against autocracy. But I'm trying to square that, the fight for democracy, with this new poll that

you were mentioning, Larry, from the "Washington Post" and University of Maryland.

If I bring it up for our viewers, it found that a quarter of all Americans think January 6th was orchestrated and encouraged by the FBI. In other

words, that it was an inside job. Just help us understand, Larry, on this side of the Atlantic, how we make -- how we can make sense of this?

SABATO: There had been times in world history -- and I'm not going to mention the one from the 1930s, but that's the one I'm thinking of, when

propaganda became factual for millions of people. How did it happen? A big lie was repeated morning, noon and night, day after day, month after month,

year after year.

And after a while, people come to believe it, because they've heard it so much, and because they may be deferring to people that they have admired at

one time or another who were in high office or had positions in other sectors of human life. That's how this has happened. We've heard almost

every day since January 6th that the FBI had a role in this, and that the CIA was involved, and the military was helping the insurgents who really

weren't Trump people.

Everyone who was there, everyone, everyone who was watching on television knows that's not true. And 1,200 people have been arrested, many of them

convicted already for their actions on January 6th, which resulted in deaths of police, 140 officers injured as well as -- I think it was $3

million of damage to the Capitol complex itself.

People, mostly, can get it. They absorb the fact. But millions do not. And that's our fundamental problem.

SOARES: Yes, and that is a challenge, of course, we'll stay ahead of that message from President Biden expected to begin in the next less than an

hour or so. Larry, always great to get your insight. Appreciate it. Thank you very much.

SABATO: Thank you so much.

SOARES: Well, let's stay in the United States because we just got news coming in right now, the long-time head of the National Rifle Association,

gun rights group, Wayne LaPierre has announced his resignation. According to the NRA, the 74-year-old LaPierre says he's stepping down due to health


The announcement comes as LaPierre is set to face trial in a corruption case brought by the New York Attorney General. Of course, we'll stay on

that story for you as soon as any more developments, of course, we'll bring it to your attention. Still to come tonight, some members of the Israeli

government are effectively calling for a Palestinian exodus from Gaza.

How the French Foreign Minister responded during our conversation.

Plus, a famous athlete is free from prison more than a decade after killing that shocked the world. We'll have more on the case of Oscar Pistorius.

That's next. You are watching CNN.


SOARES: Welcome back, everyone. Returning now to the Israel-Hamas war, UNICEF warns that children in Gaza are facing a triple threat from the

intensifying conflict, malnutrition, as well as disease. It says 90 percent of children under the age of two are now subject to "severe food poverty."

It's also warning of an alarming lack of safe water as well as sanitation. UNICEF and other aid groups are calling for an immediate humanitarian


But the fighting rages on. The Hamas-run health ministry says at least 162 people have been killed in the past 24 hours alone. The U.N. says everyone

in Gaza is going hungry as aid is having a hard time getting in.

I asked the French Foreign Minister about the humanitarian situation on the ground in Gaza. Here's what she said about the French efforts on that

humanitarian front.


CATHERINE COLONNA, FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): The humanitarian situation is extremely grave and dramatic, getting worse each

day. We have said that the blockade is against humanitarian objectives.


And we must focus more on the civil population of Gaza who must not pay for the crimes of the terrorists. We set up a conference 9th of November to

assemble all the support force to support the aid for the population in Gaza, to bring huge funds to help Gaza. And now we must -- that must be

allowed to go there and to be distributed there. We have always -- 100 million Euros. We have added that already to what -- we also have thousand

ton -- tons of medical -- medication, food, all other needs. We have more arriving there on the 8th, but we need access, that the access points need

to be open.

We have been able to proceed, start an operation, a very important operation to be able to touch and gain access of the territory, the Gaza

territory with air drops, with Jordan. We must cooperate as close as possible to the territory. So, this aid and help comes into Gaza and we are

waiting for a new ceasefire. We will not resolve this extreme humanitarian situation unless we can get in during a ceasefire.

SOARES: Well, Minister, I mean staying in Gaza, as you would have seen in the last 24 hours, the Israeli Defense Minister has announced plans for the

day after in Gaza. But there seems to be disagreement within the Israeli cabinet over this. Today, the Finance Minister, Bezalel Smotrich said, I'm

going to read it out, "The solution in Gaza requires thinking outside the box and changing the concept by encouraging voluntary migration and full

security control, including the renewal of settlements." In other words, he is calling for a Palestinian exodus from Gaza.

We have heard similar ideas from the likes of Ben-Gvir and other members of Netanyahu's far-right party. When France hears those comments, those words,

that rhetoric, what does it think?

COLONNA (through translator): These are irresponsible statements that pull us away from a solution. And we want a future Palestinian state and we

support the only viable solution, which is a two-state solution, which means that both populations can live in peace. It is not for Israel to

decide the Palestinian state of Gaza. We must come back to put -- implement the different declarations that West Bank and Gaza must be part of the

Palestinian state. And these statements, by certain Israeli ministers, are irresponsible. This kind of escalatory rhetoric will not solve the problem

and against all the principles and our vision and the long-term interests of Israel and the other countries of the region.

SOARES: The day after seems far off right now. I mean, Israel's military is intensifying its operations in central, as well as southern Gaza. You have

voiced, I believe, your concern back in December over Israel's tactics in Gaza. President Macron has also recently said that effectively fighting

terrorism does not mean flattening Gaza. So, what is France's message to the tactics when it speaks to Prime Minister Netanyahu on this?

COLONNA (through translator): Since the beginning, we have said, and we will say again, Israel obviously has the right to defend itself. It must

fight against terrorism.


And the October -- terrible October 7th attacks, but Israel also has the duty and obligation to defend itself respecting international law and to

protect the civil population. This is international law that requires it, as well as ethic concerns and the duty of a democratic country like Israel,

to protect the civil populations, to search out for the terrorists who must answer for their crimes, but not the general population who are not

responsible for this crime. And so how the operations are carried out, that the proper conduct is maintained, and we will continue to underline that.


SOARES: Well, thanks of course to the French Foreign Minister. We're going to take a short break. We'll be back for this.


SOARES: Former Olympic and Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius has been released from a South African prison. Officials ruled he was eligible for

parole after serving a sentence for murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. He went free nearly 11 years ago after shooting Steenkamp at his

trial. He said thought he was shooting an intruder in his home. He'll be bound by parole conditions until 2029. Steenkamp's family has released a

statement, saying "There can never be just as if your loved one is never coming back."

CNN's David McKenzie takes a look at the case that drew global attention.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Back in 2012, this was Oscar Pistorius, a world-class athlete and role model, overcoming

incredible odds. His legs amputated below the knee at 11 months because of a birth defect. The blade runner, competing at the able-bodied London

Olympics in 2012.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's done significantly well and I think everybody's proud of him.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): Months later, Oscar Pistorius' global fame became a sordid global notoriety.

REEVA STEENKAMP, SOUTH AFRICAN MODEL: Hi. Reeva. This is shooting the December cover for FHM.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): On Valentine's Day 2013, he killed his up-and-coming model girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, shooting four times through the locked

bathroom door. The police finding him bloodied and in shock.


Pistorius said it was an accident and he thought Reeva was an intruder. The state charged him with premeditated murder. His trial, a riveting courtroom

drama, followed by millions.

GERRIE NEL, PROSECUTOR: I will build my case to say that when you got up, you had an argument that's why she ran away screaming.


BARRY ROUX, PISTORIUS' LAWYER: Is the state saying that within two minutes on the state's version on the shooting, or five minutes on our version, in

that traumatized state of mind, he worked out this grand scheme? Doesn't make sense, milady.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): The defense claimed Pistorius was a vulnerable, now broken man, who deserved leniency.

ROUX: He suffers from an anxiety disorder. We know that the uncontested evidence was that when he was on his stance, his balance was seriously

compromised and without anything he would not be able to defend himself.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You killed a person. That's what you did, isn't it?

PISTORIUS: I made a mistake.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You killed Reeva Steenkamp. That's what you did.

BARRY STEENKAMP, REEVA STEENKAMP'S FATHER: I don't wish that on any human being. Finding out what happened, it devastated us.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): After a nearly 50-day trial stretched over seven months --

THOKOZILE MASIPA, JUDGE PISTORIUS TRIAL: The accused is found not guilty and is discharged. Instead, he's found guilty of culpable homicide.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): Pistorius placed in a private cell in this prison's medical wing, released after just a year, one sixth of his sentence, to his

uncle's mansion under house arrest.

But Pistorius' legal woes didn't end there. On appeal, his conviction converted to murder, he was sent back to prison. His sentence saying for

murder then extended by the same appeals court. Reeva's family saying she could now rest in peace.

Oscar Pistorius for years in the public eye for the right and very wrong reasons faded from public view until now. David McKenzie CNN, Johannesburg.


SOARES: And still to come tonight, is this the year the Golden Globe Awards turned Barbie pink? We'll have a preview of this weekend's awards ceremony

and some of the potential winners. That's next.



SOARES: Well, let me bring you up-to-date with some other stories that we are following for you this hour. The third round of documents has just been

unsealed in the 2015 civil lawsuit connected to Jeffrey Epstein. He is, of course, the convicted pedophiles who died in jail before he could face

trial on federal sex trafficking charges.

CNN is right now digging through the documents and, of course, will report on what they can contain. Among the developments from documents released on

Thursday, an accuse they're alleging former U.S. President Bill Clinton pressured Vanity Fair magazine not to write sex trafficking stories about

Epstein. The magazine's former editor said that, "categorically did not happen." Of course, we'll have much more on that as we keep -- as we go

through all those documents.

Meantime, tensions are heightened on the Korean peninsula after North Korea fired roughly 200 artillery shells into a maritime buffer zone early on

Friday. The South Korean military called it provocative act and responded with its own exercise of naval fire.

People on South Korea's northwestern islands were asked to shelter while that took place. China is calling for calm, asking both parties to exercise


And now to our Think Big series, figuring out what you have to have for dinner used to feel like a chore, that still is for me. But the era of

smartphones and food delivery apps made the process a lot more convenient. And now, one company in Dubai is taking things a step further, exploring

innovative ways to shift towards a cleaner future. Look at this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dubai Silicon Oasis is the beating heart of the city's tech scene. And for some residents like Annette, who moved here eight years

ago from the U.K., a quick stroll around here might feel a bit like a time travel adventure towards the future.

ANNETT, DUBAI RESTO: I got this delivered by a robot and it's all easy on the app and it comes straight to your door. It's just good seeing them

around the community. It's fun. All the kids like them and they're just a fun thing to see.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These automated robots deliver takeaway meals to about 300 homes in Annett's neighborhood within roughly 15 minutes. While they

can only travel about five kilometers from this local shopping mall, the sensors and algorithms they're built with helps them move safely to avoid

obstacles while sharing the road. An AI software that blocks facial recognition protects the customer's identity when the food gets to their


It's all part of one trial project spearheaded by Dubai-based food delivery company, Talabat. They are putting a focus on innovation and


MARIA ESTEVAN, DIRECTOR, TALABAT: What we realized at the pandemic, we need to be more efficient with our fleet. They were sorted to riders. In certain

circumstances, robots have the same added value as a rider for short-term distances.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ordering food on delivery apps might be quick and easy, but convenience can come at an environmental cost depending on the

mode of transport. Researchers in the U.K. found that in congested cities like London, deliveries sent by cars or motorbikes can be 5 to 11 times

more polluting than bicycle deliveries. Robots like these could potentially help curb those emissions because rather than using petrol, they're powered

by electric rechargeable batteries.

ESTEVAN: We are trying to decrease our carbon footprint. I know this is a small action, but we were always looking to develop new technologies that

are better for the environment.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Globally, the food delivery business is worth over $150 billion, having more than tripled in size over the past six years.

This growth makes operating sustainably a top priority.

STEPHEN ANDERSON, MIDDLE EAST STRATEGY LEADER, TALABAT: We've got a huge way to go in terms of meeting net zero commitment. Technology is going to

be a huge part of getting to that. I think there's massive benefits in moving away from traditional forms of delivery. The use of robots, use of

electric vehicles, potentially drones, so investing early in technology generally pays off. I think Dubai is a good example of that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But while the so-called Tala-bots can only travel short distances for now, it seems they're just getting warmed up to reach

the finish line toward the ultimate goal of becoming greener.



SOARES: Now, Hollywood award season is back and it's looking rather pink. The annual Golden Globe ceremony will be held in Los Angeles on Sunday. One

big winner may be the Barbie movie starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling. It's up for the Best Picture, musical, or comedy, along with nominations

for director and actor.

Another expected big winner is Oppenheimer. The film about the making of the atomic bomb is up for Best Drama. I loved it. Star Cillian Murphy and

director Christopher Nolan are also nominated.

And finally tonight, and what you might really, really want, well, Spice Girls Stamp, Britain's Royal Mail, is spicing up your letters with a

collection commemorating the group's 30th anniversary. The collection marks the first ever issue of stamps dedicated to a female pop group. It makes

them the sixth music group to be featured in a dedicated stamps issue in the U.K. proving the group's girl power legacy is forever. Go on. Spice up

your life.

And that does it for me. Thanks for watching. Do stay right here. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" up next. Have a wonderful weekend. Bye-bye.