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One World with Zain Asher

Russia Strikes Dnipro Medical Facility; Negotiators Closer on Raising Debt Limit Deal; Voters in Turkey Prepare for Presidential Runoff; Typhoon Mawa Pulls Away from Guam; DeSantis' Presidential Campaigns Begins; Bola Tinubu to be Sworn in as Nigeria's Next President. Aired 12-1p ET

Aired May 26, 2023 - 12:00   ET




ZAIN ASHER, CNN HOST: Hello everyone, I'm Zain Asher in New York and this is One World. At least two people are dead and at least 30 wounded after a

Russian attack hit medical sites in the Ukrainian city of Dnipro. A hospital was among the sites damaged. The mayor said it's a miracle doctors

were changing shifts when the attack happened. It means that fewer people were working at the time of the strike. Sirens could be heard over Kyiv.


ASHER: Those sirens you just heard there happening as drone and missile strikes occurred overnight. Ukraine says it shot down 10 missiles and over

20 drones. Across the border the Russians are reporting more attacks inside the Belgorod region. Further away an explosion has been reported in the

Russian city of Krasnodar.

Social media video appears to show a drone flying above the city. Moments later, there is some kind of blast. Fred Pleitgen is in Ukraine's capital,

Kyiv. Let's talk more about the attack on this medical facility, Fred. We know that two people are dead. Just walk us through what happened and just

sort of set the scene for us in terms of what you know so far.

FRED PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This happened in the early morning hours of this morning, Zain, and it happened, as you already very correctly put

it, as there were strikes going on, Russian strikes throughout the country, throughout Ukraine here. In fact, in the early morning hours and overnight,

we did hear sirens here in Kyiv, and we also have heard the air defenses here around Kyiv at work, as well.

The strike on Dnipro happened a little bit later in the morning hours of this morning, and it hit that medical facility, which also has a

veterinarian facility nearby, as well and some of the video that was coming out of that area in the early stages was just absolutely horrifying where

injured people were trying to save themselves and get out of that building, people were helping them get out, a lot of people drenched in blood,

essentially. And then, of course, you have that toll of 30 people who were injured, a lot of them still in hospital, some of them in quite critical

condition, and two people who have been killed.

Now, the latest that we have from the Ukrainians is they say that they believe that for the strike that hit that medical facility, that ballistic

missiles were used on the part of the Russians, either S-300 or S-400 missiles. And just to put that into context for our viewers, those are

missiles that are normally used to shoot down airplanes. However, they also have a mode where they can be used against ground targets in a surface-to-

surface configuration. However, when you use them that way, they become extremely inaccurate. And of course, if you then use them to shoot into an

urban area, the kind of things happen that happens today where this medical facility was hit.

And you know, it was obviously pretty much completely destroyed, a big fire broke out, rescue crews are still on the scene looking to see whether there

are further survivors or people still maybe still buried beneath the rubble there. So, a major strike, it's been condemned by Ukraine's President, by

the First Lady of Ukraine, by countries internationally, as well. But of course, it is something that we've seen very frequently here in Ukraine,

where we've had these massive missile strikes across the country that in some cases have also hit civilian facilities as well, Zain.

ASHER: All right, Fred Pleitgen, live for us there, thank you so much. Complex negotiations, a looming deadline and a narrowly divided Congress.

These are the factors as the White House and Republican lawmakers try to hammer out a deal to pay the U.S. government's bills, money that has

already been spent.

Sources say both sides are inching closer to an agreement. The potential compromise would raise the debt ceiling but cap federal spending levels for

two years. There are just days left to prevent a potential default that could trigger a global financial crisis. But the U.S. Deputy Secretary of

the Treasury says that is not an option.


WALLY ADEYEMO, U.S DEPUTY SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY: Default is unacceptable. The President has said it and the Speaker has said it and we

have to get something done before early June when the Secretary has said that it's highly likely that we will no longer have the resources to pay

our bills. This is Congress' responsibility. Congress has done it 78 times and he expects Congress to do it again in order to make sure that we can

meet our commitments not just to our creditors but to our seniors, to our veterans, and to all the individuals who rely on the government every day.



ASHER: CNN's Melanie Zanona joins us live now from Capitol Hill with some of the sticking points. So, Melanie, we've heard it time and time again

that default is not an option. We've heard it from President Biden. We've heard it from House Speaker McCarthy, as well. But even though they are

close to a deal, we know that there are sticking points, especially when it comes to work requirements.

But also what concerns me is the timeline. You think about six days left to that deadline. Lawmakers need 72 hours to review it. Plus, it still has to

go to the House, and the Senate, and get to the President's desk, is that really enough time, do you think?

MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: I -- nothing around here is impossible. You know, they certainly could have a deal if they have a deal

in hand by today or this weekend. They could pass it by that June 1st deadline, but it's not probable. And let me walk you through why.

First of all, the prospects of getting a deal today, very, very slim because they still are working through a number of issues. Now, they have

made significant progress on issues like spending cuts. They are talking about a compromise deal that would exchange two years of spending cuts in

exchange for lifting the debt ceiling for two years. They haven't finalized that, but that is a step forward that they're even talking about that and

more so getting on the same page.

But there are a number of other issues, big issues, that they have yet to resolve, particularly tougher work requirements for social safety net

programs. That is something that Republicans have been pushing for. Democrats are completely dug in against it. In fact, there was a closed-

door conference meeting yesterday with House Democrats where a number of lawmakers got up and said, you should not take our votes for granted and

that our support might not be there even if Biden blesses a deal, if it has something in there like work requirements that we can't get behind.

And it's important because you're going to need democratic votes to get something bipartisan across the finish line. There are already signs that

Speaker Kevin McCarthy is likely going to lose a significant chunk on his far right because they don't think that the bill is conservative enough.

And so, the clock is ticking.

You mentioned the June 1st timeline. Well, there's a number of other procedural hoops. Even when they get a deal, they still have to write it

into bill text. They have to get a official score, and then they need 72 hours to read the bill. And that's just to get it through the House. Then,

of course, it has to go through the Senate, which is notoriously slow. So, clock is ticking, a lot of work to get done right now and not a lot of time

to do it.

ASHER: Melanie Zanona, live for us there, thank you so much. The countdown is on for what could be a turning point for Turkey. Voters will pick their

next President on Sunday. Nearly 1.9 million ballots cast by Turks living abroad have arrived in Ankara. In the first round of voting on the 14th,

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan fell just short of the majority that he needed. He was a good five points ahead of his main rival, Kemal


Earlier this week, third-place finisher Sinan Ogan threw his support behind President Erdogan, as was expected. Nada Bashir joins us live now from

Istanbul. So, it does look likely at this point that President Erdogan will emerge victorious in all of this. If he does, and you think about some of

the things that were really the focal point in these elections, including the economy, inflation, refugees, for example, President Erdogan's handling

of the earthquake, what changes if he is re-elected, if anything?

NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: Well, there will suddenly be a lot of pressure on President Erdogan if he is in fact re-elected. Of course, there is a

huge amount of criticism being directed towards the AK Party, President Erdogan's ruling party, over the economy. This is a country facing a severe

cost of living crisis. We're seeing rocketing inflation rates, the lira plummeting in value.

And of course, there is real concern over the direction that President Erdogan will go in if he is in fact re-elected. Will he do a u-turn? Who

will he appoint as his finance minister? That is also a crucial question. So, there are certainly some challenges ahead for the President if he is,

in fact, re-elected in the process.

You mentioned that there is the aftermath of the earthquake to look at, as well. He has come under immense amount of pressure and criticism over the

government's handling of the response but also the government's preparation for a disaster of that and of course, that has really aided the opposition.

You can hear the cheers behind me. This is an opposition rally in support of Kemal Kilicdaroglu.

When you speak to people who say they want to vote for the opposition alliance, they say they want change. We have seen more than two decades now

of President Erdogan in power. There is concern over the economy, concern over the response to the earthquake, but also crucially concerned over the

democratic values here in Turkey.

Many fear that he has eroded the key pillars of democracy here, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and of course, there is real concern around

social policies as well, particularly the AK Party's treatment of the LGBT community and policies there. Now, we have seen an AK Party rally just

across the street from here today.


It has to be said, a very large crowd. In fact, they were visited by the country's interior minister. They do face huge challenges. But as you

mentioned there, of course, Sinan Ogan, who pledged his support for President Erdogan, his party, his Nationalist Party, managed to secure five

percent of the vote.

Now, some are portraying this as potentially a kingmaker situation. Could those five percent of the vote support President Erdogan's party? We have

seen some in Ogan's party now pledging support for Kilicdaroglu on the opposite end. So, it remains to be seen whether that will indeed make the

difference, but of course all eyes will be on those votes on Sunday as people across Turkey head to the ballot box. Zain?

ASHER: Nada Bashir, live for us, thank you so much. And just want to remind our viewers that our CNN coverage of the runoff elections in Turkey start

at 1pm, that's Eastern time on Sunday with Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi. Nada Bashir, who you just heard from there, she'll be in Istanbul, as well,

and that will be 6pm in the evening if you're watching from London, 9 o'clock at night if you're watching from Abu Dhabi.

All right, Super Typhoon Mawa is now the strongest storm anywhere on the planet since 2021. In other words, it's now the equivalent to an Atlantic

category five hurricane. Mawa is traveling west and could hit northern parts of the Philippines and Taiwan sometime next week. Meteorologist Derek

Van Dam is tracking all of this from the World Weather Center. So, this typhoon, Typhoon Mawa, left a trail of destruction and devastation in Guam.

Just walk us through what the Philippines should be bracing themselves for now.

DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, Zain, now that the storm is pulling away from Guam, there it is, the Southern Mariana Islands, it is still

obviously a very formidable super typhoon. And as you most likely put, the strongest storm on the planet this year and the strongest tropical cyclone

since 2021. So powerful that the eye has completely cleared out once again, and you can see the Pacific Ocean right through a cloud-free center of


That is the strongest part of a typhoon or a hurricane. And where is it headed? Well, it's got a lot of open ocean to traverse before it even

impacts parts of the Philippines or Taiwan, and that's a big if. Certainly, it'll influence the weather patterns, but will we get a direct hit? Not

likely, and I'll show you why in just one moment. A hundred and sixty-five mile per hour winds, that makes it a category five Atlantic hurricane

equivalent. Remember, you need 157 mile per hour winds to reach that Category 5 status.

Now, here's the forecast. It does show a slightly weakening storm as it traverses the Western Pacific but notice this curve in the forecast. All of

our computer models coming into consensus that it will veer away from Luzon, as well as Taiwan, but it's still going to impact this area with

heavy rainfall because we have our southwest Monsoon and this helps influence that, helps bring back precipitation and the potential for

flooding and gusty winds exists even as our computer models depict this steering away from Northern Philippines, as well as Taiwan. So, something

to monitor here in the days to come. Zain.

ASHER: All right, Derek Van Dam, live for us there, thank you so much. All right, more now on our top story, the deadly Russian strikes on medical

sites in Dnipro, Ukraine. CNN's Sam Kiley has just arrived and joins us live now. So, Sam, here's the thing. The mayor was saying that doctors were

actually changing their shift when this strike happened, and that's a miracle because it meant that fewer people were actually working. Just talk

us through what you're seeing and hearing on the ground there.

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Zain, it was a fluke if there's any good fortune in this very gruesome outcome, but the

scale of the devastation on this building is quite obvious. This was not one of those Iranian Shahed drones carrying a mere 40 kilograms of high

explosive, deadly drones they are. They've been supplied in vast quantities to the Iranians -- by the Iranians to the Russians.

This is something quite different. There has been some speculation from government officials here that this may have been an S-300, which is an

enormous traditionally anti-aircraft missile but it's been used increasingly, ruthlessly by the Russians against civilian targets. Now,

this is a medical facility, Zain, and as such would be more than 40 other medical facilities have been hit in the course of just over a year of this

war prosecuted by Russia against Ukraine.

The French government, among others in the international community, have said that the targeting of medical facilities amounts to war crime. Now,

the Russians could perhaps argue that this is an accident due to poor targeting, but it is also in a densely populated residential area. If you

just look over here, behind this fence here, block of flats.


Another block of flats there. Another block of flats there. It's all a residential area. There's even a football pitch being built just over here,

a soccer pitch, I should say.

And this is what the Russians are intent on doing, taking down and destroying a medical clinic. More than 40 others have been destroyed or

attacked by Russia over the last year. And we saw this, of course, during the Syrian civil war, and continue to see it indeed, where the Russians are

also operational in both contexts, certainly in the Syrian context, the absolutely systematic and deliberate targeting of medical facilities, Zain.

ASHER: Yeah, and just looking behind you, I mean, certainly a grim task ahead for rescue crews as they may indeed still be looking for people who

might be trapped in the rubble. Sam Kiley, live for us there in Dnipro on the ground outside that medical facility that was just attacked. Sam, thank


All right, still to come here. Forty years later, details are now being revealed of a plot to assassinate Queen Elizabeth on a visit to the U.S.

back in the 1980s. We'll tell you all about it. And there is about to be a new man in-charge of Africa's largest economy. The challenges facing Bola

Tinubu as he prepares for his inauguration when One World continues. And you'll meet the Nigerian-born politician who just made history in an

American city. His amazing journey as a Nigerian immigrant. He's now mayor- elect of Colorado Springs. We'll talk to him after the break.


ASHER: The launch of Ron DeSantis' U.S. presidential campaign may have been a glitch-filled Twitter mess this week, but the Republican contender has

wasted little time changing the narrative and going on the offensive. He's been making the rounds on conservative radio and television, attacking

Former President Donald Trump for his COVID policies and saying Trump simply isn't the same person who ran for office in 2016.


RON DESANTIS, FLORIDA GOVERNOR: He understands that I've got a good chance to beat him because he doesn't criticize anybody else now. It's only me.

They know that I'm more likely to win the election. I mean, for him to say that we're not winning in Florida, no one has taken a state from being a

swing state four and a half years ago to now being a red state in such a dramatic fashion.



ASHER: The census campaign says he raised more than $8 million in the first 24 hours after announcing his bid for the White House. He plans to really

hit the campaign trail next week with visits to Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.

After a close and very contentious presidential election, Bola Tinubu will be sworn in as Nigeria's next president on Monday. Security is expected to

be tight for the inauguration ceremony. CNN's Stephanie Busari has more on the challenges facing the leader of Africa's largest economy.


STEPHANIE BUSARI, CNN SENIOR EDITOR, AFRICA (voice-over): He's the man on a so-called broom revolution. Bola Ahmed Tinubu is poised to become Nigeria's

President on Monday, promising to clean up Africa's largest economy.


BUSARI (voice-over): But that's only one of the challenges he faces. His first is slightly more immediate, a legal one from the country's

opposition. Tinubu, from the ruling ABC Party, may have been declared the winner back in March, but many have criticized the election for voting

irregularities, violence and attempts to disenfranchise voters.

TINUBU: To those who didn't support me, I ask that you not allow the disappointment of this moment to keep you from realizing the historic

national progress we can make by working together.

BUSARI (on-camera): Former two-time governor Tinubu has long harbored ambitions to rule Nigeria, but it will be a challenge of a lifetime to

unite a fractured nation, fix an economy on life support, and tackle spiraling insecurity.

(voice-over): Nigeria's total debt stands at more than $103 billion. And some analysts say the incoming president must get to grips with this


ROLAKE AKINKUGBE-FILANI, CHIEF COMMERCIAL OFFICER, MIXTA AFRICA: It's now really a focus on the structural aspects of building sustainable economic

development. How are we going to plug some of the inefficiencies and end the wastages in the system?

BUSARI (voice-over): But that's not all. The country is grappled with violence, insurgency and crime, leaving some wondering, which way forward?

AKINKUGBE-FILANI: One of the challenges of Nigerian society here is there's still huge polarization between the ultra-rich and the super-poor. And in

some ways, successive governments have lost the social contract with the majority of the population.

BUSARI (voice-over): Nigeria also faces a multitude of social problems, including inadequate access to education and health care, widespread

poverty and gender inequality. And expectations are high that Tinubu will hit the ground running.

UNKNOWN: I believe there's future, and I believe he will be -- he is fitting for the position.

UNKNOWN: We really don't need a government coming and saying they are going to give us all the job. We just need a government that puts things in place

for us to achieve what we can naturally achieve as very strong-willed people.

BUSARI (voice-over): As he assumes office, Tinubu must work to provide real solutions to these pressing problems. And only time will tell if he can

live up to the aspirations of the Nigerian people.

Stephanie Busari, CNN, Lagos.


ASHER: And speaking of Nigerians in politics, Nigerian-American Yemi Mobolade has just been elected the first black mayor ever of Colorado

Springs. Mobalade is also the first non-Republican to hold this position. He was born in Lagos, Nigeria, eventually moving to America, where he co-

founded two restaurants, and then a church, and then entering politics. During the mayoral race, Mobolade campaigned on a platform of inclusion.


YEMI MOBOLADE, MAYOR-ELECT, COLORADO SPRINGS: Friends, our city is hungry as represented by this room tonight. We're ready for leadership that

represents all of our city. And I'm ready to serve as your 42nd Mayor of Colorado Springs.


ASHER: And Mayor-elect Yemi Mobolade joins us live now from Colorado Springs. Mr. Mayor-elect, so happy to talk to you. One of the things I find

really interesting is that this was such a crowded field. I mean, you were an outside candidate, not just in terms of you being a non-Republican, but

also being black, being a Nigerian immigrant.

You were a businessman, for example, founding two coffee shops and a church, as well. Many people would have thought that it would have been

impossible for you to win this race. What was it, do you think, that made this kind of political disruption possible?

MOBOLADE: Zain, first of all, thank you for having me on your show. This has been an unbelievable experience and what many thought was impossible is



I believe what I represent is that appetite for a new type of political leadership, one that is pragmatic, one that is innovative, one that unites

people to address the issues we're facing and one that transcends all the partisan politics. And that's the hunger that I satisfy. And I believe

that's why the voters of my city has entrusted me with their votes.

ASHER: When you think about the political climate that we're in right now, there is so much division in this country and it really is playing out in

real time. I mean, we've been speaking almost every day on this show about the debt ceiling crisis and what's happening in Washington and the

stalemate in terms of that.

As the first black mayor, as the first sort of non sort of conservative mayor, you have a really unique position here to bring the city together.

How do you intend on doing that?

MOBOLADE: I've often said in the campaign trail how we lead our campaigns is what our voters and residents should expect in terms of how we would

lead in the future as a future mayor. And so, I will continue to lead, to put and show that we are prioritizing our quality of life ahead of our

partisan talking points.

What you've mentioned and that tiredness that we all feel, and it's not just in the U.S., this is a global win and I really believe it's getting

back to what politics was intended to be, it's supposed to be, we're supposed to be leaders of the people, for the people, by the people. And

that's how I will continue to lead as mayor of this great city.

ASHER: You know, one important issue I imagine for, I don't know, I would say for a majority, I think, for mayors in America is really this idea of

bridging the gap between the local police departments and the black community. And of course, as the first black mayor of Colorado Springs, I

am sure that is a huge priority for you.

Obviously, like many, many sort of local police forces across the United States, Colorado Springs Police Department has been swept up in lawsuits

alleging excessive use of force against young black men. You are again, also in a unique position to really tackle this problem. Just walk us

through how you intend on doing that. Just yesterday we were marking the third anniversary since George Floyd's death and I think a lot of people

feel as though nothing has changed in this country.

MOBOLADE: But Zain, you are singing my song, and this is actually one of the reasons that I'm running. I believe when you take all the issues that

are in front of us in my city, and then you put that in the backdrop of this new political, cultural, and social climate, you need a different kind

of leadership, a leader that bridges exactly what you said, bridges a gap between where we are and where we could be.

I ran on three core values, courage, empathy, and humility. When it comes to empathy, I also use the language to humanize, to humanize politics, to

humanize our residents, to humanize people, including humanizing the badge, as well as humanizing parts of our community that still struggle with the

badge. We live in a world where you're told you can only have one, it's an or. And the politics I'm introducing is, it's and.

How do we elevate the women and men that are sacrificing themselves so that my wife and kids and I can sleep well at night? To recognize the pockets of

my community that have a complicated relationship with law enforcement, I believe that we can do both and I fully intend to solve that problem. And

it takes a leader like me that is with independent thought, independent pursuit, not beholding to any political party that can bring the issues to

the table and ensure that we are solving these problems.

ASHER: All right. Yemi Mobolade, Mayor-elect of Colorado Springs, thank you so much for joining us and congratulations.

MOBOLADE Thank you for having me.

ASHER: All right. You're very welcome. All right, still to come here on One World, Iranian military drones keep arriving in Russia despite

international sanctions on Moscow. Ahead, CNN investigates the murky web that allows them to go largely undetected.




ASHER: Hello and welcome back to One World. Let's catch up on the headlines. Rwanda genocide suspect, on the run for 22 years until his

capture this week made a brief court appearance in South Africa on Friday. Fulgence Kayishema allegedly took part in a 1994 massacre of some 2000 men,

women, and children who sought shelter in a church that was set on fire.

A Japanese farmer, under arrest following Thursday's deadly rampage, reportedly told police he shot a woman he thought had verbally insulted

him. The 31-year-old suspect allegedly killed the woman and fatally shot two police officers when they arrived on the scene. Authorities say that he

then barricaded himself inside a home where a fourth victim was found on Friday.

The Vatican says that Pope Francis has come down with a fever. Officials say that the 86-year-old pontiff seen here in Vatican City in April

cancelled Friday's meetings. The Vatican press officer did not provide any further details, but you may recall the Pope was briefly hospitalized in

March for bronchitis.

The FBI has released details of a 1983 plot to assassinate Queen Elizabeth II. According to newly released files, a man had called police and told

them that he planned to drop something off the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco when the Queen's royal yacht was underneath it.

He also threatened to attack the British monarch when she visited Yosemite Park. The man blamed the Queen for the death of his daughter during a

security operation in Northern Ireland. Documents don't say the man was arrested for the threat. CNN's Scott McLean is following this story for us.

So, Scott, what more are we learning?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, so these documents, there's more than a hundred of them, really illustrate the vigilance of the FBI in

responding to even potential threats to the royal family during visits to the United States in the 70s, 80s, and 90s from groups that may be

sympathetic to Irish Republicanism and the Irish Republican Army. And at that time, the IRA, of course, was in the midst of a three-decades-long

campaign, include sniper attacks, bombings, and other terror attacks, all in an effort to try to get Northern Ireland reunited with the Republic of

Ireland. And one document in particular, the one that you mentioned, details a very loose plan.


I wouldn't even call it a plot. A loose plan to harm or kill Queen Elizabeth while she was on a tour of the U.S. West Coast and set to meet

President Reagan. The memo says that an officer had gotten a tip from a patron of a bar that was a well-known sort of Republican bar -- Irish

Republican bar who said that his daughter had been killed by a rubber bullet in Northern Ireland and quote, claimed that he was going to attempt

to harm Queen Elizabeth and would do this either by dropping some object off the Golden Gate Bridge onto the Royal Yacht Britannia when she sails

underneath, or would attempt to kill Queen Elizabeth when she visited Yosemite National Park.

Now, it didn't give any more detail than that, and it's not really clear what kind of follow-up there was. It's also interesting to note that the

memo says that the public sidewalks to the bridge were set to be cordoned off and closed off to the public while that yacht came through anyways.

It's also marked priority, which is not the highest level of classification.

It could have been marked immediate or urgent, which might have indicated that it was a bit more serious. We should also take this with somewhat of a

grain of salt, Zain, because it also seems to be fifth-hand information from a bar patron who told the San Francisco police officer who told

another San Francisco cop who told the Secret Service who told the FBI.

So, take that for what it's worth, as well. But look, the fears here from the FBI were not necessarily unfounded because, of course, Louis

Mountbatten, the Queen's cousin, was killed by a bomb planted on a fishing boat back in 1979. And of course, the IRA liked to target things associated

with the British state. And one other thing to mention that's that even more benign protests seem to be followed closely by the FBI.

Some documents indicate that they had informants within some of the protest groups. Just to give you an example, there was one protest group in

particular, sort of a group of Irish diaspora that was planning to give out free beer in a protest outside of a state dinner, which the memo said could

be a dangerous dimension to the events planned. Zain.

ASHER: Right, Scott McLean, live for us there, thank you so much. Ukraine says that Russia has used about 1200 Iranian drones since the war began.

But just how are those weapons finding their way to Russia? Salma Abdelaziz reports some ships and planes have a way of making deliveries largely



SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: These calm waters are home to a secret Russia doesn't want you to know. Experts say Iran is quietly sending

weapons on ships like this one across the Caspian Sea to replenish arms for Moscow's war on Ukraine. Concealing movement at sea is considered nefarious

and potentially a violation of international law. But in the Caspian Sea, there's a growing number of gaps in vessels tracking data, known as AIS,

with a more than 50 percent increase in ships hiding their movement between August and September of 2022, according to maritime trafficking data.

Most of the vessels going dark are Iranian or Russian flagged tankers. The timing is suspicious, too. This practice picking up last summer, just as

White House officials reveal that Russia has purchased hundreds of drones from Iran. So, why would these ships want to hide their movements? Maritime

Security Analyst Martin Kelly tells us it is likely because of what these vessels are carrying.

MARTIN KELLY, LEAD INTELLIGENCE ANALYST EOS RISK GROUP: There's a correlation between Russia requesting drones from Iran, dark port calls in

the Caspian Sea and an increase in dark air activity and that to me was a key indicator of these three aspects combined that something was going on

probably the export of Iranian drones to Russia.

ABDELAZIZ (on-camera): This heat map from Lloyd's List shows where most of those gaps in AIS are concentrated, mostly near Iran's Amirabad port and

Russia's Astrakhan port where ships appear to be turning off their data on approach and going dark for extended periods of time. Now, using data like

this and expert analysis, CNN was able to identify eight vessels that exhibited suspicious behavior in the Caspian Sea.

This is one such vessel. It's a Russian flag tanker that was seen in early January leaving Iran's Amirabad port making its way across the Caspian Sea

to Russia's Astrakhan port. Now, we cannot independently verify what this tanker was carrying, but experts tell us the shipment was likely linked to

the arms trade.

And there are signs that Tehran could be airmailing arms, too. The U.S. and Ukraine both accused Tehran of sending supplies to Russia by plane.

CNN analyzed the tracking data of four Iranian cargo planes flagged by the U.S. Commerce Department for potentially carrying drone shipments.


Collectively, the aircraft made at least 85 trips to Moscow airports between May 2022 and March 2023.

Iran has admitted that it sold a small number of drones to Russia, but it says the sale was a few months prior to the war in Ukraine. CNN has reached

out to Iran and Russia for comment, but has yet to receive a response.

But given the much larger volume cargo ships can carry, the Caspian Sea Corridor is likely the primary conduit. And experts say it is the new

frontier for weapons trade between Moscow and Tehran, tucked away from Western interference. It provides an easy avenue for sanctions evasion,

expert Aniseh Tabrizi says.

ANISEH TABRIZI, SENIOR RESEARCH FELLOW, RUSI: I think the perception in Moscow is that Iran can teach a lot to Moscow about how to go and how to

still have a significant economy, even when sanctions are imposed.

ABDELAZIZ: And there is very little the U.S. and its allies can do to stop it. And more could be on the way. Intelligence officials warned in November

Iran plans to send ballistic missiles, ammunition and more sophisticated drones to Moscow. A bustling corridor potentially providing a much-needed

arsenal critical to Russia's land grab in Ukraine.

Salma Abdelaziz, CNN, London.


ASHER: All right, still to come here on One World, controversial marketing campaigns, Target, and other companies are facing backlash after wading

into social issues. Is it good for business? We'll take a look.


ASHER: All right now to corporate America and culture wars. Marketing campaigns that focused on social issues have sparked major controversy in

recent months. Target has become the latest company to face backlash. The retailer has celebrated Pride Month for over a decade, but the company says

that this year, anti-LGBTQ groups threatened employees, knocked down Pride merchandise, and put threatening posts on social media, as well. As a

result, Target says it will now remove some products from its shelves, but did not specify which ones.

This follows similar attacks on other brands. Budweiser faced a massive backlash after it engaged in a social media promotion featuring transgender

-- featuring a transgender TikTok influencer. While the baseball team, the LA Dodgers, first invited, then disinvited, then re-invited a group of

self-described queer and trans activists from being honored at the team's annual Pride Night.

Time now for the exchange. Joining me live now is Daniel Korschun. He's an Associate Professor of Marketing at the LeBow College of Business at Drexel



Thank you so much for being with us, Professor. So, did Target make a mistake here? What are your thoughts?

DANIEL KORSCHUN, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF MARKETING, DREXEL UNIVERSITY: Yeah, thanks for having me. Target, you know, is struggling with the same thing

that all brands are struggling now, and that's maintaining a consistency to the way they engage on these political issues. And that's what really gets

on the nerves of consumers and employees is when brands -- when they kind of like go back on their word or when they, you know, they'll say one thing

and do something else.

And that's really the part that's gotten into the news and that people have started to pay attention to. But there's, in my mind, there's a bigger

picture here in that there's, we're going into a new phase really of political activism by companies. In the past, it's mainly been between

companies and their consumers. And they would, you know, it was kind of a two-way dialogue.

Now, what's happening is we've got political leaders, governor of Florida, the governor of California, and other political groups that are pouncing on

these, on statements that companies are making, and they're trying to use it to their advantage. So, this kind of new insertion of a third party in

the dialogue is making things much more complicated and really, really tough for managers.

ASHER: Yeah, I mean, honestly, Target was in an impossible situation either way. And obviously they do have to protect their employees. I mean, that is

their number one priority, protecting their employees and ensuring that their employees are safe. But they also have some loyalty to the LGBTQ

community. And many of them, I'm sure many people will think that, you know, the way that Target has sort of handled this, and I guess you could

say gone back on their pledge to support the LGBTQ community. I mean, what message does that send to that community?

KORSCHUN: I think that's exactly where they're caught, is that they're getting pressure on both sides. So, there, by taking a step back and

pulling back on this in the way the other examples that you mentioned in your introduction, when companies do that and they pull back, it feels so

wishy-washy to people. And that's almost worse than the stand itself.

So, the support for LGBTQ, as you mentioned, Target has a pretty long history of supporting those groups. Where it started to get into trouble

was when the way that it reacted to the pressure. And so, this is really when I advise companies on how to do this, there are really three things.

There's consistency, there's transparency, and there's the idea of not being too pushy as a company to push your ideas onto people.

And Target has done a pretty good job, I think, of all three of those on the LGBTQ issue. It's just that when this other group started to come in

and put pressure, they left their consistency I think behind a little bit and so they put themselves into trouble that maybe they didn't have to.

ASHER: I think a company also has to be concerned about their legacy. I mean, what might appear to be the right move in the moment, you could

easily look back in 10, 20, 30 years from now and realize it was a major mistake. Do you think that Target is on the wrong side of history here,

even though they're clearly in a bind?

KORSCHUN: You know, you're putting me in a position of, you know, expressing my own political opinions, and I try to study, you know, what is

the process through which people look at this.

ASHER: Right, right.

KORSCHUN: I mean, for me, I think that they see this -- the company clearly sees this as something that this, especially the youngest generation and

their future customers, cares about, is committed to, and this is the way of the future for the company. So, there's no doubt in my mind that they

see this as a very long-term path forward.

So, it's really for them and for many companies in their position. It's a matter of trying to manage expectations and try to keep pushing things

along, keep advocating the way they can without alienating some of their customer base, and also their employees, too. We often forget about


ASHER: Right.

KORSCHUN: But they're a big part of this picture, not just from their -- the safety side, but also just, you know, do they want to work for a

company that has the values that the company has espoused.

ASHER: You know, I think my major concern is also that the people who criticized Target and Budweiser and end up sort of getting their way will

now feel emboldened that any company in America that does something or has a standard they don't like politically, that they will feel emboldened to

challenge them, as well. Daniel Korschun --

KORSCHUN: Well, historically, if - I'm sorry. Historically, if you look at the history of boycotts, generally speaking, it's been unusual that

boycotts work very well. There are some cases, but in general, it's not. They don't tend to have a lot of lasting power.


But now that these other groups are coming in, they're not starting a boycott from scratch. They are, you know, there's already a cohesive

movement there that then people are latching onto, and so they're using that today. So, I have a feeling that you know in the coming months,

particularly through the U.S. cycle, the presidential campaign, that we're going to see longer lasting and more effective boycotts.

ASHER: Yeah, it's part of the political environment that we are in that's feeling this, as well. Daniel Korschun, we have to leave it there, thank

you so much. We'll be right back with more.


ASHER: We're now hearing from the doctors behind a ground-breaking medical recovery. Thursday, we showed you how this man is now walking again 12

years after a bike accident left him paralyzed. Gert-Jan Oskam uses a special implant that creates a direct neurological link between his brain

and spinal cord. It was developed by doctors at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and two of them just spoke with CNN.


JOCELYNE BLOCH, MD., PLACED IMPLANT THAT ENABLES PARALYZED MAN WALK AGAIN: He's the first, he's the test pilot but I'm sure it's going to work in

other patients. So, it works because his brain is intact, and the part of the spinal cord that is controlling leg movement is also intact. So, we

could put electrodes above the region of the brain that is controlling leg movement and above the region of the spinal cord that is controlling

movements, and we could then link them. So, in all the patients who have these intact regions, we could apply the same technology.

UNKNOWN: How widespread could this be in terms of, how widespread could its usage be? How many patients could potentially be impacted?


sense, remember the pacemaker 50 years ago, people walking with a rack of stimulator next to them. A little bit what you see in the picture

currently, but the keys on what medical the company dedicated to miniaturize everything, validate this technology so we can really use by

everyone who need it across the world in the future.

UNKNOWN: Jocelyne, were you there when he walked for the first time? Did you get to see it?

BLOCH: Yes, I was there. I must say that I did not, when I was there just for the first day when we were pre-programming the stimulator with the

brain implant, I thought that he would only execute slight movements at the very beginning, but he was so fast that the very first day we asked him to

stand up and to do a few steps and it worked.


And all the team, G was not here, unfortunately, he thought it would happen later. And so, we were all in tears.


ASHER: Incredibly, Oskam is also able to take steps after the implant is removed, as well. As the doctor says, that was unexpected. And it's because

the device promoted the development of new nerve connections.

Barbie is getting ready to trade her perfectly pink and sparkly world. For the real world, the trailer for her new movie just dropped.


ASHER: The Greta Gerwig-directed film features Barbie having an existential crisis and Ken gets to go along for the ride. The trailer says the movie is

for those who love the iconic doll and for those who hate her and everything she represents. Barbie hits theaters on July 21st.

All right, thank you so much for watching One World. I'm Zain Asher. Amanpour is up next. Have a great weekend.