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One World with Zain Asher

Man Kills And Injures Innocent People In Prague, Charles University; Hamas' Credibility And Influence In The Arab And Muslim World Grows Since October 7th Attacks; Qatari And Egyptian Mediated Talks Underway To Try To Get More Israeli Hostages Freed; Demonstrators In Buenos Aires Protest A Sweeping Decree To Deregulate Economy; Rudy Giuliani Files For Bankruptcy In Federal Court; Thousands Of People In Iceland Deal With The Aftermath Of A Major Volcanic Eruption. Aired 12-1p ET

Aired December 21, 2023 - 12:00   ET




ZAIN ASHER, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome everybody. Coming to you live from New York, I'm Zain Asher. My colleague Bianna Golodryga is off today.

I want to bring you some breaking news out of the Czech Republic.

Police say that at least 15 people -- at least 15 people were killed during a mass shooting in an attack at Charles University in Prague. We know that

24 others were injured. Police say the shooter has been killed. They are still evacuating the university at this point in time.

Take a look at this photo. This photo actually, which was posted on social media just moments ago, shows students actually climbing out onto the ledge

of a building to escape from the shooter.

The news has completely stunned the nation with the President saying that he is shocked by this tragedy. I want to bring in Melissa Bell, who's

monitoring these events from Paris. Melissa, at this point, what more can you tell us?

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that shock you mentioned a moment ago, Zain, of course, felt by so many European leaders, including the

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who've been bringing in or sharing their condolences and their shock at what's gone on, given how

rarely these sorts of mass shootings happen here in Europe, Zain.

It's simply not something that we're used to. And yet the toll already rising. There's images coming in of, as you say, a police university that's

been entirely cordoned off.

It was inside the faculty department within the Arts Department of this Charles University that this shooter killed all of these people. It began

this afternoon. He was eliminated fairly quickly, but not before killing. We now know at least 15 people.

Now, there is no indication we're hearing of terrorism. That's according to the Interior Minister. Even now, the police chief is holding a press

conference. We've learned a little bit more about the man, not his identity for the time being.

But the facts say the police that he killed his father in his home village, which is a couple more --just over a couple of hours from Prague before

heading to the Czech capital to carry out the shooting at the university there.

We don't know what his linked to the university is or what his motive may have been, but he killed his father before heading to the university. And

as you say, extremely violent scenes there that you can see on some of the images that have been shared.

Those students that you mentioned cowering from what would have been an active shooting scene at the time were several stories up as they sought

refuge under that windowsill. Scenes of extreme chaos also as people tried to free the scene.

Again, Zain, I think it's really worth remembering just how rare these sorts of atrocities are here on the European continent. When you think of

what people in Prague will have witnessed today, at least 15 dead, 24 to 25 injured, of those, Zain, nine severely. So, this is all too sadly a toll

that may yet rise, Zain.

ASHER: Yeah, this simply doesn't happen, right? This doesn't happen in a place like Prague. And as you point out, the nation, they're totally

stunned by this. Melissa Bell there, live for us in Paris. Thank you so much.

All right, I want to turn now to Gaza because the situation there is growing worse by the hour. The World Health Organization says that there

are no longer any functioning hospitals at all in northern Gaza right now. None, right? No power, barely any medical supplies, medical facilities,

simply cannot take any more patients.

WHO actually provided this video from inside a church that has now been turned into some kind of makeshift hospital in Gaza. It adds that only a

handful of hospitals in southern Gaza are able to treat patients as well, at this point.


SEAN CASEY, WHO EMERGENCY MEDICAL TEAMS COORDINATOR: There are patients here who have been injured for more than a month and who have had no

surgery. There are patients who have been operated on but they are now getting post-operative infections because the hospital doesn't have

sufficient antibiotics.

As you can see behind me the patients are on the hospital pews, they're on the floor and they're suffering enormously here. This is a completely

unacceptable situation.


ASHER: One way to get more aid into Gaza would be, of course, another pause in the fighting. Israel says it proposed a truce in exchange for the

release of 40 more hostages held by Hamas.


But the two sides have said not to be close to a deal right now. And Hamas says that it won't even talk about a deal until Israel stops its attacks.

Hostage families are growing frustrated because of the lack of progress.


RUBY CHEN, FATHER OF HAMAS HOSTAGE ITAY CHEN: So, I urge you act, do what you can because my kid -- I don't want him in a bag. I still have hope.


ASHER: And on top of all of that, the World Food Program is saying that half of Gaza's population is now starving and that the aid that is coming

in simply is not coming in fast enough. CNN's Jomana Karadsheh has more.


For weeks, this is what we have seen of the war in Gaza. Israel's brutal military might pounding neighborhoods into dust. In central Gaza's

Inseirat, whole blocks reduced to rubble, seemingly deserted, unlivable. But there's also this -- the near surreal scenes this week Inseirat. The

hustle and bustle of the street market. It's the story of every war where life doesn't stop. It goes on for those trying to survive. But Gaza is like

no other place.

It's where more than two million are crammed into this tiny strip of land that now looks like it's been bombed back into ages past, where those

who've lost everything have nowhere left but the streets. That's where Mutnes (ph) is building a clay oven, hoping people would pay him a shekel

or two to use it, he says. Maybe then he'll have enough to buy his children cheese or tomatoes.

Our lives are a million years behind. We live in sewage, Manas (ph) says. Every time it rains, the sewage overflows. It's cold. There's no food, no

water, no warm clothes. Most here have escaped the bombs, only to be trapped in this misery.

Disease and starvation, the U.N.'s warned, may soon kill more than those bombs. Half the population, it says, are now starving, people going entire

days without eating.

Um Ahmed says she collects a bit of flour from here and there to bake bread for her children. We're all thrown into the streets, she says. They said,

go to the south. We came to the south to die slowly.

The Human Rights Watch says Israel is using starvation as a weapon of war. It's a war crime Israel denies and calls it a lie. It accuses Hamas of

stealing aid. In the wake of October 7th, Israel's defense minister announced a siege of Gaza. Quote, "No electricity, no fuel, everything

closed until all hostages were returned."

Some aid and water delivery resumed, but nowhere near enough. Much of the blockade remains in place, what rights groups call collective punishment.

Sometimes, the lucky ones find more than lentils and bread for the hungry mouths they have to feed. This mother uses a pair of jeans for her fire to

boil some chicken wings and bones.

I'm using clothes and cardboard to make fire and cook, she says. The situation is disastrous, but I need to find a way for my children. We're in

the street because we have nowhere to shelter. Fleeing the bombs, scrounging for food. Now the people of Gaza desperately wait for the

moment. They can try once again to live. Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, London.

All right, joining me live now to talk about the desperate situation inside Gaza is Hiba Tibi. She's the deputy regional director for Care

International covering the Middle East and North Africa, as well. Thank you so much for being with us. I mean, we are running out of adjectives, right,

to describe what is happening in Gaza right now.

You think about the fact that there are no functioning hospitals in the north and the hospitals that are running in the south are pretty much on

their last leg. Just walk us through and explain to us the scale of the suffering right now in Gaza, Hiba.

HIBA TIBI, CARE INTERNATIONAL DEPUTY REGIONAL DIRECTOR, MENA REGION: Thank you so much, Zain, for this question, although it's each time asked since

weeks now, becomes harder and harder to answer. As you have just mentioned, weeks ago, it was described the situation as catastrophic. Now I cannot

even find words in the dictionary to describe how it looks like.

The images that you have shown now also are only like a sample of what the people are living in the South, not much we can see in the North also.

Unfortunately, the South is better in terms of aid access. So, aid -- the very limited aid that access the South is more focused in Rafah area, not

even in Khan Younis, and much, much less in the North.


People are hungry. They are thirsty. They are cold. We have seen that they are, most of them, they are sleeping on wet mattresses, trying to use their

body heat to -- by holding their kids to give them the warmth. And unfortunately, the medical system is also collapsing.

What we predicted already a couple of weeks ago is unfortunately becoming a fact and a truth where people are now not only that where bombing and

airstrikes are not the only source of death but now we started to see cases reported for dehydration and severe malnutrition.

ASHER: And it's impossible to look at, I mean you can't really see the screen right now but we're looking at people sort of digging through piles

of rubble presumably to find survivors after what may have been an airstrike. But when you look at the scale of the suffering happening right

now in Gaza, it's impossible to look at these images without thinking about the children, right?

That is what I think about the most. The children, the babies, the kids especially who are under five. Just explain to us how they're surviving

this kind of nightmare.

TIBI: So, Gaza was declared as the deadliest place on Earth for kids in terms of the number of kids who are injured. Unfortunately, what happens if

it's already catastrophic and very harsh for the grownups, for the elderly.

But you can time it by two when it comes to the kids in terms of the malnutrition, the impact of the war, the type of treatment that they

receive currently, accessing basic services, not even talking about schools or playgrounds, only accessing services related to medical supplies, and on

the top of everything, their psychological wellbeing.

Unfortunately, during the truce, we were able and in addition to other humanitarian organizations, just to dig very, very slightly for information

to understand the situation. As you mentioned, everyone in Gaza is in need of help. On the top of those are kids.

Of course, this is even not talking about the newborn, the premature babies who are born. And the situation is unfortunately again, undescribable at

the moment for the kids.

ASHER: Now, most people watching this, I mean, just won't even be able to imagine, imagine the scale of this kind of suffering and what it's actually

like to go through this kind of suffering without a clear end in sight. What can people who are moved to help do to help? I mean, obviously, the

easy thing to say is donate, but even when you do donate to organizations, it's unclear if the aid is actually going to get into Gaza. So, what can

people actually do to help?

TIBI: Honestly, and let me tell you, Zain, every aid that is done, every contribution that is done is saving lives. Even if the aid is in this

current moment until the ceasefire is not attained, is not 100 percent entering Gaza, it makes a difference. It gives people hope.

As you can see in Rafah area, even these plastic sheets and woods that people are using because there are no tents, are costing enormous money. So

,every donation can help, can save life, can get some sort of assistance to a hospital, to people in shelter, that would be amazing. So, the first

thing is that financial aid and contributions because this is needed.

Secondly, all of us we have seen, and of course, through your lenses, through the opportunities that you give us, we try to continue calling for

ceasefire. I know that no ceasefire is attained or even a truce is, all negotiations are closed, but this makes a difference when we talk and we

try to reflect what is happening.

Unfortunately, we cannot see immediate impact of our work, but of course, now it's a life-saving process. Every cent, every effort makes a difference

and saves one life, at least one life in Gaza.

ASHER: All right, Hiba Tibi, thank you so much. We appreciate you joining us, thank you. All right, some of the families of the Israeli hostages

accidentally killed by the IDF are speaking out. In fact, the mother of Yotam Haim says that she doesn't blame the unit involved in the fatal

accidental shooting of her son. She forgives that unit. I want you to take a listen to what she had to say.


IRIS HAIM, MOTHER OF SLAIN HOSTAGE YOTAM HAIM (through translator): I know that everything that happened is completely not your fault. It's nobody's

fault except the Hamas. May their name and memory be wiped off the face of the Earth.


We all need you to be safe and sound. Don't hesitate for a single moment. If you see a terrorist, don't think that you have deliberately killed a

hostage. You need to protect yourselves because that's the only way you will be able to protect us.


ASHER: However, the father of 26-year-old Alon Shimritz, who was also killed by Israeli troops is accusing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of

cowardice for not calling him. CNN's Jeremy Diamond is joining us live now from Tel Aviv.

So, the words obviously of Yotam Haim's mother, incredibly touching and really stunning, in fact. Just talk to us about the latest in terms of

where things stand with more negotiations. Obviously, the mediators, Qatar, working very, very hard behind the scenes right now. Where do things stand

with mediating a truce?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: You know, amid that terrible tragedy of those three Israeli hostages being killed, there was also a

sense of hope that emerged after that as we saw thousands of people spontaneously demonstrating in Tel Aviv outside of Israel's military and

defense headquarters.

In a sense that there was some real movement towards the negotiating table with the Israel's Mossad director being dispatched to two European capitals

to meet not only with the Qatari Prime Minister but also the director of the CIA. And yesterday we saw Ismail Haniyeh, the head of Hamas, going to

Cairo to meet with Egyptian officials who have also been key mediators in these negotiations.

But today a lot of that hope has been dashed, at least for now, as Hamas put out a statement effectively reaffirming the position that they have

held over the last several saying that they will not negotiate until and unless Israel stops the fighting in Gaza, effectively saying that there

needs to be a pause in the fighting before a deal can be made and not as part of a deal.

Israel, of course, sees things very differently, prepared to offer a pause in the fighting for at least a week to allow for the release of these

hostages, but only once a deal has been made. And so these two parties appear very, very far apart. You know, we are more than three weeks since

that last pause in the fighting fell apart, of course, and we have seen in the week since that the war has continued with Israel ramping up its

offensive in southern Gaza. And, of course, we know that the toll of that war is taking its biggest impact on civilians in Gaza.

We watched today as we hit that terrible mile marker of 20,000 people killed in Gaza since this war began. That's combatants and non-combatants.

But when you look at just the numbers of women and children, that's 70 percent of that total.

And so, as this political gamesmanship continues, as these two parties still remain very far apart, what is clear is that these civilians are

going to continue to pay the price in the coming days and weeks. Zain. ASHER: Jeremy Diamond, live for us there. Thank you so much. All right,

still to come here, it is a legal ruling that Donald Trump's former attorney general warns a historic decision by the Colorado State Supreme

Court could backfire politically.


BILL BARR, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: -- feeds on grievance just like a fire feeds on oxygen and this is going to end up as a grievance that helps






ASHER: All right, it hasn't happened yet, but Donald Trump's legal team is vowing to swiftly appeal a landmark ruling that could significantly impact

next year's U.S. presidential election.

On Tuesday, the Colorado Supreme Court disqualified Trump from appearing on the state's Republican primary ballot, citing the Constitution's

insurrection clause. And while the legal implications of that decision are still unclear, some supporters and some critics alike of the former U.S.

President say that the move will actually help him out politically.


BARR: I think that this case is legally wrong and untenable. And I think this kind of action of stretching the law, taking these hyper aggressive

positions to try to knock Trump out of the race, are counterproductive. They backfire. As you know, he feeds on grievance, just like a fire feeds

on oxygen. And this is going to end up as a grievance that helps him.


CNN's Senior Political Analyst, John Avlon, joins us live now. So, one thing that I know about Trump is that he is very talented -- very talented

when it comes to raising money on the back of any kind of legal setback. And clearly it's not that different this time with Colorado.

JOHN AVLON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I wouldn't necessarily call that a talent. I would call that a --

ASHER: Maybe not a talent, but he's very good at it.

AVLON: Yeah. An instinct for flensing people based on scandals and provocations and grievances, to Bill Barr's point. Look, I think you need

to separate the politics from the constitutional principle of it. And frankly, what I think Bill Barr was primarily speaking about was the short-

term politics.

Trump does thrive on grievance. Can he use this to raise money in the short run? Sure. Can he use this to convince Republican caucus and primary goers

that he's aggrieved and besieged and he's being persecuted not prosecuted and therefore you should rally around me? Maybe.

There's also what some of the campaigns are saying more privately, which is this is just more of a reason to understand that nominating Donald Trump is

a recipe for chaos, if not outright disaster for the Republican Party.

But I take a very different view about the legal merits of this case. And I think they should be understood entirely separately from politics and

especially partisan politics. People cheerleading it, people saying it's utterly invalid.

The 14th Amendment, Section 3, is in the Constitution. It's right there. You can read it. It's designed to stop people who took an oath to uphold

the Constitution, who then violated that oath to engage in an insurrection or rebellion or give aid and comfort thereof from having any job under the

United States. And debates during the ratification made it clear it was A, it was prospective, not just about the Civil War, and B, it applied to


So, to not invoke the 14th Amendment Section 3 in this specific circumstance, at least to clear up the question if it applies would be to

willfully ignore a key component of the Constitution because people are afraid it might be complicated politically. That's the cart before the


ASHER: But what about this idea as to whether or not congressional action is actually needed in order to fairly invoke Article 3 of the 14th


AVLON: Sure. A couple things. First of all, what the amendment says is that two-thirds vote in Congress is needed to remove the disqualification.

That's the only thing it says about the congressional vote.

Now, what Judge Michael Luding, a conservative jurist, has argued on our air is that it is self-executing, i.e. it's in the constitution. You don't

necessarily need a mechanism to implement it. There is a 74-page analysis by two conservative legal scholars associated with the Federal Society that

came to the same conclusion.


And so -- and the other thing was specifically around a congressional vote is some members of Congress will note that in his second impeachment,

majorities in both the House and Senate, voted to endorse the idea that he had, you know, I think incited an insurrection was the term they used.

And it was not enough in the Senate for a conviction which would have impeached him. They came up three votes short. Seven Republicans voted to

impeach him. Three votes short, which would have disqualified him from office going forward.

But already there's been a majority congressional vote in both Houses that directly addressed the question of whether he incited an insurrection. The

answer is yes, in addition to the court cases that have found -- the courts that have found that he did so to date, too.

ASHER: I mean, it's interesting because it's so hard to actually separate the legal from the political here because even if the legal merits are

indeed clear, the fact is you cannot, or at least it should be considered, whether you can and should, disenfranchise half of a particular state or,

you know, worst case scenario, half of the country. That is also an important aspect of this, as well.

AVLON: Well, I would say that the Supreme Court has made very clear, especially in recent years, that the political ramifications of their

decisions should not be taken into account, that the Constitution should be read, largely it is written, many conservatives make an originalist or

textual argument, and that the downstream political impacts should not be considered. That was an argument, for example, in the overturning of Dobbs.

I think one of the crises of credibility in the court, independent third branch of government, is a question of how independent and integrity driven

they are, or how much they are being motivated by partisan politics, which degrades trust in the Supreme Court, which is bad for our institutions.

Again, I think cheerleading this, saying, you know, the outcome is non- sense. But as I have argued on our air and in our pages, you know, since 2021, this remedy exists, understanding the history around it and applying

it is essential. And it's absurd to act like it doesn't exist just because it seems politically unpalatable or difficult to me.

ASHER: Technically, the law of course should be applied without fear or favor but there is the practical considerations here, as well. I do want to

talk about the actual politics here, just in terms of, you know, his rivals -- Donald Trump's rivals being reticent to go after him. Even in something

as monumental as this, is that the right move still for them politically, especially given how close we are to the caucuses?

AVLON: No, I mean, look, I understand why they're saying, look, this politically doesn't help me in the short run because it creates a rally

around Trump effect and I want to beat him at the polls, you know, one-on- one, as it were. I think Nikki Haley made that point eloquently.

But campaigns are about contrasts. And yes, Donald Trump, there's 37 percent of the Republican Party, according to a "New York Times" survey,

that will support Donald Trump no matter what, and I'll underline no matter what.

Twenty-five percent of the Republican Party say they will not support him, no matter what. Thirty seven percent are persuadable. Trump has been able

to corral support because of the intensity of his base support and the fact that fear and greed have cowed people, including especially elected

officials, from saying openly and honestly what they say in private about his fitness for office and the actions he took as President.

So, I think the more people tiptoe around Donald Trump when they're campaigning against him, I understand the calculus they're making, the math

they're doing, but I think ultimately there's a charisma of common sense that comes from a conviction politician.

People saying, this is what I believe. And when you apply true constitutional conservative principles, or think about patriotism, think

about the Constitution, think about law and order, then you can and should be able to draw a very clear contrast with the legacy of lies that Donald

Trump objectively represents.

Just in this year, velocity of lies he tells, and the violence he tried to do to the country and the Constitution by trying to overturn an election on

the basis of a lie that led to an attack on our Capitol. If that's difficult to call out clearly, maybe you're in the wrong line of work.

ASHER: Yeah, there are too many people as you point out who are afraid to say how they really feel and that ends up working in Donald Trump's favor

at the end of the day.

AVLON: Correct.

ASHER: John Avlon, we have to leave it there. Thank you. Always good to see you. Thank you. Thanks, guys.

AVLON: Thanks guys. Be well. Take care.

ASHER: All right. Coming up, what U.S. intelligence officials are saying about Hamas' influence in the month since the October 7th terrorist

attacks. We'll explain after the break.




ASHER: All right, welcome back to ONE WORLD. I am Zain Asher. An update on the breaking news. We are following out of Europe the deadly shooting at a

university in Prague. We know that at least 15 people are dead. We also know that around 24 are wounded. This is according to Czech emergency


The suspected shooter was 24 years old. He opened fire at the Philosophy Building at the Charles University where he was a student. Police say that

it was not -- it was not an act of terrorism and that they believe the shooter died by suicide shortly after.

Take a look at this photo here which was posted to social media. It actually shows students climbing out onto the ledge of a building to escape

the shooting. It is the deadliest shooting in Czech history. Fifteen people dead and 24 others wounded. We will continue to follow this breaking news

story and bring you new information as and when we get it.

All right, the U.S. and other Western nations call Hamas a terrorist organization, but officials say that a U.S. intelligence analysis warns

that Hamas' credibility and that their influence in the Arab and Muslim world has actually grown dramatically since they carried out the attacks on

October 7th.

Sources say that Hamas has received credit, especially in the West Bank, for the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners as part of the hostage

deal with Israel, and it is now seen in some places as the most effective defender of the Palestinian people.

CNN's Katie Bo Lillis, is looking into all of this for us. Katie, it's interesting because Israel had sworn after October 7th that their priority

was to dismantle and completely defang and weaken Hamas, if not completely destroy it. And these -- this analysis really shows us how difficult the

task is ahead for them. Walk us through it, Katie.

KATIE BO LILLIS, CNN REPORTER: Yeah, Zain. I think this is why you're starting to see U.S. officials say publicly that it's incredibly difficult

to defeat an idea. U.S. intelligence agencies have been closely tracking how the October 7th attack has impacted Hamas' influence and popularity not

just inside the Palestinian territories, but also across different parts of the Arab and Muslim world.


And I think especially amongst extremist groups that share an ideology with Hamas and what they have seen is that Hamas got a major credibility bump

after October 7th. And there's a couple of reasons for this.

One is just that, from a purely operational perspective, October 7th, this truly awful attack was wildly successful operationally. And since then,

Hamas has been able to use the hostages that it took that day to successfully negotiate the release of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

Hamas has essentially been able to cast itself as a defender of the Palestinian cause, this kind of lone armed force fighting back against

Israel, which, of course, is seen by some communities as a brutal oppressor. We can see a couple of the indicators that intelligence

officials are tracking in the public space.

There have been protests in Jordan, where Hamas' name has been chanted favorably. We have seen some polling data that shows Hamas' popularity in

the West Bank rose after October 7th. And there have been public warnings from both U.S. and European officials of a heightened risk of potential

lone wolf attacks by extremists inspired by Hamas.

ASHER: I mean, this idea of lone wolf attacks, I mean, that is really concerning, right? That is the last thing that anybody wants. That is what

a lot of people are fearing. So, just walk us through what specifically officials are concerned about and how they fought those kinds of potential


BO LILLIS: Well, some of the officials that we spoke to are deeply worried that Israel's relentless bombardment of Gaza, which has led to this stream

of images of civilian suffering going viral, that it's only going to exacerbate this dynamic and sort of further legitimize Hamas and

potentially radicalize others both inside and outside of Gaza, even though, of course, we know that Hamas is hiding itself among civilians and carried

out unspeakable atrocities on October 7th.

But Lloyd Austin, the defense secretary, sort of summed up some of those concerns earlier this month. He said, in this kind of a fight, the center

of gravity is the civilian population, and if you drive them into the arms of the enemy, you replace a tactical victory with a strategic defeat.

So, I think it's important, Zain, to kind of keep in mind that this sort of flurry of assessments as we see the Biden administration sort of making

increasingly pointed statements, both publicly and privately, to Israel about the need to protect civilian life, even as it supports Israel's

efforts to root out Hamas leadership.

ASHER: All right. Katie Bo Lillis, this life was there. Thank you so much. All right, Hamas has a message for Israel. It says that it will not

negotiate any more deals to swap hostages for Palestinian prisoners until the war is over. This comes one day after U.S. President Joe Biden told

reporters he didn't expect a deal anytime soon. Here's what he had to say.


JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're pushing it. There's no expectation at this point, but we are pushing it.


ASHER: A source says intensive Qatari and Egyptian mediated talks are underway to try to get more hostages freed. Their families have been

pleading with international diplomats for help. The sister of Hamas hostage Alex Lobanov communicated just how helpless the families feel at this



SHYLEE HAMAMI, SISTER OF HAMAS HOSTAGE ALEX LOBANOV: We can't live without our family. How supposed to a child to live without his daddy and keep

asking? I would need to live -- can't live like this. We need you to help us to get them home back now. We can't leave them there. They suffer. We

need them. Please help us. We need them now.


ASHER: Absolutely heartbreaking. Time now for The Exchange. My next guest is a hostage negotiator and a former U.N. counterterrorism adviser. Scott

Walker joins us live now. So, Scott, Hamas is saying that no hostages are going to be released until the bombardment stops.

I mean, obviously there was no way that Israel is going to agree to that. However, the IDF, Netanyahu, as well, under so much pressure right now from

family members of those who are still held hostage. What is the smart move for Israel to make right now?

SCOTT WALKER, HOSTAGE NEGOTIATOR: Well, as you alluded to, there's been lots of activity over the last couple of days and the last couple of weeks

with the CIA director and the Qatari Prime Minister and Israeli spy chiefs all meeting in Poland and their meetings taking place in Cairo.

However, progress remains painfully slow and it must be frustrating for the Israelis and certainly for the families that more doesn't seem to being

done ostensibly at least to get those hostages back. But I think it's fair to say that there is extensive diplomatic negotiations and communication

taking place behind the scenes.


And don't forget, both sides here want to try and control the narrative. That is, they want to be seen to be in control, to be winning, to be

strong. Yet at the same time, they know the need to have those honest dialogue, those honest conversations in the background.

ASHER: I mean, yeah, the Qataris are working tirelessly, right? They are working so hard as are the Egyptians. We know that Hamas has about 120

hostages or so slightly higher than that, but some of them are of course no longer alive. The fact is the hostages do represent some degree of leverage

for Hamas. Does it make sense for Hamas to at one point actually hand over all of the hostages, especially given that really is the only card left

they have to play?

WALKER: Well, they'll be looking to leverage the hostages for sure, which is why we've seen an incremental release of them since October the 7th. So,

they'll be making a calculated decision around who they release over what time frame. And we hear so much, don't we, about when all is going to be a

pause, a truce, a ceasefire. So, it's certainly in Hamas' best interest to try and string this out for as long as possible.

ASHER: There is an investigation happening right now into the IDF's accidental killing of those three hostages. And it seems as though it's

possible that the IDF or the troops on the ground were not informed about the Hebrew signs that the hostages sort of demonstrated to show the IDF

that they came in peace and they were indeed hostages and they weren't fighters.

But what does that actually tell you about just how hard it's going to be for Israel to free these hostages through military tactics? I mean, the

only way to sort of guarantee that these hostages are able to get out safely, it would appear, is through a negotiated truce. It's going to be

very difficult and ugly for them to go about this militarily.

WALKER: Any form of military action and hostage rescue attempt is high risk and it's fraught with dangers. And the chances of somebody getting

seriously hurt or killed is very, very high, which is why there is such a high success rate in negotiations to get hostages back, which is obviously

the primary means of trying to do so.

ASHER: Right, Scott Walker, live for us there. Thank you so much. Appreciate it. All right, still to come. Argentina's new President calls it

a path to rebuilding his country's inflation-battered economy. But protesters are saying that the government's so-called shock therapy will

target those who have the least, the most. That story next.




ASHER: Demonstrators taking to the streets in Buenos Aires to protest what they're calling shock therapy by Argentina's new libertarian President,

Javier Millet, signed a sweeping decree on Wednesday to deregulate the country's economy. But critics are saying the new rules will

disproportionately hurt the nation's working class.

Argentina has one of the world's highest rates of inflation. CNN's David Shortell is joining us live now from Mexico City. I mean, these crowds were

thick, right? There were a lot of people, thousands of people gathering in Buenos Aires. As I understand it, these protests were largely peaceful. But

still, this is a major test for Argentina's new President. DAVID SHORTELL, JOURNALIST: Yeah, absolutely, Zain. Thousands taking to the street in Buenos Aires yesterday, ahead of this planned announcement

where Millet did outline his new plan for the country's economy. He says it's going to rebuild there after decades of failed policy and poverty.

I'll take you through a few of those measures that he outlined in his remarks. The aim really being to take government out of the country's

economy, which as you noted is in very bad shape. This is an economy with one of the highest inflation rates in the world.

So, the first of these reforms that he announced is going to be to privatize some of the country's state-run companies. That includes the

country's national airlines, and they've also got some energy groups there that are nationalized, as well. He's also taken steps to deregulate the

country's rental housing market and roll back regulations around how the country exports its goods.

And importantly, he said that he will roll back some benefits for the country's employees. Now, that's set to be a real flashpoint in Argentina.

That country has some very powerful unions who have already started agitating over these announcements.

Now, of course, this is Millet. We know he is a libertarian economist who literally campaigned holding a chainsaw in a not-so-subtle reference to

what he planned to do to government spending if he were to take office.

Just a few days ago, when he was inaugurated, in his remarks to the nation, the basic thesis of his speech there was, this is going to hurt, but in the

long run, it will work.

Now, Argentina's markets reacting largely positively on the back of these initial announcements. The markets, however, are one thing, mood on the

street is another. As we noted, thousands taking to the streets on Wednesday.

After his remarks Wednesday evening, a spontaneous protest did erupt in typical Argentina fashion with people on their balconies banging pots and

pans. And Zain, there are more protests planned in the coming days.

ASHER: Yeah, I mean, a lot of people think that Argentina's economy does need to be reformed, especially when it comes to inflation, as you point

out. But people are worried that this is not the right way to go about it. David Shortelle, live for us there. Thank you so much. Appreciate it. All

right. U.S. President Joe Biden is expected to speak with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador about the surge of migrants this week.

That's according to sources who are familiar with these talks. The leaders are expected to discuss what assistance Mexico can provide to help manage

the flow of migrants, though officials say that they have limited resources themselves. They also met last month in San Francisco on the sidelines of

an economic forum to discuss similar matters, too.

All right, coming up next in the land of fire and ice, we take to the skies to see the impact on the Icelandic volcano eruption and how it's affecting

the lives of thousands of people there.




ASHER: All right, you're looking at some spectacular images from Iceland where thousands of people are dealing with the aftermath of a major

volcanic eruption. Authorities have bought 70 apartments, bought rather 70 apartments for evacuated residents in the southwestern town of Grindavik

where some families might otherwise be out on the streets right now, just before Christmas.

The government says it's supporting around 4000 people who had to evacuate that town in November. The flow of lava is easing, but the threat of magma

still remains. Fred Pleitgen has been at the scene of the eruption for the past few days and is now seeing its impact from both land and air. He

joined the Icelandic Coast Guard as they got an aerial view of the potential risks that still remain.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We're on a survey and practice flight of the Icelandic Coast Guard. We're heading

straight towards the area where there's been massive volcanic eruption here a couple of days ago.

Now, these flights are extremely important for the Icelandic Coast Guard because on the one hand, of course, it helps them to see how the volcanic

zone is developing.

Of course, this was a massive eruption when it first took place. You saw that deep wall of magma firing into the air, sometimes hundreds of feet

high. It's since then cooled down a little bit. There's a few vents that are still active, but magma is still going very high up into the air. And

also, there's lava flow from that fissure that's in the ground, as well.

Now, what the Icelandic Coast Guard is doing is they're surveying that area, but they're also practicing in case they have to do mass evacuations.

There are still first responders who are working inside the quake zone. And even the residents of a nearby town, Grindavik, they can go back there

during the daytime.

We are of course, right now, in the arctic winter, that means it's dark almost the entire time. So, these guys have to practice all that in the

dark and in high winds. They often use night vision goggles to do it. It's extremely challenging flying. It's something, however, that these guys do a

lot and certainly something that they also say they need to practice all the time to stay proficient.

But of course, the southwest of Iceland has been gripped by this volcanic eruption that's been going on for a couple of days that was a huge

eruption. The underground magma tunnel also affected the nearby town of Grindavik.

That's been evacuated a while ago but at the same time, residents are still able to go back into Grindavik for a certain period of time during the day

to try and get their belongings.

However, once nighttime falls, if there is an emergency, these guys would come and get it at really 24 hours a day. There are people who are working

inside that wake zone. And in case something big happens quickly then these guys would come and get them out.

One of the things that the Icelandic authorities have said is they're concerned because when they first measured big seismic activity to the

first eruption that happened, they say it was only about 90 minutes. So, eruptions can happen fast and eruptions can be really harsh.


ASHER: All right, Rudy Giuliani has filed for bankruptcy in federal court. Donald Trump's former attorney and former mayor of New York City has been

entangled in legal trouble since pushing lies about the 2020 election and defaming two Georgia election workers.

Earlier this week, a jury decided that he has to pay nearly $150 million for falsely accusing them of rigging the election.


In his bankruptcy filing, he listed debts between $100 and $500 million, but assets of only $10 million.

All right. American TV personality, Maury Povich, is famously known for revealing paternity results on his former talk show. And now he's

apparently in the business of announcing results for orangutans, as well.

Take a look here. This is four-month old Siska with her mother. So, adorable. The Denver Zoo in Colorado asked Povich to reveal who Siska's

father was as part of a publicity campaign. Before the big reveal, the zoo said on X that it was unclear if Siska's father was 30-year-old Barani or

16-year-old Jaya. And now we know. Take a look.


MAURY POVICH, AMERICAN TV PERSONALITY: When it comes to the orangutan, four-month-old Siska -- Barani, you are the father. The zoo used DNA

testing to determine the results. Congrats to all.

All right, that does it for this hour of ONE WORLD. I'm Zain Asher. Thank you so much for watching. "AMANPOUR" is up next. I'll be back tomorrow.