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One World with Zain Asher

Russian Missiles Rain Down On Ukrainian Port Cities In A Wave Of Relentless Bombardments; Women's World Cup Offers Moments of Silence Offered For Downtown Auckland Shooting Victims; Iraq's President Slams Sweden For Allowing An Anti-Islam Protest To Be Held Outside The Iraqi Embassy In Stockholm; The Fight For LGBTQ Rights Continues; Witness Relates How American Soldier Crossed Korean Border. Aired 12-1p ET

Aired July 20, 2023 - 12:00   ET




ZAIN ASHER, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Zain Asher in New York and this is ONE WORLD. The Kremlin calls it retaliation. Kyiv says it's a

deliberate attempt to destroy grain infrastructure and threaten its ability to provide food to the world, particularly those in need.


ASHER: For the third straight night, Russian missiles rained down on Ukrainian port cities in a wave of relentless bombardments. Authorities say

at least one person was killed in Odessa. You can actually see by these pictures here the extent of the destruction, looking at all the emergency

service workers around the rubble there. The mayor says that a kindergarten and a nursery were among the damaged buildings.

The nearby port city of Mykolaiv was also pummeled with drones and missile strikes, killing at least two people. The barrage comes after Russia pulled

out of a U.N.-brokered deal this week that had allowed Ukraine to export its grain. But Moscow claims the strikes are in response to Kyiv's Crimea

bridge attack on Monday.


ASHER: CNN's Alexander Marquardt is on the ground in Odessa with more on Russia's intensified attacks on Ukraine's southern region.


ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Odessa has never experienced anything like this since the beginning of the war. Last night's

attacks alone would have been the worst on this city, but it was the third night in a row. There was a lot of damage done by Russian drones and

missiles. You can see here this building has completely collapsed. We're told that this was an administration building. It is near the port, which

we can't show you because of security reasons.

You can see here that a door is still standing, but that's about it. This is a pile of smoldering rubble. Firefighters have been trying to put out

those fires and you can still see the smoke rising from them. It is not just this building that was destroyed, we believe, by a Russian missile,

but there is damage all around here. Windows have been blown out, trees knocked over, there's dust everywhere.

From the shockwave of these missiles you can hear the car sirens that were going off during this attack that lasted around an hour and a half. It

started just before 2 AM, we heard the air raid sirens. We saw the red tracer rounds flying into the sky to take down Russian drones and then the

missile started. I want you to listen to a little bit of what we experienced overnight.

At least one person was killed here in Odessa. A number of people injured. But Odessa was not the only city that was hit. The southern port city of

Mykolaiv was also attacked by Russia there. At least 19 people were injured. Now, Ukrainians believe that this is directly tied to the grain

deal. We know that Odessa's port has been a target for the last three nights. Some 60,000 tons of grain were destroyed in the second night of

these attacks. Ukraine says that this is in response to Russia pulling out of that critical grain deal earlier this week. Alex Marquardt, CNN, Odessa.


ASHER: And the U.K. has announced a wave of sanctions against individuals and businesses with links to Russia's Wagner Group, who are operating in

three African countries. The British government says the mercenary group has acted with impunity in countries such as Mali, Central African Republic

and Sudan. It says Wagner leaders and front companies are responsible for violence and instability across Africa.

Meantime, the Belarusian military is praising the, quote, unique experience its troops are gaining from joint combat training with Wagner mercenaries.

Minks released this video showing drills at a camp close to the Polish border. It comes one day after images emerged reportedly showing Wagner

leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin. Alive and in Belarus, CNN's Fred Pleitgen has more.


FRED PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Nearly a month after Wagner's mutiny, the private military company and its leader, Yevgeny

Prigozhin, say they're back. This grainy video, which CNN cannot independently verify, purportedly showing Prigozhin welcoming his fighters

to Belarus.

Welcome to the Belarusian land, he says. We fought with dignity. We have done a lot for Russia. What is happening now at the front lines is a shame

in which we do not need to participate. We need to wait for the moment when we can prove ourselves fully.


Prigozhin, as critical as ever of Russia's defense ministry and apparently signaling, his fighters could return to the front lines in Ukraine. Various

social media accounts had already reported movements of what appeared to be large Wagner convoys on the move towards Belarus. And CNN analysis of

satellite images from Planet Labs and from Airbus showed a convoy of Wagner fighters had already arrived at a formerly abandoned base southeast of


Some of the Wagner fighters training Belarusian troops, as seen here on state media. They have been in combat and this is undoubtedly a very useful

experience for our army, this Belarusian soldier says. They saw some of the heaviest combat in Russia's war against Ukraine, but after their mutiny,

seen as a major threat to Vladimir Putin's power, Prigozhin was labeled as a traitor by Russia's leader. And Wagner had to shutter its main base in

southern Russia.

The base ceases to exist, this fighter says. Wagner private military company is relocating to new areas. Belarus seems to be one of those new

areas. Putin apparently coming to the conclusion he still needs the mercenaries and their leader. The head of Britain's intelligence service,

MI6, telling CNN, Prigozhin is, quote, "floating around after the rebellion".

RICHARD MOORE, U.K.'S MI6 CHIEF: If you look at Putin's behaviors on that day, Prigozhin started off, I think, as a traitor at breakfast. He had been

pardoned by supper, and then a few days later, he was invited for tea.

PLEITGEN (voice-over): And one of Prigozhin's top commanders, Dimitri Utkin, vowing the mercenaries will come back even stronger. It's not the

end, he says. It's only the beginning of the biggest work that will be done very soon. And finally, welcome to hell. Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Berlin.


ASHER: On a day when New Zealand was supposed to celebrate perhaps its most important moment on sports' world stage, the country's instead reeling

in shock over gun violence. A man with a shotgun opened fire at a construction site in downtown Auckland Thursday, just hours before the

opening match of the Women's World Cup. He killed two people. He also injured several others. Let's get more now from CNN's Angus Watson.

ANGUS WATSON, CNN PRODUCER: A shadow cast over the opening day of the Women's World Cup in Auckland, New Zealand. The first match between the

hosts and Norway opened with a moment of silence for two people killed Thursday morning and several others injured by a lone gunman who took a

shotgun to his place of work, a construction site in downtown Auckland early Thursday and began shooting, killing two people and injuring several

others including a police officer. Police were commended for getting to the scene shortly after he began firing and ultimately neutralizing the

suspect. He was found with a gunshot wound in an elevator shaft.

Now, every time that there is a case of public violence in New Zealand, thoughts immediately go to 2019 when a white supremacist terrorist attacked

two mosques in the city of Christchurch, killing 50. This attack, however, was not deemed to be a terrorist incident. The killer was not deemed to be

ideologically motivated by police, that it was an isolated incident and not a national security threat. So, the authorities there in New Zealand

believe that the game was okay, was safe enough to go ahead and it did so.

There are several World Cup teams at the moment stationed in Auckland including Team USA who was quick to state their condolences after the

tragic incident, posting a statement to social media, reading, "U.S. Soccer extends its deepest condolences to the families of the victims who were

killed in the shooting in downtown Auckland today. We are saddened by the inexcusable loss of life to gun violence and our thoughts with the people

of Auckland, Tamaki Marakau and Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Now, the games of the World Cup are historic this time around. More tickets have been sold than any Women's World Cup previously and 32 teams will this

time take part with Team USA: The Favourites. We'll all hope that the shadow of this terrible incident, Thursday morning, will not loom too large

over the competition. Angus Watson in Sydney Australia for CNN.

ASHER: Iraq's president is slamming Sweden for allowing an anti-Islam protest to be held outside the Iraqi embassy in Stockholm. Police say the

protest lasted around 45 minutes, and there were two people there who hadn't been granted a permit. Police say the other 150 people present were

mostly reporters. Video obtained by CNN shows the Muslim holy book, the Koran, was not burned, as had been expected, but may have been partially

destroyed earlier. Hundreds of Iraqi protesters stormed the Swedish embassy in Baghdad, setting it on fire.


Sweden says its embassy staff in Iraq are all safe. Iraq has asked the Swedish ambassador to leave the country and recalled the Iraqi affair from

Stockholm. Iraq also suspended the license of Swedish telecom giant Ericsson to operate in the country, according to the to the Iraqi state

news agency. All of this comes weeks after a lone man set fire to pages of a Quran outside Stockholm's main mosque.

At least three people are dead in Kenya following anti-government protests there.


ASHER: This was a scene in the capital, Nairobi. In addition, several people were injured from gunshot wounds during clashes between protesters

and security forces. On Wednesday, protests have rocked the country since last week over new tax hikes proposed by the government. Larry Madowo has

been following all of this from Kenya. He joins us live now from Nairobi.

So, Larry, here's the thing. I mean, these protests are ongoing. Ruto has come out and said, look, we need the revenue. We need to raise domestic

revenue that's why these tax hikes are crucial, essentially. But just walk us through whether or not there is a certain segment of the Kenyan

population that feels let down by President Ruto. I mean, this is a man who campaigned on helping and prioritizing the poor. He called them the

hustlers. He was very much somebody who was believed to have that common touch. You know, I stand with those who are socio-economically

disadvantaged. That was his message. Do people feel let down by William Ruto at this point?

LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You have hit the nail right on the head. People feel betrayed, Zain, because he said he is a hustler in chief, that

he came from nothing to something. And if you elect me, he told Kenyans, I will make sure that this can be a country for everybody. So, these same

hustlers, the young people who are out of jobs or people who are day laborers who are hoping for a better life, feel that, how can you, in 10

months of being president, raise the cost of living so high by all these extra taxes that we can barely afford.

So, that is that sense of let-down that you feel here. Even among those who don't support these protests, they just don't understand how their man, the

man who understood the suffering of the ordinary person can preside over this huge increase in the cost of living. And also, for those who do not

support the president, they have found it easy to go to the streets and engage in this kind of back-and-forth with the security forces. Watch.


MADOWO (voice-over): Violent confrontations between Kenyan police and demonstrators in a neighborhood of the capital, Nairobi. Even tear gas did

not keep these young men away for long. They responded with even more stones or anything else they could throw at the police. The first day of

the opposition's planned three-day anti-government demonstrations came down to these battles with security forces or cut-and-mask games in some areas.

Construction worker Elijah Mwangi says, He was on his lunch break nearby when he got hit.

ELIJAH MWANGI (PH), CONSTRUCTION WORKER: I don't know if it was tear gas or a bullet. It just hit me, and I passed out.

MADOWO (voice-over): He was still bleeding even after first aid. With no ambulance available, this motorbike taxi was the only way to get him to

hospital. Armored water cannon trucks keeping demonstrators away from the roads in a different part of Nairobi. But some residents concerned about

the sharp increases in the prices of basic commodities are ready to endure the crackdown.

MADOWO: Do you support the protests?

UNKNOWN: I do, 100 percent. I support the protests. It needs to continue until the president hears our cry. The cost of living is high and the

President should look at this situation. At least he can reduce the cost of living.

MADOWO: A heavy security presence made sure that there were no major street demonstrations today, but the opposition still did score a win by

managing to bring the capital of Kenya almost to a standstill. These running battles between police using water cannons and tear gas and the

young men throwing rocks has been the order of the day.

MADOWO (voice-over): But President William Ruto remains defiant, saying Kenya's politics should be devoid of violence.

WILLIAM RUTO, KENYAN PRESIDENT: We must protect this country and the police must be firm on hooligans, on criminals, on people who want to

destroy other people's business.

MADOWO (voice-over): That firm police action earned condemnation from the U.N. Human Rights Office last Friday, when it said it was concerned about

widespread use of violence by officers. Kenya's foreign minister called the U.N. statement inaccurate and misleading.

ALFRED MUTUA, KENYAN MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AND DIASPORA AFFAIRS: Who are those 23 people who they say died? I'd like to know them, their names and

others. So, they're just throwing names and figures out there.


You know, that is bad manners for an organization of such stature.


MADOWO (on-camera): Kenya's Foreign Minister may call the U.N.'s criticism of police brutality here bad manners, but we did see people get beaten up

at police. And to be fair, we also saw people throwing stones and rocks and pebbles at the police. So, there's no saint in this saga here.

Just as we were talking to Yussein (ph), we had one man passing by and asking, where is Raila? Obviously, these three-day protests were called by

Raila Odinga, the leader of the opposition here. He, so far, has not shown up in public today or yesterday. In fact, life appears to be coming back to

normal today. The government re-opened capital, as well as in Kisumu and in Mombasa, two other major cities.

It's not clear what the strategy here is, but Friday will be the third and last day of these three-day protests. If life goes back to normal, they did

get a big win yesterday by putting life to a standstill, but what's the bigger picture here is not very clear, Zain.

ASHER: Yeah, we'll see where these protests go from here. Larry Madowo, live for us there, thank you so much. The E.U. has deployed fire crews from

several of its countries to Greece, where firefighters continue to battle large wildfires, firefighting planes from France and Italy are also

helping, as well, as our teams from Poland, Romania and Slovakia. Officials say sixty-six wildfires have broken out in just the past day or so.

Thousands of people have been forced to evacuate. All of this is because of the heat wave that is scorching Southern Europe right now.

All right, still to come, Russian lawmakers continue to crack down on transgender people. We've got details of a new bill headed for President

Putin's desk. Plus, all eyes are on Washington, D.C. as a possible third indictment may indeed come down for 2024 presidential candidate Donald



ASHER: Russia is doubling down on its assault against its LGBTQ community. Lawmakers have passed a bill that will severely curtail the rights of

transgender people. On Wednesday, Russia's upper House of Parliament followed the Lower House in passing a ban on nearly all-gender reassignment

surgery. Under the measure, official documents cannot be amended to reflect any gender change whatsoever. And it would also bar people who have changed

their sex from adopting and taking care of children in terms of guardianship.


The legislation now goes to the President's desk for his signature. For Elle Solomina, a Russian transgender woman living in Georgia, it raises

serious concerns for young people discovering their own identity.


ELLE SOLOMINA, RUSSIAN IT WORKER: When I was 16 and in my early 20s, I had very persistent thoughts about suicide. And I practically, well, it's hard

to say exactly what stopped me, but somehow, I stopped. But many people, including me in Russia, are worried particularly about trans teenagers,

because for children and teenagers, this situation looks absolutely hopeless.


ASHER: Russia's crackdown on LGBTQ rights is, of course, not new. In 2013, Russia passed a so-called gay propaganda law which penalizes anyone

promoting what it called non-traditional sexual relations to children. Last year, it was amended to ban promoting so-called same-sex propaganda

regardless of age.

Our next guest calls laws like these state-sponsored queerphobia. We're joined live now by Dilia Gafurova, Human Rights Activist and Head of Sphere

Foundation. Dilia, thank you so much for being with us. I mean, this idea of potentially banning nearly all medical help for transgender people, also

banning gender reassignment surgery, and limiting and preventing trans people from adopting children. This is already a community of people that

are so vulnerable, that have seen their rights eroded in Russia. Where does the community go from here, Delia?

DILIA GAFUROVA, HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST: Hello, first and foremost, thank you so much for having me to speak on this. It really seems like a

completely hopeless situation because the trans community is being taken away with little rights they had. And this is the kind of situation where

they cannot even get any proper medical assistance or psychiatric assistance. They cannot change their documents. So, it seems as if they

have their backs up the wall.

And we are already getting requests from people saying, what do I do? You know, they're really panicked. And of course, they feel as if they have no

options. And the truth is, we don't know what to say to those people because the situation is really grave. It's almost like trans people don't

have any rights at all at the moment. And it's either, you know, they leave the country and try to find a better life someplace else, or they just sit

with their options and consider maybe living, not living their truth, which is of course heartbreaking.

And unfortunately, the human rights community and the civil society at the moment is hopeless to try to influence policymakers because policymakers,

when adopting this legislature or any of the previous bills that were clearly anti-LGBT, they did not concern themselves with the opinion of

people they were passing these laws against or the experts, really. They didn't hear-out the medical community in this instance. It almost is as if

they have this common course that they wanted to follow and that's it and they're eradicating an entire group of people because of it.

ASHER: Russian MPs voted almost unanimously, right, for this bill. I'm just curious, I mean, you know, the history of, you know, human rights

abuses and anti-LGBTQ rhetoric in Russia and bills in Russia obviously dates back many, many years, but I'm curious why you think there is this

renewed focus right now on trans community, on LGBTQ rights. I mean, a lot of people are talking about this idea of scapegoating, this idea of

creating a common enemy to distract from a lot of the problems happening right now in Russia vis-a-vis the war in Ukraine. Just give us your sense

in terms of the timing of this and the motivation.

GAFUROVA: There are actually two points here. First and foremost, of course, the Russian government just wants to distract attention from other

issues that the country is currently facing, both in its foreign affairs and internally because the economy is really going downhill, for instance.

And it's common for repressive regimes and non-democratic regimes to create a common enemy to sort of change the focus of public attention.

However, there's also this point of -- however that sounds Russian pride. Russia really -- Russian authorities at least, those who are in power at

the moment, they don't like to think of themselves as being isolated. They liked to think of themselves as being special. So, Russia is a very special

country in their eyes, which has a special way or path.


And this anti-LGBT pieces of legislature that they've been adopting, it's almost as if they are saying, hey, we are this last bastion of hope for

global conservatism. We are trying to protect traditional values and the traditional idea of family. So, we are going against the stride, against

the common, the collective West is what they call it, even though of course there's no such thing. So again, they're creating an enemy, but an external

one to explain their actions and different policy decisions.

ASHER: I mean, this is extremely dangerous, this idea of the fact that, you know, members of the trans community won't be able to access the

medical help that they need. Are you noticing a spike in terms of the number of trans people who are seeking medical help now before this bill

actually becomes law, before Putin signs it into law? What are you noticing?

GAFUROVA: We have been noticing this for a couple of months now because the discussions around this law started in late spring and were going on

throughout the summer. And people from the trans community, they were trying to sort of rush into this window of opportunity timewise and just in

a nick of time, you know, change their documentation and go through that process because afterwards they're not going to have that option.

However, that's also not an entirely pleasant experience because once again, they feel rushed into that decision. They might not always have the

resources to do that. So, of course, that's one thing. And another thing is, that even prior to our, you know, common knowledge that this law is

going to -- that this bill is going to become a law, it's going to be enforced very soon.

In different parts of Russia, in different regions of Russia, we've heard reports of people going into passport registration offices where they were

trying to make requests for a change in their document, for a change of gender marker in their documents and they were denied, either under the

pretense, or with excuses or just directly outright, the government employees were saying that this bill is going to pass soon, so what's the

point? You know, so, that's unlawful even. That shouldn't have happened, but it did.

So, we see this very common front in terms of different government agencies, even in place, even locally, that are really fully behind this


ASHER: Right, so the rights are already being eroded well before this bill even becomes law. Dilia Gafurova, thank you so much for being with us. We

appreciate it.

GAFUROVA: Thank you.

ASHER: All right, still to come, what happened moments before an American soldier bolted into North Korea. We have an update for you, just ahead.




ASHER: Hello and welcome back to ONE WORLD. Let's catch up on the headlines. Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger sat down with

Chinese President Xi Jinping during a surprise visit to Beijing. Kissinger, who is 100 years old, became the first high-ranking US official to visit

China back in 1971. During the meeting, President Xi called Kissinger an old friend.

The lights might go out on Broadway as early as Friday. The union representing 1500 stagehands and backstage workers could vote to strike

today, calling for better contracts. If a strike was to happen, New York City would not be the only place affected. Shows touring across the U.S.

and Canada would also come to a stop, as well.

And U.S. authorities are trying to piece together what might have motivated an American soldier to cross into one of the world's most hostile

countries, North Korea. Private Travis King was at Seoul's airport on Monday, preparing to board a plane back to the U.S. when he claims his

passport was missing, officials say. The next day, he took part in a tour of the joint security area of the Korean demilitarized zone. A woman who

was at the scene says he suddenly took off running across the border.


SARAH LESLIE, TOURIST FROM NEW ZEALAND: Someone ran close to me very fast and I thought, what is going on? He -- I didn't think anyone who was sane

would want to go to North Korea, so I assumed it was some kind of stunt to, you know, run to the North Korean border fence and have someone film it or

something like that a couple of seconds after I saw him. That's when the soldiers shouted and started running after him.


ASHER: CNN's Will Ripley travelled to the area and filed this report from -- near the DMZ.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Korean DMZ, the demilitarized zone, is one of the most heavily fortified border areas in

the world. That's the reason why you have barricades and spike strips and all of these military checkpoints to try to prevent people from being able

to go in or come out. There's a reason why this road has tank traps. Basically, if tanks were to come rolling down, they would blow up to stop

an invasion from the north to the south. And the north has similar booby traps set up, as well.

So, obviously, it's a highly secured area. How did this U.S. Army Private just run across? Well, we're learning that on Monday. The Incheon airport

about 90 minute-drive from where I'm standing right now, he was supposed to get on an American Airlines flight to Dallas, but he told -- after going

through all of the procedures, all the security right at the gate to the plane, he claimed that he had lost his passport and was escorted back

outside of the airport, somehow made his way here on Tuesday where he was able to board -- get on a tour, he had booked a tour.

It was apparently -- the passenger manifest was approved by the United Nations command and he and along -- with about 40 other people took a bus

down this road over this unification bridge and less than five miles that way is the joint security area where he was able to basically, according to

others who were on the tour with him, run across, ignoring the calls of guards and get into a North Korean van where he was whisked away.

Now, where he is now, after being in North Korean custody for Wednesday and now Thursday, still an open question because the North Koreans have not

released any information publicly and it may be quite some time before we officially know anything about this soldier's whereabouts or when he might

have a chance of getting back to the U.S. Will Ripley, CNN, in South Korea near the DMZ.

ASHER: Former U.S. President Donald Trump could be facing an unprecedented third indictment.


The grand jury being used by the special counsel in the election interference probe is meeting right now. Sources say that Trump's legal

team believes he has until midnight to respond to Special Counsel Jack Smith and tell his office whether there are witnesses or evidence that they

want to offer. CNN's Katelyn Polantz is at the courthouse in Washington where the grand jury is meeting. Katelyn, how soon could this third

indictment actually drop?

KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, Zain, it could be as soon as today, but we won't know for at least a few more hours,

maybe even tonight, if that is going to happen, because the grand jury here, they are convened, but they have work to do. The work they have to do

is they're still hearing from a couple witnesses, including someone who we believe has been speaking to them this morning, testifying behind closed

doors, whose testimony will remain a secret.

His name is Will Russell. He was an aide to Trump. He worked in the White House. But Will Russell, he's been before this grand jury, before in this

investigation, he's coming back today. Maybe one of those witnesses the Justice Department would need sort of to wrap up their case. There's at

least one other, maybe two, even, other witnesses who are expected to fight -- adding -- Trump lost in the 2020 -- election officials or his supporters

were reaching out to people who were election workers or speaking publicly about them, even maybe threatening or harassing them.

All of that is what the grand jury will be looking at. Months of investigation, months of evidence collection when the Justice Department

does ultimately come to them and ask them to approve a set of charges. We don't know the next time the grand jury will meet, but any time that they

are convened, now that Trump has received that target letter saying he very well may be indicted and is likely to be indicted, is a time where they

could be asked to look at the charges and finalize them.

ASHER: All right, Katelyn Polantz, live for us there. Thank you so much. All right, still to come here on ONE WORLD, how much can we learn today

from the story of a scientist in the 1940s? The discussion about the new movie, "Oppenheimer", when we come back.




ASHER: Artificial intelligence is being used more and more often in movies and television, and it's a key issue in the ongoing strikes by Hollywood

writers and actors. One major concern, the potential for studios to use fewer humans and more technology, including AI. Donie O'Sullivan digs

deeper into the controversy.


MATT PANOUSIS, COO, MARZ: This is where we started. It's an automated solution for cosmetic and de-aging work.

CHRIS WALLACE, "WHO'S TALKING* TO CHRIS WALLACE" HOST: Through some technological wizardry, 80-year-old Harrison Ford looks exactly like 40

year old Harrison Ford. Do you understand how they did that?

HARRISON FORD, ACTOR: Not completely.

DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In the latest Indiana Jones movie, Harrison Ford is de-aged for a flashback where he fights the Nazis.

FORD: It's not photoshopped or anything. It doesn't look that way.

O'SULLIVAN: Hollywood studios are moving beyond traditional visual effect technology and embracing artificial intelligence, turning to companies like

MARZ. What does Mars stand for?

PANOUSIS: Monsters, Aliens, Robots and Zombies.

O'SULLIVAN: I think that's the best name I've heard for a company.

PANOUSIS: Thank you.

O'SULLIVAN: The latest Spider-Man movie released in 2021 features villains like the Green Goblin, and Dr. Otto Octavius, characters who haven't been

seen in years.

JONATHAN BRONFMAN, CEO, MARZ: So, they took the villains from previous versions of Spider-Man movies and they wanted to bring them back in that

moment than when they originally performed that character. So, without naming names, we helped Marvel do that on a certain character.

O'SULLIVAN: MARZ says its de-aging AI technology knocks thousands of man- hours off the visual effects process, but they say they aren't killing jobs. The demand for visual effects way outstrips the supplies but there

are finite number of artists in the world that are able to execute on that demand.

MARZ has also built an AI dubbing tool aiming to make awkward, out-of-sync voiceovers like these a thing of the past. MARZ uses deepfake technology to

reconstruct an actor's lips to match the dubbed audio. They tried it out on me. First, we sent them this short clip I shot in a CNN studio.

O'SULLIVAN: -- that I've always been terrible at speaking any language other than English. In fact, I struggle with English sometimes. With that,

they were able to do this.



O'SULLIVAN: That is very impressive. My lips look French. This technology can even put other people's words in your mouth. But what I do have are a

very particular set of skills. If you let my daughter go now, that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you. I will not pursue you. My fellow

Irishmen, as well

PANOUSIS: Lipdub was built for the purpose of allowing studios to take content in their native tongue and put that content across the globe in a

way where it looks native to the viewer.

O'SULLIVAN: For its part, MARZ says it is not in the business of replacing actors. Its technology is meant to enhance performances, not create them.

FORD: I think it's not a question of the technology, it's how you use it.

TOM HANKS, ACTOR: Look, you know, I could be hit by a bus tomorrow and that's it, but my performances can go on and on and on and on and on and

outside of the understanding that it's been done with AI or deep fake, there'll be nothing to tell you that it's not me and me alone."

O'SULLIVAN: Fears of how AI will be used as party-wise SAG-AFTRA, the Actors' Union is on strike, saying the studios want to replace them with

artificial performances. The movie studios are pushing back on that claim.

BRONFMAN: Technology cannot replace an actor, full on. So, you cannot go head to toe and redo the entire face and expect that to be photo real. The

technology just isn't there right now. Now, as it relates to writers, I think they can more easily be replaced by artificial intelligence.

SULLIVAN: Donie O'Sullivan, CNN, Toronto, Canada.


ASHER: Great piece there by our Donie O'Sullivan. All right, we'll be right back with more.



ASHER: History meets entertainment this week as the critically acclaimed film "Oppenheimer" arrives in theaters. It tells the story of physicist

Robert Oppenheimer, the man known as the father of the atomic bomb, because he led the U.S. effort to build the world's first nuclear weapon during

World War II. It was a terrifying project because no one really knew how exactly the power of nuclear weapons would change mankind.


"OPPENHEIMER" MOVIE: Are we saying there's a chance that when we push that button, we destroy the world? Chances are near zero. Near zero. What do you

want from theory alone? Zero would be nice.


ASHER: Oppenheimer's creation would later be dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, forcing Japan to surrender and ending World War II, but ushering

in the nuclear age. And though he built bombs, the atomic bombs, "Oppenheimer" eventually became a critic of nuclear weapons as their power

grew stronger and stronger.

More than 200,000 people were killed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and in the years since then, the U.S. has actually developed nuclear weapons that are

as much as 600 times more powerful than the ones you see here, the ones dropped on Japan. Of course, this film examining the moral complexity of

nuclear weapons comes at an important juncture in military history. Russia, with one of the world's strongest nuclear arsenals, is currently, of

course, at war with neighboring Ukraine.

Time now for The Exchange, and we're going to look at what Robin Oppenheimer feared about nuclear weapons many years ago and what he might

say about them today. Joining me live now is Joe Cirincione. He's a National Security and Weapons Expert, as well as the Author of the book,

"Nuclear Nightmares: Securing The World Before It Is Too Late". Joe, thank you so much for being with us. How important do you think it is for people

to know the story about Robert Oppenheimer and how and why the man who was the father of the atomic bomb eventually became a critic of nuclear

weapons? How important is it, do you think, that we know and understand his history?

JOE CIRINCIONE, NATIONAL SECURITY EXPERT: I think it's vitally important, Zain. Thank you very much for having me on to talk about this. You know, we

confront nuclear threats almost daily now because of Putin's war on Ukraine and his repeated threats to use nuclear weapons. But for most of the

population, it's been decades since the end of the Cold War, since we wrestled with the existential threat that a nuclear war could eliminate all

of human civilization.

And that's why Christopher Nolan's film is so important. The critical reviews are overwhelmingly positive about how he's managed to fuse three

important themes. One is just the technological achievement, perhaps one of the greatest scientific advances of the 20th century, to make the bomb in

the first place. And then second, with the realization that you had created not just a weapon, but an existential threat to all of humankind.


And finally, to personalize that, in Robert Oppenheimer, the Chief Scientist on the Manhattan Project, who led the technological achievement

of creating the bomb, but almost immediately anguished over it until the end of his career.

ASHER: Yeah, I mean, the moral complexity is certainly isn't lost on anyone. Here's the thing, Joe, the first half of the 20th century was one

of the most lethal periods in human history. You had World War One, which killed about 20 million people. Obviously, these are just estimates. And

I'm not even including the number of people who were maimed and went missing, right?

The Second World War killed about 60 million people. And then after that, in August 1945, you had the atomic bomb dropped twice in the span of a few

days on Japan. And I think that one of the sort of interesting things about nuclear weapons is that ever since the atomic bomb was invented, we haven't

seen those kinds of great wars that we saw in the first half of the 20th century.

I mean, do you think that, you know, one of the sort of strange, I guess, side effects of the invention of nuclear weapons is that it somehow brought

about --unintentionally brought about a period of peace because there is so much fear about using them.

CIRINCIONE: It is certainly a factor and the fact that nuclear weapons deter countries from going to war, that is, countries with nuclear weapons

are very hesitant to engage in this kind of great power conflicts for fear of its escalation to a nuclear exchange. But that's just one of the factors

that happened. We shouldn't neglect the tremendous diplomatic and economic developments after the war that created the United Nations, for example,

that created NATO, for example, that created a global economy. And these are also restraints on people going to war.

The idea that France and Germany would go to war with each other. It's inconceivable now, but not because of nuclear weapons, but because of the

political, diplomatic, and economic ties that have developed between those countries. And this was a theme that Oppenheimer emphasized days after

Hiroshima. He and the other scientists wrote a letter to what's called the Interim Committee, the government committee overseeing the bomb, urging

them that although they could make more and better bombs, that this would not provide security for the country. This could only be achieved through

diplomatic efforts to make war less likely.

ASHER: I mean, here's the thing, though, I mean, you know, we live in a sort of world where when one country gets nuclear weapons, then of course

their enemy then wants nuclear weapons as well. You know, if India gets nuclear weapons, then of course Pakistan wants nuclear weapons. If Israel

gets nuclear weapons, then Iran wants nuclear weapons. In that kind of environment, in that kind of arms race that exists and that does exist in

the world today, what hope is there for nuclear disarmament?

CIRINCIONE: Well, we've had 78 years of living with this nuclear terror, but 78 years of developing diplomatic instruments to contain it and reduce

it. For example, we now have about 13,000 nuclear weapons in the world. That is way too many nuclear weapons, but it used to be 60,000. So, we've

decreased these arsenals since the height of the Cold War. We have nine countries with nuclear weapons, ranging from the United States, Russia,

China, all the way down to North Korea, but it's only nine countries. So, we've developed a mechanism to discourage people from getting them, the two

go hand in hand.

ASHER: So, how do you continue that discouragement? I mean, you know, the nine countries that have nuclear weapons, they have nuclear weapons. I

guess you can't really do anything about that. But there are countries that are in the middle that could have nuclear weapons that have chosen not to,

or that did have nuclear programs that have reversed them.

I mean, South Africa is one country like that. Obviously, Germany could have nuclear weapons if it wanted to. It's chosen not to. Japan is in that

category. I would put South Korea in that category, as well. How do you focus on that category? Because that is the key to keeping the number at

just nine.

CIRINCIONE: Right, you work your way backwards. So, you're absolutely right. In Japan and South Korea, there's active discussion now about

whether they should build nuclear weapons. Why? Because of China. As you said, if you're worried about an adversary of nuclear weapons, maybe you

want to get one of your own.

ASHER: And with South Korea, it's North Korea they're worried about. So, yeah.

CIRINCIONE: In South Korea, yes, they're worried about North Korea and China, Japan, et cetera. So, you can see that very, very real concern in

Asia these days. And the way you do that is you try to convince China to restrain its nuclear program. How do you do that? You have to engage in

dialogue with the United States, and that would mean some restraint on our nuclear program. That is the only way it's ever worked. With the nuclear

weapon states that are leading the pact, are the ones that are also leading the restraint. And if you do that, then everyone gets in line. They see

which way the international currents are going.


Right now, unfortunately, the currents are going the other way. Every single one of those nine nuclear-armed nations is building more nuclear

weapons, developing more delivery mechanisms for it. So unfortunately, we're on the verge nuclear arms race, exactly the kinds of arms race Robert

Oppenheimer feared at the end of World War II.

ASHER: But you know what, you make a good point, it is just nine. Thank goodness, it is just nine countries. It could be much higher, as we

discussed. All right, Joe Cirincione, live for us there, thank you so much. And an update to a story that we brought you earlier this hour, Broadway

stagehands will actually not go on strike. The tentative deal has just been reached with producers and theater owners to avert the strike. We're gonna

have details of what exactly is in that agreement, but we will of course bring you more information as we learn more. Union members still need to

ratify this deal.

And officials in South Africa are keeping people away from a busy street in Johannesburg --


ASHER: -- after a blast ripped through the area on Wednesday. Look at that, killing at least one person. You saw the buses just literally fly in

the air, injuring dozens of others, as well. Take a look again at this video. It was posted on social media showing the explosion, lifting buses

and minivans into the air. Officials say the cause remains unknown at this point and they are still investigating. Some witnesses did report chemical

odors after the blast. So they're looking into that, as well.


ASHER: All right, thank you so much for watching ONE WORLD. I'm Zain Asher. "AMANPOUR" is up next. You're watching CNN.