Return to Transcripts main page

One World with Zain Asher

Coup Leaders In Niger Show No Signs Of Backing Down; Russia Denies Serious Damage On One Of Its Warships; Republican Presidential Candidate Chris Christie Makes A Surprise Trip To Kyiv; New CNN Poll Shows 55 Percent Of Americans Don't Approve Of Congress Authorizing Additional Funding For Kyiv; Sports Journalist Tega Onojaife Discusses The Meteoric Rise Of Africa's Teams; Trump Pleads Not Guilty To All Four Felony Counts; Two U.S. Navy Sailors Accused Of Providing U.S. Training Information To Chinese Intelligence; Typhoon Khanun Heads Back To Okinawa; Still No Accountability For Devastating Explosion Three Years Ago; Pope Francis In Portugal For World Youth Day; Gunshots Ring Out At Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School's Reenactment Of Deadly School Shooting; U.S. FDA Expected To Decide Whether To Approve A New Medication For New Mothers After Childbirth; Actor Ryan Gosling Makes It To The Hot 100 First Timers' List. Aired 12-1p ET

Aired August 04, 2023 - 12:00   ET




ZAIN ASHER, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Zain Asher in New York and this is ONE WORLD. We begin in Niger, where despite growing pressure from

neighboring countries and from around the world, leaders of the coup show no signs of backing down. In fact, just nine days after toppling Niger's

elected leader, the junta is instead digging in its heels.

Already in the past 24 hours, they've walked back years of diplomacy, dismissing Niger's ambassadors to several countries, including the U.S. and

France, revoking military pacts with France and blocking French media outlets. All of this with a deadline looming. The West African bloc,

ECOWAS, on Sunday giving the junta one week, one week to release and reinstate President Mohamed Bazoum, ECOWAS saying it would not rule out the

use of force if those demands are not met. But following a meeting between the ECOWAS delegation and junta representatives on Thursday, the junta

warned military intervention would be met with retaliation.


AMADOU ABDRAMANE (through translator): ECOWAS being impersonal, any aggression or attempted aggression against the state of Niger will be met

with an immediate and unannounced response by Niger's defense and security forces.


ASHER: Russia says foreign intervention is not likely to help improve the situation in Niger, but delegates from ECOWAS remain in Niger's capital,

hoping to restore order before Sunday's deadline. And much of the international community, including the U.S., is backing them.


ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: We believe it is vitally important that what ECOWAS has called for actually take effect and that is

freeing a President Bazoum.


ASHER: Niger's ousted leader calls this a pivotal moment for his country, which he says is under attack. President Mohammed Bazum, who has been

detained by soldiers at the presidential palace since last week, is speaking out in a "Washington Post" op-ed. Mr. Bazoum says he is being held


CNN Senior International Correspondent David McKenzie is following all of these developments from Johannesburg. David, President Bazoum writing in

"The Washington Post" saying that if this coup succeeds, it will have devastating consequences not just for Niger, but really for the region and

actually the entire world. Walk us through it.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think it's illustrative, Zain, that he was able to get that op-ed out, either writing

it himself or approving it from one of his supporters in the diaspora. It shows you that this coup certainly hasn't settled into a clear indication

that the coup leaders are, if not 100 percent in charge, have the full support of the entire military and are able to necessarily withstand the

intense pressure from ECOWAS, from France, from the U.S. and others.

What you've had, as you said, is the coup leaders in particular striking out at the French government, saying they are going to remove themselves

from all those defense pacts, also throwing out the ambassador and kicking out the French media, state-funded French media in the country. For their

part, though, the French are saying, well, this is null and void because this is a unilateral decision coming from those who aren't the

democratically elected head of Niger.

So, it is a volatile situation. I think you have to watch very carefully what the Nigerian president, Bola Tinubu does in the coming hours as the

leader of ECOWAS at the moment. What he says and what the Nigerian military do in particular is very critical, and that clock is ticking towards that

initial deadline set by the regional bloc for when they said they may start contemplating, sending the troops and to take over by force. Zain.

ASHER: And David, just in terms of another development which you actually did touch on, this idea that the coup leaders in Niger are ending military

cooperation with France, what sort of vacuum does that leave for Russia?


MCKENZIE: Potentially is a vacuum. You had Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, saying that this won't be solved by foreign intervention. He

also said obliquely that they don't want to see any major change that we have seen in Niger, but certainly not coming out fully throated, condemning

the coup leaders. I think one thing we haven't spoken about is the U.S. And that's a critical component here. The U.S. has a large force component in

the capital and Agadez.

And more importantly, it's not something the coup leaders are speaking about much. They've railed against France. They've made sure to have

protesters out there that appear to be orchestrated by the regime or their supporters to go against French colonialism and the perceived misdeeds and

current misdeeds that the population see, but very little about the U.S.

And it's intriguing that a Pentagon spokesman said yesterday that the U.S. base is still operational on some level and they're still working with the

Nigerian army. I think that raises two questions to me. One, is the Nigerian security forces completely behind the coup leaders? And two, where

are they going with this when it comes to the U.S. involvement? Because if they consolidate their power, that will end U.S. involvement because of

U.S. law.

In the meantime, the diplomats who were recently associated with Niger are speaking out saying that this could be a disaster. Take a listen.


KIARI LIMAN-TINGUIRI, NIGER'S AMBASSADOR TO THE U.S. (through translator): If Niger collapses the entire Sahel will collapse, will be destabilized.

With this destabilization, there won't be any way to protect coastal African countries -- countries on the west coast, and you will have Wagner

and the jihadists controlling Africa from the coast to the Mediterranean.


MCKENZIE: At this stage, it must be said, there isn't any public indication that the coup leaders are listening to the diplomats, and we'll

have to see if it's going to take a very drastic step of troops from the region coming into the country. Zain.

ASHER: Yeah, we'll see if the coup does end up being reversed, as President Bazoum is hoping. Dave McKenzie, live for us there. Thank you so

much. Russia is denying one of its warships was seriously damaged following a drone attack on a key Russian naval base. But these pictures may actually

tell a different story. These social media images appear to show a crippled vessel listing heavily in the Black Sea.

And, take a look at this. This footage allegedly captures the approaching drone. A Ukrainian source says that Kyiv is responsible. The port is just

across the water from Russian-occupied Crimea, where Moscow says it thwarted a separate overnight attack. The Novorossiysk drone strike comes

just days after the Ukrainian president warned the war will gradually return to Russia. As Nick Paton-Walsh reports, it may be a sign of Moscow's

increasing vulnerability when it comes to defending its own territory.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: It's yet another sign of the vulnerability of parts of Russia's military

establishment that must have considered themselves frankly impregnable. Novorossiysk, a Black Sea port where images show a Ukrainian, it seems,

over water drone approaching the Olenegorsk Gorniak boats where Ukraine says potentially a hundred Russian personnel were at the time of an

explosion caused by just short of half a metric ton of TNT. Just a massive force of a blast.

Now, clearly a military target hit there, a sign by Ukraine that they can hit parts of Russia that were thought far out of their reach. There's

possibly hundreds of miles traveled by a Ukrainian drone and also two indications that perhaps an oil storage facility at Fyodor-Sia (ph), kind

of on the other side of that Gulf, may have been hit, as well. Ukrainian officials simply suggesting that that target was indeed inevitable at some


But exactly what I think, Vladimir Putin does not want to see right now after a similar underwater drone attack on the Kerch Bridge recently, the

key infrastructure connecting Russia's mainland to the Crimean Peninsula that they annexed in 2014. After attacks on Moscow, the drone attacks on

the Kremlin exactly a sign of Russia's increasing vulnerability inside its motherland during this war dragging on the counter offensive in the south,

raging certainly. But these attacks showing that the war is going far from to plan for Russia.


Back to you.

ASHER: U.S. Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie made a surprise trip to Kyiv today where he met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr

Zelenskyy. The former New Jersey governor also visited Bucha, once occupied town outside of the capital where Russian forces are accused of war crimes.

Christie has defended America's support for Ukraine. And his unannounced trip underscores sharp divisions not only within the Republican Party over

Washington's support for Ukraine, but possibly within the broader U.S. population as well.

A new CNN poll conducted by SSRS shows that 55 percent of Americans don't think Congress should authorize additional funding for Kyiv. They think

that America's actually already done its part, while 45 percent say that it should. U.S. and European officials are concerned that American politics

could play a big role in the trajectory of Vladimir Putin's war. Sources tell CNN the Russian leader is taking the 2024 presidential election into


And he's hoping that a Joe Biden loss would cause Washington to curb its support for Kyiv and improve Russia's negotiating position. But sources say

there's no explicit evidence to back this up. CNN's Kylie Atwood joins us live now from Washington. So, Kylie, it does beg the question, what happens

to lethal and non-lethal aid to Ukraine if Donald Trump wins next year?

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN U.S. SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think, that is the ultimate question, right, because the former president, who is the leading

contender on the Republican side in this primary that we're seeing play out right now for the presidential election. Trump hasn't committed to

supporting Ukraine in this war specifically. He's even said that, you know, he could resolve the war in 24 hours if he were in office.

Of course, that comment has drawn quite a bit of criticism. But our reporting here is that U.S. officials, European officials, are quite

concerned that President Putin is watching those comments closely and essentially that it's incentivizing him to draw out his approach to the

war, staying in the war in Ukraine past the 2024 elections, sort of banking on the possibility that, if President Biden loses to Trump or one of the

other Republicans, that U.S. support for Ukraine would decrease and, therefore, that would benefit Putin.

Now, as you said earlier, it's not like there is a concrete intelligence assessment of Putin's mindset here. This is just what U.S. officials are

thinking about right now. And when you talk to them about this, what they say is that it makes it even more important for the U.S. to continue to

provide support to Ukraine now and also long-term support to Ukraine, so that even if there is a changeover and maybe in the long term, you know,

some U.S. support does decrease, that the Ukrainians still have what they need on the battlefield.

ASHER: All right, Kylie Atwood, live for us there. Thank you so much. Donald Trump will have to navigate uncharted territory as a presidential

candidate, who is also facing three indictments. On Thursday, he pleaded not guilty to all four felony counts related to efforts to overturn the

2020 presidential election. The next hearing in that case is scheduled for August 28th. That's when the judge is expected to set a trial date. The

hearing will be just five days after the first Republican primary debate. No word yet if Mr. Trump will participate in that forum.

CNN's Jessica Schneider is following that story for us from Washington. So, Jessica, I mean, just the fact that you have a hearing at the end of

August, five days after a U.S. presidential debate, how does that change the dynamics? And also with all the trials, I mean, Donald Trump does have

to show up in person, which means less time, of course, on the campaign trail. Just walk us through that.

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, lucky for him, the judge has waived his appearance at any of these initial hearings. But

you're right. If there is a trial in 2024, which is looking likely in any of these cases, Trump would likely have to be there. And, you know, things

are really already moving quickly in this latest criminal case against the former president. What's interesting is the special counsel's team, they

now have to submit their recommendations for a trial start date in this case in just seven days, and then Trump's legal team will have seven days

after that to respond.

Trump's legal team has already said that they're going to be pushing back against any rush to trial. What's important here is the Speedy Trial Act.

It does say that a trial should happen 70 days after a defendant appears in court, so 70 days from yesterday. That rarely happens so quickly, and

Trump's team can move to have that date pushed back, which is very likely that it will be pushed back.

You know, Trump's attorney, John Lauro, he was forceful with the magistrate judge yesterday. He said that there is no way that they would be able to go

this quickly. There's just too much evidence to sift through in this 2020 election case to move that fast toward a trial date.


And you know, of course, part of the Trump legal playbook here has been delay, delay, delay.

Now, as for Trump, we saw him there on the tarmac after the appearance. He railed against the prosecution. He said it was all political, part of the

Biden administration's plan to thwart his 2024 candidacy. Trump, interestingly, is actually back on the campaign trail today. He's gonna be

speaking with Republicans a little bit later today. But, Zain, a lot is swirling very fast. And, yes, Trump has to deal with, you know, multiple


We're also looking at, in the next maybe two or so weeks, the District Attorney in Georgia, Fani Willis, in Atlanta-there's possible more charges

against Trump related to his and his allies' attempts to overturn the election results in Georgia. So, Trump and his legal team have a lot to

contend with. Moving forward, as you referenced at the top, right at the same time, the campaign is already in full swing for November 2024, Zain

ASHER: Yeah, actually, they're erecting barricades outside the Fulton County Courthouse.


ASHER: So, we'll see what that means in terms of how imminent an indictment actually is. Jessica Schneider, live for us there. Thank you.

All right. Two U.S. Navy sailors have been arrested, accused of sharing military secrets with Chinese intelligence officers for cash payments. At a

news conference on Thursday, federal authorities said that they will use every tool possible to counter threats from China.


MATTHEW OLSEN, U.S. JUSTICE DEPARTMENT ASSISTANT ATTORNEY FOR NATIONAL SECURITY: China, among all such nations, stands apart in terms of the

threat that its government poses to the United States.


ASHER: Natasha Bertrand joins us live now from the Pentagon. So, just walk us through what evidence prosecutors have, what more are they saying?

NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: Yeah, Zain, so really remarkable charges here brought against two U.S. Navy sailors. We should

note in separate cases but the cases against them seem very similar. So, in one of the cases, a U.S. Navy sailor named Jinchao Wei, he was arrested

after arriving for work at the Naval Base San Diego where he was operating essentially as an engineer on the USS Essex, which is a Navy ship. And he

was also responsible for repairing other navy ships at that base.

And what prosecutors are saying is that he engaged in the agent handler relationship with a Chinese intelligence officer beginning in February of

2022 and began providing him with photos and videos of these navy ships as well as dozens of technical and military manuals relating to the layout of

these ships as well as the weapon systems that these ships have on board. And in return, he allegedly received thousands of dollars from this

intelligence officer.

Now, notably, he was apparently applying for U.S. citizenship at the time that he was working with this Chinese intelligence officer and that officer

actually congratulated him on obtaining that citizenship according to the indictment back in May of 2022. Then you have the separate U.S. Navy sailor

who has been arrested and indicted on very similar charges accused of providing a Chinese intelligence officer with information about U.S.

training exercises in the Indo-Pacific as well as information, photos, data about our U.S. radar system that is stationed on a U.S. military base in

Okinawa, Japan.

And that U.S. Navy Sailor, he was essentially responsible for managing electronics and dealing with, you know, electrical issues on various

military facilities around the world. So, he had access through his security clearance to a lot of this information that the Chinese military

frankly would find pretty valuable according to prosecutors. And that is really the issue they sought to drive home in their press conference

yesterday, is that this really underscores just how aggressive China is getting with regard to targeting U.S. service members and trying to get

sensitive military secrets.

But it's also a big problem, Zain, for the U.S. military. This is the third time, if you take those cases together, this year, that the U.S. military

has seen service members improperly release classified and sensitive intelligence. Of course, we saw earlier this year when a U.S. service

member stationed at the Air National Guard in Massachusetts posted classified intelligence online. So, something really that the U.S. military

is grappling with very seriously, Zain.

ASHER: All right, Natasha Bertrand, live for us there, thank you so much. All right, still to come, a dangerous U-turn -- Tropical Storm Khanun

appears to be headed back to the Japanese islands where it already left a trail of destruction. We are tracking its path. Plus, New Arms may have a

new option for overcoming postpartum depression. We'll explain. And after sending three teams to the knockout stage, we'll look at the obstacles

African players have overcome and the challenges ahead.




ASHER: It's been a historic and extraordinary run for Africa's competitors in the Women's World Cup. They've shattered expectations with three African

clubs advancing to the knockout stage. The first time ever that's actually happened. First Nigeria, which advanced after two draws and a win over co-

hosts Australia. They went into this tournament, by the way, ranked 40th. Then South Africa beat Italy in a dramatic stoppage time victory. This just

a month after the players went on strike over pay.

And then there's Morocco, which beat South Korea and Colombia. Those victories not only lifted Morocco to the next level, but also sent the

heavily favored Germany home. Star Player Anissa Lahmari scored the goal that beat Colombia and advanced them. She says the team is looking to the



ANISSA LAHMARI, MOROCCO MIDFIELDER (through translator): We dedicate this victory to all the Moroccan people and especially His Majesty, King

Mohammed VI. We're really proud of what we've achieved for the Moroccan people. We did it together as a team. It's not just about my goal. Yes, a

goal is a goal, but honestly, the thing on my mind is our qualification to the next round.


ASHER: Our next guest has been following the meteoric rise of Africa's teams. We're joined now by Sports Journalist Tega Onojaife, who is also

founder of Ladies in Sports International. Tego, thank you so much for being with us. I mean, who would have thought we would be talking about

Germany and Brazil going home and instead having Nigeria, South Africa, Morocco advancing to the knockout stage? Just explain to us how this

development really changes the perception of what African teams are able to accomplish on the global stage?

TEGA ONOJAIFE, NIGERIAN SPORTS JOURNALIST: Well, it's so amazing. Thank you, Zain Asher, for having me and thank you for putting me on the show.

But it's so amazing what we've been saying about women's football in Africa. We've always said the same thing. They have talent and they have

the players. Unfortunately, they haven't had the investment or the attention paid to them. And that's where the problem has been with African

women's football.

But in recent times, especially with FIFA, intentionally making contribution and investment to women's sports. And also to CAF, because

calf started this CAF champions league in Africa, which mandated that clubs would also have women's teams and women's leagues playing in Africa. And

so, that increased the number of girls that play consistent football. And just in case the league wasn't teams and women's leagues are playing in



And so, that increased the number of girls that play consistent football and just in case the league wasn't working out, you know, European leagues

and American leagues would come to Africa South players and then take them abroad. For instance, the Super Falcons of Nigeria have a lot of their

players playing abroad so that gives them the exposure to football for South Africa.

ASHER: Right, right, right.

ONOJAIFE: Yeah. So, South Africa, the investment has been massive. And even in Morocco, you saw the men's team in Morocco go all the way to finish

fourth at the World Cup in Qatar 2022. That investment has been spread across to men and women's football. And you see it even in communities

where they set up football pitches and they're trying to push the game. And that investment has paid off.

So, we've always said it in Africa, that women's football is -- method as good to stay. We have the talented players and we just need more

investment. So, stop looking at it as CSR. Start looking at it as a carrier for women and that's what they've done and these are just the fruits.

ASHER: What I find really interesting is that the sort of successes we've seen among African teams at the Women's World Cup and obviously at the

Men's World Cup as well, it's not a fluke. I mean we've seen progress and spectacular upsets back to back, both in the men's World Cup and the

women's, as well. Do you think this now changes the popularity of women's sports, of women's football, I should say, across the continent, seeing you

know, how well the women's team are actually done here?

ONOJAIFE: Yeah, certainly. It just increases the value and increases the popularity because, think about it, at some point, people will say, oh,

women, nobody wants to watch women's football. That's a lie. People did not just see women's football available to them to watch. And now, they're

watching women's football. They're seeing how exciting it is. They're seeing the upsets.

Think about it. Morocco ranked 72 in the world, the lowest ranked team to make it to the knockout stages. Nigeria beats Australia, ranked 10th in the

world. South Africa coming from nowhere, making it into the knockout stages when the number two ranked teams in the world has gone home. And Brazil has

gone home. And we're talking about a tournament where people are saying, you know, that the big names aren't convincing, you know, like the U.S.

haven't really been convincing. France is a little questionable.

So, now people are looking at women's football in a completely different light. They're saying, okay, so this women's football is entertaining,

trusting the gap has closed and there is real competition here. This achievement has changed.

ASHER: But one of the things, one of the things, though, you know, we have to be completely honest. I mean, listen, no African team has won once they

passed the knockout stage. It's never happened before. So of course, what we're hoping for is a tall order. I mean, how hopeful are you this time

that we could see some kind of miracle here?

ONOJAIFE: It's really tricky, because once you make this kind of, set this kind of result, then people start looking at you differently. You know, you

could have snuck in if you didn't, you know, wear it a giant scale up. But now that you have beaten the odds and you've made it. I think all the teams

will be aware. France will be aware of the threat of Morocco. Netherlands will be aware of the threat of South Africa. And the English will be paying

great attention to the score falcons. I think it's going to be tough, but it's achievable.

ASHER: Tough but achievable, and you know what the hardest part is the pressure. You know, if you can just get your mind right, not to succumb to

the pressure of that moment, then I think that, you know, you really do stand a chance. That is part of it. Tega Onojaife, thank you so much for

being with us. We'll be watching and crossing our fingers, as well. All right, still to come, three years on from one of the biggest non-nuclear

explosions ever recorded, we reflect on the Beirut blast and ask why no senior figures have been held accountable. That's next.




ASHER: Hello and welcome back to ONE WORLD. Let's catch up on the headlines. Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was sentenced to 19

years in prison earlier. The long-time Kremlin critic was convicted of extremism charges. Navalny is already serving more than 11 years on fraud

and other charges, he says, was "Trumped up" and politically motivated. The sentence was swiftly condemned by the E.U. and others. The U.N. High

Commissioner for Human Rights says it raises serious concerns about judicial harassment in Russia.

And hundreds of teenagers attending the World Scout Jamboree in South Korea have fallen ill amid a sweltering heat wave. Organizers are sending in

cooling buses and refrigerated trucks to address the heat. But some parents are calling for the 12-day event to be cancelled and the U.K. says it's

moving its scouts to hotels in Seoul.

The typhoon that killed at least two people on the island of Okinawa and knocked out power to parts of Japan appears to be headed back for a second

blow. Nearly half a million residents of Okinawa have been evacuated as the powerful storm turns back towards the northeast, expected to deliver heavy

rain and high winds in the next 18 to 24 hours.

Meteorologist Allison Chinchar is joining us. She's tracking the storm from Atlanta. So, this is quite an unusual storm for it to behave like this in

terms of making a U-turn. What are folks on the Okinawa Islands expecting the second time around, Allison?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: You are absolutely correct, Zain. This is quite even a different storm than we just saw 24 hours ago. Not

just in size and shape but also the direction. If you recall yesterday it was still moving west-northwest. Now, it is moving east-northeast at about

13 kilometers per hour. It has weakened a little bit more. Wind sustained now down to about 110 kilometers per hour so it is a tropical storm. But it

is anticipated to get back to typhoon strength in the coming days, in the short term.

Because it didn't really move all of that much, it was able to drop very impressive rain amounts over just the last few days. Numerous locations

picking up at least 300 millimeters of rain, just in about a 48 to 72 hour time period. Now again, we still notice this is a very weak storm and

that's noted by this open cloud field here on the north and western edge of the storm.


But as it continues to make its way off to the north and east, it is anticipated to re strengthen, especially once it gets back out over these

own open warm waters here. That's why, as it approaches Kagoshima and Osaka region here in between those two, that's where we anticipate this to

possibly get back up to typhoon strength. That would be early next week.

Now, in anticipation of that forward movement and re strengthening, we do have advisories and warnings in place across several regions of Japan.

Heavy rain and even landslides, Zain, are really going to be the biggest concerns in the short term.

ASHER: All right, Allison Chinchar Live for us there. Thank you so much. It's a day of mourning in Lebanon as the country marks three years since

that catastrophic explosion near the port in Beirut.


ASHER: We all remember those awful pictures. The explosion killed more than 200 people. It was one of the largest non-nuclear explosions the world

has ever seen. Authorities say that it was triggered by a fire inside a warehouse where ammonium nitrate had been stored carelessly for several

years. While the cause was quickly explained, accountability has been entirely different. And Friday, protesters took to the streets demanding

answers for why after three years the investigation has basically stalled. And no senior figures have been held responsible.

Time now for The Exchange. My next guest spent many years living in Beirut. Timour Azhari is the Iraq Bureau Chief for the "Reuters" news agency. He

joins us live now from Baghdad. So, you spent many years living in Beirut. Three years on from that devastating explosion that shocked so many of us.

No accountability here. Nobody held responsible. Three years on. I mean, you lived in Beirut for a long time. Are you surprised by that?

TIMOUR AZHARI, IRAQ BUREAU CHIEF, REUTERS: Unfortunately, I can't say I'm surprised. It's a really difficult day for Lebanese and for anybody who was

there at that time. You know, the scale as your picture shows -- that picture showed the scale of that explosion is just incredible. And what's

almost more remarkable is how little accountability there has been for it.

We have to remember that Lebanon is a country that really hasn't seen accountability for decades. In 1975, you had a civil war. The current

leaders of the country rose to power during that civil war. They gave themselves an amnesty at the end of it. Since 2004, 2005, you've had dozens

of assassination attempts on senior politicians, security figures, and there's never been a shred of accountability for any of that.

A lot of people hoped that the August 2020 port explosion would mark a shift, but unfortunately, it hasn't. And the reason is that though Lebanon

is a democracy and has a parliament and has elections, the institutions don't really rule the country. You have a group of very small men, a very

small group of men who, in fact, make informal decisions between themselves. And that's how politics is done in Lebanon. And since the

explosion took place, there's been a concerted effort to prevent accountability from taking place.

There were charges filed against some of the most senior people in the land, top security chiefs, the senior aides to top -- to politicians. Even

the former Prime Minister, none of them went in for questioning. They simply ignored the summons. And today we're in a place where three years

later, there is no justice. More than 200 people dead, thousands injured. The country really forever changed. Hundreds of thousands of people have

left, have emigrated Lebanon since then. And looking at it all, it's really hard to find any silver lining.

ASHER: I mean, just explain to us, just give us more detail in terms of how the investigation has stalled. I mean, you know, you sort of talk about

this idea that Lebanon is run by a sort of small group of men, this sort of elite political class. There is widespread corruption. And as I understand

it, they're sort of repeatedly sort of intervening in the work of the judiciary. Is it more than that? Or just explain to us why there hasn't

been accountability.

AZHARI: Yeah, it's been fought in the courts and on the streets. You know, one of the reasons that the investigation is so stalled is that after the

top prosecutor pursuing this case charged senior officials, he's had something like three dozen lawsuits filed against him. And some would argue

that that's the right of the defendants. The problem is those lawsuits are filed to a court that has never been formed. It's a sort of administrative

court that has several members and allies of those people who've been charged have refused to form that court.


So essentially, you have this perfect situation where he can't move forward because he has these lawsuits against them, but the body that's supposed to

rule on those lawsuits doesn't even exist. In addition to that, you had actions on the streets. You had protests against the judicial investigator.

You had one that happened particularly in October 2021 outside of the Justice Palace, the Beirut courthouse. That led to clashes between

Hezbollah and another major party that left several people dead.

And a lot of people do point the finger at Hezbollah. It is the single strongest military political force in Lebanon. While its members were not

charged, its major allies were implicated. Many people say that, you know, many people that I speak to feel that you know you couldn't have had more

than 2000 tons of an explosive substance in Beirut for seven years without at least the knowledge of the group and they've come out very strong

against this.

ASHER: And so, what are the options at this point in terms of justice, even if the investigation is somehow taken outside of the country? I know

that several groups of survivors, family members of the victims, et cetera, have written a letter to the U.N. Human Rights Council. Do you expect that

to go anywhere at all?

AZHARI: Yeah, what some of the families of victims hoped for is for an international fact-finding mission to sort of establish the facts, and, you

know, essentially because they say they've lost hope in the Lebanese judiciary. There have been attempts to get the U.N. Human Rights Council to

establish such an investigation that hasn't worked so far. Internally, there's also attempts to sort of amend laws in the Lebanese parliament that

could open the door to the investigation moving forward, but parliament is largely controlled by the same actors who have locked the probe for two


In the meanwhile, Lebanese are sort of left with very few good options. Some people try to ignore it. Anger has turned to apathy. Other people have

tried to fight on the streets or via other means, and so far, don't have much to show for it. Many people increasingly are just leaving and becoming

part of the massive Lebanese diaspora who maybe visit in summer or in winter, you know, come back to their country to meet their loved ones. But

other than that, really try to forget about this place.

And that's unfortunately increasingly what we're seeing. Many put hopes on future political change. They say that the people are more aware of those

who have harmed them now than ever before. But that's sort of a long-term process that you really sort of have to have a lot of patience for. And

many people have lost their patience.

ASHER: Yeah, and lost hope, as you point out as well. Lost patience and there's a level of hopelessness that is quite pervasive. Timour Azhari,

thank you so much for being with us. We appreciate it. All right, still to come, many prayed the walls of this Florida school will never, we'll never

again hear gunshots ring out. We'll tell you why it's happening again after the break.




ASHER: All right, I want to show you some pictures now from Lisbon, Portugal, where Pope Francis is riding through a massive crowd in the Pope

Mobile. He's been in Portugal this week for World Youth Day. This hour, he's expected to take part in the Stations of the Cross with young people.

All right, gunshots will ring out again at a Florida high school five years after a massacre there. It's a reenactment at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas

High School where 17 people were killed in a school shooting. The re- enactment is part of a civil lawsuit filed against a former sheriff's deputy who stayed outside during the shooting. He was found not guilty of

criminal charges back in June and he said he couldn't tell where the shots were coming from, but victims' families and the survivor say they don't buy

that. CNN's Carlos Suarez is in Parkland, Florida, with the details. Carlos, what more can you tell us?

CARLOS SUAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, so it appears that this reenactment is underway. Just a few seconds ago, we heard what sounded like

two gunshots coming from the building where this shooting happened. The reenactment, as you mentioned, is being supported by several of the family

members of the victims as well as the survivors who say that the reenactment is going to prove, according to them, that there's no way that

this School Resource Officer Scott Peterson did not know where the gunfire was coming from the day of that shooting.

As you noted coming out to me, Peterson was found not guilty of criminal charges back in June in connection with his inaction the day of the

shooting. Now, his attorneys were able to successfully argue during his criminal case that Peterson took cover outside of the 1200 building where

this shooting happened for more than 40 minutes because he did not know where the gunfire was coming from and he felt that there was more than one

gunman at the school.

Now, earlier in the day, nine members of Congress, members from the Republican and the Democratic Party were out here and they were able to

tour the 1200 building alongside some of the family members. Some of these family members were up in Washington, D.C. just last week lobbying some of

these very same lawmakers trying to get support for a piece of legislation that would enhance school safety across the United States, as well as

secure additional funding for school resource officers as well as an increase in funding for mental health services.

From here, the members of Congress met with some of the family members at a hotel, not too far from where the school is located, where they're having

this discussion about coming together and trying to pass some of these school reforms. It is our understanding that after that meeting is done,

some of the family members, as well as the members of Congress, are going to share what it was like to be inside of the 1200 building where all of

this happened back in 2018.

Again, it does appear that this reenactment is underway. We're told that at least 140 rounds of live ammunition are being fired inside of this

building. And we're told that this reenactment is being recorded on video, as well as audio. And all of this is in connection with a civil case

against Scott Peterson and a number of other defendants in connection with what happened here in 2018.

ASHER: All right. Carlos Suarez, live for us there. Thank you so much. All right, still to come, new mothers in the U.S. may soon be able to treat

postpartum depression by taking a pill. Details on this game-changing treatment ahead.




ASHER: A game changer in battling postpartum depression may soon be readily available. Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected

to decide whether to approve a new medication for new mothers after childbirth. A daily pill taken over the course of two weeks, if approved,

this would be the first approved medication in the U.S. specifically for postpartum depression administered as a daily pill.

CNN Health Reporter Jacqueline Howard joins us live with more. So, we're still waiting for FDA approval, for that to be announced, but just walk us

through how this drug is different from other antidepressants that are already out there.

JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH REPORTER: It's interesting, Zain, because what sets this drug, Zuranolone, apart? It appears to work quickly, much

faster than some of the other commonly used antidepressant drugs. And there was one clinical trial that recently found among 196 women, 57 percent of

those who took Zuranolone experienced huge improvements in their depressive symptoms, improvements of 50 percent or more. And that was compared with

only 38 percent of women in the trial who did not take the drug. They took a placebo.

But among those women who did take Zuranolone, some of them said that they experienced those huge improvements in depressive symptoms within just

three days, which is much faster than some other commonly used antidepressants. And another thing, Zain, that sets this drug apart. It is

specifically for postpartum depression because it's similar to a metabolite of the hormone progesterone, which we do know drops in levels after a woman

gives birth. So that's how this drug works.

But it will be interesting to see how the FDA decides on this drug today. Will the FDA approve it or not, here in the U.S., that's what we're waiting

on, Zain, in moments to come.

ASHER: And as you point out, the key thing is that it works very quickly. Just explain to us, were there any side effects with this drug during the

clinical trials?

HOWARD: Some women experienced a lot of drowsiness, some experienced dizziness, but there were no severe adverse reactions to the drug. I think

if the FDA does approve this, the next question will be how much it might cost. The price tag will determine how accessible the drug is for the about

one in seven women who do experience postpartum depression after they give birth, Zain.

ASHER: All right, Jacqueline Howard, live for us there. Thank you so much. And before we go, just as the "Barbie" movie is conquering the box office,

the real-life Ken is actually climbing the music charts, as well. Take a listen.



ASHER: Actor Ryan Gosling is on the Hot 100 First Timers' List with "I'm Just Ken". Gosling, no stranger to music. The Mickey Mouse Club alum showed

off his chops in the 2016 film, "La La Land". His new hit, "I'm Just Ken" is cruising into the Hot 100 this week at number 87, while the "Barbie"

soundtrack is sitting pretty at number two on the Billboard 200.

By the way, Warner Bros. Pictures and CNN are both part of the same parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery. All right, thank you so much for watching

ONE WORLD. I'm Zain Asher. Amanpour is up next. We're going to leave you this hour with images of the Pope in Lisbon.