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One World with Zain Asher
A New Crisis In The Middle East Looms; U.S. Launches Operation Prosperity Guardian; Foreign Secretary David Cameron Calls For A Sustainable Ceasefire; Volcano On Iceland's Reykjanes Peninsula Erupts; President Joe Biden Pays Tribute To The First Woman To Serve On America's Highest Court; Members Of The LGBTQ Community Across Africa Fight Measures Banning Outlaw Same-Sex Relationships. Aired 12-1p ET
Aired December 19, 2023 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ZAIN ASHER, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: All right, welcome everyone, lots to get through this hour as one of the most important sea routes in the world
is under attack.
BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: "One World" starts right now. A new crisis in the Middle East is looming. The United States is putting
together a team to try to stop attacks in the Red Sea.
ASHER: Twelve days left. The White House says if more American aid to Ukraine is not approved, U.S. funding to Kyiv will run out by the end of
GOLODRYGA: Also ahead, after weeks of earthquake activity, a volcano in Iceland has finally erupted. Scientists are assessing the situation by the
All right, hello everyone. Live from New York, I'm Bianna Golodryga. So, great to have Zain back.
ASHER: Thank you, my dear. I'm Zain Asher. You are indeed watching "One World". I want to begin now with the global economy potentially right now
under threat as Houthi militants continue to target one of the world's busiest maritime routes.
According to a senior U.S. military official, the Iran-backed rebels have attacked at least 12 different commercial and merchant ships in the Red Sea
over the past month, which they're saying -- the Houthi rebels are saying, that that's revenge against Israel for its military campaign in Gaza.
GOLODRYGA: The American official calls it a very significant breadth of attacks that the U.S. has not seen in at least two generations. The strikes
have prompted U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to announce a new American-led task force of 10 countries to help protect commercial shipping
in the Red Sea.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LLOYD AUSTIN, U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: Countries have the right to move freely and lawfully in international waters but that foundational global
right is under new threat today from the totally unacceptable attacks on merchant vessels by the Houthis in Yemen.
These reckless Houthi attacks are a serious international problem and they demand a firm international response.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin speaking then. Several major shipping companies, including Evergreen, have said that they're going to
suspend transit in the Red Sea. BP also announcing Monday that they're going to be doing the same, and that move caused oil and gas prices to
You've also got other companies, including Maersk and Taiwan's Yang Ming. They plan to divert their ships around Africa instead. That is a far longer
route that adds a lot of time and a lot of money, a lot of expense to those sorts of journeys.
I want to bring in CNN Jeremy Diamond covering the story, joining us live now from Tel Aviv. I mean, Jeremy, when you think about it, roughly 10
percent -- 10 percent of trade goes through the Red Sea. I mean, there's so much at stake here. Just walk us through what is being done to thwart these
attacks by the Houthi rebels.
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No doubt about it. And the U.S. is very much responding to that economic threat that these attacks carried out by
Houthi rebels based in Yemen certainly represents. The U.S. is very much responding to these companies that are pulling their shipping out of those
Red Sea lanes and the potential economic ramifications that that will hold.
And so, the United States is launching a multinational security initiative, which they are calling Operation Prosperity Guardian. Effectively, what
this would do is it would have naval vessels from several countries positioned in the Red Sea available to respond to potential security
incidents involving these ships.
This is not necessarily an escort mission, but there are going to be additional Navy ships from the United States and at least nine other
countries available to respond in the event of security threats being posed to commercial shipping vessels in the region.
What's interesting is that Bahrain is the only regional power that is actually participating in this initiative. That may reflect some discontent
with United States support for Israel in its war against Hamas in the region.
We know of course that BP and several major shipping companies have pulled their shipping operations from the Red Sea. This is in the wake of some of
the most intense, the largest number of attacks being carried out on commercial and merchant shipping vessels in the region in decades according
to the United States.
Houthi rebels have targeted at least 12 commercial and merchant vessels in the Red Sea over the last month. And so, the United States putting this
security initiative together hoping to try to make some of those companies feel more comfortable about conducting their shipping in the region.
But it is clear, as we saw Maersk pulling out its shipping from the region from the Red Sea today that those companies are not yet comfortable doing
that. We will have to see whether or not this initiative is actually effective and if it indeed makes some of those companies feel comfortable
enough to bring those shipping routes back online.
ASHER: All right, Jamie Diamond live for us there. Thank you so much. I want to turn now to Gaza because the head of UNICEF, the spokesperson
rather for UNICEF, is saying that he is so frustrated, so angry that the world isn't doing more right now to protect children in Gaza.
James Elder traveled to Gaza recently and says that children there not only fear death from the sky, but disease from the ground, as well. He's also
adding that it's especially tragic to see children survive attacks on their homes only to face a new round of danger when they get to the hospital.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES ELDER, UNICEF SPOKESPERSON: Truly, I'm furious. I'm furious that those with power shrug as the humanitarian nightmares unleashed on a
million children. I'm furious that children who are recovering from amputations in hospitals are then killed in those hospitals.
I'm furious that there are more children hiding as we speak somewhere, who will no doubt be hit and have amputations in the coming days. I'm furious
that Christmas is likely going to bring increased savagery in attacks as the world is distracted with its own, you know, love and goodwill.
I'm furious that now at five, six, seven thousand children killed and they're becoming statistics and not stories. I'm furious at the, you know,
hypocrisy is crushing empathy and yeah, to a degree I'm furious at myself for not being able to do more.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: On Monday, the Hamas-controlled Gaza Ministry of Health said a 13-year-old girl who was recovering from having her leg amputated was
killed when a shell hit a hospital in southern Gaza.
The IDF says that it carried out an initial review but can't determine the source of the damage to the hospital. CNN's Isa Soares has more on that
story. And we must warn you, some of the video you're about to see is disturbing.
ISA SOARES, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Sheer terror inside southern Gaza's Nasser hospital. An artillery strike has just hit somewhere in the
building. With the power cut, people inside rush with flashlights and mobile phones to try and find where and who has been struck.
Here they find her. Wrapped in a blanket is the body of 13-year-old Gina Abu Mossem. She had been recovering from an amputation at the hospital
following a previous strike in Khan Younis according to the Hamas- controlled Ministry of Health in Gaza. Weapon remnants found by her bed were consistent with an Israeli illumination shell, a weapons expert told
In the destroyed grounds of Kamal Adwan Hospital in northern Gaza, another heart-breaking goodbye. This hospital had been under siege for days by
Israeli troops, who claimed it was operating as a command and control center for Hamas. But they withdrew from Kamal Adwan on Saturday, saying in
a statement, quote, their activity in the area was completed, and released video of a small amount of weapons they apparently found there.
According to the U.N.'s Office for Humanitarian Affairs, quote, "An Israeli military bulldozer flattened the tents of a number of internally displaced
persons outside the hospital, killing and wounding an unconfirmed number of people."
UNKNOWN (through translator): We have been displaced and today, they demolished the building, killing doctors, leaving nothing behind. They
haven't even spared the doctors. Look, my son is here, under the rubble, and I can't reach him.
SOARES (voice-over): The IDF has not yet commented on this allegation. Over the weekend, the WHO chief said that, quote, "Attacks on hospitals, health
personnel and patients must end, as medical facilities and those inside continue to bear the brunt of this war." Isa Soares, CNN, London.
ASHER: All right, from hospitals under threat, as we saw in that report there, to churches. A Catholic group in Jerusalem shared photos -- these
photos of the damage done to the Holy Family Parish Church in Gaza City, where it says that two women were killed over the weekend by an Israeli
It's important to add, though, that Israel's military is appearing to deny responsibility for it. A British member of parliament is saying that some
of her family are trapped in that church.
Layla Moran told CNN that food and other supplies pretty much at this point, almost run out.
LAYLA MORAN, BRITISH MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: They are quite literally down to their last can of corn.
It is -- I do -- I've run out of words. It's beyond desperate. They've been told by the IDF that they need to evacuate. It's unclear why. These are
Christians seeking sanctuary in a church the week before Christmas.
Having been there for more than 60 days, my family's extended family, these are my mother's cousins, they were bombed in the first week after the
October 7th atrocities and they've been in that church ever since.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: In recent days, the U.K. appears to have shifted its stance on the war in Gaza. Foreign Secretary David Cameron is now calling for what he
termed a sustainable ceasefire, while also emphasizing that one can only happen after Hamas lays down its arms and releases all hostages.
ASHER: And last week, when the U.N. General Assembly voted on a ceasefire resolution, the U.K. actually abstained. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID CAMERON, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: What we want to see is a ceasefire as soon as possible, but it must be a sustainable ceasefire. It
must be a ceasefire in which Israel is no longer threatened by Hamas and its rockets and its murderous activities. I think that is vital.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: Meantime, Israeli Prime Minister, Israeli President Isaac Herzog is suggesting Israel is ready for another humanitarian pause. According to
his office Herzog said Israel would be willing to agree to a new truce with Hamas to secure more hostages. The truce would also allow more aid into
ASHER: Yeah, Herzog also pointed out that the militant group was standing in the way of such a truce. So far, Netanyahu has been ambivalent towards
the idea, saying that among other things he does not want to discuss how any possible negotiations could proceed.
All right, I want to turn now to China where it is really a race against time to find survivors after pretty much one of the worst earthquakes that
we've seen in that country in years. It was catastrophic. This happened on Monday night. Rescue workers, you're seeing in this video, braving really
cold sub-zero temperatures. You saw them there sifting through the rubble for any signs of life at this point.
GOLODRYGA: So many aftershock tremors, as well. State media is reporting at least 126 people have died with nearly 600 injured. The U.S. Geological
Survey says the 5.9 magnitude quake struck Gansu province late Monday night, reducing homes and buildings to sheer rubble.
In some places, the earthquake triggered landslides. This village was half buried, leaving many people trapped. Look at those pictures. Some reports
are calling it China's deadliest quake in nearly a decade.
ASHER: All right, after weeks of intense seismic activity, in fact, there's been a lot of earthquakes leading up to this in Iceland, a volcano in
southwest Ireland actually began erupting on Monday, lighting up the skies miles away from Jekovic, the capital.
GOLODRYGA: Yeah, something we've been anticipating for a while now. Drone footage captured fountains of lava spewing into the air. The government
says the eruption does not pose a threat to life, but they are warning people not to travel to the area, as large volumes of toxic gases are being
released. Melissa Bell has the details.
MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we've been seeing over the course of the last evening, this is an eruption that began at 10 P.M.
You're right. No surprise at all. Authorities have been warning of this for more than a month. They've seen that seismic swarm as they call it, when
the thousands small earthquakes in a 24-hour period.
Those evacuations have taken place from that town, the fishing town of Grindavik, 4000 people evacuated in all. They had been allowed home during
the day. Now, they're being kept away. You can see in those pictures really just how spectacular the scenes are there on the Reykjanes Peninsula in
That began at 10 P.M. yesterday. What we saw is that Fischer, the main crack, emerged. It is now four kilometers long, and for a while you are
seeing 200 cubic meters of lava erupting, emerging from that crack every single second, so many hundreds overnight.
What we're hearing, the very latest though, is that Grindavik may yet be spared from the lava flows. We understand from local authorities that they
are now heading towards the north and east and therefore away from the town itself. Icelandic authorities have said obviously the main priority here is
to protect human lives, although infrastructure of course is a crucial consideration, as well.
You just need to cast your mind back to 2010 and remember the chaos that was caused by the volcano erupting. There's no suggestion of that for now
GOLODRYGA: All right, thanks to Melissa Bell for that report. Let's bring in Derek Van Dam who is joining us from Atlanta. So Derek, we heard that
report, we see the images. Talk about the implications this has for regions further away.
DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, I think it's important to note that, yes, these images are astounding, but the magma that is spewing from
this fissure doesn't have any immediate impact on a population density.
So, as Melissa was pointing out, the latest information that we can pass along to people is that Grindavik is not going to be impacted at least in
the immediate term from the magma that has finally made its way from underneath the ground.
See, volcanologists, geologists alike, they have been identifying for the past month since this flurry of earthquake activity occurred across the
Reykjanes Peninsula in southwestern Iceland for the middle of last month, in the middle of November when Grindavik was actually evacuated, they
identified this 15 kilometer corridor, they call it a magma corridor that is underground that caused some of the ground departures and the cracks in
the ground near Grindavik.
And they also highlighted some of the areas that were most at risk for this magma to reach the surface of the earth causing this what they were worried
about was a volcanic eruption. And that was just to the north of Grindavik.
They were anticipating that being the location where the greatest probability of this fissure to break open and for the lava to come out.
Well, that's indeed what happened.
And in fact, that is where we have seen over the past 12 hours or so, the lava start to emerge into the surface of the southwestern portions of
Iceland. Now, the good news is that we do expect that lava, the magma, to actually move away from Grindavik.
And that is because, you're actually looking at a topography map of the region and there's some mountainous areas or higher elevations. So, that's
naturally going to push that away from Grindavik which is at the bottom portion of your television screen there.
So, the northeasterly winds, that is also going to take away any potential for the toxic gases that are being emitted by this volcanic eruption, as
well. Back to you.
GOLODRYGA: I have to say Derek, your maps are really interesting but the images themselves live are just so fascinating to watch.
VAN DAM: Yeah, they're absolutely incredible.
GOLODRYGA: Thank you for helping break that down for us.
VAN DAM: Okay.
GOLODRYGA: We appreciate it.
ASHER: That' spectacular to see.
GOLODRYGA: Well, back here in the U.S., President Joe Biden is among those paying tribute to the first woman to serve on America's highest court.
ASHER: Right. A memorial service for Sandra Day O'Connor is happening now as I speak. It's happening at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.
You see President Biden there also. Chief Justice John Roberts is there, as well. They both delivered eulogies. O'Connor lay in repose at the Supreme
Court on Monday, and that allowed members of the public to visit and sort of pay their respects to her. She died earlier on this month at the age of
GOLODRYGA: Well, coming up for us, more than a thousand kilometers from Gaza spillover from the Israel-Hamas war is causing a problem for the
global economy. Now, warships from several nations are trying to restore order. We'll have more details when we come back.
ASHER: All right, a lot of the biggest and most important cargo ships pretty much in the world are now avoiding one of the most trafficked
stretches of water in the world, as well. Rather than going through the Red Sea and the Suez Canal, ships are actually now traveling all the way around
the Horn of Africa, right?
So, adding thousands and thousands of kilometers to their journey. That's obviously extremely expensive. And they're afraid, they're doing this
because they're afraid of being attacked by Houthi rebels who are based in Yemen.
GOLODRYGA: Yeah, the Houthis are backed by Iran and are one side of the Yemeni civil war that has raged for nearly a decade. But it is their
actions against ships in the Red Sea that have put them on the world stage recently. In weeks -- the past -- the past few weeks the Houthis have used
drones and missiles to target cargo ships. The Houthis say they want Israel to stop attacking Hamas and for humanitarian aid to again flow freely to
the people of Gaza.
ASHER: The international community is now taking action against the Houthis. The U.S. has put together a coalition of nations, some kind of
sort of task force to patrol the Red Sea and protect ships there. That coalition includes Canada, France, U.K., and Bahrain as well.
GOLODRYGA: So, let's talk more about this and the military challenge here with former U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper. Secretary Esper, thank you
so much for joining us. So as we noted, the Pentagon has convinced more than half a dozen U.S. allies to join this new coalition.
This task force is called Operation Prosperity Garden. Do you think that this new coalition will be able to be a more effective deterrence against
the Iranian-backed Houthis than the initial deterrent set out by the U.S.? And that is having two carriers in the region.
MARK ESPER, FORMER U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: Yeah, first of all, good to be with you both. Look, I think the carriers going back to early October were
a good move in the wake of what happened on October 7th, the murder of what, 1200 or so Israelis. But they were there more to deter Hezbollah
actions in southern Lebanon, northern Israel, and of course, eventually the arrival of the second carrier strike group to deter Iran.
We're now dealing with, over the past several weeks, multiple attacks by the Houthi rebels with both missiles and drones against ships, presumably
Israeli-linked, but it seems to be much broader. My view is, we're not going to really deter them until we strike back at the firing sites, at the
launch locations and impose some type of punishment on them.
ASHER: Yeah, I mean, it is interesting because when you think about the limitations of this task force, I mean, you've got a task force, certainly
that is a step in the right direction, but you think about how busy this route actually is, and it's so difficult for the U.S. to police.
Obviously, you've talked about this idea of striking back at the Houthi rebels, but aside from that, is there anything more that sort of sits
halfway between striking back and obviously offering up more protection of this part of the Red Sea. Is there anything sort of intermediary that you
would do if you were still Secretary of Defense? What more could the U.S. be doing here?
ESPER: Well, you know, we went through this in the summer of 2019 when I was initially on the job. We stood up Operation Sentinel, which was to
deter Iranian attacks on commercial ships anchored mainly in the Persian Gulf. But it's stretched all the way to the Bab al-Mandeb that we're
talking about now.
And when we did that, we saw a decrease. But right now, the Houthis are promising not to relent. They say as long as the United States supports
Israel, as long as Israel continues its assault into Gaza, they're going to threaten this waterway, which is quite narrow.
And as you reported, if maritime shipping gets rerouted, and it's about what, 10, 12 percent of global commercial shipping, you're talking about an
increase in prices, an increase in delays, it creates instability in the markets. This is not something that we want to go on for a long period of
GOLODRYGA: As we know, behind all of this stands Iran. They're providing these anti-ship ballistic missiles. They're providing the intelligence. And
it's not just in Yemen. Obviously, it's controlling Hezbollah in Lebanon, as well. And we've seen increased skirmishes on the border.
The Israeli Defense Minister saying yesterday that this is not sustainable right now, and if things don't change in the north, that Israel would be
forced to act. What can the U.S .do specifically, and maybe with this coalition, to speak out to Iran and to deter them from some of the actions
we've seen over the past few weeks?
ESPER: Yeah, it's the past two and a half months now. Iran proxies in Syria, Iraq, Yemen. Of course, Gaza, Hezbollah in the north. Look, it's 90-
plus attacks the last time I've checked against U.S. forces.
And we've responded four or five, six times, maybe. So, my view is we're not responding forcefully or frequently enough. I think that's what it
takes to really push back and get the Iranians to turn this down if not turn it off. And again, as long as the Houthis can strike with impunity,
they will continue to do so.
Now, look, I think it's smart to broaden out the coalition. We now have 10 -- 12 maybe more countries joining us, you know, the Canadians, Norway, the
U.K., some Arab states. But what you tend to get when you get a broader coalition is a reluctance to strike back.
And so, I think, that's now a factor in this because otherwise, I would argue against it. And I don't know if there's anything in between doing
nothing and striking back at the Houthis to stop this. But look, Iran is behind it all. At the end of the day, Iran is behind all of this, for sure.
ASHER: Mark, I just want to pivot slightly to just in terms of what's happening in Gaza right now. We know that Secretary Austin is sort of
trying to pressure or rather, I would say encourage, to put it more politely, the Israelis to sort of wind down major combat operations in
Gaza, to sort of withdraw most ground troops and move towards more targeted operations. How do the Israelis do that and still at the same time
completely eliminate Hamas. Is it possible?
ESPER: Yeah, I don't -- I never say anything is impossible, but it becomes far, far more difficult. Look, I think it makes sense to wind down high
intensity combat operations where you're using tanks, fighting vehicles, and you're, you know, doing a lot of aerial assaults. I think that should
transition to fewer bombs and more use of infantry in the dense urban area.
I don't think -- can occupy and clear out a good part of Gaza. Can you really stabilize it and then use targeted special operations forces to go
in and go after specific targets? But look, I think we're months away from that. This talk about wrapping it up in a few weeks doesn't make sense to
I don't see where they're anywhere near -- they, the IDF, anywhere near having control of that much of Gaza or, you know, clearing the tunnels. We
know it's hundreds of miles of tunnels. You have to secure all that terrain behind you before you can transition to a lighter phase of operations.
GOLODRYGA: Yeah, we know that they haven't captured the majority of the current Hamas leadership, as well. And David Petraeus seemed to echo your
concern that this could take months, not weeks --
GOLODRYGA: -- as the U.S. has been trying to pressure Israel to wind down this stage of the operation at least. Former U.S. Defense Secretary Mark
Esper, thank you so much.
ASHER: Thank you. I want to turn now to U.S. politics because a new report, just released, that China, Russia, Iran and Cuba, all four of those
countries actually tried to interfere in last year's U.S. elections during the midterms.
The Declassified U.S. Intelligence assessment found that China tried to influence races involving both Democrats and also Republicans as well,
based on whether or not it believed their policy positions actually favored China.
GOLODRYGA: Yeah, this is really stunning reporting. Russia, meanwhile, sought to quote, "denigrate the Democratic Party, most likely to undermine
U.S. support for Ukraine". The assessment found Iran sought to undermine confidence in U.S. democratic institutions, while it says Cuba engaged in
more narrow efforts to support or undermine specific candidates.
ASHER: All right, still to come here, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy delivers a message of optimism, a message of gratitude and
certainly resilience during his yearly news conference. But he's also admitting that there have been challenges. This country is facing a lot of
challenges nearly two years after Russia's full-scale invasion. That story, next.
ASHER: All right, welcome back to "One World". I'm Zain Asher. And I'm Bianna Golodryga. Ukraine's president is ending the year with the message
of resilience and resolve. During his annual televised news conference, Volodymyr Zelensky said no one knows when the war with Russia will end. But
he's vowing to stay in the fight and said he's certain U.S. and European financial support will continue.
ASHER: But there are signs that support may indeed be fracturing. On Monday, the White House said that unless Congress approves more funding,
U.S. aid for Kyiv is going to be running out at the end of the month. But with Republican lawmakers saying they'll block more Ukraine assistance
unless they get policy changes on the U.S. southern border, the prospect of a deal is fading.
Meantime, as Ukraine enters a second winter of war, the front lines are all but static, and optimism on the Ukrainian side is still waning. Still, the
troops are vowing not to give up the battle.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CALLSIGN "MAYHEM", SOLDIER OF THE 92ND BRIGADE: It's cold, wet and grey. But we need to do our job. There's no other option. Everyone understands
this. But of course, we really don't want to. We'll kick out these evil spirits as soon as possible and go home to our families.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: All right, time now for The Exchange. Let's bring in Michael Bociurkiw. He's a Global Affairs Analyst and Senior Fellow at "The Atlantic
Council". He's joining us from Canada. Welcome, Michael.
So let's think back to where we were at the beginning of 2023 when you had Ukraine really promising this sort of spectacular counteroffensive. They
promised that they were going to sort of claim back Ukrainian territory that was occupied by Russia.
And you think to where we are now, I mean, the gains by Ukraine have certainly been modest. I think that's not even putting that generously.
Where did it all go so wrong for Ukraine and how does Zelenskyy get things back on track?
MICHAEL BOCIURKIW, GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Sure, good to be with you. Well, I think, yeah, I mean, the shock and awe of a counteroffensive that
everyone expected didn't really happen.
And I think, you know, the Zelenskyy government made a pretty solid case for that because, you know, they said victory shouldn't, for example, be
calculated by inch or kilometer by kilometer, especially when all of the aid that Ukraine has been asking for didn't arrive in one batch. It took a
And also, you know, the Russian side did have time to rebuild -- to rebuild their defenses, to put in kilometers and kilometers along the front line of
trenches, of minefields, and other obstacles for tanks and that sort of thing.
Having said all that, I mean, if you look back at last year from where it was and what they've achieved now, basically, Ukraine with very minimal
resources has been able to destroy about 50 percent of conventional Russian military capability with about three or four percent of annual U.S.
military budget and some assistance from the West.
So, that's pretty impressive. But you know, I got to say the tone of that press conference, especially the questions coming from the journalists
really reflects how Ukrainians are feeling right now, asking when is the war going to end? How is it going to end and how long we have to suffer
GOLODRYGA: A really sobering assessment of the past six months, no doubt. And it's coming as, you know, we heard President Zelenskyy say he is
confident that European aid will come, but it's pretty clear that we have got about $100 billion on the line if you combine the 50 or so billion that
is up for grabs now and being debated by the E.U. and obviously the 60 billion in the supplemental here in the United States.
How much concern is there about the timing of these bills and this funding being agreed to and going to Ukraine and what are some of the consequences
of it not getting there soon enough?
BOCIURKIW: Yeah, well, this freeze in funding or blockage, whatever you want to call it, couldn't come at a worse time. And when Ukraine really
needs that, for example, the 61 billion that has been pledged by the White House goes towards military support, budget support, for example, salaries
for teachers and pensions, also humanitarian needs and energy.
And Russia has been striking energy infrastructure in Ukraine relentlessly. It's really shocking because politicians, whether here in North America or
in Europe, should know better.
They should know that if Mr. Putin is not pushed back, and I mean completely back to where he started, that he will make more territorial
grabs. He will threaten the E.U. more. He will weaponize even further -- migration, energy and food.
And Bianna, these are all things, as you well know, that will have reverberations across the world, as they already have. Higher fuel prices,
higher food prices. Can Europe even handle more waves of migration should Mr. Putin strike more?
So -- but you know, this is what we're seeing even here in Canada, a kind of infiltration of local politics into foreign affairs, where politicians
are being very short-sighted, calculating their chances of being re-elected and not looking at the bigger picture of what would happen if an autocratic
dictator like Mr. Putin is allowed to get his way.
ASHER: And Michael, when you think about just the challenges for Ukraine actually going into next year, you think about the infrastructure damage,
you think about the death toll, you think about the budget deficit for Ukraine, you think about stalling over mobilization.
And by the way, war fatigue, as we've touched on around the world, I mean, what is Zelenskyy's plan for next year? Does he have a concrete plan going
into next year as to how to turn things around?
BOCIURKIW: Yeah, you know, I got to say that for someone who has really transitioned from a TV comic to a wartime president, he's acting very
impressively. We could see that at the press conference today. I was listening to it in Ukrainian. He's projecting confidence, determination and
even hitting back quite forcefully at questions about corruption.
But I think he has to do this because in all the time I spent in Ukraine, I've spent most of the war there, you are realizing now this growing
fatigue and weariness, families are being split up, people are no longer having the means to spend the way they could. So, he has to do this, number
one, to keep the morale up.
But you know, having said that, I don't know how he's going to get around things. For example, mothers and wives are protesting that their sons,
their fathers are spending way too much time at the front lines, they hardly see them anymore. I know there's talk of immobilization, but that
could be very expensive.
And to directly answer your question, I think the air tinkering with, for example, the supply chains to make themselves more resilient, more
independent of the West, for example, manufacturing more artillery, that sort of thing within Ukraine.
But what's really needed immediately to just help the Ukrainian population get through this winter, because in fact an air raid siren just went off
where I'm living in Odessa, is that more Patriot missile systems to push back those very, very damaging drones and missiles that Russia is sending
to Ukraine almost on a daily basis.
GOLODRYGA: Michael, for much of the war, I've long argued that Ukraine's best weapon was President Zelenskyy himself and representing the country,
speaking for what the war stands for and what they're fighting for, and really resonating in so many capitals and parliaments around the world,
especially among Western allies.
Here we are now, where you see his internal poll numbers are declining, the country is still under Martial Law so there's no presidential elections.
The only positive headline as of late at least has been the accession talks into the E.U. but that could take years and that is much more of a symbolic
Talk about his stance and his position now within the country as the wartime leader. Is there concern that perhaps the support for him and the
popularity that he's, you know, rightly so amassed over the past two years is really waning and could impact the war.
BOCIURKIW: Sure. Well, I haven't met one Ukrainian that said it's time for Zelenskyy to go. They do feel more confident with him there. Now, there is
talk in Ukraine of perhaps having an election, but that would be a terrible mistake, actually a tragedy during wartime for a number of reasons. Poll
workers couldn't be protected. How are the millions of Ukrainians overseas going to vote -- that sort of things.
So, I think, unlike in Israel where the average Israeli is calling for Mr. Netanyahu to go at any second now. I think people are willing to see Mr.
Zelenskyy see the war through, but I think in order for him to do that, he has to tinker a little bit with things.
For example, Martial Law, for example, might be suspended in areas of the country where there isn't active fighting. The other thing we're seeing is
that, you know, if you tune in as Ukrainian to the press conference, you have to get into this 24-7 so-called T.V. marathon, where all of the main
channels have been corralled at the beginning of the war, to give a pretty pro-presidential, I'd say, report of what's going on.
And the opposition channels weren't included for this. This has to stop, I think Ukrainians can handle more critical reporting and more free and
independent media. And I think that would also help bolster Ukraine's image overseas.
So, little things he can do here and there, but I think he's there to stay. And one more thing I have to remind everyone that when he was running for
president, he did promise to run only for one term. So, if an election were to happen, it could be a farewell for him if he sticks to his pledge.
ASHER: Michael Bociurkiw, appreciate your analysis. We're so grateful. Thank you so much. We'll be right back with more.
ASHER: All right, across Africa, members of the LGBTQ community are fighting measures that ban, that outlaw same-sex relationships. And
supporters claim that these laws protect family values, but a lot of people clearly disagree with that.
GOLODRYGA: Yeah. Those affected by them tell a different story, saying they live in fear. CNN's David McKenzie has this exclusive report on the
influence of a U.S. non-profit group.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We are in Nairobi tracking the impact of hate.
MCKENZIE: So, we're heading to a safe house that has been arranged for Ugandans that have fled Uganda into Kenya, trying to get asylum. We are
shielding their location, hiding their identity for their safety. How are you doing?
UNKNOWN: I'm fine. Thank you for having us.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): No one is sure how many have fled, but the numbers have surged. In safe houses like this, their wounds are still fresh.
ADRIAN, ASYLUM SEEKER: He felt like if he can cut me into pieces, it will be better.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): Adrian's own father tried to kill him, he says, for being gay.
ADRIAN: These knives, they stabbed me. In Uganda, when they kill someone in an LGBT community, it's not a big deal.
SYLVIA, ASYLUM SEEKER: My mom came herself and she told me, you know what, you are not welcome here. You are not part of our family.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): Betrayed by their families, pursued by the police. They fled into Kenya on foot or by bus, often in the dead of night. Now,
they are afraid to go out. They keep the curtains shut from prying eyes.
Since 2021, politicians have pushed a new generation of disturbing homophobic bills in Uganda, Ghana, and Kenya. Some even calling for hefty
jail terms, including life in prison for same-sex relationships and identifying as queer. All of them to protect so-called family values.
For months, CNN has been investigating the influence of American charity Family Watch International, headed by this woman, Sharon Slater. For years,
the organization has been advocating across Africa for family values and against educating young people about LGBT issues and sexual health.
UNKNOWN: This is Africa and what it takes to be close to just stand next to the President of an African country in Africa, it means it's not random.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): The President is Yoweri Museveni of Uganda at a sex education conference in Ntebe in April. The conference included politicians
pushing the homophobic laws. This opposition researcher has tracked Slater's organization for years. We agreed to conceal his identity to
protect the ongoing work.
ALI, RESEARCHER: She presents herself as an expert. She presents herself as a consultant.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): A source with direct knowledge of their involvement says they were much more instrumental than just consulting. The source says
a Family Watch International representative made repeated changes to draft versions of the homophobic bill together with members of parliament, even
suggesting clauses that should be added to the text.
A CNN producer found Sharon Slater at the United Nations in New York.
REPORTER: Sharon Slater, there are allegations that Family Watch International is pushing homophobic laws in Africa. What do you have to say
in response to that?
SHARON SLATER, FOUNDER, FAMILY WATCH INTERNATIONAL: It's absurd. Totally, totally absurd. I've got documents I can send you later to show that I have
not been involved in any of those laws. Period. It's just absurd.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): Family Watch International provided this document to CNN, an extraordinary endorsement of Slater's work by President Museveni.
He says she played no part in, quote, originating, canvassing or supporting the law, instead suggesting a safe haven for homosexuals.
The final law allows for the rehabilitation of offenders, including widely discredited conversion therapy.
TOBIAS NAURIKI, EMPOWERED YOUTH COALITION: Gay people and lesbian people are human beings like me.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): We tracked down a youth leader in Nairobi with close ties to Family Watch International.
NAURIKI: I would not be happy for them to be punished, but what I would recommend is to respect and uphold those laws.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): Family Watch International said he is not authorized to speak for the organization.
MCKENZIE: So, you are happy with these laws being pushed, is what you're saying?
NAURIKI: Yes, I'm happy with the laws being pushed. I've seen people who are fearing for their lives on this continent because of these laws. They
are very minor cases.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): The awful reality is this. CNN has tracked a severe spike in abuse of LGBTQ Africans, often put on social media, often too
graphic to show.
It's an epidemic of hate inspired by the laws. In Kenya, human rights groups say that attacks on the community have at least doubled in the last
two years, with more than a thousand incidents up until August. The proposed law here is the most sweeping yet.
PETER KALUMA, KENYAN PARLIAMENT MEMBER: When you engage in those acts of LGBT which are prohibited in Kenya, you become a criminal.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): The M.P. sponsoring the bill has Sharon Slater's book on family values on his shelf.
MCKENZIE: Family Watch International is not specifically helping with the drafting of these bills.
KALUMA: No, no, they can't. That would be to say I don't have my own brain.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): In the safe house, as the hate spreads, they fear their space is running out.
UNKNOWN: I feel at any point, I'm left nowhere to go. If you go outside there, you'll notice that I'm LGBT, I -- sooner or later, I'll be dead.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): David McKenzie, CNN Nairobi, Kenya.
GOLODRYGA: Well, one chihuahua had the adventure of a lifetime when he got loose on a busy highway in New York. I told you --
ASHER: Thankfully, some good-hearted motorists made sure he made it to safety. CNN's Jeanne Moos has more.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): That's no high- occupancy vehicle racing alongside the HOV lane. That's a chihuahua. This chihuahua named Bean -- Bean had drivers jumping on the Staten Island
KAITLYN MCGINLEY, HELPED RESCUE CHIHUAHUA: That dog never tired. He was so fast. It was ridiculous.
MOOS (voice-over): Kaitlyn McGinley was one of about 20 motorists who did everything from stopping and getting out to try to catch Bean to forming a
blockade to protect him. But even good Samaritans had bad moments.
UNKNOWN: No, no.
KATIE MARIE, HELPED RESCUE CHIHUAHUA: The most heart-stopping moment for me was when the dog went underneath my car. I thought I killed it.
MOOS (voice-over): But Bean re-appeared on the other side of her car, crossing four lanes of traffic. Katie stopped and tried to grab him, but he
KATIE MARIE: Another thing that I was thinking in my head was, what is insurance going to say? If my car gets hit, if all these cars get hit, we
tell them that a chihuahua was on the highway.
MOOS (voice-over): Finally, Ella Wajda's (ph) husband dropped her off and she chased the Chihuahua for about half a mile.
MOOS: Did that not seem a little bit dangerous?
ELLA WAJDA (ph), HELPED RESCUE CHIHUAHUA: It was dangerous at the beginning.
MOOS (voice-over): But a blockade formed to protect Ella's lane. They managed to corral Bean under Kaitlyn's vehicle. He wasn't exactly grateful.
MCGINLEY: A little nippy, yeah, he almost bit me, but that's okay.
MOOS (voice-over): They used a jacket to scoop him up and put him in a bag. In no time, Bean was recognized in a lost dog Facebook post and reunited
with his owner an hour after the chase.
Now, the famous Bean has his own Instagram. It turns out Ella the runner recently ran in the New York City Marathon.
MOOS: What place did you come in?
ELLA (ph): Oh, it was like 26,000.
MOOS: But she took first place in the Chihuahua Chase. Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
GOLODRYGA: So much to say, but not for nothing. Did you notice that those good Samaritans who were there fighting for being in his safety were all
ASHER: Oh, good point. And can I just say my heart dropped a thousand -- I'm so grateful for happy ending because I died a thousand times watching
GOLODRYGA: Can't wait for that to be in a movie.
ASHER: Yes, he ended up. But good point about the women. Thank you so much. That does it for us in this hour of "One World". I'm Zain Asher.
GOLODRYGA: And I'm Bianna Golodryga. Thank you for watching. Amanpour is next. And we will both see you here tomorrow.